Just got back from our first trip to Providenciales from July 1-July 7. It was, to say the least, amazing. Weather in July was probably 80-90 degrees all week. There were scattered rain showers, only lasting 20 minutes or less each time- and was a nice break from the heat.
We stayed at the Aquamarine beach house- and highly recommend it! It has a fully equipped kitchen, which helped us save money since we were able to eat in quite a bit. We only ate out 5 times. The villas are right on the beach, so you are always steps away from the beach, unlike staying at a high rise hotel. This stretch of beach has very little traffic, so you have your own paradise.
***Rental Car- We went back and forth about renting a car since we were nervous about driving on the left side of the road, but really glad we did it!! We rented a car for only one day from Scooter Bob, in Turtle Cove. They can do free pick/up drops up for you to get your rental car. Cost $49 + $15 for collision insurance. We visited Sapodilla Bay and Chalk Sound- the water and view there were phenomenal, and is something that should NOT be missed on a trip to Providenciales. I thought nothing could beat Grace Bay, but Sapodilla Bay did!
***Tours- We did the Caicos Dream Tour- it was a good tour. We picked this particular one because you go diving for conchs and get to keep one. =) You also visit Iguana Island, which is neat. The snorkeling was OK- nothing mind blowing. We did get to see JoJo, the island dolphin, and his family. We originally wanted to do SNUBA, but they were booked our entire trip. So if you want to do this tour, definitely book in advance! I wouldn't wait to book until you arrive.
***Restaurants: It is helpful to use the "Providenciales Dining Guide" magazine. Tßhere were several copies at our place, but you can also get it for free at the airport near the baggage claim. It contains menus/costs for all the restaurants in Providenciales so you won't be shocked by the prices when you arrive at the restaurant.
-SOMEWHERE CAFE- this is a 10 minute walk from where we stayed. Great fish tacos! We spent ~ $37 on two entrees (no drinks ordered).
-LAS BRISAS- we went there when visiting Chalk Sound. We ate the fish burger and grilled conch burger- spent ~ $30. It has an amazing view over Chalk Sound.
-COCO BISTRO- this place is rated #1 on trip advisor. TIP: If you want to go here, make your reservations in advance. We were unable to go here because it was booked on the 2 days that we could have gone.
-BAY BISTRO- we went here instead for our "fancy dinner out" since we couldn't go to Coco Bistro. Entrees were typical of most restaurants here $35-40 per entree. Food was good, but I really wish we could have tried Coco Bistro. It was a nice beachfront restaurant.
-CAICOS BAKERY- we went here also based on tripadvisor reviews. Great prices- $3 or less on everything in the store. Delicious ham/cheese croissants, chocolate eclairs. I would recommend going when this place opens, because both times we went (around 11am), the apple pies and fruit tarts were all out.
The one shop I would recommend is Anna's Art Gallery at Salt Mills. Full of great, affordable artwork and unique souvenirs that I didn't see in any of the other "typical" souvenir stores.
-We packed a suitcase of food (bread, bagels, peanut butter, cup-o-noodle, pasta-roni, lots of snacks, pop tarts, soy milk, cereal). We did the rest of our grocery shopping at the IGA grocery store when we arrived and bought eggs, fresh meats, fruit. I would say that snacks/dry products are about 30% more expensive on the island, so it's best to pack that stuff with you. Fruits, on the other hand were about 100% more expensive. $1.50 for an apple, as an example. We didn't pack any fruit with us, because I don't think it is allowed. We bought chicken and hamburger burgers at the IGA- the price for these were fair. ($6 for 4 hamburger patties).
-Things I wish I packed (as we had a fully equipped kitchen at our place): foil, cooking oil, some spices for marinating the fish and the chicken - we had to buy those things at the IGA.
Overall, these are the best beaches/bays that I have ever visited!