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  • Writer's pictureKita the Explorer

Turks & Caicos Travel Guide

It is time for me to give you the rundown on the things you need to know before you travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI)! You definitely want to keep reading because I'm going to give you details about money, mosquitoes, the vibe, transportation, calling ahead, notable places and of course COVID.



Kita the Explorer standing in front of art at Da Conch Shack

MONEY

The Turks and Caicos is quite expensive due to it being an island and most islands are expensive due to excessive imports. But it will not break the bank especially you properly budget in advance.


Next, they use the USD (U.S. Dollar). So if you're coming from the United States take out some money before you leave and you won't have to worry about paying transaction fees. It is important to have cash as taxis do not accept credit cards.


MOSQUITOES

I know I'm not the only person that mosquitoes LOVE to feed on?!?! Right? But regardless if you attract mosquitoes or not, you will want to bring bug repellent to TCI. The Turks and Caicos have plenty of mosquitoes to the point I even saw some in my hotel room. If you want, you could buy some bug repellent while on the island but it will be EXPENSIVE! I had to learn the hard way as I did not take repellent and had to buy some on the island. I spent $15 USD to buy one can of bug repellent which would've cost a little over $5 USD back home.


THE VIBE

If you are looking for a place to just relax, unplug, and unwind then the Turks and Caicos is for you. If you're looking for somewhere to go party and just club it up, it may not be the place for you. So if you are looking to party frequently, you might want to consider a trip to Vegas, Miami or somewhere along those lines. Turks and Caicos is a place to go to the beach, go parasailing, go snorkeling and participate in other similar activities.


Kita the Explorer parasailing off the coast of Turks and Caicos Islands

TRANSPORTATION

Ride Sharing

Currently, Turks and Caicos does not have the popular ride sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. But they do have a ride sharing company of their own called the Conch Cab. I did try to use the Conch Cab once but I experienced two issues:

  1. The rates were extremely expensive. The Conch Cab cost so much that it was cheaper to just have a cab ordered by the hotel concierge.

  2. Also, it didn't really matter as the app could NEVER find me a car.

I don't know if it was because of the time of day or still dealing with a pandemic but I would not rely on the Conch Cab because of those two notable issues.


Car Rentals

You are able to rent a car in the Turks and Caicos. They have a lot of common rental car carriers, such as Avis. I don't necessarily like driving while I'm on vacation especially in another country but I did grab an estimate to share with you. For my estimate, I searched for a rental car for two days starting June 8, 2021 and it was a little over $100 USD for a midsize vehicle. To save money, you could rent a smaller car which will help you save on gasoline also.


Gasoline

When I returned from Turks and Caicos in March 2021, I saw gasoline near my home in Atlanta was around $3 a gallon. But while I was on the island, I saw that their gasoline was over $5 a gallon.


Which Side?

And if you do decide to drive, keep in mind they drive on the left side of the road. If you are coming from the United States or other countries that drive on the right, this may be difficult or at least a challenge for you.


Bikes

Another option to get around is to rent a bike. I saw quite a few people while on the island riding around on bikes. I don't know how much it is to rent a bike from a special agency, but check with your hotel. While I stayed at the Windsong Resort, they had bikes available for guests to take out for the day.


Taxis

The was my main mode of transportation while in TCI. For most places I visited, taxis were about $16 USD one way. But keep in mind that you will have to call the taxi to arrange pick up. You can't haul cabs like you are in New York City.


Airport Transit

I booked my round trip transit to the airport with Sea Breeze Taxis with Darnley Daniel. He was reliable, friendly and I highly recommend his services.


When getting picked up from the airport, make sure you follow the exit out of customs. Once you get to outside of the airport, there will be a security guard there that will ask you, what do you need help with? And you'll tell them, you are there for Sea Breeze Taxis. At that point, the security guard will call Darnley to pull around to pick you up. Taxis are not allowed to wait at the exit for passengers or to harass potential patrons.


Kita the Explorer returning to the airport with Darnley from Sea Breeze Taxis

CALL AHEAD

I highly recommend calling ahead before going places because some things may not open if they're not scheduled for capacity. I don't know if this is something that's happening due to the pandemic or not. But for example, I booked a tour and they canceled my tour at last minute because they didn't have the minimum. Then, I went somewhere else and it wasn't open yet. But make sure you call ahead so you won't waste your money or time.


COVID PROCEDURES

As with any place you visit during the pandemic, please be sure to visit the country's website to receive up to date information regarding COVID entry requirements and rules while visiting. As for the Turks and Caicos, you may visit their website at this link here.


Today, I will speak of my experience in visiting the islands and note any changes.


Prior to Departing to TCI

I had to get a negative PCR COVID test within five days of going to the Turks and Caicos. You may visit their website to utilize a calendar they created that tells you when you should get your test based on your arrival date. This test MUST return as negative and come from an accredited lab. And I recommend you have the test results printed as you will have to show it to different people during your travels. This policy is still in place as of July 7, 2021.


Please Note: At this time, there isn't any special procedures for vaccinated visitors.


Also, you will have to submit an application for a travel authorization form prior to your arrival. The application is FREE and you will have to submit your personal information, details of your visit, negative COVID test results and proof of travel health insurance. Your travel health insurance has to include coverage for your doctor expenses, hospital fees, any emergency transit, and prescriptions. You must apply for your travel authorization no LESS than 24 hours prior to your flight's departure. I applied three days prior and it took a little over 48 hours for me to get my approved form back from TCI. I recommend you have the approved form printed as you will have to show it to different people during your travels. This policy is still in place as of July 7, 2021.


**Pro Tip: I purchased the Safe Travels Voyager plan from Trawick International. You can purchase a similar plan or compare a variety of plans by clicking here.


**This is an affiliate partner link, which means if you purchase any of these items through this link, Kita the Explorer may receive a commission in return at no additional cost to you. Read more of Kita the Explorer's disclosure policy here. Thank you!


At the Airport

You are unable to check in on your own due to the requirements listed above. Therefore, you will want to get to the airport early as you will need to stand in line to check in with a representative. They will review your COVID test results and Travel Authorization form before you go through security and board your flight to TCI.


Upon Arrival in TCI

Upon arrival in the Turks and Caicos, you will deplane just to stand in a line to meet health authorities. At this point, they will check your forms which is your negative COVID test and travel authorization form. Also, your temperature will be taken. Afterwards, you will proceed through customs and exit as normal.


While in TCI

You will not have to participate in a quarantine period or additional COVID testing when you arrive in TCI. You are able to enjoy your visit as soon as you arrive! But they do have a curfew in place from 1AM to 5AM through August 2021. And there is a mask mandate through September 2021.


Kita the Explorer walking through the Windsong Resort

NOTABLE PLACES

Here is a list of places I visited while in TCI that are worth looking into:

**This is an affiliate partner link, which means if you purchase any of these items through this link, Kita the Explorer may receive a commission in return at no additional cost to you. Read more of Kita the Explorer's disclosure policy here. Thank you!


I hope this helps you in preparing for your trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands! Please stay safe, healthy and enjoy!



If you end up visiting TCI after reading this, please share with me what happened during your trip!


Thank you for stopping by!

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