• Photo: BlueOrange Studio / Shutterstock

Little Water Cay

This small, uninhabited cay is a protected area under the Turks & Caicos National Trust, and it's just a stone's throw away from Providenciales’s Walkin and Leeward marinas. The trip over takes only 5 minutes from the Leeward end of the island, and an excursion boat out of Grace Bay takes 5 to 15 minutes. On these 150 acres are two trails, red mangroves, and an abundance of native plants. Boardwalks protect the ground, and interpretive signs explain the habitat.

The small island—known to many as Iguana Island—is home to about 2,000 rare, endangered rock iguanas. Although often described as shy, these creatures are actually quite curious. They waddle right up to you, as if posing for a picture. Please do not feed or touch the iguanas. They are wild animals.

Several water-sports operators from Provo and North Caicos include a stop on the island as a part of a snorkel or sailing excursion. There's a $5 permit fee to visit the cay, and the proceeds go toward conservation in the islands.

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