NORTH CAICOS, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, BRITISH WEST INDIES
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- NORTH CAICOS
North Caicos, part of the archipelago known as Turks and Caicos Islands is located south of the Bahamas, north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti and northeast of Cuba.
North Caicos is 41 square miles and is populated with approximately 1500 souls. North Caicos is 12 miles northeast of Providenciales (Provo) where the International Airport hub is centered for Turks and Caicos Islands. Daily ferry service and boat charters are available, making North Caicos easily accessible. For adventurous travelers, car and bicycle rentals are available as well as taxis and guided tours.
North Caicos, known in the past as the "Garden Island," has been the bread basket of the islands. Fine sloops were built to transport the crops from the extensive farms located close to the settlements of Bottle Creek, Whitby, Sandy Point and Kew to the other islands. Less farming is carried on now-days but the Government farm in Kew still produces tomatoes and cucumbers available on North.
- WATER SPORTS
The island possesses calm backwaters full of schooling bonefish and tarpon. Fishing trips, either deep sea, reef fishing or bonefishing, can be arranged with local native guides.
If you bring your c-card you can scuba dive on North Caicos at some of the most pristine locations in the islands.
Snorkelers enjoy the shallow clear waters and various coral heads along the North shore. The beaches along the North shore are gentle sloping and the waves are minimal as the shoreline is protected by the barrier reef, about 1 mile from land.
Beachcombers will enjoy miles of unspoiled beaches.
North Caicos is home to
Three Mary's Cays Sanctuary
Pumpkin Bluff Pond Nature Preserve
Dickhill Creek and Bellfield Landing Pond Nature Reserve
Whitby Beach, a 7 mile stretch of white sand covers a considerable length of the northern coast. The famous Three Mary's Cays is located on this side, famous for snorkeling and to see a huge Osprey nest on the Third Cay. The hotels and the majority of expatriots with homes on North Cacios have centered themselves in the Whitby area attracted by the fabulous white sand beaches.
The southern part of North Caicos is composed of swamp and tidal flats. These lush tidal flats are home to the largest sanctuary of West Indian Flamingos in the Turks & Caicos Islands. They abide in a protected nature reserve where planes are prohibited to fly and boats are not allowed to disturb the flourishing flock. There is a veiwpoint located in Whitby on the bluff above the flats. If you have a good set of binoculars you will see thousands of these beautiful pink birds. Also found on North Caicos is the rare Whistling Duck in the area of Pelican Point,Whitby, North Caicos.
In the last century, North Caicos was the seat of Government of the Caicos Islands. Bellfield Landing was the principal port for loading harvests of sea island cotton. There are all kinds of handmade sloops and sailing vessels laying on their sides. It's a perfect place for artist inspiration.
- HISTORICAL INTRIGUE
The Turks and Caicos Islands have been documented by H.E. Sadler who spent years of research writing this delightful, easily read history book full of colorful pictures and fascinating history capsules. To find out more click here.
Areas of interest include plantation ruins at Wades Green Plantation outside of Kew, one of the most successful plantations of the Loyalist era. There still remain many well-preserved ruins. A lookout tower, recently built, provides a 360º view that goes for miles.
Horsestable Beach and Pelican Point, both very secluded, provide excellent environments for bird watching. Near Sandy Point there are caves once used by the Lucayans.
Cottage Pond, at Sandy Point, is a fresh water pool surrounded mostly by ferns and tropical vegetation. It's a 50 meter deep sink hole which seems bottomless. The story has it that in the Royalist days the slaves were thrown into this hole and never were found. There is a possibility it opens into the ocean. The ferns are so beautifully kept that the locals believe the spirits maintain the area.
In October 2001, an attempt was made to reach the bottom of this alluring deep hole thought to be located somewhere underneath the neighbouring hill and in over 200 feet of water.
