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(2012 - Fall/Winter Issue)


You’ve found a beach chair with your name on it on seven-square-kilometre Salt Cay in the Turks and Caicos, an island you seem to share with no one.

The sand is white as snow, the sea blue as the sky, the surrounding palms and casuarinas green as that legendary sunset flash.

Later on you might fill your day, having found yourself marooned on a 40-island archipelago (“Caicos” comes from the words for “island chain” in the language of the Lucayans who originally inhabited these islands just southeast of the Bahamas), but for now you are cuddled in solitude so encompassing you find yourself drifting through time on one tiny island whose motto is, appropriately, “The Island Time Forgot.”

You’re making like Robinson Crusoe.

With a Few Notable Exceptions

Crusoe lived in a tent and a hole in the side of a mountain. Here at Tradewinds Guest Suites on Salt Cay you’ve got a resort nearly as rustic, but with all the amenities—beachside cottages painted like a pastel rainbow, queen-size bed, full kitchen, the works. At nearby Castaway, Salt Cay resort you’ve got a one-bedroom suite with a king bed and fine linen, French doors that open out onto the beach.

Crusoe built a rudimentary hut and was limited to one lonely island. You can choose from eight. Opt for the full-service all-inclusive Beaches Resort or a variety of accommodation—simple housekeeping units, luxury suites fronting world-famous Grace Bay, intimate hotels with only five guest rooms. “You’ve got a ton of options,” says Turks and Caicos representative Rosemarie Wilson. “Air Canada Vacations offers 16 different properties on Providenciales alone.” (WestJet Vacations offers nine distinct lodgings.)

Crusoe survived on hardtack biscuits and ill-cooked fish. But your culinary quest may be equally challenging. Seventy-five restaurants here.  Indian at Garam Masala or lasagna at Baci? How do you choose from the cornucopia of conch concoctions at the upcoming Conch Festival? Too bad you don’t have your man Friday along to help you pick an entrée.

Crusoe spent his days foraging, seeking escape. You, meanwhile, go deep-sea or bone-fishing, explore history at Cheshire Hall, mountain bike or kayak through stands of mangrove, seek out humpback whales or dive at the Grand Turk Wall.

While Crusoe had but Friday you can choose your companions. Join other sun-seekers at Grace Bay or one of the other 20-plus beaches; mingle at street parades and bonfires at Beaches. Try your luck at Casablanca Casino or the Santa Maria Gaming Saloon.

Or savour the solitude on Salt Cay, listening to the whisper of the surf. You could be the reincarnation of Robinson Crusoe but for one crucial detail.

Crusoe spent 27 years on his island idyll.

You may never leave.

Travel Planner

For more information on the Turks and Caicos Islands, visit turksandcaicostourism.com. For vacation packages, ask your travel agent about Air Canada Vacations (aircanadavacations.com) and WestJet (westjetvacations.com) offerings.

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