Blue holes – underwater passages between lakes and sea – exist on several Caicos Islands. One of the best explored thus far is the Boiling Hole in Lake Catherine, West Caicos.

West Caicos is an uninhabited island with a large lake – Lake Catherine – located in its central part. Lake is a protected natural area, with many wading birds, flamingos and ducks living in it.

This shallow (1 – 2 m) saltwater lake is connected to the depths of the nearby sea. As the tides in the sea rise up and down, level of the water in the lake also rises up and down – with some delay.

Seawater enters the lake through cave mouths on the lake bed – blue holes. When water enters the lake, it looks like it is boiling above the cave mouth. There are several such blue holes in Lake Catherine, but none by far is that large as Boiling Hole.

It might seem tempting to dive in this cave and go through it, towards the sea. This is though very dangerous due to very strong currents – diver might get struck in a narrow place and there would be no way to get him out. If some daredevils would make it – this would require very exact timing and fast action.

Caicos Cave Project, led by Mark Parrish, in 2000 made many dives in the Boiling Hole. Divers managed to get 206 m far in it until the passage became too narrow.


  1. Amphibious Adventures. West Caicos.
Boiling Hole on the map
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Location, GPS coordinates: 21.6625 N 72.4586 W (mistake up to 1 km)
Categories: Caves
Values: Geology
Rating: 2 out of 10 stars
Where is located? North America, Caribbean, Turks and Caicos Islands, West Caicos, central part of Lake Catherine
Length: > 206 m
Depth: > 18 m

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Landmarks of Turks and Caicos

Scuba diving in Turks and Caicos Islands
Scuba diving in Turks and Caicos Islands / Alain Feulvarch, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
These small tropical islands are overseas territory of the United Kingdom.

Islands are not very rich with landmarks. Most interesting are the caves, including underwater caves.


Entrance into Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Philippines
Entrance into Puerto Princesa Subterranean River / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Every year there are reported exciting discoveries of new caves and discoveries of new qualities such as cave paintings in the ones known before. But there still is a feeling that our knowledge covers just a small part of all these monuments of nature.

Though, those which we know offer a surprising diversity of unusual features and impressive sights.

Recommended books

Fodor’s In Focus Turks & Caicos Islands

Written by locals, Fodor’s travel guides have been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for 80 years.

Turks & Caicos Dive Map & Reef Creatures Guide

Perfect for divers, snorkelers and nature lovers! Side One is a mini-map of the Turk Islands and the Caicos Islands, with dive sites named and located. Side Two is a fish identification guide with nearly 100 species illustrated.

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