Turks and Caicos What is known for


Fly nonstop from Miami (MIA) to Provo (PLS) three times daily on American Airlines. The flight is only an hour and a half to the two- terminal Provo airport. aa.com

Stay at the Grace Bay Club on Grace Bay Beach, where you'll be greeted at the front desk with a cold towel, rum punch and smiling hospitality. Meet your personal concierge, who will give you a cell phone that calls for service directly (they will set up every- thing for you, from water excursions to candlelit private dinners on the beach, couple's massages to conch cooking classes in the penthouse suite). Spend your days in a Caribbean dream, white-linen-draped poolside cabanas, swim-up bars, catamaran rides and more. gracebayclub.com

Eat dinner at GBC's open-air Anacaona restaurant, but be sure to put in reservations early. They do one special table a night on the beach with nothing around you but sand, water and glowing tiki torches. You'll have your own personal waiter to serve your spectacular 5-course meal created by chef Martin Davies, all accompanied by overflowing wines from across the world. Definitely try the organic chicken breast with udon noodles. For lunch, head to Da Conch Shack, a laid-back beachfront restaurant and bar in the Blue Hills area on west Provo. About an 8-minute drive from GBC, you'll find some of the freshest seafood you'll ever eat. Each morning, restaurant employees go out on a boat diving for conch and store them in their ocean pens in front of the restaurant. Order the conch fritters (an absolute must), and watch as the chef dives in the water to retrieve a live conch, knocks the animal out of its shell and prepares the dish just for you. Wash it all down with the locally brewed Turk's Head beer, if you're of age, of course. gracebayclub.com/dining; conchshack.tc

Snorkel in the Leeward Reef off the northeast coast of Provo with Silver Deep. On this same trip, you can also visit uninhabited Little Water Cay, also fittingly called Iguana Cay, a 116-acre nature preserve home to about 3,000 native rock iguanas. Iguana etiquette? Don't bring your dogs or cats and no picnics allowed. silverdeep.com

Relax at the Anani Spa with a couple's massage on Grace Bay Beach. Named after the Lucayan Indian word meaning "water flower," detoxify with a seaweed wrap, rejuvenate with a marine facial and pamper yourself with a 50-minute massage to the real sounds of the waves -- not a CD in the background. gracebayclub.com/wellness

Shop at Silver Deep's boutique off the Leeward Highway. There's everything from touristy T-shirts (who can resist?) to hand-carved conch shells. For more hand-made knick-knacks, head to the Cultural Market Place on the Grace Bay Beach about a mile east of GBC.

Learn how to cook the Turks and Caicos' most important seafood -- conch. GBC chefs like Kevin and Eion teach you how to create cracked conch (a.k.a. fried conch), curry conch and even raw conch salad. Classes are held either in your room (if you have a kitchen) or in an available suite. If cooking classes aren't your thing, the chefs are also available to cook private dinners.

Tour the world's only Conch Farm on the easternmost part of the island. The farm raises the conch until they are about 4 years old and ships them live to restaurants in Miami and New York. Owner Chuck Hesse (who literally ran aground in the T&C on his boat and just decided to stay) is also working on drying the conch to supply food to Haiti. Dried conch can last for weeks without refrigeration. caicosconchfarm.com