Turtle Cove is located on the north coast of central Providenciales, and is an upscale residential region. Several shops and restaurants can be found at the enclave of Turtle Cove Marina.
Turtle Cove Marina
The center of activity in the region is Turtle Cove Marina. A landlocked and shallow pond (Sellar’s Pond) that was dredged out, this sheltered complex is the largest marina on the island and home to many water sports businesses, boat cruise, and fishing operators, along with private vessels of varying sizes.
Restaurants, small shops, and accommodations are located in the adjacent plazas.
Nearby Beaches and Snorkeling
Continuing to the east of the inlet to the marina, Smith’s Reef is an excellent snorkeling site. This is the main and easiest-to-access beach near Turtle Cove.
To the west of the marina inlet is Babalua Beach. A bit more sheltered than Smith’s Reef, access is however more difficult.
Turtle Cove was the first area on Providenciales to tourism development. Up until the late 1960s, the island only supported three small fishing and subsistence farming communities, namely Blue Hills, The Bight, and Five Cays.
In 1967, Fritz Ludington, an American investor and developer, recognized the potential of the island as a tourism destination. He organized an initial project that included an airstrip, Turtle Cove Marina, and the Third Turtle Inn. Today, only the marina remains in use. The airstrip (its location was south of the Graceway IGA) was replaced before long with the Providenciales International Airport (PLS).
The Third Turtle Inn was a first for the country. Grand Turk and South Caicos had at times small inns and hotels, but this project was the first complete resort plan to take place.