Turks and Caicos Islands: Places to Explore

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South Caicos

This 8½-square-mile (21-square-km) island was once an important salt producer; today it's the heart of the fishing industry. Nature prevails, with long, white beaches, jagged bluffs, quiet backwater bays, and salt flats. Diving and snorkeling on the pristine wall and reefs are a treat enjoyed by only a few.

In 2008 hurricanes Hanna and Ike gave South Caicos a one-two punch. Although the island has recovered, the few dive operators that were here disappeared. The best way to dive (other than independently) is through Sea Crystal Divers from Salt Cay, which requires spending the night at Salt Cay.

The major draw for South Caicos is its excellent diving and snorkeling on the wall and reefs (with an average visibility of 100 feet). It's practically the only thing to do on South Caicos other than to lie on the lovely beaches. Several local fishermen harvest spiny lobsters for the Turks and Caicos and for export. Making up the third-largest reef in the world, the coral walls surrounding South Caicos are dramatic, dropping dramatically from 50 feet to 6,000 feet in the blink of an eye.

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