The ocean here is generally quite calm, and the ocean water is a vibrant turquoise. Much of the coastline is framed by low white limestone cliffs, which add to the scenic ambiance.
As with all beaches in the Turks and Caicos, Water Cay Beach is public up to the high tide point.
Boats Cruises and Charters
A Thatch Palm forest on Water Cay.
Due to Water Cay’s close proximity to Providenciales, the island’s beach is a very popular
boat cruise destination. Many of the island hopping tours make their way up the cays as they visit
snorkeling reefs, see the
iguanas, or put on a BBQ.
If you’re at Half Moon Bay Lagoon, be on the lookout for juvenile
lemon sharks in the shallow water. These incredibly cute little sharks are typically well less than two feet long, yet have the proportions of an adult. It’s often possible to approach within a few feet of them before they are spooked and race off.
If you do venture on your own be sure to bring snacks and plenty to drink, as it’s easy to spend much of a day exploring.
Terrain and Landscape
Cliffs at sunset on Water Cay.
Water Cay is considered its own island, yet it’s actually attached to Little Water Cay to the west and
Pine Cay to the east.
Sands shifting across the Caicos Banks and
major hurricanes have filled in the channels that once separated the islands. The sand bars here now support coastal vegetation, sea oats, and casuarina trees.
The channel between Water Cay and Little Water Cay, Donna Cut, is now the site of the popular Half Moon Bay Beach and its lagoon counterpart. This site offers a great beach, sand bars, and a sheltered shallow with crystal clear water.
The marine limestone cliffs that line much of the north coast are quite interesting, and blur the line between limestone and compacted ancient dune. These cliffs are semi-lithified and very soft, so there’s a very high rate of environmental decay.
Caves, overhangs and arches are carved by the ocean, and tend to appear and disappear with regularity.
As is the case with most of the small cays between Providenciales and North Caicos, the southern Caicos Banks side of Water Cay largely consists of mangrove wetlands, which are a haven for
birdlife. At the southwest and southeast ends of the island, the wetlands form small
tidal creeks which make their way a little inland.
Arch on Water Cay.
Beware of the soft and crumbling cliffs at Water Cay as they may easily collapse. Do not venture into any of the small ocean caves, under the overhangs, or attempt to scale the taller rock walls.
As there are no active natural channels adjacent to Water Cay where water movement from the tides may occur, the area typically does not experience any strong currents.
Please take care not to harm the ecology of Water Cay. Do not feed the iguanas, and avoid damaging the sensitive sea oat dune vegetation, as this coarse coastal grass helps to prevent beach erosion. Please don’t litter.