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quick facts
Location
Just 575 miles southeast of Miami and a little under 90 minutes on American Airlines daily flights, Providenciales is fast becoming the vacation destination of the Northern Caribbean. With an average year-round temperature of 83 F and an annual rainfall of about 35", visitors can be sure they will not be rained out or shivering by the pool.
 
Time Zone
The Turks and Caicos Islands are located in the Eastern Standard Time Zone.
 
Climate
The average year-round temperature is 83F (28C). The hottest months are September and October, when temperatures can reach 90 to 95F (33 to 35C). The almost-constant easterly trade winds temper the heat and keep life comfortable. Casual resort and leisure wear is accepted attire for daytime; light sweaters or jackets may be necessary on some breezy evenings, especially in December, January and Febrary. Visitors are advised to wear protective clothing and a sun hat, and use waterproof sunscreen when out in the tropical sun.
 
International Airport
America Airlines offers two direct non-stop flights daily to Providenciales International Airport from Miami, Florida. Flying time is approximately one hour and twenty minutes via jet service. There are also charter flights arriving weekly from New York, Boston, Toronto and other North American cities. For the most up-to-date information, check with your travel agent. Domestic flights are available from Providenciales to Grand Turk, Salt Cay, North Caicos, Middle Caicos and South Caicos. Flight are available from the Turks and Caicos Islands to the Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Cuba and other Caribbean desitnations.
 
Entry Requirments
Most visitors are required to carry a passport. Visitors from North America may enter without a passport if they have a birth certificate and one piece of identification bearing a photograph. A valid onward or return ticket is also required. Check with your airline for luggage restrictions.
 
Customs Formalities
Visitors may bring in duty-free for their own use one carton of cigarettes or cigars, one bottle of liquor or wine, and some perfume. The importation of all firearms, including those charged with compressed air, without prior approval in writing from the Commissioner of Police, is strictly forbidden. Spear guns, Hawaiian slings, controlled drugs, and pornography are also illegal.
 
Departure Tax
The departure tax is $15 U.S. No departure tax is levied on children under 12 years of age.
 
Electricity
The electricity is suitable for all U.S. appliances (110 volts, 60 cycles).
 
Water
As with many Caribbean Islands, fresh water is precious, however, there is piped water made by reverse osmosis from the Provo Water Company. Rainfall fills the many cisterns already in place.
 
Telecommunications
Telecommunications is provided under a franchise agreement with Cable & Wireless. Worldwide direct dialing, telex, and facsimile services are available. Phone cards are required in phone booths. Daily courier service is provided to and from Turks and Caicos by FedEx, DHL and UPS. Multi-channel satellite television is received from the U.S. and Canada with 21 channels available. The local media consists of a private television station, local radio station, a bi-weekly newspapers, and a quarterly magazine. An extensive tourist guide is also printed monthly and available free of charge.
 
Recreation
Sporting activities are centered around the water. Visitors can choose from deep-sea, reef, or bonefishing, sailing excursions, windsurfing, water-skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, Scuba diving and beachcombing. Pristine reefs, abundant marine life, and excellent visibility make TCI a world-class diving destination. Golfers will enjoy the beauty and challenge of the 18 Hole Carl Litten designed course. If you are not a straight hitter, bring lots of balls. The islands are an ecotourist's paradise. Visitors can enjoy unspoiled wilderness and native flora and fauna in 33 areas set aside as National Park Nature Reserves, sanctuaries, and areas of historical interest. Nightlife includes local bands playing traditional island music at bars and restaurants, some nightclubs, and a casino on Provo. Stargazing is extraordinary! There is no personal security problem, and it is safe to walk around anywhere at night. Souvenir shoppers will find Caribbean paintings, T-shirts, shells, locally-made handicrafts, and videotapes about the Islands. Boutiques carry a selection of resort wear, postcards, and sundries. Duty-free outlets sell liquor, jewelry, and perfume.
 
Language
The principal language of the Turks & Caicos Islands is English.
 
Currency
The United States dollar is the primary currency of TCI. The Treasury also issues a Turks & Caicos crown and quarter, both of which are legal tender. Travelers' checks in U.S. dollar amounts are widely accepted and other currency can be changed at local banks. American Express, VISA, and MasterCard are welcomed by many locations.
 
Transportation
A valid driver's license from a visitor's normal place of residence is suitable when renting vehicles. You must be 25 years of age. A government tax of $10 U.S. is levied on all hired cars and $5 U.S. on motor scooter rentals (Insurance is extra - about $11US per day). Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Taxis are abundant throughout the Islands. Bicycle rentals are also available.
 
Government
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Crown Colony. A Governor is appointed by the Queen and presides over an Executive Council formed by an elected local self-government. Government officials are located in Grand Turk, with branches on other islands as needed. The leagal system is based on English Common Law.
 
Offshore Jurisdication
The economy of the Turks and Ciacos Islands rely on the tourism industry, with a growing offshore finance indsutry and exportation of seafood (Conch Farm). TCI is a zero tax jurisdiction with NO income taxes, corporate taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, inheritance or estate taxes. This makes the islands an ideal location to base a corporation. A wide variety of financial services are available, including company formation, offshore insurance, banking, trusts, limited partnerships and limited life companies. The Financial Services Commission regulateds, developes and promotes te industry in major world markets.
 
Medical Facilities
There are no endemic tropical diseases in the Turks & Caicos Islands. A good choice of health care services is available. Providenciales has four general family practitioners operating clinics and a decompression chamber. Government doctors pay weekly visits to the out islands, with midwives, nurses and community health workers tending to health needs on a day to day basis. In a medical emergency, patients are flown to the hospital on Grand Turk for treatment or surgery or may be sent on to full-service hospitals in Nassau or Miami via air ambulance.
 
Crime
The Turks & Caicos Islands have the lowest crime rate and the highest crime-solved rate in the Caribbean. Tourists should use common sense. Do not leave valuables in plain site or cash in your rooms and your vacation will not be spoiled with an opportunist-type theft.

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