Dragon Cay at Mudjin Harbor, Middle Caicos.
Dramatic bluff hangs over Dragon Cay Beach.
The “Little Oasis” one of the many quaint “in home” restaurants found on Middle Caicos.
A deserted home in Middle Caicos.
The Middle Caicos Caves- a tourist attraction for Middle Caicos, they are the largest cave network in the northern Caribbean.
Ocean Hole, a 220 ft. deep, quarter mile wide, “Blue Hole” is a native reserve for bird and marine life, located on the southern coast of Middle Caicos.
The beautiful Bambarra Beach located in Middle Caicos.
Beach huts on Bambarra Beach, Middle Caicos.
Beach huts on Bambarra Beach, Middle Caicos.
Middle Caicos, with a land area of approximately 48 square miles, is the largest of all the Turks and Caicos Islands. Despite its size Middle Caicos has the second smallest population in the country, with just 270 residents. It is about 15 miles long and 5 miles at its widest point. The island is best known for its extensive system of caves, beautiful beaches, spectacular cliffs and coastline, and its significant archeological sites. On what was probably a principal settlement of Lucayan Indians in the sub tropics, archeologists have found a ball court, a variety of beads, and tools in their excavations. Evidence of Lucayan settlements on the island date back to as early as 750 AD and it is believed that as many as 4,000 Lucayan Indians once inhabited Middle Caicos. Archeologists have discovered at least 38 Lucayan Indian sites on Middle Caicos.
There are three settlements on the island: Conch Bar, Bambarra, and Lorimers, all three with residents that are proud, happy, and friendly. Conch Bar is the largest of the settlements, being the home of the airport, the primary school, and government offices. The Conch Bar Caves National Park is located just past the airport, and the breathtaking rock formation of Mudjin Harbour is just one mile to the west of Conch Bar.
Here too you will find the well known Middle Caicos Co-op handcraft studio and Daniel's Café, nestled by the sea, plus the Blue Horizon Resort with homes and cottages for rent. Other businesses include Dillons café, Little Oasis, Kim's Bar, and Harveys' gas station & guesthouse.
Bambarra is the second largest settlement in Middle Caicos, located east of Conch Bar and the only settlement in the Turks & Caicos Islands with an African name. The area was supposedly settled by the survivors of the "Troubadore", a Spanish slave boat that sunk just off Middle Caicos in 1842. Bambarra is about half a mile inland, located at the top of an incline. Along the shoreline is the most developed area of Middle Caicos, with beachfront homes and villas.
Bambarra beach is famous for its beautiful four mile curve of sand, and for the excellent annual celebrations held on the beach. At the tiki hut site, under the shade of the casuarina trees, the annual festivities include: Valentines Day Cup Model Sailboat Races in February, Crabfest in June, and Middle Caicos Expo in August. New festivals are planned for 2012. During Island festivals the tiki huts function as stalls for vendors of crafts and food.
Lorimers is the third settlement and it is located at the northeastern end of Middle Caicos, well inland along a beautiful lagoon inlet, or creek. It is the smallest of the three Middle Caicos settlements with only six homes still occupied. It is famous for its fruit trees and local culture expert Alton Higgs – who welcomes visitors to his home. Kayaking through the inlets is recommended if you are vising Lorimers.
Middle Caicos has a limestone ridge running to about 125 feet above sea level, and it is home to an extensive cave system. The caves in Middle Caicos are located behind the Conch Bar settlement and there is another system between Bambarra and the Lorimers settlements. The caves are home to colonies of bats, stalactites, stalagmites, and a species of shrimp. The cave systems also have underground fresh water subterranean lakes and some salt water lagoons that are connected to the ocean. The Conch Bar caves, in particular, are the largest in the Caribbean. The cave system in Middle Caicos comprise a system of multilayered caverns. Recent excavations in the caves uncovered the bones of large tortoises, extinct birds, a five foot iguana, pottery, and other artifacts. It is recommended that a guide be used if the caves are to be extensively explored.
The entire southern portion of the Island is comprised of swamp and tidal flats, which acts as a rich breeding ground for all manner of birds and fish and which the Government has designated a nature reserve. It is home to a frigate bird breeding colony, schools of bonefish, and a blue hole with turtles and even some sharks. The blue hole was formed when an underground cavern, about two hundred feet underground, collapsed. The Ramsar Convention for the protection of lobster, water birds, flora, and fish nurseries has designated the area a wetland of international importance.
Middle Caicos is an island best suited to the visitor who is interested in just unwinding, but in surroundings that have a rugged beautiful and edge. The island offers extensive eco-tourism potential and activities:
- Snorkel the coral heads just offshore, and the rock outcrops at Three Marys or Mudjin Harbour, where fish abound.
- Kayak through the mangroves along any coastline and head out to the East Bay islands reserve for a picnic.
- Bird-watch in the pine forests, grasslands, and mangroves and discover tropical birds, fish eagles, flamingoes, pelicans, ospreys, and more.
- Sail inside the barrier reef or in the Caicos flats in traditional sloops.
- Traditional model sailboat racing is fun for the whole family.
- Catch n release bone fishing is a serious fishing challenge.
- Bicycle on Middle Caicos or North Caicos along both bush trails and paved roads.
- Hike on Crossing Place trail, and admire the cliffs and expansive white sand beaches
- For the adventurous, cave exploration at Conch Bar Caves National Park.
- Learn the local handcraft skills.
- Whale watching, from January to March, is incredible from the shore!
- Explore historic ruins of the colonial settlers and/or Taino Indians.
- Visit with local basket weavers, farmers and fishermen and hear their stories.
- Sunday worship at a local church - over 15 chuches are active.
Come and enjoy yourself soon.