5 Things You Need to Know About Getting Around In Turks and Caicos

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1.       Cash (in USD) is Queen.


The country may be a British territory, but retailers take cold hard US dollars. Most places on the smaller islands are cash only- especially cabs

2.       Cabs are priced By Person


Since most of the islands are fairly small, the prices for transportation are charged to each individual in the car.

3.       You can drive from one island to another!


There is a small causeway from North to Middle Caicos.

4.       Drive on the left side of the road


Because of their British roots, the cars travel on the left.

5.       Not all roads are created equal


The roads are in varying states of drivability depending on the island and last date of repair. They range from paved to potholes and dirt to golf-cart-only (Salt Cay). On the smaller islands, the rental companies will meet you wherever you are staying and some will even allow you to drive yourself to the airport when you’re through… Just leave the keys in the car!

Her Majesty's Prison

Grand Turk has long been the Capital of the Turks and Caicos. Because of this both the Government Officials, documents and the prison for the country reside on the small island. Her Majesty's prison was built in the 1830's and remained operational until 1994. 

It still stands today though inmates are held in a newer, larger building located away from the center of town. Self- guided tours of Her Majesty's Prison are offered daily for $7.

At its inception, the prison was mainly used to house wayward slaves. There was room for between 2 and 6 prisoners. After the abolishment of slavery in 1834, it was often filled with people who were incarcerated for being drunk. By the time it shut its doors in 1994, occupancy was up to over 50 people.

The prison began housing bigger time criminals- including drug runners. Turks and Caicos lie about halfway from Columbia to Florida so in the 60's and 70's, it became a popular spot to refuel. There were several expansions made over the years as the average number of prisoners continued to rise.

The prison housed both men and women, separated into different wings. Prisoners were given the chance to go home and prepare for natural disasters- especially the large hurricane of 1866. This Hurricane was devastating to around 200 homes on GT and tore the roof off the prison itself.

These days it makes for a lovely tour with a lot of history.