We just returned from a week in paradise – the Turks & Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, to be precise. I’ve traveled fairly extensively in the South Pacific and around Hawaii, and nothing can compare to this beautiful place! The sand is white powder, so soft it feels like powdered sugar . . . because the water is shallow along many of the beaches, the color of the water is an unearthly turquoise, and there are only small waves to stir up the sand and cloud the visibility. As a result, you can walk out into the water for hundreds of yards without getting in too deep, and once you start to swim, the water is calm and a warm 80 degrees or so.
We rented a villa this time, opting to get away from the busy hotel strip, and as a result, we had the entire beach in front of our villa almost entirely to ourselves for swimming, kayaking, and lounging.
We day-tripped to Malcolm Road Beach twice – both times it was almost completely deserted and we had the entire stretch of miles of beach all to ourselves.
We spent three days out on the water with Big Blue Diving, whale watching, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Our oldest daughter accomplished her first solo dive to 40 feet, and we dove past 100 feet – although the water was so clear and warm, it hardly felt like half that depth. We saw sting rays, reef sharks, nurse sharks, giant groupers having their mouths cleaned by tiny little fish, six-foot grey snapper, barracuda, countless flying fish, a beautiful array of angelfish, butterfly fish, and tiny iridescent fish in all sorts of colors.
The highlight was a chance encounter with a thirty-foot whale shark – not a native to the area, he was just passing through, but stopped to swim with us for over an hour. He was as curious about us as we were about him, and oftentimes we had to swim away so that we didn’t end up on his back or pushed into his gigantic nose!
During one outing, our boat anchored at shell beach on one of the cays for a snack, shell-hunting, and the world’s most gorgeous view.
We also ventured out to Long Bay Beach – not a great place for swimming, but we loved watching the kite boarders, and there were so many conch shells washed up, we lost count.
We all agreed that this was the best vacation that any of us had ever had, in one of the most beautiful places on earth!