Parrot Cay is the largest of the cays between Providenciales and North Caicos. This island is home to the secluded luxury Parrot Cay Resort and several private villas and residences.
The island’s total landmass is about 1000 acres (4 sq km). Almost the entirety of the north coast is beautiful beach. As is the case with the surrounding islands, the south side of Parrot Cay tends to consist of a mixture of mangrove wetland and low limestone ironshore coastline.
On its east side, Parrot Cay is separated from North Caicos by the 270 foot (82 meter) Parrot Cay Channel. To the west, a similarly sized water way is found between Parrot Cay and Dellis Cay.
Much of the terrain of the island consists of low elevation sandy soil and bluffs. The east side of the cay (where the resort is located) does offer a ridge of higher ground, reaching a height of about 40 feet (12m).
The island's only resort is the luxury Parrot Cay Resort (a COMO Hotels and Resorts property). It's also home to many private homes and villas, and is a popular destination for celebrities seeking more privacy and seclusion than staying on Providenciales.
A multitude of activities and amenities are offered, such as a spa and the Shambhala Yoga retreat.
The name Parrot Cay originated through the island’s history with pirates. Previously known as Pirate Cay, over time this was distorted to the less threatening name that the cay holds today.
During the mid-1600s to 1700s period, the small cays between Providenciales and North Caicos proved to be a haven for pirates. Several reasons account for this: sources of “fresh” water in ponds, natural sheltered harbours, and the command of important channels and ship routes.
It’s always difficult to get an accurate picture of such history, but accounts suggest that famous buccaneers including Anne Bonny, Mary Read and others operated from the cay.
Eventually, the British constructed an outpost and cannon battery on the nearby Fort George Cay (the "fort" was decommissioned in the early 1800s.) and the area has remained relatively crime-free since.
Although a rather sandy island, various agriculture attempts took place on the island, including the planting of cotton, citrus trees, vegetables, and possibly sisal.
In more-recent times, Parrot Cay has had interesting ownership, passing between plantation owners, a Greek sea sponge exporter, an Austrian count, and others. COMO, a Singaporean hotel group, currently owns the Parrot Cay Resort.
Parrot Cay is about 30 minutes by boat from Providenciales, and about 5 minutes from North Caicos. The island does not have an airstrip or a port-of-entry for yachts. Guests visiting Parrot Cay Resort are usually picked up at the Providenciales International Airport (PLS), with transport prearranged across Providenciales to a dock in Leeward and then by boat to Parrot Cay.