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Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
Providenciales (fondly known as Provo) offers a wide range of rental villas, with varying degrees of luxury, numbers of bedrooms, and amenities.
In addition to stand-alone houses, the term villa generally refers to any non-hotel or resort accommodation, and may include private condominium units, part of a multi-unit residence, or at times, even single bedrooms.
The majority of Turks and Caicos villas are overseen by an owner or manager who’s present in the country, so it’s possible to obtain assistance if any issues arise.
Villas are great for those who appreciate a little extra space, a bit of seclusion and privacy. When compared to resorts, a rental house can be more economical for groups or a large family. One of the more expansive villas can also be perfect for wedding groups, as there’s ample space and the full range of amenities.
Many luxury properties are located directly on one of our stunning smaller beaches, and typically these coasts are far less busy than the famous Grace Bay. See Beaches of Providenciales and Top 10 Beaches in the Turks and Caicos to find the perfect coast.
On the smaller and outer islands in the Turks and Caicos, a rental villa or guest house may be the only lodging options available as there are simply no large resorts. Each of our smaller islands and cays offers something unique, blending laid-back atmospheres, spectacular landscapes, and romantic beaches.
Choosing when to visit the Turks and Caicos is a common point of consideration for tourists, and rightly so.
The Turks and Caicos generally experiences beautiful weather conditions throughout the year, yet there is a little variance in ocean temperature and wind speed.
The winter months feature great air and ocean temperatures, yet the days can be a little breezy. There’s a great percentage of sunny days, yet the ocean can be a little choppy at times.
The spring months can bring periods of rainfall, and with it some cloud cover. It’s far more likely to be sunny than not, yet over the spring season there are usually two or three times where it may remain overcast for a few days.
Excepting the passing of a tropical cyclone, summer tends to bring calm, sunny days and clear ocean waters, which is great for the beach, snorkelling, and diving. Air temperatures can become quite hot, which isn’t conducive to land sports such as hiking and golf.
Rates and availability is another concern. The winter months and holidays are the busiest time of year in the Turks and Caicos, and there may be limited vacancies. Rates are often raised at the time as well.
In contrast, the late summer and autumn months experience the lowest number of visitors and, many accommodations and tour companies offer special deals and pricing to attract customers, or simply shut down for repairs and maintenance.
Location should be a major consideration when choosing a Turks and Caicos rental villa.
The island of Providenciales is home to a great selection of beaches. Many of the more luxurious Turks and Caicos vacation rentals are on coasts other than the famous Grace Bay, which isn’t necessary a bad feature as the smaller coasts tend to offer greater privacy and seclusion.
Several areas are uniquely located near natural sites that excel for snorkelling, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding, and villas near such sites often include the complimentary guest use of water sports equipment.
For the most part, villas and rental houses are found in one of a few coastal residential regions on Providenciales.
Due to their lower levels of development, the villas on the smaller islands in the Turks and Caicos are more likely to be on or near the beach.
Grace Bay, and to a lesser degree, Turtle Cove, are the only areas where a rental car or transportation may not be needed. Generally for all other locations, we strongly recommend reserving a rental vehicle for the duration of your stay. See Driving in the Turks and Caicos.
Overlooking the amazingly-turquoise Caicos Banks, some of the south coast regions such as Turtle Tail and parts of Long Bay, are only accessed by unpaved and occasionally rough roads, which may be as long as four miles (6.7 km).
Grace Bay Beach, widely recognised as one of the top beaches in the world, is found on the northeast coast of Providenciales.
Quite a few villas are found near this spectacular beach, but very few are actually on it due to the premium of the land. The inland Grace Bay area is quite convenient, with shops, restaurants and a grocery store within walking distance of most accommodations.
Directly to the east of Grace Bay, the Leeward area is largely residential and home to an incredible beach as well. A short drive away from the amenities of Grace Bay, this area tends to be a bit more tranquil.
The exquisite Leeward Beach does attract visitors from across the island, yet the beach is extensive and you’ll have plenty of paradise to enjoy.
Accommodations near Leeward Channel are within paddling distance of Mangrove Cay and Little Water Cay in the Princess Alexandra Nature Reserve, which is a great destination to explore by kayak and paddle board.
