West Caicos

West Caicos was an unexpected victim of the failure of Lehman Brothers. Construction on the uninhabited island of a large scale development, which included a mix of condos, land parcels, hotel suites, a yacht harbor and a small airport, came to an abrupt stop with the 2008 economic crisis. Building resumed at the Ritz-Carlton Molasses Reef Resort in 2013 and West Caicos is destined to become the most luxurious location in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Molasses Reef Resort
Molasses Reef Resort

This most recent development is one of a series of failed adventures that have taken place on the island. Over the years, West Caicos has been controlled by French, Spanish and British colonialists. Shortly before his assassination, Trujillo, the Santo Domingo dictator, attempted to buy the island and in the 1970s a large oil company attempted to develop a refinery here.

For now, the nine square miles of island remain uninhabited. The east cost of West Caicos is blessed with beautiful white sand beaches which tumble leisurely into the turquoise sea, while the west coast is speckled with sandy coves and limestone cliffs. The island has done well to protect its native wildlife, establishing the Turks and Caicos Islands Nature Reserve around the enormous Lake Catherine, where flocks of pink flamingos can be seen. It is possible to camp here, once a permit is granted.

Divers travelling from Providenciales enjoy the reefs around West Caicos, where the sea wall drops off to 7,000 feet. Some tour groups arrange kayaking trips to the island which can be combined with an overnight stay.

Location of West Caicos

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