Just the Right Blue Living in a Sea of Blues
Anthony Nash O. De Leon
You might think of melancholy when you instantly hear the word ‘blue’ but that is not the case with an island in the Caribbean seas. The blue that this island depicts is that of the feeling of tranquillity, relaxation, relief, coolness, and calmness. Just its sight from above the clouds would leave you in awe and would want you to have the plane landed on the runway to immediately experience life on the island. Even famous personalities like Mel Gibson, Ben Affleck, Donatella Versace, Bill Gates, Madonna, and Paul McCartney would all agree that this island possesses exquisite beauty that everyone should behold.
Discover the island which was once secret but is now a revelation. Marvel at its various land and water formations and be enthralled with its unique biodiversity. Ingratiate with its people and tourists. Experience gastronomic euphoria with all of its sumptuous delicacies prepared on the dining table. Dip your toes in the sand and bathe in its pristine aquamarine beaches. Let its caring environment put you in deep reverie and liberate you from all the worries of reality.
Welcome yourself to the island, which was once referred to as the Blue Hills of the Caribbean Sea as it embraces you with its present name, Providenciales.
The fortunate island of Providenciales, as its name suggests, is part of the family of the islands of Turks and Caicos. The archipelagic British colony has between 30 to 40 islands and cays that possess their own unique character and splendour. Seven islands in this archipelago are mainly inhabited namely, Grand Turk, North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos, West Caicos, Salt Cay, and Providenciales. The islands however, before the Belongers or Turk Islanders came, had earlier inhabitants that left the mark of loving nature, seafaring, salt raking, and farming.
The first citizens of the archipelago were the Taino and Lucayan Indians who conceived its name. The name Turks rooted from the native plant that lives in the islands, Barrel Cactus or the Turk’s Head Cactus, while Caicos’ etymology is from the Lucayan term, “Caya Hico”, which means a string of islands.
The Indians lived peacefully in the islands for around 700 years until the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 at Grand Turk, which pushed the earlier residents to disappear from the island. The island was then passed from one country to another namely Spain, France, Jamaica, Bermuda, and, finally, Britain. The island has also served as the home of Caribbean and Bermudian slaves as well as a refuge for African slaves who were able to escape after a ship carrying them hit the coral reefs. The slaves that were unfortunately sold and were deprived of all rights and privileges found luck and fortune in Provo. Now, they are the forefathers of the Provo’s current dwellers.
Today, not only Belongers live in Provo, as its natives call it. There are also former tourists, mostly retirees, who have transferred and invested in the island not just because it offers the laid back and magnificent environment that everyone wants. It is also because it is tax free, freeing you from any other worries in life. Also, Provo is becoming more developed and established in the last few years for its tourism. It has everything and anything that will let you enjoy and have one of the best experiences in your entire life.
Enjoyment and experiences in Provo are definitely exceptional and unequal due to countless activities that one can try during his/her stay in the island. There is a wide array of choices for water-based activities like kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, wakeboarding, skiing, and tubing. If you hate the water or just want to keep yourself dry, then you can ride the Provo ponies, smash tennis balls, pedal a bicycle, race a go kart, or drive ATVs. Nature and animal lovers also have a place in the island. One can watch the whales playing in the seas, interact with a bottlenose dolphin, watch various kinds of birds, or take a picture of an iguana that can only be found in Turks and Caicos. One can also try Provo’s great queen conches that are fit for a king or educate one’s self about it. The most preferred, for both visitors and natives, is just to bathe under the heat of the sun or swim through the clear waters surrounding the island.
The wide cerulean waters that envelop Provo plus the soft fine powdery sand that fill the gaps between your toes hold perfection that cannot be compared to any other beaches in the world. It is no wonder why Provo’s own Grace Bay Beach was declared as the best beach in the world for numerous times.
Not a lot of people know it but Provo’s Grace Bay is truly world-class and can be considered as one of the precious gems that exist in the world. Grace Bay is the Utopic beach that everyone longs for and dreams about. It is a divine sight with the sunshine glimmering the whole 12 miles of white sand and clear glass like azure coupled by the crisp air that drives the palm trees to sway in one direction. The tides envelop the sands in the shore and quickly wash away the memory that was left behind by a recent beach goer.
Provo has four more beaches besides Grace Bay that attract tourists and natives with its enchanting vibe. There is Malcolm Beach, Long Bay, Sapodilla Bay, and Taylor Bay. All of these beaches dwell in the same island but they offer different experiences to anyone who visits them. Long Bay is perfect for the young with its charming and calm waters. Sapodilla Bay and Taylor Bay, on the other hand, is best for adventurous and history-loving individuals because the beaches are near historical sites in Provo and the whole travel is bumpy and ragged because of the undeveloped roads.
