In the unlikely event of getting bored with all that sun, sea and sand in the Turks and Caicos, it is good to know that these islands have more to offer than just, well, paradise! Kayaking, helicoptering, 4x4s, horseback riding and chasing natural phenomenon are just some of the adventures waiting to be discovered on this archipelago.
Flying a helicopter over the Turks and Caicos gives the visitor a sense of the immense beauty and diversity of this archipelago. From Grand Turk, visitors can enter on these private flight tours which provide beautiful views of the coral reef protecting the islands, the seemingly endless beautiful beaches, the inland twisting mangroves and the old salt workings.
After landing there is no better way to check to get up close to the sights you saw from the sky than in a 4x4. There are a number of car rentals around Graces Bay on Providenciales and Grand Turk, many offering a variety of cars and off-road vehicles. There are miles of rocky trails crossing the islands. While you have the car it is worth visiting the rock carvings at Sapodilla Hill in Providenciales, which can be accessed close to the Mariner Hotel, along the South Dock Road. The trail head is before you get to the end of the wire fence, about 1/3 of the way going toward the hotel. West Caicos also has some pre-colonial rock carvings which give a glimpse into these ancient societies. And Middle Caicos has some impressive cave systems. If you forgot your license, don’t worry, there are plenty of tours which will guide you through the island.
Much of the inland sections of Turks and Caicos are covered in mangroves, criss-crossed by waterways providing the perfect setting for kayaking. Many firms offer 2-person glass bottom kayaks which allow you to look through the clear water to the fish-life beneath. Most people like to dock their kayaks in a secluded spot and explore by foot. This can be a great option if you want to spot some native birds.
Horseback riding is also available on the islands. The rides can be organized from Providenciales through turquoise beaches and across golden sands. Alternatively, trot through dirt roads and secluded pathways to see some of the more secluded aspects of Turks and Caicos life.
And if none of these float your boat, join the “green flash” hunters. The flash, or speck of spectacular green, is visible just as the sun rises or just as the sun sets and has become the stuff of legend around Providenciales. The phenomenon, which is caused by light refracted and dispersed in the air, was first noted by Captain Back of the H. M. S. Terror while in the arctic during its expedition of 1836-1837. In Provo, just a few lucky people have seen it. Though chat to fellow visitors in the Turks and Caicos and the legend will surely grow.