Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Destination Wedding Locations: Turks and Caicos Islands

About thirty miles southeast of the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos are a collection of thirty
islands whose laid-back lifestyle and close proximity to the United States makes then an interesting wedding destination site. The islands are a British Grown Colony, similar to Bermuda.

Wedding Logistics
Officially, the Turks and Caicos Islands require a fifteen-day residency requirement. However, a destination wedding planner told us you. can often- get by with just five days. Using a wedding planner is advisable for acquiring a wedding license here.

Costs, Accommodations, and Getting Around
Round-trip airfare from Miami is about $175 to Nassau in the Bahamas. That's the easy part—the trip to the Turks and Caicos, however requires quite a bit of patience. Boats are the most dependable option, but they are definitely slower than air options.

A seven-night package at a nice, higher-end hotel is about $2000 in the winter. Club Med (809-946-4491) has a resort here that charges $2500 per couple for a week which includes meals and drinks. Compared to other Caribbean destinations, these prices are quite reasonable U.S. dollars are legal tender.

What Makes it Special
Great service. Beautiful beaches. That's how we'd up the Turks and Caicos islands, which got the start "farming" salt about a hundred years ago. An interesting touring excursion: Iguana Island. This island, which is just a short boat ride away, has a wide variety of (you guessed it) iguanas. Plan on this vacation being very laid-back and relaxing. While there are plenty of water sports options, this is not a destination with overwhelming nightlife and shopping.

Insider Travel Tips
Due to its farther north latitude, temperatures in the Turks and Caicos can dip into the 60s in winter. On the upside, tropical breezes in summer keep the temperatures from going much above 90°.

Most of the lodging on the Turks is no-frill, with the exception of the splashy Club Med resort on Provo. The shopping is not the attraction here, but the scuba diving is reportedly excellent.
If you want to also take in the nearby Bahamas, the seven-hundred-island chain has some interesting sights. The cities of Nassau and Freeport are more cosmopolitan, with razzle-dazzle shopping and nightlife. Smaller isles (like the Family islands, Abacos, and San Salvador) are more low key and quiet. These islands feature lower room rates than in Nassau. The off-season in the Bahamas runs from mid-April to mid-December— with 33 percent discounts off winter rates.
If you visit Nassau, you probably should avoid Mondays and Thursdays. That's when the cruise ships dock and release throngs of tourists.

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