Salt Cay island was once known for its booming salt industry, and visitors can explore this at the salinas, or salt pans, before taking in the photogenic ruins of the windmill pumps (destroyed by a 2008 hurricane). The most built-up part of the island is Balfour Town, with its quaint and colorful colonial-inspired buildings.
The beaches of Salt Cay are pristine, with warm, crystal-clear waters, plus offshore reefs perfect for snorkelers. The island is also known as a whale-watching hotspot, and those lucky enough may spot humpback whales breaching as they take their migratory route. North Bay Beach is widely regarded as the most beautiful; take a walk up to Northwest Point for dramatic views back over the rugged cliffs and beach and some incredible sunsets. Those lucky enough may also spot humpback whales breaching as they take their migratory route.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There are no big hotels or resorts, just cottages and apartments for rent.
- Restaurants are limited and most accommodation is self-catered.
- The island is mostly cash only.
- The best whale-watching season is January–April.
How to Get There
There are no direct international flights to Salt Cay, so visitors need to fly into either of the main airports at Providenciales or Grand Turk, then transfer by smaller plane. A ferry also runs from Salt Cay to Grand Turk a few times a week, weather permitting. None of the roads on Salt Cay are surfaced, and there are no taxis, buses or rental cars.
When to Get There
Like all the Turks and Caicos islands, the weather in Salt Cay is good all-year-round, however its position does expose it to trade winds (which enhance the wild landscape). December to April is peak visitor season, while the late summer and early autumn is quieter due to the hurricane risk.
Combine Salt Cay with Grand Turk If staying on Salt Cay for a couple of days, take a short boat-ride over to Grand Turk to sample life on a slightly more bustling scale. Cockburn Town offers colorful, colonial-style buildings and cultural attractions—including the fascinating National Museum—alongside a choice of charming local shops, restaurants and beach bars.