Camping is becoming increasingly popular in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Sometimes this is due to necessity, such as when visiting remote sights and uninhabited islands, or may simply be for the experience.
The practice of camping isn’t as established in the Turks and Caicos as it is in other countries, and there are no dedicated campgrounds or facilities. For these reasons and to get important advice, we believe that it’s very important that those interested in the activity discuss their plans with a local tour company or someone familiar with the wilds of the country.
There are no campgrounds or campsites in the country. In addition, there are no public showers, and only a handful of public toilets throughout the country.
We do not recommend camping as an inexpensive means of accommodation simply due to the lack of facilities. However, with proper preparation, it’s a great way to experience the unique and secluded landscapes of the archipelago.
Beach camping is popular, but it should be noted that open fires in national parks and protected areas are prohibited. In addition, there are heavy fines (and possible jail time) for littering.
Mosquitoes and Sand Fleas
We highly advise that potential campers prepare for mosquitoes and sand fleas.
Generally, these annoying insects are not a problem during dry periods, yet they are typically ferocious after heavy rains.
The best defense is a windward campsite, yet even with this consideration mosquitoes can be quite bad.
We advise taking insect repellent, and during the rainy season, mosquito nets, long sleeves, and gloves. It’s highly advisable to use tents with fine mesh, rather than those with typical window screen mesh, as sand fleas (biting midges) are easily able to enter the screen.
It’s not feasible to camp on any of the main Providenciales beaches.
Camping directly on the beach of one of the small cays or Middle Caicos beaches is the most popular site choice. Sand flies can be a problem, but this varies by location and season. Inland campsites can be seriously impacted by mosquitoes.
There are nearly one hundred small and uninhabited cays and rocks in the Turks and Caicos, many of which make for amazing campsites.
Camping in National Parks and Nature Reserves
Per the Turks and Caicos National Parks Ordinance, camping in National Parks and Nature Reserves is permitted within designated ‘camping zones’. However, none of the National Parks and Natures Reserves have designated camping sites. There are also no facilities provided.
- Bring plenty of drinking water. We recommend an absolute minimum of one gallon (4 liters) per day per person for persons experienced with camping in hot weather. For those new to camping in tropical conditions, or if hiking, kayaking, or another strenuous activity is planned, you’ll likely want two or three gallons (8-12 liters) per day.
- Be prepared for mosquitoes and sand fleas. Many of the interesting cays and islands can have overwhelming numbers of these pests. If your adventure is planned for during the rainy season, you may want to pack mosquito head nets in addition to repellent spray.
- Due to the ever-present occasional mosquito, we recommend using a proper tent and not sleeping in the open. Bring a tent with fine mesh vents, rather than one with window screen vents.
- Do not drink unfiltered sources of natural fresh water.
- There are very few filterable natural freshwater sources in the Turks and Caicos. A compact and effective camping-style water filter is definitely a great addition to your kit, but natural freshwater sites are few and far between. It’s impossible to rely on these sources without prior knowledge of the locations and quantities available.
- Be prepared for intense sun. Along with sunscreen, a hat, and long sleeve clothing, consider bringing a shade shelter.
- Ensure that you clean up your campsite and that you do not cause any damage to the environment.
Safety and Crime
We don’t recommend that you camp on Providenciales. This is due to a wide range of factors, including the increased risk of crime and the wide availability of different accommodations available on Providenciales.
We are not aware of any reports of crimes against tourists who have camped on other islands. This does not mean that it does not happen, simply that we are not aware of any reports.
Building Materials Do It Center has a wide range of tents and other camping supplies such as portable grills.