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The drop-offs and coral reef in West Caicos is colorful, steep and rich in marine life.

Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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West Caicos is a small uninhabited island just to the southwest of Providenciales. There are many beautiful coves and pretty white beaches which are often used for picnics, boat tours and scuba diving trips. Lake Catherine is an ecological wonder and one of the best places to spot sea birds, iguanas and turtles. Another natural wonder on the islands is the Turks and Caicos Islands Nature Reserve with its many flamingos.

In the late 19th century they tried to cultivate West Caicos for harvesting sisal, a crop used for its strong fibers. Today, you can still see the ruins of Yankee Town (named after its inhabitants) including several railroad tracks, steam engines and old stone buildings. In 1972, an oil company tried to buy the island for its own refinery and even built an airstrip, but they also didn't succeed. Unfortunately, some development is still being planned. They began building a luxury Ritz Carlton spa and a small harbor. The easiest way to get here is by liveaboard tour that leaves from Turtle Cove on Provo and stops at West Caicos on their way to French Cay and Ambergris Cay. There are also long one day boat trips and overnight camping tours to give you an impression of this fabulous island with its rich history.

All dive sites are on the western side of West Caicos with steep walls and vibrant colorful marine life as their main characteristics. The walls continue dropping down to depths of 7000 foot. Huge tube and elephant ear sponges decorate the drop-offs creating a playground for juvenile fish. Mantas, eagle rays and whale sharks can be seen out in the blue.

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