Is Turks And Caicos Expensive? Vacation Costs In Providenciales

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Is Turks and Caicos expensive? The short answer is yes. This article addresses the reasons behind the high costs and provides a realistic overview of the expenses travelers can expect when visiting The Turks and Caicos Islands.

Turks and Caicos is renowned for its stunning beaches, unbelievable turquoise waters, and luxurious resorts, making it a top destination for travelers seeking paradise. However, this paradise comes with a price tag that can be surprising to many.

But why are The Turks and Caicos so expensive? From accommodations and dining to excursions and transportation, we'll explore the various factors that contribute to the overall cost of a vacation here.

Having visited Turks and Caicos numerous times since 2014, we've experienced firsthand the beauty and the expenses of the islands. Our aim is to prepare you for what to expect financially, ensuring that your visit is enjoyable and without unexpected surprises.

Whether it's your first visit or you're returning to explore further, knowing the expense expectation upfront will help you plan a trip tailored to your budget and preferences.

One of the most expensive areas is Turks and Caicos is Sapodilla Bay Beach. The image shows three white beach front properties overlooking and endless sea of turquoise water. More residences can be seen further along the bay and a pier jets out to the left of the white beach houses.

Why Is Turks And Caicos So Expensive?

Understanding why Turks and Caicos is more expensive than other popular Caribbean and tropical Atlantic destinations requires a look at several key factors.

Economy and Currency

The Turks and Caicos Islands use the US dollar, which might suggest familiar pricing. However, the reality is that costs here often surpass even those in the most expensive American cities. 

This is partly because the local economy is almost entirely focused on tourism, aiming to offer high-end experiences.

Without the benefit of a favorable exchange rate to cushion prices, visitors from the US will find that your dollar doesn't stretch as far as expected, especially when seeking quality services and experiences that the islands are known for.

Import Taxes and Costs

Almost everything in Turks and Caicos is imported. The Turks and Caicos Islands do not produce goods or foods in any significant quantities, making it necessary to import almost everything.

Having to rely on importing goods means that items must be shipped over long distances, often at a high cost. Furthermore, the government imposes import taxes on many of these goods to generate revenue, which adds another layer to the final retail price.

These import taxes, combined with the logistics of shipping goods to a relatively remote island chain, greatly contribute to the higher prices seen on the islands.

Luxury Market

It’s no secret that Turks and Caicos has positioned itself as a luxury destination within the Caribbean and Tropical Atlantic. There’s a reason the A-List Celebs are flocking to Turks and Caicos!

This focus on luxury tourism attracts a clientele that expects (and is willing to pay) for premium experiences, from accommodations at high end resorts to exclusive, private excursions.

The demand for luxury services ensures that the market remains competitive, but it also means that prices are set at a premium. The islands cater to visitors looking for an upscale, exclusive experience, which is reflected in the cost of nearly everything, from dining out to day-to-day activities.

A stunning image of Lady Grace Catamaran. She's a large navy blue catamaran sitting in the gorgeous turqouise water in Turks and Caicos. Her sails are not up, but she sits ashore waiting for her next passengers. The contrast of her name in white against the navy background creates a really nautical feel. This is one of the most expensive sunset sails in Turks and Caicos because of it's level of luxury.

Just How Expensive Is Turks And Caicos?

You're aware that a trip to Turks and Caicos comes with a higher price tag, but what does that mean in terms of actual dollars and cents? Just how expensive IS Turks and Caicos?

In this section, we'll break down the costs you're likely to encounter, from the moment you book your flight to your daily experiences on the islands.

Whether it's the flight, accommodations, dining out, getting around, or enjoying the local attractions, we've compiled the essential expenses to give you a clearer picture of how your budget will be allocated. 

Flights

The cost of airfares to Turks and Caicos can vary significantly, based on your departure city, the season, and when you book.

Direct flights from the East Coast, such as Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), and Charlotte (CLT), Toronto (YYZ), to name a few, offer the most straightforward access to Turks and Caicos. 

At the time of writing this article, on average, flights departing in July had round trip fares starting around:

  • Miami (MIA): $300.00 – $500.00 USD
  • New York (JFK): $400.00 – $600.00 USD
  • Charlotte (CLT): $450.00 – $650.– USD
  • Toronto (YYZ): $500.00 – $700.00 USD

Travelers from the West Coast, including cities like Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO), typically face higher prices due to the increased distance and possible layovers, with fares often starting from $600 to $900.

Sadly, we too are faced with these higher prices due to living in Western Canada. Our most direct option requires us to fly from Calgary to Toronto adding on those extra flight expenses when we travel to Turks and Caicos. 

You can expect prices to be much higher during peak season, December – April.

Again, this is just a sampling of flight prices to Turks and Caicos to help you better prepare for planning your trip. For tips on securing the best airfare deals to Turks and Caicos, including how to leverage flexible travel dates and early bookings, check out our guide on planning an affordable vacation to the islands.

Accommodations

As you may have guessed, your accommodations will be the most expensive part of your trip to Turks and Caicos.

