Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Your guide to Caribbean family vacations from a husband-wife team of professional travel writers and guidebook authors.
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Family Activities in the Turks & Caicos
For most families, the real attraction is being able to
do nothing at all. Days are spent on the beach or in the water thats
so clear its often cited as the worlds top scuba destination.
One unique attraction is the Conch Farm, Providenciales, Tel. 649/946-5643, the only farm in the world that raises Queen conch, the shellfish thats become a favorite meal throughout much of the Caribbean. On a guided tour, youll see conch in various stages, from the larvae in the hatchery to juveniles about 4mm in length, to adulthood.
Turks & Caicos National Museum
For an educational "field trip," take a day trip
to Grand Turk to visit the Turks and Caicos National Museum, Grand Turk,
one of the most fascinating museums in the Caribbean. The main exhibit
features the Molasses Reef shipwreck, which occurred in the Turks and
Caicos nearly 500 years ago. The Spanish caravel hit the reef and quickly
sank in only 20 feet of water where it remained until the 1970s. Once
excavated, it was recognized as the oldest European shipwreck in the New
The name of this wrecked ship was never learned because,
like drug-running planes of today, this was a ship with an illegal booty.
Kept off the official records of Spain, the ship was carrying slaves probably
bound for the plantations of nearby Hispaniola.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are the top attractions of
these islands. Visibility ranges from 80 to 100 feet or better and water
temperatures hover at about 82 degrees in the summer and 75 or so in the
winter months. Beneath the calm waves swim colorful marine animals as
exotic as hawksbill turtles, nurse sharks, and octopus. With a one mile
vertical coral wall located offshore, Provo is a divers paradise.
From December through April, ecotourists journey to Salt Cay for a chance to spot humpback whales, watching for the giant mammals from shore or in the water in scuba gear.
Families can enjoy bird watching on North Caicos or watching gentle rock iguanas on Little Water Cay, home of a new nature trail program, one of 33 nature reserves and refuges in the Turks and Caicos. Kids enjoy watching the iguanas in their natural habitat from raised boardwalks and observation towers.
Trips to Little Water Cay are offered by several operators
who also schedule full-day excursions to the inhabited but sparsely developed
islands of North and Middle Caicos for viewing a pink flamingo colony,
talking with local residents, and a enjoying a beach barbecue.
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