Introducing Chalk Sound National Park
The waters of this 3-mile-long (5km) bay, 2 miles southwest of downtown, define ‘turquoise.’ The color is uniform: a vast, unrippled, electric-blue carpet eerily and magnificently studded with countless tiny islets.
A slender peninsula separates the sound from the sea. The peninsula is scalloped with beach-lined bays, notably Sapodilla Bay. A horribly potholed road runs along the peninsula; although it is accessible, drive carefully! Unfortunately, large vacation homes line both sides of the peninsula from top to toe, which clip the views and hinder some public access from the roads to the water and beaches.
At the far eastern end of the Sapodilla Bay peninsula, a rocky hilltop boasts rock carvings dating back to 1844. The slabs of rock are intricately carved with Roman lettering that records the names of sailors apparently shipwrecked here and the dates of their sojourns. The carvings are reached via a rocky trail that begins 200yd east of the Mariner Hotel; it leads uphill 200yd to the summit, which offers wonderful views over the island and Chalk Sound.
If you want to see what you’ve been chowing down on, head to the northeast corner of Provo and have a look at Caicos Conch Farm (946-5643; tour adult/child US$6/3; 9am-4pm). Slightly ramshackle and a little strange, it has a speedy 20-minute tour to show you how they grow the Caribbean Queens. Feels a bit like visiting a turkey farm – you leave there a little bit disturbed, and a little bit hungry.
Last updated: Oct 20, 2009
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