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Renowned for their gleaming beaches and vast coral reefs, the Turks and Caicos are just a two-hour flight from Miami, located south of the Bahamas and 140 miles north of the Dominican Republic. Their terrain is dry and scrubby, but the surrounding turquoise water is dazzling. Much of the archipelago is sparsely populated: The largest island, 56-square-mile Middle Caicos, has around only 170 inhabitants, while Grand Turk, the location of the island’s capital, Cockburn Town, has fewer than 5,000 residents. The most populous island is Providenciales, universally known as Provo, with around 24,000 people, plus the international airport and a majority of the islands’ hotels. Cruise ships have been steered to a new terminal on Grand Turk, while elsewhere, the government has prioritized the development of upscale tourism as a mainstay of the economy.