Also known as Grand Caicos this is the largest of the islands, with an area of 48sq miles. Its coastline is more dramatic than some of the other islands, characterized by limestone cliffs along the north coast, interspersed with long sandy beaches shaded by casuarina pines or secluded coves. The south part of the island is swamp and tidal flats.
There are three settlements linked by the paved King’s Road, Conch Bar, where there is an airstrip, a primary school and guest houses, Bambarra and Lorimers.Visit the huge caves in the national park at Conch Bar that link up with the sea. There are bats, stalactites, stalagmites & underwater salt lakes with pink shrimp. The caves between Bambarra and Lorimers, which were used by the Lucayan Indians, were later mined for guano. Cardinal Arthur arranges cave tours and boat trips. For the caves in the national park at Conch Bar ask in Conch Bar for a guide. Archaeological excavations have uncovered a Lucayan ball court and a settlement near Armstrong Pond, due south of Bambarra, but these are not easily accessible. Evidence of the Lucayan civilization dates back to 750 AD. Loyalist plantation ruins can also be explored. Bambarra beach is an empty, curving sweep of white sand, fringed with casuarina trees. Middle Caicos regatta is held here and there are small thatched huts which serve as restaurants for the very popular end-August Expo (some litter remains), but otherwise there are no facilities.
A sand bar stretches out to Pelican Cay, half a mile out, which you can walk at low tide, popular with wading birds. The view from Conch Bar beach is marred by a rusting barge in shallow water, but there is afternoon shade at the west end under a cliff where the reef meets the land. A pretty cove, popular with day trippers, is Mudjeon Harbour, just west of Conch Bar, protected by a sand bar and with shade under a rocky overhang. The reef again juts out from the land here before branching out westwards along the rocky coastline. This can be spectacular in the winter months with the crashing waves. South of Middle Caicos is a nature reserve comprising a frigatebird breeding colony and a marine sinkhole with turtles, bonefish and shark. The blue hole is surrounded by sandy banks and is difficult to get to, but it shows up on the satellite photo of the islands on display in the museum in Grand Turk.
In December 1998 the Crossing Place Trail was reopened. This was formerly a path worn by Lucayan Indians and later by slaves travelling between plantations, and it runs for 12 miles (seven miles can be cycled), along the north coast connecting Lorimers, Bambarra and Conch Bar. Developed by the National Trust to encourage ecotourism on the island, the trail takes in beaches, coastal cliffs, Conch Bar, Indian Caves and the Blowing Hole. It is well marked and there are plans to have shaded benches along the route. Tours from Provo and Grand Turk are available. Wear strong walking shoes.
Ask the District Commissioner’s office, T9466100, for information and assistance, including boat tours and cave tours.