East Caicos



East Caicos, located 25 mi/40 km northwest of Grand Turk, is an uninhabited island accessible only by private boat or by special arrangement with a charter-boat operation. Once important for its sisal crop (used to make rope and native straw crafts), the island of East Caicos is now populated largely by wild donkeys, cattle and iguanas; the towns were abandoned long ago.

East Caicos' biggest town, Jacksonville, is worthwhile only as a base for touring the rest of this seldom-visited island. On the northern coast, between Jacksonville Cut and Drum Point, there's a beach that you can reach only by boat: It's 17 mi/27 km of tranquility. Expeditions into the caves on the eastern coast have turned up prehistoric artifacts and symbols.

Another excursion will take you to the beautiful nature reserves at Joe Grant's Cay and Iguana Cay, where you can see rare plant and animal life, such as the West Indian whistling duck and the flowering tree cactus.

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