Area Code -- The area/country code for the TCI is 649.
ATMs & ABMs -- CIBC FirstCaribbean has 24-hour ABM service at the main branches of its bank on Provo, Grand Turk, and South Caicos and a branch in the Saltmills shopping complex on Provo's Grace Bay Road. Scotiabank has 24-hour ATMs at Waterloo Plaza on Grand Turk and at four locations on Provo: at the Provo airport check-in hall; at the Graceway Gourmet on Grace Bay Road; next to the Graceway Plaza on Leeward Highway; and at Petro Plus on Millennium Highway. RBC Royal Bank (tel. 649/941-4776; www.rbcroyalbank.com/caribbean) has an ATM at Graceway Plaza on Leeward Highway.
Banks -- Branches and ATMs of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank (tel. 649/946-4245; www.firstcaribbeanbank.com) and Scotiabank (tel. 649/946-4750; www.scotiabank.com) are at convenient and central locations on both Provo and Grand Turk. RBC Royal Bank (tel. 649/941-4776; www.rbcroyalbank.com/caribbean) is located at Graceway Plaza on Leeward Highway.
Business Hours -- Most shops are open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, but hours vary. Banks are generally open Monday to Thursday from 8:30am to 3pm and Friday from 8:30am to 5pm. Most grocery stores are open 7 days a week but do not sell liquor, beer, or wine on Sunday, although you can buy alcoholic drinks on Sunday at restaurants and bars.
Currency -- The U.S. dollar is the official currency.
Dentists -- Dental Services Limited is located in the Medical Building on Leeward Highway in Providenciales (tel. 649/946-4321; www.dentist.tc).
Doctors -- Dr. Sam Slattery sees patients at the Grace Bay Medical Centre (Neptune Plaza, Allegro Rd., Providenciales; tel. 649/941-5252; emergencies: 649/231-0525; www.gracebaymedical.com). Associated Medical Practices is located in the Medical Building on Leeward Highway in Providenciales (tel. 649/231-0642; emergencies: 649/331-4357). Associated also has a dive recompression chamber.
Drugstores -- Grace Bay Pharmacy, located in Neptune Plaza on Dolphin Drive between Grace Bay Road and the Leeward Highway (tel. 649/946-8242), also has a branch in Grand Turk, near the salinas in Cockburn Town (tel. 649/946-1266). Island Pharmacy is in the Associated Medical Building on Leeward Highway in Providenciales (tel. 649/946-4150). Flamingo Pharmacy is in the Graceway Plaza on Leeward Highway (tel. 649/941-4527).
Electricity -- The electric current on the islands is 120 volts, 60 cycles, AC. European appliances will need adapters.
Emergencies -- Call tel. 911 or 999 for an ambulance, to report a fire, or to contact the police.
Hospitals & Medical Facilities-- In April 2010, Turks & Caicos Island Hospital, the nation's first modern hospital, opened its two centers: the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre (on Providenciales) and the Cockburn Town Medical Center (on Grand Turk). Grace Bay Medical Centre is an urgent-care medical facility in Providenciales (Neptune Plaza, Allegro Rd., Providenciales; tel. 649/941-5252; for emergencies call tel. 649/231-0525). Grand Turk Hospital is on Hospital Road in Grand Turk (tel. 649/946-2040). The other islands have community clinics.
Internet Access -- Most resorts and hotels have some sort of Internet access.
Language -- The official language is English.
Pets -- All you need to bring a pet onto the islands is a signed veterinary certificate (dated within 1 month of travel) stating that the animal is free of contagious or infectious disease and up-to-date on his or her rabies and distemper vaccinations. YOu also need to provide a completed import application and pay a $50 fee per animal. There is no quarantine period for incoming pets.
Post Office -- The primary post office in Providenciales is the George Brown Post Office, located downtown at the corner of Airport Road (tel. 649/946-4676). It's open Monday to Thursday from 8am to 4pm and Friday from 8am to 3:30pm. The Grand Turk Post Office is located on Front Street in Cockburn Town (tel. 649/946-1334). It's open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm.
Taxes -- A departure tax of $35 is payable when you leave the islands (often rolled into the cost of your airfare). The government collects an 12% occupancy tax, applicable to all hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants in the 40-island chain. Resorts often add a 10% to 15% service charge on top of the government tax. Tax on cruise arrivals is $3.50 per passenger.
Telephone -- To call Turks and Caicos, dial 1 and then the number. The country code for the TCI is 649. The international-operator telephone service is tel. 115. Local directory assistance is tel. 118.
To call a phone carrier in the U.S., dial 0, then 1, and then the number. You can make domestic and international calls using your credit card or prepaid phone cards, available in $5, $10, and $15 denominations -- although rates for either are often as exorbitant as calling direct from your hotel room (you'll be charged more than $2 a minute, depending on the time of day -- and many hotels even charge $1 and up for local calls). Public pay phones accept prepaid phone cards only. You can buy these prepaid phone cards at a number of retail outlets and hotels, including Avis, and Club Med (Provo); Parrot Cay (Caicos Cays); the Middle Caicos Co-op; and the Poop Deck (Grand Turk). If you have a GSM cellphone with international roaming capacity, you can use that on the islands; a money-saving option is to buy or rent a cellphone in the TCI.
Time -- The islands are in the Eastern Standard Time zone, and daylight saving time is observed.
Tipping -- Hotels often add 10% to 15% to your bill automatically, as a "service fee" or "resort fee." If individual staff members perform various services for you, it is customary to tip them something extra. If you go on an island tour, watersports charter, or beach excursion, it's always a good idea to tip your guide 10% to 20%, depending on the level of service you receive. In restaurants 15% is appropriate unless a service charge has already been added; if in doubt, ask. Tip taxi drivers 10% to 15%.
Water -- Government officials insist that the water in Turks and Caicos is safe to drink. Nonetheless, you may want to stick to bottled water, especially if you have a delicate stomach.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.