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Turks & Caicos – General Overview

Brief Summary of the area: The Turks and Caicos are a beautiful chain of islands in the a Caribbean, but only 8 of them are inhabited.  They boast miles and miles of beautiful white sand beaches.  The island is an excellent location for diving and snorkeling because it offers some of the world’s largest coral reefs.  The islands are much more relaxed than some of their neighboring islands in the Caribbean.  This is not the place you want to go if you are looking for  a fast paced country or a hot nightlife location.  You will find that the Turks and Caicos are some of the most restful places on earth, the perfect spot for romance and relaxation.

Most popular Beach Locations: (if applicable)

On Providenciales you will find Grace Bay which offers white sand and blue seas.  It has been called one of the world’s best beaches and is a great place for snorkeling and diving due to the coral reef system that fringes the beach.  Another great beach there is Long Bay, which has calm and shallow waters that makes it a great location for families.

Pine Cay is a private island that has beautiful white sand and blue seas and is home to the Meridian Club.  Parrot Cay is also a private island where secluded beasts often have celebrity visitors!

On North Caicos you will find Sandy Point, a beautiful crescent beach and also the Royal Reef Resort.  Whitby Beaches are prime snorkeling spots and a favorite for beach combers. 

On Middle Caicos, Mudjin harbor is marked by gorgeous, green limestone cliffs towering above it.  Bambarra Beach is a beautiful white sand beach with shallow waters.  It is the location for the Valentine’s Day model sailboat races.

On Grand Turk, the Governor’s Beach is the most popular spot and is a great location for snorkeling picnicking.   Also on the island is Pillory Beach, home of the Bohio Dive Resort.

The beaches on tiny Salt Cay Island offer some of the Caribbean’s best snorkeling

Traveler Facts :

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc). How to get there.

The most frequently used airport for entry into the Turks and Caicos is Providenciales International Airports, but the islands of Grand Turk and South Caicos also offer international airports.  The Provo airport is small, with limited tourist services.

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc.:

U.S. and Canadian citizens must have a passport or a combination of a birth certificate and photo ID, plus a return or ongoing ticket, to enter the country. Citizens of the United Kingdom, Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean, the Republic of Ireland, and E.U. countries must also have a current passport. All travelers coming from the Caribbean, including Americans, are now required to have a passport to enter or re-enter the United States. Those returning to Canada will have to show passports.

Information from: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/turksandcaicos/0207020032.html

Languages Spoken / official language:

The official language is English.

Currency

The US Dollar is the official currency.

Tipping

Tips for service personnel in restaurants, bars, tours, taxis, etc. are customarily tipped between 10-20% for good service, unless it is already added.  Hotels generally add gratuity to the bills.

Taxes:

There is a departure tax of $35, payable when you leave the islands and many times it is already included in the cost of your airfare. The government charges an additional 10% occupancy tax to your bill at all hotels.

Electricity

The electric current on the islands is 120 volts, 60 cycles, AC. European appliances will need adapters.

Other (immunizations, health issues)

No immunizations necessary. No major health issues.

Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information:

Requirements for obtaining a marriage license in The Turks and Caicos Islands

Passport

Original Birth Certificate

Both parties must be in The Turks and Caicos Islands at the time of the application.

Persons wishing to be married in the Turks and Caicos Islands may do so after one day (24 hours). Before an application for a Marriage License can be made to the Registrar in Grand Turk. The ceremony can then take place after a period of 2-3 days or at any time after the application has been granted.

Proof of marital status - If single a sworn affidavit is required. If one of the parties is a divorcee, then a Divorce Decree is required, either the original or a notarized copy, sealed by a Court Clerk. In the case of a Widow/Widower a Death Certificate of the previous spouse is required. In the case of change of name by Deed Poll or Adoption, then proof is required.

If either party is unmarried, being a citizen or resident of a country other than the U.S.A., a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn before a Notary Public or other person authorized to administer oaths in that country and must accompany the application for the Marriage License.

If under the age of 21, then consent of one or both parents or guardian, in the form of an affidavit stamped by the Notary Public.

The marriage parties must not be within the prohibited degree of relationships to each other. Include a letter stating both parties’ occupations, marital status, age as of last birthday, present address of residence and father’s full name.

For church weddings Ministers may require proof of membership.

The parties must produce evidence of the date of their arrival in The Turks and Caicos Islands.

No blood test is necessary.

The fee for the license is $100.00.

Note: Marriage Licenses are issued at the office of the Registrar in Providenciales. This office is open to the public Mondays to Fridays between the hours of 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Please be advised that any Passports or documentation written other than in English should be translated in advance and notarized by the applicable consulate.

