The Turks and Caicos is renowned for its underwater world, its coral reefs and abundant sea life, making it a dream destination for snorkeling. And what makes it even better is the variety of snorkeling spots to choose from. We have one of the longest contiguous coral reefs in the world, but you don’t have to take a boat out to the reef to experience some of the best snorkeling our islands have to offer. In the Turks and Caicos, it’s possible to snorkel right along the shore—if you know where to look.
Bight Reef (Coral Gardens)
Perhaps the most well-known easily accessible reef, you can wade into the water at Coral Gardens (in front of Somewhere Cafe) and be snorkeling in seconds. The Bight Reef is a circular trail of coral that’s home to an array of tropical fish and sea turtles—it’s not uncommon to spot hawksbill or green sea turtles swimming along the reef or feeding on the seagrass. Spotted eagle rays have also been known to pass by this popular snorkeling spot. Snorkelers must stay outside the perimeter of the reef as the center is protected to encourage coral growth.
Smith’s Reef is a collection of reefs located near Turtle Cove, with three public beach accesses. The reefs can be a little more difficult to find as they require a short walk down the beach and some are a little further out from shore than the Bight Reef—but the search is worth it. You’re bound to find a variety of coral heads and fish, along with stingrays and turtles. With its impressive collection of reefs that begin in the shallows and extend further out into the deep, you could spend quite a lot of time snorkeling out at Smith’s Reef.
Malcolm’s Beach is a quiet and secluded beach found on the west end of Providenciales. Better suited for more experienced snorkelers, patches of coral reef can be found all along the beach. Malcolm’s Beach was also home to a French underwater game show in the 1990s, and the remnants of it—a collapsed cage known as the Thunderdome, now covered in coral and serving as a haven for sea life—makes for some interesting snorkeling and diving.
Wherever you decide to go for your snorkeling adventure (visit all three if you can!), just make sure you go and check out our thriving reefs. Our islands are best experienced under the sea, after all.