10 tips to enjoy Providenciales to its fullest – without breaking the bank
There’s nothing like having friends and insider information for a destination, right? When friends or family visit us in Provo, we always share our favorite tips and tricks to have the time of their life in the Turks and Caicos islands. We’ve decided to share the wealth, so you too can save and have the best time ever!
1. Rent a car
The first thing people notice when leaving the airport is how expensive taxis are. That’s not a great way to start your vacation. It’s around this time that most start regretting the fact they didn’t choose a car rental. Cabs can get pricey real fast, and a rental will give you value and freedom. Unless you want to stay at your resort for your whole time, renting a car is a must if you want to discover the beauty of the island. And trust us, there is beauty to be seen! In our opinion, the best car rental service is provided by Grace Bay Car Rentals, but guests staying at White Villas, can book one of our Dodge caravans or FJ cruisers for $120 a day. Spacious, versatile and impeccably maintained, our vehicles come with the trademark White Villas service, meaning no fuss, no delays, parked at the airport (ready to go) whenever you are.
2. Sky pass/fast track
High seasons and small airports aren’t compatible. Thankfully, there are 2 great options to experience a VIP arrival and/or departure! On weekends, this service can save you hours of waiting to kick-start your vacation. Endless waiting at customs or baggage claim is never a good start to a vacation. The fast track and sky pass offer VIP services both for arrival and departure, so you can skip the long lines and go straight to the beach! Check out our blog post to learn more about when and why it can be more than worth it!
3. Shop souvenirs at Island organic
If you prefer spending more time on the beach, and less time shopping for those gifts you want to bring back for friends and family, Island Organic may just be your new favorite one-stop-shop. With endless options to fit everyone’s needs and budget, you’ll quickly check off everything you need to surprise (and impress) people back home. Island Organic has developed all sorts of great products, from soaps to candles and natural sunscreens, all made from local natural ingredients. If natural skin products aren’t your thing, know that the store also carries cute ethical clothing, and jewelry. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll be supporting a local creator and bringing a piece of the island back home with you.
4. Snorkel at the coral garden
A snorkeling cruise can quickly add to your vacation budget. The simple, free alternative is Coral Garden. Here, on this protected reef right off Grace Bay beach, we’ve seen turtles and a beautiful variety of fish.
The snorkeling area allows you to go around the protected corals and enjoy the view. Buoys are there to let you know where you can or can’t access, and it’s important to respect the guidelines. Nonetheless, bring your snorkel kits (you’ll have some in your White Villas accommodation) and access the stunning, crystal-clear waters of the Turks and Caicos.
5. Set yourself up on any beach
There are many beaches to visit on the island, and as you start driving around and exploring, you’ll come across many beautiful spots that almost feel secretive. As expats living on Providenciales, we love picnicking with a view. Some of our favorites are Sunset Beach and Taylor Bay, which tend not to be overly crowded. As a visitor, you may not want to purchase or lug beach chairs, coolers, or even snorkel gear. For this, there’s also a service. Abertci offers daily or weekly rentals where they come in and set you up on any beach you’d like. Reasonably priced and efficient, it’s often the best way to enjoy the beach, in style and comfort.
6. Thursday Fish Fry is cool
Some say the Turks and Caicos Islands don’t have much culture. Recently back from its forced Covid hiatus, the fish fry proves them wrong. This local cultural festival is held every Thursday from 5:30 to 9:30 at the PTV Headquarters in Grace Bay’s Stubbs Diamond Plaza. Showcasing the island’s culture and history, guests attending are exposed to local food, arts, crafts, live music, dance, and the Junkanoo! A cool local activity that brings locals, expats, and visitors together. The best part? You don’t have to pay or purchase anything to attend! But, if you want to support local businesses, there is no better place to do so!
7. Experience the island’s nature in the mangrove
Chris moore going over the mangroves ecosystem with his guests
Considered one of the most important ecosystems on the planet, the mangrove is an unknown force of nature that uncovers beautiful species and nurtures newborns in their first moments. A must-see, but also a protected area, guests can only enter on paddleboards or kayaks. Mangroves tours range from $80 to $145 per person and vary between 90 minutes to 4 hours. Those are also great for families as your kids will love seeing the turtles in their natural habitat.
8. Try Kitesurfing
Providenciales is known as one of the best places to learn (or practice) kitesurfing in the world. Many visit the island for the sole purpose of kiting the famed shallow turquoise waters at Long Bay beach. Experience a different beach and try a new sport in a world-class location, where you can walk in waist-deep water almost two miles out, making your learning experience easy and fun. Although the view is spectacular, it comes at a price. And although private lessons can be pricey, most schools offer great deals to learn in groups of two or three.
9. Take a boat excursion
Want to see more of the islands than Provo? Then, a boat excursion is definitely for you! This won’t be the cheapest day of your trip, but it’ll be the most memorable. Turks and Caicos is known for its ‘Beauty by Nature’ and it’s all about the water, the hidden beaches and the diving playgrounds. A boat excursion takes you to places you can’t access otherwise, exposes you to potentially spotting sea turtles and dolphins and allows you to experience what islanders enjoy the most: being out on (or in) the water. Many private boat excursion companies are available on the island, but if you already booked a villa with us, we offer 10% on our $1200 private excursion. And if a public boat excursion is more up your alley, we recommend Caicos Dream Tours or Island Vibes.
10. Reservations for activities during the high season
Now, you’ve read through the article and made up your mind about the different activities you want to book, you might be thinking of waiting until you set foot on the island. Although a respectful decision, during high season this will only set you for disappointment. During the busiest months (November through July) and especially during major holidays, it can be impossible to book kiteboarding, horseback riding and many of the other experiences on the island. Because our destination favors homes, villas and private accommodations, instead of all-inclusive resorts, visitors go out and about. So a word of advice: Book as early as possible.
Our final tip is booking with hosts you feel are connected with the location, care about your stay and know where, when and what you should experience, based on your family’s travel profile. We do that with family and friends. Why shouldn’t it be extended to all our guests?
Simon and Karim
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