Low humidity and ever-present trade winds make June the summer month of choice for travel to the Turks and Caicos. That, and the TCI are largely protected from hurricanes by the mountains in Haiti and the DR.
In the air: New nonstop-flight alert: Delta now offers six-times-a-week service to Providenciales (“Provo,” as the locals call it) from Atlanta, and US Airways adds a second flight to its dailies from Charlotte.
On the ground: From the airport, the hotel strip along famed Grace Bay is just a 12-minute shuttle. Once there, it’s a short walk to the bars, restaurants and shops. Taxis are available to farther spots like Da Conch Shack; just negotiate rates first.
Into a Room
Key West Luxury Village: A welcome basket packed with pineapple, mango and chocolates. A bottle of champagne. A stocked fridge — with more champagne. How could it get better? Oh, the two-story beach house on the resort’s secluded edge (private pool included) right where those lauded Grace Bay sands begin. All-inclusive, from $460 per adult per night.
Seven Stars: Splurge a little for a room overlooking the ocean on the fourth floor or higher (read: a view unobstructed by the restaurant). My balcony was easily TCI’s best sunset spot. August promotions will get you a one-bedroom suite for $337 a night.
Within Easy Reach
Da Conch Shack: Here in the Blue Hills area (15 minutes from Grace Bay) at the “Bubba Gump” of conch — get it steamed, fried, grilled, ceviche, curried, in a stew — it’s all about freshness. The conch is harvested right offshore from where the restaurant sits (anyone can dive for them). The conch salad trumps all others, with the lime juice and tomatoes bringing out the flavor of the conch meat. Passing time on the picnic bench, sipping my local Bambarra rum punch, all while that Caribbean blue stares back at me, can see why this made it into Patricia Schultz’s 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.
Laze on Grace Bay Beach: The resorts were built here for a reason — this 12-mile stretch has sand so fine it could stunt-double as sugar in my morning coffee, and water so clear I can stand neck deep and see my toes. Spotting resident JoJo the dolphin was a bonus.
Did you know?
Locals in the Turks and Caicos Islands are called Belongers.