The stunning crystal clear, bluish-green waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands are home to a flourishing coral reef ecosystem, wall dives and abundant marine life to feast your eyes on. Diving around Turks and Caicos is both easily accessible and varied, providing experiences for every level of Scuba Diver. From its awe-inspiring wreck dives to its impressive walls, Turks and Caicos has so much to offer.
Located just south of the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos are surprisingly made up of over 40 different individual islands and cays, with only a mere 8 being inhabited. Out of all the inhabited islands, Providenciales, informally known as Provo, is the most developed island and is home to a wide range of accommodation as well as other amenities.
The Columbus Passage is a 22mile wide channel that separates the Caicos Islands from the Turks Islands. This channel is deep and therefore is used as a water-freeway, for migrating marine life, including Dolphins, Rays, Humpback Whales, Turtles and other species of fish throughout the months of January to March.
The majority of the Turks and Caicos Islands coastlines are protected by National Park Ordinance, which therefore means that the dive sites surrounding these islands are in pristine condition.
The capital island of the Turks and Caicos is Grand Turk, which is by far the most popular island for tourists. Even though the islands are beautiful, the true tourist attraction is what these islands have to offer under the surface. Divers should not miss this spot of their bucket list.
Top 5 Dive Sites In The Turks and Caicos Islands
Salt Cay is located within the Columbus passage and is part of the group of islands that makes up the Turks and Caicos. Salt Cay is classed as the perfect place to see migrating Humpbacks as they pass through the area from their Dominican breeding grounds. This migration usually takes place throughout the winter months. Salt Cay is the most remote out of the Turks and Caicos Islands and is most certainly a paradise with little visitors.
As Salt Cay is so remote, the ocean surrounding this area is filled with pristine corals reefs, stunning marine life, and impeccable wall dives. As well as diving with whales, you’ll have the ability to dive the wreck of a British warship, which is complete with anchor and cannons.
Located on the northern side of Provo, roughly 15-20 minutes boat ride from Turtle Cove is Grace Bay. This spectacular dive site is surrounded by a 14-mile long barrier reef. Dive sites within this area involve small walls, deep canyons made of coral and regular sightings of pregnant Reef Sharks, Turtles, Snapper and Barracuda. On occasion, the beautiful and majestic Manta Rays have been sighted in this area.
West Caicos is one of the many uninhabited islands, located southwest of Provo. Home to stunning wall dives and pelagic visitors, there is something for every level of diver. The walls in this location are swarming with marine life with amazing hard and soft coral. You’ll find Barrel Sponges, Staghorn Corals, and even the occasional giant Elephant Ear Sponge. There is some incredible marine life surrounding these islands including Groupers, Blue Tangs, Grunts, and Snappers.
South of Provo is the small island of French Cay. It is inhabited and is home to a 2000m vertical wall, which drops off into the abyss. Stunning Eagle Rays frequent the area as well as schools of Reef Sharks, Turtles, Moray Eels. Sometimes, divers may be lucky enough to see a passing Humpback Whale, Hammerhead Shark or Manta Rays. This island should definitely not be missed if you’re a budding naturist.
Grand Turk is the capital island and is also home to the Columbus National Marine Park. McDonald’s dive site is a top dive site at this location, which has been named for the stunning coral arch, which is located on the wall’s lip. It is marked as the gateway to the wall’s magnificent drop-off. This dive site is just the start of what Grand Turk has to offer divers. With its shallow reefs and striking walls, you’ll also get to see large Nassau Groupers, healthy Corals and giant Sponges. Hawksbill turtles are known to frequent the area.
There are so many incredible dive sites located throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands, so if you have one that has not been mentioned in this list, let us know about it in the comments below.