Turks and Caicos: An under-the-radar tropical paradise for most travellers and an ultimate destination for divers, snorkelers, and beach lovers.
This dreamy tropical destination is a part of the British Overseas Territory in the West Indies. It consists of two distinct islands 一Turks Islands and Caicos Islands. The archipelago has 40 islands and a number of small cays, but only 8 are inhabited.
The Turks Islands include Grand Turk, Salt Cay, and a few small cays. The Caicos Islands consist of Providenciales (Provo), North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos, East Caicos, and West Caicos and several smaller islands and cays.
The endless powdery sand beaches and warm cerulean waters are the islands’ trademarks, but from scuba diving, kitesurfing, horseback riding in the shallow ocean, to catching your own dinner through deep-fishing, each island offers a unique activity and luxurious tropical experience all-year-round.
This Turks & Caicos travel guide will help you plan the perfect trip to this dream spot.
- Where is Turks and Caicos
- When to travel to Turks and Caicos
- Things to know before you go
- Things to do in Turks and Caicos
- Where to stay in Turks and Caicos
- Places to visit in Turks and Caicos
- Getting around Turks an Caicos
- Highlights of travelling to Turks and Caicos
Where is Turks & Caicos?
The Turks and Caicos Islands are in the Atlantic Ocean, located at around 575 miles (926km) southeast of Miami, Florida. They’re also in the south of the Bahamas archipelago and 90 miles (145km) north of Hispaniola.
When to Travel to Turks and Caicos
The sweet spot for a trip to the Turks and Caicos starts from April to May because this is the edge of the tourist season. Hotels and resorts begin to reduce their prices, and the beaches and hot spots on the islands become less crowded.
Peak seasons are from December to March while hurricane season starts from June to November. The rain is manageable and hurricanes occur only rarely. There are better hotel rates and fewer crowds during these months.
Take note that some restaurants and bars may be closed for renovations since this is considered their “down time”.
Weather in Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos have excellent weather. The islands are often hot and dry with only sporadic rain. The islands are a great year-round travel destination.
The average temperature year-round is 82° (28° C).
From January to February, the average temperature is around 73°F (23°C).
August to September are the hottest months with an average of 88°F (31°C) temperature.
Things to Know Before You Visit Turks and Caicos
Packing your passport and boarding a plane? First, make sure you have these requirements when heading to the Turks and Caicos.
Traveling to Turks and Caicos
Travellers going to the Turks and Caicos Islands are required to have a pre-obtained authorization via TCI Assured and a negative COVID-19 test result.
Turks and Caicos’ Visa & Passport Requirements
Passport holders from the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom can enter visa-free. Visit this page to see requirements for other countries.
Flights to Turks and Caicos
All international flights arrive at the Providenciales International Airport (PLS). There are flights available in the U.S. via:
- American Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines.
Travel takes around 4 to 5 hours depending on your departing city.
If you're traveling from Canada, you can fly to Turks and Caicos with Air Canada and WestJet.
Is Turks & Caicos Safe to Travel To?
Yes, the Turks and Caicos Islands are safe for most travellers. Always exercise safety precautions even if crime is relatively rare. Don't travel alone at night and don't leave your valuables unattended. Most crime is petty in nature.
What Language is Spoken on Turks & Caicos?
English is the official language on these Caribbean islands.
Money in Turks & Caicos
Despite being a British Overseas Territory, Turks and Caicos only accepts U.S. dollars.
You can exchange currency before you arrive or go to the local banks. ATMs are accessible around Providenciales, but other islands may only have one ATM, so we recommend coming prepared.
Turks & Caicos’ Currency
The official currency in Turks & Caicos is the U.S. dollar (USD).
Is Turks & Caicos Expensive?
Staying at the Turks and Caicos is expensive because everything has to be imported, like on most islands in the Caribbean. It’s considered to be not quite as expensive as other tropical Atlantic and Caribbean countries.
Tipping Etiquette in Turks & Caicos
Tipping is expected in Turks & Caicos, and you can expect to tip between 10% to 20% to taxis, waiters, maids, and porters. Check your bill when you’re dining out as some restaurants may include a service charge.
How to Pay for Things in Turks & Caicos
The only currency accepted in Turks and Caicos with U.S. dollars, and cash, credit, and debit cards are all widely accepted. Some establishments may accept traveler's cheques as they can be cashed at local banks, but it’s easier to just use cash or card.
Dress & What to Pack for Turks & Caicos
It's sunny and warm in Turks and Caicos so wear clothes with lightweight fabrics. Nights tend to cool down so pack a light sweater in your suitcase.
Choose casual essentials like tees and shorts or anything comfortable when touring around the islands. Most restaurants accept dress shorts but others may require smart outfits like collared shirts, dress slacks, dresses, or pants.
Shorts and beach cover ups are great when you're on the water. Wear swimwear only on beaches, beach bars, and hotel pools. Ensure that you have a cover-up with you or a change of clothes when heading outside these areas.
The rays are hot and the UV index is usually high in Turks & Caicos so pack a reef-safe sunscreen and insect repellant with you for outdoor activities.
