TURKS & CAICOS

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Turks and Caicos

The water temperature is HOT at approximately 82-84 degrees (28-29 degrees Celsius) during summer months, 74-78 degrees (23-26 degrees Celsius) during winter.

Turks and Caicos runs on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). This means that during summer, they follow the Eastern Time Zone of the United States. During winter, it shifts to one hour ahead of New York and four hours ahead of Los Angeles.

Travel to TCI requires a valid passport for the duration of your stay and to enter or exit Turks and Caicos. A valid onward/return ticket is also necessary. A tourist visa is required only for stays over 90 days long.

Each person must also complete an immigration form when arriving. A member of the family is required to fill out a customs form (C105) as well. Turks and Caicos exempts travelers from many countries from a visa requirement, such as the United States, UK, Italy, Japan, etc. If you have a valid UK passport, you will not need a visa to enter for less than 90 days.

There is only one airport that schedules international flights coming into TCI: Providenciales International Airport (PLS). Anyone entering the country must exit immigration and customs.

A valid driver’s license is required to drive in Turks and Caicos for up to a month, and then a local Turks and Caicos driver’s license from the Department of Road Safety is needed. Here the speed limit is 20 mph on town streets, but on the highway it is 40 mph. The most important thing to know is that you drive on the LEFT side of the road. Some cars will have steering wheels on the right while others will have them on the left.

In terms of public transportation, there is no option besides taxis. Rentals are another option for those looking to drive a scooter or car, are over the age of 21, and have a valid driver’s license.

TCI is known as a relatively safe place to travel, but there are instances that occur and caution is advised in these situations. One issue that arises is crime against tourists in rental villas, so often staying in hotels or resorts is advised. Thefts are the most frequent crimes. It is recommended to stay in less secluded places, not walk alone especially at night, and lock any valuables.

In an emergency, call 999 or 911. For other issues, the local police can be reached at 946-2499.

The normal temperature in Turks and Caicos is anywhere between 75 and 95 degrees F (24 to 35 degrees C). The average is around 75 degrees F. It is rarely rainy, but very sunny with a UV Index of 12. Hurricane season is from June to November, and most happen in August or September. The weather is fairly consistent year-round, but May to October are considered to be the hotter months whereas November to April are a bit cooler.

English is the official language of Turks and Caicos. Other languages like Spanish are spoken, and there are many Creole dialects. Often, English-based Creole is spoken.

It’s important to be polite and respectful here! Clean up all trash and belongings when going to the beach, do not feed wildlife, and do not remove shells, animals, coral, etc. from protected areas.

Suntan lotion is also harmful for reefs here. Wear biodegradable suntan lotion whenever possible and try to ensure it soaks into the skin prior to getting in the water.

Keep your shirt and shoes on in public, be respectful of the environment, and try to bring reusable bags or water bottles with you when you can.

The currency here is the US Dollar (USD$). Many hotels and restaurants will take traveler’s cheques. There are local banks where these can be cashed or where you can find ATMs. Many credit cards are also accepted on the island.

Tipping is normally 15% to waiters/waitresses, drivers, etc.

The plugs and outlets are the same as they are in the United States: 110 volt/60 cycle. It works for U.S. devices or appliances.

Your converter should look like this:

American USA electric power plug

The tap water is generally safe to drink. Many people drink bottled water or use portable water filters as well. Water conservation is also an important thing to think about.

Most of the time, most mobile phones will function. Before your trip, you may need to contact your provider to see if you can receive calls and to activate international roaming. You can also purchase a local SIM card in Turks and Caicos if you would prefer.

Many places in TCI have high quality and fast 4G coverage. Internet and cell services are also provided through local companies FLOW and Digicel.

There are no apps to use like Uber or Lyft here, but there is a car hailing service known as Conch Cab. You can access their website and get information about fares and booking rides. The service is the largest in TCI and has an accessible website with easy to use functions. But these cabs are not available from Providenciales International Airport, while other taxis are.

Turks and Caicos is considered a safe place for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Many people here are accepting of LGBTQ+ people and couples. Though there are some religious groups who may not be as accepting, generally the people here are very friendly, and TCI has been considered a destination where LGBTQ+ travelers are welcome.

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FOR THE PLANNERS:

"Conch” - the iconic local dish - is also pronounced as “konk.”