The island of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, also known as Provo, is more developed, commercialized and populated (primarily by visitors from the U.S., the U.K. and Canada) than any of the other islands in the chain. Located 75 mi/120 km northwest of Grand Turk, Provo offers excellent diving, beaching and fishing (especially for bonefish), and a variety of accommodations: hotels, condominiums and private villas. Recent years have seen an explosion in development with the addition of more than half a dozen high-end hotels.

No one goes to Providenciales for the nightlife, but there are several casual bars, many attached to restaurants or resorts. The hip place to hang out changes with some frequency, but karaoke draws a fun mix of people on Friday nights at the video arcade at Fun World.

For a taste of where the local islanders go, head out to Blue Hills and stop at Three Queens. Sophisticates are drawn to the sensational, 90-ft-/28-m-long Inifiniti Bar at the Grace Bay Club and to special theme parties at the trendy Leeward Resort.

Although Provo offers a lot of space for solitary exploration, it's good for those in search of music and social gatherings, too. Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation at a bar or cafe: Provo residents tend to welcome and include visitors who happen along.

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