COUNTRY FACTS

Turks and Caicos Islands

 

Turks and Caicos Islands flafQuick Facts

  • Continental region – North America
  • Currency symbol of Turks and Caicos Islands _United States Dollar, $
  • Capital City –Cockburn Town
  • Official languages – English
  • Population – 37,665 (2018) World Bank
  • Country dialling code  –  (+ 1 )
  • Official website Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Top 3 biggest industries  –Tourism, offshore financial services, fishing
  • Google Maps link –Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Where is it? –The Turks and Caicos Islands are located 575 miles (925 km) southeast of MiamiFlorida, roughly midway between the Bahamas and the island of Hispaniola

Turks and Caicos Islands In Pictures

Cheshire Hall Plantation, Providenciales

Cheshire Hall Plantation, Providenciales

Conch Bar Caves National Park, Middle Caicos

Conch Bar Caves National Park, Middle Caicos

Diving & Snorkeling

Diving & Snorkeling

Grace Bay, Providenciales

Grace Bay, Providenciales

Grand Turk Lighthouse

Grand Turk Lighthouse

Little Water Cay Tour

Little Water Cay Tour

Sapodilla Bay, Providenciales

Sapodilla Bay, Providenciales

Swim with Stingrays at Gibbs Cay

Swim with Stingrays at Gibbs Cay

Turks_&_Caicos_National_Museum

Turks_&_Caicos_National_Museum


Turks and Caicos Islands History

  • How did the country get its first name? –The Turks and Caicos Islands are named after the Turk’s cap cactus (Melocactusintortus), and the Lucayan term cayahico, meaning ‘string of islands’
  • When and by whom the country was first discovered? –  Taino and Lucayan Indians were the first  residents of the islands for around 700 years before the arrival of the Europeans. Christopher Columbus was the first European to first set foot on the capital island of Grand Turk in 1492.
  • Who were the first Inhabitants? –The islands of the Turks and Caicos were inhabited by Taino and Lucayan peoples.
  • When it was first recognized as a country? – It is a British Crown colony. 
  • Who was the first leader of the country? –James Alexander George Smith McCartney as Chief Minister, 31 August 1976.

Five Significant Events 

  1. Islands vote to remain in British Crown Colony: At Jamaican Independence, the Islands vote to remain a British Crown Colony. (http://www.caribbeanelections.com/tc/education/timeline.asp)
  2. Shipment of Salt to an End: Last shipment of Salt from Salt Cay brings the 300 year old industry to a close. (http://www.caribbeanelections.com/tc/education/timeline.asp)
  3. Progressive National Party to victory in general election: Norman Saunders leads Progressive National Party to victory in general election winning 8 of 11 seats up for election. (http://www.caribbeanelections.com/tc/education/timeline.asp)
  4. PNP wins the bi elections: Two constituencies (South Caicos North and Five Cays Providenciales) are ordered in bi-elections. PNP wins the bi elections and became the Government. (http://www.caribbeanelections.com/tc/education/timeline.asp)
  5. Rufus Ewing leads Progressive Naional Party to victory: Rufus Ewing leads Progressive Naional Party to victory in general election and is elected as the new Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands. PNP wins 8 of 15 seats. (http://www.caribbeanelections.com/tc/education/timeline.asp)

Five Places to Visit in Turks and Caicos Islands

  1. Grace Bay, Providenciales: Stretching for more than eight kilometers, Grace Bay is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Powdery sand meets crystal-clear water in striking shades of blue along this exquisite slice of coast, and coral reefs shimmer just offshore. Part of the Princess Alexandra Marine Park, Grace Bay Beach is the focal point for tourism on the island of Providenciales. Snorkelers can view the rich marine life at The Bight Reef and Smith’s Reef in the underwater park, and you can easily access them both from shore. The bay is also the playground of “JoJo” the wild bottlenose dolphin, who interacts with humans and has been declared a national treasure. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/turks-and-caicos-islands-tci.htm)
  2. Diving &Snorkeling: Diving or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands are among the most popular things to do on the islands. Surrounded by one of the most extensive coral reef systems in the world, the islands sit on a vast underwater plateau with dramatic drop-offs not far from shore, making it an excellent destination for wall dives – especially in Grand Turk. Many of the top snorkel and dive sites are accessible from shore, and shipwrecks old and new are sprinkled throughout these waters. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/turks-and-caicos-islands-tci.htm)
  3. Chalk Sound National Park, Providenciales: An eye-popping shade of turquoise, Chalk Sound is a beautiful lagoon with limestone deposits separated from the ocean by a thin stretch of sand. Sprinkled throughout the sparkling waters are tiny green-topped rock islands, which are home to many iguanas. About a 20- to 30-minute drive away from Grace Bay, the area is a beautiful place to take photographs. You can rent kayaks or stand up paddleboards to explore the clear waters or hop aboard a pontoon cruise. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/turks-and-caicos-islands-tci.htm)
  4. Sapodilla Bay, Providenciales: Sapodilla Bay, on the ocean side of Chalk Sound, is a peaceful strip of secluded beach offering good protection for yachts. The shallow, calm water also makes this a great spot to swim with small children. On the hilltop overlooking the bay, shipwrecked sailors engraved messages on the stones that some people claim are codes to hidden treasure. Beautiful Taylor Bay Beach is also nearby, but access is currently restricted. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/turks-and-caicos-islands-tci.htm)
  5. Little Water Cay Tour: About 456 meters across the sea from Providenciales, Little Water Cay (locally known as “Iguana Island”) is home to rare and endangered rock iguanas, and you can hop aboard a boat tour to see these friendly creatures. The iguanas once roamed throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands, but domestic dogs and cats all but wiped them out – except on Little Water Cay where they are protected. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/turks-and-caicos-islands-tci.htm)

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