Rent a Seascooter and Snorkeling Gear in the Turks and Caicos

Snorkeling from Shore

Snorkeling from Shore with a Seascooter at Smith's Reef and the Bight Reef

Man with a seascooter going to snorkel with a seascooter at the Bight Reef

There are two good snorkeling from shore locations on the island of Providenciales ("Provo"). The two snorkeling spots are known as The Bight Reef (also sometimes called Coral Gardens, which is the name of the hotel in front of the Bight Reef) and Smith's Reef. Both snorkeling from shore reefs are off of Grace Bay Beach on the North side of Providenciales. Grace Bay Beach is part of the Princess Alexandra National Park. We offer seascooter rentals at both snorkeling from shore locations. See the What to Know page for more information on where to park and access the beach for seascooter and snorkel gear equipment rental drop-off locations at Smith's Reef and the Bight Reef. Also check the Bight Reef map and Smith's Reef map to see additional details about the area. If you are not sure if you want to try snorkeling from the beach or if you would prefer a snorkeling boat cruise, check out the Beach or Boat page.

A few things you should know if you are planning a trip to the beach...

  • All beaches in the Turks and Caicos islands are public beaches. There are signs indicating the routes to use for public beach access. Please do not traverse private property to access the beach.
  • It is illegal to take corals, shells and even sand from the beach or the ocean.
  • There is no fishing in the National Park protected areas, including the taking of conch and lobster.
  • There are garbage bins located at most public beach access points. Please do not leave your trash on the beach.
  • You must have a permit to have a bonfire on the beach.

And if you plan on getting in the water...

  • Do not touch the coral. Touching a coral can damage it or even kill it.
  • Try to avoid stirring up the sand. Excessive sand particles can also do harm to the corals.
  • Do not touch the fish, turtles or any of the sea creatures, even if it looks dead.
  • Use reef-safe sunscreen! The product will usually say "reef-safe" somewhere on the label, but if you are not sure the two harmful chemicals are oxybenzone and octinoxate. If you see those chemicals listed on your sunscreen, please do not go in the water.
  • Stay within the swimming areas. There are buoys marking the safe swimming areas. Beyond the buoys is the boat channel, where it is not safe to swim.
tube of sunscreen that says reef safe

How to Snorkel from Shore (with a seascooter)

  1. Meet us on the beach at either the Bight Reef or Smith's Reef designated meet up locations. (See What to Know page for detailed directions.)
  2. Make sure the gear fits. A leaky mask or too tight fins, can ruin the experience. Masks can be adjusted to be tighter or looser using the straps on the side. The fins we use have a heel strap, which can be adjusted to better fit your feet. 
  3. Spray a quick spritz of anti-fog in the mask. (We will provide this for you.)
  4. Give all the gear a quick rinse in the ocean. This makes it easier to slip on.
  5. Listen to a quick tutorial on how to operate a seascooter.
  6. Read and sign a waiver.
  7. We will bring the scooter down to the water for you and assist you with putting a leash on your wrist.
  8. Relax and enjoy the view. You do not need to clench the handles of the scooter or fight to hold it underwater. Think of how you hold the handles of a bicycle. You only need enough grip to steer. Keep calm and go for a ride with a seascooter!
What you might see...
turtle at the Bight Reef

Turtles! There is a good chance that you might see a sea turtle at either the Bight Reef or Smith's Reef snorkeling from shore locations. The two types of turtles which are common to the area are green turtles and hawksbill turtles. These two types actually look quite similar, but the hawksbill has more of a curved beak and a scalloped shell.

One way to really see the life teeming on the reefs is to stop swimming and stare at a particular spot for a few minutes. Many fish and sea creatures will swim into the spot you are watching. There is a good chance that you will see several different kinds of colorful, active fish while you are snorkeling. At both Smith's Reef and the Bight Reef, you will likely see angelfish, sergeant majors, horse-eye jacks, yellowtail snappers, parrotfish, squirrelfish, triggerfish, blue and yellow head wrasse and even a grouper. If you see a puffy fish with a puppy dog face, that's a porcupine fish!

purple sea fan Additionally both snorkeling from shore reefs have some colorful hard and soft corals. The large rounded corals, which look like yellowish brains are appropriately named brain coral! You will also have a chance to see pillar coral, elkhorn coral, staghorn coral and purplish sea fans and sea plumes.

If you are lucky, you could see some of the less frequent visitors to the reefs. Stingrays and Eagle rays are sometimes spotted gliding along the edges of the reefs. When snorkeling from shore, you will likely go over open sandy spots, keep your eyes peeled for Queen Conch nestled in the sand. Another one to watch the sandy bottom for is a nurse shark. These shy creatures can sometimes be seen near the reefs. Barracuda tend to "hang" near the surface. They seem to hover or hang in one spot without moving. If you dive down and peer into some of the shadowy cracks and crevices of the reef, you might be rewarded with a glimpse of an octopus or moray eel. Spot a spiny lobster by looking for long, stick-like antenna poking out of a dark hole.

stingray You should definitely bring an underwater action camera, if you have one. The seascooters have mounts for a GoPro type camera, which keeps your hands free to control the seascooter. Snorkeling with a seascooter allows you to get close to the subject you are trying to film. Dive down with the seascooter and point the camera upwards. This allows for the natural sunlight to frame your subject. Leaving the camera on and continuously shooting video, while cruising along the reef will give you a lot of footage, but you can always edit the video into multiple slices and leave out the captures of other snorkelers thrashing about. Remember not to touch or take anything while you are snorkeling with a seascooter. Respect the reef!

Go snorkeling from shore with an underwater seascooter and see more of the reef!

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