Travel and Leisure — May 11, 2016 at 11:00 am

The Pleasures of Pine Cay

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Pine Cay

One of the more than 700 exotic tropical islands that make up the landmass of the Caribbean Sea, little visited tiny Pine Cay is a hidden gem experienced by a privileged few.

Cool, Clear Water
Throughout maritime history, Pine Cay has played an integral role in seafaring exploration of the area. Pine Cay has served as a source of fresh water for seafarers since the time of Columbus where he restocked on his 1492 voyage to Cuba. Today, the Meridian Club in Turks and Caicos takes great pride in its stellar stewardship of the island’s eco-system. Perhaps the most intriguing natural feature of the island, aside from the clear turquoise ocean waters and spun-sugar beach, is Pine Cay’s underwater freshwater lens. A quirk of nature, this limestone formation is a porous structure much like a bath sponge. It causes rainfall to be trapped and held in the limestone “sponge”. Because freshwater is less dense than saltwater, it floats on top. The fresh water forms a lens of pure, freshwater varying from a few inches thick to up to more than 50 feet deep.

A Prestigious Retreat
Tiny Pine Cay is the exclusive home to a limited number of ocean front private cottages (38 to be exact) and the 13 luxury guest cottages of Meridian Club. It retains the quaint old-world charm of a secluded Caribbean Island escape with the appeal of an all-inclusive luxury resort destination: opulent guest amenities, sugar sand beaches, verdant stands of palmettos and pine, an abundance of colorful wild flowers, bands of brilliant tropical birds, iguanas, geckos, and lush ferns. Over a 100 different plant species flourish on the island including wild orchids, red mahogany and branched cactus.

Pine Cay - Turks & Caicos

Escape The Crowd
Aside from a small settlement of Taino Arawak Indians, dating back to the 11th century, Pine Cay hosted no permanent population until the Meridian Club was built in the early 1970s. Today, persons working on the island commute daily from the nearby islands of North Caicos and Middle Caicos. Pine Cay is a quiet oasis of serenity, far from the crowds and noise of the city; the perfect escape from winter winds, snow and stress.

Don’t expect a T-shirt shop or a traffic light. There are no automobiles on Pine Cay. Transportation relies on walking, bicycles, or battery-operated golf carts. The Meridian Club’s polished and professional multi-lingual concierge staff are pleased to arrange private helicopter photography tours, sunset gourmet dinner cruises, and guide dive trips to some of the most intriguing dive destinations in the Caribbean. Dive with an experienced dive master to view and interact with dolphins and a host of marine creatures. For dive trips, all gear and equipment is provided. All you need is a swimsuit, plenty of sunscreen, and a smile.

Merits of the Meridian Club
For adventurous travelers wishing to experience a true private-island romantic retreat, Pine Cay is a dream come true. With a private airport and sheltered marina, Pine Cay is perfectly suited as a base of exploration for discovering the delights of the Turks and Caicos. Dive, sail, snorkel, kayak, swim, windsurf, hike, soak up the sun, engage in a set of tennis, jump on a paddleboard or jet ski, or beachcomb two miles of the most private and pristine white sugar sand beach you have ever seen. There is always something to do if you so desire, or you can unwind and relax in a classic hammock, sipping rum and watching the sun go down in the sea. It doesn’t get much better than this.

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