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Provo, Turks and Caicos


lperry
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I spent 3 months in South Caicos about 15 years ago. I've been back to Provo a couple of times because of the spectacular diving. If you are a diver, be sure to book a trip to dive the wall and also go to the protected area around West Caicos. I don't have much to offer food wise but can tell you that the lobster fishery in the area keeps Red Lobster going. I assure you the tails are much, much better fresh. The groupers are coming back in spades so find some fresh fish. They also have a decent conch population. There is a sizeable Haitian community on most of the TCI islands so ask around for whatever hole in the wall place is the current favorite but stay away from the monkey ball -- Haitian moonshine that'll set you back more then a few brain cells. Mostly, it is a great place that hasn't been overrun by highrise hotels and you can kick back with a nice rum drink at sunset. Or sunrise. Whatever floats your boat.

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The monkey ball? My BF travels to Haiti at least three times a year, and I've never heard this mentioned... :( I'll ask him about it.

I dive but BF does not, so we were going to try the reef that is shallow enough to view while snorkeling. And we are looking for exactly what you described - not overrun, still somewhat unspoiled, and fresh food. Thanks!

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The monkey ball? My BF travels to Haiti at least three times a year, and I've never heard this mentioned... :( I'll ask him about it.

I dive but BF does not, so we were going to try the reef that is shallow enough to view while snorkeling. And we are looking for exactly what you described - not overrun, still somewhat unspoiled, and fresh food. Thanks!

We'd get a few Haitian sailboats each week in South Caicos. They were unbelievable. The sails were patchwork from old clothes, the masts weren't anywhere near straight, the boards that formed the hull didn't line up so there were places you could see through the boats, and they didn't have engines. Would not be my first choice of transport across the 90 miles between the two islands. But, they'd bring fruit which was always welcome as South Caicos is an arid island and we'd often run really low on food and would have many days without produce. They also brought monkey ball. It was bottled in old Heineken bottles that looked at least 40 years old. A sip or two and you just weren't right for days. The little old Haitian ladies would sit on the stone fences in front of their houses and nurse a bottle all day.

You can definitely get in a good snorkel off West Caicos. It is an easy boat ride over. The island is unpopulated and the entire shallow area is protected -- no fishing down to 60 ft (I think). It is one of the only Caribbean reefs I've ever seen large grouper pairs. And more sharks (both numbers and types) then I'd ever seen in one place. I mean that as a good thing. Higher order predators is a sign of a healthy reef. They won't bug you.

The wall is an amazing dive if you want to ditch the BF for a morning. I'm a sucker for wall dives. Total rapture of the deep. Have a great time, I'm jealous.

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Was in Provo for a few days. Some decent food, but wicked expensive (rarely an entree under $35 anywhere). Everything is flown in from the US except the local lobster. If you are thinking of a foodie destination in the Caribbean skip this. If you want a perfect beach, consider it.

The places we hit up:

Coco Bistro - Supposedly this is the best restaurant on the island. I'll rank it third of our trip. The decor is nice - all outside, under the palm trees, etc. Service was good. My wife had conch lobster tails with a salad and I had some sort of local fish similar to swordfish with a nice wine sauce. The food was fine but no real strong flavors, somewhat bland.

Beach Deck at Seven Stars Resort - We stayed here and at on the side of the beach. Food was pretty poor - pre-grilled fish and chicken, reheated as needed. The view was great though.

Seven Restaurant - This was the high-end restaurant in our hotel. This was probably the best food on the trip. Excellent service. My wife had some seared scallops which were nice. I had a poached lobster tail on top of risotto. It had a vanilla flavored sauce which was a bit different but overall it worked well.

Bay Bistro - Located in the Sabonne Hotel, which is a bizarre 50s motel on the side of the beach, this was quite good. We were given a private table next to the beach. Service was gruff, but the food was quite good. We had a conch egg roll and a conch crepe to start. These are items they supposedly won awards for. While both were good, they were nothing particularly special. The eggsrolls were typical Chinese far with conch instead of shrimp. For mains I had a very nice seared tuna and my wife had lobster. Both quite good.

Lupo Restaurant - This is a brand new restaurant. I think it has been open for 2-3 weeks before we got there. I had high hopes based on what I read. The service was quite good and the food was solidly mediocre. Nothing bad, nothing great. I had a grilled romaine caesar which was nice. My lasagna was ok - unclear if it was made in house or came from a Stouffers box. I would skip this place on the next trip.

Turks Kebab - Near our hotel was a run down shack serving turkish food (country of Turkey, not Turks and Caicos). This was surprisingly good. I had a nice doner plate with a salad and french fries and it was quite delicious, and at $14 it was very cheap compared to most food on the island.

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