The Old Caribbean Way of Life
A small unique island in the Atlantic, Salt Cay has seen next to no tourism-related development. The main visitor draws are centered on the surrounding marine environment—scuba diving and whale watching.
Salt Cay is a great place for travel, outdoor, and nature photography. The island has a very low number of residents and doesn’t get many visitors, so you’ll likely have the salinas, wilds, and miles of coastline to yourself when exploring.
Several spectacular beaches and interesting coastlines are found on Salt Cay. North Bay has the best swimming and snorkeling conditions, but all of the sites offer something. Long Bay, South Bay, and South Point at times are great for beachcombing. South District Beach is the best for watching the sunset, and it’s hard to beat the hiking potential of the Northeast Point area.
Hiking and Exploration
Sandy paths and tracks lead to countless scenic landscapes on Salt Cay. On one side of the island are the wetlands of South Creek (a haven for bird life) and low salt-resistant hedges of South Wells, both of which are interesting and colorful landscapes. The northern half offers higher ground, with rugged bluffs and hills.
Walking, cycling and off-road golf carts are the typical methods of getting around.
You’ll want to take plenty of drinking water with you when venturing into the outback. The tropical sun can be quite intense.
Salinas and the Abandoned Salt Industry
Salt Cay’s previously thriving sea salt production industry has definitely left its mark on the island. As the industry expanded over the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the network of low stone dividing walls in the natural interior salt ponds became massive. Gates, sluices and windmills pumps facilitated water movement, and an efficient system evolved over time. Much of this remains to be discovered by modern visitors.
Feral (yet friendly!) Turks Islands donkeys can be seen wandering the island. The hardy animals have been out of work since the salinas stopped operating in the 1960s.
Water Sports and Activities
Whale watching is the most popular activity, although it's highly seasonable (typically from January to early April).
Fishing and scuba diving are the next top water sports, and are available year-round (although the quality depends on seasons as well).
For snorkeling, many of the guest villas offer complimentary snorkel gear, and some of the dive operators operate snorkel cruises.
Night Life and Entertainment
Nightlife mainly revolves around specials and events at one of the few local restaurants. There are no cinemas, nightclubs, or casinos.
A new annual event is Salt Cay Days. This celebration takes place in Balfour Town in spring and attracts revelers and watercraft from throughout the Turks and Caicos.