"Salt Cay is an island full of history, once the Salt capital of the world, now an oasis of tranquility with great potential for sensitive development”
Sandra Garland, Board Member, TCInvest
Salt Cay has the air of a frozen moment, a place where time stands still. This mere 2.5 mile long island was the centre of the Bermudan salt industry, the mainstay of the Turks and Caicos economy from the late 1600's until the early 1960's. When the salt industry stopped, the tools fell where they were being used. Being considered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Salt Cay is a time capsule from the days "when salt was king." Once home to several hundred people, all supported by the salt industry, the island is largely divided into squares controlled by windmills and salinas with only about 100 residents - this is the ultimate get away from it all.
Spanish explorer Ponce de León is believed to have come to the islands in 1512, when they were inhabited by Arawak Indians. The Spanish took away the Arawaks to use for slave labour and left the islands uninhabited. Bermudans came to the islands in the 17th century and established what was to become the main industry for the next 300 years - the production of salt from brine. The Turks and Caicos Islands came under British rule in 1766. It was Turks & Caicos salt that George Washington needed to preserve the food for his army during the Revolutionary War and that the Canadian and American fishing fleets used to salt down their catches. As many as half a dozen sailing ships at a time would be anchored off Salt Cay awaiting cargo.
Soft beaches border much of Salt Cay’s shoreline, and herons feed in the Salinas and others in the marshland to the south. The distinctively Bermudan style homes, all with dusty, but neatly swept yards, set a tone,
and possess an undeniable style. A popular visitor site is the imposing White House. Built by Alexander Harriott, on Victoria Street, it is of Bermudan style influence, constructed of stone and stucco and sports an ancient Bermudan stone roof. Amidst a complex of single storey stone utility buildings, the White House stands next to the last remaining boat house and salt shed on Salt Cay. Built half in and half out of the water, several hand-built boats still shelter there after a day of fishing. Another “must see” is the Brown House, another of the historic salt plantation homes on Salt Cay.
Salt Cay also hosts relics of the whaling industry that once existed. The former whaling station at Taylor's Hill has long been a popular beauty spot.
Today visitors to this island
stare in amazement at the gigantic Humpback whales that pass
from January through April.
From the crest of Taylor’s Hill, visitors
can enjoy the most breathtaking
view of the entire island and its surrounding seas.
The residents of Salt Cay are very friendly and are always ready with a bit of conversation, an anecdote or a local legend.
This is old Turks and Caicos, a direct line to a simpler and slower time.
Salt Cay candies, a local speciality are still made on the island and are popular throughout the TCI. Over the last few years, the number of watersports operators has increased. Eleven small hideaways, hotels and villas provide rustic to elegant accommodation and guests who stay on the island can enjoy a small array of restaurants offering local delicacies to haute cuisine.
Salt Cay is ripe for sensitive development and is already home to some small but exquisite accommodations and restaurants. Whilst local people describe Salt Cay as “the island that time forgot" - it seems to be an unforgettable experience for those who stay and return time and time again to this tiny
Investors who develop their projects on Salt Cay will benefit from import duty concessions of 10% or less as negotiated in a development agreement and land transfer rates of 2% for properties $25k and over and 3% for properties $75k