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Is Turks and Caicos Expensive? This Post Explains Prices for Groceries, Restaurants, Accommodations, Taxis, and More

Are you trying to figure out whether or not Turks and Caicos is expensive? Some things here are BONKERS expensive, while others are comparable to what we pay in the US. This post gives a breakdown of prices for groceries, restaurants, accommodations, taxis, and more in Turks and Caicos.

But starting with the simplest question first: Is Turks and Caicos expensive? Unfortunately, the answer to that is YES, it is! It’s very expensive, and there are specific reasons for that too. 

If you’re familiar with these Caribbean islands, you know they’re famous for their beautiful beaches and crystal blue sea water. Turks & Caicos has some of the nicest beaches in the world. 

So we’ll also talk about how, despite the fact that it’s an expensive destination to visit, it’s well worth it if you have the money. 

For our 2021 trip to Turks and Caicos, my husband and I stayed in a vacation rental on Salt Cay for 1 week, a hotel on Provo for 2 nights, and also 2 nights in a hotel on Grand Turk before ending the vacation with 4 nights at Beaches Resort. The prices mentioned in this post will reflect this 2021 experience.

A serene blue beach with an umbrella and two chairs in Turks and Caicos.

Prices Turks and Caicos

So, exactly how expensive are we talking about? The first thing to keep in mind about Turks and Caicos is that they use US dollars as their currency, so all the prices mentioned in the article are in USD as well.

To put it simply, Turks and Caicos is incredibly expensive and is considered to be one of the most expensive holiday destinations. But this is the general overview, and there are ways to save money and things you can do to make the trip more cost-efficient. 

Does that mean it’ll be cheaper than a trip to lower cost countries? No. Does that mean you could find ways to have a vacation there without spending upwards of $2,000 a night? Absolutely. 

Let’s go over all the main costs you’ll incur there and what to expect so you can decide if it’s worth it for you:

A view from an airplane when arriving at Turks and Caicos with crystal blue water beneath.

Flight Prices to Turks and Caicos

The very first expense you can expect will probably be your flight. Fortunately, the prices for the tickets aren’t too bad.

My round trip ticket price from Appleton, Wisconsin to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos cost $500.85 through American Airlines. (So, for both my husband and me it cost $1,000.) This was for January/February 2021.

Flight prices for Provo to Grand Turk were $45 per ticket (round trip) through InterCaribbean Airways.

Flight prices from Grand Turks to Salt Cay were also $45 per ticket (round trip). 

Expect to pay a bit more if you’re headed there from the west coast. And you’ll definitely be paying a higher price for your tickets if you’re traveling from somewhere outside of North America. 

A view of a vacation rental home at Salt Cay in Turks and Caicos.
Our Salt Cay vacation rental

Accommodation Prices

Your biggest overall expense when traveling to Turks and Caicos islands will most likely be accommodation. Let’s go through the different options you have available:

NOTE: the government imposes a 12% “occupancy tax” on hotels, vacation rentals and resort reservations. Be sure to double-check whether this tax is included in your booking price.

Villas/Private vacation rentals

A popular option when coming to Turks and Caicos is to rent a private villa. This can get INSANELY expensive, depending on what you rent. 

I mean, some of these villas are being rented by celebrities and politicians (the Kardashians were staying on Provo at the same time as us and allegedly spent $35,000 a night for their villa – the most expensive I saw was $32,000 a night on Provo.) 

However, vacation rentals in Turks and Caicos do exist between $100-$200 a night. (Our rental on Salt Cay, for example, was $150 a night.) 

The beach area in front of the Osprey Hotel.
The beach area in front of the Osprey Hotel.

Hotels

The most affordable hotels I was able to find for our stay on Provo was the Grace Bay Suites and the Osprey Hotel on Grand Turk. (These were both no-frills hotels, but nice enough and within walking distance to restaurants and shopping.) 

They were both less than $200 a night when we stayed at them. However, the vast majority of hotels on Turks and Caicos will be over $200 a night. Check out a complete list of Provo hotels and Grand Turk hotels to find the right one for you.

All-inclusive resorts

All-inclusive resorts are VERY expensive, in my opinion, on Turks and Caicos. However, when you take into account food prices and the taxes imposed here… the prices do make sense (kind of).

Where we stayed

Read next: Honest Beaches Turks & Caicos Review: EVERYTHING You Need to Know Before You Book

We had spent the last portion of our trip at Beaches Turks and Caicos. This was easily the most expensive resort we had ever been to (although, we did really enjoy it). 

For us to have spent an entire week at Beaches in Turks and Caicos would, at minimum, have cost $6,000. (I had received a press rate for staying here, and had not spent nearly that much, though.) 

