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Wordtravels

Providenciales Travel Guide

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A Providenciales beach © ben.ramirez

Jo-Jo, a friendly bottle-nosed dolphin, greets visitors in the unbelievably clear and warm turquoise waters off beautiful Grace Bay on this paradise island, where miles of sugary white dunes and pristine beaches are protected by a healthy coral barrier reef. It is hardly surprising that this tropical wonderland has become the most developed of the Turks and Caicos Islands, alluring to thousands of diving enthusiasts and holidaymakers intent on getting away from it all.

Although well equipped with tourist facilities like an international airport, superb hotels, a casino, golf club and small shopping malls, Providenciales remains largely unspoilt. The beaches stretch for miles and on some of the little offshore cays it is still possible to imagine you are Robinson Crusoe. Unlike the famous literary castaway, however, visitors to Providenciales (known usually as 'Provo') have purely pleasurable pursuits to occupy themselves with. Most find it difficult to tear themselves away from the beach, but when they do there are hundreds of activities on offer, from scuba diving to kayaking, parasailing to windsurfing, fishing and sailing.

Not everything is water-based, however. It is great to hop on a bike and go exploring to see the sights. Among the attractions on the island is 'The Hole', billed as 'a beautiful bottomless pit', near Long Bay Beach. One can also wander up the hillside above Sapodilla Bay to read the graffiti on the scattered rocks left by shipwrecked sailors in days of yore. At the Island's Sea Center visitors can see how Conch is grown, before settling down to sample this delicious mollusc along with some fiery rum punch. Just offshore, more interesting creatures await on Little Water Cay, a haven for rare Rock Iguanas that can be viewed from raised boardwalks.

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