The Itinerary is my series of travel guides on where to stay, eat, drink, go, sweat and chill.
Though Turks & Caicos is made up of 40 islands, only 8 of those island are inhabited. Of all those islands, Providenciales is the most visited. Also called Provo, this island is both approachable yet also known as quite a glamorous and exclusive getaway. And that’s for a reason. Its soft, white sand and beautiful turquoise blue water has made Provo one of the world’s top beach destinations drawing in tourists from all over the world to its shores.
Keep reading for tips on planning your next trip to Provo, Turks & Caicos
What to Know Before You Go
When to Visit Providenciales
There is so much to love about Turks & Caicos and the weather is one of them. This island is sunny virtually every day of the year, with temps that hovers between 80°F (27°C) for the high and 70°F (21°C) for the low. The busiest season in Providenciales is from December to March. Since these are the winter/holiday months, the temperatures are milder and the rates are higher for airline tickets and hotel stays. The best time to visit Providenciales is from April to May with lower prices and fewer crowds. The low season from June to November has both hotter temps and deeper discounts on hotels, however this known as the rainy season and there is a slight chance of hurricanes.
Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is the only airport in Turks and Caicos that allows for international flights. There are nonstop flights from many U.S. cities via American Airlines, United, JetBlue, and Delta.
There is no public transportation in Providenciales, so the best way to get around is by car or taxi. Taxis can be rather pricey with the average ride from the airport to Grace Bay costing between $40-80 USD depending on your destination. Unless you plan to stay local to your accommodations, it is best to rent a car so you have freedom to explore the island at your leisure.
By the way, in Turks & Caicos, the driving happens on the left side of the road (and the steering wheel is often on the right side in the car). Also, the roads aren’t particularly well-maintained (including a few dirt roads). Plus, gas prices are rather high as at an average (currently in May 2019) of $5.25 a gallon.
Yes, Turks & Caicos is expensive, and likely one of the most expensive islands in the Caribbean. The island hasn’t gotten any more affordable with the newly instated 27% tax (10% hotel service charge, 12% government tax, and an additional 5% resort fee). Though a trip to Providenciales is not easy on the wallet, by planning and booking early you can save $$$. One plus of this island is that everywhere excepts US dollars, so there is no need to worry about currency exchange.
Find out where to stay, eat, drink, go, sweat, and chill in Provo, Turks & Caicos
Where to Stay in Provo
Whether it is in an expansive all-inclusive resort, boutique hotel, darling bungalow, or ocean front villa, there are so many options for accommodations on this small island. Check out AirBnB and TripAdvisor to start looking for the perfect spot for you!
Windsong Resort on The Reef
The Windsong Resort On The Reef is a boutique resort with a casually sophisticated vibe on Grace Bay. Every oceanfront room and suite has well appointed balconies with absolutely beautiful views of the famous Grace Bay Beach. The hotel’s location is perfect with the Bight Reef just 20 meters right off the hotel’s beach. If you enjoy spending time in the ocean, all beach toys (glass bottom kayaks, paddle boards, etc.) are available at no extra cost (snorkling gear is just $5). If you want to do any extra water sport activities, the vendor boats will come to pick you up straight from the hotel’s beach. This beautiful resort also has excellent service. The staff is so friendly and attentive, and you will be likely friends by the end of your trip.
The Shore Club on Long Bay Beach
The Shore Club is the island’s first hotel on the unspoiled Long Bay Beach. As a result, the surroundings are a much more tranquil and serene place to unwind and relax as compared to the popular Grace Bay. However, Long Bay is much more breezy than the other side of the island. Nonetheless, The Shore Club makes up for this little setback by creating an experience that is more than just the beach. The expansive property is a luxurious and idyllic paradise with stunning decor and furnishings throughout.
The hotel offers a beautiful complimentary breakfast spread with nearly everything you could want. After breakfast, most of your time will be spent at 1 of the resort’s 3 beautiful pools (adult pool included). Or if you want to venture on the windy beach, you might as well spend that time learning to kite board. Just don’t forget to make time for afternoon tea at The Shore Club’s beautiful tropical garden. If you stay here, you’ll agree that this is truly one of the best properties on the island, and the perfect place to rest and relax in complete peace.
