The Turks and Caicos Islands are home to the third largest barrier reef in the world. For such a small country, it’s remarkable to have such a large natural resource available for visitors to explore.
And you don’t have to be a diver to discover the incredible beauty of the coral reef ecosystem in Turks and Caicos. There are a number of places where you can snorkel and view the reef teeming with marine life. Our clear ocean waters make snorkeling easy for novices and thrilling for the experienced marine explorer.
For visitors staying on Providenciales, there are three popular snorkeling areas:
- The Bight Reef, which is also known as White House Reef or Coral Gardens Reef
- Smith’s Reef, which is located in the Turtle Cove neighbourhood
- Northwest Point National Park, which is – as the name suggests – located at the northwest end of the island
We provide the complimentary use of snorkeling gear, and our Resort Ambassador can provide directions to the reefs. All of the snorkeling spots are easily accessible from the beach.
You can also venture further by taking a snorkeling excursion with an excursions company such as Caicos Dream Tours. They have a reservation desk at the resort, and their catamarans will pick you up from the beach. You can spend a day with Caicos Dream Tours visiting uninhabited cays, and even catching your own conch.
While snorkeling is an easy skill to master, it’s also important to stay safe, and to respect the fragile nature of the coral reef at the same time. Here are some tips to remember when you go snorkeling:
- Remain in designated snorkeling areas. Always snorkel with a companion. Be cognizant of boat traffic lanes.
- Leave the reef as you found it. Please remember it is a living animal. What may seem like a great souvenir is actually part of a living animal that dies a slow death as various parts are removed. This can include pieces of coral, sand dollars, sea urchins and more.
- Do not touch or step on the reef. Take care not to let your flippers, camera or other snorkeling gear damage the coral.
- Wear sunscreen to avoid getting a burn, but apply it sparingly to minimize the impact on the reef.
- Hydrate while snorkeling. It is a common mistake not to drink enough water while in the water. The sun, salt water and activity makes plenty of water intake necessary.
An amazing underwater show awaits you on a Turks and Caicos snorkeling excursion. You may see turtles, spotted eagle rays, barracudas, tropical fish – even nurse sharks! But don’t worry about the nurse sharks – they prefer to eat crustaceans, mollusks, tunicates, sea snakes, and other fish.
All of the reefs are part of the Turks and Caicos national park systems. Government representatives and ardent volunteers work hard to maintain the vibrancy of this national treasure for future generations to enjoy. Please do your part and help keep the reef safe!