the land of sunsets and sandIyna Bort Caruso
Grace Bay, the posh resort area on Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), is the land of sunsets and sand. Its coastline is so celebrated that one routinely finds them dominating lists of the world’s best beaches.
Grace Bay is on the northeastern side of the island of Providenciales, or Provo as it’s familiarly referred to. Providenciales International Airport is about 15 minutes away. The island is the tourism hotbed and population center of Turks and Caicos, an archipelago made up of dozens of islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited. TCI is a self-governing British Overseas Territory. Driving is on the left side of the road. The currency, however, is U.S. dollars.
A massive barrier reef a mile offshore cushions the waves of the Atlantic Ocean and keeps the waters of Grace Bay tranquil with a jewel-like turquoise hue. No need for sandals, here. The sand is powdery soft. Locals enjoy endlessly sunny days and consistent temperatures that hover in the high 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
The area was sparsely populated and virtually undeveloped until the late 20th century. For a period of its history, it was best known as a secret haven for pirates. But the opening of resort hotels spurred a luxury building boom.
Grace Bay and its environs are the island’s hub of recreational activities including sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving. For experienced divers, exploring the barrier reef is one of the great pleasures. The reef is the world’s third largest. Grace Bay is also part of Princess Alexandra Nature Reserve, a popular spot for kayaking and paddleboarding.
The property market features condominiums, villas and beachfront residences. Buyers from the United States, particularly from East Coast cities, have traditionally been a strong feeder market owing to the multitude of direct flights. There are no restrictions on international buyers.