Leila Cobo

As recently as 15 years ago, Turks and Caicos was viewed as an off-the-radar location, prized by divers for having the third-largest barrier reef in the world and by boaters for its crystalline waters and white, sandy beaches. But a recent influx of high-end resorts and private developments, coupled with its proximity to Miami (under a two-hour flight), has made this archipelago of 40 islands—eight of them inhabited—a prime location to get away from it all in the lap of luxury. Turks and Caicos is not technically in the Caribbean, but part of the British West Indies (it’s a British Overseas Territory) in the Atlantic and extends for 161 square miles. Providenciales, its tourist and population hub (24,000 people live here), is a 38-square mile wonder of impossibly beautiful white, shallow beaches that seem to extend forever. More developed than Anguilla, Provo, as Providenciales is also called, has kept development at a minimum, with building heights capped at seven stories and no public transportation. Pick a beach—any beach—and you’re likely to have all of it, or a large chunk, to yourself. With an abundance of excellent dining, chic ocean-side nightlife and an endless possibility of watersports, this is a perfect getaway for both families and solo travellers. Of note: The official currency is the dollar, but with this being a British outpost, driving is on the left side of the road.