In Turks and Caicos, your choice of accommodation can significantly impact your budget, with options ranging from the height of luxury to budget friendly (we use that term loosely) hotels.

Accommodation costs vary by season, peaking from December to April due to ideal weather and demand. Prices generally lower during the late summer and fall, aligning with the hurricane season.

Again, here is a sampling of prices for travel during the month of July. Please note these are average prices during this time frame and are always subject to change. Expect to see much higher pricing during peak season, December – April as stated above.

Luxury Resort Estimated Costs Before 12% Government Tax:

Mid Range Resort Estimated Costs Before 12% Government Tax:

Budget Friendly Resort Estimated Costs Before 12% Government Tax:

For those traveling in larger groups and with multiple families, vacation rentals and luxury villas often end up being a better choice for value on your dollar.

For travelers seeking to maximize value or find budget friendly resort options, our guide to 19 budget friendly resorts in Turks and Caicos is an excellent resource for planning your stay without compromising the quality of your island experience.

Dining Out

When it comes to dining in Turks and Caicos, it’s no surprise that meal costs reflect the island's reliance on imported ingredients. However, the islands boast an array of dining options, from upscale gourmet restaurants to casual local eateries, each promising a taste of Providenciales that's worth every penny.

These are some typical price ranges you’ll encounter for an entree when dining out in Turks and Caicos. These prices do not include drinks, starters and desserts etc, just entree prices, so keep that in mind when planning your meals in Turks and Caicos.

Dinner entrees in Turks and Caicos average around $45.00 USD per person. Obviously, upscale dining experiences bring higher prices due to their premium menus and ambiance. 

For example, expect to pay premium pricing for entrees at restaurants like:

  • Coco Bistro: $36.00 – $58.00 USD
  • Indigo: $34.00 – $80.00 USD
  • Seven: $30.00 – $62.00 USD

For a more casual meal, prices may dip slightly, but the quality and the views often remain unmatched.

Lunch offers slightly more affordable options, with average prices ranging from $20.00 to $25.00 USD entrees per person, especially if you opt for lunch specific menu items rather than dinner entrees.

More casual lunch pricing can be found at restaurants such as:

  • Hemingways: $12.00 – $24.00 USD
  • Turks Kebab: $15.00 – $30.00 USD
  • The Terrace On Grace Bay: $16.00 – $40.00 USD

We’ve also compiled a list of some great budget friendly restaurants in Turks and Caicos if you’re looking for a few less expensive and casual options during your stay. 

Groceries

Grocery shopping in Turks and Caicos can be an eye opening experience, with prices significantly higher than what many visitors are accustomed to. Many visitors suffer from sticker shock from the grocery prices in Turks and Caicos but knowing what to expect can help you plan accordingly.

These high prices are due to the fact that nearly all food items are imported, leading to premium prices on everyday essentials. Also, it's important to note that like anywhere it the world, prices will fluctuate throughout the year. So what you experience during one season, may be different (and lower) another. Here's a closer look at what you can expect from grocery costs as of January 2024.

Fruits and Vegetables: Expect to pay premium prices for fresh produce, especially for organic options. For example, standard Romaine lettuce is priced at $9.45, while its organic counterpart reaches $18.50. Apples can cost around $12.30, highlighting the expense of importing fresh fruits and vegetables to the islands.

Pictured: Romaine Lettuce $9.45, Organic Romaine Lettuce $18.50, Apples $12.30

Dairy and Eggs: Essential items like eggs, butter, yogurt, and milk also carry high price tags. A dozen eggs may cost $10.40, butter is priced at $8.30, and a gallon of milk at $6.75. Even alternative options like almond milk are not spared, with prices around $10.55.

Pictured: 12 Eggs $10.40, 6 Eggs FR $5.55, Butter $8.30, Yoghurt $14.50, Almond Milk $10.55, 1GL Milk $6.75

Pantry Staples: While many items are more expensive, some pantry staples remain relatively affordable, albeit still higher than US and Canadian city prices. Campbell's Soup is available for $3.75, a 6-serving box of mac and cheese for $6.45, and shredded cheese for $3.90, offering some budget-friendly options for families.

Pictured: Campbells Soup $3.75, 6 Servings Mac and Cheese $6.45, Shredded Cheese $3.90

Meat and Poultry: Sorry!! We completely forgot to take pictures of the meat counter… we'll update with pictures next visit.

However, meat and poultry products are also extremely expensive. We prefer to dine out in the evenings seeing as the cost of preparing a meal at a resort or villa can often equal or exceed the price of enjoying a meal at a local restaurant.  Plus, the added bonus of dining out means no one is left to do those pesky dishes!

To offset some of these expensive prices in Turks and Caicos, some travelers often bring non-perishable staples from home, such as granola bars, cereal, and peanut butter. Packing snacks like Pringles ($3.75), Doritos ($6.10) and cereal for the littles ($10.50), can also help save on grocery bills while ensuring you have your favorite treats on hand for beach days.

