Snorkeling Around Turks and Caicos

Photo credit: © Xavier Marchant | Dreamstime.com
 

Snorkeling is a great way to enjoy the salty, warm waters of the Caribbean while vacationing on the Turks and Caicos Islands, the perfect way to get your feet wet and even experience a close encounter with the region's aquatic life.  

The warm, clear turquoise sea off the shores of this group of islands is home to an array of marine life including tropical fish, sea turtles, wild dolphins, sharks, rays and sometimes even the gigantic humpback whale. 

When you've had your fill of snorkeling off of the gorgeous beaches, you can hire a private charter to take you to the best spots to snorkel on the coral reefs and cays.  Thanks to the effort the government has put into protecting the sea life, the waters are clean and the world beneath the surface is thriving unlike anywhere else in the region. 

There are a few dive shops or watersports operators that offer snorkeling trips on pretty much every island, offering snorkelers the chance to visit the reefs by the Caicos Cays which are especially well-liked.  

Grand Turk

Grand Turk is a great destination for those who prefer to stick close to the shore as they do their snorkeling.  Several beaches have shallow reefs less than 100 feet off shore, and in waters that are less than 15 feet deep.  The Library, White Sands Beach, and Pillory Beach are some of the best loved spots.  

Providenciales

snorkeling is great snorkeling destination because there are several healthy reef systems accessible from the shore.  You'll find the north coast to have the best options, with the most popular spots being the Bight Reef Snorkeling and Smith's Reef Snorkeling, but you'll rarely be disappointed if you aim to get in a little snorkeling from any beach on the island. 

North Caicos

The north coast of North Caicos is where adventurous snorkelers will want to head because most of this area remains unexplored.  You'd be hard pressed, however, to find a beach that isn't ideal for the sport.  Check out Whitby Beach as a favorite snorkeling spot. 

Middle Caicos

For the most part, snorkeling from the beaches of Middle Caicos will involve calm waters and glimpses of juvenile fish swimming in schools through the sea grass and the occasional reef cluster.  There are a few beaches around the island, however, that are known for stronger currents.  Be sure to always be aware of how the water moves when you snorkel around this island.  

South Caicos

Protected by the Admiral Cockburn Land and Sea National Park, South Caicos is home to perhaps the best snorkeling opportunities in the whole of the island chain.  Even Scuba Diving Magazine has recognized it as the “Best Overall Destination.”  

Salt Cay

Salt Cay's claim to fame is that it is one of the only places on earth where you can snorkel near the North Atlantic Humpack Whale.  They pass by the island as they migrate to the waters of the Dominican Republic, and many snorkelers have been able to view them as they majestically glide along. 

Snorkeling Sites

If you want to experience below the water's surface you should consider a visit to Old Pier. This site is renowned for its divers marine life in waters that extend from 10 to 25 feet deep. The creatures you can expect to see include southern stingrays, frogfish, octopus, sea horses, and peacock flounder. This snorkeling site is located on Grand Turk, in the eastern part of Turks and Caicos.

Northwest Point National Park is another option. Located within a marine park, this protected area offers healthy and amazing snorkeling opportunities. Do be aware, however, that conditions can be rough at times, so only strong swimmers should attempt this site. The rocky coast and several small coves of shallow water offer the best snorkeling.

A third location to consider is Fort George Cut. This spot is great for new snorkelers thanks to the especially calm conditions, plus it is exciting when you glimpse a sunken cannon.

A fourth place where you can go snorkeling is The Bight Beach. Provo's favorite sport for snorkeling, this reef can become quite busy during days when the conditions are good. This clearly marked reef starts right off the beach in shallow waters, and is home to many fish who are so used to people that they swim up with no fear. If you want to experience it for yourself, you'll find this site found in Turks and Caicos.

Long Point is a fifth option to consider. Offering what most consider to be the best snorkeling off Provo. For starters, it is calm enough for beginners, but the sites are so interesting that experienced snorkelers will enjoy themselves as well. If you snorkel during the day, you'll see sponges, coral, stingrays, and turtles, but if you opt for a night snorkel you'll encounter sea snails, sea worms, prawns, squid, an octopus.

