South Caicos is a quiet island and home to the long-established Cockburn Harbour settlement. Development is generally contained near on the southwestern side of the island, however, the more-recent resort and luxury residence projects have taken place on previously deserted beaches.
More so than the other settlements in the country, Cockburn Harbour is laid-out in a grid pattern, with paved and named streets. Despite an overall population loss since the 1960s, South Caicos remains the 3rd most populated island in the Turks and Caicos, after Providenciales and Grand Turk.
Increasingly beautiful to the north, the upper peninsula of South Caicos is largely untouched. The Bell Sound Nature Reserve occupies much of the western side of this peninsula, and at the far point, the long-abandoned U.S. Coast Guard LORAN Station can be seen, as well as spectacular views to the north over Plandon Cay, Middle Creek Cay, McCartney Cay, and East Caicos.
Feral donkeys, introduced during the salt production days, still wander freely.
Almost the entirety of the centre of South Caicos consists of shallow salinas. These saline marine ponds saw the construction of low stone dividing walls for the efficient evaporation of ocean water for sea salt production.
Remnants of windmill pumps, inlet channels, gates and the unique feature that is the Boiling Hole, are scattered over this expansive historical site.
On the eastern coast of South Caicos is the Highlands region. An incredible hiking destination, the only structure found here is the desolate ruins of the Highland Estate. Rolling limestone dunes, ocean cliffs, colourful reefs and the deep blue backdrop of the Turks Island Passage can be seen.
Several beautiful bays are hidden along the coasts adjacent to the Highlands. Often a bit too rough for swimming, these beaches are however quite good for beachcombing.
The under-construction Sailrock residential development, located on the north-eastern peninsula, features an eco-friendly design and is one of the major projects to occur on the island in recent years, along with the East Bay Resort.