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Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
The tranquil islands of North Caicos and Middle Caicos offer a quiet and laid-back atmosphere that’s becoming all too uncommon in the Caribbean. Found in the center of the Turks and Caicos archipelago, these two islands are the perfect destination for deserted white sand beaches and natural sights.
The accommodation choices on North Caicos and Middle Caicos are a bit more limited compared to the offerings on Providenciales. The Pelican Beach Hotel on North Caicos and Dragon Cay Resort on Middle Caicos are the only hotels (or resorts) found on the these twin islands. The majority of lodgings across both islands are vacation rental villas and suites.
The islands have low levels of development, and most rental accommodations are found in the settlements of Whitby, Bottle Creek, Sandy Point or Kew on North Caicos, or in Conch Bar or Bambarra on Middle Caicos.
Except for the village of Bottle Creek and Kew, most accommodations on both islands are either located on the beach or are within close walking distance of the beach. Some of the natural and historical attractions may be a bit remote, and shops, restaurants and sights tend to be spread across both islands, so we recommend that visitors rent a vehicle for at least part of their stay.
Complementary amenities such as bicycles, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and snorkel gear are often included at many of the vacation rentals, but if it’s important that you have the use of any equipment, ensure that it’s available before booking. Providenciales has a decent selection of water sports and outdoor shops that sell beach toys, umbrellas, snorkel gear and more.
You should consider stocking up on food and supplies on Providenciales before traveling over to North Caicos and Middle Caicos. The small supermarkets on North Caicos actually have good prices, but selection can be limited, especially for meat, dairy, and gourmet products. See Shopping on North and Middle Caicos for more information.
In the majority of cases, you’ll get the best rates by contacting the hotel or villa manager directly. You should definitely do a little research online beforehand so as to have an idea of the going price.
As is also the case on Providenciales, location plays a large part in room rates. Villa rentals that are beachfront on coasts such as Mudjin Harbour, Whitby Beach, Bambarra Beach, Hollywood Beach, and Horsestable Beach command much higher rates than rooms in the settlements of Kew and inland Bottle Creek.
Rental vehicles are somewhat more expensive than Providenciales (and in our opinion necessary), and some accommodations offer package rental car deals. Such a deal can save you quite a bit.
North and Middle Caicos are connected by a causeway, so it doesn’t really make a huge difference. North Caicos does have the better selection of shops and restaurants, but Middle Caicos offers a bit more in terms of sights and beaches.
Vacation house rentals are the primary accommodation choices on both islands. Keeping with the laid-back atmosphere, there are no Middle Caicos hotels apart from Dragon Cay Resort (which is a cluster of villas with an on-site restaurant), and only the small Pelican Beach Hotel on North Caicos.
It takes about 25-40 minutes to drive from the central region of Middle Caicos to the supermarkets and gas stations on North Caicos. This 10-20 mile (16-32 km) journey is almost entirely on paved roads.
If you’d prefer the spa, dining and concierge services and amenities of a luxury resort, one of our boutique islands may be a better choice for your vacation. Such options include the COMO Parrot Cay Resort on Parrot Cay, and the Meridian Club on Pine Cay. See Getting Around North and Middle Caicos for more information.
The passenger ferry (not suitable for cars) travels the route several times per day, and departs from the Heaving Down Rock Marina on Providenciales, which is east of the Grace Bay Beach region. Ferries land at one of two locations on North Caicos, Sandy Point Marina, or Bellefield Landing.
There are no scheduled domestic flights to either North Caicos or Middle Caicos. Both of our local airlines, interCaribbean and Caicos Express Airways, offer charter flights. Be aware that smaller turbo-prop aircraft are used for island hopping routes, and there may be luggage restrictions. Inquire before you book.
The North Caicos Airport (NCA) is located near Major Hill and Bottle Creek, and the Middle Caicos Airport is found near the village of Conch Bar and not far from Mudjin Harbour. The Middle Caicos airport is not in service.
We highly advise that guests rent a car for the duration of their stay, as there is no public transport and taxis are scarce. Many beaches and natural sights tend to be a bit isolated, so having a rental car will give you the freedom to explore the best of the islands.
Accommodation check in times normally coincide with the arrival times of your ferry or flight, and your property manager will usually meet your party when you land.
Generally, the emergence of mosquitoes coincides with the Atlantic hurricane season due to rainfall caused by passing tropical depressions. Wind typically disperses mosquitoes quickly, but the best time to visit is typically the winter months.
The Sandy Point area, including the marina where the passenger ferry to Providenciales docks, can have biting midges (commonly referred to as no-see-ums or sand fleas) in the morning and evening. Mosquitoes repellents and precautions are appropriate for these pests.
There are several excellent restaurants across North Caicos and Middle Caicos. The truth is that some of the best Turks and Caicos cuisine is found on our Garden Islands. You’ll definitely notice the difference in the national favorite dish of poached fish, peas and rice. On North and Middle, the fish is freshly-caught and the vegetables are locally grown. On Providenciales, the chances are that the ingredients are imported.
Many of the vacation rental villas and suites offer full kitchens for those who’d like to cook. A few small grocery stores are found on North Caicos. Prices are generally low, yet the selection of specialty items may be quite limited. If you’re planning to cook while staying on North or Middle Caicos, consider visiting one of the extensive Providenciales grocery stores before island hopping to North Caicos. We advise using a cooler to transport perishables. The Building Materials Do It Center (Providenciales) on Providenciales is the best place to check for coolers, umbrellas, and other outdoor vacation essentials.
The catch always varies, yet it’s easy to find fresh snapper and grouper for sale, and, when in season, conch and lobster. The vast majority of farming in the Turks and Caicos takes place on North Caicos, so you’ll also be able to find fresh tomatoes, lettuce, papaya, plantains, squash, peppers and flavorful key limes.