WELCOME TO

TURKS & CAICOS

“Beautiful by Nature”

A fond welcome to locals and visitors!

Each and every visit to the Caribbean is like no other. There is always something new to learn, places to go or things to do. Sculpted by nature, the islands are ever-changing and evolving. With so many islands to choose from it is never easy to decide on where to stop.
We want to introduce you to our beautifully unique islands. Make sure you stay a while, take your time! In the Caribbean there’s no rush, let’s just ‘go with the flow’.
The more you learn, the more you will want to know, so relax and discover

the wonderful islands of Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos Flag

Turks and Caicos was officially adopted on 7th November 1968.  The flag has a dark blue background and features the British Union Jack on the top left corner of the flag. The Union Jack represents the islands ties to Britain, as a British Overseas Territory. On the right hand side is the island’s Coat of Arms.

Turks & Caicos Coat of Arms

The coat of arms of the Turks and Caicos Islands was granted in 1965.

 

The coat of arms has two flamingos on either side of the shield of the coat of arms. The shield is used on the flag of Turks & Caicos. On top of the shield is a pelican perched upon two sisal plats, which represents the connection to the rope industry. 

The shield bears a conch shell, lobster and a cactus. They represent the local fish and fauna industry respectively.

This group of Caribbean islands off the Bahamas is a British colony and therefore the official anthem is “God Save the Queen”. There is a local anthem in use called “This Land of Ours”, written by Rev. Conrad Howell, which is sung at important local events.

Oh we salute this land of ours
Our country we declare
This promised land
With its beauties grand
Though small it is our own
CHORUS:

Turks and Caicos, Turks and Caicos
Our country firm and free
Our allegiance, Turks and Caicos
We pledge and we affirm.

From the east, west, north and south
Our banks and oceans meet
Surrounding sands and hills of glee
Our pristine beauties see
CHORUS:

Our people forged and blend
With multiplicity
Of race and kind and creed and tongue
United by our goals
CHORUS:

We stand with courage brave
To maintain this land of ours
With islands scattered here and there
With trust in God we stand.

NIGEL DAKIN

GOVERNOR
 
 
Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson Turks & Caicos Premier

SHARLENE CARTWRIGHT-ROBINSON

PREMIER

Governors

ALEXANDER GRAHAM MITCHELL
TOOK OFFICE: 1973 – LEFT OFFICE: 1975

ARTHUR WATSON
TOOK OFFICE: 1975 – LEFT OFFICE: 1978

JOHN CLIFFORD STRONG
TOOK OFFICE: 1978 – LEFT OFFICE: 1982

CHRISTOPHER J. TURNER
TOOK OFFICE: 1982 – LEFT OFFICE: 1987

MICHAEL J. BRADLEY
TOOK OFFICE: 1987 – LEFT OFFICE: 1993

MARTIN BOURKE
TOOK OFFICE: 1993 – LEFT OFFICE: 1996

JOHN KELLY
TOOK OFFICE: 1996 – LEFT OFFICE: 2000

MERVYN JONES
TOOK OFFICE: 2000 – LEFT OFFICE: 2002

CYNTHIA ASTWOOD (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 2002

JIM POSTON
TOOK OFFICE: 2002 – LEFT OFFICE: 2005

MAHALA WYNNS (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 2005

RICHARD TAUWHARE
TOOK OFFICE: 2005 – LEFT OFFICE: 2008

MAHALA WYNNS (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 2008 – LEFT OFFICE: 05/08/2008

GORDON WETHERELL
TOOK OFFICE: 05/08/2008 – LEFT OFFICE: 22/08/2011

MARTIN STANLEY (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 22/08/2011 – LEFT OFFICE: 12/09/2011

RIC TODD
TOOK OFFICE: 12/09/2011 – LEFT OFFICE: 15/09/2013

ANYA WILLIAMS (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 15/09/2013 – LEFT OFFICE: 09/10/2013

PETER BECKINGHAM
TOOK OFFICE: 09/10/2013 – LEFT OFFICE: 10/10/2016

ANYA WILLIAMS (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 10/10/2016 – LEFT OFFICE: 17/10/2016

JOHN FREEMAN
TOOK OFFICE: 17/10/2016 – LEFT OFFICE: JULY 2019

NIGEL DAKIN
TOOK OFFICE: JULY 2019 – INCUMBENT

Premiers

MICHAEL MISICK
(1966-)
TOOK OFFICE: 09/08/2006 – LEFT OFFICE: 23/03/2009

GALMO WILLIAMS
(1966-)
TOOK OFFICE: 23/03/2009 – LEFT OFFICE: 14/08/2009

RUFUS EWING
(1968-)
TOOK OFFICE: 13/11/2012 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/12/2016

