Caribbean Tourism

Before Travelling

Climate

There is no recognized rainy season. Hurricane season is normally Jun-Oct. Temperatures average 75-85°F from November to May, reaching into the 90°s from June to October, but constant tradewinds keep life comfortable. Average annual rainfall is 21 ins on Grand Turk and South Caicos but increases to 40 ins as you travel westwards through the Caicos Islands where more lush vegetation is found. Hurricane Kate swept through the islands November 1985; Hugo and Andrew missed in 1992; there were several near misses in 1995 and Bertha passed through in 1996. El Niño upset the weather pattern in 1997/98 with more rainy days and rougher seas.


Documents

US and Canadian citizens need only a birth certificate or some other proof of identity to enter the Turks and Caicos. Other nationalities need a valid passport; a visa is not necessary except for nationals of communist countries. An onward ticket is officially required. Visitors are allowed to stay for 30 days, renewable once only.

Safety

Providenciales is no longer as safe as it was before being discovered as a tourist and off-shore banking destination, but still safer than most Caribbean islands. It is not advisable to walk around alone at night or on deserted beaches. On Provo, take precautions about leaving valuables in your room or on the beach. Crime is on the increase. Traffic is fast and aggressive causing many accidents. Personal security is much better on Grand Turk and the other islands and a haven compared with most other Caribbean countries. Should you need it, the police station on Grand Turk is T9462299 and on Salt Cay, T9466929. In an emergency anywhere T999.

Hospitals

On Provo, MBS Group Medical Practice, Leeward Highway, Jon Delisser Building, open 0830-1700 Monday-Friday, 0830-1200 Saturday, recompression chamber. Dr Euan Menzies, T9464242. Dr Sam Slattery, T9415252. Optometrist, T9415842. Dentist, Dr Robert McIntosh, T9464321 and Dr Steve Bourne. Chiropractor Dr Kathleen Kopping. The government clinic on Provo is Myrtle Rigby Health Complex, Leeward Highway, near Down Town, T9413000. They have three doctors and 15 nurses and midwives, open daily. Ambulance services available and emergency medical air charter to USA or Nassau, full life support can be arranged, T999 or any doctor. There is no anaesthetist on Provo so surgery is done on Grand Turk, Nassau or Miami. On Grand Turk there is a small, understaffed hospital on the north side of town, T9462333, and a government clinic in town, T9462328, open 0800-1230, 1400-1630. Dr D O Astwood, T9462451, Dr L Astwood, T9463287. The other islands organize emergency air evacuation to Grand Turk hospital. Island Pharmacy, T9464150, F9461942.

Health/Disease Risks

There are no endemic tropical diseases & no malaria, no special vaccinations are required prior to arrival. Aids exists.

Voltage

110 volts, 60 cycles, the same as in the USA.

Useful Addresses

  • Chief Secretary (Grand Turk), T9462702 (Provo), T9464258, 9415123
  • Customs (Grand Turk), T9462993/4, (Provo), T9464214
  • Immigration (Grand Turk), T9462939, (Provo), T9464233
  • Time/weather, T141

Money

  • Currency: The official currency is the US dollar. Most banks will advance cash on credit cards. Most hotels, restaurants and taxi drivers will accept travellers’ cheques, but personal cheques are not widely accepted. Take small denomination US dollars when visiting an island without a bank, as it is often difficult to get change from big notes.
  • Departure Tax: US$15.

Banks

There are banks on Grand Turk and Providenciales. On Grand Turk, Barclays Bank, T9462831, F9462695, at Butterfield Square, PO Box 236, Provo, T9464245, F9464573. Barclays Offshore Banking Centre, Box 236, Providenciales, T9413606, F9413430. Bordier International Bank & Trust Ltd, T9464535, F9464540, Box 5, Providenciales. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, PO Box 698, Providenciales, T9465303. Turks & Caicos Banking Co Ltd, Box 123, Grand Turk, T9462368, F9462365. Scotiabank is at the Town Centre Mall, PO Box 15, Provo, T9464750, F9464755, and at Harbour House, PO Box 132, Grand Turk, T9462506, F9462667.

Clothing

Dress is informal and shorts are worn in town as well as on the beach. Nudity is illegal although condoned by local hoteliers at Club Med and Le Deck, both on Grace Bay. The islanders find it offensive and flaunting local protocol may elicit unwelcome stares and remarks. Islanders love to dress up in the evenings when they frequent live band nights at hotels or discos.

Public Holidays

  • New Year’s Day
  • Commonwealth Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • National Heroes Day (end May)
  • the Queen’s birthday (second week in June)
  • Emancipation Day (beginning of August)
  • National Youth Day (end-September)
  • Columbus’ Day and Human Rights Day (both in October)
  • Christmas Day and Boxing Day

More . . .

Parrot Cay

The Parrot Cay Resort, a luxury, 56-room hotel, was built in 1992 on this 1,300-acre private island, but it only opened in December 1998....

Providenciales

Provo is 25 miles long and about three wide. Twelve mile Grace Bay on the north shore has many hotels and condominiums but you can walk and...

South Caicos

The nearest Caicos island, 22 miles west of Grand Turk, South Caicos was once the most populous and the largest producer of salt. It is now...

Getting Around

Air Flight time from Grand Turk to the furthest island (Provo) is 35 minutes. Turks & Caicos Airways provides a twice daily service...

Communication

Telephone Services Grand Turk, Provo and South Caicos have a modern local and international telephone service, with Cable and Wireless...

Tourist Information

Local Tourist Office Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board, PO Box 128, Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands, T9462321/2322, T800-...

Dellis Cay

Dellis Cay is uninhabited but frequently visited for its shells. A popular excursion is to be dropped off there for the day for shelling by...