Seascape Villa, Middle Caicos Island, Turks & Caicos Islands, BWI History of Middle Caicos and the Turks & Caicos Islands
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The Arawak Indians (known as Lucayans in this part of the world) were the first people to inhabit the islands, having come by canoes from the Orinocco region of Brazil. Archeologists have found evidence of Lucayan ceremonial and trading centers on Grand Turk and Middle Caicos dating to the years 750-1500 AD.

Some noted historians insist that Christopher Columbus made his first landfall On Grand Turk in 1492 and not San Salvador as is commonly believed. Officially, Ponce de Leon sighted Grand Turk on his journey in 1512 seeking the Fountain of youth. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the islands served as hideouts for pirates including a group of women known as the 'Bloody Sisters' with the infamous Mary Reid and Ann Bonny as their leaders who used Parrot Cay as their base.

Bambarra Beach

It is estimated that there are more than 1000 shipwrecks that surround the TCI. In 1980 a treasure hunting group discovered the remains of a 16th century wreck on the molasses Reef. Many artifacts from this earliest known shipwreck in the new world are on display in the TCI National Museum in Grand Turk.

In the 1670's Bermudan salt rakers arrived to harvest the 'white gold' on Salt Cay, Grand Turk and South Caicos. Turks Island Salt, an extremely valuable commodity in its heyday, even supplied the American Revolutionary army and was shipped to Europe and beyond . Ultimately, refrigeration reduced the role of salt in preserving to just seasoning, the salt rakers left and the TCI slipped into years of anonymity.

Land on Provo, North , Middle Caicos & Parrot Cay was granted to British loyalists from Florida and Georgia after the American Revolutionary War and from 1780 through 1820 they attempted to establish cotton and sisal plantations. They brought their slaves to work the land and build houses but hurricanes, drought, heat, soil exhaustion, war, and other concerns drove the owners from the islands. Today's proud descendants of these former slaves and survivors of shipwrecks such as those of the Gambia which floundered off the coast of Middle Caicos in 1842 are the majority of the native population.

Our View of the Reef After alternately being governed by Bermuda and the Bahamas, in the middle of the 19th century, Queen Victoria granted a royal charter allowing the TCI to become an independent colony with ties to Jamaica. When Jamaica became independent in 1962, the TCI became a completely separate colony with its own governor appointed by the Queen of England and its own eleven member legislature and ministerial council.

During WWII the U. S. Coast Guard established a submarine tracking base on Grand Turk and in 1950 a U. S. tracking station was established there. After his first space flight in 1962 John Glenn first touched land on Grand Turk. These bases have long since closed.

In 1966 in exchange for 4000 acres on Provo, Provident LTD, an investor's group which included a Dupont and a Roosevelt, agreed to construct the initial phase of Providenciales infrastructure. Known locally as 'the Seven Dwarfs', the company built roads, an airstrip, opened a salina (salt pond) to the sea for boat access and built a small 10 room hotel . They brought the first motorized wheeled vehicle and within the last 30 years Provo has been transformed into an up and coming tourist destination.

With the construction of the 298 room Club Med Turquoise in 1984 and other small hotels and condominiums, the way was opened for two daily American Airline flights to serve the islands.

Middle Caicos is a short fifteen minute plane ride from Provo and a world apart. Peace, beauty and tranquillity are the norm. Friendly island people greet the weary traveler and make everyone welcome.


The most outstanding feature of the TCI is the extensive coral reef system that surround the islands with over 200 miles of shoreline. It is the brilliant, stunning combination of clear blue sky, pink/white puffy clouds on the horizon, clear, gemlike turquoise water and soft, white sand that entrance vistors and inhabitants alike. Steep wall drop-offs are patrolled by friendly dolphins, Atlantic Mantas and schools of colorful fish. Inside the reef there is a demiparadise of brain coral and purple Gorgonias, sea anemones and cucumbers, parrot fish and sergeant majors.

The islands' land surface is actually the top of a limestone platform rising from the sea. There are extensive limestone caves on Middle Caicos that bend and wind for miles and are open for the hardy traveler to explore with a native guide. The windward (east) sides are sculpted with sand dunes and limestone cliffs, while leeward sides have more vegetation and meandering creeks and red mangrove swamps.

Dragon Cay

A close look at the subtropical vegetation reveals a multitude of well-adapted plant life with over 500 species identified. Whether native to the area or introduced, trees such as Fig, Frangipani, Genip, Acacia, Indian Almond, Lignum Vitae, Mahoe, Norfolk Pine, Poinciana, Tamarind, Yellow Elder, Banana, Pawpaw, Sapodilla, Soursop, Casuarina, myriad variety of Palms, Buttonwood, wild Mahogany and many more.

Flowers on bushes and vines dress the landscape with their blossoms: Aloe, Buttercup, Butterfly Pea, Firebush, Oleander, Bougainvillea, Hibiscus, Passion Flower, Jasmine and more .

Osprey Almost 100 species of birds make their home in the islands with another 78 having been observed migrating through the area. Near the water one will regularly see the Brown Pelican, Frigatebird, Mallard, Osprey, Sandpiper, Sea Gull, Sooty Tern, Belted Kingfisher and even the Roseate Flamingo. Turtle Doves, Hummingbirds, Blue Herons of several varieties, Bahama Mockingbird are just a few of the other varieties to be seen.

Over 50 species of butterflies flit about the islands and curly tailed lizards not larger than 3-5 inches are common sights.

Beachcombing and searching for seashells reward adult and child alike with treasures from the sea.