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Providenciales, known locally as Provo, is an island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago, in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s ringed by soft, sandy beaches, many of them on the north coast. These include expansive Grace Bay Beach, a water sports hub with resorts, shops and restaurants. The island's snorkel sites include Smith’s Reef and Bight Reef. The turquoise lagoon of Chalk Sound National Park is dotted with tiny cays.

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Turtle Cove & The Bight

THE BIGHT

There’s no clear evidence, but it’s likely that The Bight was the last of the three old settlements (the other two being Blue Hills and Five Cays) on Providenciales to take hold. Some time after the establishment of the Cheshire Hall Plantation cotton plantation, this “village” formed and supported a small subsistence farming and fishing community.

Ruins and buildings in the area suggest that the modern settlement of The Bight may have shifted further east and more inland than the original site.

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Grace Bay | Leeward | Long Bay

GRACE BAY

This 13-mile stretch of sand is the most popular beachfront real estate on the Turks and Caicos. The beach is part of a national park and open to the public, but it’s lined with several hotels, like the Gansevoort and the Seven Stars. You could walk the whole length of the beach to get to the various restaurants and bars, but hotels typically restrict their beach loungers and cabanas to paying guests only. It’s not difficult to see why the beach is so beloved. The sand is baby-powder soft, and the water is warm and very shallow—adults can walk out quite far and still keep their heads above water. Since there are no lifeguards, the swimmable area is clearly marked. Those who aren’t staying on the beach should look for public access points around Grace Bay Road.

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Chalk Sound | Turtle Tail

CHALK SOUND

The coasts of Chalk Sound feature what is referred to locally as ironshore, which is weathered and intricate marine limestone with a jagged and varied surface. This exposed rock also exhibits countless numbers of miniature Karst-process features such as small sink hole and caves.

Bonefish and barracudas are common in the water, and stingrays and small lemon sharks can occasionally be sighted. Bird life isn’t as abundant here as at some of the other wetland areas in the country, but the far western side of the lagoon at times can have large numbers gulls and terns, and some herons.

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