Are you visiting the Turks and Caicos this holiday season? Getting around the TCI can be a little different if you’re used to a big city or the open country. We’re an island archipelago with 6 islands, not all of which are very developed. Fortunately, the Big Blue Collective is here with all the information you need to make smart, fun choices during your stay on the islands.
Getting around the main TCI islands
Providenciales and Grand Turk are, of course, the hubs for the whole area. You’ll find most of the native people, as well as holidaymakers, on these two hotspots, and chances are you’ll be calling Provo your home for the duration of your stay. They’re well serviced with both flights and ferries, so you’ll always be able to get where you need to go. Obviously, the ferry is a beautiful way to travel, offering you superlative views throughout the trip. It’s also a simple and convenient way to connect with all the other islands. There are ferry routes between Provo and North Caicos, Provo and South Caicos, and Grant Turk to Salt Cay. These are passenger-only vessels.
That said, there’s also some intra-island flights you can use. interCaribbean and Caicos Express offer island-hopping routes alongside their international ones. Expect to be able to island-hop by plane to South Caicos, Provo, Salt Cay and Grand Turk. Charter flights are also available to North Caicos. North and Middle Caicos are the only islands connected with a drivable causeway, so there’s little demand for flights there.
If you want to see the sights in a different way, you can also consider taking a boat tour with the Big Blue Collective.
Should I rent a car?
Rental cars are available on all the inhabited main islands, but fleet quality does vary. It’s a lot cheaper than a taxi, however, and an option worth considering depending on your plans. While some distances are walkable, it’s often a little too far and hot to truly be pleasant. It’s a particularly good idea if you are using a private villa as your home base.
Rental rates are very favourable, and car quality (as a whole) great. There’s even scooters and smaller vehicles to rent, too. You won’t necessarily have to rent per day, either, as smaller time periods are allowed. US visitors, please do remember that you will drive on the LEFT in the Turks and Caicos. We also advise those participating in pedestrian activities to remember this when crossing roads.
That said, the smaller islands have less selection and slightly higher rates. Salt Cay, as it is tiny and impractical for cars, allows you to rent golf carts and bicycles for your convenience.
Is public transportation available?
There is no public transport service on the islands. Taxi services are available, but we don’t advise using them for more than a once-off trip, as costs will mount quickly.
The Big Blue Collective does offer a limited shuttle service to help you connect with our activities. It runs from Turtle Cove to Leeward on Provo, and offers pick-up at all major resorts along the way. Obviously, this runs at fixed times and routes, and will stop at many destinations, so plan accordingly.
Be wary of ‘jitney’ services. These are unofficial taxis, and while their prices may seem attractive you often take a safety risk in dilapidated vehicles. They are also unlicensed and thus illegal, and many drivers operate very recklessly. They’re also notorious for mishandling and overcharging tourists. If you do want to take a taxi, rather opt for a licensed taxi, and be safe in the knowledge you are in good hands.
There are many taxi companies on the island, so if you get a taxi and driver you enjoy, be sure to ask for their card so you can be guaranteed to get them again. Here’s some other fun facts you may like to know about life in the Turks and Caicos.
How do I find my way (and the Big Blue Collective home base)?
The great news is that Provo is well documented on most common map and direction sites, including Google Maps. You will also be able to use most standard GPS software, if you prefer an in-car unit. We also provided more detailed instructions to help you get to us on our website. Remember, if you have any questions, or need any assistance at all, we’re always happy to hear from you too! We also offer assistance with planning a number of day trips around the Provo area, so be sure to get in touch.
Whether all you want is to get to Grace Bay beach from your resort safely, or whether you’re planning a full TCI experience, getting around is pretty simple. If you find you need better directions, or need any help planning out your transport during your stay, the Big Blue collective is always ready to help.