Pro tip: if you’re interested in staying at a Beaches Resort with your family, but would like to spend roughly HALF the price – check out Beaches in Ocho Rios.

Beaches Turks & Caicos During COVID

Funny enough, that’s not even close to being the most expensive all-inclusive resort in Turks and Caicos. The exclusive Amanyara Resort currently holds that title! Prices START at $2,000 a night. (Literally, this is where people like Brad Pitt, David Beckham and Lebron James stay, though.)

At the time I was looking (for the end of January, early February), Alexandra Resort had been the cheapest all-inclusive resort to stay at in Turks and Caicos. A week here would have cost us just over $4,000. (Which to me, is not all that cheap, though!!)

Taxi Prices

Things to note:

  • There is no public transport on Turks and Caicos, at this time.
  • There are also no Ubers or Lyfts.
  • You have to use taxis if you don’t get a rental car

Anytime I mentioned to anyone that I was going to Turks and Caicos, the first thing they would say is, “RENT A CAR.” I am absolutely terrified of driving on the left side of the road, though. So, we decided to take taxis instead.

However, the reason everyone suggested this is because taxi prices are NUTS. (And car rentals aren’t all that bad in price.) 

For us to take a taxi from the Providenciales airport to the Grace Bay Suites (a 12 km drive) cost $33, and we shared the ride with another couple (which did nothing for the price). We were then expected to tip 10-15% on this rate.

To take a taxi from the Osprey Hotel to the Grand Turk Airport (a 3.3 km drive) cost us $12! Plus, the driver was pleading for a large tip. (We also only had a $20 bill on us at that time, and the driver wouldn’t make us any change. So, we ended up having to give a 40% tip…)

Tipping in Turks and Caicos

Tipping in Turks and Caicos is exactly the same as in the US. 15% is considered the minimum, and 20% is considered the average. (As I mentioned above, for taxis it’s typical to tip 10-15%, although, many are asking for more due to COVID.

Grocery Prices in Turks and Caicos

Here’s the thing, almost nothing is produced in terms of food and goods on Turks and Caicos –  it is all imported. 

This can sometimes mean things are A LOT more expensive than what we pay at grocery stores in the US. (Remember how in my Turks and Caicos packing list – I included food? This is why!)

Because of this, when I was researching prices for our trip to Turks and Caicos, the thing I was most concerned about was the food prices. I was having a hard time finding anything that had recent grocery prices, specifically.

So, when it came time for me to do my grocery shopping for the week at Graceway Supermarket on Grand Turk – I tried to make note of and photograph as many food and beverage prices as I could. (So, I could provide you guys with a more up-to-date idea of what grocery prices are in Turks and Caicos.)

I do apologize, some of these prices do not have the exact size included (I hadn’t made a good note!) – however, these are “normal” sized items. None of these were bulk sizes. I’m also including a photo gallery at the end of the prices list, so you can see the products and sizes.

Gala apples in a grocery store in Turks and Caicos

Produce

  • Bananas – $0.85 per pound
  • Head of iceberg lettuce – $1.99
  • Sugar snap peas bag – $6.41
  • 1 bunch kale – $1.65
  • Bag of gala apples – $5.55
  • 1 head romaine lettuce – $10.27
  • Sweet potato – $1.87 per pound
  • Bag of fresh cherries – $11.99
Different fresh meat being sold in a grocery store in Turks and Caicos

Meat

  • 1 lb Tofu – $4.48
  • whole chicken (3.74 lbs) – $11.18
  • 1 dozen eggs – $3.21
  • Sliced turkey packet – $8.67
  • 1 lb ground turkey – $4.01
  • Bologna packet – $3.85
  • Boneless skinless chicken breast for 2 breasts – $5.56
Cans of food items such as tomato sauce, mixed vegetables, and sweet peas in a grocery store in Turks and Caicos.
Turks and Caicos grocery prices

Canned

  • Prego sauce 23.5 oz – $5.83
  • Peas (15 oz) – $2.71
  • mixed vegetables (15 oz) – $2.34
A grocery store shelf granola bars in Turks and Caicos.

Breakfast

  • Nature Valley granola bars 12 ct – $6.73
  • Chewy bars 8 ct -$6.19
  • Kellogs Apple Jack Cup (1.5 oz) – $1.91
  • Smuckers creamy peanut butter (16 oz) – $5.98 
  • Essential Everyday grap jelly (18 0z) – $3.04
  • Nutella – $6.58
  • Folgers Coffee (11.3 oz) – $10.63
A grocery store shelf with Lays chips and Doritos in Turks and Caicos.

