Turks And Caicos Islands Travel Information
Local time is GMT -5 (GMT -4 between April and October).
Electricity is the same as in the US: 120/240 volts, 60 Hz.
The national language is English, but some words are pronounced in a way unique to the islands.
No vaccinations are required for entry to the islands, except for those coming from a yellow fever area that must hold proof of vaccination. A vaccination for hepatitis A should be considered.
Medical facilities are limited and comprehensive health insurance, including coverage for transfer by helicopter, is recommended for all travellers. Serious cases are usually evacuated to Miami or Nassau. There is a small hospital on Grand Turk and some private general practitioners on Providenciales.
Tips of around 15 percent of the bill are the norm for waiters, taxi drivers and bar tenders. Hotels usually include a service charge of 10 to 15 percent.
Visits to the Turks and Caicos Islands are usually trouble-free, and crime is generally of a petty, opportunistic kind. The crime rate is low, but on the favourite tourist island of Providenciales there have been incidents of burglary and theft, so visitors should take precautions with valuables. Robberies have occurred on Grace Bay Beach. Hurricane season generally runs from June to November.
Culture in the Turks and Caicos Islands is relaxed and hospitable if not overly friendly, and islanders are known for their good manners. Address strangers with respect and note that the use of titles is considered normal and appropriate. Things happen slowly on the islands and attempting to rush service will only annoy. You should cover beachwear when off the beach, and men need to wear long pants at smarter restaurants. Topless and nude sunbathing is illegal. Gay and lesbian relationships are legal, but tend to be discreet and public displays of affection may be frowned upon.
The Turks and Caicos Islands are subject to English Common Law and business is conducted in a similar manner to the United Kingdom; however, suits are only necessary for the most formal of occasions. Business hours are generally 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.
Cable & Wireless Ltd. provides the islands, and most of the Caribbean, with a digital network of telecommunications, including GSM cellular coverage and internet connections. The country direct dialling code is +1 followed by 649. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 for the United Kingdom). Public phones operate with phone cards.
Travellers may enter the Turks and Caicos Islands with the following goods without paying customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 125g of tobacco products; and 1 litre spirits or 2 litres wine. Spearguns are strictly prohibited.
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