Located between the inhabited island of West Caicos and the resort island of Pine Cay lies the island of Providenciales, or as locals call it, “Provo”.
Providenciales is approx. 14 miles long and varies from 1-4 miles wide (total of 37.5 sq. miles). The island has three settlements but the population, estimated at 18,000 is spread throughout the island.
From the alluring warmth of a twelve mile white-sand beach to the seductive embrace of cool Caribbean tradewinds, Provo welcomes visitors. The large variety of fine local and international cuisine, world-class accommodations and various tourist related services make this island by far the most popular among tourists visiting the TCI.
Visitors to the island can indulge themselves in activities such as parasailing, scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, sunset cruising, windsurfing, horseback riding and much more. For getting around, choices include jeep, car, motorcycle and bicycle rentals, taxis, air charters, boat charters and a large variety of guided air, sea and land tours.
No visit to the island would be complete, of course, without taking back a piece of paradise. Provo offers a number of shopping centres, boutiques and duty free stores. Visitors on a budget, will find t-shirts, postcards, hats, jewelry, tablemats and TCI cookbooks, while visitors whose finances allow greater indulgences will find world-class jewelry, watches, perfumes, and fine cigars.
Catering to the local and international market, the country’s fishing industry produces some of the world’s finest seafood. Fresh fish is delivered daily to local restaurants, and the island has gained a reputation for topnotch seafood dining. Provo also boasts the world’s only conch farm and it is neighbour to North Caicos, where one of the very few King Crab hatcheries in the western hemisphere is located.
In its short history the island of Provo has become a paradigm for the successful coexistence of unspoiled natural beauty and commercial development. The investment climate on the island is vibrant. The range and availability of professional services, one of the lowest crime rates in the region, the absence of restrictions on land ownership, the absence of transfer controls, close proximity to the United States, favourable government policies, advanced telecommunications services, and many other factors have made the island attractive for wealthy individuals and corporations from across the globe.
Many attribute Provo’s success as a magnet for discerning wealthy retirees to the respect that the local community holds for the environment. Provo, for instance, holds many of the treasures that the government officially recognizes as representing the very best of the country’s traditions. One such treasure is JoJo, the bottlenose dolphin, who can be found swimming the turquoise waters of the Grace Bay area. JoJo has become a tourist attraction; each year welcoming visitors to the islands with his unique brand of playfulness.
Provo is also the centre of economic activity in the country. The island’s rapid emergence as a world-class tourist destination has fuelled enviable annual growth rates and provides a high standard of living for many residents. The TCI also rank prominently among the world’s premiere offshore financial centres, and the island of Providenciales provides the main impetus for the offshore industry. The offshore industry is the second largest in the country and it is supported by a large and growing professional community of lawyers, accountants, bankers, and trust managers, offering wealthy individuals a broad range of estate planning, asset protection, and tax minimization services.
Indeed since the arrival of the Club Med resort in 1981 Provo has developed into a virtual melting pot of cultures and nationalities. Today, the island’s international airport is the country’s gateway to the world, launching regular flights to the United States, Canada, England and various destinations throughout the Caribbean.