How to Plan the Perfect Turks and Caicos Vacation
The prospect of traveling to the tropical paradise of the Caribbean is a tempting one. Sun, sea, and sand is calling you, promising a well-earned break from the daily grind.
As exciting as that sounds, to truly enjoy a vacation in the Turks and Caicos, you’re going to need to get there first, and that involves some planning. But never fear. We will help you navigate the sometimes daunting complexities of traveling. So sit back, relax, and let us take you through the to-do list.
Entry to the Turks and Caicos is visa-free for a fairly wide wide range of nations, in part due to its status as a British Overseas Territory. Therefore, citizens of the US and the UK and other countries like Canada and Japan can enter with relative ease.
Even if you aren’t a citizen of any of the listed countries that do not require a visa, just being a resident or visa holder of the US, UK or Canada may be enough to grant you free travel to Turks and Caicos. If in doubt, check in with the Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services to ensure everything is in order before your travels.
Also, do bear in mind that you will still need a valid passport to enter the islands, even if you don’t need a visa. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the entry date, and you must also have a valid onward or return ticket. Furthermore, the islands enforce various customs restrictions on the import of certain products, details of which can be found online.
The COVID-19 Effect
In this unfortunate age of COVID-19, the islands have introduced stricter immigration measures to try and combat the virus. As of July 22nd, 2020, all people traveling to the territory must obtain a TCI Assured Travel Authorization before they will be allowed even to board the plane to Turks and Caicos.
The TCI Authorization can be obtained through an online portal and will require the following:
– A negative COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited lab
– Medical/Travel insurance that covers all possible COVID-19 medical costs
– A completed health screening questionnaire and travel authorization form
As we all know, the global pandemic is an ever-changing situation, so it’s best to keep a close eye on Turks and Caicos government announcements in the lead up to your trip. Make sure you know precisely what the current protocols are before you arrive so that you can comply with them as soon as you step off the plane.
Choose your vehicle
The Turks and Caicos Islands are reachable by both air and sea travel, depending on your preferences.
Various airlines around the US, Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean offer flights to Turks and Caicos, with almost all international air traffic landing at Providenciales International Airport. From there, inter-island travel is also available by air, allowing you to explore the rest of the archipelago with ease.
If you would rather travel by sea, the islands also have you covered. Cruise ships all dock at the world-renowned Grand Turk Cruise Centre, granting travelers easy access to the territory’s capital of Cockburn Town. If you are lucky enough to own a Yacht, you will find full-service marinas scattered around the islands, particularly on Providenciales. Naturally, inter-island travel is also available by sea.
There is a wide selection of accommodations available in Turks and Caicos, much of which is stupendously luxurious – perfect for a tropical break. From opulent, all-inclusive hotel resorts to private luxury villas, there’s something for everyone. Smaller, more quaint accommodations are also available for those who prefer a more understated vacation.
Most travelers chose to stay on either Providenciales of Grand Turk, as these are the most populous and developed of the nation’s islands. However, accommodations are available on some of the other islands in the archipelago, such as North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos, and Salt Cay.
Now for some fun
Ok, so you’ve arrived in the Turks and Caicos, COVID-free, and with your documents in order. Now comes the fun part, what to do on your tropical vacation?
Depending on which island you chose, you’ll find everything from historical museums to extreme watersports to keep you entertained. Either way, it is strongly recommended that you bring your swimsuit. Even if kiteboarding isn’t your thing, we’re pretty sure you’ll want to take a dip in the crystal-clear waters that wash gently onto the many gorgeous beaches that the islands have to offer.
However, if you want to embark on slightly more than just a light paddle or swim, you’ll find yourself spoiled for choice. From SCUBA diving to kayaking, there’s plenty to do in the turquoise waters of Turks and Caicos. If you’re lucky, you might even come across some of the island’s marine inhabitants, with the reefs and open waters playing home to diverse aquatic wildlife, including whales and dolphins.
What about staying dry?
So, the water’s not exactly your thing? No worries, Turks and Caicos has plenty of other activities to keep you busy.
The island of Grand Turk is ideal for those seeking a more historically flavored vacation. The island boasts several unique cultural sites, such as the Grand Turk lighthouse and Salt Salinas, or the impressive Caribbean architecture on display in the nation’s capital of Cockburn Town, which is also home to the Turks and Caicos National Museum.
If photography is a hobby of yours, then the Turks and Caicos islands’ sweeping vistas and stunning coastlines will provide ample opportunity for you to grab some once in a lifetime pictures. Though all of the archipelago’s islands are beautiful, North Caicos and Middle Caicos are particularly famed for their natural beauty and incredible views.
Whether you’ve got your camera in hand or you want to go for a peaceful walk and enjoy some quiet contemplation, these islands will not disappoint.
Top Image Photo Credit – depositphotos.com – shalamov
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