The Turks and Caicos is located 575 miles (925 km) southeast of Miami, Florida, 28 miles (45 km) southwest of the Bahamas, and 87 miles (140 km) north of the island of Hispaniola and the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The Turks and Caicos is an archipelago of eight main islands and many small cays, and is located in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. The Turks and Caicos is best known for its white sandy beaches, world-famous Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales, and pristine marine environment.
The Turks and Caicos is a great tropical vacation destination as we are home to some of the finest beaches in the world, yet are only a short direct flight from many east coast cities in the United States.
Major cities including New York, Charlotte, Boston, and Philadelphia are less than 4 hours away, and Chicago, Toronto and Montreal are under 5 hours by plane.
What Country is Turks and Caicos?
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory. Internal affairs are handled by a locally elected government (headed by a Premier), and security and external affairs (such as defense), are the responsibility of the United Kingdom (represented by a Governor). Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, and the British Virgin Islands have the same status.
Climate and Geology
We have great sunny weather year-round—which can be a welcome change from the dreary days of winter up north. There’s a great selection of hotels, all-inclusive resorts, and luxury rental villas to relax at.
A common misconception is that the Turks and Caicos is part of the Caribbean. This is technically not true, as our country is considered to be part of the Lucayan Archipelago along with the Bahamian island chain, adjacent to the north of the Caribbean. In addition, our island group is not located in the Caribbean Sea but rather in the Atlantic.
Our Islands and Cays
The Turks and Caicos Islands consist of two groups, the Turks Islands, which includes Grand Turk, Salt Cay, and a few small cays, and the Caicos Islands, which consists of the main tourism island of Providenciales (also commonly referred to as Provo), North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos, East Caicos and West Caicos, in addition to many smaller islands and cays.
There are around 100 named islands and cays in the Turks and Caicos.
The total land mass in the country is about 166 square miles (430 sq km). Most of the resorts, infrastructure, and about 70% of the nation’s population are found on Providenciales. Grand Turk supports the second greatest population at 17%, and is home to the capital city of Cockburn Town. Smaller boutique islands such as Pine Cay, Parrot Cay, and Ambergris Cay host luxury resorts and villas.
Both of our island groups are situated on extensive underwater plateaus, which are divided by the Columbus Passage, a 5000-foot (1500 m) deep rift. The ocean water depth on the surface of the plateaus is quite shallow, often less than thirty feet deep (9 m). The Caicos Banks refers to the extensive and shallow marine banks that support the Caicos Islands. The coral reefs in the country are considered some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the region and are home to a wide array of marine life.
Getting To and Around the Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos welcomes flights from over twenty major cities, and all scheduled flights land at the Providenciales International Airport (PLS). Many of our populated islands have airports or airstrips.
There are no international passenger ferry services to the country.
Transport between our islands largely takes place on small domestic flights and passenger ferries. There are no car ferry vessels. North Caicos and Middle Caicos are the only islands connected by a road causeway.