Scuba Diving in Turks and Caicos Islands

Turks and Caicos is a country comprised of 40 islands of different sizes located in the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast of the Bahamas and the north of Haiti. Only 8 islands are inhabited, and the total area of the country is 430 sq. km. According to tourists, all the beaches are excellent, and Grace Bay is one of the top ten. Good dive sites could be found near inhabited and uninhabited coasts. On the Turks and Caicos Islands, you may experience thrilling dives with sharks or enjoy the various views of sea bottom relief. The distinguishing local feature is vertical walls and reefs going deep down and offering breathtaking dives. The islands provide cave and wreck diving, as well as night diving.

Reasons to Visit

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in Turks and Caicos Islands?
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The government of Turks and Caicos takes many protective measures in order to preserve the reefs, however, Providence Island deserves special mentioning. Found here is a majority of national parks and a wide range of dive sites, which are almost entirely intact. The local underwater world is amazingly rich; there are a few large coral reefs near the island. You can watch humpback whales in coastal waters from December till April.
A large number of artificial and natural reefs. Near the islands, you will find formations with deep fissures, the impressive steel Thunderdome covered with scallops and molluscs, which used to be a part of French show sets, the vertical wall called North West Point, which goes down over 900 meters deep.
Fish migration in Columbus Channel located near Caicos Island. The channel is nearly 35 km wide. It is a natural migration channel for fish, dolphins, turtles, whales, rays and other sea dwellers from January to March. At this time divers can enjoy observing a vast number of different creatures.
The ancient wrecks are rather interesting. Several wrecks of planes and ships lie near the coasts of Turks and Caicos. We encourage you to explore the XVIII century sailing ship — Royal Navy frigate Endymion, which sunk in 1790. With the underwater visibility of 40 meters, you would be able to see the preserved part of the rigging and almost undamaged cannons on the shipboards.
The diverse local flora and fauna will amaze divers. Here you will find colonies of black and pillar corals, come across reef sharks, barracudas, jack mackerels, observe sea anemones, swim above gorgonians and bright orange sponges which are called "elephant ears". Stingrays, triggerfish, lobsters and marine angelfish also inhabit the local waters.
Memo Notes
Currency USD - United States dollar
Languages English
Timezone UTC -4
Phone code 1
Emergency Help 911
Electricity

Type A - 120 V, 60 Hz

Type B - 120 V, 60 Hz

Dive Shops in Turks and Caicos Islands

There are many of dive shops providing diving for different levels of training. Please note that they mostly use enriched air, so it is better to take a training course prior to the trip or on the spot.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

Spring on the islands could be considered almost the beginning of summer, as the air temperature rises gradually from 27 to 29 °С. This period is regarded as one of the most favourable for visiting Turks and Caicos and diving here.

Summer

June, July and August are the high summer on the Turks and Caicos Islands. It begins in May and lasts till November. The average air temperature at this time is about 29 °С, though it may rise to 32-35 °C on certain days.

Autumn

In September and October hurricanes are possible, however, the weather in autumn is mostly dry and sunny. The air temperature stays at +29 ˚С, and the water warms up to +26 ˚C.

Winter

January is the coldest month on the islands, but even then the air temperature doesn't go below +26 °С and the water cools only to +23 °С. winter is dry and sunny, just as almost all year round.

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The Best Dive Sites

Visit the North West Point to dive near the wall which deeps down by almost 1 km. Come to the uninhabited West Caicos Island, which is home for rare species of sponges and large marine animals. Grace Bay near Providence Island impresses with its deep coral canyons, and Salt Key dive site is rightly considered the most "whale-y" place on the islands.

Health & Safety

It is recommended to buy medical travel insurance for the trip to Turks and Caicos. While first aid is free here, you would still have to pay for other services beyond that. There is a risk to contract malaria and yellow fever, so it is better to get vaccinated prior to the trip. Sometimes local doctors may request additional payment in cash. The islands are considered to be somewhat safe for holidays — the crime rate here is low.

Dangerous Marine Life

Large predators do not approach the islands as they are warded off by long sheer coral reefs and rocks. However, trouble may be caused by smaller predatory and venomous deep-water dwellers, such as moray eels and eels.

Eat & Drinks

The local cuisine is based on seafood and rice. British, Spanish and Scandinavian traditions influenced national cooking traditions. Although the country is getting universal and international, you should try authentic dishes, for example, grits: a dish with seafood and peas. The recommended appetiser is whelk: soup with molluscs. The favourite alcoholic drinks are local rum or rum punch. Tap water is dangerous, so it is advised to buy bottled water.