Grand Turk is a relatively small island, and at only six and a half miles long, transportation is less difficult than on Providenciales. Rental vehicles, taxis, and the hop-on hop-off shuttle bus are the main means of transportation.
The island is laid-back and driving is largely free of traffic and stress. Most roads are paved, and the majority of those that are not can in most cases still be traversed (albeit a little slower) in any vehicle. The island-wide speed limit is 20MPH, but drivers can be expected to exceed 40MPH on the straightaways.
Many of the streets in historic Cockburn Town are quite small, and most are one way only.
We recommend renting a vehicle during your stay on Grand Turk. The cost for an economy car or scooter will be roughly equivalent to the cost of two shuttle bus tickets, and you’ll have much greater flexibility to do what you want. Pick up and drop off from either the
Grand Turk JAGS McCartney International Airport (GDT) or the
Grand Turk Cruise Center is typically included with all rentals.
Vehicles of all types are available for rent outside the Cruise Center gates. Reservations usually are not necessary, but demand does fluctuate, so we advise that you book in advance. You can also save time if you have a booking.
Cars and jeeps are probably the best option for visitors to Grand Turk, especially for parties greater than two. Rates tend to be a bit high and overall quality and condition low when compared to the offerings on Providenciales, but there’s little risk of being stranded due to the small size of Grand Turk.
Scooters are another popular option. The main downside of these machines is the lack of protection from the intense Turks and Caicos sun. Otherwise, Grand Turk and the narrow streets of
Cockburn Town are perfect for scooters. The current (2015) rate is about $60 per day.
Golf Carts, 4x4 carts and ATVs are also available. These can be fun, but rates are usually higher ($80-$120 per day, 2015) than a car. As is the case with scooters, the use of sun screen is highly advised.
Due to the many small streets in Cockburn Town, scooters are an excellent way to get around.
Grand Turk Shuttle Bus
The Cruise Center operates a hop-on hop-off bus service on days when a cruise ship is in. This is a relatively easy way to get around to the main sights, but it's pricey and tickets are only sold through the cruise lines. All of the main sights are visited on the route, and ticket holders are free to get on and off as they please. The current ticket price is $29.99 (2015).
Bicycle rentals are available, however, they really aren't suitable for island exploration by cruise ship guests due to time constraints. The typical ship is in port for about six hours, and it’s quite difficult to see everything in that time span. Another consideration is the intense heat and sun.
Rate are around $25-$30 per day, so with two people you’d pay about the same for a scooter.
If you’re staying overnight in Cockburn Town, bicycles can be a great way to get around.
Although the distance isn’t great at 3 miles (4.8km) we generally don’t advise walking from the Cruise Center to Cockburn Town. Due to the main industrial port, it’s not possible to walk along the beach, and the roads lack sidewalks.
Once in Cockburn Town, most of the sights, attractions and restaurants are located on a one mile (1.6km) strip of waterfront, so most will be able explore the town on foot with ease.
There are fixed fares from the Cruise Center, but not for return trips. You're advised to confirm your fare before setting off. Rates (2015) are per person and each way: $4 to
Governor's Beach, $5 to
Cockburn Town, and $9 to the
Grand Turk Lighthouse.
We recommend that you write down the number of a taxi in case one is needed on your trip.
We drive on the left.
Many drivers do not exercise due care and attention, especially operators of taxis (both legal and illegal).
Protect yourself from the sun. It doesn’t take long to get sunburnt.
Typical Rental Requirements
Minimum rental age is usually 21 or 24 (18 for scooters).
A valid driver’s license is required to rent a vehicle. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is not needed, unless your licence is not in English.