Turks and Caicos Islands: Places to Explore


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Passengers typically become silent when their plane starts its descent to the Providenciales airport, mesmerized by the shallow, crystal-clear, turquoise waters of Chalk Sound National Park. This island, nicknamed Provo, was once called Blue Hills, after its first settlement. Just south of the airport and downtown area, Blue Hills remains most like a traditional Caicos Island settlement on this, 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 the championship golf course are on or close by the 12-mile- (18-km-) long Grace Bay. In spite of the ever-increasing number of taller and grander condominium resorts—many have popped up since the late 1990s—it's still possible to find deserted stretches on this priceless, ivory-white shoreline. For guaranteed seclusion, rent a car and 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.

Providenciales, which has the highest concentration of resorts as well as the country's biggest airport, is where most tourists are headed when they come to the Turks and Caicos. Regardless of which other island you may be going to, you'll stop here first. Accommodations and dining here are expensive; Provo is an upscale destination. Even souvenirs are costly; you won't find T-shirts for less than $25, for example. But you won't be hassled here as you might be in less expensive destinations. Beach vendors won't approach you—you have to approach them to buy. Provo is a great place to de-stress and unwind.

All this progress and beauty comes at a price: with plenty of new visitors arriving each year, the country's charms are no longer a secret, but don't worry—you'll still enjoy the gorgeous beaches and wonderful dinners. Although you may start to believe that every road leads to a big resort development, there are, happily, plenty of sections of beach where you can escape the din.

Providenciales at a Glance

Experience Providenciales