Turks and Caicos Guide
Know Before You Go...®
Planning a trip to Turks and Caicos promises that you will have a vacation that is relaxing, peaceful, free of crowds, and complete with picture perfect scenery. Renting a villa on one of the islands that makes up Turks and Caicos gives you an ideal headquarters for exploring the area both on land and water. On this page and under the associated tabs, we’ve got all the information you need for planning and reserving your Turks and Caicos vacation.
Why Turks and Caicos?
- White sand beaches rated best in the world - our favorite is Taylor Bay
- Get on the water, rent a sailing charter for the day or Kayak around Chalk Sound
- Scuba diving - noted for water clarity and diversity of sealife and BIG pelagics.
- The Conch Bar Caves on Middle Caicos which are full of stalactites, stalagmites and underground lakes
Turks and Caicos Weather/Climate
The first known inhabitants of the islands were Taíno Indians, who left evidence of their occupation in the form of utensils and a ball court. After the arrival of Europeans, the Taínos were either forced into slavery or fell victim to European-borne diseases by the mid-16th century.
Over the next few centuries, ownership of the islands bounced between the French, Spanish and British, ending finally with Great Britain.
Development was slow, as the island was not on a main sailing route, possessed no gold or decent anchorage’s and lacked sufficient rain to grow sugar. Turks and Caicos remained virtually uninhabited until 1678, when a group of Bermudans settled and began extracting salt and logging trees.
Salt traders cleared the land and created the salinas (salt-drying pans) that still exist on many islands. The majority of the salt went aboard boats to supply the cod-fishing industries of New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada.
Following the American War of Independence, the Bermudans on the islands were joined by a group of colonial loyalists, who established cotton plantations. The plantation era was short-lived, and by 1820, the cotton crop had failed, and the majority of planters had moved on.
Turks and Caicos became a formal part of the Bahamas in 1799, but in 1848, following a petition by the Turks & Caicos residents, it became self-governing under the guidance of the Governor of Jamaica.
In 1872 the islands were annexed to Jamaica and stayed tied to Jamaica until 1962, when they were again linked to the Bahamas. In 1973, the they became a separate Crown Colony of Great Britain.
News and Notable
Keith Richards, Donna Karan, Michael Douglas (Dellis Cay), Bruce Willis, Christie Brinkley, Justin Verlander, and Kate Upton
Smiths Reef might be a lesser known snorkel spot but it's one of the best!
As part of the 3rd largest reef in the world, Smith's Reef is calm and beautiful. However, it is not necessarily for the beginner snorkeler, but for someone a little more seasoned.
Take a picnic to Taylor Bay and you might have the whole beach to yourself!
Take a picnic to Taylor Bay Beach and you may well be the only one there. This beautiful crescent shaped cove is home to calm, clear, blue water, powder white sand and not a lot of visitors. The shallow depth makes this beach an inviting playground for children and families. There's no shade though, so don't forget your sunscreen.
Visit Little Water Cay, home of the indigenous Rock Iguana.
Step off the boat, just a short ride from Provo, and West Indian rock iguanas will run out to meet you. These friendly creatures, found only in Turks and Caicos and parts of the Bahamas, were at risk of extinction. Now they are protected on this uninhabited cay thanks to an award-winning effort of public and private organizations. This sanctuary and its short boardwalk trail are a hit among visitors of all ages.
Transportation on Turks and Caicos
Getting to Turks and Caicos and getting around. Our transportation tips will help make your trip smoother. More good sand advice.
Passport is required for all visitors. A return or on-going ticket is also required by all.
Airlines Flying Here
Atlanta on Delta - Boston on American - Charlotte on US Air - Dallas on American - Kingston on Sky King - London on British Airways - Miami on American - Nassau on Sky King - Newark on Continental - New York on American - Philadelphia on US Air
On the left - a valid foreign or international driver's license is required and a US$10 tax is charged. Scooter rental tax is US$5.
The "Gecko Bus" travels up and down Grace Bay
Turks and Caicos Weddings and Honeymoons
Vacationers don’t just stay in Turks and Caicos villas - they come to paradise to get married and celebrate their honeymoons! Establish residency and then apply for a marriage license.
Documents Required: Form of identification (passport, birth certificate, or photo ID) and divorce or death certificates, if applicable.
Wait Time: 24 hours to establish residency.
Know Before You Go...® - Turks and Caicos Travel Tips
Before making their way to Turks and Caicos villas, vacationers like to know a little bit of helpful information to make them feel more at home during their stay. Take a look at our travel tips to make your time in villas in Turks and Caicos even more relaxing.