Surrounded by the world’s third largest coral reef and home to some of the Caribbean’s most gorgeous beaches, the Turks and Caicos Islands are a true tropical paradise for those who are looking for a little sand, sun and sea. Whether it’s fishing, sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, or simply frolicking in the crystal clear water, this tiny island chain, centered around Providenciales, is all about breathtaking beaches and insanely clear water.
Flights into Turks and Caicos generally arrive into Providenciales, or Provo, as the locals call it, and navigating this small, flat, desert-like island is very straightforward, with two main highways that take you from one end to the other. Starting on the more desolate North Western tip of the island there lies Malcolm Beach, probably the most dramatic of the island’s beaches. On the edge of the Northwest Point Pond Nature Reserve, the unpaved, rocky road that leads to this spot may seem slightly treacherous, but hang in there, the payoff is more than worth the cautious descent. This wild, deserted beach gives way to small coral coves and soft white sand pools perfect for snorkeling and diving close to shore. Malcolm beach is also right next to the exclusive Amanyara Resort, where if you call ahead to reserve, you can have a cocktail and watch the sunset from the best vantage point on the island.
Heading down to the island’s Southern coast, you can’t miss Chalk Sound National Park, a stunning, azure blue natural lagoon with lots of tiny rocky islands scattered throughout. Just below are two shallow bays, Sapodilla and Taylor Bay, which offer calm, clear, child-friendly waters. There’s not a lot of shade on either of these small beaches so if you don’t want to roast in the tropical heat, bring an umbrella for a little bit of relief. Lunch at the Las Brisas Restaurant across from Sapodilla Bay is a great way to get out of the sun and take in the incredible views as you dine on the edge of Chalk Sound. Continuing further east, there’s a long, tranquil stretch of waterfront called Long Bay Hills Beach that offers endless walking and extremely soft sand as far as the eye can see. Along these sparkling, shallow shores there are lots of activities, from horseback riding with the Provo Ponies, to learning how to kiteboard at Turks and Caicos Kiteboarding on the beach’s windy Eastern tip.
For a decidedly more entertaining seaside experience, there’s nothing quite like Grace Bay Beach. With 19km of wide, white sands and beautiful blue waters, this is without a doubt the most popular beach on the island and definitely the most vibrant. Looking out towards the ocean, you can see the waves breaking on the coral reef, making this a great starting point for snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing and fishing boat tours. Party boats with slides that shoot off the back are a regular sight, along with parasailers being pulled from one end of the beach to the other. The water here is deeper and the waves are bigger so it’s great for body surfing or just bobbing around in the stunning turquoise water. For those who simply want to relax and take in the sun, there are plenty of restaurants, beach clubs and bars along the shores to eat, drink and enjoy the incredible sights that Provo has to offer.
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