Since Grace Bay in Turks & Caicos has been voted the world’s number one beach by readers of Conde Nast and users of TripAdvisor, it’s not surprising that beach-walking is one of the most popular things to do here. Fortunately, the Alexandra Resort and Spa is located on a particularly beautiful and expansive stretch of the world-renown Grace Bay Beach. So, this activity is a frequent occurrence for our guests and one we highly recommend.
The beach in front of the Alexandra Resort is part of the Princess Alexandra National Park, which runs along the north coast of the island of Providenciales and includes the turquoise blue waters, which are protected by a long reef and filled with vibrant sea life. This means you are not allowed to remove anything from the national park such as live sea life, coral, etc.
Taking a beach walk along Grace Bay Beach will always delight you. The sand is silky smooth and soft beneath your feet and you can always find isolated patches that make you feel the beach is all your own.
Depending on the time of day, the tide and how lucky you are - your blissful beach walk will also treat you to a variety of neat things to see. Here are five things you may see on your next stroll along Grace Bay Beach:
1) Starfish. Because of the clarity of the water and the tides- it is very possible to see starfish dotting the ocean floor. These deep clay-orange colored creatures are alluring and almost look fake. It’s tempting to pick one up and hold it in your hand - but you have to remember to put it back gently as it’s a living creature and part of the national park.
2) The Green Flash. Legend has it - and first-hand accounts concur - that when the temperatures are high and the sun is at a certain point in the sky - just before it descends over the horizon - a green flash appears for a split second. You have to be looking at the horizon with an unobstructed view right at dusk. The best place to see this green flash is on a beach walk.
3) Sand dollars. These “cousins” of the starfish are not easy to find along Grace Bay Beach but if you are walking around low-tide you have a good chance to do so. The live ones will be partially buried in the sand or inching slowly along the water’s edge. Sand dollars that are white in color are dead - the ones that have a grayish tint are not and are protected as part of the Princes Alexandra National Park, which means you cannot remove them and need to replace them back where you found them. If you really want to see sand dollars it is a good idea to book an outing with Caicos Dream Tours - they can take you to Sand Dollar Point on one of their excursions.
4) JoJo the dolphin! JoJo is a unique Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin who has been living and playing in the shallow waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands since 1980. He is one of the few dolphins around the world that voluntarily interacts with humans in his own natural habitat. JoJo has become something like the mascot of Turks and Caicos and is known for having an affinity for boat engines! He also likes to swim up close to the shoreline, so it’s good to keep an eye out for him on your beach walk. If you don’t happen to see him on a beach walk - your odds are greatly improved if you are out on the water. Again by booking a boat trip with Caicos Dream Tours, your chances of a JoJo encounter increase exponentially.
5) 50 shades of blue. “The shades of blue these waters possess are like a painter’s palette - azure, celeste, maya, sky, shifting and changing with the weather.” These were the words Joe Belanger used in his feature story on Turks and Caicos from the Toronto Sun on April 25, 2012. The New York Times said: “The beach gently slopes into the ocean, which reveals bands of blue and green that are so brilliant no postcard could do them justice.” The turquoise waters of Grace Bay Beach have been described and photographed countless times and make a remarkable impression. However, photos and words don’t do them justice. The waters surrounding the beaches of Turks and Caicos sparkle and glisten and change their hue, resulting in 50 shades of unforgettable, mesmerizing blue. But, the only way to experience them is in person - on a beach walk or better yet a helicopter ride!
Whatever time of year you come to Turks and Caicos the beach will be an integral part of your trip. You’ll find that simple beach walks can be the highlight of the trip. As you walk along the beach look out for miniature conch shells that get washed up on sand. They make a great decoration and serve as a reminder of the trip when you are back home. Another good idea is to collect a little sand and put it in a glass bottle to keep it on your office desk or coffee table. It will give you a daily reminder of when you walked the world’s best beach and bragging rights for your work colleagues and/or neighbors.