Providenciales, the largest and most developed island in Turks and Caicos, offers a wide variety of activities on and off the shore, including the unique opportunity to visit the world's only working conch farm!
A tour of the Caicos Conch Farm is a good side trip for a non-beach day. A local Turks islander will take you through the conch's life cycle duing a brief walking tour. The conch are raised from eggs to young adults, housed in greenhouse-like structures, then transferred to holding ponds and later ocean holding pens. Visitors are encouraged to pick up and handle the conch at each stage. The tour culminates with a visit with Sally and Jerry, two trained, 6-year-old, full-grown conchs who are coaxed out of their shells so guides can point out the very obvious difference between the males and females.
There is no better way to enjoy the tropical sunsets of Provo than from a privately chartered sailing sloop, and the retired rumrunner Atabeyra will give you a pirate's-eyed view of the island's deserted beaches, inlets and coves. Special "Glow Worm Sunset" tours by Sun Charters, held just after the full moon each month, capture the moment when luminescent marine worms perform a mating ritual that light up the waters (Happy Hour, snorkeling, and kid-friendly pirate-themed outings also are available). Swimming, shell hunting and beachcombing, capped off by a picnic lunch on deck, make for a perfect afternoon.
Provo is undergoing a development boom but retains pristine waters, small cays and abundant wildlife. Your eco-kayaking excursion will take you to Little Water Cay or Iguana Island. Maintained by the T&C National Trust, this unspoiled cay is home to countless iguanas that are not afraid of humans. Boardwalks and lookout perches give you an up close view of these fascinating creatures, though they tend to stay hidden on overcast days and late afternoons. Big Blue Unlimited offers half- and full-day excursions for groups from 4 to 8 on Provo and neighboring islands.
Consistently ranked as one of the top golf communities in the Caribbean, Provo Golf & Country Club is an 18-hole, par 72 course set on lush fairways and convenient to all the islands resorts. Amenities include a full-service restaurant, pro shop and driving range. Upscale golf course residential units are also being developed along some of the fairways. For the little ones and non- pros, the Turks and Caicos Miniature Golf Club is located near the Conch Farm on Long Bay Road.
Any visit to Provo should include some diving and snorkeling. Most resorts offer dive packages and transfer to the marinas and charter boats. Provo Turtle Divers is the most popular local dive operator, offers instruction to all levels and has multiple boats. They dive over 50 named sites. SNUBA (Surface Nexus Underwater Breathing Apparatus) is a newer innovation in diving, geared to the novice and beginner and requires no special training. Groups led by SNUBA TCI (649-241-7010; located on the beach at the Windsong Condo Resort) dive down 20 feet to explore the undersea world of Bight Reef.
For those looking to cast a line on their Caribbean trip, Provo is a great place to set out on a fishing trip. From tuna, to marlin, to Mahi Mahi, there's a little some-"fin" for everyone!