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Providenciales

(4.1/5 based on 22,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: adventure, beaches, nature
Providenciales is an island in the northwest Caicos Islands, part of the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory. The island has an area of 98km2 and a 2012 Census population of 23,769. Providenciales is the largest island in population, the third largest in area, and is home to a large majority of the population of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The island is served by the Providenciales International Airport. Providenciales was ranked the best beach destination in the world by TripAdvisor in 2011.TransportationAs recently as 1964, Providenciales did not have a single wheeled vehicle. Roads, water, telephones, and electricity were also absent. The original developer, Provident, Ltd, had shuttle fights from Florida (for a real estate buying program) two times a week in a World War II DC-3 plane and the only hotel was the Third Turtle Inn built by them in 1967. After a large investment on Grace Bay Beach by Club Med, the island's first large hotel and casino complex opened in 1984 and touched off a development boom. Resorts included Ocean Club, Turquoise Reef (current Seven Stars), North Beach (now Beaches), and Grace Bay Club. Provo is now the most tourist-oriented and developed of the Turks and Caicos Islands, boasting many resort hotels and an 18-hole golf course. The island has recently become popular with retirees from around the world, kindling a boom of residential development. Grace Bay has seen many luxury condos built on its shores, however the settlements of Turks Islanders still provide a local flair to the island.Visitor attractionsThe resorts on Providenciales are primarily centered on 5mi long Grace Bay. Apart from the beaches, the island's charm lies in its rugged hills and ridges, which are carpeted with prickly pear cactus and scrub (the Turks and Caicos gets its name from the Turks-head cactus common in the islands).
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