EAST CAICOS COASTAL AND CAVES ADVENTURES
Explore the remote and spectacular islands of East Caicos and Joe Grant's Cay. Amphibious Adventures will tailor unique itineraries and adventures to suit all interests.
HERE ARE 7 REASONS TO VISIT EAST CAICOS & JOE GRANT'S CAY
- Very few people get the opportunity to explore these remote islands.
- East Caicos is the largest uninhabited island in the whole Caribbean region.
- The coastline is some of the most magnificent in the country with miles of beaches, extensive coral reefs and mouthwatering channels to explore.
- There is a wonderful panoramic coastal view from the small hilltop on Joe Grant's Cay.
- There are limestoe dry caves found in the interior or East Caicos that are seriously impressive. It is a small effort to reach them but they host evidence of the island's ear;y indeginous inhabitants as well as subsequent guani mining industries.
- Even further insland is a long semi-submeged wet cave with a high ceiling and striking skylight. It provides for an adventurous and unforgettble snorkel.
- Hikers can strecth their legs and trek towards Flamingo Hill, the highest point in the Turks and Caicos Islands at 157ft.
East Caicos caves
A day trip to East Caicos is certainly an energetic and rewarding adventure. To truly appreciate the area and enjoy the boat ride, it is best to pick a sunny day when the seas are relatively calm and the wind is low. Fortunately, we have a lot of those days in the Turks and Caicos but being a little flexible will help.
Joe Grant's Cay
Regardless of your itinerary, a typical trip to East Caicos begins with an early start from Provo. Take a private vessel or the North Caicos ferry to Sandy Point (30 minutes) and then transfer to a vehicle to enjoy the drive across North Caicos to reach Bambara beach on Middle Caicos (45 minutes).
On a local fishing boat, the adventure continues past isolated headlands and white sand beaches towards the Windward-Going-Through channel and Joe Grant's Cay. It is one of the most picturesque areas in the country and the only other people you are likely to see are occasional fishermen plying the waters for conch and lobster.
Boat Transport to East Caicos
The spectacular beaches around the Windward-Going-Through are a great place to explore first. Dickish Cay sits in the mouth of the channel and is stunning. Clear turquoise waters flow over sandbars past either side of the island and can make for a fun swim or snorkel.
Windward Going Through
It's a short ride from here to access the strategically placed fisherman's hut on the small hilltop on Joe Grant's Cay. Make sure to bring secure sandals or wet shoes, flip flops are not really appropriate to scramble the loose rocks to the top. It's a great vantage point to examine the extensive reefs before snorkelling the labyrinth of shallow corals.
The western area of East Caicos is generally referred to as Jacksonville. There is a large navigable and historically important deep water cut through the reef which allowed ships to access the sheltered anchorage. Jacksonville itself is a small cluster of overgrown dwellings that once housed the workers of the sisal and guano plantations over 100 years ago. Search through the thick undergrowth and you may discover one or both of the two water catchment tanks that once collected the essential rainwater required to serve the needs of the settlement. Railway tracks, a substantial stone causeway, and a loading dock provide further evidence of an island that was once cultivated in earnest and its valuable cargo exported for use in richer lands elsewhere.
There is a lovely little beach just some of Jacksonville where East Caicos and Joe Grant's Cay meet that provides a perfect spot for a refreshing swim and picnic lunch. It is common to see turtles and eagle rays in this area and the snorkelling delicately along the shallow mangroves reveals a whole host of juvenile marine life.
The beach near Jacksonville, East Caicos
If the sea conditions permit, boating around the western tip of East Caicos to explore its north coast is a real treat. The north shore of East Caicos is essentially one long amazing beach. It is walkers’ paradise, punctuated only by the beautiful headlands at Breezy Point, Thatch Cay and Drum Point. Inland Flamingo Hill can clearly be identified and hidden ponds provide a great habitat for birdlife.
EXPLORING THE CAVES
Wading ashore near the terminus of the railway track is the best way to reach the caves on East Caicos. Changing into suitable bushwhacking attire is highly recommended as the tropical dry forests are dense and rough. The trek inland follows the overgrown railway embankment. Its donkey-powered carts were used to haul the bat guano from cave to coast.
Setting out for a hike across East Caicos
The most extensive cave systems found thus far on East Caicos are the Stubb's Guano Caves. These interconnecting labyrinths include numerous entrances and skylights that create beautiful rooms and provide some natural light. Delicate cave features adorn the sides of some of the low passages. You will need to crawl or slither to explore these and total darkness can be experienced deep inside this maze. Look for 500-year-old Taino Indian petroglyphs that are engraved into the walls of one of the caves. Also, keep a watchful eye out for owls that fly between some of the larger rooms. Find the skeletal remains of their prey littered on the cave floor.
Edison's Cathedral Cave
A further 1.5km inland is a completely different style of cave. You’ll want to bring a mask and snorkel to penetrate the secrets of the aquatic Edison’s Cathedral Cave. After the hot walk inland, it is a welcome relief to slip into its cool dark waters. The cave was rediscovered during a National Trust bio-diversity study in 2006.
Crossing the old stone causeway to reach Edison's cave
It is an impressive cave with a high cathedral-like ceiling and about 100 meters of semi-submerged passage. History relates that the guano miners even brought a water pump here to help extract the valuable ‘black gold’. Snorkel through the dark passages and see evidence of their efforts along the floor and walls of the cave. The magical skylight and pool at the cave’s terminus are surely the highlight of the entire day. It is a remote and energetic adventure that few have experienced.
Edison's Cathedral Cave
INLAND TO FLAMINGO HILL
An alternative route takes you further east to the highest point in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The dense bush surrounding the caves gives way to open terrain along the southern edge of Comete creek. Wild donkeys roam East Caicos and their trails criss-cross the island. Follow these and along the way walk through beautiful silver buttonwood groves and look for Turk's Head cacti at the base of Flamingo Hill. Steer toward old sisal buildings that still stand in the saddle of the hill and from here it’s an easy scramble to the top. Although the summit stands at a mere 156 feet, the vantage point offers unhindered panoramic views. You can see clear across East Caicos and observe the Atlantic swells culminating on the shallow reef offshore. Well worth the walk.