Parrot Cay is the largest of the small islands between Providenciales and North Caicos. This private cay is home to a spectacular beach, the secluded luxury COMO Parrot Cay Resort, and exclusive rental villas and residences.
Parrot Cay Resort offers a unique private island resort experience. There’s very little development, with the resort and the occasional beach house being the only interruption to the tranquil beach views.
Parrot Cay, and Pine Cay to the west with its Meridian Club, were the first of the exclusive private island resorts in the Turks and Caicos. Today, there are several such boutique hotels to choose from.
Parrot Cay’s total landmass is approximately 1,000 acres (4 sq km). Almost the entirety of the north coast is beautiful beach, with perfect white sand and crystal-clear ocean water.
As is also the case with many of the surrounding cays, much of the south side of the island is marine wetlands that support a dense network of red mangroves. At a few spots, low limestone ironshore coastline stands in places as well.
On its east side, Parrot Cay is separated from North Caicos by the 270 foot (82 meter) Parrot Cay Channel. To the west, a similarly sized waterway is found between Parrot Cay and Dellis Cay.
Much of the interior terrain of the island consists of low elevation sandy soil and bluffs, with low-density tropical dry forest. The east side of the cay (where the resort is located) does offer a ridge of higher ground, reaching a height of about 40 feet (12 m).
Due to the natural brackish ponds and wetlands, Parrot Cay can have a serious mosquito and biting midge (locally referred to as no-see-ums, or sand fleas) problem at times, especially after sunset. Be prepared and bring insect repellent and suitable clothing.
The island's only resort is the luxury COMO Parrot Cay Resort (a COMO Hotels and Resorts vacation property). It's also home to many private homes and villas, and is a popular destination for celebrities seeking more privacy and seclusion than staying on Providenciales.
A multitude of amenities are offered. The full-service COMO Shambhala Retreat spa offers a range of treatments and wellness therapies. The Yoga Retreat offers daily complimentary sessions and also Pilates classes. An indoor, air-conditioned gym and fitness center is also available.
Rooms and Villas
There’s a variety of accommodations to choose from, including beachfront and garden view rooms and suites with four-poster beds, and stand-alone beach villas with their own private pool.
One-bedroom rooms and suites are available at the main resort complex. These rooms feature a light modern décor with in a colonial Caribbean setting. All rooms offer verandas or decks, as well as a serene view.
Private villas are perfect accommodation for those looking for a little more space. These houses feature an outdoor pool, 24-hour butler service, and tranquility. Choose from options ranging from one-bedroom cottages to five-bedroom beachfront mansions. Due to the extra space, a villa is better suited for a family. The resort also offers babysitting and activities for children. The one-bedroom beach houses at the main resort feature their own private plunge pool, a walk-in closet, and a sun deck.
Parrot Cay is home to several of the finest rental homes in the Turks and Caicos, some of which are owned by celebrities. Some of these luxury properties include the Balinese-inspired Point House and The Sanctuary, and the contemporary Tamarind Villa.
All beaches in the Turks and Caicos are public, yet many of the homes on Parrot Cay effectively have their own private beach, as the island is relatively secluded, and much of the coast is difficult to access by boat due to reefs and shoals.
Dining and Restaurants
Parrot Cay Resorts features two fine dining restaurants: The Terrace, and Lotus, which offer Caribbean, Asian and world cuisine. Many of the ingredients used to create the dishes served at Parrot Cay are locally sourced organic produce and fresh seafood.
The Terrace offers modern Mediterranean and southern European fusion food in a combined outdoor and indoor setting. Breakfast is offered every morning until 10:30 AM.
Lotus is a poolside terrace restaurant and serves Japanese and Thai flavors for dinner, and a Caribbean and local blend menu for lunch.
Private dining and room service can be arranged at your accommodation, on the beach, or in a secluded and candle-lit tiki hut overlooking the ocean.
As is experienced throughout the Turks and Caicos, there are predictable fluctuations in tourist arrivals over the year, and prices will often be highest in the winter high season, and specials and discounts may be offered during the late spring and late summer low season.
