Snorkeling in Turks and Caicos
The waters surrounding the Turks and Caicos Islands are exceptionally clear, which makes the archipelago a sublime snorkeling destination. Don a mask and a snorkel and you can see colorful coral gardens, crustaceans, tropical fish, and larger sea creatures like sharks and whales. Whether you’re snorkeling just off the beach in front of your villa or at the reefs and walls farther out, snorkeling in Turks and Caicos is always an eye-opening experience.
Best Snorkeling Spots in Turks and Caicos
Providenciales is one of the best places in Turks and Caicos for snorkeling because there are numerous shore reefs that you can access from the beach, as well as multiple tour companies that can take you to fascinating sites just a short boat ride away. These are a few of the best snorkeling spots that are easily reached from Providenciales:
The Bight Reef
The Bight Reef is a popular snorkeling spot because you can access it directly from the beach close to Grace Bay. Also called Coral Gardens, the reef extends about 350 feet (107m) and is home to soft and hard corals and an array of marine life. You might catch glimpses of green turtles, stingrays, parrotfish, barracuda, moray eels, nurse sharks, and more.
Just off the beach in Turtle Cove, Smith’s Reef is actually a network of reefs that are quite different in terms of coral formations and sea creatures. Depending on which access point you choose, you could be snorkeling with eagle rays, angelfish, slipper lobsters, or southern brown stingrays. Come back at night to see nocturnal marine life like sea snails, squid, and shrimp.
Malcolm’s Road Beach
Malcolm’s Road Beach is part of the Northwest Point Marine National Park that stretches from the beach all the way out to the barrier reef. On calm days the visibility here is spectacular, which makes it excellent for snorkeling and diving. The coral shelves are home to a myriad of sights including sea urchins, sharks, and sea fans.
Water Conditions for Snorkeling
The water conditions vary depending on where you are snorkeling. In general, The Bight Reef is very calm and good for all skill levels and ages. Smith’s Reef has a slight current, but nothing to be overly concerned about. Malcolm’s Road is stunning on calm days, but it can also experience offshore winds and the occasional waves and currents along the coast. Be sure to check the wind and water conditions before you head out.
What Type of Marine Life Exists in Turks & Caicos?
Turks and Caicos have some of the most abundant marine life in the Caribbean. This means that you’re guaranteed to see something stirring under the water during a snorkeling session. Common sightings include turtles, lobsters, parrotfish, angelfish, and stingrays. Rarer sightings include nurse sharks, whales, dolphins, octopi, and red lionfish.
What Gear do You Need to Snorkel?
The great thing about snorkeling in Turks and Caicos is that you need very little gear. A mask and a snorkel are really all you need, especially if you are snorkeling at the reefs close to shore. Of course, fins are good to have too, as they help you glide quickly from spot to spot.
Can You Snorkel at Triton Villa?
Triton Luxury Villa’s beachfront location makes it an excellent spot to set out for a snorkeling session because the ocean is just steps away and Triton has snorkel gear available for guests to use during their stay, so there is no need to track down a tour operator. Of course, should you decide you want to take a boat charter trip, the staff at Triton can arrange snorkeling trips with reputable tour providers.
Paddleboarding in Turks and Caicos
There are many reasons why paddleboarding is becoming so popular in Turks and Caicos. First of all, it’s very easy to learn. All it takes is a bit of balance and the ability to use an oar. Second of all, it’s a great way to explore waterways that you might not be able to access in a boat. Finally, the fact that you’re standing on a board allows you to see incredible views above and below the water. If you’re looking to do some paddle boarding in Turks and Caicos, these are some things you should know.
What is Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP Boarding)?
Paddleboarding originated in Hawaii as a way for surf instructors to get better views of their students and the wave conditions. Basically, it involves standing on a surf-style board and using a long oar to propel you through the water.
Paddle Boarding vs Paddle Surfing, What’s the Difference?
Stand-up paddleboarding is typically done in calm waters where you can easily glide across the surface and steer the board in different directions with your paddle. As the name suggests, paddle surfing involves riding or surfing waves on a board with a paddle. Paddle surfing is not very common in Turks and Caicos because there are very few swells to ride.
Where Can You Paddle Board in Turks & Caicos?
You can paddle board anywhere in Turks and Caicos where the water is calm. Long Bay Beach is a great place for paddle boarding because there are very few large waves. In addition, the water is quite shallow and the bottom is soft and sandy, which is great for beginners who might not have their balance down in the beginning. Guests staying at Triton Luxury Villa can paddle board directly from the beach in front of the villa.
What Equipment do You Need?
The only equipment you need to paddle board is the actual board and a long oar. A paddle boarding company can set you up with the right board and oar for your height and size.
Do You Have to Be Fit to Paddleboard?
You only need a basic level of fitness and a bit of balance to learn how to paddle board. The hardest physical part is using the oar to propel you forward and steer the board. That being said, paddle boarding is a great exercise because it works your whole body, especially your core.
What Can You See on a Paddle Board Tour?
The great thing about paddleboarding is that you can cruise along shallow and narrow waterways that boats can’t reach, so you can see more than you would on a boat charter trip. In addition, paddle boarding is relatively quiet, so it doesn’t scare away wildlife and sea creatures like motorised water sports do. Many paddle board tours in Turks and Caicos will take you to protected national parks and through the mangroves where you can see turtles, sharks, sea birds, and much more. And of course you’ll get to take in the natural beauty of the coastlines and turquoise ocean.
Paddle Board Suppliers
Big Blue Collective
Big Blue Collective is a tour company that offers daily paddle board tours in the waters around Providenciales. You can opt for a two-hour eco-tour to the mangroves or a backcountry paddle ‘safari’ to little-visited spots along tidal channels. Groups sizes are kept small for a more exclusive experience and the instructors are friendly and very knowledgeable about the area and ecology. Experience is not necessary for the two-hour tour, as the instructors can teach you the basics and have you riding in no time.