North Caicos

This 41-square-mile (106-square-km) island is the lushest in the Turks and Caicos chain. With an estimated population of only 1,500, the expansive island allows you to get away from it all. Bird lovers can observe the large resident flock of flamingos here, anglers will take delight in the ease of access to shallow creeks and banks plentiful in bonefish, while history buffs can visit the ruins of a Loyalist plantation. Although there's little traffic, almost all the roads are paved, so bicycling is an excellent way to sightsee. Even though it's a quiet place, you can find some small eateries around the settlements and in Whitby, giving you a chance to try local and seafood specialties, sometimes served with homegrown okra or corn. The beaches are in a natural state here, so are often scattered with seaweed and pine needles, as no major resorts rake them daily. Nevertheless, these secluded, less manicured strands of soft sand are breathtaking and offer beachcombing–-while those on Provo do not.

North Caicos may be described as rustic, especially in comparison with the much more polished Provo. Accommodations are clean but fairly basic. Locals are consistently friendly, and life always seems to move slowly here.

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