- ADVENTURE SPORTS
Big Blue Unlimited has an Eco-Adventure base at Major Hill on North Caicos. Kayaks, mountain bikes and boats are available for guided eco-tours and rentals. Kiteboarding in North Caicos. Explore this vibrant and friendly island and learn about its history, plant life, and culture. Visit the Wades's Green Plantation ruins with the Turks and Caicos National Trust. See Bottle Creek, Flamingo Pond Nature Reserve, and visit Cottage Pond, a 250ft sinkhole in the middle of the island. North Caicos can be excellent for bird-watching and has many fabulous beaches. It is also fun and easy to venture over to Middle Caicos from here and guided eco-adventures can explore both islands. Trips are scheduled or customized and pick-up is available from Providenciales, Pine Cay and Parrot Cay. Web site bigblue.tc
- NORTH CAICOS ACCOMMODATION
The secluded hideaway of North Caicos is one of the last undiscovered spots on earth. It is truly a paradise where life becomes a barefoot laziness as well as untimed and unstructured. Miles of white sand beach are protected from the Atlantic by a coral reef, providing safe bathing for all ages. North Caicos is the destination you would choose if you prefer small, simple, intimate hotels with not much development. North Caicos accommodation includes several small hotels, guest houses and private villas for rent. North Caicos may be the dream location you have been searching for your next vacation.
2006 marked the beginning of re-constructing the Sandy Point marina into a multiple slip facility. In January 2007 a new resort development on Horsestable Beach opened to service those seeking the luxury resort experience. In 2008 a second luxury resort is schedule to open in the Sandy Point Area.
Whether your North Caicos accommodation choice is a small hotel , guesthouse or villa, you may wonder about the logistics of restaurants and grocery stores. North Caicos covers a relatively large area so travel to most of the restaurants and grocery stores will require some mode of transportation, be it car rental, bicycle or taxi - all available for hire. The North Caicos hotels and North Caicos guest houses offer optional meal plans. North Caicos restaurants and bars all serve fresh locally caught fish and cold beer and rum punch. Dress in your t-shirt, shorts and sandles in any of them with no worries.
- TRAVEL TO NORTH CAICOS
- WHAT TO PACK
All major airlines fly into Providenciales (Provo) International Airport. The out-island of North Caicos (NCA) is a 12 minute air charter from Provo. Your North Caicos accommodation will arrange the flight from Provo to North Caicos. As soon as you clear customs and immigration a Provo air charter representative greets you. Once on the island of North Caicos, a taxi will drive you to to your accommodation for a nominal fee. You can also arrive to North Caicos from Providenciales via boat from Leeward Marina - a 25 minute ride.
Packing for Travel to North Caicos is easy: The essentials are sunblock, hat, sunglasses, swimsuit, shorts, tshirt, sandles, walking shoes, bugspray, first aid kit, a good book and a long sleeve sun cover-up. You may also want to bring a mask and snorkel, disposable underwater camera, star chart, binoculars and a day pack for beach hikes and maybe a change of clothes. Swimwear is ok for the beach but not appropriate wear in stores or other public places.
Here are some pictures we took on our trip to North Caicos. We feel that these pictures capture the beauty and tranquility of this wonderful island. Patti DesLauriers and Howard Bartels Dickinson, Tx. USA For the pictures of
North Caicos, click here
From islanders to islanders:
Nothing but the essence of life in a place where the link between mind (in peace) and action (with glory) is sublimated in the nature. Thanks and love. Anna and Adolfo
Quiet, Peaceful Seclusion on North Caicos
We were looking for a quite place to relax and recover from the hectic lives we have come to know. It was our 25th wedding anniversary and we just wanted to get away. No one else, just the two of us.
My wife spent the better part of a year surfing the Internet looking for just the right place. She started her search by putting two words into a search engine: "isolated island". You'd think that we were looking for Gilligan's Island, but that's the mind set we had as a getaway.
In some parts of the world the Turks and Caicos Island chain is pretty well known. To us, this was the spot we were looking for. We finally focused our attention on North Caicos and a small community on that island called Whitby Beach.
We hope you enjoy the adventure we had in this beautiful part of the world. Click here