Please see some useful facts and figures for those wishing to travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Drivers licenseVisitors from the British Commonwealth countries, USA, Canada and holders of international driver’s licenses are permitted to drive for 30 days. Visitors from all other countries are required to possess a visitor’s permit, which can be obtained at the Road Safety Department, located on Good Street, Grand Turk or Old Airport Road, Providenciales. Contact Us if you need more information. Learn more how to drive in Turks and Caicos Islands.
GeographyThe beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands consists of 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited. The country is located 550 miles south east of Miami, Florida, just below the Bahamas chain, to the east of Cuba and north of the island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti.) There are about 30,000 full time residents and more than 200,000 tourists visit every year.
ClimateThe average temperature ranges between 85 and 90 degrees (29 to 32 degrees Celsius) in the summer and from 80 to 84 degrees (27 to 29 degrees Celsius) in the winter. A constant easterly breeze keeps the climate at a very comfortable level. The sea temperature in the summer is 82 to 84 degrees (28 to 29 degrees Celsius) and in winter about 74 to 78 degrees (23 to 26 degrees Celsius). There is an annual rainfall of 21 inches on Grand Turk and South Caicos, but as you go further west the average rainfall increases to 40 inches. In an average year the Turks and Caicos has 350 days of sunshine. Hurricane season, during which there will often be storms and bouts of heavy rainfall, runs from June 1 to November 30.
GovernmentThe Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Crown colony. Governor Peter Beckingham was appointed by the Queen and presides over an executive council formed by an elected local self-government. Government offices are located in Grand Turk, with branches on other Islands as needed. The legal system is based on English common law.
PetsYour pet may travel with you but you must meet all the conditions of the TCI Environmental Health Department Veterinary and Animal Control Unit. This includes an import permit, veterinary health certificate, vaccination certificate and laboratory test results which must ALL be submitted at the port of entry to obtain veterinary clearance.
HealthcareThere is now a modern hospital system comprising two state-of-the-art medical centres, managed by InterHealth Canada. They are Cheshire Hall Medical Centre in Providenciales and Cockburn Town Medical Centre in Grand Turk. Health services provided at the centres include emergency care, dental, dialysis, internal medicine, surgical, orthopaedic, obstetric and endoscopic procedures, physiotherapy and diagnostic imaging. Providenciales also has a number of private general practitioners and all of the other islands have community clinics.
CurrencyThe US dollar is the official currency. Most hotels, restaurants and taxi services also accept traveller’s cheques, which can be cashed at local banks. Most major credit cards are accepted and banks offer cash machines as well as cash advances on credit cards. There are no rules for tipping but 15 per cent is customary for good service from waiters, taxi drivers, maids and porters. Some restaurants will add a service charge to your bill in addition to the restaurant tax.
Time zoneThe time zone is Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5) and Daylight Savings Time is observed from April to October.
LanguageThe official language is English although Spanish and French Creole are spoken widely among the Dominican and Haitian ex-pat population.
Electricity110 volt/60 cycle, suitable for US appliances.
PeopleTurks and Caicos Islanders are mostly descendants of African slaves who were brought in to work the salt pans or the cotton plantations. The Islands are very diverse and expatriates come from all over the world to make their new home in the TCI.
Important Phone NumbersPOLICE, FIRE AND AMBULANCETelephone: 911 CHESHIRE HALL MEDICAL CENTREHospital Rd, Leeward Highway, Providenciales, TCI Telephone: (649) 941-2800 GRACE BAY MEDICAL CENTREP. O. Box 276 Neptune Plaza, Providenciales, TCI Telephone: (649) 941-5252
GRAND TURK FIRE STATIONGrand Turk,Turks & Caicos Islands Telephone: (649) 946-2233
ROYAL TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS POLICE FORCETraveller’s Rest, Airport Road, Providenciales, TCI