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Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands are only about 60 km (37 miles) long, and consist of over 40 islands and cays. They form a British Overseas Territory and have rapidly gained popularity as a beach destination. There are roughly 30,000 inhabitants on the islands and they welcome about 450,000 arrivals by air and 650,000 cruise ship passengers each year.

The archipelago consists of two island groups, the Turks islands and the Caicos islands, of which Grand Turk and Providenciales are the two main islands. Daylight savings time is observed and they are in the Eastern Time Zone. These islands are in the Atlantic Ocean and not the Caribbean Sea, although they are included in the Caribbean region. The nearest other islands are the southern parts of the Bahamas, abput 100 km east and northwest. Haiti is a similar distance due south. At considerably longer distances, Cuba is southwest and Florida northwest.

Islands

  • Caicos Islands (main islands between the 28s)
    • Providenciales
    • Pine Cay
    • North Caicos
    • Middle Caicos
    • East Caicos
    • South Caicos
    • West Caicos
  • Turks Islands
    • Grand Turk
    • Salt Cay

Understand

History

Before Christopher Columbus set foot on the island of Grand Turk during the journey to the new world in 1492, the island was inhibited by Taíno and Lucayan tribes. These earlier settlers left behind a rich heritage and new words (canoe, Caribbean, Caicos) and the names of the island. The indigenous Turk's head cactus named Turks island, while the Lucayan term “caya hico”, meaning string of islands, was mangled to become "Caicos".

For about 700 years, the Taíno and Lucayan tribes were the sole residents on the islands (particularly settling on Grand Turk and the Middle Caicos). People here were skilled gardeners, farmers and fishermen. However, upon the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Lucayan tribes were wiped out, causing the islands to be sparsely populated for about 30 years. During this time, the salt industry was booming. This salt was used for cooking and preserving food. Many Bermudians would rake the beaches of Turks and Caicos and take their booty back to Bermuda.

The French and Spanish captured the island for a brief time during 1706. Four years following this capture, it was reclaimed by the British (along with the Bermuda islands). However, during these years it primarily became a haven for pirates and British Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution. In 1766, Turks and Caicos became a part of the Bahamas colony and was placed under the Bahamian Government. The governor of the Bahamas oversaw affairs from 1965 to 1973.

With Bahamian independence, the islands received a separate governor in 1973. Although independence was agreed upon for 1982, the policy was reversed and the islands became a British Overseas Territory (BOT).

Around the early 1980s, Turks and Caicos started to become a tourist destination and is quickly becoming one the world's foremost beach destinations. It is also becoming one of the leading international investment centres for offshore investors. Turks and Caicos is a "zero tax" jurisdiction and doesn't have any taxes on income, capital gains, corporate profits, inheritance or estates.

Climate

The Turks and Caicos Islands are arid compared with many other islands in the Caribbean.

During the summer months (June to November) the temperatures range from the high 80s (F) and low 90s to the high 70s. Also in the summer, there is barely any humidity and the temperatures barely go above the mid-90s due to the continually circulating winds. The water is also averages at about 84 °F (29 °C).

In the winter (December to May) the weather is generally in the high 70s - mid 80s range. The water temperature during these months is 75 °F (24 °C) to 80 °F (27 °C).

The island gets less than 50 in (1,300 mm) of rainfall a year. Most rainfall occurs during the hurricane months of summer. Sunshine and breezy cooling winds are the norm in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Get in

Visas

All visitors need a passport that is valid for six months after your visit. Visitors from countries not mentioned in the list below will also need a visa. These can be obtained from the UK Passport Agency in London, phone: +44 207 901 7542, with a single visitor's visa costing US$150.

Nationals from Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Australia; Austria; Bahamas; Barbados; Belgium; Belize; Bermuda; Brazil; British Virgin Islands; Bulgaria; Canada; Cayman Islands; Chile; China; Costa Rica; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Dominica; Ecuador; Estonia; Falkland Islands; Finland; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Grenada; Guyana; Hong Kong; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Mexico; Monaco; Montserrat; Netherlands; Netherlands Antilles; New Zealand; Norway; Oman; Panama; Pitcairn Islands; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russia; Saint Kitts & Nevis; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; Solomon Islands; South Africa; South Korea; Spain; St Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha; St Lucia; St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Suriname; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan; Trinidad & Tobago; UAE; USA; United Kingdom; Vatican City or Venezuela do not require a visa, only a valid passport.

