Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets about Turks and Caicos is the interesting history of the islands. The absence of “brick and mortar” historic sites and interpretive centres on Providenciales tends to leave many visitors with the assumption that the islands are largely void of historic or cultural attractions. Yet a bit of research quickly tells a different story. A great place to start this exercise is with the Turks and Caicos National Trust.
The National Trust holds lands in Turks and Caicos in trust to safeguard the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the country. Three of these sites are located on Providenciales: Bird Rock Point Nature Trail, Cheshire Hall Plantation and the Little Water Cay Iguana Sanctuary. Each location shares a fascinating perspective on the islands’ natural and cultural heritage. On your visit to Turks and Caicos, plan some time to visit these attractions.
Bird Rock Nature Point Trail
Bird Rock Point is located at the eastern most point of Providenciales. Here you will find red mangroves that are of high importance for its ecological productivity. The mangroves are an important source of nutrients and provide shelter for many juvenile species of fish associated with this area. Visit Bird Rock to view native flora and fauna and learn about the island’s eco-systems.
Cheshire Hall Plantation
The 200 year old ruins of former cotton plantation, Cheshire Hall, was the most important site on Providenciales until the early 1800’s. At one time it occupied about 5,000 acres and employed hundreds of slaves.
A trip to the site will show you evidence of the buildings that were made from locally cut limestone and there is evidence of ship graffiti inscribed on a lower exterior wall of the main building.
Little Water Cay
Little Water Cay is an island located northeast of the Blue Haven Resort in Leeward on Providenciales. Here you will find the endangered endemic Turks and Caicos Rock Iguana (Cyclura carinata). It is the only place in the world to see these iguanas.
On a visit to Little Water Cay you can observe several habitats on the cay, including mangrove and buttonwood communities, hyper-saline and tidal flat areas, coastal coppice, and coastal scrub. You may also have the opportunity to spot a good range of birds typical of coastal habitats such as Osprey, Brown Pelicans, several species of shorebirds and Bananaquits.
Hermit crabs are commonly seen after rain. Southern stingrays are commonly seen on the south shore sand flats. Lemon sharks prefer moderately deep tropical waters such as the water surrounding Little Water Cay. The cay is easy to reach via kayak that can be rented at Big Blue Unlimited (insert link) right next door to Blue Haven Resort and Marina. Have lunch or dinner at Salt Bar & Grill (insert link) after your excursion.
For more information on these attractions visit www.tcnationaltrust.org. Our guest services team at the Alexandra Resort would also be pleased to assist you with coordinating excursions. To reserve your stay and contact our team, visit www.alexandraresort.com.