Five Of The Best Scuba Dive Sites in Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos Islands, otherwise known as TCI, are one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the Caribbean, located just under a two hours from Florida.
Made up of around 40 islands and cays, only eight of which are inhabited, they make the ideal destination for all. From relaxation on white sandy beaches to culture and history galore, there’s plenty to explore on this largely undiscovered gem.
However, one of the most attractive aspects of holidaying in TCI is the azure, warm seas at your disposal. Full of fascinating marine life and plenty of activities, you’re guaranteed to enjoy your time out on the waves.
Here, we spoke to Beach House TCI, a popular resort on the islands, to find five of the best scuba diving sites in Turks and Caicos.
Salt Cay is the smallest of the main islands in TCI and also the most sparsely populated, located on the south-eastern edge of the country.
This tranquillity makes it one of the best dive sites out of all of TCI’s waters, with an undisturbed reef full of marine wildlife. Being located in the Columbus Passage, it’s the perfect spot for viewing humpback whales on their migration during the winter months, as well as exploring the wreck of the British warship, Endymion.
Most of the dive sites are located off the west coast of the island along the edge of an underwater wall. Check out this post for more dive site information.
Located 10 miles south-west of Providenciales, West Caicos is an uninhabited island full of deep walls and teeming coral reefs.
With numerous dive sites, such as Coney Island, Devil’s Horn, and the Highway to Heaven, there are frequent sightings of sharks, stingrays, schooling fish and barracuda, as well as impressive sponges and corals.
You can also access the Sandmore Channel, located between West Caicos and Providenciales, which is home to eagle rays, bottlenose dolphins, and various sharks.
Just under an hour from Providenciales by boat, this cay is home to various dive sites, including the G Spot and Coral Garden, all characterised by walls and reefs, including a 2000m vertical wall that drops off into a dark abyss.
Divers often encounter eagle rays, reef and nurse sharks, moray eels, hawksbill and green turtles, and some lucky visitors also catch a glimpse of humpback whales, hammerhead sharks or manta rays. The reefs also offer a fascinating view of bright corals, sponges, and tropical fish.
Although French Cay offers some of the best diving in TCI, it offers very little protection from the sea so it needs to be dived in good weather.
Grand Turk is TCI’s capital island and home to the Columbus National Marine Park, a protected site encompassing many of the dive sites.
McDonald’s dive site is often the top site of the island, with a stunning coral arch marking the gateway to the wall’s drop off. With shallow reefs and striking walls, you can see lots of corals and sponges, as well as hawksbill turtles, tropical fish, nurse sharks and rays.
Similarly, a dive at Chief Ministers will allow you to experience eel gardens, whilst a trip to the Amphitheatre reveals a stunning underwater cavern. This post has some more tips on Grand Turk dive sites.
Finally, the most popular island in TCI also has some fantastic diving sites for those wanting to spend some time under the waves.
The Grace Bay area, although more crowded, offers a fascinating view of rays, sharks, turtles, barracudas, and groupers, as well as colourful coral. Sites include Coral Gables, Graceland and Grouper Hole, which are all popular sites for divers.
The North West Point area is another popular site and is a great choice for those wanting to escape the crowds. Here, the rule is always the bigger the better, with large fish and giant sponges ruling the roost. You’ll find Shark Hotel, The Crack and the Hole in the Wall along the vertical walls, teeming with marine life.