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Turks / Caicos Hotels

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The Turks and Caicos Islands lie 575 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, directly east of Inagua at the south tip of the Bahamas and north of Hispaniola. They comprise about 40 low-lying islands and cays covering 193 square miles, surrounded by one of the longest coral reefs in the world. The Turks and the Caicos groups are separated by the Columbus Passage, a 22 mile channel over 7,000 feet deep which connects the Atlantic and the Caribbean, contributing to the area’s profusion of marine life. Generally, the windward sides of the islands are made up of limestone cliffs and sand dunes, while the leeward sides have more lush vegetation. The south islands of Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos are very dry, having had their trees felled by salt rakers long ago to discourage rain. The other islands have slightly more rain but very little soil and most of the vegetation is scrub and cactus.

Only eight islands are inhabited. The main islands of the Turks group, Grand Turk and Salt Cay, shelter 20 percent of the colony’s 7,901 ‘belongers’, as the islanders call themselves, but only 15 percent of the total resident population of 19,000, which includes many Haitians, Dominicans and ex-pat North Americans. The rest of the population is scattered among the larger Caicos group to the west: South Caicos, Middle (or Grand) Caicos, North Caicos, and Providenciales, the most populous, known locally as ‘Provo’; Pine Cay and Parrot Cay are privately owned resort islands; East and West Caicos, inhabited from 1797 to the mid-19th century, are now the private domain of wild animals. East Caicos is home to swarms of mosquitoes and wild cattle, while West Caicos harbors land crabs, nesting pairs of ospreys and flamingos. Most of the smaller cays are uninhabited. The people of the Turks and Caicos are welcoming and friendly. The development of tourism on Provo has changed attitudes there, however, and friendliness is not universal

 

 

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