Turks and Caicos consists of a long chain of islands that stretch from the southernmost tip of the Bahamas down to the edge of the Dominican Republic. Its largest and most populated landmass is picturesque Providenciales, but there are hundreds of sandy cays dotted across the sea that provide endless opportunities for relaxation and adventure.
Providenciales, or more commonly known as “Provo”, covers an area of 38 miles and is the most developed island in Turks and Caicos. It is here where most international flights arrive at the Providenciales International Airport (PLS). Surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches, Provo has been ranked “Best Beach” by Conde’ Nast magazine and by the World Travel Awards for several years running. Found on the western end of the island chain, Provo offers all modern conveniences, including luxurious hotels, villas and condos, numerous restaurants, spas and shopping facilities, a championship caliber golf course, and full service grocery store. Although Provo is the most developed of the islands, it is still a destination for those who want to escape their busy schedules and relax.
What to do in Providenciales
Grace Bay which features the famous 12-mile Grace Bay beach is the location for most of the tourism infrastructure, the Princess Alexandra Marine Park, which is also the playground of “Jo Jo” the famous bottlenose dolphin. Visitors to the world’s first Conch Farm discover how to grow conch from tiny veligers to four-year-old adults. This is where most of the water sport activities take place from diving to deep sea fishing and everything in between.
Stones engraved by shipwrecked sailors (or waiting ship wreckers) can be found on the hilltop overlooking the now abandoned Marina Inn near Chalk Sound and Sapodilla Bay. If you like old ruins that are not too difficult to get to, visit 2 sites of plantation houses built by Loyalists, Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill. “The Hole” at Long Bay is a deep and wide Limestone chimney with a mysterious depth of salt water at the bottom.
Living Luxe on Parrot Cay
With the stamp of approval from stars such as Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Parrot Cay is the beach escape of your dreams. Parrot Cay is the beach escape of your dreams. Donna Karan also owns a home at the lush, 1,000-acre island resort Parrot Cay boasts the level of service and amenities that make for a “once in a lifetime” type of vacation, an easy 30-minute boat ride from Providenciales.
So what makes this heaven on earth so special? For starters, like most beaches in Turks, you’re promised powder-soft sands and calm, clear waters. The water here is ideal for long afternoons of snorkeling and diving, and yoga on the beach is an unbeatable experience for those who like to access their inner zen. The resort’s world-class Shambhala Retreat Spa takes a holistic approach to their services with Ayurvedic and aromatherapy body treatments. Post-spa, we recommend you stretch out on your private beachside daybed with a glass of rosé. Celebrities, they’re just like us!
For many travelers, Barbados is one of those special places that keeps them coming back, year after year. With spectacular white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise surf, a vibrant local culture and bustling city vibe, this island is unlike any other in the Caribbean. From rum shacks to fish markets, lush, tropical mountains and wild, deserted coastline, Barbados is a destination that’s pretty hard to beat. Here are 7 reasons why we can’t seem to stay away.
1. Beaches for all
It’s not on every island that you find beaches for every type of traveler, but Barbados has all the bases covered: All along the posh West Coast, the water is clear, shallow and calm. Protected from the wind, these shores are ideal for families with small children. On the South Coast, the water is a bit livelier and wavy, perfect for diving or for those who are just learning how to surf. For strong swimmers and seasoned surfers, there’s no better place to be than Bathsheba, a rugged part of the East Coast on the Atlantic. Unspoiled surf for miles, this is truly a big wave paradise.
2. Oistins Fish Fry
Every Friday night, locals and tourists alike head to Oistins, a fishing village on the South Coast for their informal weekly celebration of food, music and drinks. With many vendors to choose from, just look for the one that has the biggest crowd and take your pick of what was caught fresh that day. Top off your grilled or fried fish with a local Banks beer, life doesn’t get much better.
The only thing that rivals a relaxing day at the spa is a relaxing day on the beach. Why not have both? The Indulgence Spa at Royal Westmoreland right on Mullins Beach–said to be one of the best in the Caribbean–will take island relaxation to a whole new dimension. Everything you might expect from a traditional spa is available, from skin wraps to scrubs to full-body massages, but the Exotic Coconut Rub & Milk Ritual wrap will leave you in a state of pure Caribbean bliss.
4. Rum shops
A fundamental part of Bajan culture, rum is the drink of choice for many islanders, and rum shops can be found almost everywhere you go. But this isn’t the clear white liquid you mix with a Coke (although you certainly can); drinking the local rum here is more like savoring a good scotch– straight up with some ice on the side. Deep, flavorful, caramel colored and complex, if you weren’t a rum fan when you arrived, you will be before you leave.
5. Tip Top Cuisine
The food scene in Barbados is a cut above. With a strong local food culture as well as as lots of European influences, there are plenty of food options for all tastes and budgets. Aside from the popular local food chain Chefette (for the best rotis around), and the famous flying fish sandwiches at Cutters, there is also amazing Indian food at Aspara Samudra, incredible Italian at Cin Cin’s and for a very special evening, The Cliff is one of the top restaurants in the whole Caribbean.
6.Take a Zip
In the Walkes Spring Plantation in St Thomas Parish, you’ll find high-flying vacationers exploring the island’s treetops. A fan-favorite for those looking for an adventurous day out,Aerial Trek Zipline Adventure’s 100-feet course is a surefire way to get well-acquainted with nature on the island. It doubles as a crash course in the island’s ecosystems too, as the knowledgeable guides describe the plantation and its friendly inhabitants as you take off from each of the 8 different platforms. And if you’re looking for an extra-entertaining Christmas card photo this year, the staff is ready and willing to snap pictures of excited zip-liners.
7. Private Villas
There’s no better way to experience the island than within the comfort of your own private villa. With the freedom to explore Barbados and all its charm at your leisure, you can take a day to lounge by the pool or relax with a book on the beach, then head out to dinner, or have something prepared by a top local chef right in the comfort of your home.
It’s March. You’ve had enough of the cold weather and are looking forward to spring. You just want to leave behind the dark days of winter and head to brighter, lighter and especially warmer times. But why wait?! Now is the time to start planning that eagerly awaited vacation where you can lie on the beach, go on an exotic getaway or take that picturesque overseas trip you’ve always wanted.
The carribean is the world’s greatest beach destination. These beaches are stripped down to their essence: sand and sea, usually with a sprinkling of palms to complete the fantasy. The warm sea that provide these shorelines with the blazing Caribbean sun hitting the ocean floor. Creating the beautiful colors that the water displays.Dreams can become a reality if you’ve ever dreamed of a villa on the beach, you’re not alone. Popular with celebrities, villas on the beach provide the privacy you need and are ideal for multi –generational family reunion, spectacular wedding celebrations, business meetings or trips of a lifetime.
You too can be jetting off to a tropical paradise in the Caribbean, this is not just for the likes of Barack Obama or Richard Branson (we’ve all seen those pictures and loved it!). If you are willing to spend the money, the possibilities are endless. So get going because this month, you can make your fantasies a reality and kick start this season with your own well-deserved break!