Information & Facts
The Turks and Caicos Islands are subject to English Common Law
and business is conducted in a similar manner to the United
Kingdom, however suits are only necessary for the most formal of
occasions. Business hours are generally 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to
Trade winds ensure that the islands maintain a comfortable warm
temperature, which varies little between winter and summer. Between
June and October the temperature hovers between 85°F and 90°F (29°C
to 32°C), dropping only a few degrees in winter. The water is
almost as warm as the air. The westerly islands have a high annual
rainfall, and hurricanes are possible between June and October, but
on average the islands have 350 days of sunshine a year.
Cable & Wireless Ltd. provides the island, and most of the
Caribbean, with a digital network of telecommunications, including
GSM cellular coverage and Internet connections. The country direct
dialling code is +1 followed by 649. The outgoing code is 011
followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 for the United
Kingdom). Public phones operate with phone cards.
Culture in the Turks and Caicos Islands is relaxed and
hospitable if not overly friendly, and islanders are known for
their good manners. Address strangers with respect, including
ma'am, miss, and sir. Things happen slowly, and attempting to rush
service will only annoy. You should cover beachwear when off the
beach, and men need to wear long pants at smarter restaurants.
Topless and nude sunbathing is illegal. Gay and lesbian
relationships are legal, but tend to be discreet.
Travellers may enter the Turks and Caicos Islands with the
following goods without paying customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 50
cigars or 125g of tobacco products; and 1 litre spirits or 2 litres
wine. Spearguns are strictly prohibited.
Electricity is the same as in the US: 120/240 volts,
It is easy to get around the islands on one of the many forms of
hire vehicles available, from cars to scooters. Taxis are freely
available and can be hired by the day for excursions. Agree on
price before the journey. Requirements for hiring a car are a full,
valid driving licence from your country of origin. Drivers must be
at least 23-25 years old, depending on the hire company.
There is no risk of disease on the islands and no vaccinations
are required for entry. Medical facilities are limited. Serious
cases are usually evacuated to Miami or Nassau. There is a small
hospital on Grand Turk and some private general practitioners on
Providenciales. Adequate insurance to cover air ambulance charges
is highly recommended.
The national language is English, but some words are
pronounced in a way unique to the islands.
The US dollar (USD) is the official currency, which is divided
into 100 cents. Local banks and most hotels, restaurants and taxi
services accept travellers cheques. Most credit cards are accepted
and banks offer ATMs as well as cash advances on credit cards.
All visitors must hold a return or onward ticket, all documents
required for their next destination and sufficient funds. As part
of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers
travelling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda,
and the Caribbean region are required to present a passport or
other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States.
If departing from the USA a valid passport will be required by
immigration authorities. It is highly recommended that passports
have at least six months validity remaining after your intended
date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration
officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel
agents and official sources.
Visits to the Turks and Caicos Islands are usually trouble-free.
The crime rate is low, but on the favourite tourist island of
Providenciales there have been incidents of burglary and theft, so
visitors should take precautions with valuables. Robberies have
occurred on Grace Bay Beach. Hurricane season generally runs from
June to November.
Local time is GMT -5 (GMT 4 between April and
Tips of around 15% of the bill are the norm for waiters, taxi
drivers and bar tenders. Hotels usually include a service charge of