Travelers have plenty of ways to encounter nature in Turks and Caicos. For those with an adventurous or eco-friendly mindset, these islands make staying close to nature easy.
Eco-tourism occurs when the tourism industry of a particular country makes an effort to offer ecologically sustaining activities to guests who visit. Eco-tourism can also be called Green Tourism or Sustainable Tourism. Over one-third of Turks and Caicos has been set aside for preservation purposes, including the largest biodiversity wetland reserve in the world. This makes for a great relationship with tourists looking for an eco-friendly country to visit.
Pine Cay is one of the islands of particular note to visitors who want to participate in eco-tourism. While the other islands in the chain have lodgings and natural attractions that certainly fall into the category of green or eco-friendly, Pine Cay is known for being one of the most unspoiled pieces of land in Turks and Caicos.
Up until the 1970s, the island had had no permanent population since the 11th century when a settlement of Arawak Indians lived there. Now, Turks and Caicos lays claim to the 800 acres of land, and the resort works to blend into the environment with becoming an overwhelming entity. Although the resort cannot be classified entirely as “green,” Meridian Cay has worked to keep as green as possible since construction began. Whenever possible, the club uses fuel efficient methods of transportation (electric golf carts and boats with four stroke engines for example), wastes as little as possible, utilizes solar heating, discourages expansion, and more.
There are numerous vegetation zones to be explored on Pine Cay, birdwatching is varied depending upon the season (though nesting grounds can often be found), and a hike around the island is sure to bring a sense of calm and peace through you.
If staying in a resort does not feel adventurous enough for you, know that camping is permitted in approved areas within Turks and Caicos' National Parks and protected areas. There are a number of other locations to choose from across the island chain, but camping there requires petitioning ahead of time.
Vacationers who are interested in eco-tourism, but do not know quite where to begin may consider signing up with an eco-tourism company. One such example is Big Blue, which has been in operation since 1997. Big Blue is a diving and eco-tour company that offer a wide variety of tours across the island chain, but focuses on providing these tours with minimal impact to the environment. Kayaking, snorkeling, diving, mountain biking, and other island tours are available.
If you are interested in creating your own itinerary, visit our guide to Nature in Turks and Caicos, where you will find a comprehensive listing and descriptions of some fo the top natural sites throughout the islands.
While camping and eco-tourism might not be the most popular ways to see the island, it is the perfect fit for some visitors. If a trip off the beaten path sounds like your kind of island escape, then a camping or eco-tourism journey might be just what you're looking for in the Turks and Caicos.
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