Providenciales is the urban centre of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Familiarly known as “Provo,” the island offers all the modern conveniences one could desire while remaining a superior vacation destination for one who wants an escape from stress and overpopulated cities. Provo has an 18 hole golf course, shopping centres, three marinas, a growing number of of bars and excellent restaurants. Provo is also a divers’ and water lovers’ paradise.
Beautiful beaches are scattered on all sides of Providenciales, the most spectacular of which is a 12 mile stretch located on Grace Bay, which is protected by a healthy barrier reef.
Situated on the west side of the Caicos archipelago, Providenciales has an area of 38 square miles. Prior to 1960, the island had a population of 500. Today, it has the largest population and contains the largest native and nonnative population in Turks & Caicos. Development of Providenciales began in 1966 when the Turks and Caicos Government and the British Government made a lease-purchase agreement with Provident Ltd. allowing them to lease 4000 acres of Crown Land.
The south part of the island faces the Caicos Bank. The Caicos Bank is a shallow, pale turquoise sea and is partly composed of swamp and tidal flats, filled with an abundant resource of conch and lobster.
Natural island formations offer safe mooring for sailors. Sapodilla Bay is a popular mooring for yachts traveling through the Turks and Caicos Islands. On the opposite end of Providenciales, the deep channel of Leeward Going Through makes a natural and safe harbour on the northeast end of the island.
Historical points of interest include the Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill Plantation ruins. Stones engraved by shipwrecked sailors are found on a hill overlooking Sapodilla Bay.
The “Hole” at Long Bay is a deep and wide limestone chimney with a mysterious depth of salt water at the bottom.
Provo is home to the only Conch farm in the world. These mollusks with their beautiful pink shells take five years to grow to their adult size. The Conch farm is open for tours during the winter months.
The Tiki Hut village at Northwest Point is another sight to see. Years ago, these Tiki Huts were built for a French gameshow but have since been removed. This is one of the most beautiful beach on the island.