Snorkeling in Turks & Caicos
Snorkeling in Turks & Caicos
Snorkeling in Turks & Caicos isn't only enjoyable to the great visibility, water temperature, and its famous turquoise hue… The marine life in Turks & Caicos features all of the necessities, making for a perfect and easy to plan vacation. A British territory, Turks & Caicos is comprised of two groups of islands: the Caicos Islands and the Turks Islands. The Caicos Islands are larger than the Turks Islands and are all located in the northern region of the famed Caribbean Sea. There are 8 main islands and hundreds of smaller islands in this territory, making it hard to see all the region has to offer from land.
When visiting, there is no hitting and missing as all the islands are beautiful and have something unique to offer. The most populated island in the region by far is Providenciales within the Caicos Islands. Other large islands include Grand Turk, North Caicos, and South Caicos. Middle Caicos, a string of islands, is also a beautiful place to visit and snorkel. Turks & Caicos is considered a biodiversity hotspot making for endless sites to enjoy underwater throughout the entire expanse of islands. Since this region consists of many shallow reefs, Turks & Caicos' snorkeling is easy and just as fun as diving!
While Providenciales has a whopping population of 33,000 people, the other islands make for a stark comparison. Though tourism makes up a large part of Turks & Caicos economy, you'd never guess it by looking and enjoying the beauty and diversity of the reefs here. Plus, with a little wandering, it's easy to avoid any and all tourist traps and simply enjoy the pristine beaches and marine life of the archipelago.
Marine Life in Turks & Caicos
When it comes to the marine life in Turks & Caicos it cover all the bases. From the usual reef suspects including parrotfish, triggerfish, tangs, nurse sharks, groupers, eels, and rays to those like eagle rays, lemon sharks, Flamingo tongues, and so many more. Sea turtles can also be seen very often, especially in the reefs of Providenciales. The islands feature many marine parks, making these reefs seem far removed from the effects of the tourism on the islands.
Best Snorkel Sites in Turks & Caicos
Turks & Caicos' snorkeling can be done virtually anywhere you visit on the islands but the most famous reef for snorkeling is Smith's Reef in Providenciales. Other worthwhile spots on this island include Coral Gardens, Whitehouse Reef, and Bight Reef. On Grand Turk, which is largely protected by the Columbus Landfall National Marine Park, snorkeling off of Pillory Beach, Gibbs Cay, and Governors Beach are the most famous spots on the island. The Three Mary Cays in North Caicos and Mudjin Harbour and Dragon Cay in the Middle Caicos are all must-sees. In South Caicos, Dove Cay, Long Cay, and the Aquarium are their claims to fame for snorkeling. While these are all the best known spots, there are plenty of other amazing spots for snorkeling that just take a bit of roaming off of the white sand beaches into the perfectly turquoise water to find.
Best Time to Snorkel in Turks & Caicos
The beauty of snorkeling Turks & Caicos is that it is equally as good year round. The air temperature only dips as low as 23 degrees Celsius and only reaching as high as 31 degrees Celsius in the summer months, and with the consistent coastal breeze on the islands it never gets uncomfortable. The water temperature goes from 25 to 28 degrees Celsius. The only difference between the winter months and the summer months on the islands is that the wind may pick up a bit creating for a little more chop on the sea surface but it is a very slight change.
How to Get to Turks & Caicos
Providenciales International Airport is the largest airport in Turks & Caicos and is by far the most common way of reaching the region. Once there, you can travel the islands by either air or boat and there is a regular ferry travelling between North and Middle Caicos. To see the most of the beauty that the islands have to offer, travelling by liveaboard is often the most enjoyable means of transport.