Best Snorkeling Turks and Caicos
Another amazing place to snorkel and see pristine beaches that will leave you speechless. I will go over some of the best snorkeling in Turks and Caicos and their beaches. I will talk about the amazing Bight reef and the best beach on Turks and Caicos but I won’t give it away yet. There are 40 brilliant beaches and maybe I will let it slip but it is Grace Bay Beach in which we will get into full depth soon, trust me. I will go over the coral gardens in providenciales and great coral garden snorkeling. An important reminder about your health and environment while in Turks and Caicos - make sure to bring non toxic sunscreen with you for your snorkel trip. Here are some eco friendly sunscreens and there is more to the list on our reef safe sunscreen brands page.
The 2 islands, Turks is smaller and Caicos is larger islands are a British Overseas Territory. There are just over 30,000 and are located in the Caribbean, 650 miles southeast of Miami and a total square mileage of 170 sq miles.
Best Beach on Turks and Caicos - Grace Bay Beach
Located in Providenciales on the northern central side of the island. The beach white sand and crystal clear blue water that span for miles (3 miles roughly) but from one beach to another it spans about 12 miles from Leeward to Thompson Cove. This beach has been ranked top 5 beaches in the world!
It is part of the Princess Alexandra Park and was named after Grace Jane Hutchings who was the wife of the Commissioner of Turks and Caicos from 1933-1934
Snorkeling - Due to the nature of the beauty with the crystal clear water and white sandy beaches, the sand goes quite aways out and doesn’t leave much for snorkeling unfortunately. To get to the coral and marine life you need to take a charter and you may see the occasional fish swimming around and it is amazing to see how clear the water is but nothing spectacular in the way of reefs and fish - make sure you have your gopro camera mask with you! It is just as easy to take a cruise or excursion to get to the reef to snorkel or dive.
Your closest best to find great snorkeling from shore is Bight Reef which you can access but is a longer walk but you can always rent a bike or take a taxi. There is rentals but bring your own snorkel gear as it is more hygienic and way more comfortable and also a lightweight beach chair to take a well deserved rest after snorkeling.
Even though there is no current or wild ocean dangers there is dangerous driving by power boaters. With small jet skis (personal water crafts) and other boats racing around this area it can be dangerous. There is a posted speed sign of 15 mph but no one enforces this rule and no body abides by this rule either. If you are with your kids, family or friends just make sure you are looking out for one another and be safe!
Best Beach Snorkeling Turks and Caicos
Now you know the best beach on Turks and Caicos you need to know that there are still 40 beaches throughout all of the island they are all now protected as the islands became a huge tourist destination to preserve and protect the reefs and marine life. There is over 1000 square miles of reef and marine systems so anywhere you go, you will see unforgettable excursions throughout the water. Grace Bay is amazing to see and check out but wait until we get into the best beach snorkeling!
No, this is not a spelling error, it is called Bight Reef and it has spectacular snorkeling right off the beach. This is a safe, family filled adventure for the novice to the pro that you do not want to miss and make sure to take your big beach umbrella with you! You will get into some areas that are deeper than 6-10 feet but most of the area is about 5 feet of water so there is always that safety barrier if need be. Just make sure you do not stand on any of the coral or kick it with your fins because it may hurt and you might wreck the beautiful reef.
There is a designated snorkeling area because they have cordoned off certain areas to help the coral and marine life prosper so pay attention and don’t try to go in that area. You will see so much marine life including, parrotfish, starfish, trumpet fish, crabs, huge lobsters (not to eat!), stingrays, octopus, barracudas, and you might even see a humpback whale out further from shore if you are lucky.
Bight reef is located in Providenciales just west of Grace Bay beach and sometimes considered to be part of it. The reef is located directly in from of Coral Gardens Resort which is the big white hotel. There is free parking if you are driving from anywhere on the island. You can rent chairs and of course there are lots of amenities all around the beach due to its popularity. I would recommend going early and getting a good spot because you will want to spend all day at this beach!
Again just west of Grace Bay Beach and Bight Reef it is close to the marina so just be cautious of boat traffic. The reef and marine life is closer to shore than most marine systems and you will see spectacular coral and fish.
In the National Park you will find much of what you did in Bight Reef but a little more because there is a change in smaller currents that creates different corals and attracting different fish. If you are up for it, grab your dive light and head back at night (be aware of your surroundings and always snorkeling with a buddy) you will see fish that you may have never seen before and luminescence that will blow your mind away. If you are lucky you might even see some squid and octopus floating around throughout the night life.
So you have seen everything on Provo (Providenciales Island) and you are ready to head to the middle and south there are still amazing beaches all around that will amaze you that you have to check out.
The biggest set of islands is in the middle Caicos and your best bet for beach snorkeling is Mudjin Harbour but be cautious when you head out. This is not for beginner snorkelers and if you are a beginner, make sure you have someone who is skilled and comfortable in the water and always wear a snorkel vest for safety. There is a big swing from high tide to low tide but you are surrounded by sandy beaches and limestone cliffs.
The best way to get to Mudjin Harbour is through the Blue Horizon Resort. Depending on where you are coming from if you are in Provo, the best option is by ferry to North Caicos and then renting a car or taxi and if you are on the island and have a car you can park in the Resort which is available to anyone going to the beach.
You will find lots of marine life due to the currents and waves and on a calm day you will see snapper, parrotfish, grouper, angelfish, starfish and much more!
South Caicos is where the national capital of Cockburn is, and houses over 1100 acres of land and sea protected by the Admiral Cockburn Land and Sea National Park so DO NOT take any marine life or coral out of the sea from any of these areas or for that matter anywhere throughout Turks and Caicos.
A small island shortly off of Dove Cay beach is one of the more popular places to snorkel in the South Caicos where a lot of the School Field Studies happen from the National Park in accordance with the preservation of the coral and marine life. You will see lots of students here along with tourists enjoying the wonders of the Cay. Most of the fish you will see are mentioned above in Bight Reef etc, plus lots of lobsters and turtles!
Looking for a little more adventure with snorkeling, rent or get an excursion by kayak and in about 1.5-2.5 miles (it may seem like a distance further than you are used to but manageable) but is spectacular to see the Aquarium. This is an amazing place to go so make sure you put this on your list and I won’t ruin the spectacular sights the Long Cay has to offer!
Coral Gardens, Providenciales Snorkeling
Right off the beach in in Grace Bay is the Coral Gardens. As mentioned above it is spectacular, as it is protected about a mile off the beach there is amazing reef and marine life just a few kicks away.
Coral Gardens Resort offers snorkeling and diving adventures. If you are up for it, try diving and you will be amazed! From on site training you can take your first plunge with a couple hours of training. You will get to see more marine life up close and personal. If you are a diver already you can go check out “The Wall” which starts around 30 feet and goes to a depth of 7000 feet although you will NOT be going down that far it is very cool to see. For more information check out the website:http://www.coralgardens.com/the-resort/snorkeling-and-diving.php