However, if you are a national of a country not in the above list, but you hold a valid visa for travel to the UK, US or Canada, you may enter the Islands without obtaining a visa for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Turks and Caicos Islands' website has a full list of entry requirements.

By plane

Turks and Caicos has one international airport, Providenciales International Airport (PLS IATA), on the island of Providenciales. There are also several smaller domestic airports, Grand Turk JAGS McCartney International Airport (GDT IATA), on the island of Grand Turk (which occasionally has international flights), Salt Cay Airport (SLX IATA), South Caicos Airport (XSC IATA), North Caicos Airport (NCA IATA) and Middle Caicos Airport (MDS IATA). In North and South Caicos there are limited entry facilities, while all of the other islands have domestic airports. However, East and West Caicos are uninhabited and they do not have an airport.

American Airlines is a popular carrier which schedules flights from many US cities to Providenciales Airport. During the winter months, American Airlines offers direct flights from Charlotte, Miami, Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Philadelphia. Delta offers 6 flights a week from Atlanta (excluding Tuesday and offering 2 on Saturdays). Air Canada offers direct flights from Toronto on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, from Montreal on Thursdays and Ottawa on Mondays. British Airways offers flights to London. Providenciales serves as a hub for InterCaribbean Airways, which has flights to Havana, Antigua, Kingston, Port-au-Prince and Nassau WestJet Airlines flies from Toronto 1-3 times a week.

You must clear immigrations at Providenciales in order to go to another island of Turks and Caicos.

There is no public transport to or from the airport. A taxi from the airport to Grace Bay should be $33 but some drivers will try to scam you for more.

By ship

Many of the visitors who visit the island arrive by boat. This is because many cruise lines are now adding the island to their route. All cruise lines arrive at the terminal in Grand Turk.

If you choose to take a personal or smaller vessel, a number of facilities are available in Providenciales. However, you must call ahead before docking. There are also marinas in Provo, where you can dock. On the South Side, Sappodilla Bay, is the anchorage location for sail boats.It is easy to sail to the Turks and Caicos from the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas or Cuba; so long as you have an ocean-going vessel. A small boat will do well simply cruising around the island chain, but to cross the open ocean, something about 36 feet or larger is best.

If you are using a private vessel or yacht, customs and immigrations must be cleared. Customs have to be arranged in advanced, while South Caicos and Grand Turk have government buildings on location.

Get around

Taxis are widely available at all airports and seaports as well as throughout the island. Many of the taxis drivers can also act as a personal tour guide and show you undiscovered island attractions.

Rental cars, motor scooters and jeeps are available in Providenciales and Grand Turk. There is a government tax for all hired cars ($15) and motor scooters ($5). Major rental companies include, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Rent a Buggy, National, and Tropical Auto Rental.

When in Salt Cay, you can rent a golf cart! North and Middle Caicos have their own rental companies you can use, as does Grand Turk. If interested Bicycles are almost always available at all locations. In Turks and Caicos, you are to drive on the left side of the road.

See

  • Beaches; you're in the Caribbean.
  • Grand Turk lighthouse

Do

These islands have fabulous beaches throughout; in particular, the award winning Grace Bay. There also are a variety of fun, non-beach things that there are to do. You can scuba dive, snorkel, sail, boat, parasail, fish, go on tours, go to spas and salons, golf, shop, ride ponies and gamble. Each island has its own activities as well.

Buy

Money

Turks and Caicos uses the U.S. dollar, denoted by the symbol "$" (ISO currency code: USD). It is divided into 100 cents.

Shopping

You can shop at boutiques and visit museums and show rooms. There are also a few "touristy" shops, food stores, liquor shops, banks and pharmacies. Throughout all the islands there are a variety of local stores that have a collection of varying unique jewellery and hand-made gifts.

The Saltmills Plaza and Regent Village in Grace Bay are generally considered to be the premier shopping plazas on the island of Providenciales (or Provo as it is often called).

Eat

There are 81 restaurants on the islands. However, many of the restaurants are on the island of Providenciales. Not that many years ago, local island tables did not know what was going to be on the menu for dinner until the fishing boats brought in their catch of the day. Today the Turks and Caicos Islands feature fine and imaginative cuisine and world-class chefs.