Snacks

  • Lays potato chips (6.5 oz bag) – $4.06
A grocery store shelf with boxed macaroni and cheese in Turks and Caicos.

Pasta

  • Mac n Cheese – $0.90 – $1.16 (depending on brand)
  • Spaghetti noodles (7.6 oz) – $1.98
  • Maruchan ramen cups – $2.09 each
Butter Grocery Prices in Turks and Caicos

Dairy

  • 1 gallon of milk – $2.99
  • Butter blend 1 lb – $3.90
  • European style butter blend 1 lb – $8.01
  • Butter (and Unsalted Butter) 4 sticks – $9.25
  • Colby cheese slices packet – $8.72
A sign on a grocery store refrigerator reading Corona $16.99 for 6 pack in Turks and Caicos.

Drinks

  • 32 ct bottled water – $8.93
  • Lacroix water case – $10.54
  • Barefoot Pinot Grigio bottle – $14.97
  • Principato bottle – $16.04
  • 6 pack of Corona – $16.99 (on sale)

Condiments

  • Ketchup – $2.56
  • Kraft dressing – $3.84

Frozen

  • Bagged ice – $2.41
  • Bag of frozen mixed veggies – $3.99

As you can see, some things are “normal” prices, and others (like beer, butter and the Romaine lettuce) are INSANELY priced.

It’s not impossible to buy affordable groceries on Turks and Caicos, you just have to be willing to make adjustments to your grocery list and look carefully at the prices. 

Note: the meat quality at the grocery store was not the best. You were paying rather high prices for meat that was pretty bad quality. I would avoid red meat, specifically, if you can, as this was the poorest quality. Chicken, tofu and ground turkey were OK, though.

Restaurant Prices

Restaurant prices will obviously vary based on which island you are dining on and what type of restaurant. I’ll share a few examples of places we dined at, below, to give you a rough estimate of what to expect when dining out on Turks and Caicos.

Another thing too is that Turks and Caicos don’t really have any unique styles of cooking (like Jamaica, for example). The type of food that you will be eating at restaurants in Turks and Caicos is more or less the same as what you get at restaurants in the United States.

Salt Cay Turks and Caicos restaurant.

Salt Cay

Due to COVID, only 1 restaurant was open consistently on Salt Cay while we were there. Oceanaire Bistro is where we had dinner a few times (be sure to call a day in advance to let them know what you would like to eat – as ingredients are limited on Salt Cay). Check out their current menu prices here or contact them on their Facebook page. Below are a few prices from their menu. (Their food was fantastic, too!)

  • Eggs Your Way – 2 eggs with toast $11.00, add bacon or sausage $3.00
  • Chicken Sandwich – Grilled or Fried fish with lettuce, tomato and pickles served on a bun – $16.00
  • Hamburger with Fries – $18.00
  • Red Snapper – Steamed with red-green peppers with onion or Sautéed with garlic, onion and lime or Fried with tartar sauce – $28.00 – (This is their best dish, in my opinion.)
  • Lynn’s Mojito – made with fresh, out of the garden, mint, lime and rum – $12.00

Grand Turk

Again, we had VERY limited dining options on Grand Turk due to a curfew going into effect the day we arrived on Grand Turk. We were basically limited to eating at the hotel we were staying at.

Bohio Guanahani Restaurant & Bar (Check out their current menu prices. Food was OK, but the ambiance here was fantastic.)

  • COCONUT SHRIMP (appetizer) Served with signature mango basil dipping sauce – $16
  • CHICKEN TIKI MASALA (entree) Served with white rice, sambals & chutney – $33
  • GRAND TURK COMBO PLATTER (best bang for your buck – 2 people could share this) – A generous combination of fish, cracked conch and local lobster fresh from the sea! – $55
  • WINE – Between $9-$12 per glass
Two smoothies on a table with bright blue sea in the back.
These smoothies were $12 a piece.

Providenciales

We were staying at the Grace Bay Suites and tried a few places within walking distance of our accommodation. 

Shay Cafe – We actually had a breakfast voucher for here, thanks to staying at Grace Bay Suites. LOVED the service and food at Shay Cafe.

  • Breakfast sandwich – $11
  • 2 eggs & toast – $6.25
  • French toast – $11
  • Large cappuccino – $5

Danny Buoy’s – This sports bar was right next to our hotel and had decent food and service. Funny enough, even country singer Jason Aldean was eating there at the same time we had. Check out their current menu before heading there.

  • Buffalo Wings – $20
  • Flame-broiled burger – $23
  • Fish and chips – $23
  • Tap beer – $6
  • Bottle beer – $6-$9

We really struck out with our dining options for dinner and don’t recommend the places we had eaten at, below. However, this will still give you a rough idea of what the prices were. 

