Flights to Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI to those who know) are only 37 miles long, and all together consist of 40 islands and cays. Though geographically close to the Bahamas, TCI is a British Overseas Territory. The economy of the TCI relies on the tourism industry, real estate development and the exportation of seafood. With a total population of 45,000 and more than 200,000 tourists annually, you could quite literally call TCI "touristy." Of course, there's a good reason for that.
In an average year, the Turks and Caicos Islands enjoy 350 days of sunshine. That's just enough time to stake out all the fabulous beaches (don't miss the award winning Grace Bay), play a round at the Championship Provo Golf Club, take a cruise around Turtle Cove Marina, explore the reefs from 100 feet below sea level or take a joyride in a dune buggy.
The main international airport serving the Turks and Caicos Islands is the Providenciales International Airport (PLS). It’s located on the island of Providenciales (or Provo) in the Caicos Islands. The airport offers a small assortment of retail shopping, including traditional duty-free items as well as luxury ones. There is also one sit-down restaurant in the terminal and a snackette in the international departure lounge for grab-and-go food options. Access cards for Wi-Fi service are available for purchase.
Providenciales International Airport (PLS)
- You have two basic options for ground transportation from Providenciales International Airport: car rentals and taxis.
- Visit the airport’s website for a listing of taxi fares to a number of popular destinations around the island. Taxi vans are also available at the arrival section of the airport outside the baggage claim area.
- A number of car rental companies also operate on TCI with some of them stationed at the airport.
BEACHES AND WATER ACTIVITIES
As mentioned earlier, Grace Bay Beach, off the northeast coast of Providenciales in the Princess Alexandra National Park, is a hallmark of TCI. Its stark white sands - with nary a pebble in sight - contrast strongly against the turquoise water that fades into a deep blue on the horizon. Many will tell you it’s the most beautiful beach in the world.
No matter which pristine TCI beach is your launching point, there are plenty of water sports and activities to fill your days. Spend a morning snorkeling in a bay or cay where the crystal-clear water provides spectacular views of marine life. Explore the coastal mangroves from inside a kayak or atop a paddleboard. Or if you’d rather catch some air, go for parasailing or kiteboarding.
If you’d rather sightsee and island hop from inside a boat, there a number of unforgettable experiences to be had. Take a champagne sunset cruise around the island, shove off from Providenciales at dusk for a look at bioluminescent glow worms in a catamaran or book a shore excursion in search of the majestic North Atlantic humpback whale.
The best-known musical genre TCI is noted for is ripsaw music. The common handsaw is the primary instrument, along with various kinds of drums, box guitar, concertina, triangle and accordion. The saw is played by scraping an object, usually an old knife blade, along the saw's teeth. The distinctive musical style reflects a blending of traditions from different cultures that have all played a part in TCI’s heritage. If you’re lucky, you can catch local ripsaw bands playing at festivals, local establishments or even a fish fry.
For your convenience, most hotels offer upscale dining experiences and there are close to 100 restaurants in tiny TCI, serving the freshest seafood straight from the sea. Be on the lookout for local dishes like conch salad, grilled lobster and johnnycakes.
There’s simply no better time to book a trip to TCI than anytime. As mentioned, the islands see upwards of 350 days of sunshine each year. (If you’re keeping track, that means only two weeks out of the year yield a cloudy forecast). The islands’ climate is relatively dry with consistent temperatures throughout the year and highs usually in the neighborhood of 81-88°F.