So Many Reasons to Visit the Turks and Caicos Islands
- April 26, 2022
- Travel Info
The Turks and Caicos Islands consist of forty distinct islands, cays, and atolls, by default giving any traveler forty beautiful… Read More
Imagine waking up and rolling out of your comfy hotel bed, throwing open the curtains, and walking into a postcard style beachscape. That might sound like a lot of fluffy tourism marketing speak, but in the case of Grace Bay Beach, it’s all reality.
Let’s get to know the place a little better. Grace Bay Beach is located in the Turks and Caicos, on the island of Providenciales (locally known as Provo). It’s a three and a half mile stretch of sand that’s lined with some of the best hotels and resorts. The crystal clear waters are made calm by a barrier reef about a mile offshore. Love watersports? Jump on a jetski or go for a parasail and get a bird’s eye view of the famous bay. Love to snorkel? Sorry, you’re out of luck. Grace Bay is free of rocks or any reef structure that’s within close distance of the beach. The large barrier reef does offer excellent snorkeling and diving, though you will need to book a charter boat or tour to get you out that far.
Long Bay Beach is the perfect place to learn, with its consistent tradewinds and shallow water. But don’t just take our word for it. Get a second opinion from National Geographic, who recently ranked Long Bay Beach as one of the top 10 places in the world for kiteboarding, coming in at No. 6. We couldn’t be more proud! We obviously think our beach is the best beach around for a number of reasons, and it feels great to have Long Bay recognized by such a prestigious publication.
But what makes Long Bay Beach one of the top places worldwide for kiteboarding? For starters, our beach is a three-mile sheltered lagoon that is, for the most part, protected from the bigger, choppy waves that can be found on the north shore. And calm waters are ideal for learning to kiteboard.
Aside from its unique location, Long Bay Beach has shallow water that, even hundreds of yards from the shore, is only waist-deep. You want shallow seas for kiteboarding lessons, so you can easily stand and and wade around the sandy bottom, rather than being forced to tread water.
Middle Caicos is one of the island in the Turks and Caicos chain. The largest of the islands, Middle Caicos, is 48 square miles with a population of under 300. The north shore of Middle Caicos is more dramatic than the other Caicos Islands with limestone cliffs and long sandy beaches.
Access: If not taking an excursion via a local tour operator, the best way to get to Middle Caicos is to take the ferry from Providenciales to North Caicos, rent a car on North Caicos and drive across the causeway to Middle Caicos. Credit cards are sometimes not accepted at gas stations – so be sure to bring cash and fill up on North Caicos as there are no gas stations on Middle Caicos.
Once on Middle Caicos, turn left into the Blue Horizon Resort and park by the cement path to the beach. Follow the Beach Cave Trail for a short hike to the overlook of Mudjin Harbour.
Conch Bar Caves is located in Conch Bar, a village on Middle Caicos. This park protects 15mi/24k of underground caverns, one of the largest cave systems in the Caribbean region. Some have lagoons and stalactites and stalagmites and most have colonies of bats.
This might just be the best restaurant on Provo—you’ll want to come here more than once on your trip. You can find conch on every menu in town, but Da Conch Shack, a popular beachside spot, has the most variety in terms of preparation. This spot is not near the main stretch of Grace Bay Beach, but it’s well worth a trip for the quiet beach, the great food, and friendly service. Try their conch in a citrus-y conch salad, lightly battered and fried (called cracked conch), or in a flavorful curry. Wash it all down with one of the delicious (and strong) rum drinks or one of the islands locally brewed, ultra-refreshing Turks Head beers. The crowd gets lively at night, especially when there’s live music on Wednesday and Saturday.