The Turtle Cove enclave and marina has several restaurants and small shops, and is a relatively short drive away from nearly everything important on the island.
The Chalk Sound general region on Providenciales is a very popular site for vacation cottages and villas. Quiet and residential, the peninsulas and ridge between Chalk Sound National Park and the Caicos Banks is incredibly scenic.
Two comparatively small beaches, Sapodilla Bay and Taylor Bay, are the significant beaches in the area. Although they would never be close to being considered “crowded” when compared to famous coasts worldwide, due to their limited extent they can at times feel a bit busier than other spots on Providenciales.
Limestone ironshore makes up the majority of the coastline at this part of Providenciales, both on the interior Chalk Sound and fronting the south shore.
The accommodations on both the southern Caicos Banks oceanfront and lagoon side of the Chalk Sound peninsula offer amazing views of brilliantly-turquoise water.
Dining options are however a bit limited, as Las Brisas Restaurant is the only restaurant and bar in the area. Chalk Sound is about a 9 mile (15 km) drive from Grace Bay, with portions of the journey leading past the industrial areas at South Dock, Five Cays and Downtown.
The turquoise waters here are exquisite and consistently shallow at 2-5 feet (.6 to 1.5 meters). For general swimming, the north coast beaches Grace Bay, Leeward and The Bight may be the better choice.
Long Bay is the natural choice if kiteboarding is a consideration.
Many villas here are found on the thin ridge of land between the shallow inland marine ponds and the southern shore. The view from the peaks of the hills here over the shallow ocean of the Caicos Banks is spectacular.
There is no large beach in this area, however many houses hide tiny patches of sand between the low limestone cliffs, some of which are so small that they are submerged at high tide.
Another central region and found close to Turtle Cove, the Blue Mountain and Babalua Beach area is relatively quiet, and due to the high elevation, many accommodations in this vicinity offer unparalleled vistas over the northern barrier reef.
The beach is decent, albeit shallow with sea grass and the occasional rock or conch. The snorkelling can be good as well.
Every beach in the Turks and Caicos is public to the high tide point, yet due to coastal cliffs and treacherous reefs, several small beaches fronting Blue Mountain are only easily accessed from the adjacent residence, and consequently are as close to a private beach as one might find on Providenciales.
The private islands of Parrot Cay and Pine Cay are also home to vacation rentals, and offer a completely different ambiance than Providenciales. You’ll find exclusive luxury, yet a laid-back and quiet atmosphere. Several of the rental homes are owned by well-known celebrities.
There are beachfront villa and inland options to choose from. Although not as recognized as the world famous Grace Bay Beach, the beaches on Pine Cay and Parrot Cay are incredible, with soft white sand and clear water. Both islands also feature a single all-inclusive resort, Parrot Cay Resort and the Meridian Club, and these resorts manage some of the villas. These two tranquil islands are perfect for a relaxing getaway or honeymoon.
Rates vary quite a bit throughout the year in the Turks and Caicos.
The high season, which generally consists of the winter months, tends to have significantly higher accommodation rates than the “low seasons” of the end of summer, autumn and early spring. This peak in rates is typically most pronounced during the Christmas and New Year’s weeks.
Contacting the villa owner or manager directly instead of booking online will also often result in savings. If there are vacancies at one of the larger vacation rentals, it’s often possible to obtain a discount if only two persons are lodging at a site that sleeps more.
As may be expected, beachfront turks and caicos villas and those with wonderful views tend to rent at a higher price than inland accommodations. For example, a condo in Grace Bay that’s only a short walk from the beach will rent for 50-100% less than a comparable site directly on the beach.
The Providenciales rental villas tend to be better equipped than accommodations on our other islands, yet it makes sense to be aware of what is available. Many offer internet, clothes washers, kitchens and BBQ grills. Swimming pools are a little less common, yet widely available.
The kitchen in the average Turks and Caicos villa will be full-size and better than the smaller kitchenette found in some of the resort suites, and there are typically multiple bathrooms as well.
Water sports and outdoor equipment often include kayaks, stand up paddle boards, snorkelling gear, beach toys, umbrellas, coolers and beach chairs. Having the complimentary use of such equipment can potentially save quite a bit in rental or purchase expenses.
