The Best Things to Do in Providenciales
Providenciales is an incredible tropical vacation destination, and there’s a tremendous selection of things to do for all ages. With some of the nicest beaches and water in the world, it’s no surprise that most activities on Providenciales involve the ocean. There are exquisite reefs for diving and snorkeling, extensive marine wetlands that are perfect for kayaking, clear kayaking, paddleboarding, and birdwatching, and incredible coastal environments.
There’s a wonderful collection of boat tours and excursions to choose from as well, which visit secluded beaches, uninhabited cays, snorkeling reefs and great nature sites. Cruises are a great way to get out on the water and experience the beautiful environment of the islands.
For those who wish to get a little closer to nature, there are several national parks and nature reserves on Providenciales and the nearby islands of North Caicos and Middle Caicos, which offer distinct coasts, lagoons, wetlands, and caves to explore.
Relaxing on an incredible beach is of course one of the top things to do in the Turks and Caicos, and there’s an impressive number of perfect white sand beaches across our archipelago.
Our spectacular beaches are complimented by some of the most vibrant turquoise and blue waters in the Caribbean—a view that has to be seen to be believed.
The widely-recognized Grace Bay Beach is befittingly the most popular beach in the Turks and Caicos, and is the nation’s hallmark. There are miles of soft sand, vivid turquoise water, and no crowds.
Many of the north coast beaches on Providenciales are part of the spectacular Princess Alexandra National Park, which includes a barrier reef, shallow bays, and marine wetland islands.
Parasailing is a great activity that offers incredible views over the reefs, turquoise water, beach, and resorts. Excursions can be booked in advance, or arranged directly on the beautiful Grace Bay Beach.
Providenciales offers more than just one great beach. Some of the island’s best coastlines include Leeward Beach, Long Bay Beach, Sapodilla Bay and Taylor Bay, which are exquisite and unique in their own rights.
If you’d like to experience fascinating and diverse marine life, great reefs surround the Turks and Caicos. The Bight Reef and Smith's Reef in central Providenciales are found close of the beach and are perfect for shore snorkeling. You’ll be able to see colorful fish, turtles, stingrays, eagle rays, and small sharks in incredible reef and seagrass settings.
For those interested in the exciting water sport of kiteboarding, the brilliantly turquoise Long Bay Beach is a fantastic kite location and one of the finest spots in the Caribbean. The wind here is consistent and the water is the perfect depth with a soft sandy bottom, which makes for a great learning environment.
On the wild side are the remote beaches at Malcolm’s Road, West Harbour Bluff and Northwest Point, where reefs, coastal cliffs and clear water can be found. The western coastlines are quite close to the edge of the underwater marine plateau of the Caicos Islands and thus have a bit more of a rugged atmosphere, with deep blue water and rolling waves.
Providenciales has a perfect water sport for everyone. There’s exquisite scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, jet skiing, tubing, fly boarding, and sailing to just name a few.
The Turks and Caicos has always had a great reputation for scuba diving, which is supported by some of the best wall diving in the tropical Atlantic. There are many sites where the depth drops abruptly from the barrier reef to 7000 feet (2100 m).Eco-tours via clear kayak or paddleboard and fun and easy for all ages, and it's common to see turtles, baby sharks, stingrays, conch, starfish, birds, and more. Tours often visit the incredible Princess Alexandra National Park and Mangrove Cay, Donna Cay, and Little Water Cay.
A complex barrier reef system surrounds much of our archipelago, and this network supports distinct spur and groove reef formations, coral arches, and sand chutes.
Marine wildlife is varied, with amazing diversity of hard and soft corals, fish, turtles, rays, sharks and dolphins. There are many qualified dive shops with professional scuba instructors if you’re looking to learn this popular water sport. During the winter months, our islands are also visited by humpback whales! Whale watching is available from Providenciales, Grand Turk, and Salt Cay, and on some trips it may even be possible to snorkel with the whales!
One of our recommended things to do in Turks and Caicos is to take a snorkeling cruise that visits the barrier reefs and coral heads that surround the islands.
Many resorts and hotels, especially the large all-inclusive resorts, feature a fun range of complimentary water sports equipment. The flotilla usually includes ocean kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, Hobie Cat sailboats, snorkel gear, and windsurfers.
Another option for the adventurous is a boat rental. The choices range from open skiffs with outboards, to small jet boats, and mini power catamarans.
Providenciales is a great vacation destination for saltwater sport and recreational fishing.
As small islands, perfect conditions for deep sea fishing are found just minutes from the dock. There’s a range of private fishing charters to choose from, with vessels ranging from large and luxurious sport fishing boats to smaller and fast wahoo boats.
Reef and bottom fishing is another great activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. There are snappers, groupers, jacks, and yellowtails.
We also have extensive and beautiful marine flats for bonefishing. The waters of the Turks and Caicos features great clarity, so it’s possible to spot bonefish, tarpon, and barracuda prowling the shallows from quite a distance.
