TAKE ME TO is the first of a new series we'll be doing monthly featuring different Caribbean island destinations that are unspoiled. These are travel jewels you must visit if you want to be one with warm tropic oceans, nature and fresh caught meals.
This month its all about South Caicos. One of the smaller inhabited islands in the Turks and Caicos chain. The island is home to roughly 1,300 residents — small even by Caribbean standards. Everyone knows everyone on this hidden gem and its probably one of the most naturally beautiful islands in the Caribbean chain. South Caicos only 8.5 miles long is 40 miles Southeast of Providenciales is known for its seclusion, exclusivity and jaw dropping beautiful ocean waters. This is the perfect island to commune with unspoiled nature.
Exploring the island’s untouched flamingo-flecked beaches, salt flats and tiny, historical downtown, in near-total privacy, you cant help but feel like you are in an unspoiled paradise. Then, there’s the fresh, straight-off-the-boat seafood, and a permeating calmness that’s increasingly hard to find almost anywhere else.
#1 GETTING THERE:
South Caicos is easily accessible via daily scheduled 25-minute direct flights on InterCaribbean Airways, TCI Ferry Service, private charter and private boats. This three-and-a-half-mile island provides a truly intimate experience and allows for one to discover natural beauty in a remote, tranquil environment.
#2 ACTIVITIES AND WATER SPORTS:
With temperatures averaging between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit year-round—South Caicos provides an ideal climate for snorkeling and scuba diving. The reef systems off South Caicos have remained largely untouched by humans, and are thought to be the healthiest and most vibrant in all of the Turks and Caicos Islands, featuring over 50 species of coral in addition to numerous sea creatures including sea turtles, mahi-mahi, spotted eagle rays, snapper, and grouper. Whether you prefer paddle-boarding, bone fishing, kayaking or hiking there are plenty of exhilarating ways for you to spend the day discovering the magic behind South Caicos’ picture-perfect backdrop.
#3 SEAFOOD PARADISE:
South Caicos is the perfect place to dine on such treats as fresh conch, lobster and snapper. The island boasts a thriving fishing industry caught daily.
Sunset Cafe Bar & Grill is one of the few restaurants on the tiny island. The restaurant's outdoor patio is where you can order a fresh lunch of cracked conch or lobster. Island style local cuisine.
Now if you prefer the locally caught Caicos Bank Red Snapper or the delectable A La Minute Smoked Mahi Mahi, every dining experience at Sailrock Resort’s Great House Restaurant offers approachable dishes with a focus on seasonal and local ingredients with a tropical twist. Combine that with the gorgeous views of both the Caicos Bank and Atlantic Ocean, and you will quickly discover the ambiance that sets South Caicos apart from other islands.
#4 ISLAND LIFE:
Throughout the years, South Caicos has retained the authentic Caribbean appeal that has become increasingly hard to find. The main settlement in South Caicos, the historic Cockburn Harbour, has a fascinating pirate history and was essential in the 17th-century salt trade.
With a local community that is just as welcoming as the miles of pristine beaches, South Caicos exudes a certain charm that entices one to visit over and over again. Sprinkled throughout the island are charming churches — there are around 13 of them, according to some locals — small service stations and grocery stores, and a few divey bars, all brimming with sun- and wind-weathered character. An open-air pavilion and park, known as the Queen’s Parade Ground, was built in 1966 to receive Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
#5 WHERE TO STAY:
Before 2017, anyone looking for a cushy place to stay on South Caicos — a sleepy island once at the center of the Caribbean’s salt trade — would have had little luck. A few modest hotels serve mainly the local market, and the shell of a once-planned luxury resort stands isolated and empty in an open field. But for travelers seeking upscale, off-the-grid R&R, that all changed when Sailrock Resort opened on the peninsula just north from the easternmost end of the island. Now, visitors who crave the Caribbean’s powdery beaches and clear water — but not the crowds — can get their fill of water sports, spa treatments, tropical drinks and gourmet meals, all with luxury Ridgetop Suites and Beachfront Villas serving as their base.
#1 Sailrock Resort:
Positioned on the pristine sandy beaches of South Caicos is the luxury boutique resort – Sailrock Resort. With Ridgetop Suites elevated above the shoreline and Beachfront Villas steps from the ocean, Sailrock Resort gives new meaning to unparalleled service and exclusivity in a luxurious out-island setting. Sailrock Resort boasts two beaches and varying ocean environments with the Caicos Bank to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east that offer appealing options to all guests. Discover Sailrock Resort’s Na Spa, world-class restaurants, Great House infinity pool and a plethora of complimentary activities, including paddle-boarding and kayaking today! For further information visit sailrockresort.com
#2East Bay Resort
East Bay Resort is an ocean-front hotel that features modern, chill suites with breathtaking views of the white beach and turquoise water. A range of water sports and activities will keep you busy including kayaking, snorkelling, diving, fishing and kiteboarding. A good nap after all these activities is perfect in one of their beachside hammocks.
WHAT TO WEAR:
Definitely bikinis, cover-ups, sandals are the island uniform. A sundress, jean shorts and a few T's, Sun hats and a good sunscreen, sun shirt and your packed. A def plus...you don't really need makeup! Very laid back kinda vibe.