Little Water Cay | Parrot Cay | Pine Cay |
French, Ambergris and Great Sand Cay
This modern island is to become a modern nature resort, with a reminder that the island has been set aside as a nature reserve for the Turks Island Iguana and a variety of bird life.
Cay has several distinctive zones of vegetation, shared mainly by
Palmettos and Pines. Tropical birds and Iguanas inhabit most of the
island. On the island's northern end there are many freshwater lakes
with species of salt water fish, a legacy of Hurricane Donna in 1960.
Pine Cay was also the sit of an ancient Lucayan settlement, and in
the 18th and 19th century was an excellent hideout for pirates.
There are more than two dozen other small islands and cays scattered throughout the archipelago. These uninhabited rocks each exhibit a distinct personality. French Cay, on the southwest corner of the Caicos Bank, is widely worshiped for its superb wall diving.The mountains you see on the Ambergris Cays are the huge piles of conch shells left by the local fishermen.
Great Sand Cay, south of Salt Cay, is a desert paradise. Iguanas and curly-tailed lizards roam the prickly pear-decorated landscape. Turtles nest on its broad sand beaches. Nurse sharks gather by the thousands in the shallow lagoon during their season. On one end of the island, a great stone arch has been carved from the lime stone by the flow of the water, standing in mute testimony to the sea's power.
On some islands the Turk's Head Cactus, the national flower, grows prolifically. On others, thousands of terns nest. Most are surrounded by coral gardens in one form or another.
Some 178 species of birds are found in the Turks and Caicos and these protected, isolated islands allow them to breed and live unmolested. In many ways, these tiny islands form the sustaining, natural heart of the Turks and Caicos.