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The Cultural Heart of the Islands
The villages of North and Middle Caicos provide a setting for many of the Big Blue eco-adventures. North Caicos is known as the “Garden Island” and is home to approximately 2000 residents. It has two thriving primary schools and a successful high school in the main settlement of Bottle Creek. The breadbasket of the Turks and Caicos Islands is the village of Kew. Found inland towards the western end of North Caicos on the richest soil in the country, the village of Kew is a step back in time. Stop for a photo outside the post office, purchase some fresh produce at the local farms and visit resident matriarch Susan Butterfield who serves a memorable tea in her front room.
Middle Caicos; The Largest Island in the Country
Measuring 48 square miles Middle Caicos is the largest island in the country yet it is home to a population of approximately 200 people. Conch Bar is the largest village on Middle Caicos and the first settlement most people visit. It is located between the sea and the largest cave system in the Bahamian region. The deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean is never closer than when you’re standing in Conch Barand, Humpback Whales can be spotted from here during the winter. Backyards filled with fruit trees frame a scene that epitomizes paradise.
Barrier Reefs and the villages of Middle Caicos
Heading east from Conch Bar, the barrier reef begins to move away from the shore, resulting in one of the country’s longest stretches of sandy beach. Up the hill from the beach, overlooking the ocean is the village of Bambarra. The village was named after an African settlement that was home to a group of slaves who had been ship-wrecked on a reef off the coast of East Caicos while on route to Cuba. Further east the very sleepy village of Lorimers marks the end of the newly paved road. During the plantation era, a man named John Lorimers raised cotton at this end of Middle Caicos. Haulover plantation collapsed in the late 1800’s and the emancipated people established what would long be the largest settlement on Middle Caicos. Today Lorimers is home to just 15 Islanders, including Mr. Alton Higgs, the country’s leading authority on bush medicine. For a unique piece of history, step off the road and search out the grave of John Lorimers or knock on Mr.Higgs’ door for good chat and a swig of his famous and potent juice.
Visit Middle Caicos on the ‘Heart of the Islands Eco-tour’, the ‘Bottle Creek Adventure’ or as part of a customized eco-adventure across the Caicos Islands.
South Caicos; Salt, Fish and Unspoilt Snorkelling Heavem
South Caicos lies along the eastern boundary of the Caicos Banks. Its history is notably different from that of North & Middle Caicos. Instead of cotton plantations South Caicos, along with Grand Turks and Salt Cay, became a major hub for salt production in the western Atlantic from the mid-1600’s right through to the middle of the 20th century. The islands’ natural inland salinas and connecting passages of sea-water allowed for the clever manipulation of its natural resources. Its proximity to the Caicos Banks and Atlantic Ocean also made South Caicos the fishing capital of the Turks and Caicos and there are three fish plants on the island. Tourism is slowly making an appearance on South Caicos and the Bermudian style architecture of the 19th century buildings and streets make the town of Cockburn Harbour a delightful place to walk around. The snorkeling on South Caicos is superb and the beaches and nearby sandy cays some of the best in the entire country.