Caribbean Tourism

Getting around Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) By Air, Land and Sea

Getting around TCI By Air

By Air

Flight time from Grand Turk to the furthest island (Provo) is 35 minutes. Turks & Caicos Airways provides a twice daily service Provo to Grand Turk via the out-islands, round trip. SkyKing and Inter Island Airways also provide frequent flights between the islands. Private charters are readily available within the island group and can easily be arranged by asking around at Grand Turk or Provo airport, as charter pilots meet incoming international flights and wait to see if they can fill a plane in the mornings. They often hold up boards showing which island they are flying to. Do not pre-book as you may sit for 2-3 hours waiting for a particular plane; similarly if traveling to the out islands, do not buy a return ticket, whatever the airlines tell you, as you may have to pay twice if you come back with someone else. Your hotel or guest house can help you arrange your return flight when you are ready to leave (this does not include package tours). Private pilots fly seven days a week, TCA [Turks and Caicos Islands (ISO Country code)] does not fly on Sunday.


Salt Cay: There is a paved airstrip for small aircraft, around which a fence has been erected to keep out the donkeys. The island is served by TCA, with 2 5-min flights Mon, Wed, Fri from Grand Turk, one at 0645 and one at an indeterminate time (about 1530) in the afternoon, making a day trip possible. Alternatively, charter a flight, or get a seat on someone else’s charter, which costs the same if you can fill the aircraft, or contact the District Commissioner’s Office on Salt Cay (or Brian Sheedy at Mount Pleasant Guest House, he crosses regularly to do his shopping) for details of ferries. The only public transport on the island is the taxi van run by Nathan Smith (T9466920), airport pickup and touring; there are very few vehicles of any sort.

South Caicos: TCA and SkyKing connect South Caicos with Providenciales and Grand Turk. TCA also flies to Middle and North Caicos. There are a few taxis on the island, US$8 from the airport to South Caicos Ocean Haven hotel.

Middle Caicos: TCA flies from Grand Turk, South Caicos, North Caicos and Providenciales. After clearing customs upon arrival at Provo SkyKing and private pilots will also stop off if flying to North Caicos, or you can charter a plane. Reliable and recommended, Global Airways, run by Ferrington, Lindsey and Bennet Gardiner. Do not pre-book as you may sit 2-3 hours waiting for a particular plane. TCA with only 1 plane, seldom flies on.

North Caicos: Inter Island Airways and Global Airways, run by the Gardiner family, popular private pilots, fly to North Caicos from Provo daily after your flight arrives. Cost is US$30 one way 12 mins. TCA has only one morning flight and one afternoon flight (never on Sun) from Provo but these are not reliable or leave to a set schedule (advise not to buy a return ticket despite what local airlines suggest as you may not return with same plane/pilot and you will have to pay again). If you wish to charter a plane the cost is US$225 (you have to pay for all the empty seats).

Providenciales: Scheduled internal flights with TCA and SkyKing. Charter companies are TCA, Inter Island Airways, Flamingo Air Services, Provo Air Charter, TCI SkyKing and Global Air Charters.

By Land

Car/Car Hire: Drive on the left. Rental cars are available on Grand Turk, North and South Caicos and Provo although demand often exceeds supply on Provo. Most roads are fairly basic, although those on Provo have been upgraded and paved, and all parts are easily accessible. Maximum speed in urban areas is 20 mph and outside villages 40 mph, but on Provo driving is erratic and no one (except visitors) pays heed to speed limits, not even the Traffic Department. There is no control. Local drivers do not dim their headlights at night. Pedestrians and cyclists should be especially careful on the roads because of speeding, dangerous drivers and heavy construction vehicles. Watch out for donkeys on Grand Turk.

Grand Turk: Jeeps or cars can be rented from Tropical Auto Leasing, US$55 per day, everything included except fuel, T9461000; Sunshine Auto Leasing, by airport, T9461588, recommended, Dutchie’s Car Rental, Airport Rd, T9462244, recommended, or C J Car Rental, T9462744. If you rent a bicycle, jeep or car, note that the islanders completely ignore the 20 mph speed limit in town (and 40 mph outside), particularly on Pond St, recommended to stay on Front St/Duke St route through town and exercise caution elsewhere. Fatal accidents have occurred.

North Caicos: For day trips or overnight stays you can rent a cruising bicycle at Papa Grunts restaurant at Whitby Plaza, island map supplied. Rates are US$15 per person per 24 hrs, for weekly rates seventh day free, credit card deposit required, T/F9467301. There are car hire facilities on North Caicos with Saunders Rent A Car, VHF Channel 16 ‘Sierra 7’, or Gardiners Auto Service, US$50 for half day, US$100 for full day, plus US$10 tax. A taxi costs US$20 from the airport to Whitby for one person.

Providenciales: Most roads are paved, contributing to fast, erratic driving by residents; speed limits (40 mph highway, 20 mph in town) are not observed, dangerous overtaking is common.Hired cars are not generally well serviced, exchanges are common. Be careful on the roads. Leeward Highway is especially risky. An economy car, quoted at US$39 per day will work out to arround US$100 with taxes and insurance.

