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aerial photo of the South Dock industrial region of Providenciales Aerial view of the South Dock area, Providenciales.

Districts and Areas of Providenciales

aerial photo of The Sands resort on Grace Bay Beach
The spectacular Grace Bay.

Providenciales is the third largest island in the Turks and Caicos Islands, with an area of approximately 37 square miles (98 km sq). The length from end to end is about 17 miles (27km), and the width ranges from 1.5 miles (2.5km) to 8 miles (12km). The 2012 Census reported a population of 23,769.

Much of the island’s development, including the tourism enclaves of Grace Bay, Leeward, Long Bay, the Bight and Turtle Cove, is found in the eastern and central regions of the island.

The western half remains largely undeveloped, and is home to several protected areas, including the Frenchman’s Creek and Pigeon Pond Nature Reserve, the Northwest Point Pond Nature Reserve, and the Chalk Sound National Park.

Providenciales does not have a distinct city centre or town, as is the case with many other island destinations. The Downtown area is the closest approximation to a city centre, and although it lacks an organized layout, most of the government offices and many shops and businesses are found here.

The south coast of Providenciales largely consists of low limestone “ironshore” coastline, yet inland marine wetlands and ponds ( Chalk Sound Lagoon, Juba Sound, Discovery Bay and Turtle Pond) create semi-isolated peninsulas and coastal regions, many of which have become prime locations for luxury vacation rental villas, including Turtle Tail, Chalk Sound, Silly Creek, and Cooper Jack Bay.

If you’re planning to visit Providenciales and stay at a rental accommodation, see Providenciales Vacation Villas for information on lodging locations from a visitor’s perspective.

The Three Original Settlements

sea salt flat in the Frenchman's Creek and Pigeon Pond Nature Reserve in the Turks and Caicos
A salt flat near West Harbour Bluff, Providenciales. Sea water trapped in flats quickly evaporates to salt, which was the primary industry of the country for over 250 years.

Previous to the advent of the tourism industry to Providenciales in the late 1970s, the island was only home to three small settlements: Blue Hills, Five Cays, and the Bight. These communities were supported by fishing and subsistence farming.

The vacation industry on Providenciales began at Turtle Cove, where the construction of the Third Turtle Inn and the Turtle Cove Marina opened the island to international tourism. It’s interesting to note that the island’s first resort wasn’t located on the world-famous Grace Bay Beach.

Transport, Getting Around and Exploring

We have dedicated articles on getting around Providenciales, driving, rental cars, taxis, and exploring by car. To save on vacation costs, we generally advise that tourists rent a vehicle for their stay.

There’s no organized public transport or bus service in the Turks and Caicos.

Areas and Districts Map

The map below shows areas and districts on Providenciales. The coloured areas shown below reflect the partitioning of Providenciales used by this site to denote the location of accommodation, activities, businesses, and more throughout this website.

