Passengers typically become silent when their plane starts its descent into the Providenciales airport (PLS), mesmerized by the shallow, crystal-clear, turquoise waters of Chalk Sound National Park below. Provo, as most visitors call it, is the most developed part of the island chain. Most of the modern resorts, exquisite spas, water-sports operators, shops, business plazas, restaurants, bars, cafés, and its only golf course are on or close by the prized, 12-mile (18-km) north shore with its exquisite Grace Bay. Despite of the ever-increasing number of taller and grander condominium resorts, it's still possible to find deserted stretches on this priceless, sugar-soft shoreline. When residents begin to groan during the busy season, exclaiming how many people are bustling around, tourists exclaim, "You’ve got to be kidding. There’s no one here!" But for guaranteed seclusion, one can head off to explore the southern shores and western tip of the island or set sail for a private island getaway on one of the many deserted cays nearby. For many, renting a private villa in one of the less developed areas of the island creates the perfect balance.
Providenciales is where the majority of tourists are headed when they come to the Turks and Caicos Islands, or TCI. In fact, regardless of which other island you may be going to, you'll stop here first, as Provo has this country’s main international airport, taking in all scheduled international flights. However, with all its modern amenities and unsurpassed beauty there comes a fairly high price tag attached. This is not the island for the budget-conscious traveler to visit; accommodations and dining here are expensive. Provo is definitely an upscale destination. And with this designation, you won’t be hassled by beach vendors, and you won’t be surrounded by poverty. This is a place to de-stress and unwind in the loveliest of ways.
Of course, for those with a passion for experiencing the real side of Turks and Caicos, Providenciales is conveniently connected to its family islands through a superb ferry service or several small plane flights a day. There are also myriad boat charters that can get you off the island and back again—in a flash. You can head out in the morning and be back to enjoy dinner in one of the many fabulous restaurants islandwide, followed by the comforts of your five-star hotel. No roughing it unless you wish to, and the sky’s the limit. Enjoy!