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Is a Rental Car Better than Taking Cabs in Turks and Caicos?

Is a Rental Car Better than Taking Cabs in Turks and Caicos?

Old Jul 13th, 2010, 05:30 PM
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Is a Rental Car Better than Taking Cabs in Turks and Caicos?

We are going to Turks and Caicos end of July for 8 nights staying at the Ocean Club West. We are a traveling with two teenage sons. We are still trying to decide if a rental car will be worthwhile. We will want to go to great restaurants most nights and probably go to the marina area too. The rental car is about $450 and the hotel has said that most cab rides or their shuttle are $8-$12 per person. OCW aslo said about a dozen or so restaurants and a grocery store are within walking distance. I don't mind a 10 minute or so easy walk but the Caribbean can be very hot/humid in the summer. Dressing up for dinner then getting all hot walking doesn't sound fun. Any thoughts if the rental car is worth it? Any help with walk distances to surrounding restaurants would also be appreciated too.
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Old Jul 13th, 2010, 06:47 PM
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We always use Grace Bay car Rentals -older cars but, great service, taxi's as you mention is per person and such a rip off...the rental car is cheaper in the long run. Why not rent for part of the stay-hit the grocery store and restaurants not within walking distance--then walk to the others...just a thought.
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 04:02 AM
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i use scooter bob - another place with older cars/jeeps but works for us. i too say rent the car as i love to explore, you don't want to be limited to what you can walk to and it's much more convenient!!
this map may be helpful: http://www.aquamarinebeachhouses.com/map.htm
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 04:24 AM
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Where did you get the $450 quote? Grace Bay Car is closer to $320 plus tax. You'll probably have to fill it with gas about 1 time in the end, and you'll be getting a toyota corolla, which fits the 4 of you fine. They'll meet you at the airport, so no airport shuttle, and you can leave it at the airport.

Some taxi charges:
Airport to OCW=roughly $48-$55 plus tip-one way
OCW to snorkel Coral Gardens= $ pp plus tip each way=$64
To Turtle Cove Marina=$50


From OCW, you can comfortable walk to IGA supermarket gourmet, and to Coco Bistro, Coyaba, Mango Reef, Caicos Cafe, The Terrace, Jimmy's Dive Shack, The Grill Rouge.

You probably want a car for Hemingway's, O'Soleil, Somewhere On The Beach, Tiki Hut, Magnolia's, Da Conch Shack, Bagatelle's; and for Saltmills Plaza and Regent Village. You'll want a car to explore, Sapadilla Bay, Taylor Bay, Pelican Beach and the do not miss sight of Chalk Sound-the most amazing neon turquoise water you'll ever see.

So 1 taxi ride will cost you 1 daily car rental.
Unlimited rides all day=priceless ;-)
Plus no playing the "have someone call for me, waiting to be taken game."
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 04:25 AM
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PS ask Grace Bay Car Rentals lately I saw rent for a week get a day free- save even more
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 04:29 AM
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Simply put, get a rental car. In the long run you'll be very glad you did. You can come & go as you please and as you already pointed out who needs to get all sweaty walking in the heat and humidity.

If you read through various trip reports you rarely, if ever, hear of anyone who writes that they regretted getting a rental car. On the other hand, you find lots of comments where people complain about the high cost of taxis or are unable to fully appreciate all an island has to offer because all "the good stuff" was not within walking distance. Ask yourself what would you rather do - spend your time actually doing things or spend half your time walking somewhere.
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 05:24 PM
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We are going to TCI in 2 weeks and were able to rent a "sardine can" from AVIS for about $250. Check out Budget too.
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Old Jul 15th, 2010, 08:05 PM
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Hi
does anyone know what is walkable from the windsong. That is where I'm staying and I wasn't planning to rent a car, just take taxis.

Theresa
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Old Jul 16th, 2010, 08:07 AM
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From the Windsong you can walk next door to Coral Gardens and eat at "Somewhere on the Beach" (Mexican) You also can walk at lunchtime to Turks & Caicos Club, West Bay Club or Gansevoort , In the other direction again at lunchtime you can walk to other resorts-depends how long of a walk you are up for. I would not walk to any of these at night , just to be safe.
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Old Jul 16th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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Why wouldn't you walk at night. Is it too dark? No sidewalks> or is there a crime problem?
Thanks Theresa
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Old Jul 16th, 2010, 10:56 AM
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Yes, too dark, some sidewalks and yes there has been some crime--not as bad as other islands, just be smart.
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Old Jul 17th, 2010, 02:47 AM
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Theresa, staying at Windsong, you really should get a car--it's on a "quiet" section of Grace Bay, away from the hub of shops and most restaurants. It's easy and straight forward to drive there, and rental cars cost less than most taxi. Windsong does have someone after 6 to take you and pick you up from restaurants (tip him well) but then you can't explore. There are so many other different gorgeous beaches, an amazing sight-Chalk Sound, where water is so neon it glows, and the famous Da Conch Shack. At least rent a couple of days, then decide if you want it all week.

I personally staying at Windsong always get a car. In bad economies around the world, I wouldn't be walking in the dark anywhere on any Caribbean island. Windsong is a little more isolated than other properties, and taxi will cost more than a car rental in the long run (plus you need cash for it)
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Old Jul 19th, 2010, 06:57 PM
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We just returned from 8 nights at OCW July 7th. Definitely rent a car for a few days - and do like Caribzack recommended. We had 10 people and the cab out 3 times was the cost of a rental - if not more. Definitely go to larger IGA with the car - more selection. Grace Gourmet(something like that) is close to walk but less choice and perhaps more expensive. Definitely eat at Caicos Cafe(walking), The Magnolia(drive), Baci Ristorante(drive), and Hemingways(20 min walk down the beach). the food was fantastic - and the Magnolia restaurant was a great place for our last night.
We ended up in building A o/f. The condo was perfect and the view awesome. Not crowded - great beach. The restaurant - just eat the wraps or sandwiches if you choose to eat there at all. OCW is not fancy but friendly, clean, the grounds are beautiful, and the condos are spacious and well equipped. ENJOY!
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Old Jul 20th, 2010, 05:40 PM
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We rented from Avis when we were there in May 2010 and It was the best thing we ever did. We had the freedom to explore the whole Island and get to all the best beaches. I agree that Graceway IGA had a bigger selection, but if you are staying at Ocean Club West Grace Gormet is so much closer. If you get a chance take the Yellow ferry by Carribean cruises to North and Middle caicos We rented a car there and got National Geographic quality photos and it was just amazing. Sapadilla bay, Chalk sound, Pirates cove Malcolms beach all AMAZING beaches Malcoms beach and Pirates cove were the calmest waters to snorkel. Dont leave your bags on the beach while you snorkel or they may get rummaged through.We were there for 10 days and drove all over the whole island and only filled up when we left.
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Old Jul 21st, 2010, 05:07 AM
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thank you so much everyone. this has been so helpful.
Theresa
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