Turks and Caicos
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Turks and Caicos: sights and scenes

Two girls race past a mural on Providenciales -- Provo, to its familiars -- an island that is the main tourist center of Turks and Caicos Islands, a British crown colony east of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea. At TCI, 33,000 residents share their corner of paradise with about 300,000 tourists annually. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
A guest greets the morning with yoga at the end of a pier in Turkoise, Club Med’s all-inclusive resort on Turks and Caicos. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Conch shells pile high on the beach outside the Conch Shack, a Providenciales eatery that prepares the local delicacy in salads, chowders, gumbos and deep-fried fritters. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Luxury homes rise on West Caicos, site of Molasses Reef, a new Ritz-Carlton project being promoted as “the ultimate escape.” The 125-room hotel, along with privately owned villas and cottages, is under construction. Prices range from $2.2 million to $6 million each. Granted, high-end tourism is the name of the game on TCI, but you can enjoy these islands on a budget. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
One of Turks and Caicos’ biggest draws is underwater: It’s there that divers and snorkelers come eye to eye with a color-saturated world populated by an array of sea life. Many people come to explore the coral reef, one of the world’s largest. Divers also can scuba down a vertical sea wall where the continental shelf drops a mile. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Grace Bay in a nutshell: warm surf, white sand, happy feet. A visiting Times reporter had especially nice memories of the ultra-white, very fine sand at 12-mile-long Grace Bay Beach. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
It’s good clean fun -- well, maybe a bit sandy -- for guests at Club Med Turkoise. The French company pioneered the tourist industry on Turks and Caicos when it cut a road from the Providenciales International Airport and opened its doors in 1984. Compared with TCI’s spare-no-expense resorts, Club Med stands out for its lack of pretension. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
What dress code? It’s a casual vibe at a bar at one of the most popular Club Meds in the Americas. A Times reporter who stayed at Club Méditerranée Turkoise found that everyone was friendly, the Grace Bay Beach location couldn’t have been better, and the recently renovated rooms were fine, if a bit spartan. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Guests and employees of Club Med Turk gyrate into the night. The resort caters to couples, singles and groups of friends 18 and older. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
On an island that boasts luxury resorts, a couple takes in a wealth of scenery at sunset at Providenciales’ Grace Bay -- free of charge. Which makes the point that you don’t have to be rich to have fun at Turks and Caicos. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Sitting on the dock of the cay -- Parrot Cay -- is the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, who has a multimillion-dollar beach house on the 1,000-acre private island, which bills itself as “the world’s most exclusive resort.” Homes of Bruce Willis, Christie Brinkley and Donna Karan share the shoreline with Richards’. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Sink your toes in the same sand as the celebrities. As the sun disappears, visitors frolic surfside before a diaper change at Providenciales’ Grace Bay. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)