WHERE IS THE TURKS AND CAICOS LOCATED?
THE TURKS AND CAICOS IS A GROUP OF ISLANDS ROUGHLY 600 MILES SOUTH EAST OF FLORIDA AND 100 MILES NORTH OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. THE MOST POPULATED ISLAND THE ONE THAT VILLA ROI SOLEIL IS LOCATED ON IS CALLED PROVIDENCIALES OR MORE COMMONLY "PROVO"
HOW DOES ONE GET THERE?
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF FLIGHTS DAILY AND WEEKLY FROM A NUMBER OF CARIBBEAN , USA AND CANADIAN CITIES. DURING THE LOW SEASON, MANY FLIGHTS ARE WEEKLY, WITH A FEW AIRLINE WITH DAILY AND MULTIPLE DAILY FLIGHTS. THE PRICES FOR THE AIRLINES ARE SEASONAL AND CAN VARY WIDELY. BEST PRICES SEEM ALWAYS TO BE HAD WITH EARLY BOOKING
WHICH ISLANDS ARE THE BEST TO VISIT?
IT ALL DEPENDS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.
PROVIDENCES (PROVO) IS THE LARGEST AND MOST BUILT UP ISLAND, THE OTHERS, NORTH CAICOS, EAST CAICOS, SOUTH CAICOS TO NAME A FEW ARE LESS POPULATED AND HAVE FEWER AMENITIES THAN PROVO. THROUGH THE ENTIRE CHAIN OF ISLANDS, ONE CAN FIND AMENITIES RANGING FROM THOSE FOUND IN SMALL TOWN USA, WITH MANY RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS TO AN ENVIRONMENT OF THOSE SEEN IN THE MOVIE CAST AWAY - AND YES SOME OF THE ISLAND ARE NOT INHABITED - YOU NEED TO GET TO THOSE BY BOAT.
THE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS LOCATED IN PROVO, WITH EITHER TAXI BOAT OR SHORT HAUL AIR SERVICE TO THE OTHER ISLANDS.
IN GENERAL PROVO IS THE PREFERRED DESTINATION DUE TO THE CONVENIENCE AND FAMILIARITY OF THE AMENITIES AND PROPERTY STYLES.PINE CAY, MIDDLE CAICOS AND NORTH CAICOS DOES HAVE SOME RENTAL PROPERTIES AND WILL PROVIDE A VERY QUIET TIME BUT YOU MAY LARGELY BE ON YOUR OWN DUE TO LACK OF SHOPS AND LIMITED BOAT SCHEDULE TO AND FROM PROVO. PARROT CAY IS A SELF SUPPORTING ISLAND THAT PROVIDES ALL INCLUSIVE FEATURES, IT IS HOWEVER QUITE EXPENSIVE. GRAND TURK ALSO HAS SOME RENTAL PROPERTIES BUT AGAIN THE AMENITIES ON GRAND TURK ARE NO WHERE NEAR THOSE FOUND IN PROVO.
Where to stay?
There are numerous options for staying at the Turks and Caicos but despite the development boom that occurred in the 2000’s, the Island still is in short supply of accommodation from time to time and early booking for the peak times is strongly recommended. There are many instances where there have been no vacancies anywhere on the Island. As the Island is becoming better known, this is becoming a more frequent occurrence.
Still if one plans early enough, there is a wide range of options available. These include condo developments, resorts and a variety of private Villas. The prices are highly variable but most are high in comparison to other Caribbean destinations that cater to low cost package travel. It is no secret that ones gets what pays for and this is no difference in the TCI. The Turks and Caicos offer an environment where there is a North American small town feel, low population density and a unique unspoiled natural surrounding. It is no wonder that more and more people are willing to pay the higher cost of coming here as this combination is difficult to find else where.
If your budget allows and you have decided to visit here the next question is how to make sense of all the different accommodation options. In general, Villas offer more privacy and a better cost per bedroom than do the condo and resort developments. The negative aspect of Villa rental is that in most cases you do not have daily maid service nor some of the other resort amenities. One also needs to verify that the resorts and condos provide daily maid service as this is not always the case. Also remember that with a Villa rental the service aspects of resorts can easily be replicated if one is willing to pay for it, most however find that this approach has no significant merit and forgo the added expense. Often, even if these services are utilized, the rental cost of the Villa plus services rarely exceed that of a resort.
Neighborhoods - the real estate developments around the Island
Unlike most of the Caribbean, the resort tourist beach on Provo is on the Atlantic facing side of the Island. This is directly facing the open Atlantic. The water is much more calm than you would find on the Atlantic side of the other Caribbean Islands and Florida due to a reef system that is about a mile off shore. Most of the beach on this north side is called Grace bay and it has many condo's and tourist spots. One drawback to this north facing orientation is that the duration of the winter sunshine is reduced and the waves, even though largely stopped by the reef, can still be quite large at times, large enough to warrant caution while swimming.
In contrast, the south - non Atlantic facing side where Villa Roi Soleil is located is much more calm and warn due to the all day front facing sun. The south side has a few different beaches, these are Long bay, Bristol Hill, Sapodilla and Taylor bay. Of these the longest is Long Bay. The most private is by far Bristol hill as there are only a few multi million dollar villas along the beach and there are no public beach entrances.
The Beaches in the Turks and Caicos are all technically public beeches, however, access to the those beaches via roads may be impossible due to privately owned land which fronts the roadways. These beaches are not shown on the Island maps simply because one cannot get there by land. This combined with the geography of shoreline where sand beaches can be bracketed by rugged stone shore sometimes results in a situation where a Villa’s beach can only be reached through the Villa or by boat. These are the most exclusive parts of the Island.
One will find many Villas and condo developments seemingly scattered around the Island. Further investigation will show the area in which they are located; be sure to ask as it is important. Some developments have small communal beaches where a lot of non beachfront houses share a single beach. Others are located directly on sand beach, in some cases providing exclusive private access due to the lack of public access points.
Beaches with this characteristic are few in number. The Beach at Bristol hill is one of these.
While the Island is narrow, it is quite long. Villas are spread out over its entire length, extending from west of South Dock (the farthest west) to Long bay and Leeward in the east. In some cases, it can take quite some time to travel to restaurants or stores if the Villa is located on the east or west ends of the Island. An extra 20 minutes of driving each way may not be of concern, but it is something to be aware of as one can easily spend an hour or more a day driving if you want to eat out every night or golf daily .
As noted, there are a wide range of vacation Villa rental prices around Provo. In general the prices are dictated by the level of privacy that the Villa and capacity that it offers. How may people the Villa can sleep , the quality of the Villa, the Villa location, private beach, more bedrooms and better equipped and maintained always translate into higher cost. In selecting your destination Villa be sure to ask about the beach, the amenities as well as beach occupancy so that that there are no surprises. A few other questions that are important are:
? Is there a pool
? Is the beach shared with other ocean “view” and ocean “front” Villa’s that do not have
beachfront,are there public access points to the Villa beach
? If it is a community beach, are there beach items there permanently or do you have to carry
them with you each day
? Does the Villa have any security features such as gated beach and road entrances
What ever your final selection , on or off the Island we hope you have an enjoyable vacation.