Somerset Resort and The Palms resort in the Turks and Caicos. The Somerset and The Palms resorts on Grace Bay Beach.
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Turks and Caicos Useful Information

Person standing in the main gallery at Indian Cave on Middle Caicos
The skylights and roots of the Indian Cave, Middle Caicos.

As the name suggests, the Turks and Caicos are two groups of islands. The Turks Islands comprise Grand Turk and Salt Cay. The Caicos Islands comprise Providenciales, West Caicos, North Caicos and Middle Caicos, South Caicos, and the Caicos Cays.

Providenciales is the main tourism island where the majority of visitors go, along with the location of the Providenciales International Airport (PLS), the main airport. It’s home to most hotels, resorts, villas, and restaurants, and also Grace Bay Beach. It’s common to visit the the Caicos Cays on a boat cruise, and North and Middle Caicos (which are joined via a causeway) and South Caicos on a day trip.

Grand Turk is home to the country’s only cruise port. It’s also the capital and seat of the Government.

The islands have a population of 47,720 (2022 estimate).

Quick Facts

The official language of the Turks and Caicos is English. Many persons also speak Haitian Creole and Spanish.
The official currency of the Turks and Caicos is the U.S. Dollar. Most places accept debit and credit cards.
Similar to the American system, tipping is expected at around 15% for waiters, drivers, maids, and similar occupations.
Time Zone
The TCI is on Eastern Standard Time, and daylight savings time is observed. This is the same as New York.
Same as the United States. 120v, 60Hz and U.S. style power plugs.
The temperature in Turks and Caicos ranges from 75° F to 95° (24° C to 35° C), with an average of 81° F (27° C). It rains infrequently, and is one of the driest islands in the region.
The hurricane season runs from 1 June to 30 November each year. Statistically, the end of August and September are the most likely times for a hurricane to hit (or simply threaten) the Turks and Caicos.
Turks and Caicos Islanders, also known as Belongers, make up about 1 in 5 people in the country. Turks and Caicos Islanders are primarily the descendants of African slaves who were brought to the TCI to work the salt salinas and plantations. The rest of the population are immigrants (mostly from Haiti, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic).
The economy of the Turks and Caicos relies entirely on tourism. Some sources quote real estate or construction as being part of a diversified economy, however, these simply support the tourism sector. There is no meaningful agriculture or manufacturing of any type. The financial services sector is extremely small.
The Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory. There is internal self-governance headed by a Premier, and the King appoints a Governor. The Government is modeled on the Westminster system. Only persons holding Turks and Caicos Islander Status can vote, and for the last election in 2021, approximately 18% of the population was a registered voter.
Post and Courier
Post offices are located on all main islands. The postal service is not particularly reliable for either incoming or outgoing mail. It’s fine for sending a postcard, but for anything important, you’ll need to use a courier service, such as FedEx, DHL, or UPS.
Nearly all water consumed in the Turks and Caicos is produced by reverse osmosis from seawater. A few older properties and those on the family islands use cisterns and rainwater. The water in the Turks and Caicos is safe to drink.
Phones and Internet
Any modern phone will function in the Turks and Caicos. You may need to enable roaming if you will not be buying a local SIM. eSIM support is currently limited, however, it is possible to purchase an eSIM for data in the Turks and Caicos through an app such as Airalo).
Driving Requirements
We drive on the left, as in the United Kingdom. The quality of drivers on roads is low. Many persons do not have valid licenses or have improperly registered and insured vehicles. Road traffic enforcement is almost non-existent in the islands. You are advised to remain cautious and vigilant when driving. Be prepared for illegal ‘jitney’ taxis to cut you off, or stop in the middle of the highway to pick up a fare.
Safety and Crime
Crime definitely exists in the Turks and Caicos. Whereas the TCI has one of the lower crime rates in the Caribbean, the Caribbean region has (in relation to Europe and North America) very high crime rates. See Safety and Crime for a more detailed discussion on crime and tips to avoid being a victim.
Coats, jackets, or other cool-weather garments will typically never be required. Sweaters will not be required for the vast majority of people. If you’ll be doing active water sports, long-sleeve rash guards are great for any active water sport or activity. These shirts protect against sunburn, don’t get bogged down with water, and prevent chaffing. Consider bringing a hat due to the excessive sun.
Public Nudity
Public nudity is illegal throughout all of the Turks and Caicos. There are no nude beaches anywhere in the country.
Immigration and Customs
Upon arrival, visitors must clear customs and immigration. Nationals of the US, UK, and Canada, along with many other nationalities, don’t require a visa to enter the islands. See Entry Requirements for more detailed information.
There are limited healthcare facilities in the islands. Minor issues can be treated locally, however, anything serious will be stabilized and flown out via a medevac. Visitors are advised to purchase travel insurance.
Drones can be used without a license in the Turks and Caicos for non-commercial purposes, however, there are restrictions (due to the central location of the airport, and the island being quite small). See Drones for more information.
Drinking Age and Buying Alcohol
The drinking age in the Turks and Caicos is 18. Shops cannot sell alcohol on Sundays (alcohol can be purchased at restaurants and bars, though). However, small convenience stores often ignore this rule (large supermarkets enforce it).
Marijuana and Drugs
Cannabis is a Class A controlled substance in the Turks and Caicos and it is illegal to import cannabis (marijuana) in any form. Products containing its derivatives (including anything containing CBD or THC) are also prohibited (including products such as CBD oil products or THC gummies). There is no exemption for medical marijuana products (either with or without a doctor’s prescription). Persons who attempt to import drugs, including cannabis and marijuana, are subject to a 5-year sentence and a fine of up to $75,000.

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