The best dive trips are the ones where everything goes smoothly before you hit the water, when check-in, gear issue and equipment setup are swift and convenient, and all that's left is to enjoy the boat ride and look forward to a great dive. That's the way they like it at Dive Provo.
With more than 15 years experience operating dive shops, Clare and Alan Jardine, the managing directors of Dive Provo, know that service is key. They know the way to keep divers happy is to let the Turks and Caicos work their magic without any interfering hassles. So from the moment you walk in the door of Dive Provo, you forget about carrying, setting up, rinsing or storing your dive gear. Operations manager Mickey Gopigian and rest of the Dive Provo crew will take care of everything. Just show up and dive.
A PADI 5-Star Dive Facility, Dive Provo has two shops - one at the Allegro Resort and one at the Ports of Call Shopping Village - where you'll find everything from replacement gear and gifts to rental equipment, instruction, referrals and continuing education programs.
You can tell a lot about a dive operation by its boats, and Dive Provo's choices reflect priorities of safety, diver comfort, reliability and reasonable speed. Their fleet includes the Provo Conquest, a recently-purchased Newton 36, Provo Explorer, a twin-engine Pro 42, and Provo Star, a stable Bruno Stilman 42 that has recently undergone a major refit.
Dive Provo covers a huge area around Providenciales, providing a wide variety of diving experiences. Pine Cay to the northeast offers sites like Football Field and Eagle Ray Pass, with diving on reefs and steep slopes from 50 feet to 100 feet.
Grace Bay is right out the front door from Dive Provo. The wall here could only be called a mini-wall by Turks and Caicos standards, which is blessed with an abundance of stunning mega-walls. The long Grace Bay wall starts on a gently sloping reef 25 to 30 feet deep and gradually tilts over into a wall that terminates in the sand, starting around 100 feet.
Northwest Point is famous for sites like Shark Hotel and Amphitheater, where the top of the wall begins around 35 feet, the sides are thickly packed with coral and sponges, and the bottom is nowhere to be seen. Dive Provo keeps one boat on the south side of Providenciales to provide regular access to undeveloped West Caicos and French Cay, normally the province of live-aboards. The entire shelf off West Caicos supports a coral reef, but it grows most densely in 35 to 50 feet along the edge, just before dropping vertically into the great blue beyond.
The normal dive schedule at Dive Provo is a two-tank trip departing at 8:30 a.m., a one-tank trip at 2:30 p.m. and a night dive every Wednesday. Six or more divers can set up an additional night dive any time.
Everyone is welcome to dive a la carte with Dive Provo, but the best deals are their dive packages or complete vacation packages. You get a substantial discount by booking a three-, four-, five- or six-day dive package. If you have more time, longer packages can also be arranged. Dive Provo's vacation packages will get you the best prices available on air transportation, hotel and diving.
Allegro Resort is the perfect companion for Dive Provo. Everything is handled for you at this all-inclusive resort located on Grace Bay beach. The upscale rooms are air-conditioned and have telephone, television and a balcony or terrace. The only thing separating the hotel from the beach is the big pool.
Across the street is the new Comfort Suites hotel, another popular accommodation for Dive Provo divers.
If you prefer your suite on the beach, another new Provo hotel called The Sands offers units from studio apartments to three bedrooms. Other accommodations available include the Caribbean Paradise Inn, a 16-room bed and breakfast, the Erebus Inn with great views from the hilltop and Coral Gardens, an all-suite beachfront resort.