North and Middle Caicos: The unspoiled Caribbean

north-caicos-wades-green-plantation

CNN Travel (23 March 2018) presents North and Middle Caicos as “the unspoiled Caribbean,” with text by Marnie Hunter, video by Diana Diroy and Joshua Sarlo. [See video, a gallery of spectacular photos, and full article at CNN Travel.]

You won’t find butler service or a sunset concierge on North Caicos or Middle Caicos. What you will find is powdery sand, blissful quiet and just enough off-beach activity to interest the less languid day tripper.

These side-by-side islands are accessible via a 25-minute ferry ride from Providenciales, the Turks and Caicos Islands’ international gateway and tourism hub. Provo, as it’s known, is an easy direct flight from many US East Coast cities (less than two hours from Miami; just over three hours from New York).

Providenciales is home to its own array of beautiful beaches — including the spectacular and award-winning Grace Bay Beach — but North and Middle Caicos deliver a far more rustic Caribbean travel experience plus some of the Turks and Caicos’ most mesmerizing scenery.

The rugged, sparsely populated islands make an ideal day trip or overnight complement to a longer stay in the islands.

Regular ferry service ($50 round trip) runs from Walkin Marina in Leeward Provo to Sandy Point Marina in North Caicos. From there, a rental car or hired guide is essential to making the most of the causeway-linked islands. (Cars should be arranged in advance so that they’re at the marina when you arrive).

Helpful signs along the main road remind drivers to stay on the left in this British overseas territory, and cars are few and far between. A map and a sturdy vehicle are musts at these destinations; signage is easy to miss and most of the roads off the main thoroughfare are pitted gravel.

Fisherman, taxi driver, tour guide and Middle Caicos native Cardinal Arthur offers personalized island tours for travelers who’d rather let someone else do the navigating — on water or land.

Arthur, who’s in his late sixties, traces his roots back five generations to slaves brought to the islands by Loyalists around the time of the American Revolutionary War.

He talks about the islands’ original inhabitants, the Taino Indians, the arrival of Columbus and European colonists, the establishment of Loyalist cotton and sisal plantations run by slave labor and the farming and fishing economy that followed the failed plantations on North and Middle Caicos.

Arthur will tailor tours to visitors’ interests and also organizes boating expeditions on the waters around the islands. Outfitters including Big Blue Unlimited also offer tour options featuring activities such as kayaking, cycling or stand-up paddleboarding. Guided tour or not, Mudjin Harbor Beach is Middle Caicos’ don’t-miss stop. [. . .]

[Photo by Marnie Hunter: Wade’s Green Plantation gives visitors a look into the era of Loyalist plantations.]

For full article, see https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/north-caicos-middle-caicos/index.html

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