North Caicos in a Day

From Provo a wonderful ferry service runs out of Walkin Marina in Leeward; it's comfortable, efficient, and timely, taking only about 30 minutes each way. Not only does it get you to North, but it's also a great way to have a quick overview of all the cays that lie between Provo and North, with views of some of the homes of the rich and famous along the shores of secluded Parrot Cay.

Visitors to North can hire a driver ($300 per day for group of four), go with a tour company such as Big Blue Unlimited, or prearrange a car rental. There are several rental companies that can arrange to have a car waiting for you at the Sandy Point ferry dock. If you miss the last ferry back, a private charter is the only alternative, at a high cost. Avoid Sunday, as many places are closed.

An afternoon drive around the island is well worth it for those who wish to know the real side to this country. Near the settlement of Kew you'll find the ruins of Wade’s Green Plantation . If you want to see the plantation, you need to make arrangements with the TCI National Trust in advance; otherwise, the entrance will be chained. These are the country's best ruins, so it's worth making the call.

A visit is not complete without a quick stop at Flamingo Pond, which is home to the country's largest resident flock.

Close by is Cottage Pond, a historical site connected to plantation days but also a nice refuge for those wishing to visit a watery habitat quite different from what you find throughout the islands; a variety of birds make this their home.

You can also stop and visit several beaches, snorkel at Three Mary Cays, and watch for the Caicos crows cawing in the trees overhead. Note that many of the feathery-looking coniferous trees growing around North are the Caicos pine (otherwise known as the Caribbean pine), the country’s national tree. And do stop at one of the little roadside bars or eateries to grab a cold drink. Don’t be shy! If you’re lucky, you will arrive when a couple of the local gentlemen are just beginning their heated rally of dominoes.

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