Drink

There is a small brewery on Grand Turk that produces an alcohol-based Ginger Beer. It is called 'Islander Ginger Beer' and is considered to be the only product manufactured on the island. It has a rich ginger base with citrus and spice finish. It's made in a small brewery in the heart of the capital city, Cockburn Town, and can be bought in local bars and restaurants. It's a live yeast-fermented, fresh beverage that must always be kept refrigerated. It's unique to the island and, because of its perishable nature, is not exported.

Sleep

Throughout the islands there are 143 different places to stay. You can choose to be at an all-inclusive, a resort suite condo, or a private villa or inn. These hotels also offer wonderful dining experiences. Many of these hotels offer are corporate-business rates as well including internet access and fax services. At almost all hotels you can ask if there are any "packages" available such as, hotel and dive packages.

For accommodation listings see the articles on each island.

Work

Work permits are easily obtained for foreigners. However, many jobs are designed for "Belongers" only. Belongers are people that have a special connection to TCI. Work permits are applied for via agencies on the island and require proof of citizenship, proof of employment, proof of residence on the island, and are then ratified by a medical exam, blood tests and a chest X-ray. As an employee you will need to register with the National Insurance Board and the National Health Insurance Board. Contributions are payable monthly by the employee and employer to both.

In 2012 work permit costs were increased across all categories and interested parties should contact the immigration board for clarification on the exact cost. It can take up to 6 months to actually have the work permit in hand.

Some jobs on the island are deemed unfit for non-Belongers to apply for: banking, civil servants, and boat operators are specific jobs that fall under this rule.

Stay safe

As of January 2018, the U.S. State Department elevated their travel advisory for Turks and Caicos to Level 2: "Exercise Increased Caution" due to a rise in violent crime. Per the Sate Department, "Violent crime, such as armed robbery, shootings, and home invasions, is common. Police presence and emergency response are extremely limited." They advise not walking alone at night, opening doors for any unfamiliar individual, and not resisting any robbery attempt. In the fall of 2018, the murder of a U.S. tourist near a Club Med resort has increased concern about the safety of tourists on the island. Details of the murder remain undisclosed by local authorities.

Turks and Caicos have one of the lowest crime rates and highest crime-solved rates in the Caribbean. Any problems that occur should be reported to the Royal Turks and Caicos Police immediately. In an emergency, call 911, and in a non-emergency, call 338 5901. While the islands are extremely safe, make sure to exercise common sense. Don't leave valuables in plain view, and always lock your car when leaving it, and lock your dwelling (hotel) when you are not in it. By taking simple precautions it will prevent the loss of cash, jewellery and identification. Thieves target mopeds and motorcycles, so be sure that you lock yours up properly. Islanders can be very aggressive drivers, so it is best to use caution when crossing or driving on the roads.

Stay healthy

A modern hospital system was built on the islands that is managed by InterHealth Canada. The facilities are on Providenciales (Cheshire Hall Medical Centre) and Grand Turk (Cockburn Town Medical Centre). These health centres include emergency centres, dental care, dialysis, internal medicine, surgical, orthopaedic, obstetric and endoscopic procedures, physiotherapy and diagnostic imaging.

There are also a good number of private medical providers on Providenciales catering to the local population and visitors. The standard of care is very high for such a small island. Dental Services on Providenciales has a resident dentist, two hygienists and specialist periodontists and an orthodontist - www.dentist.tc. Associated Medical Practices have several highly experienced GPs a chiropractor, a surgeon, and a full service pharmacy www.doctor.tc can provide more information.

The Turks and Caicos have a few fresh water reserves at ground level. Therefore, most water comes from either wells or cisterns that have collected rainwater. Cistern water is almost always safe to drink, but unless well water is purified, it could be contaminated or have unpleasant taste. It is generally a good idea to use bottled water when possible, but tap water can be used if necessary. The beaches are very soft and warm and welcoming.

Respect

Islanders are very kind people and believe in practising good manners and exercising respect. Greet people with a friendly saying such as "Hello" and "Good Afternoon."

Shorts are to be worn in town and on the beach during the day. Because it is so sunny, it is advised to wear sunglasses and sunhats. In the evening, specifically winter, you are advised to wear a light sweater or jacket. When eating, it is not formal but you are expected to dress nicely (men- polos and dress shorts, women- dresses or dress slacks).

