This page only refers to the attraction of Grace Bay Beach. For information on the inland resort, dining and shopping region, see Grace Bay.
Found off the northeast coast of Providenciales, this pristine beach is the hallmark of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The recipient of many designations, Grace Bay currently holds the position of World Travel Awards’ World’s Leading Beach Destination, and Trip Advisor’s 2nd best beach in the world.
The entire beach is consistently excellent, with clean water, white sand and no rocks, seaweed or pollution. The barrier reef found a mile (1.6km) out protects Grace Bay from the ocean swells of the Atlantic.
Nearly all of the main resorts on Providenciales are found on this coast, and much of the watersport activity occurs in the area.
Many sources cite Grace Bay as being seven or twelve miles long, but in reality it’s only a little over three miles long (4.8km).
On the east side, Grace Bay Beach continues as Leeward Beach, and on the west end as The Bight Beach. It’s possible to walk the entire seven miles from Leeward Going Through Point to Turtle Cove Marina. The canals of Turtle Cove and Thompson’s Cove, and sea cliffs near Blue Mountain separate this section of coast line from the seven and a half mile (12km) continuous beach that stretches from Blue Hills to Northwest Point.
Grace Bay Beach is part of the Princess Alexandra National Park.
Grace Bay Beach was named after Grace Jane Hutchings, wife of Hugh Houston Hutchings, Commissioner of the Turks and Caicos from 1933-1934.
Unfortunately, the consistent sandy bottom of Grace Bay does not lend itself well to snorkelling. There are no reefs or snorkelling sites within easy shore access of the beach.
Too far to swim to from the coast, the barrier reef off of Grace Bay does offer excellent snorkel and dive sites when the conditions are right. However, it’s necessary to take a boat cruise out to these locations.
Found adjacent to the west of Grace Bay, the Bight Reef is the closet beach snorkelling site. For those staying in central Grace Bay, most will find the walk to this reef too far for convenience.
By far the greatest danger to swimmers is the reckless usage of powerboats. Tourists have been killed in the area by being struck by a boat. Most of this behaviour is by small vessels offering banana boat and wake rides and recent changes in the law require that such boats have a dedicated spotter. However, this is often not followed and it’s important to be aware of them.
Many of the main north coast beaches on Providenciales suffer from these negligent boat operators who ignore the law and pilot their vessels recklessly, without attention, and significantly above the 15mph speed limit. You must constantly be on the alert for boat traffic in your area in order to avoid injury.
Grace Bay Beach is part of the Princess Alexandra National Park, which has a 15mph speed limit for power vessels. Many boat operators flagrantly ignore this rule.
There are typically no major currents or dangerous waves in the area.