James Roy, Courtesy of Sailrock Resort/Paradise Photography 

An under-the-radar jewel shines among stars in the famed archipelago

By Tracey Minkin

While the world obsessively hunts for the one perfect island that balances authenticity and luxury, this laid-back Turks and Caicos gem is the ideal that's been hiding in plain sight. A former U.K. colony and now a British Overseas Territory, South Caicos has long been a working island—historically as a producer of salt—watching from the sidelines as Providenciales and Grand Turk were groomed for high-end, white-sand tourism. But that gap is now our gain: With the addition of the elegantly relaxed Sailrock Resort, which opened on the island's northern peninsula last year, South Caicos enters the realm of idyllic escapes, offering an upscale retreat while maintaining its old-Caribbean heart. Donkeys and horses roam the scrubby limestone landscape, flamingos stalk the salt flats, and the visitors who are in on the secret smile wisely to each other.

Get Here: South Caicos is a 15-minute flight from Providenciales International Airport. Sailrock Resort's ridge-top suites and beach villas (above) start at $725; sailrockresort.com.

Related: This Caribbean Castle is the Stuff of Fairy Tale Dreams


How to help after the hurricanes: South Caicos Heritage Foundation
Created in 2017 to spearhead restoration and preservation of historic buildings and to promote culture on the island, the South Caicos Heritage Foundation has stepped forward to help residents rebuild after hurricanes Irma and Maria struck South Caicos. Learn more and support local efforts at southcaicosheritagefoundation.com.