Lay of the Land: The Turks & Caicos Islands ("TCI") are comprised of two groups of islands, the "Turks Islands" and the "Caicos Islands" (pronounced "Kay-Kos"). The total land mass is approximately 193 square miles. Of the 40 islands and cays, only eight are inhabited.
Location: 70 minutes flying time or 575 miles southeast of Miami; 21o North latitude and 71-72o West Longitude. The Bahamas are about 30 miles to the northwest and the Dominican Republic some 100 miles to the southeast.
Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (E.S.T.) October to April and Daylight Savings Time (D.S.T. is in effect from April to October.
Currency: US dollar is legal tender. Traveller's cheques and credit cards are widely accepted.
Climate: Year round sunshine with a prevailing easterly breeze from the Atlantic trade winds. Average temperatures: Summer 83o F (28o C) and Winter 70o F (21o C). Average yearly rainfall is 20-40 inches and the average humidity is 35%.
Economy: Currently, tourism, the offshore finance industry and fishing, generate the most private sector income. The Islands' main export are lobster and conch, with a commercial conch farm operation on Providenciales. Most consumer goods and foodstuffs are imported. TCI is also recognized as an important offshore financial centre, offering services such as company formation, offshore insurance, banking, trusts, limited partnerships and limited life companies. The Financial Services Commission regulates the industry and development of offshore legislation.
Government: A stable British Crown Colony with a British Governor appointed by the Queen and a locally elected government.
Our People: Citizens of the TCI are primarily descendants of African slaves who were brought to the Islands to work on the salt ponds and cotton plantations. The country's large expatriate population includes Canadians, Americans, Brits and Europeans, along with Haitians, Dominicans and Bahamians.
Education: Private and Government Day Care, Pre-School, Elementary and Secondary Schools.
Medical/Dental Services: Two government hospitals, one in Grand Turk and one in Providenciales along with a few private medical and dental clinics.
Postal Service: All international mail is transported daily by air and routed through Miami. Open: Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 4:30 pm, Friday 8 am to 4 pm, closed on weekends.
Banking Hours: Monday to Thursday 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, Fridays 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Electricity: 110 volts, 60 cycles; US standard.
Water: On many of the islands, rain water is the main source of water supply, Many parts of Providenciales have piped purified water. Local water companies also sell bottles water.
Telecommunications: Local area code - 649.
Television: Multi-channel satellite cable television with thirty-three channels, 24 hours a day.
Radio: 24 hour a day broadcasting.
Safety: Very low crime rate.
Driving: Left-hand side of the road.
Religion: The TCI is home to many religions. Churches are the center of community life and there are many faiths represented on the Islands, including Anglican, Baha'i, Episcopal, Baptist, Catholic, Church of God, Methodist, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist and Jehovah's Witness. Visitors are always welcome
Marriage License: Visitors must be in TCI for a minimum of 24 hours prior to applying for a marriage license. There is a 2-3 day waiting period and a US$50 fee for the marriage license.
Pets: A signed veterinary certificate, dated within one month of travel, stating that the animal is in good health, free of contagious or infectious disease and vaccinated against rabies and distemper.
Accommodations: TCI offers an assortment of accommodations throughout the islands, including beachfront condominiums, five star resorts, private villas, cosy inns and affordable hotels.
Restaurants: An excellent good selection of local and ethnic cuisine is available. Check out ourLocal Restaurants page!
Taxes: A 12% government tax is added to all hotel and restaurant bills. Most hotels automatically add on a 10% service charge and some restaurants add on a 15% gratuity. There are no taxes on capital gains, corporate profits, estates, gifts, income, inheritance, sales (except for property transfer and stamp duty), succession turnovers or valued added.
Things to Do: Bonefishing, Parasailing, Deepsea Fishing, Scuba Diving, Windsurfing, Sailing, Tennis, Golf, Water Skiing, Island Hopping, Snorkelling, Whale Watching, Bird Watching, Conch Farm Tour, Explore Caves, Lay on the Beach, Tour Iguana Island.