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Diving in The Turks and Caicos Islands

A scuba diver’s dream, Turks and Caicos is a sparsely populated group of islands scattered throughout the turquoise blue Caribbean.

Diving in The Turks and Caicos Islands

Quick facts

The alluring turquoise waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands feature a vast, thriving coral reef ecosystem and lots of walls. Whether you’re looking for breathtaking walls or wrecks, scuba diving in the Turks and Caicos is both accessible and impressive. Just south of the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos are actually 40 different islands and cays, but just eight are inhabited. The Columbus Passage, a 35-kilometre/22-mile-wide channel, separates the Turks Islands from the Caicos Islands. This deep passage is a water highway for migrating fish, rays, turtles, dolphins and Humpback whales from January through March. Providenciales, known as Provo, is the most developed island with a wide range of accommodations, restaurants and amenities. A large portion of the coast is protected by the National Parks Ordinance, which results in pristine dive sites with abundant marine life. Grand Turk is the capital island and is a popular stop for cruise ships and tourists alike. But, the main attraction here is diving. With protected reefs dropping well past recreational dive limits just offshore, it’s easy to see why this is a diver’s paradise.

Recommended training

Most of the dive operators offer enriched air nitrox, so having your PADI Enriched Air Diver certification is a good idea. The PADI Underwater Naturalist course will help you enjoy all the different life you see on the walls. The PADI Digital Underwater Photographer and PADI Deep Diver courses will also add to your dive experiences.

When to go

With an average of 350 days of sunshine annually, Turks and Caicos is a great place to dive year-round. Average air temperature ranges between 29-32°C/85-90°F with trade winds that keep the climate comfortable. The islands seldom experience trouble with hurricane season, which runs from June through October. The warm water around the islands averages 28-29°C/82-84° F in summer and 23-26°C/74-78 °F in winter.

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USD 1,190Per trip
North West Point – Just off Provo, this wall starts at 11 metres/35 feet and plunges to more than 900 metres/3000 feet. With a collection of different dive sites, this area is full of hard and soft corals, schools of barracuda, horse-eye jacks, lobster, crabs, angelfish and numerous other species of fish. West Caicos – West Caicos is an uninhabited island southwest of Provo known for its pristine walls and frequent pelagic visitors. Offering several amazing dives, the walls here are covered with barrel sponges, staghorn corals and the occasional giant orange elephant ear sponge. Grunts, snappers, groupers and schools of blue tangs all call this area home. Grace Bay – On the north side of Provo, protected by a long barrier reef, the marine life in Grace Bay is spectacular. Dive sites here consist of small walls with deep coral canyons that start at 9 metres/30 feet and drop down to 30 metres/100 feet. Groupers, barracuda, grunts, snappers, turtles and pregnant reef sharks are commonly sighted. French Cay – A small inhabited island south of Provo, French Cay has 2000-metre/6000-foot vertical wall drop offs all around. Eagle rays, schools of reef sharks, sea turtles, nurse sharks and moray eels are frequently seen. Occasionally, manta rays, hammerheads and humpback whales swim by. Salt Cay – Located in the Columbus Passage, Salt Cay is a top spot for viewing humpback whales as they migrate to their Dominican breeding grounds during winter months. But, there’s much more to this area, including the wreck of a British warship, caverns and incredible walls. Grand Turk – The Columbus National Marine Park, with around 25 dive site moorings, makes for some spectacular wall dives. At the southern end, you can experience eel gardens at Chief Ministers but there are also sites featuring hard corals, nurse sharks, Nassau groupers, yellowtail, triggerfish, turtles, razor fish, batfish, flying gurnards and more.

What to see

One of the most popular draw to the islands are the abundance of sea turtles that seek refuge here. There is a great chance of swimming with these fascinating creatures during your stay on the islands.

Sharks and rays patrol the reefs, brimming with colorful fish and healthy coral. If you’re really lucky, you may get a chance to see dolphins or porpoises playing in the shallows.


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Found in the Northern Caribbean, Turks and Caicos are a collection of island clusters found to the north of Hispaniola. Close by are the Bahamas.

Separated by the Turks Passage are the distinct island groups of Turks and Caicos. There are eight main islands and almost 300 other smaller islands. Grand Turk and Salt Cay are the most populated islands of Turks, and Providenciales is the most populous of Caicos. Altogether, there are only 49,000 people residing throughout the islands.

Sunny and tropical, it is seldom cloudy. Unfortunately, Turks and Caicos are frequently on the main path of hurricanes that rampage through the Caribbean, leading to extensive damage of the infrastructure and coral reefs.

Other attractions

Grace Bay Beach on Provo is an ideal place to unwind and soak up the Caribbean sunshine. Visit the Conch Farm to learn about the Queen Conch’s life. Check out The Hole, a limestone chimney with a saltwater pool at the bottom. Stop by the Grand Turk Cruise Center for dining and shopping. Take a tour of the Turks and Caicos National Museum to experience the rich culture and diversity of the islands.

Getting there

Flying in to Turks and Caicos is a dream, with endless waters to greet you outside your window. If you prefer getting around by water, there are ferries that go to various ports on and between the islands.


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