Turks and Caicos Islands: Places to Explore

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Photo: BlueOrange Studio/iStockphoto

Providenciales

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Passengers typically become silent when their plane starts its descent, mesmerized by the shallow, crystal clear turquoise waters of Chalk Sound National Park. This island, nicknamed Provo, was once called Blue Hills after the name of its first settlement. Just south of the airport and downtown area, Blue Hills is the closest thing you can get to a more typical Caicos island settlement on what's now the most developed of the islands in the 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) stretch of Grace Bay beach. In spite of the ever-increasing number of taller and grander condominium resorts, it's still possible to find deserted stretches on the ivory-white shoreline. For guaranteed seclusion, rent a car and go 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.

Progress and beauty come 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.

Although you may be kept quite content enjoying the beachscape and top-notch amenities of Provo itself, it's also a great starting point for island-hopping tours by sea or by air as well as fishing and diving trips. Resurfaced roads should help you get around and make the most of the main tourism and sightseeing spots.

Providenciales at a Glance

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