Retirement is a stage in life that many look forward to. While some might prefer staying in the United States after finishing their careers, others are beginning to consider the possibility of moving to an exciting and exotic place that will allow them to truly relax and enjoy this new phase of their lives. Depending on your preference, there are hundreds of options for your retirement destination.
If the island-life appeals to you, look no further than luxurious Providenciales in Turks and Caicos. Nicknamed Provo, this is considered the most popular and frequented island with dozens of resorts, beachfront condos and opulent homes. In fact, the Caribbean Journal named Providenciales as one of the best islands to retire to in the Caribbean. Additionally, Huffington Post Canada claims that Turks and Caicos is one of the ten perfect places for retired Canadians.
As the island continues to gain recognition, more and more residents are purchasing land in order to build their dream homes. There are several building supply stores in Providenciales that will enable you to construct your perfect oasis on a residential plot of land.
If you would prefer to buy a move-in ready home or condo to relax in your retirement, there are dozens of options available. The Regent Palms and the Gansevoort are two of the most exclusive and luxurious developments in Providenciales. If you’re looking for an extravagant and all-inclusive retirement experience, these resorts are the perfect places for you. Private homes and communities are also a popular option for residents looking for a more private retirement.
Many of Providenciales’ retirees want a luxurious getaway to escape to, but only for part of the year. As opposed to permanently leaving their homes, many enjoying retirement buy a home in Turks and Caicos for the colder months and keep another property in the United States or Canada for the rest of the year. Luckily for these retirees, tourism is consistently on the rise, allowing residents to enjoy a significant return on their investment.
In addition to having your family down for fun-filled vacations, there are many perks to retiring in Providenciales:
No matter what type of retirement you’re interested in enjoying, Providenciales has an option for you.
So you’ve narrowed your vacation choice down to the Turks and Caicos Islands! You won’t be disappointed. TCI is a small archipelago of 40 picturesque islands and cays, every one of them with powdery white sand beaches, crystal clear azure waters and incredible opportunities for diving and snorkeling.
Of course, you probably won’t be able to visit all of the islands in the TCI chain. You’re going to have to decide which of them you’re going to travel to. That may not be an easy decision. Every one of these islands is unique, and each has something special to offer.
It’s worth noting that only six of the islands in the TCI archipelago are inhabited: Providenciales (or “Provo”), Grand Turk, North and Middle Caicos, South Caicos, and Salt Cay. Most likely, your lodging will be on one of these islands. However, you can still go on day trips via boat charter to explore many of the 30-plus uninhabited islands and cays surrounding the six main islands.
Exactly which of the islands you should visit or stay in depends on your individual personality, and what you are looking for in a vacation. Some islands have more of a “resort” or “touristy” feel, while others seem more laid-back or isolated. To help you plan your trip, here’s a rundown on the most-visited islands in the TCI chain:
Provo is TCI’s hub for tourism. For travelers, Provo is often the first or only island in Turks and Caicos they visit, as the island is the location of the main cruise ship port and Providenciales International Airport. Provo is also home to a long string of luxurious beachfront resorts, award-winning restaurants, a world-class 18-hole golf course, glamorous spas and boutiques, a range of water sport operators and amazing beaches, including Grace Bay Beach, touted as one of the most beautiful in the world. There is certainly a lot to do on Provo, although quiet, out-of-the way spots still exist.
Grand Turk is home to TCI’s capital city, Cockburn Town. The island boasts some interesting historical sites, like the National Museum, Lighthouse, and Old Prison, all of which provide fascinating insights into TCI’s colonial and British-Bermudian heritage. The island is also famous for having some of the best coral wall dive sites in the world. After Provo, Grand Turk is the nation’s second most populated island. However, there are only a handful of hotels and small inns in Cockburn Town, and life is much more low-key in Grand Turk compared to Provo.
Known as the “Garden Island,” North Caicos receives more rainfall than the other islands in the TCI chain, making it much greener, with tall trees and lush vegetation. The population is sparse, and there are only a few small inns and restaurants on the island. It is the perfect destination for those who want to “get away from it all.” The island has a network of limestone caves—the largest non-submerged cavern system in the Bahamas—that are open for exploration.
Connected to North Caicos by a causeway, Middle Caicos is also sparsely populated, with only around 275 residents. This island may have an even more remote and rugged feel than North Caicos, making it appealing for those who want an adventure. Two of Middle Caicos’ biggest draws are its conch bar cave system and the historic Lucayan ruins, which date back more than 1,200 years. Most people visit Middle Caicos for day trips only, as there are only a couple of lodging options on the island.
South Caicos is TCI’s fishing capital, known for both deep sea fishing and bone fishing, as well as outstanding opportunities for scuba diving. The main town on the island is Cockburn Harbor, with a year-round population of 1,200 residents. Cockburn Harbor is rich in history, with an abundance of colonial-style buildings and old salt warehouses (remnants of the island’s salt producing days), which visitors can explore.
With around 100 residents, Salt Cay is the smallest populated inhabited island in the TCI chain. There are no paved roads and very few cars on the island, so a visit to Salt Cay is like going back in time to a simpler, quieter way of life. There are a few rental cottages on the island, but they are very rustic. Still, the island has a lot to offer. History buffs will be intrigued by the 17th century salt salina walls, windmill foundations, gates and colonial plantations, which were erected when Salt Cay was home to a flourishing salt industry. During the winter months, visitors flock to Salt Cay to view migrating humpback whales. Plus, there’s the wreck of HMS Endymion, a 44-gun British frigate that fought during the Napoleonic Wars, which just south of Salt Cay, 20 feet below the surface, which is a big attraction to divers.
West Caicos is surrounded by some of the most colorful corral reefs in TCI, which is why it’s a popular destination for divers and snorkelers. A draw for land-lubbing nature lovers is Lake Catherine, an inland saltwater lake in West Caicos that’s been designated as a wildlife reserve; it is the habitat for large populations of flamingos, ducks, turtles and other wildlife. At present, West Caicos can only be visited as a day trip, as it is uninhabited and has no lodging or restaurants.
No matter which island you visit in the TCI chain, you’re going to be able to take in some of the best beaches, scenery and adventures the Caribbean has to offer. If you can, plan to visit several islands while you’re in Turks and Caicos. That will give you a well-rounded view of this beautiful archipelago. Who knows? You might just find one island you can even call your favorite.
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