Went to Providenciales for 5 days to celebrate my 40th birthday with my wife leaving the kids at home. Arrived at 2:30 right on time, customs was busy but only took about 10 minutes. Paul from Grace Bay car rentals was there waiting for us and was very helpful giving directions and pointing out places on the island. Woudl definately recommend them. Made it to the hotel, kind of odd driving on the right side of the car in the left lave, but got used to it and the roundabouts quickly. Check in was very quick and easy, they had upgraded us to a Studio Ocean View w/ a balcony (see picture) from a courtyard view without one. Got us rum punch and gots us off to a great start. Everyone seemed relaxed, friendly, and helpful. Room was great, small "kitchenette" was a microwave, small fridge, toaster, sink and various dishes, glasses, silverwear. Had a washer and dryer in the bathroom, which was large and clean. Headed to the beach (again, see pictures) and walked around a bit. Tour desk got reservation for diving the next day with Caicos Adventures
Decided it was time for an early dinner as we had skipped lunch flying over the Bahamas, so we went to Hemingways. Had the conch fritters (ok, but a bit doughy), jerk chicken sandwich (excellent) and the fish tacos (best I have ever had) and a margarita (not great) and some Turks Head lager (great). We did find that everything on the island is expensive as this meal ran us $60, but hey, we're on vacation, right?
Next day diving at French Cay. thought we were going to West Caicos but change of plan. Boat was big and only 6 divers and 2 dive masters and the captain. If you have never been here, it is very hard to explain how beautifully blue and clear the ocean is. At 40Ft deep going 20 knots you could easily see starfish on the bottom as we passed over. My wife stayed aboard to snorkel and lay in the sun. Diving the wall was great although I get excited and use my air up too fast. Came back for a nap in the hammocks, went to dinner at Jimmy's Dive Bar and then up to Calico Jacks. Both had really good food and Leeanna at Calicos was great and made us coconut leaf animals to take home to the kids. Then headed to the grocery store, the IGA and did some quick pick up things. Again, we were kind of surprised how expensive everything is. $10 for a large papaya, $5 for a half gallon of OJ and $11 for a six pack of beer kind of hurt. Went back to the room and chilled out
Saturday went to the Conch Farm which was suposedly open but nobody around, so we just strolled around a bit and decided to drive around the island. Went to the Nikki Beach resort which was super luxury and super deserted like just about anywhere else. Manager there recommended Caicos Dream tour so we gave them a shout and booked for the next day. went back to the Sands, got our snorkel gear and drove down to Coral Gardens and went snorkeling off the beach. Saw some good coral, quite a few fish, couple barracuda, couple turtles, at at Somewhere on the Beach which was really good. Back to the Sands for a nap. Headed to Horse-Eyed Jack's for dinner, again, nobody there but us and one other table, had a wonderful jerk platter with pork, chicken, shrimp and some potato salad and slaw, everything was great. Went next door to Da Conch Shack and got a plate of cracked (fried) conch and some rum punch and daiquiris which was all excellent but still, just us and one other table. When they say slow season, they really mean it.
Sunday went on the Caicos half day tour, left from the beach 2 hotels down and went out to the reef on Grace Bay, snorkeled out there, saw some cool things, couple small sharks. Headed back to the east end and stopped near the conch farm, learned about conch and got to dive for our lunch, about 8 ft of water and just go down and grab some, then off to a deserted island to have the captain and mate fix them up in a conch salad and we sat on the beach and drank beer and rum and really consider why I go to work every day. On the way out, saw a HUGE ray swimming so they stopped the boat and I dove out with the camera but had a hard time focusing (remember the rum?)
Back to the beach and just layed out the rest of the day, went out for Pizza that night, again, $23 for a 16" pizza was kind of stiff but....
Monday headed out and drove around killing time before the flight, saw quite a bit if the residential areas, Chaulk Sound was beautiful too.
Anyway, was a great trip, too short but would definately recommend going there and would recommend the Sands as well, it was very well kept up, the pools were great and everything was very clean
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- Also Known As:
- Sands At Grace Bay Hotel Providenciales
- Sands At Grace Bay Providenciales
- Sands Grace Bay
- Sands At Grace Bay Turks And Caicos/Providenciales