Caribbean Sanctuary

Turks and Caicos’ hidden gem, South Caicos, will capture your heart with its untapped beauty and private-island feel

It would be an understatement to call South Caicos paradise. While many visitors to Turks and Caicos are familiar with Providenciales—which is known for its celebrity visitors and smattering of luxury resorts, high-rises, shops and restaurants—the island’s quieter, less developed and equally (if not more) beautiful sister, South Caicos, provides the ultimate sanctuary for sequestered respite. 

The smallest main island in the Caicos archipelago, South Caicos is separated from the Turks Islands by the 20-mile Turks Island Passage. Long untouched by the tourism industry, the 8.3-square-mile island is home to the world’s third-largest coral reef and served as Turks and Caicos’ predominant salt exporter for some 200 years. 

Today, small-scale commercial fishing is the primary industry, and the secluded island’s natural beauty remains virtually unspoiled. Its first luxury resort, Sailrock Resort, only opened last year, in January 2017, as part of the Sailrock South Caicos development—which also encompasses Sailrock Living, a community of luxury homes available for full and partial ownership. Luckily, Sailrock’s Chicago-based developer Colin Kihnke took careful measures to preserve the island’s authentic landscape and culture with his eco-conscious development. 

Resort guests can choose to stay in Ridgetop Suites perched above the shoreline, or at beachfront villas, which are nestled just steps away from the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Caicos Bank. Villas are equipped with outdoor showers; private oceanfront, temperature-controlled pools; up to four bedrooms; and full kitchens. A nearby Private Peninsula Villa offers ultraprivate quarters and full access to the resort. The Great House—home to a Caribbean-influenced restaurant, bar and infinity pool—serves as the nucleus of the property.

With just eight total villas and 18 Ridgetop Suites, Sailrock is designed with an intimacy befitting its setting, and guests can expect to be treated like family. Friendly staff are more than happy to deliver in-room dining, answer any questions or help guests curate the perfect excursion, as South Caicos lends itself to a host of outdoor activities. Take a snorkeling tour of the coral reef, paddleboard the shallow, crystal-clear waters of the Caicos Bank or learn about the history of South Caicos on a guided tour of the island. 

Unwind with a Balinese massage at the ridgetop Na Spa, where panoramic ocean views and the occasional sea breeze are complimentary perks to your treatment. Afterwards, take a dip in the pool, order a cocktail from The Great House bar or head to the beach and sink your toes into the sand—because here, there’s no timeline to keep to. It’s rare these days, but so are islands like South Caicos, and this is one place where you’re truly at your leisure.