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Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
The difference between sun times on Providenciales, located west in the archipelago, and Grand Turk, in the east, is a few minutes. Selecting a specific island will use a location in the approximate center of the island selected.
The Turks and Caicos experiences very bright and sunny weather throughout much of the year. However, we’re not immune to the occasional overcast day.
It’s easy to get too much sun in the Turks and Caicos, so we recommend planning your trip around the weather forecast. Snorkeling, diving and boat cruises are typically most-pleasant during sunny conditions, but consider reserving overcast days for the land sights and attractions.
Due to our archipelago’s location on the north-eastern windward edge of the West Indies, we’re directly exposed to the weather of the open tropical Atlantic. For this region, clear skies are the norm. When there is cloud cover, low altitude formations are typical. Weather conditions can change a bit during the Atlantic hurricane season. Passing tropical cyclones may bring extended periods of rainfall and clouds.
Extensive wetlands and tidal tundra cover much of the southern sides of the larger Caicos Islands, much of which is protected under the international Ramsar Convention agreement. These regions directly affect rainfall and cloud cover over Providenciales and the central Caicos Cays.
As the ground in the wetlands become heated by the sun, the surrounding air warms and rises. As it reaches higher altitudes, this humid air condenses into clouds and precipitation. Almost as if by clockwork, narrow banks of clouds roll in from the southeast across parts of Providenciales, Pine Cay and Parrot Cay.
The Turks and Caicos is a wonderful place to watch the sun rise and set. For information on the best places to see and photograph the display, see Turks and Caicos Sunsets.
If you’re lucky, you may also witness the strange atmospheric event that is the green flash.
The sun in the Turks and Caicos and other tropical zones is intense, and it’s best to protect yourself against it. It’s very easy to stay out too long and get sun burnt!
Sunscreen is an essential part of any travel kit to the Turks and Caicos, and we advise that you bring about twice as much as you’d think will be required. There’s a wide selection available on Providenciales at our grocery stores and water sport shops, yet due to local import duties, you’ll likely save quite a bit buying it at home.
For the wellbeing of the reefs and marine environment in the Turks and Caicos, please use a reef safe sunscreen. Conventional sunscreens have been proven to cause long-lasting damage to coral.
The best choices those that are bio-degradable and have no oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate, or 4-methylbenzylidene camphor. We recommend going with the highest SPF (sun protection factor) available. Many of the sunscreens advertised as “reef safe” are acceptable or at least cause far less damage than the common varieties.
A great piece of apparel to complement or use instead of sunscreen when on and in the ocean are long sleeve rash guards. These are available in varying grades of sun protection, they don’t bog down when wet, and they offer a little thermal insulation as well.
If you haven’t packed a rash guard, many of the water sports and gift shops on Providenciales offer a great selection, including those with unique Turks and Caicos artwork.