SHARLENE CARTWRIGHT-ROBINSON
(1971-)
TOOK OFFICE: 20/12/2016 – INCUMBENT

TURKS & CAICOS MUST STOPS

  • SALT CAY
  • GRAND TURK LIGHTHOUSE
  • CHALK SOUND
  • CONCH BAR COVES

Salt Cay in Turks & CaicosThe centre of the Bermudian Salt Industry, from the late 1600’s, the island nurtures a lingering presence of the Salt Industry. Explore distinctively Bermudian styled homes and mingle with the friendly local community who will happily share a tale or two about the days ‘when salt was king’. In Salt Cay you are likely to make home in a charming Bed and Breakfast and experience true island hospitality. With fewer than eighty inhabitants, even our visitors are greeted by their first name in this island paradise. Visit the ruins at Taylor’s Hill and discover one of the most breath-taking views on the island. This is an ideal spot for whale watching.

Official Website: www.saltcay.org

Information courtesy of turksandcaicostourism.com

Grand Turk Lighthouse in Turks & CaicosThe lighthouse was brought in pieces from the UK where it had been constructed in 1852. It has been restored and still works guarding the northern tip of Grand Turk, the capital island of the Turks and Caicos. The lighthouse and lighthouse keeper’s house is a prized historic site and is protected by the National Trust. The Lighthouse provides some shade, a picnic area and an excellent viewing spot for the whales in February and March. The lighthouse hill overlooks North Creek, an inland body of water or lake that a growing number of historians argue is the closest fit to the description that Columbus gave for the island that he first encountered on his 1492 voyage to the New World.

Information courtesy of turksandcaicostourism.com

Chalk Sound in Turks and CaicosDotted with occasional cluster of rising limestone rock, the Chalk Sound is a natural masterpiece unlike anything else in the world. The beauty of Chalk Sound is created by the inland lagoon of turquoise ocean water. The shallow lagoon allows you easily see the bottom of the clear water for hundreds of yards in all directions. The best view might be the earliest from the aptly named Picturesque Lane. From this little parking area, you can take as many photos and videos as you like without interruption.

Information courtesy of turks-and-caicos.org

 

Conch Bar Caves in Turks & CaicosConch Bar Caves is part of a National Park which is located near the village of Conch Bar on Middle Caicos. This park protects 1.5mi/2.4k of underground caverns, one of the largest cave systems in the Caribbean region. Some chambers include small tidal lagoons and colonies of bats. The entire cave system hosts some impressive stalactites and stalagmites and other cave features.

Information courtesy of tcnationaltrust.org

History of Turks & Caicos

 

Long before Christopher Columbus first set foot on the capital island of Grand Turk during his discovery voyage of the new world in 1492, the islands of the Turks & Caicos were inhabited by Taino and Lucayan Indians.  These original settlers left a rich heritage of seafaring, salt raking and farming, which still lingers on today.  Words such as “canoe”, Caribbean and “caicos” are derived from the Arawak language.   Even the name of the country comes from these earliest inhabitants.  Turks is a reference to the indigenous Turk’s head cactus and Caicos is from the Lucayan term “caya hico” meaning string of islands.

For almost 700 years, the Taino and Lucayan Indians were the sole residents of the islands, settling mainly in Middle Caicos and Grand Turk.  They lived peacefully and were skilled in farming, fishing and gardening.  They cultivated almost 50 types of plants, some of which can still be found on undeveloped sections of the islands.

Shortly after Columbus arrived in 1492, the Lucayan civilization disappeared, and the islands remained sparsely populated for about 30 years.  During this time, the salt making industry was born.  Bermudians came to Turks & Caicos to rake the salt and take it back to Bermuda.  Salt was a precious commodity back then as it was used not only for flavouring food but for preserving it as well.  The shallow waters surrounding the islands were ideal for salt raking but treacherous for nautical navigation and more than 1000 ships were wrecked during the journey to and from.

In 1706, the French and the Spanish briefly captured the Turks & Caicos Islands from the Bermudians.  Four years later the British reclaimed the islands for Bermuda but in subsequent years the place became primarily a haven for pirates and British Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution.   Ultimately, Britain retained the island country by the end of the century as part of the Treaty of Versailles.  In 1766, after being controlled by the Spanish, French and British, Turks & Caicos became part of the Bahamas colony and was placed under the Bahamian government.   Attempts to integrate the two distinct communities failed and in 1874 after “the Great Bahamas Hurricane” devastated much of the chain of islands, the Turks & Caicos Islands became dependencies to the British Crown Colony of Jamaica.

Today, Turks & Caicos stands on the threshold of an exciting future boasting the fastest growing economy in the Caribbean coupled with strictly controlled development to protect the islands heritage as a pristine sanctuary for both local residents and tourists to enjoy for the next thousand years.

Information courtesy of turksandcaicostourism.com