Turks and Caicos is a cluster of 40 small islands, located near the Caribbean. Just 12 of the islands are inhabited, and the largest—Providenciales—is just under 100 square kilometres in size, and is home to around 31,000 people. Despite the small size of the island group, more than a million tourists visit every year to enjoy holidays in Providenciales amidst the gorgeous beaches and tropical climate.
Places to Go on Providenciales – Turks and Caicos Travel Guide
Despite Providenciales’ small size, there’s a wide variety of things to see and do and places to stay, with plenty of family-friendly resorts and hotels, as well as several adults-only resorts for singles and couples aged 18 and over. Grace Bay, located on the island’s north-east coast, is home to several hotels and resorts, including the family-focused Seven Stars, the boutique hotel Grace Bay Place, and the 18+ Club Med Turkoise.
For the ultimate in luxury holidays, Providenciales has the Windsong Resort, located at the stunning Grace Bay. The resort is situated right on the beach-front, and features fabulous one, two, and three bedroom luxury apartments with breathtaking views of the beach and ocean. While it can be difficult to find accommodation for villa holidays in Providenciales, by exploring all your options thoroughly and booking well in advance, it’s definitely possible to find a comfortable and private place to stay.
A holiday on Providenciales can be as quiet and relaxing or as energetic and exciting as you want it to be. Spend your days soaking up the sun on Grace Bay Beach—the island’s most popular attraction—or head into the water to explore mysterious coral reefs teeming with life. Go boating, sailing, or diving, or travel inland and explore the quiet roads and byways by car, moped, or bicycle. Providenciales may be a small island, but there’s still plenty to see and do. And if you decide to travel further afield, it’s easy to take a day trip to an adjacent island by catching a ferry.
Providenciales is a fairly quiet island, with only a small handful of nightclubs and bars. But there’s still plenty of ways to enjoy an evening, whether it’s with cocktails at a beach-side bar, a night of live music at a local pub, or a few hours spent at the Caicos Royale Casino at Turtle Cove Marina. And if you’ve opted for a Providenciales package holiday at a resort, you’ll have additional options for an evening’s entertainment.
What to See and Do on Providenciales
- Visit historic sites such as Sapodilla Hill Rock Carvings, located near Sapodilla Bay. Many rocks at this protected site have been carved with inscriptions that document ships and people dating back to the 1800s.
- Another fascinating historic site is the Cheshire Hill Plantation, which dates back to the 18th century. While most of the plantation is now in ruins, it’s still an interesting place to learn more about the local cotton industry.
- Head to Long Bay Beach for swimming and sun-bathing, and activities such as horse riding and kite surfing.
- If you’re on the island in the week after a full moon, book an evening boat tour to see marine glow worms, which are only visible during this part of the month.
- Visit Caicos Conch Farm to learn about the tiny crustaceans that are one of the island’s main exports, and an ingredient of many local dishes.
- During November, an annual Conch Festival is held in the Blue Hills area. This family-focused festival features a full weekend of activities, with plenty of food, music, and fun. In 2015, the festival is scheduled for the weekend of November 28.
- Novices and experienced divers alike can enjoy diving to see incredible coral reefs, colourful fish, and exotic marine plants, in the gorgeous blue waters of Providenciales. On the island you can take your pick of snorkelling, scuba diving, and a combination of the two called snuba.
- Rent a boat or book a boat tour to head out on the water and visit the tiny islands in the waters surrounding Providenciales, go snorkelling, or enjoy skiing and other water sports.
- Enjoy a wide range of cuisines at local restaurants, including fabulous local dishes as well as international classics at Italian, Japanese, and Irish eateries.
- Visit the incredible Chalk Sound National Park, just a couple of miles south of the Downtown area. Chalk Sound is a natural lagoon with bright turquoise water and hundreds of tiny rock cays, and is highly popular with kayakers.
- Many package holidays in Providenciales include excursions to local attractions and activities; for example, Club Med Turkoise offers snorkelling, sailing, and other daily activities.
Need to Know Info for Providenciales
The official language of the Turks and Caicos Islands is English, and some residents also speak Spanish or Haitian Creole. The currency is the American dollar.
Thanks to the island group’s Caribbean location the climate is tropical, with warm weather for most of the year and monsoons during the summer, but there tends to be less rainfall in this region than in most other parts of the Caribbean. Monsoon season is usually from May through to October. Summertime temperatures reach the mid 30s on the hottest days, but typically remain in the low to mid 20s in the winter. Since the winters are mild as compared to the hot and often humid summers, the dry winter season—November through to April—is a popular time for family holidays in Providenciales.
Most people reach the Turks and Caicos Islands by air, landing at Providenciales International Airport. Because this island group is a British Overseas Territory, UK residents don’t need a visa to travel here; however, a passport is still required. The visa requirement is waived for residents of many other countries too, including most European countries as well as the US, Canada, and other British Overseas Territories.
Providenciales is so small that getting around is easy, and it rarely takes long to get anywhere. If you’re staying at a resort you’ll likely have access to a free shuttle that travels around the main activity hubs and beaches. Other options for travel include renting a car, moped, or bicycle; taking a taxi; or hiring a private car or van and driver.