A concierge can book activities and day trips, offer friendly advice and information, and generally make your trip run smoother.
The villa situation in Providenciales is quite interesting. Many of the luxury villas are full-time rentals, yet others are vacation homes which are rented out when the owners are not on the country.
Booking a vacation rental is usually done directly with the accommodation owner, or as increasingly becoming the case, through one of the local villa management companies. The best rates are usually obtained by making a call or email directly to the local management firm. The large international booking companies often simply take a commission and refer the booking to a local business. Another consideration is that the local companies typically have a bit more leeway in terms of last minute offers, both in terms of the amount of the discount and villas that may have vacancies due to sudden cancelations.
Many of the international booking companies have policies that prohibit local companies from publishing rates lower than what’s on the international booking site. To counteract this, local companies may offer specials and additional inclusions, such as a rental car, extra night stay, or dinner vouchers.
In many cases, the accommodation management will welcome guests at the airport, and either provide transport to the villa, or in the case of visitors having a rental car, guide the way to the property and give an introduction to the house and grounds. A pre-paid cell phone for local calls is also often included, so it’s easy to call the manager if any questions arise.
Getting to Turks and Caicos is generally easy and straightforward. The Providenciales International Airport terminal (where all flights to the country land) is small, and there typically isn’t much of a wait at passport control or the baggage claim.
Road signage and house number signs can be lacking in the Turks and Caicos, which, in addition to the inaccuracies of online maps, can make it difficult to find some accommodations. If you’re visiting for the first time and not expecting to meet your villa manager upon arrival, we advise researching your villa location.
Accepted payment methods typically include wire transfer, bank draft, or credit card. When a reservation is made through one of the popular international rental marketplace websites, part or all of the payment may be held by the online rental website until the conclusion of the stay, when the payment is released to the accommodation owner. This practice is intended to protect renters against fraud.
Unlike the common hotel practice of rates being affected by the number of persons per room, vacation homes are typically rented for the same cost regardless of the number of persons staying, whether every bed is filled or not. If your party is greater than two, check with your booking company if additional fees apply.
Most vacation rentals in the Turks and Caicos require a two or three night minimum booking.
Villas in Turks and Caicos typically include water and electricity allowances which covers typical usage, excepting possible excessive air conditioning.
A 12% government tax (2016) is applied on top of the villa rental fee.
Some accommodations falsely state this rate to be higher, or include a “service charge” or some other “tax”, which is not a government tax. There is no government-sanctioned “city tax”.
Many of the villas on Providenciales have air conditioning, and this feature will likely be greatly appreciated by visitors throughout much of the year.
Due to the high cost of electricity in the Turks and Caicos, air conditioning usage may be billed, either at a flat rate, or according to metered usage.
When metered, usage is often charged at the going rate. Electricity is priced at around 50¢ KWh (2016), compared with a U.S. national average of 13¢ KWh (March 2016). If such is the case, an estimate of full-time air conditioning usage for a single bedroom is about $45-75 per week (constant use, and with windows and doors kept shut!). You may want to verify with your lodging what their air conditioning or overuse electricity rate is before booking.
Be aware that the same condominium unit may be available for rent both through the condominium management organization, and by the owner directly on a third party listing website.
The rate offered by the unit owner is often lower, however it may not include the same access to the complex amenities and housekeeping that booking through management might provide. We advise clarifying the situation before your unit is reserved.
Another consideration is noise. The Turks and Caicos is currently experiencing quite a bit of construction. Many luxury villa rentals are found in enclaves, so there may be noises or disturbances if there’s an ongoing project in your prospective area. Enquire before booking.
Visitors should definitely be aware of the crime situation on Providenciales.
The Turks and Caicos is one of the safest countries in the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic, yet crime does occur. On a whole, Caribbean tourism information tends to largely ignore crime issues. We strive to present an unbiased view.
Both burglaries, and to a far lesser extent, home invasions, have taken place. Official statistics are lacking, however we estimate that between 0 and 2 armed villa invasions take place during the average year. Burglaries of unoccupied villas occurs more often.
There are several things to note before booking your villa rental.