More famous for its glorious beaches, cool tropical climate and many luxury hotels, Turks and Caicos has long been the chosen destination for get away from it all travellers. The best places to stay in Turks and Caicos can be easily found by searching online. There is much more however to these beautiful islands than just lying on the beach sipping mojitos and taking advantage of the spa treatments on offer at the hotel. Turks and Caicos, for the more adventurous amongst you, has many national parks including a number of marine parks. Below is a few you might want to consider if the sunbathing gets a little boring.
The 6532 acre Princess Alexandria National Park combines both a coastal and marine protected area. Mainly comprising of the Grace Bay Beach area on the island of Providenciales where most of the tourist industry is located was declared a National Park in 1992. The Northern Barrier Reef is very popular with scuba divers and snorkelers as are Bight Reef and Smiths Reef. There is also an iguana sanctuary here at Little Island Cay.
Much smaller at only 480 acres is the South Caicos island Admiral Cockburn National Park. Named after the Admiral of the British navy Sir George Cockburn the Commander-in –Chief of the British Colonial West Indies station, it is made up of three small cays and two marine parks. Six Hills Cays and Long Cay are thin strips of uninhabited limestone cliffs and buffs whereas Middleton Cay is made up of coastal mangroves. The marine parks are the popular dive sites of Shark Bay, unusually named as sharks are rarely seen, and East Bay which is more famous for its kite boarding.
The Columbus Landfall National Park is located on the island of Grand Turk, the administrative capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and named after the famous explorers first visit there in 1492. Essentially a marine park it has the worlds third longest barrier reef and is therefore excellent for scuba diving and for those not qualified superb snorkeling. The reef has plenty of exotic marine life and coral and also has a ‘wall’, the famous underwater cliffs that drop off the ocean floor, in this case to two thousand meters. A little further away is an ancient shipwreck believed to be one of Columbus’ ships, the Nina, although this is yet to be proven.
With many more than be fitted in here the National Parks of Turks and Caicos are well worth exploring if time away from beach life is what you are looking for. There’s nothing quite like exploring nature in all it’s glory and then kicking back with a cocktail on the beach reflecting on the amazing sites you have seen. Lounging on the beach is of course essential while on any holiday in the Caribbean but if you can pair that by wondering around spectacular National Parks, you’re on to an absolute winner!
If you’ve been to the Turks and Caicos National Parks then please let us know what you thought. Type your thoughts into the comment section below guys!