Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

The Turks & Caicos are an archipelago of more than 40 islands forming the southeastern end of the Bahamas chain. There are two principal groups, each surrounded by a continuous coral reef. Caicos is the larger group and includes Providenciales, Middle Caicos, and the islands of North, South, East and West Caicos, plus numerous small cays, some of which are inhabited. The Turks group, separated by a 22-mile wide channel of water, consists of Grand Turk, Salt Cay and a number of small uninhabited cays.

Providenciales (Provo) is the capital of the Caicos Islands and its topography is arid like the Bahamas. This very popular island is famous for its diving (there are 7 world class sites), amazing water color, wonderful beaches, no income tax and off-shore banking. Another reason is that from many U.S. cities, there are non-stop flights making it very easy to get to. Several fun and excellent restaurants dot the island and there is some nightlife including a few entertaining local bars and a casino. There is also the very chic Aman Hotel, Amanyara, which really put Provo on the map. Island activities include: great snorkeling, very good deep sea/ bone fishing, tennis, an 18-hole, par 72 golf course, SNUBA (Surface Nexus Underwater Breathing Apparatus - an innovation in diving, geared to the novice and beginner requiring no special training), miniature golf, kayaking, windsurfing, kiteboarding, spa treatments, visiting the conch farm and meeting the resident celebrity, a wild dolphin named JoJo. Various boat tours include: sunset cruises, picnics on deserted cays and to see glow worms (a couple of nights after the full moon, about an hour after sunset, marine glow worms emit a green luminescence for about 15 minutes while they mate. It's a wild sight!) One can also take day trips to other T & C islands like Middle Caicos to visit the Conch Bar Caves (one of the largest in the Caribbean) and Mudjin Harbour, which has an incredible amphitheater-like overhang and a spectacular large beach.

Local currency is the US dollar. Non-stop flights to Provo are available from Miami (about 1½ hour flight), and from many other U.S. cities including NYC, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston and Philadelphia. Airlines and cities depend on the day and/or season.