Three Marys Cays are three small limestone ironshore rocks found close off the northeast coast of North Caicos, and the northern-most land in the Turks and Caicos. The general area is quite scenic and uninhabited, making it a popular spot to visit for day trips, picnics and beachcombing.
Like much of the coastline on the island, water conditions are typically mild and suitable for swimming, albeit often with a bit of wind chop. There can be a little floating seaweed at times, yet rarely enough to be bothersome.
When in the area of Three Marys Cay, nature enthusiasts will appreciate the saline wetland of Pumpkin Bluff Pond, Moore Hall Pond, and Mud Hole Pond. These systems support a wide range of wading and coastal bird life, including great herons, yellow-crowned night herons, tricolored herons, reddish egrets, great egrets, ospreys, and several types of ducks.
Groves of the hardy thatch palm (Coccothrinax inaguensis), which is endemic to the Turks and Caicos and Bahamas, can be found along the coast west of Three Marys Cays. These little palms offer scenic patches of shade.
Three Marys Cays are protected as a nature sanctuary, and it is a criminal offense to remove anything, litter, or otherwise damage the cays.
The snorkeling from shore on North Caicos isn’t great compared to the other main island in the country, however, this location is the best easily accessible spot on the island and small amounts of coral, small colorful reef fish and the occasional stingray can be seen.
Conditions here vary and on some days it’s totally unsuitable for snorkeling due to poor visibility caused by wind light surf. Check our wind forecast for a prediction of the conditions. Generally, if the breeze is less than 10 knots (18kph), the ocean will likely be calm and clear.
As is exhibited on many of our limestone coasts, the rock of the cays has been undercut by the action of the ocean to the high tide point, and in places overhangs almost 12 feet (3.6 m). Chitons mollusks and sea urchins make the ledges and crevices their home, and add to the underwater menagerie.
Due to the overhangs, it’s actually quite difficult to climb onto the cays and due to the sharp limestone, you can be seriously injured.
Getting to Three Marys Cays
Don't miss the small sign to Three Marys Cays!
Until recently, Three Marys Cays could only be reasonably accessed from the Whitby part of North Caicos, but due to road improvements, it’s now easiest to drive from Sandy Point.
Follow the road out of Sandy Point Marina for .7 miles (1 km) and then turn left onto the unpaved road. This road doesn't have a name or sign at this time, yet is newly resurfaced. You’re on the right road if you can drive more than a thousand feet (300 m).
Continue for 1.85 miles (3 km), and you should see the small sign for Three Marys Cays on your left. Turn on to this one lane track and follow for 2000 feet (610 m) to Three Marys Cays. This track will have an abrupt left, and then a right before arriving at the cays.
The road that leads to Three Marys Cays isn’t the best condition, yet can be traversed by any of the island’s rental cars if taken at a slow pace.
Three Marys Cays can be a little difficult to find, so don’t miss the small sign.