There's an amazing selection of secluded beaches to discover on North Caicos and Middle Caicos.
The Beautiful North Caicos and Middle Caicos
Found in the centre of the Turks and Caicos archipelago, the verdant North Caicos and Middle Caicos are the Garden Islands of the country, and the perfect escape for the adventurous traveller.
With a combined population of less than three thousand, day to day life is laid-back and quiet. The two islands make up the majority of the land mass in the country, so the density of development is quite low. A road causeway connects North Caicos and Middle Caicos, and travel between the islands is easy. The route from
Sandy Point Marina (western North Caicos) to
Lorimers Landing (eastern Middle Caicos) is the longest drive in the country at 32 miles.
Arriving from Providenciales, and despite only being a short 30 minute
ferry ride away, you'll instantly notice that North Caicos is lusher and greener. Due to the geography of the Caicos Islands archipelago, North Caicos captures a far greater share of the rainfall drifting in from the Atlantic.
Many of the nation’s finest natural tourist
attractions are found on these two islands, including caves, blue holes and the majestic limestone cliffs of
Mudjin Harbour Beach. If you're staying on Providenciales, it's easy to take a
day trip, and several companies offer
tour packages to the sights and attractions of these twin islands.
North Caicos and Middle Caicos are great places to sample authentic
Turks and Caicos cuisine. Several restaurants are found across the two islands, and these eateries feature dishes with freshly-caught seafood and locally-grown produce.
Whether you decide to book a lodging and spend your entire vacation on the islands, or simply make a day trip by ferry from Providenciales, there’s always a tranquil landscape awaiting on North Caicos and Middle Caicos.
The main draw of North and Middle Caicos are the pristine beaches, coastlines and wetlands. There’s a vast amount of unspoiled Caribbean wilderness to discover.
Both islands offer beautiful and varied sandy beaches, none of which have seen any large-scale development – a far cry from the world famous
Grace Bay Beach. From the sheltered white sands of
Bambarra Beach to the remote
Cedar Point, there’s always a beautiful location to discover. Where else could you spend days exploring untouched Caribbean sand and sea?
North Caicos and Middle Caicos are an amazing destination for outdoor photography. There are countless beaches, great sunset locations, and lush landscapes that shelter wildlife. Culture and lifestyle photos can be great too, as the quiet life in the islands offer interesting settlements, friendly community, and small-scale farming.
The view from the top of the cliffs at Mudjin Harbour, Middle Caicos.
Majestic Mudjin Harbour
The high limestone cliffs,
Dragon Cay, sea caves, and turquoise hues of the breath-taking
Mudjin Harbour is considered to be one of the finest landscapes in the Turks and Caicos. Incredible at any time, the vistas here are especially impressive when the ocean swell is high.
Many visitors take a
day trip from nearby Providenciales to Middle Caicos simply to experience this majestic coastline.
If you’re looking to stay at one of the most scenic settings in the Turks and Caicos, there are several
vacation rentals to choose from.
Blue Horizon Resort, Mudjin Harbour, Middle Caicos.
Villa Rentals and Accommodations
Keeping with the quiet nature of the islands, North Caicos and Middle Caicos each offer a single small hotel and several rental villa and guest house accommodations. Unlike the neighbouring and busy island of Provo, there are no large hotels, all-inclusive resorts, or spas.
Due to the limited tourism activity on the islands, vacation rental reservations are often made directly with the lodging’s owner. Booking in this manner brings the added benefit of cost savings.
Guest amenities can vary a bit. A few of the more-luxurious accommodations feature swimming pools and the complimentary use of water sports equipment, other lodgings, although comfortable, have a limited selection of extras.
One of the larger private vacation villas offers the perfect getaway for a family or large group. Such beachfront rentals are complete with a pool, outdoor amenities, and several bedrooms. Many of the boutique lodgings are found on secluded beaches that rarely see visitors, so you’ll likely have exclusive use of your own private beach.
If you’re looking to keep your vacation costs down, there are several budget-oriented options to choose from. A single bedroom at a local bed and breakfast, or inland suites can be booked at a great price.
The 35 minute TCI Ferry ride between Providenciales and North Caicos is an attraction in itself as the route journeys past several pristine cays, all of which feature incredibly-scenic beaches. The last cay you'll see before North Caicos is the luxury
celebrity destination of
Parrot Cay. If you’d rather travel by air, a short island hop from
Providenciales International Airport can be arranged through a local airline.
If you’d rather visit North and Middle Caicos for the day from Providenciales, consider consulting both our
day trip travel guide and
weather forecast to get the most from your holiday.
