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Grand Turk is the capital island of the Turks and Caicos. It is here that Christopher Columbus first made landfall on his initial voyage to the New World in 1492. Astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, also spent time on Grand Turk after his space capsule splashed down offshore.
Cockburn town is the laid back capital and has donkeys and horses casually wandering the streets. It is a quaint town with small boutiques and brightly coloured colonial houses. The town has a fascinating cultural history museum recording the discovery and development of the islands. Also in the museum are mementoes associated with the space capsule landing. Cockburn is also a busy financial centre, acting as a tax haven for offshore investors. One of Grand Turk's main activities is sea diving, and caters for both novice snorkelers as well as experienced divers. There is an outstanding protected coral reef, which drops to 8,000 feet and is close enough to the shore to enable beach dives.
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