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An interCaribbean Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia flying in the Turks and Caicos skies.

Getting Around the Turks and Caicos Islands

Scroll down for a map of domestic flights and ferries. This page offers an overview of transport throughout the Turks and Caicos. If you know which islands you plan to visit, see our island-specific transportation pages, linked to below.

In this article you'll find basic info about the transportation options on each island and between the islands. For information on getting to the Turks and Caicos, see Getting to the Turks and Caicos Islands. There is no public transportation available anywhere in the Turks and Caicos.

As a very small tropical archipelago, travel between islands largely takes place on small passenger ferries and aircraft. In many cases, these trips can be considered tourist attractions in their own right, as the typical routes pass by incredibly scenic beaches and coastlines. The Providenciales to North Caicos ferry is one example – on the journey you’ll get a prime view of half a dozen pristine cays and the brilliant turquoise ocean that surrounds them.

the Providenciales to North Caicos passenger ferry at Sandy Point
The Providenciales - North Caicos ferry at Sandy Point Marina, North Caicos.

Domestic Flights

There are regular scheduled flights between Providenciales International Airport (PLS), Grand Turk JAGS McCartney International Airport (GDT), South Caicos Airport (XSC), and Salt Cay Airport (SLX).

North and Middle Caicos don't have scheduled flights, as the introduction of the North Caicos Ferry Service and the vastly lower cost for a ferry ride resulted in a significant drop in demand. North Caicos Airport (NCA) is still open and used for charter flights and special events, but Middle Caicos Airport (MDS) has been closed.

Ferries and Charter Boats

Getting to North and Middle Caicos is very easy by ferry, which departs from Heaving Down Rock Marina (Walkin Marina) (Providenciales) and arrives at Sandy Point Marina (North Caicos).

South Caicos also has a ferry service.

There are no ferries to the Turks Islands (Grand Turk and Salt Cay).

An interCaribbean Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia aircraft.

Turks and Caicos Rental Cars

All of the main inhabited islands in the Turks and Caicos support vehicle rentals, however, the rates, condition and selection of cars does vary quite a bit by island.

We generally advise that all visitors rent a car due to the complete lack of public transport and high costs of taxis. Walking distances between resorts, restaurants, and attractions are often too far for pleasant walking, especially in the case of many vacation rental villas.

On Providenciales, the rental situation is quite good. Rates are low, car quality is generally high, and the selection of both rental companies and car types if wide. Everything from scooters to luxury cars are available.

Grand Turk, the cruise ship stop in the Turks and Caicos, offers rental cars, scooters, golf carts and buggies. For two, the rates are do not vary much across vehicle types, so select depending on what will be the most fun for you. It’s undeniably fun to zip around on scooters or a cart, however keep in mind that the sun is typically intense, and shade and air conditioning will likely be desirable. Due to cruise ship landing schedules, the common rental period is less than eight hours, however, with that considered rates are higher than those on Providenciales.

On the laid-back islands of North Caicos, Middle Caicos and South Caicos, the car rental situation isn’t quite as optimal. Daily rates tend to be about twice that of Providenciales, and although largely functional, car quality isn’t quite as high either.

Last but not least, the tiny island of Salt Cay only has two modest types of vehicles to choose from: bicycles and off-road golf carts. The carts, our general recommendation, are perfect for exploring this flat and scenic cay.

Island-specific Information

Getting around Providenciales

Providenciales has by far the largest and busiest road system in the country. Transport around Providenciales by taxi can be both time-consuming and expensive, so we recommend that you rent a car or jeep for at least part of your stay. Scooters and mopeds are offered, but probably should be avoided due to road safety issues. See Driving in the Turks and Caicos Islands for some tips and common road hazards.

Illegal 'jitney' services (under the guise of small 'Bus Service' minivans)operate as unofficial taxis, but you should avoid these completely. Apart from the fact that they are illegal and unlicensed, the drivers drive recklessly and dangerously (such as stopping in the middle of the highway to pick up passengers), and are known to greatly overcharge anyone who appears to be a tourist. Avoid these minibuses and unlicenced taxis like the plague, and also be sure to agree on the fare in licenced taxis before setting off.

Only use licenced taxis, of which there is an abundance on Providenciales.

Getting around Grand Turk

vintage car on the narrow streets of Cockburn Town on Grand Turk
Cars parked on Front Street, Cockburn Town, Grand Turk.

Taxis, and rental cars, scooters and golf carts are all available on Grand Turk. Due to good road conditions and an island-wide speed limit of 20 MPH (32 kph), Grand Turk is the best island in the country for exploring via scooter.If you're arriving by cruise ship, be sure to reserve rental cars far in advance as rental vehicles are limited.

It’s easy to navigate Grand Turk. There are no dangerous areas or remote areas, and someone is usually around if you need directions.

Getting around North and Middle Caicos

Rental cars and jeeps are the main forms of transportation for North and Middle Caicos. Attractions and stores tend to be spread over both islands, so we highly recommend that you rent a vehicle for at least most of your stay. Taxis are available, but can be tardy and expensive. It's best to bring a map with you when renting a car as one is not always provided.

A causeway connects North and Middle Caicos, but the extremely poor construction, combined with the destruction caused by Hurrican Ike in 2008, has left it in a poor but drivable state. Construction is currently under way to completely repair the causeway (2015).

Getting around Salt Cay

touring the trails and tracks of Salt Cay on an off-road golf cart
Driving an off-road golf car on Salt Cay can be a lot of fun.

Golf Carts are an excellent (and our recommended) form of transport on Salt Cay. The island is quite small (5 square miles), and there are only about twenty cars on the entire island.

Your choices are to walk, ride a bicycle or rent an off-road golf cart. Due to the heat and lack of shade, we highly recommend that you hire a golf cart, especially if you're visiting for a day. Most of the villas and guest houses offer complimentary transportation to your accommodation when you arrive with luggage on Salt Cay.

Getting around South Caicos

South Caicos, despite having a larger population than North and Middle Caicos combined, is not developed for tourists. There are no taxis, and you may have to make a few calls to arrange for a rental car.

However, South Caicos does certainly provide a unique experience, striking a balance between the Turks Islands and the Caicos Islands, and we would suggest you consider a visit.