Malcolm’s Road Beach is a beautiful and secluded coast that’s found off the remote west coast of Providenciales. This beach is about 1.3 miles long (2 km). The exclusive Amanyara resort is found at the southern end of the coast, and the northern side eventually becomes low limestone ironshore cliffs as it leads towards Northwest Point. South of Amanyara, Flamingo Creek Bay beach begins.
One unique aspect of Malcolm’s Road is that it’s located close to the wall, which is the sheer drop-off on the edge of the underwater Caicos Islands plateau. The feature surrounds much of the Caicos Islands group and offers some of the best scuba diving in the region, yet nearly all other beaches on Providenciales are quite a distance from the wall, and are protected by the barrier reef as well.
At Malcolm’s Road Beach, the depth at the top of the wall is about 50 feet (15 m), and off the wall it rapidly drops to over 7000 feet (2100 m).
As is the case with all sand in the Turks and Caicos, the beach at Malcolm’s Road is made of broken-down coral and shell matter. The reef where much of this material originates from isn’t far off, so the sand is consequently newer, large-grained, quite coarse, and irregular in structure. This may not initially sound pleasant, yet it actually results in an amazing peach-toned beach that’s incredibly soft underfoot.
There’s plenty of white sand to go around, yet large ocean-worn rocks have been piled up by waves in places, and exposed limestone bedding can be seen interspersed along the coast.
Due to being very close to the edge of the Caicos Islands plateau, Malcolm’s Road Beach can be a bit more exposed to the ocean swells at times than the other beaches on the island, and hence offers a different character.
One of the defining features of the north-western coast of Providenciales is its exquisite underwater visibility. Ocean conditions of course vary, however, on a good day the water clarity is breathtaking.
Malcolm’s Road Beach is part of the Northwest Point Marine National Park. This protected area includes the ocean out to the barrier reef, and the beach up to the high tide point.
Snorkeling and Shore Diving
The reef and wall off of Malcolm’s Road Beach and Northwest Point hide some of the finest dive sites surrounding Providenciales. On calm days, dive boats from local tour companies and resorts can be seen moored off the coast.
Malcolm’s Road Beach offers the best shore diving on Providenciales. Smith's Reef near Turtle Cove and the Bight Reef are far more convenient, yet the spur and grove reef topography, underwater visibility, and the sightings of larger sea animals such as sharks is superior at Malcolm’s Road.
It’s important to be aware that shore diving from Malcolm’s Road Beach is only suitable for experienced and skilled divers. It’s necessary to be aware of the wind, which may be offshore, and water currents. Decent reefs begin about 500-700 feet (150-210 m) off the beach, and the wall is 1600 feet (490 m) out.
Excellent snorkeling can also be found across the length of this beach, yet the best sites are unfortunately a little difficult to find. To the right of the main access, sand-filled depressions in the ancient coral shelf are quite interesting Malcolm’s Road offer great underwater sights to explore, yet beginner snorkelers and those who may be unsure in the water will likely have a better experience at central Smith's Reef and Bight Reef.
Malcolm’s Road Beach is also the top beach location for the exciting water sport of freediving. The factors that make the area a great place for diving also apply to freediving—great visibility, the wall, and the deep blue ocean.
In more recent years, a large number of concrete artificial reef balls have been placed in the area, and are a system designed to shelter fish, reduce beach erosion, and facilitate coral growth. These reef balls may be unsightly until they support coral, yet they do currently shelter colorful reef fish. Please do not stand on these features, as doing so will kill developing hard and soft corals.
Le trésor de Pago Pago and the Thunderdome
In the early 1990s, Malcolm’s Road was the site of French game show Le trésor de Pago Pago. Tiki huts and a Mad Max style underwater Thunderdome were constructed for this survivor challenge television show.
Unfortunately, one of the challenges involved free diving into the underwater cage, collecting “pearls”, getting air from a scuba tank, and then returning to the surface. Several contestants received lung over-expansion injuries and Le trésor de Pago Pago was canceled.
For about ten years, the tiki huts were a popular spot for locals to spend the day until the area was taken over by Amanyara Resort.
The dome collapsed during Hurricane Frances in 2004.
Beach Accesses and Road Conditions
There is only one designated access to Malcolm’s Road, the Main Access 🡓, and it’s at the conclusion of a 3-mile (4.8 km) long unpaved road that leads from the Wheeland and Blue Hills area of Providenciales.
To access this route, follow the paved Millennium Highway to where the pavement ends, and take the immediate left. No official name or sign exists for this road. It’s sometimes referred to as “Malcolm Road”, or “Amanyara Road”.
The worst section of this route is the final descent from the inland ridge and hills to the flat plain and beach below. There’s a cellular tower at the crest of the hill.
This road can be quite rough in places, yet can be slowly traversed by the typical compact and economy rental car. We advise against attempting the route by scooter. Surface conditions may vary depending on recent rainfall.
At the conclusion of the road is the ocean and a small developed beach access with a pavilion and paved parking spaces.
Several bulldozed tracks put in by failed developments also lead to various points along the beach, yet these poor-condition roads have gotten increasingly worse over the last few years. We advise avoiding these areas.
The chic and low-density Amanyara (an all-inclusive resort) is found at the southern end of Malcolm’s Road Beach. This expansive site offers luxury accommodation in private villas and pavilions. Amenities include a spa and yoga studio, fine dining restaurants, and an environmental discovery center.
Due to being located on the sheltered leeward of Providenciales, the ocean conditions are typically calm. However, abnormal wind and swell directions can create waves and currents at the coast, and swimming should be avoided in such weather situations.
Be aware that sea urchins may be found at rocky sections of the coast.
Malcolm’s Road Beach is located in a remote area and there is a greater crime risk due to this seclusion. In the past few years, there have been a few cases of armed robberies against people visiting the beaches in this area. Considering the fewer numbers that visit Malcolm’s Road Beach compared to Grace Bay Beach and the other frequented beaches, the risk of crime is higher.
See Safety and Crime.