Sink into silky warm white sand and watch the froth of shockingly blue seas swirl shells at your feet while you contemplate life in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Below the tranquil surface stirs another world, resident to the thousand-mile reef system that veins the waters around the many islets and cays of these lovely islands. With some of the world's best beaches and seemingly endless opportunities for underwater sightseeing, you may be hard pressed to come up for air. When your scuba tanks are empty and the world above beckons, explore the varied terrain on bike or foot, the endless seas by boat.
Providenciales is the most developed island, west of the North, Middle, East and South Caicos Islands. Spend an afternoon at Grace Bay with dolphins and test out your snorkel at Princess Alexandra Marine Park before forging on east to North Caicos. Rent a bike and peddle around nature preserves and Flamingo Lake, then spend an afternoon with your face in the water watching for fish.
Middle Caicos, just adjacent to North Caicos, is accessible by land when the tide is out. Edged in places by dramatic limestone cliffs, delicate stretches of sand pad the distant horizon while pine forests shade the interior. Explore the crumbling ruins of old plantations or the subterranean caves of Conch Bar Caves National Park before pressing on to East Caicos for solitude and flamingos, and South Caicos for a glimpse of humpback whales in season.
Book a sea-going vessel and day trip to tiny cays when you think you've taken in the best sandy strands on the main Caicos Islands. Watch for birds, turtles and resident sharks as you glide over the crystal waters. Anglers can cast off from shore or sign on with a charter boat for a chance at tall-tale worthy deep-sea fishing.
The Turks & Caicos Islands are 575 miles southeast of Miami, just east of Cuba and a short sail from the southernmost Bahama Islands.