Providenciales, in the Turks and Caicos Islands, is known as one of the best scuba diving sites in the world. Even the late Jacques Cousteau recommended it! Why is diving so good there? First, a barrier reef running the entire length of the island’s north coast helps to keep the crystal-clear waters calm and warm. Then there’s the great visibility, the healthy and varied marine life, dramatic vertical underwater “walls” with masses of colorful coral, and the local government guarding their natural resources by not allowing fishing in the area. Interested now? Here are some ideas how to plan a scuba diving trip in Providenciales. Have fun!
Where to Go Diving
The best place to watch the undersea world, from sleek barracudas and fat groupers to swarms of colorful fish, is along the shores at Grace Bay. Other great diving spots around the Caicos Islands and Providenciales (also known as Provo) are Pine Cay, West Caicos, French Cay, and Northwest Point. In these locations, you’ll also be able to observe sea turtles, stingrays, dolphins, and reef shark. Because of deep drop-offs (some as much as 6,800 feet), you’ll have the opportunity to view a much wider variety of fish and underwater animal life.
When Renting Equipment
If you rent your equipment, instead of bringing your own, here’s what to expect. Most operators of diving tours will rent (and included in the cost of the dive) scuba tanks, weight belts, and backpacks. If you need a refresher course, many of the dive operators offer resort courses with full instruction on PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) training and technical diving. Because of the number of operators, be sure to compare prices before signing the agreement.
Websites for Divers
For more details on scuba diving around the Caribbean go to padi.com. This site will give you a directory of certified diving operators and instructors as well as great descriptions of dive spots throughout Turks and Caicos, especially in Providenciales. In addition, try scubadiving.com. On this very helpful website, you’ll see spectacular color photos of what you can expect to see when diving and special dive-package offers.
Not sure about scuba diving? The snorkeling is as good as the diving in Providenciales and is the perfect place to learn. The water is calm and clear, and the marine life is thriving and colorful. Several watersports operators also offer trips for snorkeling in Grace Bay and around the area. Many resorts in Provo offer snorkeling equipment complimentary to their residents to use in the waters around the hotel. However, except for clear water and sand, you won’t see much in the shallows. In order to have a better experience, take a walk down to Bight Reef or Smith’s Reef in Princess Alexandra National Park.
More Places to Dive
Near the Turtle Cove Marina, on Smith’s Reef, is an amazing dive area with a broad seascape of fan and brain coral, sea cucumbers and anemones, parrotfish, hawksbill turtles, green moray eels, trumpet fish with long noses, rays, and more. In order to teach divers about the ocean, there are underwater signs that describe the reef’s ecosystem and the diversity of what lives there. Learn about the variety of fish and other creatures that hide in the reef, the ways different fish add to the environment, and the sea-grass bed’s importance.
Just offshore Coral Gardens and closer to Grace Bay is Bight Reef. There are underwater trail signs describing the coral along the Bight Reef Snorkel and Dive Trail. The depth of the water goes to 16 feet and divers can see sand-sifting mojarras, jolt head porgies, and yellowtail snappers.
Tint Turks and Caicos
Planning a scuba diving trip in Providenciales? Contact Tint Turks and Caicos for help. Our professionals can organize scuba diving trips with trained instructors and divers. Relax and enjoy swimming with exotic marine life in the coral reefs of Providenciales soon!