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About the Turks & Caicos

By Victoria Harding

Turks and Caicos

If it's unspoiled beaches, wonderful waters, and a wide range of hotel accommodations then this your destination. The Turks & Caicos Islands are made up of eight islands, 40 cays and more than 200 miles of secluded beaches. Here there is something for everyone, whether it's finding a new great dive site or relaxing on a 12-mile beach, Turks & Caicos make it easy to relax and enjoy everything. The best thing about these islands is that they are only 80 miles by air from Miami.

This seven-and-a-half square mile island houses the capital and government of Turks & Caicos, Cockburn Town. Here is the traditional Bermuda architecture and just off the coast of Grand Turk is a paradise for scuba divers. Divers love to explore it's sheer 7,000 foot underwater drop.

Here is where the most major hotels and resorts are. Also downtown Proro is where you can find a great deal of shops, banks, boutiques, restaurants, and offices. This is where JoJo the bottlenose dolphin lives and gives rides to his human friends.

Here you can find old windmills, sluices, and salt sheds that are reminders of Salt Cay's past endeavors. Here you can find excellent snorkeling and swimming in the coves and inlets of the island.

The islands were part of the UK's Jamaican colony until 1962, when they assumed the status of a separate crown colony upon Jamaica's independence. The governor of The Bahamas oversaw affairs from 1965 to 1973. With Bahamian independence, the islands received a separate governor in 1973. Although independence was agreed upon for 1982, the policy was reversed and the islands remain a British overseas territory.

The Turks and Caicos economy is based on tourism, fishing, and offshore financial services. Most capital goods and food for domestic consumption are imported. The US is the leading source of tourists, accounting for more than half of the 93,000 visitors in the late 1990s. Major sources of government revenue include fees from offshore financial activities and customs receipts. Tourism fell by 6% in 2002.

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