Dreaming of warm, turquoise water, miles of powdery white sand, and fabulous beach resorts? Turks and Caicos, a cluster of tropical islands in the Caribbean, delivers the perfect beach vacation. Arguably, the best beach in Turks and Caicos is beautiful Grace Bay —12 uninterrupted miles of pristine beach—on the island of Providenciales, better known as Provo
TripAdvisor’s 2012 Travelers’ Choice Awards named Grace Bay the #1 beach destination in the world. I’m not surprised. I was blown away by Grace Bay when I first visited in 1979. Since then, I’ve been back five times. This says something, as I rarely visit the same place twice.
Turks and Caicos: Grace Bay Beach Activities
So what keeps me coming back? That’s easy. It’s the 12 miles of sugary sand, all superbly “walkable”. Stroll beyond the main resort strip and you’ll have the beach to yourself. Need to cool off? Wade into the calm, crystal-clear water with a velvety smooth sand bottom—no rocks, sea grass, or debris to worry about. Ready for a nap? There’s nothing better than lounging on stunning Grace Bay Beach. It’s still a quiet, relaxing place with no noisy Sea-Doos or pesky beach vendors.
The underwater world is pretty amazing too. For snorkelers, there’s a great spot right off the beach at the Coral Gardens Resort. For certified scuba divers, Turks and Caicos offers world class diving. Two of Provo’s oldest and most respected dive operators are Provo Turtle Divers and Flamingo Divers. If you’re itching for more action you’ll also find sailing, parasailing, kite-surfing, and paddle-boarding.
Turks and Caicos: Grace Bay Beach Resorts
Although Grace Bay has been built up significantly since my first visit, there’s plenty of elbow room on the huge expanse of beach. Development has been tasteful and resorts must comply with the 7-story height restriction.
The bad new is that Turks and Caicos isn’t cheap. If you can splurge, there are luxurious options like The Tuscany or The Regent Grand. At a slightly lower price, The Royal West Indies Resort and The Sands are both great places. The Sibonne, an older property on a glorious stretch of beach, advertises the least expensive rooms on Grace Bay.
For families with young children, Beaches Turks and Caicos offers a multitude of activities and child-minding services. For large groups or families, rental houses are usually the best value. Check out Vacation Rental by Owners (VRBO) who represent some lovely properties as well as privately owned suites within many of the Grace Bay beach resorts. We found a lovely unit at the gorgeous Villa Renaissance through VRBO.
Turks and Caicos: When to Go
Turks and Caicos is blessed with a dry, sunny climate with average temperatures of 25C / 77F in winter and 32C / 90F in summer.
High season in Turks and Caicos is from December through April. If you’re visiting during Christmas, Spring Break, or Easter, make sure you book well in advance and expect to pay a premium. For better deals, consider going from May through November.
Turks and Caicos: How to Get There / Getting Around
Turks and Caicos is easy to get to with many direct flights from major U.S. cities. Canadians can fly directly to Turks and Caicos from Toronto on West Jet and Air Canada. The international airport in Provo, is a short 15 minute cab ride from the Grace Bay Beach resorts.
Taxis are expensive, so many people rent a car if they want to explore the island. However, if you plan to just hang-out at the beach, select a centrally located resort and avoid this extra expense. Walking, even after dark, is quite safe around Grace Bay and there are many restaurants and shops located in and around Regent Village.
Useful Visitor Information
When planning a trip to Turks and Caicos, take a look at http://www.wherewhenhow.com . I especially like the site’s excellent set of maps, including a detailed map of Grace Bay showing hotels, restaurants, and shopping.
Find out for yourself why Trip Advisor, and I, give Grace Bay Beach in Turks and Caicos two thumbs up.