Grace Bay
Grace Bay is by far the main tourist area on Providenciales. Grace Bay Beach and most of the island's hotels and restaurants are located in this area. Grace Bay Central is the main area. Grace Bay West and East have several hotels and condominiums as well as private residences, although there are fewer shops and restaurants.
Leeward
Located on the northeast corner of Providenciales, Leeward is a residential area with a marina, many vacation villas and a few shops and restaurants. Much of the coast fronting Leeward is beautiful beach.
Chalk Sound
This residential region is located next to the brilliant Chalk Sound National Park. Home to many rental villas and luxury homes, the exquisite Sapodilla Bay Beach and Taylor Bay Beach can also be found here.
Long Bay
This area is found on the southeast of Providenciales. With the exception of a new condominium project, Long Bay is almost entirely a residential area with both private homes and rental villas. The higher elevation interior region of this area is sometimes referred to as Long Bay Hills.
Turtle Cove
The first area on Providenciales to see tourism development, Turtle Cove is now home to the popular Turtle Cove Marina complex. Several hotels, restaurants, shops and vacation villas can be found here, along with the excellent Smith's Reef snorkeling site.
Turtle Tail
Turtle Tail is a highly scenic coastal region on the central south of Providenciales. This peninsula is largely separated from the mainland of the island by the shallow and beautiful Flamingo Lake and Juba Sound.
Blue Hills
Blue Hills is a local residential area and one of the three original settlements on Providenciales. A few local restaurants are located here, as well as several churches. Found to the west of central Blue Hills, the largely undeveloped Wheeland area is now often considered to be part of Blue Hills.
Blue Mountain
Found on the central north coast of the island, Blue Mountain is the highest point on Providenciales at 156 feet. Mainly a residential area, a few rental villas can be found here. A paved road leads nearly to the summit of Blue Mountain, where excellent views over Blue Hills, Downtown, and the northern barrier reef can be had.
Leeward Highway
Leeward Highway is the main motorway on Providenciales, and runs from the Downtown and airport area to the east end of the island. Many of the island’s larger stores and businesses are located along this highway.
Discovery Bay
Found between the Cooper Jack Bay and the Five Cays areas of Providenciales, Discover Bay is a mixed light industrial and residential area. Some small shops, restaurants and a school are also located here.
Downtown
Located in central Providenciales and close to the airport, several of the Government offices, the Post Office, many small restaurants and shops, and the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Center can be found here. Although one of the busiest areas on the island, building density tends to be low and spread out.
Five Cays
One of the three original settlements on the Providenciales, Five Cays is found the south coast of the island. Beginning as a fishing village, this lower-income residential area is home to several small shops and restaurants.
Cooper Jack
Cooper Jack Bay is located on the central south coast of Providenciales, adjacent to the Discovery Bay and Venetian Road districts. Several scenic hills in this area offer spectacular views over the shallow and turquoise Caicos Banks.
Juba Sound
This often overlooked area is found south of Leeward Highway and adjacent to Turtle Tail and Long Bay Hills. Offering excellent views over Juba Point Salina, this area is mainly residential.
Kew Town
Located between the Downtown area and Blue Hills, Kew Town is a local residential area with some small shops, restaurants and businesses. It's a short distance from the airport and the Downtown area.
Babalua Beach
Although centrally located, this secluded beach is a little difficult to find and consequently sees very few visitors. Some snorkelling can be found a distance of the beach, but it isn’t up to what can be seen at the nearby Smith’s Reef. Likewise, the water and beach are decent, but they are surpassed by many of the other beaches on Providenciales.
Northwest Point National Park
The remote and rugged limestone coastline of Northwest Point offers countless small coves and cliffs to explore. A great place to spend an afternoon, the interior ponds here are some of the best birdwatching spots on Providenciales. An especially impressive spot when the ocean swell is high.
South Dock
This area is found on the southern coast of Providenciales. Along with being the location of the main sea port for the country, the South Dock area is home to many of the island’s industrial sites.
South Dock Road
Connecting the Downtown area to Five Cay and South Dock, this road and surrounding region follows the high ground between Five Cays and Chalk Sound. Although largely an industrial use area, some residences can be found on the Chalk Sound side of this road.
Venetian Road
This long and winding unpaved road follows along the Turtle Tail peninsula. A residential area with private homes and vacation villas, Venetian Road offers one of the most scenic drives on Providenciales as it weaves past low hills overlooking the Caicos Banks and the wetlands of Flamingo Lake and Juba Sound.
Malcolm's Road Beach
Beautiful and remote, this beach offers much to explore. Due to being close to the edge of the Caicos Islands plateau and the deeper water, this beach sometimes experiences breaking surf off the beach and has a bit more of a rugged appearance than the other Providenciales beaches. For the adventurous, great snorkeling can be found at many spots here.
Heaving Down Rock
This region on the east end of Providenciales is home to the Caicos Conch Farm, Heaving Down Rock Marina, and many private residences.
Richmond Hills
Located in central Providenciales, Richmond Hills is a low density residential area. Private homes and a small school make up most of the development found here.
Silly Creek
A small peninsula found near Chalk Sound on Providenciales, this region is home to many luxury villas. The small and winding road here that leads through the low bluffs and coastal vegetation is quite scenic.
Wheeland
Wheeland is a residential region on the western side of Providenciales. The area is accessed from Blue Hills and Millennium Highway, and features two separate neighbourhoods: Wheeland Settlement and Millennium Heights.