Turks and Caicos Snorkeling Spots

Snorkeling by Beach or Boat?

Should I go snorkeling from the beach or take a snorkeling boat cruise?

Providenciales Snorkeling Spots from the Beach

There are two primary spots on Providenciales where you can go snorkeling from the beach. Smith's reef is located in the Turtle Cove area and consists of a large area with multiple clusters of corals. The Bight reef (also called Coral Gardens) consists of a large reef system which has a protected area in the center, marked with orange buoys. We offer seascooter snorkeling at both locations. Read the What to Know page for more information about renting a seascooter.

The two locations offer a somewhat different snorkeling experience. The Bight reef tends to be the more popular of the two locations because it is near several large hotels. You will likely share the water with many others, who are enjoying observing the colorful fish and corals. The reef is close to the sandy beach so you do not have to go far once you are in the water. Smith's reef has distributed areas of corals and marine life. There are patches of sea grass and rocks in between areas of corals, where you may see stingrays and sea turtles. Additionally you will need to swim out a short distance from shore before you start seeing the corals. Smith's reef is a larger area with a long stretch of beach, fronted by private villas. There are three access points for the public to use, but in general there are not many people on the beach or in the water.  To learn more about what you might see when you are snorkeling, check out the Snorkeling from Shore page.

Not sure how to get there? We have a convenient Smith's Reef map and Bight Reef map which show the surrounding area and access points.

A few things to consider:

Providenciales Snorkeling Boat Cruise

Typically a snorkeling boat cruise is either a half day (4 hrs) or full day (8 hours). A snorkel, mask and fins, along with a life preserver or flotation device is provided with the charter. You can also bring your own gear. Your experience on a snorkeling boat cruise is really going to vary depending on the charter. A half day cruise will usually include beverages and snacks and one or two stops at the barrier reef for snorkeling. Some of the full day snorkel charters will specifically say where the designated areas or stops are, such as West Caicos. A full day charter will typically include lunch and beverages.

Snorkeling with a snorkel boat at the barrier reef will usually be with a group of approximately 10-30 people, depending on the size of the boat, so keep in mind that you will be in the water with several other people. Usually a crew member from the boat will also be in the water with you. You will see similar types of corals to the ones you can reach from shore, however these corals will likely have less of the small colorful fish hanging around and there is a greater chance that you may see some of the larger marine life such as nurse sharks or eagle rays.


A few things to consider: