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  • January 20, 2021
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Experience the Turks & Caicos Islands

Most of the islands are only about 10 to 25 minutes by air from Provo and most can be reached by boat, too. There are also regular ferries from North to Middle Caicos.

Geography

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The Turks and Caicos Islands consist of 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited. The islands are located 550 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, just below the Bahamas chain and just to the east of Cuba and the island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti.) Technically, the Turks and Caicos are located in the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean Sea.

History

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The first known inhabitants of the islands were Taíno Indians, who left evidence of their occupation in the form of utensils and a ball court. Locals claim that the islands were the first landfall of Columbus in 1492. Some argue for Grand Turk, where a monument casts the claim in stone. The arrival of Europeans spelled the end for the Taínos, who had either been forced into slavery or had succumbed to European-borne diseases by the mid-16th century.

During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, the islands passed from Spanish, to French, to English (subsequently British) control, but none of the three powers ever established any settlements.

From about 1690 to 1720, pirates hid in the cays of the Turks and Caicos Islands, attacking Spanish treasure galleons en route to Spain from Cuba, Hispaniola, and the Spanish possessions in Central America and Peru.

The islands were not fully colonised until 1681, when salt collectors from Bermuda built the first permanent settlement on Grand Turk Island.

Nature

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The Turks and Caicos consist of 40 different islands and cays, only 8 of which are inhabited. The islands of the Turks and Caicos are almost as diverse as its people. From the main tourist center of Providenciales to the quiet and tranquil islands of North and Middle Caicos to the historic Capital Island of Grand Turk; each one offers a different experience and a unique character but all offer year round great climate, beaches and underwater activities.