The Rich Natural Heritage of the Turks and Caicos
By Charles Edwards
Little Water Cay, an Island in the Turks and Caicos, is the only place in the world to encounter the endangered rock iguana. The Turks and Caicos are home to 50,000 rock iguanas, the biggest population of this reptile in the Caribbean. The creature thrives on 50 of the 200 islands and cays that make up the Turks and Caicos, each an isolated oasis of brilliant green in the warm turquoise Caribbean waters that are themselves home to species of fish, dolphins, rays, and varieties of corals that are proving resistant to the bleaching effects of climate change.
The Turks and Caicos, a British Overseas Territory in the West Indies of the Caribbean Sea, has managed to pursue development while preserving its rich natural heritage. The protectorate is made up of 40 different islands, of which only 8 are inhabited. The sophistication of the main commercial center of Providenciales, where most of Turks and Caicos real estate opporunities can be found, is contrasted with the isolated beauty of Little Water Cay, which is only accessible by boat or by air. All the islands offer great climate throughout the year, beaches and underwater activities, or opportunities for nature watching - 80 percent of the Turk and Caicos are unihabited.
Besides the rock iguana, numerous other species thrive on the islands. The Flamingo Pond Nature Reserve is home to one of the largest flamingo rookeries in the Caribbean, while frigate birds nest on Middle and Grand Caicos islands. In winter and early spring each year, humpback whales, turtles, dolphins and rays migrate through the Columbus Passage that seperates the Caicos Islands group and the Turks. At 800 kilometres long, the reefs protecting the Turks and Caicos are among the world's longest, which means there are truly wonderful opportunities to snorkel and dive with with nurse sharks, hawksbill turtles, eagle rays, snapper and parrot fish.
Bottlenose dolphins swim in Grace Bay, on the island of Providenciales, and the bay is also know for its iconic conch. Many Turks and Caicos condos are an easy flight or boat trip from the islands' wildlife areas. While many retirees often travel to the islands for golf, a newer generation of transplants are choosing this Caribbean paradise for exploration and a glimpse of a tropical paradise that exists nowhere else.
This article is written by Charles Edwards for The Hartling Group, offering real estate Turks and Caicos and homes in the Turks and Caicos, and The Sands Turks and Caicos Resort, one of the finest Turks and Caicos Hotels.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.