Boat Excursions and Tours
Another unforgettable way to spend the day is on a boat cruise, which is definitely one of our top things to do.
There’s a plethora of boat tours and charters to choose from, and these trips visit the amazing sites that make the Turks and Caicos such a special place. Activities, vessels and tour atmosphere vary greatly by each local excursion company.
Several small cays are found to the east of Providenciales, and these isles offer amazing and secluded beaches, the inquisitive and friendly Turks and Caicos Rock Iguana, and snorkeling reefs.
A bit farther off is Fort George Cay, where 1700s cannons can be seen in the ocean where Fort Saint George once stood.
West Caicos is also an excellent destination. There are ocean cliffs that are perfect for jumping off of, exquisite snorkeling, and the Victorian-era historical site of Yankee Town.
A perfect way to end the day is a sunset boat cruise. If you’re visiting during the full moon period, you may be able to watch the glowworms light up the water as well!
Providenciales offers some unforgettable options for nightlife, including the Casino at the Ritz-Carlton, restaurants and bars that feature live music, beach bonfires and BBQs, and sunset and glowworm evening cruises.
Island Day Trips
One activity that definitely should be considered by all guests visit Providenciales is a day trip to one of our other islands. There are several great options, including the green and verdant island of North Caicos and Middle Caicos, and the historical islands of Grand Turk, South Caicos, and Salt Cay.
North Caicos and Middle Caicos are easy to get to from Provo via a passenger ferry, and are connected by a road causeway, so getting around is easy. Explore Mudjin Harbour, Conch Bar Caves, Bambarra Beach, Indian Cave, Sandy Point Beach with Parrot Cay as its backdrop, Three Marys Cays, and much more.
Grand Turk was once the center of government in the islands, and has the picturesque beachfront colonial Cockburn Town, which is home to the Turks and Caicos National Museum, the Victoria Library, and beautiful old Victorian-era buildings. Outside of town is the incredible Governor’s Beach and the Grand Turk Lighthouse.
South Caicos excels as a destination for wild and scenic landscapes, with rugged coastlines and some of the most breathtaking water hues in the country. The channels between the small uninhabited cays on the northern end of South Caicos display brilliant turquoise, blue, emerald, and topaz colors.
Last but not least is Salt Cay. This small island offers fascinating salt industry history, secluded and pristine beaches, and friendly locals. Golf carts are the primary means of transport on the cay, and it’s fun to zip around, see the donkeys, beaches, and old buildings.
Attractions and Points of Interest
There are quite a few land attractions on Providenciales.
The globally unique Chalk Sound National Park is one of the top landscapes in the country, and offers a largely landlocked lagoon with brilliant turquoise water and hundreds of small islands.
Providenciales doesn’t quite have the selection of historical sites that can be found on some of our other islands, yet there is Cheshire Hall Plantation, a 1700s Loyalist cotton site. Today, paths lead around the various ruins and features here and offer a perspective of what life was like in our archipelago in past centuries.
A little out of the ordinary, the Caicos Conch Farm is the only such site in the country, and raises conch for local and international use. Get a close-up look at this fascinating giant marine snail.
The Turk’s Head Brewery, the sole brewer in the country, now offers factory tours and tastings. See this small-scale factory in operation, and pick up some beer at the best prices in the country!
There’s also The Hole at Long Bay Hills, which is a giant natural sinkhole in the limestone bedrock of the island. This chasm drops to water below, and was formed by the Karst process of dissolution as slightly acidic water eroded the soft limestone.
Land Sports and Activities
If you’d rather try an activity on land, options include horseback riding on the beach, golf at the excellent Royal Turks and Caicos Golf Club, tennis, ATV tours, cycling and hiking.
Many hotels and resorts maintain a fleet of bicycles for guest use. Cycling can be a fun way to discover Grace Bay, Cockburn Town, and our less-populated islands of Salt Cay, South Caicos, and Pine Cay.
Birdwatching is likewise great, and the Turks and Caicos attracts an interesting array of birds. The flamingos, herons, egrets, pelicans, and ospreys are impressive, yet there are a number of less-common species to be seen, such as the West Indian whistling duck, peregrine falcon, and the frigatebird.
Another great activity is an ATV tour in the west coast national parks. You’ll see remote beaches, marine wetlands, coastal cliffs and more.
There are some great scenic drives on the island as well, including the beachfront road that leads past the historical settlement of Blue Hills, Chalk Sound Drive, and the beautiful and winding road that leads through the Turtle Tail area.
If you’d rather have a guide, several land tours by taxi, truck or Vespa scooter are available, and visit scenic viewpoints, great beaches, centuries-old rock inscriptions, and Turks and Caicos cuisine restaurants. Most tours are quite flexible in the schedule and places they visit, so it’s often possible to book the tour to the sights and scenes you’d prefer!
For those on a budget, check out Free Things to Do on Providenciales.