The Turks and Caicos Islands …..an Caribbean eco-tourism vacation paradise! Explore this archipelago of forty cays by land and sea, enjoy the cultural diversity offered on each inhabited island, and relax on the spectacular soft white sand beaches with turquoise water stretching to the horizon. The Turks and Caicos Islands offer a haven of peace and tranquility.
Ecotourism, sustainable development and ecological ethics are slowly growing concepts in this relatively young nation. Come along for a visit and walk our pristine beaches, be dazzled by the sparkling sea, kayak the mangrove cays in solitude with pelicans swooping overhead, wander miles of nature trails, bicyle old plantation roads, snorkel the reefs and coral heads ...this is a destination for all. Begin your Caribbean ecotourism adventure today!
You will sleep well, with deep silence and tranquility... a truly blessed relief from the hectic everyday world. No cars, no phone lines, no television to interrupt the sounds of nature.
For more on the eco-tourism focus in Turks & Caicos Islands, read on……
Turks and Caicos Islands have set aside over 33% of its entire land and sea regions for preservation purposes: National Parks, Natures Reserves, Sanctuaries and Protected Areas. The world’s largest bio-diversity wetland reserve – Ramsar – accounts for 30% of East Caicos, 50% of Middle Caicos and 25% of North Caicos. A 1% Conservation Tax has also been levied on all accommodations to provide the funding to maintain and protect these sites. Through the efforts of government and private sector initiatives, various green projects have already been developed.
To protect the near-shore reefs of Providenciales, businesses partnered with the Turks and Caicos Islands' Park Department’s Junior Warden program. Two beach-side areas in Providenciales, locally known as Smith’s and the Bight Reefs, were badly impacted by snorkeling traffic due to their ease of access. Funds were acquired through numerous concerned local donors to install snorkeling trails on each. The trails act to minimize impact by localizing it, steering swimmers through safe passages that harm neither them nor the corals, as well as providing educational and “reef etiquette” information. The trail markers are environmentally sound and unique, using specially constructed Reef Balls for the sign mounts, that provide habitat for fish and surface for corals to grow. Eventually, the mounts will become mini reefs. The signs themselves are cleverly crafted handmade tiles, graphically embedded with words of reef wisdom.
The Middle Caicos Eco-tourism Project is another example of the Turks and Caicos Islands' efforts and was a private citizens action. It has served to protect areas for hiking and biking activities, access to cavernous caves and historic ruins, as well as the traditional handcrafts. In one fell swoop, this project has protected the immediate coastline from development, preserved an historic trail used by natives of long ago, and created an economic venture for the island of Middle Caicos. The Crossing Place coastal trail starts at the furthest east end of Middle Caicos, and the trail winds through from Lorimers to Bambarra and then along the shore to Conch Bar, up over the spectacular cliffs at Mudjin Harbour, following the shore to Blowing Hole and all the way to the Crossing Place. From here, at low tide, residents would walk across the tidal flats to the lower end of Bottle Creek. The trail is marked with beautiful ceramic cameos and is an inspiration to hike.
On many of this small country's islands, visitors have a chance to stroll through the pastures of former plantations; Cheshire Hall on Providenciales, Wade’s Green on North Caicos and Haulover on Middle Caicos have been cleared, paths cut and signage in place for information, thanks to the efforts of the National Trust . These ruins depict island life long ago and from which the native generations have blossomed and grown. Numerous other sites are easily accessed or viewed from today’s roads and paths.
Digressing even further in time, evidence of Lucayan sites on Middle date back to the early 1400’s. Several archeological expeditions have unearthed fossils and facts that lead to the belief that this island was once an epicenter for these ancient Indian tribes. The most renowned site, labeled M-6, can be accessed by a 2 hr hike to an interior lake region.
Numerous other ecotourist destinations in Turks and Caicos Islands include : Conch Bar caves, Cottage Pond, Indian Cave, Flamingo Pond, Little Water Cay – all with special character and charm. The rugged, yet regal landscapes of TCI personify a place where the past has left a legacy. Not yet spoiled by the trappings of large-scale development, most of the islands manage to maintain strength of culture and character. The natural splendor of the settings are unsurpassed; the native flora and fauna revel in this yet unrivaled land. But the key to truly experiencing this lies with the inhabitants.
The people are a reflection of their surroundings, having thrived for several centuries by living in harmony with the land and sea; a precedent they actively strive to maintain. teeped in old world wisdom and idioms, the natives are filled with local legends and lore. Aside from opening their hearts and minds, the residents will open their homes to visitors for a sampling of the delectable local fare. Peas and rice, lobster, conch, chicken and the famous Middle Caicos grits are just a few of the appetizing selections. Several hand-made items are produced on island, such as woven baskets and hats, mosquito whips, whisk brooms and cloth dolls. Sample bags of the locally grown and ground grits complete with favorite recipes are also available. These items can now also be purchased at several tourist shops on Providenciales, and on Middle and North Caicos, through the efforts of the Middle Caicos Co-op.
Explore the eco-tourist destinations and activities offered and plan a spectacular Caribbean eco-tourism adventure!!
The Turks & Caicos Islands - “ Beautiful by Nature” await you……….
Flamingos strut their stuff!
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Support sustainable tourism in the Caribbean : rent an island cottage on the environmentally friendly Turks and Caicos Islands. North and MIddle Caicos will delight you with their many villages, warm hospitality, open scenery, and long graceful expanse of the white sand and peaceful pace of life. Pine Cay is a private island, where the members long ago committed to an environmental ethic - a haven from the bustle of cars, TV, crowds.
Wander the islands on your own or arrange for day excursions and build a Caribbean ecotourism holiday to include several islands.
Turks and Caicos Islands Artisan Co-op Market -
Using grasses and rushes hand picked from the wild marshes and fields on Middle Caicos, North Caicos and South Caicos, dried and prepared for the basket weavers, the basket weavers in Turks and Caicos Islands, who are typically the senior citizens living in the smaller remote island settlements, create a variety of colorful and artistic coiled basketry.