Posted on: 16th June 2014

Situated 39 miles south east of Mayaguana and 575 miles southeast of Miami in the Bahamas , it is a pioneer in diving because of its longest ever coral reefs in the world. Turks and Caicos Islands have a considerably flat landscape, with low lying hills and dry lands. Despite the fact that the chain cannot be termed as a desert, still it receives the least downpour of rainfall as compared to any other island in the South Atlantic and Caribbean. The beach sand is mainly composed of coral stone, which gives it a strikingly white appearance and the sea seems more turquoise than any other place in the Caribbean.

Turks and Caicos Islands GeographyThe eight main islands include the  Grand Turk, Salt Cay, North Caicos, South Caicos, East Caicos, West Caicos, Middle Caicos,  and Providenciales. The natives of these islands are well known for being friendly and hospitable. The Easy and West Caicos are however, deserted.

Flora

The national plant is the Turks Head cactus which got its name because of its shape. It has a round body with a red tube at the head, thus making it look like a Turkish hat. Ambergris Cay has vast fields of Turks Head cacti for you to mesmerize yourself with. The natural growth of Silver palms by the beach sides such as the Half Moon Bay, give these beaches a total tropical ambience. Trees are however, found mostly on the West of Caicos. The North Caicos is called the “garden” island because of its greenery as it receives the most rainfall as compared to the rest. The sea cliffs are mostly made of limestone and were formed as a result of years of activity of ocean waves.

Birds

The national park of French Cay is a dream place for bird lovers. Countless birds such as white-cheeked pintails, ospreys and reddish egrets can be found here. Osprey, which is the national bird of the islands, is easily found on all of the islands. However, ospreys mostly prefer to reside in Three Mary Cays on North Caicos or the Osprey Rock on Provo. Pink flamingos are also found in West Caicos, Flamingo Pond at North Caicos, and the golf course at Provo.

Other Fauna

The lesser populated Islands of North and Middle Caicos are found to have a large population of

big, blue crabs that appear mostly after the spring rains. Some can be seen on Provo as well, but

in a much lesser number. In between the flats of the Little Water Cay and the Provo, live the queen Conchs, that serves as a major contributor towards the economy of the island. With the largest population of Conchs in the world, the food at Turks and Caicos is largely dependent on them.

However, you need to have a proper fishing permit in order to go conch diving or fishing. The rock iguana is perhaps the most important and most native species of the Turks and Caicos. It is mostly found in the Iguana Island, also known as Little Water Cay. For the love of the Iguanas, the Litter Water Cay has been acknowledged as a national park since a long time.

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