There can be no surprise that there are awesome dive sites in the Turks and Caicos, given that Turks and Caicos diving is seen as one of the ultimate activities in the area. Whether you simply want to go scuba diving in Providenciales, or are ready to embrace a multi-day private eco-charter cruise for the ultimate dive experience, Big Blue Collective have everything you need to perfect your trip. Here’s our guide to the secrets of the best TCI dive spots, and the ones you simply can’t miss off of your trip itinerary.
Turks and Caicos diving is exceptional everywhere
It’s important to say, however, that while the dive sites listed below are our favourite dive sites in Turks and Caicos, the diving in the TCI is superlative wherever you head. Marine life in this area is vibrant, thriving on the coral barrier reefs of the area, and visibility is almost unmatched anywhere else in the world. Some of the scuba diving in Providenciales lies literally only minutes off the shore, while you can also use one of our private charters to explore the less well-known areas on the dive-site-hopping day trip of a lifetime. The area is packed with other water sports, non-diving attractions, and historical sites to visit, all in the laid-back Caribbean vibe typical of the islands. Weather is fairly steady, outside of the odd hurricane in season, and almost all the animals [whales are an exception] make their home here year-round. Where else in the world do you have beach diving, cruise diving, wreck and reef diving all accessible within minutes of each other? In short, you’ll love the experience wherever you head, so don’t be shy to explore!
Sandbore Channel and French Cay
When it comes to scuba diving in Providenciales, these two sites are a must-visit. While Grace Bay beach has little to offer herself, the barrier reefs that lie a short trip offshore are a must for any visitor to explore. Spur and Groove reef formations are common here, with sheer edges towards the west and even a few secluded and undercut walls for you to play with. Sandbore channel lies between Provo and West Caicos, bringing you a little of both worlds, and is rich in soft corals and sponges. Head out to French Cay if you want an almost-guaranteed shark sighting, as well as to meet the local ray populace! Sea turtles, eagle rays, lobsters and eels all call the area home, alongside vibrant shoals of tropical fish. Many coral species can also be found in the area, making it a spectacular first dive site for any visitor to the islands.
2. The walls of Grand Turk and Grand Turk’s McDonalds
Turks and Caicos diving is rich with walls, and nowhere is this more apparent than near Grand Turk. The TCI themselves are situated on a soft, sandy plateau that abruptly falls away to the seabed just offshore, making the perfect environment for some of the best walls you will ever experience. In some places, you will be met by a literal sheer drop! Around Grand Turk, as you head out towards the walls, you will also cross a very interesting area of ‘transition’ barrier reef. Think sand chutes, arches, canyons and so much more to explore. Of these all, Grand Turk’s McDonalds is probably the most spectacular, an underwater arch teaming with life and with cleaning stations nearby that attract large groupers. Spur and Groove reefs are also common here. You’ll find some of the largest densities of tropical fish around Grand Turk, and the calm water here is perfect for viewing- the clarity will astound you.
3. The wrecks [and whales] of Salt Cay
Lying within the ‘Columbus passage’, Salt Cay is perhaps one of the best-known dive sites in the Turks and Caicos, mainly due to its association with whales. During their seasonal migration in winter, Humpback Whales are channelled through the passage on their way from their breeding grounds, making sightings in the area spectacular. Salt Cay is actually the most remote of the Turks and Caicos Islands, meaning the coral in the area is pristine and the marine life bold. The wreck of the British warship HMS Endymion lies just offshore, allowing you to get in some wreck diving while you are here. Be sure to watch out for both the anchor and cannons! There’s also another fascinating wreck in the area, dating from the 1900s and displaying one of the world’s first diesel engines. There’s also a few placed wrecks to explore, notably a small fishing boat and a twin-engine airplane [Cessna 401].
4. Columbus Landfall Marine National Park
This national park is synonymous with Turks and Caicos diving. It’s also the largest protected marine area in the islands, so remember to dive with care. There are 25 moored dive sites available here, alongside shore dives and- of course- some great unmoored dives too. Reef mixes with sand, getting down to about 40 feet. Once the reef ends, however, a drop of thousands of feet begins. Be sure to check out the ‘amphitheatre’ dive site before you go!
While these four sites are some of our favourite dive sites in the Turks and Caicos, they are far from all that’s open to you. Be sure to also head out to tiny, quiet West Caicos, one of the few spots in the Caribbean where you stand a realistic chance of being the only dive party out there. In fact, wherever you go you are bound to have a spectacular experience, from scuba diving in Providenciales to the wreck diving off the coast of Salt Cay.
The dive sites of the Turks and Caicos are calling to you- are you ready to answer? Get in touch with Big Blue Collective today, and make all your diving dreams come true.