The Great Outdoors
Offering wide and pristine expanses of wetlands and tropical dry forests, North and Middle Caicos are great outdoor destinations. Due to the limited number of visitors, there isn’t a huge selection of tour businesses operating on the two islands. Many of the rental villas include the complimentary use of a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, but the choice of organized excursions is few.
A defining feature of North Caicos and Middle Caicos are the countless and seldom-visited natural and historical attractions. There’s so much to discover, and guides are not typically necessary. A great activity is to rent a car or jeep and visit remote beaches to hike and beachcomb.
Water sports of course make up the majority of activities. Kayaking, paddleboarding, and kiteboarding are unparalleled. There are extensive mangrove channels, shallow coastal sounds with sandbars, and ocean cliffs with caves to explore. These settings are teeming with wildlife, with stingrays and small sharks in the water below and flamingos, herons, egrets, pelicans, and ospreys in the waterways.
Diving and snorkeling are not quite as spectacular, but are also worth considering. There are several shore snorkeling sites off the beaches of North and Middle Caicos, offering reef, seagrass, and coastal cliff environment to explore.
Wetlands abound on both islands. The northern coasts are home to shallow saline ponds. Small cays fill the channels between the islands and the entire south sides of North Caicos and Middle Caicos form a tremendous mangrove network. There’s simply so much to discover.
Bonefishing and flat fishing is also world-class. There are extensive sounds with crystal-clear water, supporting bonefish, tarpon, and barracuda.
If you’d rather catch something for the dinner plate, the reef and bottom fishing surrounding the two islands is likewise excellent, with plenty of snappers, groupers, and jacks to hunt.
Cycling, hiking, and birdwatching are the primary land activities.
Due to the extensive wetlands, bird sightings are excellent. Flamingo Pond Overlook is the most-popular stop, but nearly every pond and channel supports interesting bird life.
As the Turks and Caicos Islands are fundamentally formed from limestone, the Karst geomorphological process is seen nearly everywhere there is exposed rock.
The coastal cliffs on the islands are perfect places to see small flank margin caves and sinkholes, which is another interesting feature of the terrain. Middle Caicos is actually home to Conch Bar Caves, the largest dry cave system in the Bahamas–Turks and Caicos island chains, and the Ocean Hole, which may be the widest blue hole in the world.
All of the natural and historical features make North Caicos and Middle Caicos are an incredible destination for landscape and nature photography, with the added benefit that the islands don’t welcome many visitors, so the subjects are fresh and you likely won’t be taking the same photos that thousands of others have attempted before.