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This article was written on 25 Aug 2010, and is filled under To: Turks & Caicos.

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Discover the Turks & Caicos

Welcome to the Turks and Caicos Islands, a chain of gorgeous islands less than 1000 km southeast of Florida. Although the country is better known for its beautiful beaches, exploring its coral reefs is a must. Enjoy!


HISTORY

When Christopher Columbus sighted the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1492, it was already inhabited by Taino and Lucayan Indians. Shortly after the first Europeans settled on the islands, the native population was forced into slavery and wiped out by exhaustion and diseases. Slaves were imported from Africa and neighbouring Bermuda to rake the salt, which was then exported to New England and Canada. For a short period of time the islands also became an important cotton producer.

During the colonial period Turks and Caicos was fiercely disputed by European powers, bouncing between the French, Spanish and British, with England ultimately prevailing. The archipelago was linked to the Bahamas in 1766 and to Jamaica in 1874, before becoming a separate entity within the British Crown in 1973.

Today the Turks and Caicos Islands is a chain of 40 islands with a population of 25 000 inhabitants, most of them of African ancestry. Most islanders are employed in the tourism, fishing, and offshore financial sectors. Traces from the colonial period can still be found in Grand Turk, the country’s capital island, as well as Salt Cay and South Caicos. Flamingos come to Grand Turk and South Caicos to look for food in the shallow waters. English is the official language.

ACTIVITIES

The country’s main draws are its great beaches, such as Grace Bay in Provo, and its crystal-clear waters.

You’ll find a sizable number of luxurious hotels on Provo and private islands.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed environment, head to the smaller islands, which are less developed and have better beaches than their larger sisters.

Snorkeling among the coral reefs is exceptional. The Turks and Caicos Islands also have excellent dive sites.

Deep-sea fishing is another popular activity.

Golfers will love Provo’s excellent courses.

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Other reading: All Inclusive Resorts in Turks & Caicos

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