Deposits are at least US$500. A ‘gold’ credit card qualifies for an exemption of approx. US$20 per day CDW. Provo Rent A Car, PO Box 137, T9464404, F9464993, rent...@Provo.net, at the airport, T9465610, a/c vehicles, jeeps, vans, recommended. Hertz, PO Box 66, Central Leeward Highway, T9413910, F9415213. Budget, Down Town, Town Centre Mall, open Mon-Sat, 0800-1700, Sun 1000-1600, T9464709, worldwide reservations 800-5270700, Suzukis, Mitsubishis, 1 day free for weekly rental.

Tropical Auto Rental, Tropicana Plaza and Ocean Club Condos at Grace Bay, T9465300, F9465456, Turks & Caicos National Car Rental, Airport Rd, T/F9464701/ 9413514, F9413281, not always reliable vehicles delivery. Rent-a-Buggy, Leeward Highway, T9464158, Suzuki jeeps, VW Thing. Provo Fun Cycles at Ports of Call across from Allegro, single scooters US$25 per day, doubles approx. US$60, packages, can take them to North Caicos on the ferry, Honda motorcycles, also bicycles and jeeps, T9465868, Provofuncycles@Provo.net; Sunrise Auto Rental, jeeps and scooters, Leeward Highway and Club Med, T9469730. Avis at airport and Bayview Motors, Leeward Highway, T9464705, F9464810, at Club Med, T9469730, A...@provo.net, affiliated with Sunrise Auto Rental; Scooter Bob’s, Turtle Cove Marina, T9464684, F9464283, vans, scooters and bicycles, Mon-Sat 0900-1700, Sun 0900-1200.

Taxis:
There are a few private buses. On-island transport is restricted to expensive taxi service with a basic fare of US$5 per mile, although drivers are not always consistent. Complaints are frequent. Taxis can be hired for island tours, agree the price before hand.

Grand Turk: Taxis are the only form of public transport (US$10 from the airport to the Osprey Beach, the nearest).

South Caicos: There are a few taxis on the island, US$10 from the airport to South Caicos Ocean Haven hotel.

Middle Caicos: Carlton Forbes runs a taxi service and fares are based on US$5 per mile for 2 people, eg Conch Bar to Bambarra US$30, to Lorimers US$50.

North Caicos: A taxi costs US$10 from the airport to Whitby for one person, US$20 for 2, US$30 for 3. Taxi from Sandy Point to Whitby is US$100. A tour of the island by taxi costs US$80-100, the drivers are friendly and knowledgeable but some tend to run their own errands while working.

Providenciales: Taxis charge US$2 per mile, a ride for one person from the airport to the Allegro is US$12-15, and a round trip to a restaurant or Downtown can be US$80. Tours and shopping trips about US$50per hour. Complaints have not lowered the rates. There are usually taxis at the large hotels, otherwise phone for one. Paradise Taxi Co, T9413555. Nell’s Taxi, T9413228, 9464971; Island’s Choice Taxi, T9410409; Provo Taxi Association T9465481.

Bus:
There are no buses on Grand Turk and taxis are the only form of public transport (US$4 from the airport to the Sitting Pretty, the nearest).

Providenciales: Stafford Morris’ Blue Bus, VHF16, pickup and delivery almost anywhere, including the airport, US$10 per person each way say Downtown to Grace Bay, T9413598 or flag him down. Pelican Bus Service, T9464092, VHF 67.

Bicycle:
Bicycles and motor scooters can be rented from some hotels but can be relatively expensive compared with cars. Helmets are not mandatory but should be worn. Tourists invite trouble riding in bathing suits and bare feet and at night.

Safety Note: If you rent a bicycle, jeep or car, note that the islanders completely ignore the 20 mph speed limit in town (and 40 mph outside), particularly on Pond Street, recommended to stay on Front Street/Duke Street route through town and exercise caution elsewhere. Fatal accidents have occurred.

North Caicos: For day trips or overnight stays you can rent a cruising bicycle at Papa Grunts restaurant at Whitby Plaza, island map supplied. Rates are US$30 per person per 24 hours, for weekly rates seventh day free, credit card deposit required, T/F9467301.

Middle Caicos: Sports Shack in Conch Bar sells, rents and repairs bicycles.

Providenciales: Most roads are paved, contributing to fast, erratic driving by residents; speed limits (40 mph highway, 20 mph in town) are not observed, dangerous overtaking is common; if on a bicycle, scooter or in a rental car, particularly at night, be warned. Leeward Highway is especially risky.

By Sea

Boat:
North Caicos: There is a 20-foot pontoon ‘flat top’ boat for hire, offering trips of 1 hour, half day or full day, picnics, snorkelling etc, island hopping and visits to see iguanas on Salt Water Cay. Ask your hotel/host for information. For unspoiled backwater bonefishing/flat bottom fishing, contact Whitby Plaza for trips on 27-foot launch boat. Lunch included with all day trips.

Ferry:
Middle Caicos- A ferry service for cargo and passengers runs between Provo, Middle and North Caicos, operated by owners of Blue Horizons Development, contact Dale Witt, T9466141, F9466139 for times and days (probably only Saturday) the Dale Marie runs. Hired bicycles (eg from Whitby Plaza, US$30 per person) may be taken on board for day trips and overnight stays on Middle Caicos.

Note: The prices and schedules are quoted here not necessarily always mean the actual price. Its a guide for an approximate value only and are subject to change. For actual please ask your travel agent or hotel or appropriate authority.


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