Hemingways on the Beach – Great ambiance, but the food wasn’t that amazing but you should take a peak at their menu.

  • Mixed salad – $11
  • Shrimp scampi – $14.95
  • Seared ahi tuna (with sides) – $38
  • Curry shrimp (with sides) – $28
  • Chicken Breast (with sides) – $30 

Bella Luna Pizza – Sorry, didn’t like the pizza here either but you can check their menu for options.

  • Margherita Pizza  – $18
  • Classic pepperoni pizza – $19
  • BBQ chicken pizza – $21
  • Mixed salad – $10
Underwater shot of a whale on Salt Cay, Turks and Caicos.
My new friend we met snorkeling with whales on Salt Cay!

Excursions in Turks and Caicos

Honestly, the only excursions we did were through Salt Cay Divers or were included in our all-inclusive stay at Beaches. 

Richard and Karen from Salt Cay Divers were worth every single penny we had spent. (I mean, we SWAM WITH HUMPBACK WHALES on multiple occasions with them.) 

Below is a quick breakdown of the excursions we did with them. You can also check Salt Cay Divers’ current price lists

  • Gibbs Cay snorkeling trip from Salt Cay – $80 per person
  • Snorkeling with whales adventure – $160 per person
  • Snorkel gear rentals (for us to go snorkeling by ourselves) – $15 per day

You may want to check for other Turks and Caicos excursion prices as well.

Why is Turks and Caicos So Relatively Expensive?

So, now that we’ve covered the expense of almost everything in Turks and Caicos, let’s get to the point you’ve been waiting for – why is Turks and Caicos so expensive? 

Well, I’ve mentioned most of it throughout the article but let’s start summing it up right here: 

The Currency – US Dollar

The fact that Turks and Caicos’ official currency is the US Dollar contributes significantly to the island’s high cost. As a result, you don’t benefit from the exchange rate when visiting.

So, essentially, it’s as if you’re going to an incredibly high-end resort to vacation at in the US. But then you don’t even get the relatively cheaper groceries we have at home or the option to take an Uber.

On top of it all, this place has also been significantly influenced by American culture, with many wealthy Americans owning property on the islands. All of this raises the cost of property on the islands and, with it, the cost of everything else. 

Luxury Destination

Until the 1960s, Turks & Caicos wasn’t the luxury destination it is considered to be today. But then, wealthy Americans started coming to the islands for its stunning white sand beaches and privacy. 

Slowly but surely, it became a holiday destination catering to the wealthy, and still today, the prices reflect that. You do get what you pay for, but you have to know that the prices for most (if not all) things will be higher there.

Import Taxes

With the exception of food items, all imports into Turks and Caicos are subject to a 30% import tax and a 7.5% customs processing fee. On top of that, since the islands don’t manufacture anything, all goods must be imported. 

And even though groceries are exempted from these taxes, they still have to be imported as well since the island doesn’t grow anything either. So even the groceries are imported in – which means transport cost is added to the cost of goods and passed on to the consumers (meaning us!).

Another thing to keep in mind is that some specific items are still taxed, such as 30% on soft drinks and a whopping 40% on bottled water. 

All of this adds up to the prices I shared with you in this article. 

Final Thoughts

I understand that what is expensive to one person is not expensive to another. So, I wanted to present some prices in this post so you can decide if Turks and Caicos is expensive for YOU, depending on your budget. 

Overall, this is one of the most expensive trips my husband I had ever been on, but it is also one of the most beautiful and luxurious places we have ever visited. We absolutely loved the experience and would love to return one day! 

Please feel free to reach out with any questions about Turks and Caicos in the comments!

IS TURKS AND CAICOS EXPENSIVE? THIS POST EXPLAINS PRICES FOR GROCERIES, RESTAURANTS, ACCOMMODATIONS, TAXIS AND MORE

6 Comments

  1. This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. You hear it is expensive, but your grocery information really helped clarify HOW expensive.

  2. One of my dream destinations so it is great that you have such a helpful post so that one day when I travel there (fingers crossed!) I will have a good idea of expenses.

  3. Thank you for an excellent and thorough review of Turks and Caicos! My wife and I decided to acquire a winter property in Providenciales. We were shocked at the All Inclusive Resort prices, especially for a 12-14 day stay. We found some wonderful properties through Airbnb and with airfare we’re saving over 50%. Now we’ll rent a jeep and explore more of the island.

  4. We are traveling to providenciales in October for the first time and this article really answered alot of our questions. Thanks Lindsey. Great job

  5. Thank you!! I found your article very helpful as we will be headed there in just a month!! Thanks
    Natasha

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