Scuba Diving Turks and Caicos
Scuba diving in the Turks and Caicos is among the very best anywhere in the world. The warm waters of the Caribbean Ocean team with marine life and the islands are surrounded with some of the most healthy reef systems on Earth. Great diving sites exist off of all islands in the group and are especially abundant off West Caicos, Providenciales, and around French Cay.
Many excellent Turks and Caicos diving centers and charter services are available throughout the islands. Many offer packages in partnership with Turks and Caicos resorts and the larger of the resorts have PADI dive centers right on the property. These dive centers offer lessons for all abilities, certification, equipment rentals, and scuba diving tours to the brilliant reefs off the coast. Tranquility Vacations suggests that visitors check dive centers and charter services credentials and obtain recommendations from established travel agents or friends who have used dive services in the Turks and Caicos.
No trip to this island paradise is complete without an exploration of the warm, turquoise seas teeming with colorful fish, sea mammals, and exotic aquatic life. TCI vacationers looking for a great experience that requires less training and equipment can enjoy snorkeling with just a mask and fins and still enjoy the beauty of life off the Turks and Caicos beaches. Tranquility Vacations has reviewed some of the most popular scuba diving spots and presents highlights here for our Turks and Caicos villa guests.
Popular Turks and Caicos Diving Sites
BLACK CORAL FOREST
Located off the island of Providenciales, this Caribbean diving site is an overhung section of the reef wall that starts in 45ft then drops to a ledge at 200ft before falling away into the abyss, the reef wall is covered with unusual black coral “trees”. This coral forest is home to numerous brightly colored tropical fish and is a great Turks and Caicos diving site for wide angle photography.
ELEPHANT EAR CANYON
Off the island of West Caicos, a cut in the top of the reef wall at a depth of 50ft that descends through sand gullies to an area of large coral buttresses at 100ft. An amazing 10 to 11 foot diameter bright-orange Elephant Ear Sponge, the largest in the Turks and Caicos island chain, makes the canyon its home. Several species of crustaceans, gobies, and numerous other small fish are found in the canyon waters.
WEST SAND SPIT
This tiny uninhabited sand cay is five miles south of French Cay at the south end of the Caicos Island group and can only be visited in good weather. West Sand Spit is surrounded by a large sandy plateau that slopes to about 40ft before the main reef begins, continuing its descent to 150ft. Large barrel sponges and delicate sea fans fill the seascape and giant pillar corals tower above. This is one of Turks and Caicos scuba diving jewels and should not be missed. Large stingrays live here along with a school of goatfish, and nurse sharks visit in the summer. Lucky divers may spot one of three mythically large groupers that call the cay home, each the size of a small car!
Another of West Caicos incredible dive sites, starting at the reef top 40 feet deep, Turks and Caicos diving enthusiasts can swim down a long sand chute that stops on a ledge overlooking a drop into the abyss. The trench ledge is covered with star and plate corals, and the wall with black coral trees and red tube sponges. Out past the ledge, intrepid island divers will find sharks and large groupers. Back up on the reef top, sea anemones thrive covered with the resident cleaning shrimps. The reef teems with ocean life including banded shrimps, feather stars, arrow crabs, and coral dusters. The local dive centers recommend Driveway as a Turks Caicos night diving spot.