Salt Cay is a virtually undeveloped and peaceful retreat. There are approximately 70 full time residents who live on the Island. Additionally there are approximately the same number of winter home owners and their guests who stay for several months or come and go. There are almost as many wild donkeys as residents. These donkeys are ancestors of the donkeys who once pulled salt carts and were an integral part of the salt trade. Now the donkeys are free roaming and add so much charm to this historical island. It’s like stepping back in time which is why Salt Cay is often referred to as the “island time forgot”.
There are no paved roads and very few cars. The island was inhabited in the 1500’s and was the largest producer of salt in the world. As this was before refrigeration salt was considered more valuable than gold. Even today the Salinas (or Salt Ponds) are mostly intact and a few islanders still rake a small amount of salt which is for sale in a couple of the gift shops on Salt Cay.
Salt Cay has applied to be considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. The island and it’s people played such an important part in the fascinating history of salt trade that this nomination is getting a lot of attention. If chosen Salt Cay would be one of the only such sites in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
To learn more about Salt Cay we recommend checking out these three websites: