08/14/2012 07:25 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Hidden Gems: Turks & Caicos, Naturally Beautiful (VIDEO)

What does it mean to call something a hidden gem? There is so much destination information online, but it's hard to weed out the obvious attractions or worse, the tourist traps that marketers want you to find. That's why I created my Hidden Gems series to guide smart travelers to lesser-known experiences, beyond the standard Google search.

This fall, I'll be sharing three new destinations in my Hidden Gems series, starting in the Caribbean.

Every Caribbean island claims to have pristine beaches and natural beauty, but the Turks and Caicos islands have experiences you can't find anywhere else in the Caribbean. On Little Water Cay, also known as Iguana Island, there are 2,000 critically endangered Rock Iguanas -- the biggest population of Rock Iguanas in the world.

And that's only one of the attractions. Below sea level there are 200 miles of continuous coral reef, open for diving and snorkeling. In the shallow waters of Gibbs Cay, giant stingrays flock to boats like pigeons. Then in Princess Alexandra National Park, you'll find 13 miles of undeveloped protected beach.

Watch as I show you how you can kayak deep into mangroves islands, snorkel through undisturbed reefs and experience even more of natural beauty in the first part of Hidden Gems: Turks and Caicos.

For more Hidden Gems adventures, check out Hidden Gem: Turks & Caicos, Conch & Cuisine.