Situated in the string of cays between Providenciales and North Caicos, Pine Cay is privately-owned and has low-density residential development. The main feature of the cay is its spectacular two-mile-long north coast beach, which definitely ranks as one of the top beaches in the country. Pine Cay offers a very quiet and laid-back atmosphere.
Today the island is home to the secluded Pine Cay Resort and approximately forty private residences and vacation villas. The island has a no car policy, so electric golf carts and bicycles are the main means of transport.
Pine Cay is named after the small forest of native Caicos Pines (Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis, a subspecies of the Caribbean Pine) that surrounds the interior freshwater ponds.
The Pine Cay Resort
Pine Cay is home to an often-overlooked and tranquil all-inclusive resort destination: the Pine Cay Resort. This private retreat (formerly the Meridian Club) offers the atmosphere of the old Caribbean—laid-back exclusivity. There’s a selection of beachfront rooms, cottages, suites, and private villas to choose from.
The Pine Cay Resort isn’t extensive, yet it offers the perfect collection of amenities for those looking for a quiet tropical vacation. Onsite is the Bistro restaurant, which serves a cuisine of international classics. There’s also the resort’s Sand Dollar Spa, offering massages, facials, scrubs, and wraps.
In addition to the spectacular beach fronting the resort, the complimentary guest use of kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, Hobie cat sailboats, and bicycles is offered, and scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and boat cruises can be easily arranged from the nearby island of Providenciales. There are also tennis facilities, hiking paths, and an entire island to explore.
The resort also manages vacation rentals for some of the villas and homes on Pine Cay for owners who are away.
Booking Your Reservations
For the best reservations and the best rates, we advise that you book directly with the resort. If you’re able to find lower posted prices on third-party sites, local accommodations are typically willing to match or do better.
As is the case with accommodations and activities throughout the country, room rates will typically be lowest during the end of summer “low season” months.
Terrain and Natural Environment
The terrain of Pine Cay is quite flat, with the low-density salt-resistant vegetation common to the coastal areas of the county. The island supports a small population of the endangered Caicos Pine (not to be confused with the common and invasive casuarina that thrives on much of the coastline), but the populations of this rare tree has been declining. The total landmass of Pine Cay is approximately 800 acres (324 hectares).
Pine Cay is actually connected at this time to Water Cay by a 450-foot wide patch of sand and light vegetation, and Water Cay is likewise connected to Little Water Cay (Iguana Island), so it’s possible to walk along the beach for the entire five miles to Little Water Cay. Historically, these channels have been opened and closed by occasional hurricane events, such as the 1866 Great Nassau Hurricane.
As Pine Cay is connected to Water Cay and the iguana sanctuary of Little Water Cay, conservation work being done to protect the iguanas spans all three islands.
The group of small islands between Providenciales and North Caicos was reputed to be the sanctuary of pirates in previous centuries and Pine Cay was very likely a base due to the semi-fresh ponds in an otherwise parched archipelago.
Pine Cay Map
Getting to Pine Cay
The usual way to get to Pine Cay is by a 15-minute boat ride from Providenciales. There are no regular public passenger ferries, yet the resort operates a guest ferry, and boat tour excursions from Providenciales often visit the island’s north coast beach.
Pine Cay also features a 2500-foot (762 m) paved airstrip for private planes and charter flights. There are no fuel facilities or immigration or customs personnel onsite, so international flights must land at either the Providenciales International Airport (PLS) or the Grand Turk JAGS McCartney International Airport (GDT) when entering the Turks and Caicos. There are two FBOs on Providenciales that offer fuel and flight services.
Pine Cay is one of the oldest boutique and private island developments in the Turks and Caicos, the island once having been owned by Count Ferdinand Czernin of Austria-Hungary, who saw the potential of the isolated cay as a luxury tourism destination. After his death, his wife Countess Helen Czernin continued with the concept, with the result evolving into the Meridian Club, marina, infrastructure, and Pine Cay Airport (PIC).
Existing home and undeveloped real estate is available, both beachfront and inland. The Pine Cay Resort oversees the Pine Cay Homeowners Association, which offers management, maintenance, and vacation rental services for privately-held residences.
There isn’t an extensive selection of properties available on Pine Cay, yet a couple of properties may typically be on the market at any given time.