Also, public nudity is illegal all throughout the island.

There has been occasional talk about a union with Canada. Many islanders are bitterly divided on the subject, and awkward situations can arise when the subject is brought up. It is best to avoid this subject unless you're with friends and family whom you know.

Go next

From here, you could explore the Caribbean: head south to the island of Hispaniola for Dominican Republic and Haiti; or north to the Bahamas; or even west to Cuba. Further afield, fly to nearby Florida in the USA, or to central American countries like Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica.


Fodor's In Focus Turks & Caicos Islands (Travel Guide)

Fodor's Travel Guides

Written by locals, Fodor's travel guides have been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for 80 years. A favorite destination for American vacationers who are looking for a safe and comfortable beach getaway, the Turks & Caicos Islands offer some of the most beautiful water in the world. The pristine waters here have been known to divers for decades, but the islands also offer opportunities for snorkeling and deep-sea fishing for travelers who can pull themselves from the silky sands in front of their excellent resorts.This travel guide includes:· Dozens of maps· An 8-page color insert with a brief introduction and spectacular photos that capture the top experiences and attractions throughout Turks & Caicos Islands· Hundreds of hotel and restaurant recommendations, with Fodor's Choice designating our top picks· Coverage of: Providenciales, Grace Bay, The Caicos and the Cays, Grand Turk, Salt CayPlanning to visit more of the Caribbean? Check out Fodor's Caribbean travel guide.

Cruising Guide to The Turks and Caicos Islands, 3rd ed

Stephen J Pavlidis

A Cruising Guide to The Turks and Caicos, 3rd ed. is a new, updated and improved version of the Turks and Caicos Guide we originally produced during the 1990s. This in-depth cruising guide provides coverage of the entire Turks and Caicos region, including significantly-expanded coverage of the Dominican Republic. The book contains color charts, GPS waypoints, piloting instructions, approaches, routes, marinas and anchorages, dive sites, ham and weather radio broadcasts and stations, tides and currents, and even history, holidays and customs. In addition, the book contains charts, photos and information on most of the more popular cruising ports of the Dominican Republic. In this book, as in all other books by Pavlidis, the charts are extremely accurate and provide close-up views in much greater scale than standard navigation charts. The color schemes of the charts in this new edition are designed to make navigation easier. Altogether there are 47 charts included; 30 charts covering the Turks and Caicos and another 17 charts covering the Dominican Republic.

The Island Hopping Digital Guide To The Turks and Caicos Islands - Part I - The Caicos Islands

Stephen Pavlidis

This edition is Part I of The Island Hopping Digital Guide to the Turks and Caicos and covers the Caicos Islands.The Island Hopping Digital Guides are the digital versions of the world-famous cruising guides written by Stephen J. Pavlidis. Over the past 20 years, Stephen J. Pavlidis has written more than 10 excellent cruising guides covering all of the waters from south Florida to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago and everything in between.Each cruising guide contains many color charts, photos and loads of current local knowledge making this a must-have guide for yachts planning to cruise the Turks and Caicos. With full-color aerial harbor photos and full-color sketch charts, it contains extremely accurate hydrographic data based on personally conducted independent surveys by the author. This guide also includes extensive navigational instructions, GPS waypoints, approaches and routes, anchorages, services, dive sites, history, basic information for cruising in the Turks and Caicos, including extensive appendices, contact information and more.These cruising guides are not only essential for navigation and piloting while cruising , but also for use at anchor or dockside because of the valuable shoreside information they contain. The digital versions also have the added convenience of live links for email and websites to the many services and marinas found throughout the region. In addition, they also make excellent planning tools for future adventures.

