Provo is what the locals have endearingly nicknamed Providenciales, their beloved island in the Turks and Caicos and home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Provo is what dreams are made of. White, soft sand, turquoise water, vibrant reefs full of colorful coral, fish and sea turtles and “feet-in-the-sand” dining. Everything you’ve read is true and yes, the water does really looks like that, no photoshop required.
There really isn’t a bad beach on the island but two in particular stuck out for me.
Grace Bay is the most famous and offers many exciting ocean excursions and water sports. A great spot to watch kite-boarders, play volleyball or just relax with a rum punch. Check out the fish fry every Thursday night at Bight (Children’s) Park. Tourists and locals come from all over the island to eat food prepared by local restaurants, listen to live music and shop. Grab an icy cold mojito from Travis at Mr. Mojitos and a curry goat taco from Kalooki’s before hitting the dance floor.
Sapodilla bay offers all the beach rentals you will need including beach chairs and umbrellas. Snorkeling, jet skiing, paddle boarding and kayaking are among the most popular water activities there. Ask for Jamesly, owner of Tropical Waves, he’ll get you what you need in order to have a perfect day at the beach.
Eat & Drink
There is a ton of great spots to eat and drink here. Many of which you never have to leave the beach to go to. Fresh local snapper, grouper, octopus and of course conch are the main attractions and peas and rice are almost always served along side. When it’s lobster season you can expect to see it on every menu you come across. Jerk chicken, curries and tacos are also common dishes here.
Da Conch Shack – “Feet-in-the-sand” dining, delicious jerk chicken and conch are what you can find here. When you aren’t gazing out at the crystal clear waters you’ll be watching as people go up to the bar to play the ring game – literally a ring that hangs from the roof on a string that you have to try to make on to a hook fixed to the wall across from you. Surprisingly entertaining for hours. This is also were the infamous (to the island at least) Peppa Joy hot sauce is made. Peppa Joy is all-natural, made with locally grown Delano’s peppers and is good on just about everything.
Bugaloo’s – “Feet-in-the-sand” dining with live music. Have them crack you a fresh coconut while you snack on local conch fritters and grilled snapper. Chances are you will be serenaded by a local with a mic and guitar while you watch children play in the ocean in front of you. Great little lunch spot.
The Shore Club – Just one of the many luxury resort options in Provo. Have cocktails at the sleek and sexy Rope Bar, overlooking their world class pool and cabanas. The restaurants at The Shore Club offer some of the best fine dining options the island and the property sits right on Grace Bay.
Stix Beach Bar – This “Feet-in-the-sand” bar at The West Bay Club is a lively spot to hang out at for afternoon cocktails. The bartenders are fun and the customers usually get pretty smashed making it an entertaining spot for people watching.
Turks Kebab – Cool little casual lunch or dinner spot serving lamb gyros, kofte, hummus and other Turkish and Greek delights. Lamb is carved fresh off the spit to order.
Coco Bistro – Fine dining set inside a coconut palm grove on Grace Bay. Service was exceptional and the lamb chops were cooked perfectly. I recommend making a reservation well in advance so you don’t miss out on this one.
Somewhere Cafe – This open air restaurant is the perfect place to dine before or after an ocean excursion leaving from Grace Bay. Live music daily. Huge menu with something for everyone.
Las Brisas – Sip on cocktails poolside while you look out on to beautiful Chalk Sound.
Melt – I don’t want to stereo type but this one is for the ladies. This “dessert bar” offers cocktails, a stellar wine selection, house-made ice-cream sundae’s and shopping all under one roof. The mojito here will blow your mind and the sundae’s are big enough for four.
Kalookis – Open air restaurant on the beach. The DJ will dance with your kids while the bartender pours you shots. A fun, party atmosphere with a killer oxtail stew.
Where to stay
From what I saw when I was there you have two options for accommodations on this island – stay at a resort or rent a vacation home. I stayed in a killer vacation rental on our trip called Villa Capri.
If you are looking for the ultimate high-end vacation experience in the Turks and Caicos I highly recommend Villa Capri, a vacation beach house rental on Chalk Sound.
Staying at Villa Capri is pure luxury. The house and view look like an advertisement for the Turks and Caicos, like you would find in a fancy travel magazine. It’s modern and sleek but comfortable at the same time. Inside you will find beautiful white tile floors and countertops, a massive fully stocked kitchen with Wolf stove, modern furniture and Samsung Sound audio equipment for blasting your favorite jams throughout the house.
The selling point on this house however, is the expansive back deck overlooking Chalk Sound. Out here you will find towering palm trees, a state of the art outdoor kitchen with grill and flat screen TV and a swank infinity pool. Walk down the back steps to a sweet little dock where you will find a kayak and paddleboards waiting for you to explore the sound with.
John and Janine go out of their way to make your stay special. Their attention to detail and hospitality goes way beyond most other vacation rental home experiences. Special touches like stocking the kitchen with fresh fruit, local beer and cold bottled water make it feel like they really care. The complimentary soaps and lotions that are provided in the bathrooms show their sophisticated taste. They spare no expense when it comes to your comfort. My favorite amenity is a book they have put together for you that lists all of their favorite bars, restaurants and excursions on the islands, all with their personal review of each one attached. They even give you the names of the bartenders so you can roll in like a boss and fit right in with the locals.
Here are some resorts I recommend if you go that route….
Come for the beaches, remember the locals
All epic beach experiences aside what I will always remember about this island is the warm hospitality I received from every local I met. Their always positive outlook, sense of humor and zest for life are something most people can only strive for. They are amazingly generous, thoughtful and delightful to be around. They truly made my trip. If you are thinking about a trip to the caribbean, Provo in the Turks and Caicos is the place to be.
Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and experience host whose writing focuses on cooking, holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made foods.