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TURKS AND CAICOS

Turks & Caicos (pronounced KAY-cohs) consists of 40 islands/islets/cays (pronounced keys) that are located Southeast of the Bahamas, and roughly 75 minutes from Miami, FL by plane. Only ten of the islands are inhabited. The main dive destination islands are: Providenciales (also called Provo), Grand Turk, and Salt Cay. Provo is the most developed inhabited island in the chain; most of the rest have an outpost feel. Turks and Caicos Islands are located in the Eastern Standard Time Zone (EST), and observe Daylight Savings Time from April to October. The main language of Turks and Caicos Islands is English.

Above the gorgeous blue water enjoy white sand beaches, and relax to the beat of a different drummer. Below the water, you will experience exceptional diving on one of the world's largest networks of coral reefs. Throughout the year, you will have chances to see: Pilot Whales (early Jan.- late Mar.), Humpback Whales (late Jan.- early Mar.), Spotted Eagle Rays, Dolphins and a variety of Sharks.

Click here for a map of Turks and Caicos

Click here to see descriptions of available accommodations/liveaboards in Turks and Caicos

TRAVEL TIPS/INFORMATION

Seasons/ Weather/Climate/Water Conditions
High Season Winter/Spring: Dec. 15 - April 14
Low Season Summer/Fall: April 15 - Dec. 14
Windy Season: May - Aug, moderate wind Jan. - April
Hurricane Season: June - Nov.
Rainy Season: Aug. - Nov.

Turks and Caicos has an annual rainfall of approximately 28 inches, creating a tropical climate moderated by trade winds, with average air temperatures range from the 70s F in the Winter and 90s F in the Summer, with high humidity.

Light and casual clothing is suggested, however since the evenings tend to cool down to 60s F in the winter months and 70s F in the summer months, you may want to bring a windbreaker or light sweater. Note that it is considered rude, or inappropriate to wear swimsuits in areas other than the beach or pool.

Average water temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean range from 76F (Winter) to 83F (Summer), and water visibility ranging from 90 to 100 ft +.

Transportation
When traveling to Turks and Caicos, you will fly into the Providenciales International Airport (PLS), Grand Turk International Airport (GDT), or the South Caicos International Airport (XSC). The following major airlines serve Turks and Caicos: Air Canada, Air Jamaica (express), American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, and United/US Air.

Taxis are available at the airport, as well as rental cars. Several rental car agencies operate on Provo, including: Avis, and Budget. On Grand Turk, contact Tony's Car Rental at 649-231-1806. Gasoline is costly on Turks and Caicos, so you may find it more cost efficient to catch a cab or shuttle. For your convenience, foreign and international licenses are accepted. Mopeds and scooters can be rented on Provo; however drive with caution, as roads have steep shoulder drop-offs.

Entry and Exit Requirements
When entering/exiting Turks and Caicos, US and Canadian citizens must provide proof of citizenship (i.e. birth certificate (notarized) and a photo id (driver's license) and a return ticket. Visitors from other countries do require passports and roundtrip tickets. Visas are necessary, except from countries of the former Eastern Bloc. They are advised to contact the nearest British Consulate Office.

Beginning December 31, 2005, the United States will require a valid passport or other secure/accepted documents (Border Crossing Card, SENTRI, NEXUS or FAST cards) for re-entry of either U.S. Citizens, or legitimate foreign visitors/nationals. For more information and any updates on these new regulations visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html.

When departing Turks and Caicos, you will be required to pay a one-time departure tax of $23.00 US per person. Please note that credit cards are not accepted as payment for the departure tax.

It is illegal to bring firearms of any type (including spear guns and Hawaiian slings), into Turks and Caicos, you must have written approval from the Commissioner of Police.

Currency/Banks/Taxes
Turks and Caicos' local currency is the US Dollar. Major credit cards and traveler's checks are accepted at most major hotels and establishments. For your convenience, Turks and Caicos has a number of banks with ATMs, conveniently located around Provo and Grand Turk. Banks are generally open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a little later on Fridays.

Turks and Caicos includes a 10% tax on almost all goods and services. If service is not included in your restaurant bill, then add 15% A room tax of 10-15% per day. Car rental tax is $10.00 per day. Scooter rental tax is $5.00 per day

Telephone/Cell Phone
Telephones are available in most all hotel rooms, and have international calling rates assigned. The majority of cell phones from the United States will not work in the Turks & Caicos. Cingular Wireless does have some coverage within the islands. Check with your cell phone provider prior to traveling, as to whether your phone works with a TDMA or AMPS 800 Frequency.

Electricity
Electrical output on Turks and Caicos Islands is 120/240 volts, 60Hz.

Medical Information
There are no required inoculations needed to enter Turks and Caicos. For more information on traveling abroad, contact the Center for Disease Control in the US. http://www.cdc.gov/

In the event of a medical emergency, Providenciales has two clinics available: Myrtle Rigby Clinic (649) 941-3000, and Blue Hills Clinic (649) 946-4228, and a decompression chamber located within M.B.S. Group Medical Practice, (649) 946-4242.

Shopping in Turks and Caicos
Most stores are open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Hours will vary from store to store.