The Island Hopping Digital Guide To The Turks and Caicos Islands - Part II - The Turks Islands: Including Grand Turk, North Creek Anchorage, Hawksnest Anchorage, Salt Cay, and Great Sand Cay

Stephen Pavlidis

This edition is Part II of The Island Hopping Digital Guide to the Turks and Caicos and covers the Turks Islands. The Island Hopping Digital Guides are the digital versions of the world-famous cruising guides written by Stephen J. Pavlidis. Over the past 20 years, Stephen J. Pavlidis has written more than 10 excellent cruising guides covering all of the waters from south Florida to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago and everything in between. Each cruising guide contains many color charts, photos and loads of current local knowledge making this a must-have guide for yachts planning to cruise the Turks and Caicos. With full-color aerial harbor photos and full-color sketch charts, it contains extremely accurate hydrographic data based on personally conducted independent surveys by the author. This guide also includes extensive navigational instructions, GPS waypoints, approaches and routes, anchorages, services, dive sites, history, basic information for cruising in the Turks and Caicos, including extensive appendices, contact information and more. These cruising guides are not only essential for navigation and piloting while cruising , but also for use at anchor or dockside because of the valuable shoreside information they contain. The digital versions also have the added convenience of live links for email and websites to the many services and marinas found throughout the region. In addition, they make excellent planning tools for future adventures.

The Turks and Caicos Islands: Lands of Discovery (Macmillan Caribbean Guides)

Amelia Smithers

This 3rd edition of the ever popular guidebook has been fully updated to reflect the changes in visitor destinations from Grand Turk to Provo, while retaining the insight into the culture and history often overlooked in other guidebooks that combine TCI with The Bahamas.

The Lucayan Story: The Indigenous People of The Bahamas & Turks and Caicos Islands (Bahamian History, West Indies, Lucayan Indians, Indigenous People, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas)

Tellis A. Bethel

The History of the First Known Inhabitants of The Bahamas and The Turks & Caicos Islands.** Get this intriguing book by Amazon Author Tellis A. Bethel **Have you ever wondered who the original inhabitants of The Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands were? This book brings fresh insights of the history of these islands and the contributions of its indigenous people.The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands have a rich heritage that tell the story of humanity’s ongoing quest for peace in light of the legacy of the Lucayan people. Through the pages of this book, Tellis Bethel takes readers on a journey that:Rediscovers humanity’s age-old quest through an ancient migration that resulted in the settling of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.Examines unique insights about the original inhabitants of the Lucayan Islands, who were the first to welcome Christopher Columbus to the New World and the first to suffer total genocide within the modern Americas.Reveals how Columbus’ first landfall in the New World made The Bahamas the birthplace of the modern Americas.Sheds light on the role modern-day Bahamians were destined to fulfill as Ambassadors of Peace.Illuminates how The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands got their names and the significance of the waters that surround these islands.… and much more.**Get This Book Today!**

The Turks & Caicos Islands: Beautiful by Nature

Julia Davies

Stunning photography and beautiful illustrations truly capturing the magic of the Turks & Caicos Islands in this new book.

Over the last decade the Turks and Caicos Islands, situated just south of the Bahamas, have won international acclaim as a premier scuba diving destination and luxury retreat. While the unrivaled marine life and wondrous beaches serve as the main magnet, these islands have much more to offer the discerning tourist.

The Turks and Caicos Islands takes the reader on a colorful journey throughout this small archipelago, exploring its natural delights and amazing history, from Taino Indian occupation to future island developments. The brilliant turquoise of the waters that are home to the famous coral reefs and the many species of marine life have been captured on film using sophisticated underwater camera techniques. And, the flora and fauna of the islands are not only described in detail but are also accompanied by fine illustrations. This book truly is a tribute to a beautiful unspoiled part of the world.

Voyage to the Magic Mountain: Sailing Adventures in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands

Wolfgang Berg

We wanted to sail were few sailors had ever traveled, exploring the “Out Islands” and beyond, sailing to the “Magic Mountain”.While the Bahamas got their independence, a group of flat islands, far beyond the Out Islands of the Bahamas seemed to be forgotten, even by the British government, who owns this crown colony, the Turks and Caicos Islands. Perhaps the Foreign Office in London had other things to worry about than this last little colony; or the colonial department was dissolved, leaving the colony hanging in midair between dependence and independence. These islands, as flat as they may appear on the surface, are actually a huge mountain rising up 8000 feet from one of the deepest bottoms of the ocean. This is our “Magic Mountain”. Only the diver can see that the islands are surrounded by steep walls with canyons, caves, and crevices harboring magic sea life in crystal clear water, as clear and pure as the millions of stars at night above them, undisturbed by the lights and the air pollution of America’s large land mass. Bizarre shapes of coral and rocks, sponges of huge dimensions and strange shapes make the Rocky Mountains look pale. A snow-white plateau spreads between the peaks of this mountain range, just like the eternal snow on Greenland or the highest land mountains. The fine sand that looks like snow is covered by only a few feet of light blue water. This huge plateau is called the “Caicos Bank”, and a similar formation exists in most island groups of the Bahamas. The sand grows and grows continuously, as if it were snowing. And like glaciers, it flows down through canyons and valleys into the deep of the ocean. The voyage that I am about to describe is a mixture of dreams and hard awakenings. Fear and risk are always part of adventure. Things go wrong unexpectedly but great discoveries happen the same way. And after strange encounters with people and sea creatures, after a day of diving, floating weightlessly through tropical coral reefs, eye to eye with wild creatures from another world, when we were alone on the ocean in a dark night, the Milky Way stretched across the sky, we saw our world and ourselves in a new and different light.

