Should I go snorkeling from the beach or take a snorkeling boat
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
A few things to consider:
- When renting seascooters and snorkel gear with us, we bring the
gear to the beach.
- Snorkeling with a seascooter lets you dive down and takes you out
to the area you want to see quickly.
- You can go at your own pace. Stop the seascooter and snap a pic.
Use the lower speed so your parents can catch up. Use the high speed
to follow a stingray.
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:
- You will be in the sun for several hours. Bring a hat, coverup,
reef-safe sunscreen and stay hydrated.
- You will be on a boat, which does sometimes cause seasickness for
some people. Take some Dramamine if you are concerned about it
ruining your experience.
- Your crew will likely provide beer and rum punch as part of the
- Your crew will usually help adjust gear, point out marine life and
generally try to make your snorkeling experience enjoyable.