Insider information on the Turks & Caicos that’s hard to find! We’ve assembled some useful Travel Facts to know when going on vacation.
Read below for important travel information on:
- passport requirements
- traveling with pets
- cell phone service
- medical services
- and much more
The Turks & Caicos are approximately 550 miles southeast of Miami, Florida. Atlantic Standard Time (AST) observed year-round.
A valid passport is required for entry into the Turks and Caicos. In addition, citizens of certain countries require a visa. Check www.gov.tc for up to date information on visa requirements.
Visitors are allowed to stay 90 days and require valid proof of departure (e.g. departing airline ticket). Extensions are available through the Immigration Department. Visitors are not allowed to work while in the Turks and Caicos without a valid work permit.
Visitors may bring in duty-free for their own use one carton of cigarettes or cigars, one bottle of liquor or wine, and some perfume.
The importation of all firearms, including those charged with compressed air, without prior approval in writing from the Commissioner of Police, is strictly forbidden. Spear guns, Hawaiian slings, controlled drugs, and pornography are also illegal.
We enjoy a lovely island climate! The average year-round temperature is 83°F (28°C). The hottest months are September and October, when the temperature can reach 90 to 95°F (33 to 35°C). However, the consistent easterly trade winds temper the heat and keep life comfortable. Casual resort and leisure wear is accepted attire for daytime; light sweaters or jackets may be necessary on some breezy evenings. It’s wise to wear protective clothing and a sunhat and use waterproof sunscreen when out in the tropical sun.
To bring your pet you require a veterinary certificate stating that the animal is in good health and has had a rabies vaccination. A public health inspector will examine the animal upon arrival. Make sure you check with the authorities to get updated and accurate requirements before you consider this.
English is the official language of Turks & Caicos. You’ll hear Spanish and French/Creole spoken as well, owing to our proximity to countries where those languages are spoken, as well as strong European and Canadian influences here.
The US dollar is the official currency of the Turks & Caicos. Foreign currency can be exchanged at most major banks. Travelers’ checks and major credit cards are accepted widely. There are several international banks in Turks & Caicos and most offer ATM machines that participate in global networks such as Cirrus, NYCE or Maestro. Western Union and other wire transfer services are also available. VISA and MasterCard are welcomed at many locations (some also accept American Express and Diners). If traveling over to our family islands, it is recommended to bring cash as credit card acceptance and banking facilities are not as prevalent as in Providenciales.
Most things in the islands are built to North American standards, including electricity (110 volts) and mobile phone services (GSM). In other words, your portable gadgets, hair dryers and mobile phone will work here (with appropriate adaptors for non-North American style devices.) Local mobile phone suppliers include FLOW and Digicel, each offering reliable mobile networks to roam on and also temporary phones and SIM cards for you to use locally if desired.
Most resorts and villas offer cable TV services, which include the major US networks and cable channels (CNN, ESPN, HBO, etc.) as well as BBC and selected Canadian channels. Some bars feature satellite services such as Direct TV and Sentanta for more comprehensive North American and European sports coverage.
Local news is available on Channels 4 and 7 on TV, and from 3 weekly newspapers. Popular local radio stations are Radio Turks & Caicos (88.7) and Power 92.5. If you’re into Reggae, tune into 105.5 FM.
Telecommunications and Internet service is widely available through the islands from two ISPs – Flow Ltd. and Digiel Play. Most resorts offer wireless access and internet stations/business centers for guests. Wireless hot spots are also available through the islands, including bars, cafes, marinas and other public locations. FLOW Ltd. provides land lines. Mobile service is on a LTE 4G network, including pre and post-paid cellular phones. Digicel operates mobile networks, with a full suite of LTE 4G service. FLOW is the local carrier for CDMA roaming on US networks such as Verizon and Sprint. North American visitors with GSM cellular handset and wireless accounts with AT&T or Cingular can arrange international roaming.
There are well stocked grocery and convenience stores on Provo for stocking your temporary home. Visitors heading to our family islands (North Caicos, Middle Caicos, Salt Cay) may want to stock up on Provo before departing.
There are taxes on both hotels/accommodations and dining. Most restaurants will add the tax automatically to your bill – so be sure to inquire if you’re not sure. Airport departure taxes are included in the prices of your ticket if purchased through major airline or travel agent.
Tipping is generally accepted based on North American guidelines. Some restaurants add a gratuity automatically to their bill. Be sure to check before paying. Remember that chamber maids, bar tenders, taxi drivers and tour operators often derive much of their income through tips, so please be generous when afforded outstanding service!
Casual clothing is the norm in the Turks & Caicos. A few restaurants require slacks for men in the evenings.
Medical services in the Turks and Caicos Islands are available at several private clinics and the government hospitals on Providenciales and Grand Turk. Most routine medical issues and emergencies can be dealt with locally and in extreme crisis air ambulance services can be arranged. Full service clinics include Associated Medical Practices (649-946-4242); Grace Bay Medical Centre (649-941-5252); and Omnicare Medical Clinic (649-941-5050).
Driving here… A valid driver’s license from home is suitable when renting vehicles. A government tax is levied on all rental contracts. (Insurance is extra.) Driving is on the are left-hand side of the road, with traffic flow controlled by round-abouts at major junctions. Please don’t drink and drive! Taxis are abundant throughout the Islands and resorts offer shuttle service between popular visitor areas. Scooter, ATV, and bicycle rentals are also available.
People – Citizens of the Turks & Caicos Islands are termed “Belongers” and are primarily descendants of African slaves who were brought to the Islands to work on the salt ponds and cotton plantations. The country’s large expatriate population includes Canadians, Americans, Brits and Europeans, along with Haitians, Jamaicans, Dominicans, Bahamians, Indians, and Filipinos.
Churches – Churches are the center of community life and there are many faiths represented in the Islands, includ-ing: Adventist, Anglican, Assembly of God, Baha’i, Baptist, Catholic, Church of God of Prophecy, Episcopal, Faith Tabernacle Church of God, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Methodist and Pentecostal. Visitors are always welcome.
Going Green – TCI Waste Disposal Services currently offers recycling services through weekly collection of recyclable aluminum, glass, and plastic. Keep our islands “Beautiful by Nature” by not littering! (especially straws from having drinks on the beach, they are very harmful to our turtles and other sea life).
Other important numbers are:
Directory Assistance 411
Police (Provo) 946-4259