It is becoming ever clearer that ecotourism is greatly assisting the development of a sustainable economy for North and Middle Caicos. The pristine open spaces, miles of serene walking and cycling trails, dozens of deserted beaches, spectacular catch and release bone fishing, excellent bird- watching, historical ruins, and living cultural attractions are everything an ecotourist looks for in a destination. So welcome to www.ecotourismtci.com !
The most pressing need for these islands to develop a robust ecotourism economy is promotion. Access to accurate and up to date information, quickly and easily, is the goal of www.ecotourismtci.com . Focused first on North and Middle Caicos, this website attempts to link accommodation, tour operators, activities, and support services to make it convenient for the internet explorer to find what they need for a great ecotour vacation. As time goes forward, other islands will be included in more detail. Introductions to all the islands are on the website, but developing the efforts underway on north and Middle Caicos is the current target.
The new website is the brainchild of the founders of the Middle Caicos Co-op, the Middle Caicos Sailboat Association and Daniels’ Café. Sara Kaufman and Daniel O. Forbes are readily recognized leaders in both ecotourism and ecoheritage tourism, and they continue to open new doors and bring more tourists to North and Middle Caicos. The Valentine’s Day Cup Model Sailboat Races, another of their special events, attracted over 500 people to Bambarra Beach this year for the day – and many will return to stay! Check out www.middlecaicos.biz for details.
The attractions and accommodations on North & Middle Caicos islands are impressive. Over 400 beds are for rent in villas, hotels, apartments and B&B, with a centralized accommodation directory underway for all accommodation on North and Middle Caicos. All of the parks, historic sites, scenic outlooks, beaches and reserves are mostly signposted and open for visitors, with many of the walking trails accessible. The studio at the Middle Caicos Co-op brings alive handcraft traditions and the model sailboats. Cars, kayaks, and bicycles are readily available for rent so everyone can explore these islands in their own way – with or without guides. The WhereWhenHow map of North & Middle Caicos (in its 3rd printing!) has made finding your way about the islands fun. And on both islands these last few years new ventures continue - the most recent include the Ready Money Gardens visitor center, Mary’s “Bed & Breakfast” in Conch Bar and guided Crossing Place Trail hikes. You can stay as busy as you like :
• Snorkel the delightful coral heads just offshore, and the rock outcrops at Three Mary’s or Mudjin Harbour where fish abound.
•Kayak through the mangroves along any coastline and head out to the East Bay islands reserve for a picnic.
•Bird-watch in the pine forests, grasslands and mangroves and discover tropic birds, fish eagles, flamingoes, pelicans, ospreys, and more….
•Sailing inside the barrier reef or in the Caicos flats in traditional sloops can be arranged
•Traditional model sailboat racing is fun for the whole family
•Catch ‘n release bone fishing is a serious fishing challenge
•Bicycle on Middle Caicos or North Caicos along both bush trails and paved roads
•Hike on Crossing Place trail, and admire the cliffs and expansive white sand beaches
•Cave exploration at Conch Bar Caves National Park for the adventurous
•Learn the local traditional handcraft skills
•Whale watching from January to March is incredible from the shore!
•Explore historic ruins of the colonial settlers and/or Taino Indians
•Visit with local basket weavers, farmers and fishermen and hear their stories
•Sunday worship at a local church – over 15 chuches active.
North and Middle Caicos offer a sweet and simple getaway, a time for you to relax, smell the sea, wake to the quiet and indulge in TCI nature and culture. The choice of accommodation is superb on both islands - from luxury villas to cheerful apartments, seaside homes to small hotels, cottages and guesthouses. The majority of the beds are in villa rentals, which can sleep from 2 – 10 people! Check out the www.ecotourismtci.com website for recommendations and the upcoming directory. Easter specials (March 22-25 for 4 days/3 nights) are being offered at Belle Roche – a charming stone compound on Bottle Creek that has a main cottage, pull out sofa and separate guest cottage to sleep 6 people, and at Bambarra Sands – a 2 bed/bath beachfront cottage with screened porch. Many homeowners list their rentals on VRBO or FlipKey and the local TCI Reservations is very helpful too.
For more information contact www.EcotourismTCI.com or call direct to any of the fine businesses in North and Middle Caicos. All are waiting to help you have a good time on these truly “beautiful by nature” islands.
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ECOTOURISM TCI provides centralized information for ecotourism and ecoheritage tourism throughout the Turks & Caicos Islands. Focused first on the islands of North and Middle Caicos, we hope to make planning and realizing a great vacation easy and fun.