Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos, on the Providenciales island can be found in the “Top Beaches of the World” lists across many of the most trusted and respected travel publications. Condé Nast, TripAdvisor.com, National Geographic, Forbes, and more, all unanimously agree that this Turks and Caicos beach will leave visitors breathless.
Grace Bay Beach stretches across the northern crook of Providenciales from Thompson Cove to Leeward town and is made of soft ashen sand and open crystalline water. However, even though everyone knows it’s one of the best beaches (and THE best depending which list you read), it doesn’t mean it’s overcrowded. Grace Bay Beach is three miles of Caribbean paradise that ensures that everyone will have a chance to enjoy it in his or her own way.
Here are some of the best ways to enjoy Grace Bay Beach:
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Grace Bay Beach sand seems to be created just for people to lay on it. It’s powder soft and there are literal metric tonnes of it. So even if you’re staying at one of the famous Turks and Caicos resorts that sit practically on the beach along with thousands of other guests, you can still find an open spot for you and your party.
Grace Bay beach is wide with deep, clean sandy ocean floors.There’s no shade on the beach, but that just means it’s perfect to lay on and soak up the rays.
While Grace Bay Beach is the pristine Caribbean beach you imagine it is, it also has a vibrant reef and coral life beneath the surface. Two of the most popular snorkeling spots on the Providenciales island is Smith’s Reef and Bight Reef.
Bight Reef consists of only one main ridge of coral that extends 350 feet out from the beach. While Bight Reef isn’t necessarily the best spot to snorkel, it is very easy to get to and is great for beginners. There is a high density of relatively calm and tame fish, but larger sea creatures like turtles, stingrays, barracudas and lobsters are less common.
Smith’s Reef is more extensive and is the perfect balance of easy-to-get-to and great snorkeling experience. Smith’s Reef is arguably one of the best spots for snorkelling from the beach on Providenciales, is suitable for beginning snorkelers, and has enough sea life to interest even the most experienced of snorkelers.
Both snorkeling sites rarely have issues with currents or tides.
#5 SCUBA Diving
Obviously, you typically don’t do much diving at Grace Bay Beach, but the beach is very close to some excellent dive sites. In fact, the entire Turks and Caicos is renowned for miles of exquisite barrier reefs, walls, clear waters and abundant wildlife.
Because Grace Bay Beach is a part of the Princess Alexandra National Park, some of the dive sites are in protected areas, which means you’ll be seeing some stunning underwater landscapes and unique and undamaged coral formations.
The best Providenciales dive spots are too far to swim to from Grace Bay Beach, but there are plenty of charters that can take you to some amazing diving locations.
The Provo Golf and Country Club, located in the Grace Bay area, is the only 18-hole golf course in the Turks and Caicos but is consistently rated among the top 10 in the Caribbean.
The course is beautifully designed and maintained with rugged limestone formations and waterways that attract the area’s herons, egrets, and flamingos. It is a par 72 course and has hosted the Caribbean Amateur Championship twice.
Providenciales’ has a rich biodiversity due to the many ecological niches that can be found around the island and can be seen from the beach itself. Because of the proximity to wetlands and mangrove forests, beachgoers can spot a wide variety of birds, including:
- Mangrove cuckoos
- Antillean nighthawks
- Bahamas woodstar hummingbird
Providenciales offers two types of kayaking areas: mangrove and wetland eco tours or flat water kayaking in Grace Bay.
Because of the large number of Providenciales resorts on or near the Grace Bay Beach, Grace Bay tends to have a high number of kayakers.
However, it’s not unheard of to do both, since the east side of Providenciales is near the Princess Alexandra National Park. Depending on your kayak tour operator, you might be able to venture from the beach to the protected areas for a truly full experience.
#1 Stand Up Paddleboarding
Because Grace Bay Beach is sheltered by the third largest barrier reef, the water around the beach is especially calm and peaceful. This makes it the perfect setting for stand up paddleboarding.
Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is easy to master, and it takes most beginners only about half an hour of practice to cruise off confidently on their own.
While Grace Bay Beach doesn’t have the mangroves or wetlands, the water is great for cruising because the water is calm and offers a lot of space.