Where to Eat in Provo
Da Conch Shack
Da Conch Shack & Rumbar is listed as one of the best beach bars in the world. But this place isn’t only famous for its rum punches, but the island favorite, conch fritters. Trust me, these fritters are definitely the best on the island, and likely even the best in the world. If fritters aren’t your thing, definitely give the curry conch a try. Though this beach side restaurant and bar is perfect for lunch, come in the evenings for a beautiful sunset plus a lively nightlife crowd. Either way, grab a seat at a table in the sand and enjoy the island vibes and oceanfront views.
Coco Bistro is truly one of the most incredible restaurants I have been to ever. The food is absolutely exceptional. Every dish is made fresh, presented beautifully, and the taste will give you an instant food-gasm. The ambiance is so wonderful as you dine outside underneath a canopy of palm trees with nothing but the beautiful night sky above you. This restaurant is a bit more upscale but definitely worth the price. The only downside is that the service is lacking, but the food will easily make you forget.
Cocovan Airstream Lounge
If you want high quality food in a more casual setting, go for Coco Bistro’s sister restaurant right next door. Cocovan has the same beautiful ambiance but with a more relaxed vibe. The food is served out of a 1974 Airstream and is much more indulgent than Coco Bistro. Though the food is delicious, this is not for you if you are looking for a light meal.
Mr. Grouper’s Restaurant
This restaurant may not look like much when passing by, but its what’s on the inside that counts. This gem loved by the locals serves up some of the best seafood on the island. The coconut crusted grouper is a must have and definitely worth a second visit. Not much ambiance, but Mr. Grouper’s is still an excellent spot to get a taste for the local food and flavors.
Off the beaten path of Grace Bay is Sui Ren, an Asian Caribbean fusion restaurant tucked away on Long Bay at The Shore Club. This low key yet classy fine dining establishment has the best service on the island. It is also a go to, if you want splurge on trying new flavors, or if you are celebrating a special occasion.
Where to Drink in Provo
Somewhere Cafe and Lounge
Somewhere is definitely a must visit if you are coming to Providenciales. This two story, outdoor restaurant and bar, has an unparalleled view of the beach and Bight Reef. Though the food is super tasty (definitely get the fish tacos and yuca fries), this place is perfect for enjoy a tropical cocktail or the local beer al fresco. Plus it is one of the few spots on the island that are open late at night with live music on most nights.
Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl
Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl delivers casual dining with nice views of the tranquil Jack Bay water. The food is okay, but the main attraction are the cocktails (the mango daiquiri is a must!), outdoor seating, beach games, and live music.
Where to Go in Provo
Grace Bay Beach
This beach is one of the best in the Caribbean. Soft and almost blindingly white sand beaches and it’s turquoise blue ocean water. The waters are wonderfully calm, which is perfect for long periods of water sports on the water. Make time to snorkel the beautiful Bight Reef, it’s definitely a must see!
Long Bay Beach
Compared to Grace Bay Beach, Long Bay Beach is much windier. Though this beach isn’t made for lounging, it is perfect for kite boarding its beautifully opaque turquoise waters. Never kiteboarded? No worries, TC Kite Boarding offers day long to 3 day long kite boarding lessons.
Where to Sweat in Provo
Fitness Pavilion and Gym at The Shore Club
Enjoy group yoga and Pilates classes at the Shore Club’s beautiful pavilion overlooking its gorgeous 75-foot lap pool. If group classes aren’t your thing, reserve a private training session of use the state of the art fitness center with equipment for all your fitness needs.
Grab a bike
Many hotels and villas offer complimentary bikes with your stay. So go ahead and take them out for a spin for a fun way to explore the island! Maybe even bike to The Regent Village for some food and window shopping.
Paddle board with sea turtles
Since beach toys are often complimentary with most accommodations, grab a paddle board and head out to the reef to do some sea turtle watching (while getting some core and arm work in).
Run on the beach
I know running on the beach is the least creative vacation fitness activity, but trust me the Grace Bay Beach is the perfect spot to run and break a little sweat in the morning.
Where to Chill in Provo
The Dune Spa
After traveling to Turks & Caicos I highly recommend booking a spa journey at The Shore Club’s Dune Spa. Enjoy a holistic spa journey treatment in one of the spa’s 3 oceanfront wellness cabanas bungalows. This is a perfect way to ease into your vacation with a relaxing treatment to restore your energy.
There are so many things to see and do in Providenciales. So use these travel tips and recommendations to help make the most of your next vacation there!