What is the population?
The estimated population of the Turks & Caicos Islands is about 25,000.
How big is the country/island?
The Turks & Caicos Islands covers a total area of 193 sq miles. The archipelago of more than 40 islands and cays (pronounced keys) includes the eight inhabited islands of West Caicos, Providenciales (38 sq miles), Pine Cay (800 acres), Parrot Cay, North Caicos, Middle Caicos (48 sq miles), East Caicos, South Caicos (8.5 sq miles), Salt Cay (2.5 sq miles) and the capital, Grand Turk (about 7.5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide).
Can I drink the tap water?
The tap water is desalinated and safe to drink.
What are the best things to buy here?
Duty-free items include jewellery, watches, crystal, china, perfumes, cameras, cigars and liquor.
For souvenirs with local flavour look for woodcarvings, stamps, handmade dolls, metalwork, paintings by local artists, locally made jewellery, pottery, candles, CDs by local musicians, polished conch (pronounced konk) shells* and conch shell jewellery, A Taste of Island Time coffee, Turks Head beer, Cave rum and quality handmade straw hats, bowls, bags and baskets.
* The Turks & Caicos is one of the few countries where it is legal to purchase conch shells and conch shell items and take them home. Keep your receipt and ensure you obtain a certificate of origin from the vendor for purchases more than $25.
Are there nude beaches?
Public nudity is illegal.
What are the main industries?
The main industries are tourism, offshore banking and a small traditional fishing industry.
What native dishes should I try?
Popular local dishes include conch (pronounced konk) Creole, curried conch, conch fritters, conch chowder, cracked conch, steam conch and grits, dried conch and hominy (grits), stew conch with pigeon peas and hominy, lobster, soft-shell crab, boil fish and johnny cake (a sweet pan bread), stew fish and grits, cod fish cakes and corn bread, potato bread, pork souse (a watery stew, pronounced like house), peas and rice, red bean soup, buds and rice with okra soup (buds from the cactus/prickly pear bush), fried plantain, baked macaroni and cheese and barbeque chicken and ribs.
Can I use my calling card from here?
International operator, 115 or 010
National operator, 0
Local enquiries, 118 or 411
AT&T: Service is available from pay phones and/or select hotels for calls to the US only using AT&T Calling Cards, AT&T Corporate Cards, American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Dial 01-800-872-2881 + area code + local number and follow the voice prompts.
You can also dial 1-800 CALL USA to use US calling cards, major credit cards or to make collect calls.
BT: no service available
Canada Direct: Dial 01-800-744-2580 for direct access to a Canadian operator. Service is available on public pay phones only and can be used with calling cards from Bell, MTS, Aliant, SaskTel and Telus.
MCI MinutePass: no service available
Sprint: no service available
For more information see the section in General Info: Telecommunications.
How should I dress to go out?
Dress is casual. Cool lightweight resort wear is acceptable everywhere. It is unacceptable to wear bathing suits in public. Upscale restaurants may require dress pants and collared shirts for men. You may want to bring a light sweater/jacket for evenings.
Can I use my hair dryer and electric shaver?
Electricity is 110 volts, 60 cycles, which is the same as in North America.
How much should I tip?
Tip about 15%. Some hotels and restaurants automatically add your tip to the bill so check first as it is not necessary to leave more, unless you feel the service was above average.
Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All information should be verified prior to travel.