Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos are a beautiful chain of islands located in the Caribbean. Though Columbus may or may not have landed here in 1492 – and there are plenty of locals here who will argue both sides of the legend – the view hasn't changed much in over 500 years. Only a fifth of the 40 Turks and Caicos islands are inhabited, meaning that those who have always dreamed of having an island all too themselves may finally see that wish come true. The beaches Turks and Caicos call home are lily-white and deserted, untouched by the passing of time. Sure, you may have to rent or charter a boat from Provo (the de-facto center of the island chain), but from there it's a quick sail to the luxurious privacy that the Turks and Caicos islands offers.
For those that want to relax in a more urban setting, the island of Provo (Providenciales) is probably where you'll end up. Approximately 80% of Turks and Caicos hotels are found on the main island, primarily along the stretch of sand known as Grace Bay. Even though much of the city seems to be in a permanent state of construction, the Turks and Caicos hotels here still provide some of the finest views and solitude in the whole of the Caribbean sea. If you have a car or taxi and the necessary desire, the beaches found on the southern coast of Provo are closer is resemblance to the deserted coves scattered across the island chain. Here you can find plenty of Turks and Caicos hotels to suit your every need – from high-amenity resorts to tiny discount villas. The unpretentiousness of these hotels and resorts stand in contrast to much of the rest of the island, and are probably some of the most effortlessly elegant places to stay in the entire Caribbean.
If you choose to ditch the island of Provo and seek out some of the other Turks and Caicos islands, you will probably need to charter a boat. Widely regarded as one of the best boating destinations in the Caribbean, you can find a willing captain at nearly any large harbor in the area, and there are excellent ferry services and small-boat charters to help you explore. The most efficient way to see the majority of the island chain, you will be able to explore as many deserted islands and forgotten coves as you like.
Top image: James Willamor (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0