Day trip to North and Middle Caicos
North and Middle Caicos make for an outstanding day trip for guests staying more than a week on Providenciales
Whether you’re a regular TCI visitor, or you’re sinking your feet in our sand for the very first-time, at some point, you may be tempted to explore outside of Providenciales. Among the many experiences we recommend to our guests, a day trip to North and Middle Caicos is especially interesting. With rugged, sparsely populated islands totalling no more than 2000 inhabitants, heading out to these islands adds an adventurous contrast to the busier, 35,000 population of Providenciales.
Hiring a guide
We only recommend what we’ve personally experienced, so going out and exploring for ourselves was a no-brainer. This way, we could provide honest, relevant feedback to our guests.
To discover these 2 islands, you either rent a car or take a guided tour. There are a few different car rental companies to choose from and prices start at about $65 for the day. You’ll have to pre-arrange your rental car before you arrive on North Caicos. Note that there is one paved road to travel on through North and Middle Caicos, so you can’t get lost.
Pina, Max and I chose to have someone show us around. We took the 8:00 am ferry at Heaving Down Rock Marina and purchased tickets ($55 round trip) at the Caribbean Cruisin’ office (it’s a yellow building). Less than 30 minutes later, we docked at Sandy Point Marina on North Caicos.
The ride was pleasant, and knowledgeable, funny man Desmond, was waiting for us. For $150 per person (including lunch) we covered everything there was to see, and most interestingly, got a local’s point of view and insights on living in lush isolation.
Finding Middle Caicos and North Caicos
For geography buffs, North Caicos and Middle Caicos are located in the center of the Caicos Islands archipelago. Collectively, they represent most of the land mass in the Turks and Caicos. Although they’re 2 separate islands, with a mile long causeway connecting them (picture below), they mostly function as one.
Farming, then and now
Historically, agriculture mostly took place in North Caicos and Middle Caicos, namely because these islands receive more rain than Providenciales. Today, overgrown ruins of extensive cotton and sisal plantations let visitors imagine and explore remnants of the past, while local farms produce tomatoes, peppers, bananas, melons, papaya and sugar cane for local consumers and Provo grocery stores.
To be clear, on North or Middle Caicos, the quiet powdery beaches and gorgeous natural scenery more than make up for the lack of luxury services you enjoy in Provo. And though there’ll be no butlers or concierges in sight, you can still indulge in activity to be entertained, without overwhelm.
Where to go – Middle Caicos
If you’re driving, know that helpful signs remind you to stay on the left (British) side of the road. The good news is cars are scarce. Really scarce. In fact, Desmond said we’d see less than 10 cars during the entire day, and he was right!
Mudjin Harbor Beach in Middle Caicos is a must. We could describe it here, but just know that it’s the most scenic spot. Google Dragon Cay + Mudjin Harbour, then go to images. You’ll see what we mean.
If you stare at the rocks long enough, you’ll see the head of the dragon on the right leading to the tail on the left. Spend some time here and possibly go for a swim.
And if you enjoy your view with a cocktail, the Mudjin Bar & Grill has an amazing terrace where the flavors are almost as breathtaking as the limestone rock formations and bluest of blue seas in front of you.
There only 2 restaurants on Middle, and Desmond brought us to Sea view cafe. The food was good and the owner most welcoming.
Following the majestic view of Mudjin Harbour, you might actually want to go in the water. For this, you’ll want to head to Middle Caicos’ Bambarra Beach. Often super quiet, it’s the ideal spot for calmer seas, shallow waters, swimming and picnicking under the many oceanfront trees.
Conch Bar Caves is also in Middle Caicos. The largest non-submerged cave system in the Bahamas-Turks and Caicos island chain, it’s a national park you can access for a $20 fee. If you’re short on time, nearby Indian Cave is a better option, and it’s free.
Used by the indigenous Lucayan people who lived here before the Spanish arrived, the limestone formations and lianas hanging everywhere, are quite impressive.
Where to go – North Caicos
North Caicos has its own secluded beaches. Among these, Pumpkin Bluff and Three Marys Cays are worth laying down your towel.
Visiting history buffs will want to head to Wade’s Green Plantation to catch a quick glimpse of the short-lived Loyalist plantation era in Turks and Caicos. Guided tours walk you through several limestone buildings and provide information on local plants like sisal, guinea grass and moringa.
Note: Advanced Reservations are highly recommended for Wade’s Green Plantation and Conch Bar Caves. More info about these 2 attractions can be found here.
Appropriately named, Flamingo Pond is the best place in the country to see flamingos. Because they despise noise, you’ll hardly see any on Provo, but it’s common to spot hundreds at a time over here.
Desmond also showed us where he’s been fishing since he was a child and with hypnotizing, impossibly blue waters, caused by the reflection of limestone particles, we can understand why he’s never left.
North and Middle Caicos have an undeveloped coastline and that’s exactly what’s part of the charm. Few hotels, stores and restaurants also mean no crowds. The attraction: nature. At its unbelievably beautiful best.
Simon, Pina and Max
ps: also check this new company Spot on E-bikes. Spot offers some very cool services to the visitors of the twin islands of North & Middle Caicos.
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