Registrar Office
Providenciales,
Turks and Caicos Islands
Tel: 649-946-2800

Information from: http://www.turksandcaicostourism.com/go/en/license-requirements.html

Tourism Office address, phone and website:

Providenciales Office
Stubbs Diamond Plaza
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands
British West Indies
Telephone: 649-946-4970 — Fax: 649-941-5494
provo@turksandcaicostourism.com

 

Grand Turk Office
Front Street
Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands
British West Indies
P.O Box 128
Telephone: 649-946-2321 — Fax: 649-946-2733
grandturk@turksandcaicostourism.com

www.turksandcaicostourism.com

Other Travel related websites for the country or location:

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/turksandcaicos/

http://turksandcaicoshta.com/

http://www.wherewhenhow.com/

Climate Information (what the seasons are like & when is the best time of year to travel):

The average temperature ranges between 85 and 90 degrees (29-32 degrees Celsius) from June to October, sometimes reaching the mid 90’s (35 degrees Celsius), especially in the late summer months. From November to May the average temperature is 80 to 84 degrees (27-29 degrees Celsius). Water temperature in the summer is 82 to 84 degrees (28-29 degrees Celsius) and in winter about 74 to 78 degrees (23-26 degrees Celsius). A constant trade wind keeps the climate at a very comfortable level.

There is an annual rainfall of 21 inches on Grand Turk and South Caicos, but as you go further west the average rainfall could increase to 40 inches. In an average year the Turks and Caicos has 350 days of sunshine.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30th.

High & Low Season for travel:

High Season: mid-December through the beginning of May

Low Season: beginning of may through mid-December

Link to a good Map:

http://www.wherewhenhow.com/Map/detailed-providenciales-map.html

Local Attractions  & Must Do’s:

Snorkeling the Islands:

A trip to the Turks and Caicos would hardly be complete without snorkeling!  With such great locations to be found on any of the islands, it can’t be missed.  Also, take a beachcombing cruise offered by a number of tour boat operators.  They will take you on full or half day excursions to some great spot for shell and sand dollar hunting, along with snorkeling and  sightseeing.

A great way to spend a sunset is by riding horses on the beach.  The Provo Ponies are perfect for all types of riders and it will make for an afternoon you won’t soon forget.  Another great place for a sunset stroll is Grace Bay, and you can finish off your evening at the Grace Bay Club and enjoy a nice cool cocktail.

If you have never seen the glowworms glow before, you have to check out the Caicos Cays four or five days after a full moon.  All the glowworms will come out to mate, literally millions of them, and the shallow waters will be lit up.  Some cruise companies even offer glow worm cruises, but you can see them off the bays and docks just as well.

Another must see from January through April is the humpback whale migration at the Columbus Passage.  You actually can snorkel and swim alongside the whales which makes for an amazing experience.

If you are looking for a great place to eat, Da Conch Shack is a famous, and hugely popular,  laid-back restaurant that you have to check out.  Offering outdoor seating at the beautiful Blue Hills Beach, great fresh food pulled from the beach below, and a great atmosphere, this is one experience you do not want to miss.

Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

Amanyara, Northwest Point, Provo www.amanyara.net.  This five star resort on Provo is so luxurious and so beautiful, it is wildly popular.  From it’s amazing accommodations, to the luxuriously appointed grounds, to the amazing spa and restaurants, this hotel has it all!

Parrot Cay Resort, Parrot Cay, Provo http://parrotcay.como.bz.  This laid back luxury resort is located on it’s own private island.  This is a favorite spot for celebrities and honeymooners for obvious reasons.  Boasting amazing accommodations and amenities galore, it is the perfect spot to enjoy a beautiful beach vacation.

Grace Bay Club, Grace Bay Road, Grace Bay www.gracebayclub.com.  This beautiful American-owned resort is setup to resemble a Spanish seaside resort.  It’s rooms either have stunning views of the sea or overlook the lush gardens.  Accommodations are luxurious and the amenities are numerous.

The Palms, Grace Bay Road, Grace Bay. www.thepalmstc.com  The ultimate in luxury hotels, The Palms offers mainly suites with some of the most amazing décor in Caribbean.  The property is set up in a plantation style with the main building being referred to as “The Mansion”.  With amazing restaurants, a swim up bar, and some of the most amazing views around, staying here will make it hard to even leave the hotel.

Grand Turk Inn, Front Street, Grand Turk www.grandturkinn.com.  This little Bed and Breakfast type inn is run by two sisters who lovingly restored and decorated it.  There are five amazing suites and there service is legendary, even being named the best guesthouse in the Turks and Caicos Islands.