Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos
- By Rental: Tony's Car Rental offers car, scooter and bicycle rentals. Car rentals start from $70 per day; open-back Jeep rentals start from $9205 per day.
- By Taxi: Taxi fares will be set in advance -- look for posted signs; a ride from the cruise terminal to the downtown area should be around $7.
- By Bus: Grand Turk does not have an organized public bus system; bus stops seen around the island are, for the most part, spots for students to grab shuttles. Your best bet is to take an organized excursion, rent a car or grab a taxi.
Staying in Touch
Though we anticipate that an Internet cafe will eventually pop up in the tourist village at the cruise pier, at this point the most convenient way for cyber geeks to stay in touch is to use their ships' services. Cruisers that don't mind lugging their wireless-enabled laptops ashore will find free Wi-Fi signals at the Water's Edge restaurant and at the Osprey Hotel's courtyard cafe, both in downtown Cockburn on Duke Street.
Where You're Docked
Though Grand Turk is now a part of Eastern Caribbean itineraries, it is interesting to note that the Turks and Caicos are not a part of the Caribbean at all -- each island is surrounded on all sides by the Atlantic Ocean. And though it's only about 30 miles south of the Bahamas, it's not a part of that chain of islands, either.
Ships dock on the southwestern tip of the island, at the new pier built specifically for cruise ships; the facility is owned and operated by Carnival Corp.
Where to Eat and DrinkEditor's Note: Because the island is so laid back, addresses and hours are often flexible or unlisted; unless otherwise noted, lunching suggestions are located on the main drag in Cockburn Town.
- Most of the restaurants on the island are connected with its few resorts. The Secret Garden at the Salt Raker Inn is our favorite place for cracked (delicious deep-fried) conch. The Sandbar, an outdoor bar on the beach across from the Salt Raker and neighboring Manta House, is a great spot for a quick snack, serving up quesadillas, burgers and some more cracked conch. Duke Street.
- The Water's Edge has transformed the local specialty -- conch -- into inventive dishes like "conch burgers" and curried conch platters, but also offers sandwiches, pizzas, and chicken and fish dishes. Open daily from 11:30 a.m. Duke Street.
- The Birdcage at the Osprey Beach Hotel is open for lunch, with island dishes like spicy conch salad, fresh fish and lobster, as well as curries, pizzas, salads and key lime pie. Tables surround the pool and overlook the ocean. Duke Street.
- Though there are no real "upscale" eateries on this casual island, Guanahani Restaurant at the Bohio Dive Resort is likely Grand Turk's finest, on a quiet strip of Pillory Beach. The menu changes daily; lunch offerings are eclectic -- French, Italian and American with a Caribbean twist. Entrees range from simple fresh fish sandwiches and pecan-crusted mahi mahi to jerk chicken. Open for lunch daily.
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