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Hey Castaways! Here is a guest post from our friend Mark Brown of Island Breeze Travel. Enjoy the day dream tour of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Cheers!

Arrival at Providenciales Airport

Reminiscent of the best old world Caribbean destinations, step trucks still wheel up to the side of the aircraft to allow travelers to get off the plane. This is just such a nice way to start a Caribbean vacation because when the flight attendants open the aircraft doors, that unmistakable salty humid island air hits you in the face signaling the start of an overdue sun worshipping beach therapy session that’s sure to please!

Conde Nast Magazine listed Grace Bay on their best beaches list. And once you place your bare feet on the talcum powder soft, white sand of this wonderful beach, it’s easy to see why. For many visitors to the island, Grace Bay becomes an emotional destination that invokes deep feelings of finally locating that one true place where you can just….be.

Put in perspective, there have been times on this beach, when we could walk for miles and not see another person in either direction. It truly is a great place for quiet reflection. I recall speaking with a fellow traveler on Grace Bay who had a very stressful job back in the states. One of the things she said that sticks with me and it’s so true. She said, “this place is my peace”

If you snorkel – bring your gear and head to the water – go down to the reef in front of Coral Gardens Resort. From the shore, you can wade right in to the crystal clear water and see some of the most amazing sea life and some Sting Rays once in a while. But if you head down early in the morning….say – 9am, you might see one of the large Sea Turtles swimming through.

They are very curious and will swim right up to you at times! I have spent countless hours on that reef system and I love it there!

Beach Bars on Provo

Grace Bay has several beachside bars that serve up anything you could possibly want along with my favorite, ice cold Turks Head Beer. But the best time to hit the beachside bars like Somewhere Bar & Grill at Coral Gardens, and Hemingway’s at The Sands, is at sunset.

Somewhere Bar Provo

With a commanding view of the western skyline, It’s easy to see why this place is the stuff songs are made of and why people cry when it’s time to get back on the plane and go home. Conversations at the bars with friends you just met here tend to focus on the really important issues like the size and color of that huge Starfish you found on the reef that day, or if it should be a Mai-Tai or Mojito for your next drink.

Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa

Our home base and resort of choice when we go is Beaches Turks & Caicos, one of the islands few all inclusive resorts. This place is over the top luxury for families and boasts 16 restaurants with everything from seafood, Italian, Sushi, and more. The kids don’t have to worry about finding something for them either. Even the pickiest of kids will find their favorite foods here.

Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos

One of our favorite spots is the Italian Village Swim Up Bar. Two of the best bartenders in the Caribbean, Andrew & Tedane Rodney are twin brothers who are originally from Negril Jamaica work there and they are the life of the party. They seem to feed off each others energy like two guys from New Jersey in a Perth Amboy neighborhood diner but with a unmistakable Jamaican flair. Having stayed there several times, we have great friends on staff from the maids to the managers.

Scuba Diving

The dive sites here are nothing short of amazing. One of the sites, is called Shark Hotel. Here, divers find schools of grunts, snappers, and goatfish. The wall begins in about 45ft and drops straight down to 80 to 100ft where a plateau juts out and forms a shelf before plunging into the depths. As the name suggests, this site is a good place to spot small reef sharks. Close to the mooring is a huge stand of pillar coral, some of the largest to be seen in the Turks and Caicos.

Conch Fritters

We researched Providenciales for months before we went on our first trip. One of the places that kept popping up on our radar, was Da Conch Shack located in the Blue Hills. Managed by a Canadian Ex-Pat, we couldn’t wait to check this place out and it lived up to expectations. The combo platter was awesome. Cracked conch, conch fritters, what a combo!! In the evenings they usually have live entertainment as well. And no matter how many times we go back, the trip is not complete without a trip to Da Conch Shack.

Da Conch Shack

That’s just a few of our thoughts on this wonderful island. If you have been there, you understand completely. If you haven’t been to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos yet and you love great beaches, outstanding food, and crystal clear water, put this location on your travel radar – you will not be disappointed!!

Mark Brown
Island Breeze Travel

Don’t forget to sign up for the Castaway Winter Beach Bash! This break from the cold will take place January 20 – 23, 2012 at the beautiful Bolongo Bay Resorton St. Thomas in the USVI.

The fun will be hosted by yours truly and will include a rum tasting, a complimentary bottle of Cruzan Rum in your room, a sunset sail, a rum snorkel scavenger hunt, nightly entertainment and Castaway room discounts. Take a break from the Winter and come lime Castaway style in the US Virgin Islands! Click here for booking and details.

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