Turks & Caicos is breathtaking and totally Instagram worthy so don’t forget to bring your DSLR.
Turks & Caicos Laws to Know
- The legal drinking age is 18.
- There's a severe penalty if you’re caught with illegal drugs of any kind.
- Nudity on the beaches is prohibited.
Things to Do in Turks & Caicos
Connect with nature, go island hopping, or enjoy different water-sportsーthe Turks and Caicos Islands offer all these and more for the perfect remote getaway.
Adrenaline-rush seekers will love this destination for water-sports. Try out paddle boarding in the wetlands or go free-diving , kiteboarding, snorkelling, scuba diving, at the calm beaches. Even kids can enjoy these pursuits.
Kayak to visit the wonders of Turks and Caicos like mangroves, isolated lagoons, and other aquatic sights, or take a boat cruise to explore other islands and smaller cays. While you’re at it, say hello to the indigenous Turks and Caicos rock iguanas in Little Cay Waters, or check out the secluded beaches at Water Cay.
Of course, vacation in Turks and Caicos is not all about the waters and breathtaking beaches. Go hiking for an eco-trip with your family or friends to visit caves, or eat the mouthwatering seafood and island cuisine.
Where to Stay in Turks & Caicos
Families will love the classic Grace Bay Club. There are premium kids clubs, pools for kids or adults, a variety of food choices, and more.
Seven Stars Resort & Spa is a seafarer's paradise. The luxurious all-suite accommodations plus free water-sports activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, or sailing is something you shouldn’t miss.
Scenic backdrops, candlelit dinners, and an all-suites resort are perfect for couples. The Palms Turks and Caicos provide these for honeymooners or couples who want an intimate vacation.
For those looking for great deals, Ports of Call Resort is a great option. This budget-friendly hotel doesn't come short of quality and offers access to restaurants, shopping districts, groceries, and the Grace Bay beach.
Places to Visit in Turks & Caicos
Off to the shore? Try visiting Grace Bay Beach, Mudjin Harbour, and Leeward Beach. You can stay and lounge all-day and watch a beautiful sunset.
The consistent trade winds and clear shallow waters at Long Bay Beach make it a great destination for kitesurfing.
Outdoor enthusiasts should go for an adventure at South Caicos. This secluded vacation spot is a place for tranquil beaches like East Bay and Bell Sound where you can do bonefishing.
Charter private excursions at North and Middle Caicos and explore areas including Bottle Creek Lagoon, Rasmar Nature Reserve, and other uninhabited cays.
Make your vacation even better by horseback riding at Long Bay, golfing around Provo Golf Club, or drinking up a local brew at Turk's Head Brewery. Head over to Little Cay to see some iguanas and other wildlife or the Crossing Place Trail for a good hiking and biking trail.
For history buffs, check out the Turks and Caicos National Museum which houses an ancient shipwreck, the Molasses Reef Wreck from the 1500s. The museum also has collections of messages in bottles and other cultural artifacts including Lucayan Indian relics. The British Bermudian architecture around Cockburn Town is also a sight to see.
Of course, there are more places to visit in Turks and Caicos. Quad bike touring is a way to visit secluded areas that most vehicles can't reach and routes are offered to tourists around local towns, beaches, and clifftops. You can also go for a day trip to various smaller bays by boat, plane, or cruise.
Getting Around Turks and Caicos
Ride a taxi or rent a car to roam around the island. You'll need to drive on the left side of the road since it follows the U.K. system. Walking is not the best option since the establishments and attractions are spread out.
Domestic flights, boat charter, or hop on a ferry to access surrounding islands or smaller cays.
Highlights of Traveling to Turks and Caicos
Excited about your trip to Turks and Caicos? We have more in store for you. From locals to other tourists tip, here are some things you need to know to enjoy the rest of your stay on the islands.
Under-rated Attraction: Conch Bar Cave is a Karst limestone cave system and is the largest non-submerged cave system in Bahamas-Turks and Caicos island chain. You’ll see stalactites, stalagmites, columns, bats, and endemic species of crustaceans.
Best Cup of Coffee: Sip a cup of coffee at Shay Cafe & Lounge or brew your own with Turks & Caicos Coffee Roasters. Turks & Caicos Coffee Roasters is the only specialty coffee roaster in the islands so make sure to buy it whether for your stay or as a souvenir for coffee-lovers.
Best Hidden Gem: Three Marys Cays is an off-the-beaten-path beach at North Caicos that is great for snorkelling or sightseeing.
Local Favourite Restaurant: Locals in Provo love dining at Delicious Dishes for food like oxtail, callaloo, jerk chicken, ackee, and saltfish. You can also visit Sweet T’s for a quick bit of fried or jerk chicken.
Little-Known Fact: There’s a dolphin named Jojo, a wild Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin, who has been visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands for 30 years. He's become a symbol of marine conservation on the island and he can be frequently seen at Grace Bay Beach or other beaches around Providenciales.
Don’t Forget to Pack: Bring a camera to capture your favourite moments around the island. Have a waterproof case to keep it safe.