Things to know|Turks & Caicos

Getting ready to take a trip to sunny Turks and Caicos to get away from cold winter? By now its suppose to be Spring but the Ground hog has rudely been lying to us and unfortunately quite a few of you are still left in the cold. To help you get ready for your trip here are a few tips to know before coming here.

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First of the country of the Turks and Caicos is made up of more than 40 small islands and cays, with 8 inhabited islands separated into two groups. To the east of the Turks Island Passage are the Turks Islands Grand Turk (nations Capital) and Salt Cay and to the west the Caicos Islands, South Caicos, Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Providenciales, Pine Cay and Parrot Cay.

• ONE MAJOR AIRPORT (PLS) PROVIDENCIALES

• CURRENCY

– US Dollar

• THREE WAYS OF TRANSPORTATION

– Taxi (most expensive)
– Car Rental (most convenient and useful)
– Jitneys (good from A to B only)

• CELL PHONE

– unlock phones can work with local phone companies Flow or Digicel. Phone isn’t unlock? No worries there are cheap cell phones for $20 to $30 but can only be use for calls.

– Sim card cost only $5 and comes with a $5 plan, (Flow) Digicel may vary in price.

– Get $10 plan and you can install 3 day data plan. (Good for using Google map to explore and not get lost)

Steps to take when adding plans to your phone with Flow. Digicel is the same process but you will have to ask what codes they use.

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• GROCERY STORE

– Groceries stores in the Downtown area is the cheapest
– Can not buy alcohol beverages on Sundays
– Restaurants Downtown are closed on Sundays
– All major credits cards can be used, some stores don’t accept American Express
– Coming from the beach?
Ladies please wear a cover up and gentlemen a shirt when coming into a store. No need to strut your stuff in the grocery store.

• ISLAND HOPPING

– To go to North & Middle Caicos; you can first catch the TCI Ferry Caribbean Crusin to North Caicos (takes 30 minutes) once there you can drive straight to Middle Caicos. ($50 round-trip)

– Car rental starting at $75 per day

– To go to Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos you have to fly. There are two local airlines InterCaribbean and Caicos Express. Different flights to Grand Turk and South Caicos; once you reach to Grand Turk you can take a boat to Salt Cay. ($80 round-trip for flight)

These are definitely things we all should know when visiting the Turks and Caicos and I hope this information was very helpful.

Now that you are all good to go to come here you might be wondering what to do? Check out Exploring Middle Caicos  I also have a whole series on “thing to do for little to no Money in the Turks and Caicos” on my YouTube channel.

Safe travels

Deandra xoxo 

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO TO SEE EPISODE ONE OF THE FOOD SERIES: 

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Exploring Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Weekend Getaway

Taking a trip to the Turks and Caicos? Do you love Secluded beaches and more of a laid back style to Island Living? Well taking a Day Trip or Weekend Getaway to the largest Island in the Turks and Caicos nearly three times the size of Providenciales is the ideal location for you. Take a trip and get away from reality for a few days, relax and be at ease.

Things to Know pre-Travel:

  • Familiarize yourself with the country “Providenciales” is not the Turks and Caicos, it is just one Island in the many forty Islands and Cays chain.
  • The people are called Locals not Natives
  • Currency: USD
  • Passport Needed (Island hopping in the Country no Passport needed.)
  • Unlock Sim Cards work in all Cellphones
  • Language: English
  • Drive on the Left side of the Road
  • Must try: Conch Salad ( try any Conch dish really)
  • Cheaper to get a Car rental

 

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Mudjin Harbor and Dragon Cay

Need a more adventurous Beach Day? head to Mudjin Harbor, with its breath-taking views of cliffs kissing the most beautiful hue of blue an Ocean can be. Hiked up the trails or wander about the secluded beach caves, my favorite time of day are in the mornings, especially at sunrise; it’s the most magical way to start your day. Want to have a picnic or relax on your own little Island? Have over to Dragon Cay which is only a few feet from the main land. On a calm day when its low tide a small trail will be shown where you can walk over to the Cay, and if you go to the very top of the Cay you will be able to see a sleeping Dragon which I believe how it got its name. It gets really hot here so remember to wear sunscreen and to stay hydrated and drink lots of water, here is the water bottle I use.

 

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Indian Cave

Did you know that Middle Caicos has Bat Caves? In fact we have the largest above ground cave system in the Bahamas chain link; how about those apples. The main caves are the Conch Bar Caves located in Conch Bar Middle Caicos, which required an entrance fee and a tour guide. But for those of us who still want to explore for free while learning about the history of the natives that lived here before us hence why we call ourselves locals. Then this little Cavern cave called the Indian Cave is where to get your feet wet if you have never been in a cave before. Also pro tip come prepared with bug spray to avoid getting bitten.

 

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Indian Trail

Crossing Path Trail is for you if your into a long trek and some one of a kind scenery, but you will need a tour guide as this trail is hard to find on your own. But have no fear the Indian Trail is easy to find and no tour guide needed, just a pair of good trainers, light clothing, sunscreen, bug spray and bottle water. This trail is located near the beach so views are not a problem, you can find this trail junction by Daniel’s Cafe Restaurant.

 

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Bambarra Beach

The name Bambarra sounds interesting enough, and its rightfully so, many of the residents on Middle Caicos and North Caicos are descendants of the Trouvadore, a Spanish slave ship that was shipwrecked in 1841. The western coast of Africa. Mali is home to a large ethnic group called the Bambara (with a single ‘r’) people, and it’s quite possible the slaves were from this group of people. Most likely this is where the name Bambarra originated from.

