20 quick facts on turks and caicos

turks-and-caicos-facts-by-myseastoryok, this one is definitely for those who don’t live here. every time i meet someone off island and i tell them we live in turks and caicos, we get the usual questions – how big is the island? how many people live there? where does the name turks and caicos come from? is it british or american?

turks-and-caicos-facts-by-myseastory-3i thought i would sum up the answers to these and some questions for those who are curious about these beautiful islands that so many people haven’t heard of –

  • the turks and caicos islands (TCI) are named after the turk’s-cap cactus, and the term caya hico, meaning string of islands, in the language of the lucayan
  • the first inhabitants of the islands were the tainos, also called luvayans – who inhabited the island until shortly after chritopher columbus arrived
  • turks and caicos consists of 40 islands and cays, 8 of which are inhabited
  • our capital is cockburn town, in grand turk island
  • the most populated and developed island is providenciales (where we live)
  • providenciales (or provo as we call it) has an area of 122 square kilometres (47 sq mi)
  • the total population of the islands is around 49000, including expats
  • we are part of the british overseas territory – we have a governor appointed by the queen, and a locally elected premier. the legal system is based on english common law.
  • our currency is in US$
  • we have 1 highway (with 7 roundabouts) and there are no traffic lights on island


  • we drive on the left lane but use mostly left-hand drive cars, imported from florida
  • there is no mail delivery to our homes, we need to have a PO Box
  • the turks and caicos islands have the third largest barrier reef system in the world
  • grand turk was the first land reached by astronaut john glenn after the mercury space mission in 1962
  • there are no lakes or rivers – we depend upon rainfall or desalinated water produced by reverse osmosis for the supply of fresh water
  • the economy of the TCI relies on the tourism industry, real estate development and some exportation of seafood
  • the official turks and caicos dish is conch, cooked in so many different ways, and of course rice and peas (there’s a great article on true turks and caicos cuisine by david bowen)
  • supermarkets don’t sell alcohol on sundays
  • there is no public transportation, only independently owned taxis and illegal ‘jitneys”
  • blue mountain, only 47m high, is the highest point

any other questions, shoot them over and i’ll add them to the post :)

ps – things to do in turks and caicos

3 thoughts on “20 quick facts on turks and caicos

  1. Pingback: my turks and caicos guide « m y s e a s t o r y

  2. Hi Mark,
    I know this post is 2 years old however my wife, son and I are thinking about moving to the TCI. Do you still live there and if so would you be willing to discuss what living there is like? We currently live in BC Canada and after dreaming about living in the Caribbean for decades, it is now possible to make that happen but there is so little inf online…
    If you are interested in corresponding, my name is Jeff

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