Maybe you know about the Turks & Caicos through celebrity news. Our shores were recently graced by the likes of Olivia Munn and Kelly Rowland, while Bruce Willis, Keith Richards and Donna Karan all own homes here. Maybe you heard of us through TripAdvisor, which consistently ranks Providenciales as one of the top islands in the world. Or maybe you don't know a thing about us—it's OK, plenty of people can't even point out our island chain on a map (Turks & What?), much less tell you anything about the islands that make up this British Overseas Territory in the northern Atlantic Ocean.
So for all you first-timers, we've compiled a list of the top things you need to know before visiting the Turks & Caicos.
ABOUT THE ISLANDS
The Turks & Caicos is comprised of 40 islands and cays southeast of the Bahamas and just 90 miles north of Hispaniola. Only eight of those islands are inhabited, and the most populated is the island of Providenciales, which also serves as the main gateway to our islands through Providenciales International Airport.
There are nonstop flights to and from Provo, as it's commonly called, from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, New York, Atlanta, Boston and Toronto. British Airways also provides service to London via Antigua. Provo is just 90 minutes from Florida, and about three hours from New York. Our airport code is PLS.
CURRENCY AND OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
While the Turks & Caicos is indeed a British territory, our currency is the U.S. dollar (given our close proximity to the U.S.) and English is the official language—so it's an easy adjustment for those visiting from North America.
There's a common misconception that, because the Turks & Caicos is made up of islands, it's easy to get around without a car. Not so on Provo, which covers an area of about 37 square miles. There are many taxi companies to choose from on the island, but we recommend visitors rent a car to get the most out of their stay here.
Because it's a British territory, we drive on the left. Not only that, but there are no traffic lights on Provo—only roundabouts and stop signs. This can be confusing and a little disorienting if it's your first time driving here, so make sure you understand all the rules of the road before venturing out in your rental car. A good rule to remember is to stay left, and give way to the right at roundabouts.
We enjoy warm weather year-round in the Turks & Caicos, so pack accordingly (think shorts, t-shirts and sundresses). The average temperature ranges between the 80s and 90s. Temperatures drop slightly beginning in November, and cooler evenings may call for a light jacket. The sun shines most of the year, but expect some showers particularly during hurricane season, which is from June to November. Don't worry—the rain rarely lasts for long before the sun peeks back out from behind the clouds.
WHEN TO VISIT
Our islands are a beautiful place to visit all year, so the best time of year to visit depends on you. The busy season in Provo runs from December to April, after which prices begin to drop. The islands enjoy cooler temperatures and a range of activities to choose from between these months, which is why it's such a popular time for tourists. Weddings are especially popular in the Turks & Caicos from April to June. The summer season is the cheapest time of year to visit (particularly September and October), but because it's slow season for the island, many businesses close for that period. The upside? Cheaper flights, more deals on accommodation and quiet beaches. So take your pick!
Whenever you decide to book your trip to the Turks & Caicos, you'll nearly be an expert on the islands by the time you step foot off the plane. And there will be a bed with a view at Long Bay Beach Club waiting with your name on it.