The Bahamas Cruising Guide: With the Turks and Caicos Islands

Mathew Wilson

Whether just beginning to think about cruising in the Bahamas, actively planning a trip, or on the water with the islands in sight, this updated edition of a classic resource will fulfill any cruising boater's wish list. Clear, precise advice is presented in a practical spiral format. This comprehensive reference includes full shore-side information as well as official British Admiralty charts, aerial photographs, and waypoints. Also provided are useful Blue Pages for navigation, seamanship, and preparation; Green Pages for history, wildlife, fishing, and diving; and Buff Pages for information about the Bahamian government and infrastructure-from entry formalities to holidays and special events. The especially handy Yellow Pages supply detailed port-of-call information, from marinas and restaurants to banks and telephones.

Turks & Caicos (Bradt Travel Guide)

Annalisa Rellie

Two hundred miles of fine white sand beaches bordering turquoise seas; the forty islands of the Turks and Caicos form a unique Caribbean archipelago. With a pleasant climate year round it’s one of the world’s top destinations for diving and snorkeling. Famous for its wall-diving, the surrounding coral reef plunges to depths of more than 7,000ft. Visit the historical capital Cockburn Town with its Bermudian architecture, or unwind on one of the country’s idyllic beaches.

Exercise normal security precautions

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Crime

Petty crime occurs, including rental car theft. Muggings and armed assaults are also reported, mostly in areas popular with tourists. Victims of robbery may suffer injuries if they resist. Do not bring valuables, including travel documents and purses, to the beach. Avoid deserted beaches or other poorly lit, isolated areas after dark. Exercise normal precautions and ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.

If you plan to explore remote areas of the islands for bird watching, diving or snorkelling, inform friends, relatives or hotel management of the time of your expected return.

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum, or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as they may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Road travel

Main roads are generally in good condition. Be careful when driving after dark or on secondary roads, since unpaved surfaces, potholes and roaming animals may pose risks.

Taxis are readily available; fares should be determined in advance.

Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Emergency services

Dial 911 or 999 to reach police, fire fighters or an ambulance.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in the Caribbean, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, malaria and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue bite during the daytime. They breed in standing water and are often found in urban areas.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for dengue fever.

Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.

Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are limited. Grand Turk has a small public hospital, and Providenciales has a public hospital as well as a few private clinics. Severe cases are often referred to Nassau or Miami.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Canada and United Kingdom are signatories to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in United Kingdom to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and British authorities.

Driving laws

Traffic drives on the left.

A valid Canadian driver’s licence is required to rent a vehicle. Liability insurance is mandatory. An International Driving Permit is recommended. It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Imports

Prior permission by the Commissioner of Police is required to import firearms. Consult the Turks and Caicos Customs Department website for specific information.

Marriages

If planning to marry in the Turks and Caicos Islands, ensure that you meet all requirements and have all necessary documents before leaving Canada. Most countries require a certificate stating that there are no Canadian impediments to your marriage.

Investments

If you are interested in purchasing property or making other investments in the Turks and Caicos Islands, seek legal advice from appropriate professionals in Canada and in the Turks and Caicos Islands before making commitments. Disputes arising from such activities could be prolonged and costly to resolve.

Money

The currency is the U.S. dollar (USD). Major hotels and shops accept credit cards.

Climate

The hurricane season extends from June to the end of November. The National Hurricane Center provides additional information on weather conditions. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts, and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.

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