Visitors to Turks and Caicos on a learning curve

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos -- The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board added learning experiences such as Caribbean basket-weaving and tropical spa treatments with nutritional guidance to its recreational activities for visitors.

"Traditionally, diving was the only learning experience," said John Skippings, director of tourism. "We intend to enhance the choice and cater to visitors who want to add even more depth to their experiences and try something new."

Locales include the Pirates Hideaway in Salt Cay, where tracing the past and learning traditional crafts such as basket- and hat-making in Middle Caicos occurs.

There are hands-on demonstrations of Turks and Caicos straw work taking place every Wednesday. For information, call (649) 946-6132 or e-mail [email protected].

Another option is trying out the latest spa therapies in Providenciales, where a new course takes place at the upscale Point Grace resort. A seven-night package beginning Sept. 15 is offered at $2,975 per person, double, including accommodations.

The package also covers four Thalasso, seaweed-based therapy lessons; six one-hour spa treatments; three one-hour seminars on Caribbean nutrition; and the chance to create and experience a spa menu as well as a gourmet feast at the property's Cottage Restaurant. For bookings, call (866) 924-7223 or visit www.pointgrace.com.

A program about natural remedies featuring special Bush Medicine walks is scheduled for later this year and 2003.

The tourist board can be reached at (800) 241-0824; its Web site is at www.turksandcaicostourism.com.

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