Providenciales, or Provo as the slow-talking, slow-walking locals call it, is lined on the north shore with resort hotels. The action and relaxation is built around Grace Bay Beach’s 12-mile long stretch of snow white sands and a long coral reef pulsing with a colorful kaleidoscope of aquatic life. But no need to be packed in like sardines in large commercial north shore hotel complexes when you can opt for a vacation rental apartment, condo, house, or villa and perhaps even save a few dollars. Or splurge for more solitude near south shore bays, cays, and lakes.
Take a break from sun-bathing on Grace Bay’s snow white beaches. Snorkel the coral reef near White House Beach shoreline, and be dazzled by angelfish, parrotfish, and other colorful splashes of aquatic color. Treat the family to a personalized boat or kayak trip to harvest and eat conch, and watch iguanas bask in the sun on Iguana Island. Then relax at your vacation rental, and save money with a relaxing meal from your kitchen.
Wade into bonefishing flats just outside your vacation rental on Providenciales’ south side. Fly-fish for silent grey ghost-like bonefish on Flamingo Lake. Indulge in Thoreau-like contemplation among the islets in the turquoise waters of Chalk Sound National Park. Hike the scrub and prickly pear cactus-covered hillside at the eastern edge of Sapodilla Bay for panoramic views of the island and Chalk Sound. The whole family will enjoy the names and dates of presumably shipwrecked sailors carved into the hillside stones. Explore plantation house ruins like Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill where slaves once tended cotton and sisal. Watch for containerships at South Dock, the island’s commercial port.
After saving money by eating breakfast in your vacation rental kitchen, treat the family to a custom boat tour. Visit the old pirate hideway at French Cay, now a popular scuba site and sanctuary for frigates, osprey, and nesting seabirds. Little Water Cay in Princess Alexandra National Park is an endangered rock iguana sanctuary. Wrangle an invitation to private Pine Cay, where celebrities maintain hideaway homes. Snorkel or dive around cannons and remnants of a 1795 British Fort at Fort George Cay.
Munch conch fritters at Da Conch Shack, a beachside fast food hangout. Drop the family at the conch farm. Then tee off nearby for 18 championship holes at 6,771-yard Provo Golf Club, a green oasis on this desert scrub island. Take a break from vacation rental relaxation for deep-sea fishing, perhaps also catching sight of migrating humpback whales. Nearby deep waters are home to marlin, sailfish, mahi-mahi, wahoo, tuna, and barracuda. June is the blue marlin fishing tournament.