South Caicos

Nicknamed Big South, South Caicos is in fact one of the smallest islands on the Turks and Caicos archipelago. But for fishing-enthusiasts, this little j-shaped, 8.5 square mile island does have a big reputation. And South Caicos attracts many more visitors from the other islands who come to sample the delicious lobster and to experience the Big South Regatta which happens every May. South Caicos can be accessed by boat from neighboring islands or by an Air Turks and Caicos flight from Providenciales.

Cockburn Harbor
Cockburn Harbor

Island life is centered on the beautiful natural harbor at Cockburn. Once the commercial hub of the islands Cockburn Harbor is now a sleepy village with some beautiful examples of British and Bermudian architecture. The majority of the island’s 900 people reside here. Queen Elizabeth visited in 1966 and stayed in the lovely 18th century Commissioner’s House. The seafood served in the restaurants at Cockburn is some of the best in the Caribbean.

The harbor plays host to the islands fishing industry. Queen conch, spiny lobster and bonefish are caught here and exported to the US. Local fisherman will bring tourists out to prime fishing spots and pretty diving and snorkeling sites. Airboats and paddleboards are used by fly-fishers to access the bonefish in the shallows.

Nature reserves

There are two important nature reserves – Admiral Cockburn Land and Sea National Park on the southern coast and Belle Sound & Admiral Cockburn Cays Nature Reserve in the northwest. Both are home to an impressive array of fish. Divers can expect to see sharks, dolphins, giant grouper, eagle rays, loggerhead turtles, spotted rays, octopus and barracudas, various types of coral and even some wrecks. More experienced drivers should visit the caves which lie at the east end of island and on Big and Little Ambergris Cays.


There are some interesting walks on the island through the old salt works and salt pans. At one time South Caicos was the biggest exporter of salt in the archipelago and the remains industry pockmarks the landscape. At Sail Rock hills it is possible to hike along the ridgeway to an elevation of 150 feet which will give beautiful views of the surrounding area. There are plenty of beaches to choose from too, including Long Beach on the east, calm and serene Caicos Bank on the west and the intimate pocket beaches of the north. Long Cav has a beautiful beach and is also home to an Iguana preserve.

The Big South Regatta, which happens each May attracts other islanders and tourists, who come to share the party and admire the beautiful boats.

Location of South Caicos

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