Saturday, June 20, 2009

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (2009)

I've just returned from a short travel agent familiarization (FAM) trip to Beaches Turks and Caicos, which is located on the island of Providenciales, also known as Provo, the most developed of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The slogan "Where on earth are the Turks and Caicos Islands?" is well-chosen, because invariably someone who hears of those islands will ask that same question. They are part of the same chain of limestone and coral islands as the Bahamas, but are south and east of Nassau and slightly north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Technically they aren't Caribbean islands because they face the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean Sea, but culturally they do have a lot in common with the islands that face the Caribbean.

The major attraction of Provo is its beautiful 12-mile Grace Bay Beach, which runs across the entire northern part of the island. The offshore coral reef makes for gentle waves, ideal for floating in the water, and the sand is powdery soft. Because the surrounding waters are protected by law from fishing, there are a surprising number of fish swimming in the water very close to shore, something I also saw in the Bahamas. The water is so clear that you can see the bottom as if you were in a swimming pool.

See more pictures from Provo on my travel website.

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