At first glance, you may have to blink a few times to convince yourself that what you’re seeing is real. The crystal-clear turquoise waters and bright white sand beaches of Providenciales (nicknamed Provo by the locals)—the most developed and populated island in the Turks and Caicos—offers one of the most idyllic beach vacations.


My husband and I had just taken our seats on a small commuter plane on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten when the woman next to us asked, “Are you ready for an exciting landing?” I had no idea what she was talking about. All I knew was that this 19-seat twin-engine de Havilland Otter was about to carry us to Saint Barthélemy (St. Barth for short), an exclusive island in the French West Indies.