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Grand Turk is the western most island of the Turks and Caicos Islands and with a total population of about 5,500 is the largest of the Turks islands (Middle Caicos is the largest of the Caicos Islands). The island functions as the historical, cultural, administrative and economical hart of the country and has good facilities for travellers, both regarding transport (by boat and plane) as well as a wide range of hotels and restaurants. The beaches are probably its main feature though.
This traditional Caribbean island festival has a peculiarly British feel in Turks and Caicos, thanks to the country’s status as an external territory of the United Kingdom. The events take place over three days, and include pageants, kite flying, bicycle races, maypole dancing, and a great deal of music, food and drink. It is held at the end of April as a traditional spring fete on the undisturbed islet of Salt Cay, near the capital island of Grand Turk.
Grand Turk has a very pleasant and tropical climate with generally warm and humid weather. The seabreeze makes things relatively mild though and water is never far away. Temperatures generally average around 30 °C during the day yearround and 23 °C at night. December to May is the dry season, where July to October is the rainy season, but this generally means some showers at the end of the day instead of days of rain on end. Hurricanes are possible though from August to October.
Mostly planes go to Providenciales. A domestic flight from there to Grand Turk will probably be about $150 per round-trip.
Spirit Airlines offers direct service between Ft. Lauderdale and Grand Turk. American Airlineshas three trips daily between Miami, Florida and Providenciales (Provo) in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Turks and Caicos Airlines meets all incoming Provo flights to take passengers to Grand Turk. Other local airlines also offers flights between Provo and Grand Turk.
Ironically, the airport was named for James Alexander George Smith McCartney who was was the island territory's first Chief Minister until 9 May 1980, when he died in a plane crash over New Jersey.
The Buccaneer is a ferry between Grand Turk and Salt Cay. It is passenger only and it takes about 30 to 45 minutes. Travelling is one Wednesdays and Fridays only and it departs Salt Cay at 7:00am and Grand Turk at 2:30pm.
Grand Turk is rapidly becoming a popular cruise destination. Carnival Cruise lines has built a port at Grand Turk. It is almost like a Private Island for all of the Carnival family of cruise ships (which includes Princess, Holland American, Cunard, Costa and some others). It is different from the other "private islands" because Grand Turk was an actual community before the cruise line built the pier and the cruise center.
The original mode of transportation on the island - the horse - has resulted in semi-wild horses and donkeys who roam freely about the island. The horses are reported to be descendants of the original Spanish Conquistador horses.
There is a car rental place in the cruise center, and probably also at the airport. You will need a valid driver's license.
Taxis are available at the cruise center. There is a posted list at the taxi dispatch point (marked T on the map) as to what the prices are. There are four zones. The rates are one way per person.
There is no public transport on Grand Turk (or anywhere else in the Turks and Caicos Islands). There has in the past been a shuttle from the cruise ship port into town.
You can walk from the cruise center into town, but there is no shade along the way.
LIME offers telecommunication including internet, cellular and long distance to all the Turks and Caicos islands.
The address is Cockburn Town TKCA 1ZZ, and their website is here.
See also International Telephone Calls
Digicel offers mobile telephone services.
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