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A Quick Guide To Visiting Turks and Caicos For The First Time

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The Turks and Caicos islands are still some of the most undiscovered islands in the Caribbean, but that might not remain the same for much longer.


Made up of 40 individual islands and cays, only eight of which are inhabited, this chain of islands on the outer edge of the region offers the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure. You can find miles of sandy beaches, exciting watersports, a whole host of history, and some of the best food on offer in the Caribbean.

As the islands are still one of the less frequented destinations out of the holiday spots on offer in the region, we’ve put together a quick guide with everything you need to know about Turks and Caicos.

When is the best time to visit?

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Similar to the rest of the Caribbean, Turks and Caicos’ peak season is mid-December to mid-April, with tourist numbers dropping in the summer months. This makes it a perfect winter destination for those looking for a bit of sun.

Climate

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Speaking of sun, the climate is one of the main draws to the islands. They have an average of 350 days of sunshine a year, temperatures ranging from 25-35 degrees Celsius all year round, and a slight breeze to keep the weather at a comfortable temperature.

However, hurricane season runs from the beginning of June through to the end of November, so any travel is advised against during this period.

Do I Need A Visa?

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If you are a citizen of one of the countries included on this list, then you do not require a visa to enter the islands. Similarly, if you hold a valid visa to the USA, the UK, or Canada, you will not require a visa to visit Turks and Caicos.

If you fall outside of these criteria, then you will require a visa and should consult your local British Embassy.

For more details on the entry requirements of the islands, including customs policies and travelling with animals, see this page.

What is the time zone?

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Atlantic Standard Time is observed year-round in Turks and Caicos.

Travel
The islands have two international airports, the JAGS McCartney International Airport on Grand Turks and the Provo International Airport on Providenciales, and most major airlines offer flights to these airports.

On arrival, domestic flights and ferries are available to travel to other islands, whilst taxis, bicycles, and buses serve each island itself.

This page provides more information on island hopping, whilst on-island transportation details can be found here.

Currency

The islands are a British Overseas Territory but use the US dollar as their official currency. Most major credit and debit cards are accepted across the island and there are plenty of ATMs to use. Tipping is a similar rate to the US.

What accommodation is available?

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Although there are eight inhabited islands, some of these are private resorts so only offer a sole type of accommodation. Providenciales is the biggest island and offers the most choice in accommodation.

That being said, there are lots of different types of resorts available to suit lots of budgets. Blue Haven is more of a family-friendly resort, whilst some luxury resorts like Beach House offer a more luxury experience.

For the budget trippers, consider booking through Airbnb for a taste of local living.

Best beaches

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Grace Bay Beach is undoubtedly the most popular beach on the island and is regularly voted one of the best beaches in the world. For those looking for a less crowded experience, Leeward beach offers some peace and quiet, whilst the Three Mary Cays on North Caicos offers some great snorkeling experiences.

This post has some more great recommendations.

What activities are available?

Turks and Caicos offers something for everyone. If sunbathing isn’t up your street, then try your hand at the extensive watersports and diving available throughout the islands.

The islands also play host to lots of culture, including the historic Cheshire Hall and the Turks and Caicos National Museum, or indulge in a spot of golfing at the Provo Golf Club.

However, be sure to make the food at the top of your list. With the only conch farm in the world, the spoils of which are delightfully served up across the islands as well as the Thursday Fish Fry, the local cuisine is the highlight of a trip to the islands.












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