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Home > Destinations > Turks & Caicos Islands > Trip Reports > Trip Report

Turks & Caicos Islands - Trip Reports

Grand Turk, Salt Cay and Provo

The Turks and Caicos offer a variety of island experiences. We were on Grand Turk, Salt Cay, and Provo this year.

For isolation, snorkeling, and diving , Salt Cay would be hard to beat. We stayed at Mt. Pleasant Guest House - 4 rooms in the main building, another 4 in an annex, great food, great host, "this ain't the Hyatt Regency, you know" decor. Salt Cay Divers, which provides friendly, personalized trips to what we were told by other guests were excellent sites is right on the grounds. You can walk to a small cove for some very good snorkeling. We enjoyed the camaraderie of Mt. Pleasant.

However, if you want to be on your own, consider The Castaways. There are two cottages with two suites in each cottage. They sit right on a lovely beach with very good snorkeling directly off shore. You can either cook in (with food you bring with you since there is no shopping on Salt Cay) or take your meals at Mt. Pleasant. You will need to rent a golf cart to get between The Castaways and Mt. Pleasant unless you like really long walks.

Salt Cay is a place out of another time - kind of a Lake Woebegone of the Caribbean. We loved it even though as Brian Sheedy, the squire of Mt. Pleasant explained, there isn't much to do since the escalator outside Bloomingdales at the mall broke down and cut off the best shopping and the multiplex theater. If you stay a week on Salt Cay you may either never want to leave or you may wonder who that lunatic was on the 'Net who sent you to the end of nowhere.

We also enjoyed Grand Turk. It has more of a small, quiet town feeling although compared to Salt Cay it is a booming metropolis. There are several good dive shops with which you can explore the famous walls that surround the island. There is also a tiny, excellent museum dedicated to the excavation of a 15th century ship. There are good beaches but very little in the way of snorkeling (although the day trip to Gibbs Cay where sting rays circle your ankles in knee deep water was a real kick).

There are quite a few lodging choice. We stayed at the Turks Head. It is a big old house, once used as a goveror's residence - very nicely redone - with 4 or 6 very comfortable rooms, very friendly hosts and the best food on the island. If you stay a week on Salt Cay, you could break it up with a day trip to Grand Turk on Fred's boat when he goes over for supplies.

On Provo you have a wide choice of lodgings. We stayed at Turtle Cove Inn which is a very pleasant, "good quality motelish" kind of place built around a lovely little pool and garden. Moderately priced, not on the beach but in walking distance of the best snorkeling on the island. We visited the Ocean Club several times. We had a breakfast and a lunch at Ocean Club and also took a familiarization tour with one of their salespeople. It is a beautiful place. The grounds are lovely and meticulously maintained. The apartments are very attractive and spacious. The poolside area for breakfast and lunch is attractive, with good food and prices less than we expected. We also had dinner at their Greco Grill restaurant. The food was very good, but we felt that the Terrace Restaurant at Turtle Cove, where we ate several times was a better overall experience and probably the best restaurant on Provo. The beach is part of the long, spectacular Grace Bay beach. The only disadvantage for us would be that there is no nearby snorkeling (if you don't have a car - if you do, no problem). It is, however, reasonably close to the marina from which J&B takes snorkeling tours. Also, since it is right next door to Club Med, you should ask when you book if noise from Club Med is ever a problem at night. We asked and were told that it was not. Also, if you want an ocean front room, make sure that you arrange for one since Ocean Club is a big place, and some of the rooms are set back pretty far from the beach. Overall, from what we saw, would definitely recommend it highly.

While you are on Provo, make sure to get to The Pub On The Bay for dinner. It is a local place with delicious food at reasonable prices which is served in a pavillion on the beach from which you have a great view of the length of Grace Bay.

Thanks to Mike for this trip report ...
April 1999

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