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Turks and Caicos: Jan 2015

Updated: Feb 11

1. We stayed 10 days in Provos at the Inn at Grace Bay in a one bedroom/one bath condo perfectly situated on Grace Bay about three minutes from the beach ($209/night) – highly recommended.  

2. Restaurants:

-Mr. Grouper: . . . get the grouper.

-Coco Bistro: best fine dining on the island (at reasonable prices, cheaper than NYC/DC). Excellent lobster tail.

-Somewhere (that’s the name of the place): fish tacos, great bar overlooking the water at Coral Gardens.

+This is your proto-typical Caribbean upscale beach bar. There will be a sprinkling of regulars who are either expats or snowbirds. You will be able to differentiate them from tourists, as they are heavier and more sun worn.

-Da Conch Shack: get the conch ceviche or conch fritters. Watch the men pull the conch directly out of the shell.

-The Green Bean: great place at Turtle Cove for coffee and a breakfast/snack. We started off most mornings there. You can also rent snorkeling gear.

-Shay’s Café: also a good place for coffee. Located next door to the Inn at Grace Bay.

-Boogaloo’s: Good food, good location, a little expensive. Excellent conch salad.  

Note: I would not bother with Sharkbite (unless you need to watch sports).

3. Grocery Store:

-Price Club: off Leeward Highway (on the left when you depart the airport heading to Grace Bay), much better prices than IGA, as the prices are actually quite reasonable.

4. Diving:

Provo Turtle Divers: two tank dive for $188 (all equipment included) - Located at Turtle Cove marina. Looks like only two tank morning dives are possible in winter, as the North side of the island is too rough for the one tank afternoon dives. I dove the Cove and the Gulley; saw an eagle ray, some sharks, grouper, and an eel. An excellent dive.

5. Snorkeling: Smiths Reef is far better than Coral Gardens (directly in front of the restaurant Somewhere). While Coral Gardens is more accessible it is swamped with people. Smiths Reef has far better sea-life and far fewer snorkelers. The best portion of the reef is directly in front of the three newest houses, but go online to find out the exact location of the reef in relation to the beach. 

6. Beaches:

-Taylor Bay: on the south shore, calm. See Dick Clark’s old house on the eastern end of the beach. You can walk through, it’s abandoned.

-Grace Bay: ranked as one of the ten best beaches in the Caribbean.

-Long Bay: on the south shore, shallow and calm, beach is made of old conch shells (many still intact). Drive to Long Bay Beach Drive and find the path that has been cut through the brush that leads to the beach (use a satellite map). Park and take the path to the beach and enjoy the solitude.

-After taking our swim and exploring the beach we worked our way west along the beach and at the urging of my wife, we warily exited by a very modern beach house with a beach chair sentinel. Everything seemed copacetic as we walked down a path next to the house until we reached the tennis court. Suddenly we heard two German Shepard guard dogs barking and then noticed them racing around the fence-line of the court. Seconds later they had arrived. “Susan, what have you gotten us into” I silently said to myself, when suddenly I heard an assertively low voice command “Down!!”, I turned to see Susan lowering her palm down, perpendicularly outright arm and the dogs instantly obeying. As quick as my life was endangered, it was saved.

-At the western end of the beach about three blocks in, is The Hole - a natural hole with sheer cliffs – kind of interesting and little eery. Don’t get too close, there is no fence and a sheer 60 foot drop.

Da Conch Shack

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