The Turks and Caicos are famous for having the largest above-ground cave network in the entire Caribbean and a private tour is just the way to explore it. Some of the most striking caves are found on Middle Caicos, an island of just 300 full-time residents that is wonderful day trip by boat from Provo.
The caves, since they're above ground, can be explored easily by anyone (with the proper footwear), and offer an interesting glimpse at the natural history and cultural heritage of the Caribbean.
Only recently rediscovered, the caves were once the home of Lucayan Indians, and it's thought they sheltered in the caves during hurricanes. The Village Caves and the Conch Bar are the most frequently visited caves on Middle Caicos.
During the Cretaceous period, 100 million years ago, the Turks and Caicos area was part of a coral reef system that stretched a thousand miles along the edge of the Atlantic ocean. Some of the fossilized reefs can be seen exposed as limestone on West Caicos.
During more recent ice ages, sea levels were much lower than today, and the reefs and limestone deposits were exposed to the elements. Rainwater trickling through the exposed limestone carved out caves.
It's easy to arrange a day-trip to Middle Caicos by boat from Providenciales. Besides the caves, the island is also home to a number of different attractions and things to do, including the Middle Caicos Crossing Place Trail, a coastal trail that connects the airport and Conch Bar settlement on the eastern end of the island to Bambarra and Lorimers. Guided snorkeling and kayaking tours are also available.