Bambarra Beach is a long coast an extensive and shallow bay, so the water here is calm, clear, and a little warmer than surrounding coasts. This beach is great for snorkeling and for families with small children.

 

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Eats

Places to dine in Middle Caicos is very few, so I would recommend to pack small picnic, if you must eat somewhere you have the Mudjin Harbor Restaurant. There is also Daniel’s Cafe but Unfortunately it is close down; I will update you guys on when it re-opens. If you want a bit more choices there are loads of local restaurants to choose from in North Caicos, so stay tone for that upcoming blog post.

 

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If you want a few more tips on what to do in Middle Caicos or when Events and Festivals are all the rage check out this video Seven Things to do for Free in Middle Caicos! You guys enjoy the rest of your day, Later.

MC Itinerary

Ultimate Guide to Puerto Rico in Three Days

With its diverse tropical terrain, Coconut Tree line beaches and daunting history, Puerto Rico is a Caribbean gem waiting to be explored. After three days on the Enchanting Island, I got to experience a lot of what the island had to offer, and I was very impressed! Even after Hurricane Maria this beauty is still flawless.

Here is my ultimate guide to Puerto Rico in three days!

 

 Stay at an Air BnB

Book your stay at an Air BnB or Hostel, in any location of your choice weather in San Juan such as Isla Verde, Condado, or Old San Juan for a really great and affordable price, you can live like a local or stay in the tourist district. I stayed in San Juan and highly recommend this Vacation Rental as our host Yessy made us feel right at home. 

We had the entire Apartment to ourselves with include two bedrooms, a bathroom a kitchenette, dining area and living room. There was everything you need down to feminine products, flash lights and bug spray, and it was only $35 a night what a steal.

Our place was in walking distance from restaurants, 24 hour supermarket, pharmacy and a lot more. Haven’t try airbnb.com to book a vacation rental before? try it out today you can use my code deandras159 to save $25 on your  booking.

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 Spend the Afternoon at Luquillo Beach

No need to leave the island to enjoy the amazing beach views and water activities Puerto Rico has to offer. Luquillo Beach is located in Playa Fortuna, with miles of beautiful sandy shores to walk along, colorful life guard huts, interesting vivid green seaweed that I swear is mermaid hair and coconut trees every where. Luquillo is a must! and the surf, oh yes it’s pretty impressive; Playa Fortuna is a forty-five minute drive east of San Juan

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Tip: walk eastward along the beach around the bend and you will find a nice little reading nook naturally made from trees and vines creating a little hut.

 

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Have Breakfast or Lunch at Pinky’s

Spend your first Brunch taking in the deliciousness of flavors that explodes in your mouth and makes you want to stand up and do your happy dance at Pinky’s. Located in Ocean Park just a ten minutes drive from San Juan, this restaurant receives consistently rave reviews due to its great service, mouth-watering dishes and amazing coffee.

The place is small and charming they also serve vegan and gluten-free dishes. I’m not just raving about this place because my nickname is Pinky; but because its name is Pinky’s I flew to Puerto Rico just to eat here.

Also if you are in Puerto Rico and go to the local restaurants you must try the mofongo this is a highly recommended dish, which are fried green plantains, perfectly sautéed vegetables and the white pineapple sangrias. Unfortunately I’m allergic to pineapples so I could not eat this.

 

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Come hungry and early—People are waiting out the door just to get in; Pinky’s is very popular!

 

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Explore the Colorful Streets of Old San Juan

Nothing beats a peaceful walk around Old San Juan. In just seven square blocks, the old city packs a kaleidoscope of cobblestones and nearly 400 colorful Spanish-colonial buildings. Just wander around and see what amazing gems you will find!

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There is just something about walking through old colonial streets that gives you that feeling of walking back through time, its one of my favorite things to do.

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Visit El Morro

The Castillo San Felipe del Morro, aka El Morro, is a 400-year-old fort in the old colonial town. Built from 1539 to 1787, this majestic Spanish colonial fort defense served as Spain’s control point over most of the Caribbean and is quite impressive.

Over the centuries, it’s suffered attacks from the English, Dutch and America—but still stands as a symbol of pride for Puerto Rico.

To truly explore this beautiful fortress I would recommend a few hours— the lighthouse, the many garitas (wall-mounted turrets or sentry boxes), the Cannon Water Battery, and the Old Tower— all are perfect settings for a fun photo shoot. ( you know for the Gram)

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Hike El Yunque Rainforest

El Yunque is a beautiful tropical rain forest about half-hour from San Juan. This national reserve is a haven for hikers, home to rare trees, birds, and a variety of hiking trails to choose from. Unfortunately some of the trails are closed down from damages after Hurricane Maria, but there is still a lot to see and I still recommend to come here.

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Hike past mountain waterfalls, catch sight of the coqui frog, and check out Taíno petroglyphs!

 

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Street Party at La Placita De Santurce

Santurce’s famous market – La Placita – is known as a local hub of San Juan’s hottest nightlife scenes. Going for a girls night out? this is the place to be. The historic market plaza and its surrounding streets host what becomes a veritable street party: people meeting up, drinking, eating and, and club hopping, dancing until dawn or when your feet starts to hurt. (This place was recommended by our Air BnB host Yessy)

 

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Helpful Tip: Rent a Car

We rented a car from Target Rent a Car for the length of our stay, and were extremely glad that we did. In order to get around the island and experience all these sights, you would either have to pay for a taxi or set up day-trips and transportation which can be very expensive.

Believe me, it is worth renting a car to get around at your leisure and more budget friendly! On our last day we drop the car back to Target and they Dropped us off to the Airport no extra charge.

 

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