Ruins at Tucker Point on South Caicos overlooking Long Cay.
South Caicos – Untouched by Tourism
The last to the southeast and the smallest main island in the Caicos archipelago, South Caicos is a great destination for the adventurous.
Largely neglected during the recent Caribbean tourism expansions of the last few decades, this quiet and laid-back island is supported by small-scale commercial fishing.
South Caicos may not be the right destination choice for everyone. Water sports businesses are few, accommodation options are limited, there’s nary a gift shop in sight, and the beaches aren’t quite up to the standard of the other main islands in the Turks and Caicos. However, for those who want to experience the old Caribbean while it still exists, the Big South offers a truly unique vacation.
As a small island, South Caicos offers limited accommodation choices.
Sailrock Resort on the secluded Long Beach features exclusive luxury villa accommodations, which combine amazing views, stellar service, and tranquillity.
The luxury East Bay Resort offers 86 beautiful suites, a wide range of amenities, onsite gourmet dining, a spa, and, importantly, a prime beachfront location.
Boasting of one of the finest vistas in the Turks and Caicos, the Ocean and Beach Hotel is found a little closer to the town of Cockburn Harbour on an oceanfront bluff.
A few homestay lodging and vacation rentals are available at times on South Caicos, however the selection isn’t extensive. Booking typically takes place directly with the accommodation's owner.
All-inclusive packages and travel deals, including dining, are available from both of the island’s resorts. In addition to the restaurants at the accommodations, a single small café, favoured by locals, is found in town.
A bit more weather-beaten than the brilliant white sand coasts of Providenciales, Grand Turk and Middle Caicos, the beaches of South Caicos are beautiful nevertheless.
Long Beach and East Bay are the best beaches on South Caicos, yet the flotsam-strewn southeast coasts are not without their appeal. When the weather’s calm, the snorkelling around South Caicos is amazing as well. Excellent scuba diving can be found off the eastern coast.
If your ideal holiday consists of discovering secluded tropical beaches and marine environments, look no farther than South Caicos.
Gears on the remains of one of the old South Caicos salina windmill pumps.
The Abandoned Salt Industry
Although not quite receiving the recognition that Grand Turk and Salt Cay gets for salt production, South Caicos actually was the foremost sea salt exporter in the country when the industry was operating. At the height of the era, nearly two million bushels of hand-raked salt was shipped from Cockburn Harbour per year.
In the main salina, the interesting Boiling Hole still functions today. This site, a small natural subterranean connection to the ocean, was adapted to allow for sea water feeds into the salt pans.
In town, weathered salt warehouses, built from hand-cut limestone blocks, still stand. Touring Salt Cay’s historical salt infrastructure is an activity in itself.
The beautiful colors at Plandon Cay Cut off South Caicos.
Bonefishing and Kayaking
At close proximity to the extensive, shallow, and crystal-clear Caicos Banks, salt water flat fishing is unparalleled. Bonefish, tarpon and barracuda are plentiful and are only a short boat trip away.
Kayaking is also spectacular. The wetlands of Bell Sound Nature Reserve and the channels between the small northern Cays are extensive and pristine. Marine and bird life, including ospreys, frigate birds and herons, abounds.
The channels and sounds of South Caicos are such an attraction that eco-tour day trips visit from Providenciales solely for the kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.