When booking vacations here in the Turks and Caicos Islands, I’m frequently asked about the best beaches on Providenciales. Since I’m super passionate about this area, it’s easy for me to go on and on about the many incredible beaches we have here. And because this question seems to be of interest to so many, I’ve decided to jot down a list of the top 5 beaches you will find in Provo, along with what makes each of them so special.
Grace Bay Beach (duh)
No surprise here — Grace Bay Beach always tops the list. But it really deserves its own place outside of the “Top 5.” Why? Beautiful, soft powdery sand. Brilliant turquoise waters. A sanctuary from life in the outside world.
Grace Bay is such a special place that it has been ranked the #1 beach in the world many times, by Conde Nast Traveler, TripAdvisor and more. And the island of Providenciales itself is also often ranked among the best in the world.
But beyond Grace Bay, there are still so many world-class beaches to discover.
A Local Chooses the Top 5 Beaches on Providenciales
1. Long Bay Beach
TIP: If you’ve already booked your stay in the Grace Bay area, it’s only a 10 minute drive to this beach. It’s well worth the visit, especially to check out the Shore Club)
On the opposite side of Providenciales and Grace Bay lies Long Bay. Long Bay Beach has miles of unbelievable white sand and turquoise waters. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where the beach ends and where the sky begins, as the blues blend in to each other. Another draw of Long Bay is its shallow waters. You can literally wade out in the water for 15 minutes, and still be no more than chest-deep in water. This is an ideal spot for young kids learning to swim too.
This is a popular beach for kiteboarders, and Provo Ponies also takes our visitors horseback riding here.
HOW TO FIND IT:
Starting at Seven Stars resort, drive towards the main Leeward Highway. Turn left at the roundabout, drive for about 8 minutes, and on the right hand you’ll see the sign for The Shore Club. Turn here and drive to the end, then turn right, then a quick left, and you’ll arrive at the parking lot where you can park and walk down a path to the beach.
2. Leeward Beach
This is a gorgeous section of the beach to take pictures. There’s usually very few people here, and the ‘Emerald Point’ area in particular is very scenic.
Many visitors are enchanted by Leeward Beach, northeast of Grace Bay Beach. This is a special place to experience romantic, private walks along the ocean and the scenic sand dunes.
At the end of a quiet walk to Emerald Point, you may see the TCI Ferry going or coming from North Caicos as it leaves from just around the corner through the channel.
In the distance, you’ll see Little Water Cay — a tiny uninhabited island where iguanas roam free — and the swampy wetlands of Mangrove Cay, where you might spot a dolphin or a rare reddish egret in the remote channels and tidal creeks. By the way, this is another nice way to spend a half day — rent a kayak or standup paddleboard and head over to the mangroves for a unique experience that gets you up close and personal with nature.
HOW TO FIND IT:
Starting from Seven Stars resort, drive east past Coco Bistro, Club Med and the golf course. Keep driving until you see a security booth — you’re now entering the ‘Leeward Gates’ residential area (Atrium Resort and Blue Haven All Inclusive Resort are also located in here). Take a left at the first roundabout, then veer left onto the gravel road and drive for about 3 minutes, and you’re on Leeward Beach.
3. Sapodilla Bay Beach
TIP: Stay late and get some spectacular sunset photos.
Sapodilla Bay is a small sheltered stretch of picturesque beach about 10 miles from Grace Bay. The water is calm, clear and shallow, making this an excellent place for small children. Prepare for a perfect for a day of picnicking, building sand castles and swimming.
HOW TO FIND IT:
Starting from the Seven Stars Resort, drive back towards the main Leeward Highway, then back towards the airport. After about 10 minutes, you’ll see CIBC First Caribbean Bank. Turn left and follow the signs to South Dock. Keep driving for another 15 to 20 minutes and you’ll eventually get to a dead end with the Chalksound police station on the right. Turn right, drive for just 2 minutes and you’ll be able to park and walk to the beach from there.
4. Malcolm’s Beach
TIP: The ocean can be rougher here and the current can get a little strong, so take a partner when you go snorkeling here.
A place of stunning, wild and windswept beauty, Malcolm’s Beach is only for those interested in adventure.
Off the beaten track, this beach requires a good rental vehicle (4×4 not necessary, but some people prefer to use one in case the trails get slippery from rain) to get along the bumpy roads.
But once you arrive at Malcolm’s Beach, the rewards are worth every bump in the road. Panoramic ocean vistas offer views of a sometimes choppy sea, with mist spraying off the jagged rocks that line the coast. The sand is of a fine, silty quality, and is peppered with crabs, rocks and unique shells. Some shallow saltwater ponds and mangroves inland make for a very intriguing day in this secret gem of a place. I’ve snorkeled here many times, and I see a wider variety of sea life compared with the other main reefs on the island (Coral Gardens / Bight Reef, and Smith’s Reef). There’s an amazing ‘coral tree,’ as I like to call it, when you swim out a bit. I once tried to count the fish swimming around it, but to no avail — there must have been thousands.
5. Northwest Point National Park
TIP: the color of the water here is a little more emerald/turquoise compared with the bright blues of Grace Bay and other beaches. We love this about Northwest Point — it’s beautiful in its own right.
The rugged coastline and tiny protected coves of Northwest Point National Park are ideal for those who love to go off the beaten track. Kiteboarders also like to venture here as the beach enjoys some of the most dependable winds in the Caribbean.
HOW TO FIND IT:
From the Seven Stars Resort, follow the Leeward Highway towards the airport. The last roundabout before downtown will have a sign showing Blue Hills on the right. Turn right at this roundabout. Go about a mile or two and a turn lane to turn right will appear. Turn right here. There’s also a small sign for Da Conch Shack by this turn. Go less than half a mile and Da Conch is on the right. Drive all the way down this road for about 10 minutes. The road will veer left, and you’ll reach an intersection. Turn right and drive for another 12 minutes. On the right side you’ll see the entrance to Northwest Point Resort.
So, there you have it: Turks & Caicos travel designer Val Kalliecharan’s picks for the best beachcombing, swimming and picture-taking on Providenciales.
Usually when I meet clients while they’re on the island, it’s on Grace Bay Beach for a drink. I look forward to having one with you soon! Get in touch to start planning your itinerary. We’ll make sure you get to experience the best of all Turks & Caicos has to offer.