Turks and Caicos

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The Turks and Caicos Islands are only 37 miles long, and consist of over 40 islands and cays about 550 miles south from Florida. There are two main islands, Grand Turk (Turk Island) and Providenciales (Caicos Island). These islands are technically located in the Atlantic Ocean and not the Caribbean Sea. There are roughly 30,000 inhabitants in the islands and they welcome about 450,000 arrivals by air and 650,000 cruise ship passengers each year. US dollars and English are used. Daylight savings time is observed and they are in the Eastern Time Zone. (less...) (more...)

Population: 47,754 people
Area: 948 km2
Highest point: 48 m
Coastline: 389 km
Life expectancy: 79.40 years
GDP per capita: $29,100
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  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
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  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
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  • Medical Medical
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About Turks and Caicos

History

Before Christopher Columbus set foot on the island of Grand Turk during the journey to the new world in 1492, the island was inhibited by Taino and Lucayan tribes. These earlier settlers left behind a rich heritage and new words (canoe, Caribbean, Caicos) and the names of the island. The indigenous Turk's head cactus named Turks island, while the Lucayan term “caya hico”, meaning string of islands, was mangled to become "Caicos".

For about 700 years, the Tanio and Lucayan tribes were the sole residents on the islands (particularly settling on Grand Turk and the Middle Caicos). The people here were skilled gardeners, farmers and fishermen. However, upon the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Lucayan tribes disappeared, causing the islands to be sparsely populated for about 30 years. During this time, the salt industry was booming. This salt was used for cooking and preserving food. Many Bermudians would rake the beaches of Turks and Caicos and take their booty back to Bermuda.

The French and Spanish captured the island for a brief time during 1706. Four years following this capture, it was reclaimed by the British (along with the rest of the Bermuda islands). However, during thesw years it primarily became a haven for pirates and British Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution. In 1766, Turks and Caicos became a part of the Bahamas colony and was placed under the Bahamian Government. The governor of the Bahamas oversaw affairs from 1965 to 1973.

With Bahamian independence, the islands received a separate governor in 1973. Although independence was agreed upon for 1982, the policy was reversed and the islands are presently a British Overseas Territory (BOT).

Around the early 1980s, Turks and Caicos started to become a tourist destination and is quickly becoming one the world's foremost beach destinations. It is also becoming one of the leading international investment centres for offshore investors. Turks and Caicos is today a "zero tax" jurisdiction and doesn't have any taxes on income, capital gains, corporate profits, inheritance or estates.

Climate

The Turks and Caicos Islands are arid compared with many other islands in the Caribbean.

During the summer months (June to November) the temperatures range from the high 80's and low 90's to the high 70's. Also in the summer, there is barely any humidity and the temperatures barely go above the mid-90's due to the continually circulating winds. The water is also averages at about 84°F.

In the winter (December to May) the weather is generally in the high 70's - mid 80's range. The water temperature during these months is around 75°F to 80°F.

The island gets less than 50 inches of rainfall a year. Most rainfall occurs during the hurricane months of summer. Sunshine and breezy cooling winds are the norm in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Activities

The islands have fabulous beaches throughout, in particular, the award winning Grace Bay. There also is a variety of fun, non-beach things that there are to do. You can scuba dive, snorkel, sail, boat, parasail, fish, go on tours, go to spas and salons, golf, shop, and gamble. Each island has their own activities as well. Below are a few activities that are available on the islands.

  • Provo Golf Club. An 18 Hole Championship Golf Course on Providenciales which holds an annual Amateur Tournament. It hosted the Caribbean Amateur Open in 1999, and is due to again in 2009.
  • Kenard Cruises, Turtle Cove Marina (Next to Shark Bite Restaurant, Providenciales),  +1 649 232-3866. 9AM-6PM. The Ultimate Experience in Turks and Caicos. We specialize in custom cruises. Visit deserted islands in comfort and style onboard our new luxury power Catamaran custom.
  • Dive Provo, PO Box 413, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands,  +1 649 946-5040. Owned and operated by Alan and Clare Jardine, both SSI Platinum Pros, each with over 20 years experience in the dive industry, Dive Provo brings you tropical scuba diving at its best.
  • Provo Turtle Divers +1 800 833 1341. oldest and most experienced dive operation in the Turks & Caicos Islands. For over 38 years we have explored the reefs and walls of these islands, discovering new dive sites and uncovering some of the most unusual underwater spectacles accessible to divers in the Turks & Caicos.
  • Snuba Turks and Caicos, The Windsong Resort, Stubbs Rd., Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands BWI,  +1 649 241-7010. Has a great tour in store for you when you come to our island, Providenciales Turks and Caicos. There is no experience needed to take our tour. If you can breathe, look and kick your legs then you too can SNUBA.

Food

There are a total of 81 restaurants on the islands. However, many of the restaurants are on the island of Providenciales. Not that many years ago, local island tables did not know what was going to be on the menu for dinner until the fishing boats brought in their catch of the day. Today the Turks and Caicos Islands feature fine and imaginative cuisine and world class chefs.

Drinks

There is a small brewery on Grand Turk that produces an alcohol based Ginger Beer. It is called 'Islander Ginger Beer' and is considered to be the only product manufactured on the island. It has a rich ginger base with citrus and spice finish. It's made in a small brewery located in the heart of the capital city, Cockburn Town and can be bought in local bars and restaurants. It's a live yeast fermented, fresh beverage that must always be kept refrigerated. It's unique to the island and, because of its perishable nature, is not exported.

Shopping

There is a collection of different things to do while on the island. You can shop at boutiques and visit museums and show rooms. There are also a few "touristy" shops, food stores, liquor shops, banks and pharmacies. Throughout all the islands there are a variety of local stores that have a collection of varying unique jewellery and hand-made gifts.

The Saltmills plaza and Regent Village in Grace Bay are generally considered to be the premier shopping plazas on the island of Provenciales (or Provo as it is often called).

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Turks and Caicos Islands on Wikivoyage.

Cities in Turks and Caicos

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Providenciales is one of the Turks and Caicos Islands, in the Caribbean.

Interesting places:

  • Turtle Cove
  • Salt Mills Plaza
  • Grace Bay Beach
  • The Regent Village Shopping Mall
  • Northwest Point National Park
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Pine Cay is a small island, part of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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Grand Turk is one of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the site of the capital, Cockburn Town.

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panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Points of Interest in Turks and Caicos

  • Beaches; you're in the Caribbean.
  • Grand Turk lighthouse

Grand Turk Beach - Cockburn Town

Turtle Cove - Providenciales

Grand Turk Lighthouse - Cockburn Town

Salt Mills Plaza - Providenciales

Grace Bay Beach - Providenciales

The Regent Village Shopping Mall - Providenciales

Gibbs Cay - Cockburn Town

Northwest Point National Park - Providenciales

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners
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