BAHAMAS  |  Turks & Caicos Islands, Bahamas Travel Guide
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Caicos Islands

Caicos Islands

North Caicos

North Caicos, the northernmost island in the Caicos group, is a remote spot. It’s a green little island most of the year, due to the fact that it receives more rainfall than the other islands. It’s a land of deserted beaches, sparse population, primitive lodgings, basic catering and, above all, seclusion. It has great white stretches of sand where you can wander for hours, never setting eyes on another human being. The waters off the island are a snorkeler’s and scuba diver’s paradise. The ocean teems with colorful life, and the corals lie undisturbed, as they have for thousands of years. You can visit the flamingos at Flamingo Pond, observing them in their own environment. You can snorkel the shallow waters of the barrier reef, and fish the ocean for such prizes as marlin, kingfish, wahoo, tuna, shark, and more. There’s also bone fishing. How long this little section of paradise will remain undiscovered is anybody’s guess.

Middle Caicos

Covering some 48 square miles, Middle Caicos is the largest island in the Caicos group and, with a population of only 300, it’s also the least developed. But it’s one of the most interesting of the islands – at least, as far as historians and archeologists are concerned. There are 38 pre-Columbian Lucayan Indian sites on the island. The locals are welcoming and love to see visitors. This wild and remote land has towering limestone cliffs and undiscovered stretches of white, sandy shore. There are huge caves in the limestone with crystal clear lakes, stalagmites and stalactites, to explore. The islanders live in three tiny communities – Conch Bar, Lorimers and Bambarra, each barely more than collections of small, primitive dwellings – and there are a number of run-down, outlying farms. To enjoy a vacation here you’ll need to be able to leave everything behind. There’s rarely an in-room TV, and telephones are few and far between. Very few home comforts are available, and restaurants, what few there are, offer little more than the basics. What you can expect, though, are some fine beaches, a getaway beyond your imagination, and quiet times under blue skies and a hot, tropical sun.

South Caicos

South Caicos is the smallest and easternmost of the Caicos group. Until the end of the 19th century, it was the most productive of the islands, due to its vast salt flats. The shallow waters to the west of the island – Stoke Bank and Caicos Bank – provide some of the best bone fishing in the entire Bahamian archipelago. Experienced scuba divers will tell you that the reef east of South Caicos offers unprecedented opportunities. The reef runs north and south the entire length of the island. There are coral gardens, walls, trenches, and the reef teems with underwater life: rays, sharks, morays, lobster, angels, and the list goes on. Cockburn Harbour is the only settlement on the island, an eclectic collection of shacks, modern houses and run-down colonial buildings that give evidence of better days. Here, most of the population lives and works. Fishing and conch and lobster farming have long been the only source of income for the islanders, but the lobsters have been over-fished and the industry is now in serious decline. Things are not good on South Caicos, and it shows on the faces of the people. Better times, though, might be just around the corner. There’s been some talk lately of plans to build a large resort here and residents are hopeful it will come to fruition. As it is, accommodations on the island are sparse indeed.

Last updated December 24, 2010
Posted in   Bahamas  |  Turks & Caicos Islands
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