We are so often focused on our place on Grand Turk that we sometimes treat our stops on Providenciales as more of a necessary inconvenience than a destination, itself. To get to the Seasongs Cottage on Grand Turk, all International flights pass through the larger island of Providenciales, aka Provo. It is the most populous island in Turks and Caicos and has a much busier vibe than Grand Turk. It is home to Grace Bay, a 12-mile long beach of world renown, good food, some nightlife, expensive and beautiful resorts. With this comes much higher priced real estate, more tourists and more “mainland problems” like traffic and a slightly less relaxed attitude about life. (But it is still an island!)
On my last trip to Grand Turk, I spent most of my time in Provo. When I did go over to Grand Turk, I sat next to a couple heading home who had spent time on both islands. Their main comment was “ We wish we would have spent the whole trip on Grand Turk”. Most visitors to Turks and Caicos just go to Provo.
Meghann’s Perfect Day on Provo:
Since Provo is bigger, and boasts an international airport they have a lot more in the way of food. Restaurant upon the restaurant, and they are all delicious and mostly manned by ex-pats who fell in love with the turquoise waters. The grocery stores are also home to all the comforts, including both a smoothie and a salad bar. At Graceway Gourmet they stalk plenty of gluten free, vegetarian and products native to England- because they are a British Crown Colony!
The perfect day on Provo starts with a coffee. Try Lemon 2 go in Regent Village, which has an adorable patio with succulents and fans. They have dairy alternatives, espresso and pastries in their small but cozy store.
Next, take a field trip with Dive Provo. I was only lucky enough for one 2 tank dive day but they have special offers for people diving multiple days with them. Because of this, they go somewhere new every day! I got to check out the sharks while diving at South Caicos island a short 40-minute boat ride away.
On dive trips they provide water, pastries, fruit and sandwiches along with equipment rentals. Dive Provo took safety very seriously and I even though I was a little rusty, I felt very comfortable with them.
After the dive grab lunch at one of the many famous restaurants. They have everything from Indian and. Thai to classic American. Then Relax by the pool or grab a blanket by the sea. In the late afternoon, as the sun is dipping take a slow stroll along the pristine 12-mile beach.
In the evening, head over to Danny Buoys for some live music, or a seat at the bar to watch the game depending on when you’re there. They also have dancing on Friday nights! Karaoke night is also popular and it is often hard to find a seat.
On Provo you can rent a puppy! There are a lot of stray dogs on the Island and there are groups that help adopt them out for travelers to take home a lifelong friend. These “Potcake” dogs are usually quite friendly and lively and many are thoroughly aquatic on their island home.
I also really enjoyed the smoothie/salad and breakfast spot Okeanos. They have fresh fruit and superfood smoothies, coffee and omelets with a friendly staff. I also really enjoyed walking up and down the beach, exploring all of the old docs and checking out the immaculate hotels from the sand. I walked everywhere from my modest room at Grace Bay Suites. It was comfortable, centrally located and a great price.
Despite not staying at an all-inclusive, I still walked the grounds at many hotels grabbing a drink or an appetizer at their lavish accommodations without the 4 star price.
Eric’s Guide on where to go on Provo:
There are three general areas that have supplies, food, restaurants, grocery stores, banks and general shopping; Grace Bay/Regent Village, Downtown and Turtle Bay. All are in the eastern part of the island. All of these areas are accessed by the main spine road on the eastern half of the island, Leeward Highway. This highway connects from almost to the airport to the ferry dock at the east end of the Island. The airport is near the Downtown area which has the largest grocery store, IGA, the hardware store, the post office, home furnishings stores, most of the banks and offices on the island and several restaurants. This is the commercial hub of the island. Most of these places are closed on Sundays.
Turtle Bay is adjacent to Downtown and is where the main marina on Provo is. This is where fishing, diving and sightseeing charters originate. Scooter Bobs is a combination rental shop for all manner of vehicles from bikes to scooters to cars and carries fishing supplies. The Tiki Hut and Baci restaurants are on the waterfront and evening dining have lights on the water that show off the occasional fish cruising by. Note that Smith’s Reef off the front of Turtle Cove is a snorkeling spot listed in some of the literature as “good snorkeling”. I found it marginal at best. It is shallow and there are rocks and fish but corals are few and the visibility is not great. There is a great little coffee shop at the intersection of Bridge Road and Lower Bight Road for that morning latte and muffin.
Grace Bay, including the Regent Village area is where a lot of the resorts are located. This is where to go for finding art galleries, upscale restaurants, jewelry, watches, souvenirs and the best grocery on the island, Graceway Gourmet. In Regent Village is Danny Bouys, mentioned, above. Above all, there is Grace Bay, itself, 12 miles of broad sandy beach.
The west side of the island is more vacant than the eastern part. Diving and snorkeling off Northwest Point are as good as I’ve found on Provo. There are a few resorts and restaurants on this half of the island so a day spent poking around this area and exploring all the great beaches is well worthwhile.
Provo has a golf course, located at the eastern end of the island, The Provo Golf Club. It’s the only one I know of in the Turks and Caicos.
A great day trip is to take the ferry over to North Caicos and explore North and Middle Caicos. These lightly inhabited islands are accessible by rental cars available on North Caicos.
Get a map! Many of the hotels and tourists orientated businesses have a free handout called the “Road Map of Providenciales”. It’s a business sponsored color foldout that has most of the major roads and businesses were shown.