Beaches will not be complete without water and with water comes various activities that one can do to maximize fun while in the island. The first and the best from the long list of water activities is diving.
Provo houses a 2,134-meter deep diving site plus the third’s largest barrier reef, making it one of the best diving locations in the world as proved by divers around the world after being voted as one of the best places for a one-of-a-kind underwater experience.
Once you take a dive, your eyes and attention will be divided between the vibrant colors of Provo’s coral reefs and its marine life. Under its wide waters live different sizes, hues, kinds, and shapes of fishes, sea turtles, sharks, lobsters, crabs, sea horses, stingrays, octopuses, dolphins, and whales. Witness numerous aquatic creatures playing with their own toys in the largest playground you will ever see in your entire life.
Scuba diving is for individuals who would like to observe marine life under the ocean. There is, however, another way for individuals who are afraid of losing their breath under the water by choosing to go whale-watching and interacting with JoJo.
Individuals who are eager to see geyser-like water gushing towards the sky and big tails waving above the ocean floor as if it’s greeting visitors should see the North Atlantic Humpback Whales in action. These gentle mammals visit the waters of Provo in between January and April for mating and birth. You will even hear their soothing and calming songs even if you are above the water.
JoJo, on the other hand, is an Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin which was revered by Turks and Caicos’ government as a National Treasure. You will immediately know that the dolphin is JoJo because it willingly interacts with humans. JoJo has been a part of the archipelago’s family since time immemorial and can always be seen playing around. JoJo is currently being taken care of by the government and stands as a symbol of nature preservation.
If you prefer reptiles to fishes and mammals then the Iguana Island would suit you perfectly. Around 3000 iguanas reside in the island including the Rock Iguana which can only be spotted in Turks and Caicos. These reptiles are shy and harmless but are not afraid to strut for your camera to be able to snap a shot.
You might get tired of all the adrenaline rush and majesty that surrounds you in the island. Good thing there are a few sites where your mind will be fed with the island’s history, culture, and heritage. The Cheshire Hall, the Sapodilla Bay Hill Rock Carvings, Conch World, and the Hole are perfect places for you to visit if you want to get to know more about Provo.
You might think of the cat from the story Alice in Wonderland upon hearing the name of a place in Provo called Cheshire Hall but the place does not house cats or any other animals. The Cheshire Hall was named after a town from which its original owner, Thomas Stubs, came from. It was once a cotton plantation but various factors like the hurricane, soil exhaustion, and drought left it in ruins. Now, the ruins have existed for around two centuries and remains as a landmark that depicts Provo’s past.
Provo’s past can also be viewed in Sapodilla Bay where 168 year old rock carvings were made. The carvings include Masonic symbols and Roman letterings that depict sailors’ names, dates, shipwreck incidences and other stories in the island. The carvings will not be the only ones that will amaze you but also the picturesque view of the South Dock and other sites that your eyes will set on while standing near one of Provo’s wonders.
You might be getting a little hungry with all the activities and knowledge you have acquired in your stay. If so, no other solution like trying on Provo’s conch would fill your grumbling stomach and satisfy your insatiable hunger. But why only try it when you can also learn a thing or two about conch. Why not visit the Caicos Conch Farm where you will be able to learn about the life of conch, its uses, and different ways of cooking it. You might find it in between two breads, as part of a sushi, protein in a soup, or just in a healthy salad. The Conch Farm is the only existing commercial farm for conches in the world so it would be best to experience it because no other place in the world can offer you the same thing like it does.
There are individuals, however, who would want to keep their feet on the ground, literally, but nothing to worry about because Provo offers you the Provo ponies and the Provo Golf Club for an entirely terrestrial experience.
You can go horseback riding along the beaches of Provo and feel like the hunky guy in a drama series stunning the women in the beach or sexy lady riding the horse. You can also ride alongside your partner and create that magical feeling and relive the romance between the two of you.
There are always a lot of activities to choose from in Provo and another one of those is playing golf at the Provo Golf Club. The green flat lush fields of the golf club partners with its difficult 18-hole course that is 6,075 yards long. Just grab a friend, a ball, a golf club, and a golf cart and you are all set to take on the challenge.
Provo offers countless activities and sights for you to create the best vacation trip. You just have to mix and match different places and activities altogether so that everything would fit your dream vacation. The numerous articles and information you will find about Provo are not enough. There are more things to discover in the island and it up to you to find out what those things are. It would just take you the right amount of creativity, courage, skill, eagerness, and love for you to pursue the right journey across Provo.