Reservations may be made through the resort’s management, or with a third-party reseller. Local resorts will typically match or do better than posted online rates at common booking sites, so you may wish to compare before you book.
Government tourism tax (12%) and other resort service fees may apply to rates.
Check in and check out times typically accommodate ferry arrivals for convenience.
There typically isn’t much need to get around Parrot Cay, yet electric golf carts are available when requested. The cars, trucks and machines on island are those required to operate and maintain the island and resort.
Activities and Attractions
Every place on earth offers its own atmosphere and attractions, and Parrot Cay’s are tranquility and seclusion. The top thing to do is to essentially do nothing.
If you tire of lounging at the beach or infinity pool, there’s a massage or treatment at the spa, tennis, kayaking and paddleboarding, and Hobie cat sailboats.
Exploring the island’s exquisite natural environment is a great way to spend some time. Birdwatching is excellent, and it’s common to spot yellow-crowned night herons, green herons, great blue herons, ducks, grebes, and kingfishers. An underwater cave in one of the interior ponds simply adds to the diversity of the wetland systems that attract so many species.
A guided tour to the adjacent and expansive islands of North Caicos and Middle Caicos is another option.
Nature enthusiasts will the secluded paths and coastlines of Parrot Cay, which are home to an interesting collection of wildlife, including Bahamas woodstar hummingbirds, mangrove cuckoos, bananaquits, green herons, yellow-crowned night herons, warblers, and the unique Cuban crow.
The name Parrot Cay originated through the island’s history with pirates. Previously known as Pirate Cay, over time this was distorted to the less threatening name that the cay holds today.
During the mid-1600s to 1700s period, the small cays between Providenciales and North Caicos proved to be a haven for pirates. Several reasons account for this: sources of “fresh” water in ponds, natural sheltered harbors, and the command of important channels and ship routes.
It’s always difficult to get an accurate picture of such history, but accounts suggest that famous buccaneers including Anne Bonny, Mary Read and others operated from the cay.
Eventually, the British constructed an outpost and cannon battery on the nearby Fort George Cay (the “fort” was decommissioned in the early 1800s) and the area has remained relatively crime-free since.
Although a rather sandy island, various agriculture attempts took place on the island, including the planting of cotton, citrus trees, vegetables, and possibly sisal.
In more-recent times, Parrot Cay has had interesting ownership, passing between plantation owners, a Greek sea sponge exporter, an Austrian count, and others. COMO, a Singaporean hotel group, currently owns the Parrot Cay Resort.
There is no airstrip on the Parrot Cay, and no causeway connecting the cay to other islands either. The only way to get to the island is by boat, which is about a 30-minute trip from Providenciales, and about 5 minutes from North Caicos.
Guests visiting Parrot Cay Resort are usually picked up at the Providenciales International Airport (PLS), with transport prearranged across Providenciales to a dock in Leeward and then by passenger ferry to Parrot Cay. Fees usually apply for this service.
All scheduled international flights to the Turks and Caicos land at the Providenciales International Airport. The island welcomes arrivals from over two dozen cities across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom, including New York, Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago and London.
Once on Providenciales, Parrot Cay can typically handle further transport, albeit at extra cost.
Providenciales features two modern and full-service fixed base operators (FBO). If you’d like to arrive by private plane, we’d advise choosing one of these two sites, and then travel by boat from Providenciales to Parrot Cay.
The North Caicos Airport (NCA) is not an international airport, so initial entry to the country must be at either the Providenciales International Airport, or at the Grand Turk Airport. North Caicos doesn’t see many flights, so services are quite limited, and the runway may not be suitable for many jets.
There is no deep water marina at Parrot Cay, as well as no port-of-entry. Visiting yachts will have to first stop at one of the marinas on Providenciales.
You have the choice of anchoring in the bay fronting Parrot Cay, or mooring at one of the marinas on Providenciales.
The luxury and full-featured Blue Haven Marina is the closest complex to Parrot Cay.