First Time Visitors: What to Know About Turks and Caicos

There is a lot of information on Turks and Caicos when one looks into planning a trip.

When visiting these islands, you will come across articles among recommendations and more on where to stay, where to eat, and where to go. Turks and Caicos has A LOT to do and it is not only one island!

If this is your first time visiting, or wanting to know a bit on what to expect from the island, here is what you should know:

  1. There are 40 islands in Turks and Caicos

Take a look at a map of this island country. One usually thinks of Grace Bay and Provo where the international flights come in, but Turks is so much more than that. Grand Turk, North and East Caicos are bigger in size than all of Provo. There are many other villages and settlements to discover.

The airline Intercaribbean Airways offers flights to different parts of the country and other parts of the Caribbean.

2. Grace Bay is bigger than what it seems on the GPS

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Learned only by experience of me trying to walk to a beach bar – Grace Bay is enormous!

I knew this beforehand, but on the GPS it showed as if the beachfront resorts with their bars were located pretty close to one another. Was I wrong.

I found the entrance to the beach from Ports of Call and began to walk west. After 20 minutes, I still had not made it past one resort or to the next public exit off the beach! My plan was to head to The Palms to find the Ozmosis Bar – I think it would have taken me one hour or longer. Plan ahead and if you are limited with time, take a cab.

3. Currency and outlets

The easy thing for visitors from the United States is that Turks and Caicos uses the U.S. dollar and you don’t need an adapter for your electronic appliances.

Hotels can exchange currency for you, but it is best to bring your own. Save on rates and exchange at a bank at your home town.

4. They are cracking down on drunk driving

In recent months, there have been many DUI’s and drunken related accidents on the main road. If you come to the island, be prepared to not drive after having a drink or get a taxi.

Even though it is expensive on the island, paying for a cab is more worth it than with your life.

Also, not sure what the jail system is like on the island and I’m sure no one wants to find out how it is being jailed abroad.

5. These are the two reefs in Grace Bay

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One of my many Google searches included looking for “reefs or snorkeling in Grace Bay”. You would think something would come up easy for me.

After some research, I found that there are two reefs in Grace Bay that visitors can snorkel from the shore.

Bight Reef and Smith’s Reef are both located near each other.

Bight Reef can be found at Coral Gardens to the west of Beaches Resort. It is one small reef and the more popular.

Smith’s Reef is larger and has a “central access point” from the beach which is not visited as much.  Swim about 100-200 yards to the reefs. Take a taxi to Coconut Rd./Smith’s Reef Rd for the access.

Both of these locations are further west from the main resorts in Grace Bay. Allow time to get there.

Stay tuned for more stories on Turks!

What did you think of Turks and Caicos on your first visit?