If you’d rather let someone else do all the work, select from one of the organized
tours offered from Providenciales, or take a guided excursion from a local
taxi. Most trips include fascinating insider information and a stop at a great restaurant. Bicycle and ATV tours are also available to the adventurous.
The main gallery and skylights at Indian Cave, Middle Caicos.
Caves and Blue Holes
Karst geological system of dissolution certainly left its mark on North and Middle Caicos in the way of caves, blue hole and sinkholes.
Conch Bar Caves, the largest non-submerged caves system in the Bahamas – Turks and Caicos Islands archipelago, is found in central Middle Caicos.
Smaller yet nevertheless beautiful, the skylights and open galleries of
Indian Cave (previously inhabited by the Tainos, a Lucayan group of people) is another great spot to visit. Papayas grow through the various openings and wild ficus tree roots drop down from the ceiling like vines.
On North Caicos, the
Cottage Pond blue hole is a mysterious attraction. This perfectly round pond is over 250 feet deep, with complex cave systems branching off the bottom.
Perhaps the greatest Karst feature in the Turks and Caicos is the special
Middle Caicos Ocean Hole, likely the widest blue hole on earth. This remote and colossal hole is hundreds of feet deep. Due to its isolation, the Ocean Holes is rarely featured as one of the country’s attractions or activities!
As the garden islands in the country, North Caicos and Middle Caicos were home to quite a few cotton and sisal plantations in previous centuries. Two such historical attractions are open for tourism.
After the American Revolution, displaced
Loyalists, many of which were tobacco and cotton planters, were granted land in the budding Caicos Islands to compensate for losses sustained during the war. Once in the islands, they attempted to raise crops once more. Cotton was the usual choice, and the country’s Sea Island Cotton was well received abroad.
However, it wasn’t to last. In a few decades, hurricanes, soil erosion, and infestations brought an end to the industry. After the plantation days, the small villages of
Bottle Creek and
Bambarra, supported by small-scale fishing and agricultural, replaced the organized cotton and sisal fields. Overgrown and forgotten plantation ruins can still be found in the wilds across the islands.
Wade’s Green Plantation near the settlement of Kew on North Caicos is the best-known and best-preserved example of a Caicos plantation in the country. Although overtaken by dense vegetation in places, much of the Great House, Overseer’s House, kitchens, slave quarters and field walls still remain, waiting to be explored.
The marine environment of North Caicos and Middle Caicos is undeniably beautiful. It’s tremendously varied as well. There’s the shallow mangrove channels teeming with wildlife, the amazingly turquoise
Bottle Creek Lagoon, the rugged cliff coastlines, and spectacular beaches. In short, there’s always something to explore.
If getting away from it all and submerging yourselves in nature is your idea of the perfect vacation, the tranquil islands of North Caicos and Middle Caicos are the ideal destination for you.
Another way to enjoy the natural beauty is to take a
boat charter to the untouched cays between North and Middle Caicos. The views of Bottle Creek Lagoon and the
East Bay Islands National Park are unparalleled. Due to the island’s limited number of visitors, all tours are a custom charter and there are no crowds in sight.
Driving across the North and Middle Caicos Causeway with a rental Land Rover Discovery.
Rental Cars and Transportation
North and Middle Caicos are a great destination to explore by car. As relatively small islands, it’s difficult to get lost, yet the surrounding wilderness offers a fun sense of adventure. The islands have some of the friendliest people in the country, so you won’t have to look far for directions.
A paved road
causeway connects North Caicos and Middle Caicos, so getting around is easy.
It’s a breeze to plan your adventure, and navigation is simple. Review our sights, beaches and attractions, check the maps, book a car rental, and experience the natural splendour of the Garden Islands.
West Indian Flamingos at Flamingo Pond Overlook, North Caicos.
Nature and Birdwatching
The birdwatching on North Caicos and Middle Caicos is excellent. All of the Caicos Islands feature marine wetlands, however the vast majority of the wildlife-sheltering red mangrove population in the Turks and Caicos are located on North Caicos and Middle Caicos. Almost 150,000 acres of protected national park and nature reserve surround the two islands.
Flamingo Pond on North Caicos, a short stop near the ferry port, is seasonally home to hundreds of pink West Indian flamingos. Throughout the island, you'll see flocks of other wild birds, including our national bird, the brown pelican.
The complex wetland eco-systems supports great diversity of life, and you’ll see sharks, turtles, conch, fish, land crabs, herons, egrets, pelicans, ducks and more.
Although designated viewing areas and hiking trails are almost non-existent, roads lead past countless scenic ponds, coasts and wetlands, so access is simple.