The chart directly below enables you to learn some key facts regarding 26 of the best places to go snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Turks and Caicos
Site Location Island
Old Pier 1.6 mi. South of Central Cockburn Town Grand Turk
Northwest Point National Park 5.1 mi. Northwest of Central Blue Hills Providenciales
Fort George Cut 1.2 mi. West of Central Dellis Cay
The Bight Beach 2.4 mi. West-Southwest of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Long Point 3.3 mi. West of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Grace Bay Beach 2.0 mi. West-Southwest of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Gibbs Cay 2.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Cockburn Town Grand Turk
North Beach 2.1 mi. Northeast of Central Balfour Town Salt Cay
Spanish Point Snorkeling 5.3 mi. North of Central Toby Rock North Caicos
Gregorian Wall 2.8 mi. North of Central Cockburn Town Grand Turk
Sunday Service 1.8 mi. South West of Central Yankee Town West Caicos
French Cay 20.3 mi. South of Central Grace Bay
Cottage Pond Beach 3.8 mi. Northwest of Central Kew North Caicos
Eagle Ray Run 8.4 mi. Northeast of Central Grace Bay
The Library 0.9 mi. North-Northwest of Central Cockburn Town Grand Turk
Five Little Cays 3.2 mi. South-Southwest of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Grace Bay Beach 1.1 mi. West of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Blue Haven Beach 2.2 mi. Northeast of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Pine Cay Cove 6.3 mi. Northeast of Central Grace Bay Pine Cay
Molasses Reef 3.5 mi. Southeast of Central Yankee Town
Sandy Point Beach 3.9 mi. West of Central Maria Mai Parrot Cay
Pumpkin Bluff Pond Beach 1.8 mi. North of Central Maria Mai North Caicos
Whitby Beach 3.0 mi. Northwest of Central Boton North Caicos
Davy Bight Beach 4.1 mi. Northwest of Central Blue Hills Providenciales
Long Cay Point 3.9 mi. South West of Central Cockburn Harbor
South Caicos Reef 1.3 mi. West-Northwest of Central Cockburn Harbor South Caicos

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Some people believe the best snorkeling is located off shore.

If you're ready to go snorkeling during a boat trip, you should consider Crystal Seas Adventures. It is hard to resist the shockingly blue waters that beckon of the coast of Salt Cay, and with Crystal Seas Adventures you don't have to. This company offers a host of different sea adventures from deep sea fishing to snorkeling, and of course, guided tours of the coast.

Another option to consider is Ocean Outback. For those who believe they possess pioneerin' blood, Ocean Outback is for you. With them you are able to channel your inner pirate as you explore a local pirate's lair. They're situated in western Turks and Caicos.

A third option is Silly Creek Water Sports. People of all ages and skill level are sure to enjoy a day on the water with Silly Creek Water Sports. Their staff is happy to share a fun and eventful day with you and your family.

View the table below to read more about day sails and boat trips that offer snorkeling opportunities.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Turks and Caicos
Name Phone Location Island
Barefoot Custom Charters (649) 232-7447 1.2 mi. East of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Catch the Wave Charters (649) 941-3047 2.3 mi. Northeast of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Crystal Seas Adventures (649) 946-6977 Salt Cay Salt Cay
Island Vibes Tours (649) 231-8423 0.8 mi. West of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Kenard Cruises (649) 332-3866 Five Cays Settlements Providenciales
Ocean Outback (649) 231-0824 4.4 mi. South of Central Blue Hills Providenciales
Shoreline Adventures (649) 333-4455 1.3 mi. West-Southwest of Central Blue Hills Providenciales
Silly Creek Water Sports (649) 432-9455 4.5 mi. South of Central Blue Hills Providenciales
Sun Charters (649) 231-0624 2.3 mi. Northeast of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
TI Reef Adventure (649) 441-7710 0.9 mi. Northeast of Central Cockburn Town Grand Turk

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for a business that offers snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you can check with Reef Peepers Snorkeling. The Half Day Reef Peepers Snorkeling Adventure lasts for three hours and takes guests out on a power catamaran to do some snorkeling. Included is your transportation, conch salad, chips and salsa, beverages, and snorkeling gear. They are located in western Turks and Caicos.

A second company catering to snorkelers is Big Blue Unlimited. Snorkeling is an important part of many of the adventures this impressive tour company has to offer, whether you sign up for a sailing adventure, kayak tour, or a trip that focuses specifically on the sport.

A third option is Salt Cay Divers. The center is near some of the best snorkeling locations in the islands, and these tours can get you to them. They even have access to Cotton Cay. They're located within Salt Cay.

The following chart shows some information concerning 6 firms that offer services related to snorkeling.

Snorkeling Services In Turks and Caicos
Name Type Phone Location Island
Big Blue Unlimited Snorkeling Tour Operator (649) 946-5034 2.3 mi. Northeast of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Caicos Adventures Snorkeling Tour Operator (649) 941-3346 2.0 mi. West-Southwest of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Crystal Seas Adventures Snorkeling Tour Operator (649) 946-6977 0.8 mi. Northeast of Central Cockburn Town Grand Turk
Papa J Tours Snorkeling Tour Operator (649) 231-0400 1.8 mi. South of Central Cockburn Town Grand Turk
Reef Peepers Snorkeling Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (649) 941-8605 3.5 mi. West of Central Grace Bay Providenciales
Salt Cay Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (649) 241-1009 Salt Cay Salt Cay

For more information concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read this extensive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.

With so many options throughout Turks and Caicos, every type of snorkeler will find something they enjoy – plus, you'll never run out of sites to see. 

 

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