The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory consisting of two groups of tropical islands in the West Indies: the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands. The two distinct groups are separated by the Turks Passage.
The islands are geographically contiguous to the Bahamas, but are politically a separate entity. The Caicos Islands are separated by the Caicos Passage from the closest Bahamian islands, Mayaguana and Great Inagua.
Although in the thumbnail there may appear to be only one large island, upon opening the full image it is possible to see the individual islands.
The eight main islands and more than 20 smaller islands have a total land area of 238.0 square miles (616.4 km2), primarily of low, flat limestone (greenish tan in the image) with extensive marshes and mangrove swamps (green) and 230 miles (370 km) of beach front.
The islands are arranged around the edges of two large limestone plateaus, the Turks Bank, with deep offshore waters. These plateaus appear light blue due to the shallower waters; the drop-off where the water suddenly becomes deep is visible as an abrupt change from light to dark blue.
The edges of the islands are bordered by lines of coral reef and walls of coral.
The weather is usually sunny and relatively dry, but suffers frequent hurricanes.