Exploring Mangrove Cay, Turks and Caicos


Although Providenciales may be home to lovely hotels and delightful places to dine, there is a second side of the island that may elude many travelers. To see this other side of the islands you need to zoom out a little and look down on the north-eastern tip of Providenciales and view the Princess Alexandra National Park from above. Just across the marina channel you will see the unpopulated Mangrove Cay. The new visitors to Turks and Caicos may require definitions of “Cay” and “Mangrove” to understand the significance of this amazing tropical environment. A cay is a small low island situated on a coral reef platform. A mangrove is a shrub or tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water. Definitions don’t provide justice to the depth and environmental intricacies of Mangrove Cay, as the cay is a haven for red mangrove wetlands chock full of wildlife: turtles, fish, sting rays, birds and baby sharks.

To begin your journey to Mangrove Cay, you should contact BigBlue Collective and have them check the tide charts, as you will want to be heading into the mangrove within a few hours of high tide. As you navigate through the crystal-clear waters watch for little lemon sharks gliding past, a turtle popping up for a gulp of air, the cow fish hanging out under the roots, rays leaping out of the water. These waterways are only accessible from kayaks and paddleboard as the gentle paddles do not disturb this fragile eco-system. The only thing you should take from this eco-system are photographs and memories.

Mangrove Cay Map