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Escape with the kids to sunny Turks and Caicos for an unforgettable vacation
Glorious sunshine, calm turquoise water and white baby-powder-soft sand are hallmarks of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos. Travel here and you’ll quickly learn why it was voted TripAdvisor’s No. 1 Travellers’ Choice Island in the World for 2015. Choose from a host of water activities, or simply spend your time playing on a postcard-perfect beach.
Click through to find out where to snorkel, swim and cruise with the kids in Providenciales.
The calm crystal blue water of Grace Bay is ideal for kids. Hang out under an umbrella building sand castles, splash around in the warm shallow surf, or grab some snorkel gear and head to the reef. One of the best spots for snorkelling in Grace Bay is Bight Reef, which is located directly in front of the Coral Gardens Hotel. Since the protected reef can be accessed from the beach, it’s great for kids and first-time snorkellers. You’ll see fish, sea turtles and even stingrays here. Many resorts offer complimentary non-motorized watersports. Paddle boarding, kayaking and windsurfing are all fun and safe family activities to try in the protected bay. Be sure to keep a lookout for Jo Jo, Grace Bay’s resident Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin. He’s a friendly and inquisitive fellow, and loves to interact with visitors.
Renting a car – even for a couple of days – is the most economical way to explore Providenciales. While Grace Bay – with its string of luxury waterfront resorts – is probably the most popular beach on the island, there are many hidden gems to discover. Chalk Sound National Park, located about 35 minutes from Grace Bay on the southwest side of the island, is one of them. You can rent kayaks and paddleboards from Neptune Villas to explore the shallow lagoon water. Bring a picnic or enjoy a leisurely lunch with outstanding views at Las Brisas restaurant. En route to Chalk Sound, be sure to stop at Sapodilla Bay for silky fine sand and shallow warm water – ideal for small children. On a windy day head to Long Bay beach to watch the kitesurfers skim across the water.
Families – with kids ages three and up – will absolutely love the three-hour Island Vibes Kitty Katt Cruise. Bask in the sunshine on the catamaran’s deck while sailing past Grace Bay’s luxury beachfront resorts. With reggae beats pumping you’ll cruise to a pristine coral reef for snorkelling. Jump in and swim with brightly coloured tropical fish or chill out on the boat. The Kitty Katt bar opens after snorkelling and there are plenty of snacks and kiddo-friendly cocktails for the little ones. Your next stop is at one of the most beautiful spots in Turks and Caicos. Half Moon Bay, a 1,200-meter sand bar connected to Little Water Cay, is pure perfection. Splash around on the shore and search for sand dollars, or take the kids on an iguana hunt in the low plants behind the beach. On the return trip, your captain and crew will bring down the eight-feet tube slide for a quick ocean plunge. Another great option for toddlers and younger children is the one-and-a-half-hour Sesame Sail Away Catamaran Cruise with Elmo and Zoe.
If you’re looking for the ultimate family resort, Beaches Turks and Caicos is pure heaven. Located on Grace Bay, the sprawling all-inclusive, family-focused property features six pools and a water park with a lazy river. There are also shallow toddler-dedicated pools for your little ones. With 19 restaurants and 12 bars, there are plenty of culinary options to satisfy even your pickiest of eaters. A supervised all-ages Sesame Street-themed kids’ camp means that you can take advantage of the complimentary scuba diving and snorkelling programs, or enjoy a couples spa treatment or romantic beachfront dinner. Cookie Monster, Elmo, Abby and friends make daily appearances throughout the resort and perform a nightly stage show. You can even book a Sesame Street breakfast or Character Tuck In with bedtime story. Between the beach, pools and water park, daily entertainment and complimentary activities, there’s a very good chance you’ll spend your entire vacation on the property – and love every last minute of it.