IS THE TURKS AND CAICOS THE PLACE FOR ME?
We have included this section for those that have not been to been to the island or stayed at a private Villa in the Turks and Caicos as you may not know what to expect. The Turks and Caicos is an expensive destination spot. It is a preferred vacation location for the rich and famous and there are many villas owned by famous people. The TCI is unique in that you may see famous people just walking around, enjoying the clean air and fabulous weather - no paparatzi’s , fans or fanfare. Just like regular people enjoying an unmolested vacation. The combination of almost constant good weather, crystal clear water, pristine beaches and freedom to walk around without concern comes at a price - the price is simply monetary - it is one of the most expensive islands to vacation on. The high price is due to the small population and the high wages as compared to other Central American or Caribbean vacation spots. In short, life in the Turks and Caicos is expensive. It is also expensive to live on the island for the workers and this translates to high costs. Because of this if you are expecting full time maids, private cooks and to be catered to day and night it is available but but you will pay a premium - very much comparable to what similar services cost in Europe. Renting a fully staffed villa for $3000 or even $10,000 per week has never and will never happen in the Turks and Caicos. $3000 to $20,000 per DAY is the norm for this type of service on the island. If you are looking for a low price point then please take our advice and look elsewhere or risk being disappointed.
In general, prices for gas, food and commodities in the Turks and Caicos is roughly the same as you will find in Europe and this is sometimes a shock to new visitors. If you are on a strict budget we can help by letting you know where the most cost effective, grocery store, restaurants and gas stations are. Many of these are listed in the information that is sent when the villa is booked and an updated version is provided on arrival.
Another item that may be surprising to new visitors is the fact that most of the Turks and Caicos roads are rough, unpaved, often with potholes. For many this is of little concern but for those unaccustomed to life in rural communities this can be a big and unpleasant surprise. Even more concerning to these same people is that the roads through which you travel to reach the best villas on the island are for the most part rough and unlit at night. Basically if these aspects of the road system give you concern you had best stay at a Grace Bay condo or resort where you can walk to everything and have paved roads and sidewalks. If these things do not bother you, rest assured, the drive through these roads is worth the effort - the views and beaches that are at the end are amazing.
Bugs animals and other living things abound. The Caribbean is well known for its variety and diversity of wildlife. If you plan on staying at a villa, particularly one with larger grounds, one will encounter different wildlife and insects. The most common are mosquitoes and ants but insects range from moths, wasps, bees, roaches, scorpions and more. These are more prevalent in the bushy areas surrounding private villas and houses. In some cases you may see these insects outside the villa but sometimes they will be found inside, particularly if food has been left out and doors or windows are left open at night - simply stated, the food and/or light attracts them. For animals it is a bit different as they typically try to avoid interaction with people but still visitors may see them. These animals include snakes, mice, hermit crabs, different types of small lizards, cats and dogs and even small rats (large mice by mainland standards) Birds are not particularly common, except for periodic large groups of flamingos. For most people seeing any of the above close to or in the villa perimeter in small quantity is not an issue but for some people, they find this unacceptable as they are expecting a totally sterile vacation devoid of these indigenous creatures. If you are one of the persons that are expecting a sterile environment ,it is likely that that the Turks and Caicos with its lack of blanket pavement and cement as found in cities is likely not for you. Additionally, a private villa is definitely not for you. The properties and developments in the Turks and Caicos are designed to merge the natural beauty of the Caribbean with unique architecture. This is unfortunately incompatible with total removal of wild life, and insects, all of which are needed to maintain a viable eco-system on a small isolated, relatively arid island.
In summary, the Turks and Caicos is unique among Caribbean islands but it is still a Caribbean island; with the same infrastructure, public service limitations, insects and other issues found throughout the Caribbean region - Please be aware of the following As as mentioned virtually all visitors have no issues at all with these limitations but a few, perhaps 1% or 2% have expectations that are not aligned with what can be found in the Turks and Caicos, even the very best Villas and resorts have insects, equipment failures, and things that are not always 100%. It is disappointing to us to find some visitors that seem to be unaware of these points and as a result have a less then pleasurable vacation while staying on the island. It is paradise but not a perfect paradise so please do your research and ask questions before you decide to come to the island.