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INTRODUCING TURKS & CAICOS

Once a hiding place for 18th-century pirates, the eight main islands of Turks & Caicos are now relaxing escapes. Hop your way round numerous rocky cays fringed by powder-soft sand. Take an evening cruise and watch the sun sink down as marine glow worms light up the turquoise ocean. Or explore the largest above-ground caves in the Caribbean. It’s easy to see what makes this Atlantic archipelago such a magical adventure.

A small but exquisitely formed string of tropical isles where vibrant scenery is topped by whiter than white sand.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Capital city: Cockburn Town on Grand Turk Island.
  • Currency: US dollar – in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes.
  • Cuisine: Seafood rules here. Tuck into traditional conch fritters and fresh lobster, as well as Caribbean staples such as jerk chicken with rice and peas. International fusion cuisine has also made its culinary mark.
  • Saying hello: As the islands are a UK overseas territory, most people speak English, along with some Haitian Creole and Spanish.
  • Tipping etiquette: Many hotels and restaurants will add a service charge to bills. If they don’t, tipping between 10% and 15% is typical.

WHEN TO GO

With the sea often reaching a steamy 84°F between June and October, it feels like you’re getting into a warm bath in Turks & Caicos. Even during winter, the average is 70°F, made comfortable by a gentle easterly wind. Less than a metre’s rainfall a year and 350 days of sunshine almost guarantee perfect weather for the islands’ cultural celebrations and festivals.  

Come face to scaly face with the rare Turks & Caicos Rock Iguana. Seeing them means just a short trip by kayak from Providenciales to the tiny island of Little Water Cay.

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