Pictured: Doritos $6.10, Flavored Cheerios $10.50, Pringles $3.75

As you can see by this sampling of prices, groceries in Turks and Caicos are definitely expensive. However, once you're there, you almost take on an attitude of “it is what it is” and just carry on. We typically purchase a few essentials for breakfast and lunch options then dine out the rest of the time.

If you are planning to stock up on groceries during your stay, we've compiled a list of popular grocery stores in Turks and Caicos to help you find the best options for your needs, including a few spots that will help you keep the costs down.

Alcohol

As expected, you can also expect to pay much higher prices than you're used to for alcohol in Turks and Caicos. Again, this is due to all items being imported to the islands.

Price Points to Expect: Imported beers and spirits carry a hefty price tag, with a case of international brands like Corona fetching $22.00 USD for a 6 pack!. Wine drinkers will find starting prices around $16.00USD but typically, most are priced at the $20.00 USD and up price point for a bottle. For those looking to enjoy spirits, expect to pay more than you would back home, making a stop at duty-free before arriving an attractive option for savings.

Pictured: Kim Crawford $28.00, Oyster Bay $20.00, Malibu Rum $49.00, Corona 6 Pack $22.00

For full details on where to purchase your alcohol and more detailed information on pricing, we've written a full article on the cost of alcohol in Turks and Caicos.

Excursions

For those looking to add adventure and exploration to their itinerary, it's important to consider the expense of these tours and excursions when planning your trip.

As we stated before, Turks and Caicos is a luxury destination that offers premium tours and excursions to visitors, many of which are much more expensive than what you would find in more popular tropical destinations.

But trust us! They're worth every penny!

  • Half Day Snorkel Tours: Various group options ranging from $125.00 USD to $260.00 USD. They all offer a similar experience and are a great way for seeing so much more than Providenciales.
  • Sunset Cruises: Experience the islands' breathtaking sunsets out on the water at costs between $120.00 USD and $175.00 USD.
  • ATV Tours: Off-roading adventurers are looking at prices ranging from $120.00 USD to $300.00 USD to get your adrenaline fix.
  • Private Boat Charters: The ultimate way to explore the outer islands during your trip. Different operation offer different services and length of excursions, but generally start at approximately $1100.00 USD for three hours.

To choose from a variety of excursions and prices, our top tours picks, Epic Excursions In Turks and Caicos will help you decide which tours will fit into your itinerary and budget. And if you like, you can enter your costs into our vacation budget calculator to see how adding your desired tours to your itinerary may affect your budget.

Transportation

For those planning to do a little bit of exploring in Turks and Caicos, it's crucial to factor in the added expense of your transportation options.

Both rental cars and taxis present viable options for navigating the islands, but each comes with its own cost implications.

Rental cars in Turks and Caicos start at around $40.00 USD per day, before taxes, for a small economy vehicle. Prices go up substantially from there.

Taxis are also readily available in Turks and Caicos but their pricing is not what you're used to at home. They charge per person, per trip, which can quickly add up especially if you're traveling as a family or small group. Our Turks and Caicos Taxi Guide provides a detailed look at taxi fares and services.

In our opinion, a rental car is the way to go especially if you want to do some exploring throughout Providenciales or even looking to do a little Island Hopping during your stay.

Turks and Caicos is expensive but it's these moments that make it worth it. Byron is sitting on a large limestone rock that jets out into the shallow turquoise water at Pelican Beach. There is nothing but him and his sun hat and the endless turquoise water.

Is Turks And Caicos Expensive? Our Final Thoughts

As we've discussed throughout this article, a trip to Turks and Caicos definitely comes with a higher price tag, due to various key factors.

The use of the US dollar, the necessity of importing nearly all goods, and the islands' focus on luxury tourism create a scenario where prices are significantly higher than many other destinations. Understanding these costs upfront is crucial for anyone planning a visit to these beautiful islands.

By providing a realistic overview of what to expect financially, our goal has been to help you prepare and budget effectively for your trip. This way, you can manage your expenses more efficiently and enjoy your stay without the stress of unexpected surprises.

Remember, while Turks and Caicos may require a bit more of an investment compared to other destinations, the unparalleled beauty, exclusive experiences, and the sheer joy of exploring this paradise are well worth the expense.

Be sure to use our Vacation Budget Calculator to track your travel expenses when planning your trip!

For those looking to stretch their travel dollars further or find more budget friendly options, we have a wealth of resources available. Whether you're seeking affordable accommodations, tips on dining out, or tips on planning an affordable vacation, our articles are designed to help you make the most of your Turks and Caicos vacation.

Have a question? Email us at hello@corksandtacos.com or join our Facebook Discussion Group


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About The Authors

Hello, we're Kerry and Byron Glover, the founders of Corks and Tacos - Your one stop guide to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

We've been traveling to Turks and Caicos multiple times per year since 2014 and we created this website to share our love and passion for Turks and Caicos with you. We provide you with useful travel planning tips and give you a "real person" perspective on all the wonderful things this Island has to offer. We look forward to you exploring our site and gaining valuable knowledge within our resources for your next vacation. We’re sure you’re going to love Turks and Caicos just as much as we do! Read our full story...

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