Diving in Turks and Caicos: Dive Sites, Dive Shops, & What You’ll See
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Turks and Caicos are one of the top diving destinations in the world, with gorgeous reefs, stunning topography, and a wide variety of aquatic species.
If you’re looking to dive here, you won’t be disappointed with the sheer diversity of dives available.
Diving in Turks and Caicos is an unforgettable experience, from their world-famous wall dives to shore diving right from your hotel.
Dozens of dive sites are open, and there are many different ways to enjoy them, from liveaboards to all-inclusive resorts.
An Overview of Diving in Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos are a group of about 40 islands 550 miles southeast of Miami.
Only eight of the islands are inhabited, and all the islands are connected with a vast underwater plateau, which is part of what makes Turks and Caicos so inviting to divers.
In addition to the unusual topography, Turks and Caicos emphasize ecology and preservation significantly.
Their coral reefs are some of the most vibrant in the world, with large coral, stunning colors, and precious wildlife.
All of this adds together to create some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world, plus the main focus of Turks and Caicos diving is wall diving, where the plateau drops off 7000 meters into the abyss, creating some of the most dramatic walls dives in the world.
It’s always a good time to go diving, with warm waters and marine life year-round, and the dives go well beyond recreational dive limits.
If you want to see something extraordinary, visit between December and April to catch migrating species like humpback whales, sharks, dolphins, and more.
Turks and Caicos Dive Sites
There are tons of different dive sites.
However, they each belong to one general area with specific characteristics.
Time on the water varies by location, but it could take up to an hour by boat to reach depending on the dive site, so prepare for long boat rides and larger vessels.
1. Grand Turk’s McDonalds
This may seem like an unusual name for a dive site, but it’s named for the incredible arches.
You can easily pass underneath them, and they hold all sorts of coral.
It’s undoubtedly one of the prettiest dive sites in Turks and Caicos and a must-see on Grand Turk.
Grand Turk is on the eastern end of the archipelago, and McDonalds is on the island’s northwest edge, near the Bohio Dive Resort.
While it doesn’t have the depth that most dive spots in Turks and Caicos are known for, it makes up for its arches and marine life.
As you weave in and out of the colorful rocks, you’ll find yourself besieged by beauty at every turn.
2. French Cay
While the coral reefs in Turks and Caicos are gorgeous, the ones along the French Cay are incredibly vibrant.
These coral reefs face south and are exposed to maximum sunlight.
The coral produces more nutrients, resulting in more marine life.
The French Cay is a tiny island on the southern end of Turks and Caicos, and there are several reefs and dive spots to the south and around the island.
The best dive spots in the French Cay are wall dives dropping off to the ocean’s bottom.
Also, many species live near the area, including a large number of surf sharks.
Some are so docile that they brush against you while diving.
3. West Caicos
West Caicos is home to the best diving in the Turks and Caicos.
It’s essentially a wall that is two miles long!
This mega wall is home to an astonishing array of coral and marine life, and with a 7000-meter drop, you can go as deep as your certification allows.
West Caicos is naturally on the western side of the Turks and Caicos.
The island is uninhabited, only 11 sq miles, and the best dive spots are off its western shore.
West Caicos is the focal point of any dive trip to Turks and Caicos, and it’s where you’ll want to spend most of your time.
You can go as deep as you’d like and enjoy the best wall dive in the Caribbean.
4. Molasses Reef
Molasses Reef is a popular dive spot in West Caicos.
The brown coral is so close to the surface that it turns the water brown, the origin of its name.
As the coral builds on each other, this may become an island in its own right, millions of years in the future.
For now, it’s a thriving reef filled with flourishing coral and many shipwrecks to explore.
This dive spot is quite a ways southeast of West Caicos Island, directly south of Providenciales, the main island of Turks and Caicos.
You’ll find many at this iconic dive spot if you have a diving certification for exploring shipwrecks.
The most famous is a Spanish ship that is almost completely rotted away.
You can even find the old anchor, although you might pass right by it without realizing it.
5. Princess Alexandra National Park
This expansive national park stretches deep into the ocean and is one of many throughout Turks and Caicos.
It includes several beaches with an impressive variety of marine life and snorkeling from the shore.
The park is to the north of the main island Providenciales, Near Grace Bay, and has several points of interest and dive spots to choose from.
Smith’s Reef is one of the most popular, with an impressive coral reef little ways offshore.
Some reefs are partitioned off to preserve the fragile ecosystems, but others you can explore in all their glory.
It’s one of the most accessible dive spots to access in Turks and Caicos and is excellent for beginners.
Best Turks and Caicos Dive Shops
When diving, you want the right gear for the job and the guides for the area.
In Turks and Caicos, you’re spoiled for choice, but at the same time, you should choose your dive shop carefully to find guides that provide excellent service while maintaining ecological integrity.
1. Dive Provo
Dive Provo is the dive shop of the region, the creme de la creme.
They have courses, tours, guides, and certifications for every type of diving imaginable.
It’s the place to go for multi-day tours and is the best place for diving tours throughout the region.
In the shop itself, they sell great gear and souvenirs of your time at Turk’s and Caicos.
2. Aqua TCI
Aqua TCI is a family-owned and operated dive shop.
It’s the best dive shop for experienced divers in Turks and Caicos, as they offer mainly tank refills for diving trips.
While they still have courses and certifications, they primarily run small group tours out to dive spots and back.
Aqua TCI offers high levels of customer service, outstanding professionalism, and a sense of personal connection you can’t find that often in larger dive shops, making them an excellent choice for all divers.
3. Seafari Turkoise Dive Center
Seafari Turkoise Dive Center is a part of a larger resort, Club Med Turkoise on Providenciales, but you can book tours, lessons, and guides with them without staying there.
It has access to over 25 dive spots and is close to most Providenciales’ dive spots.
4. Bohio Dive Resort
Bohio Dive Resort is another dive shop part of a larger resort.
However, you can still book with them, and they’re located on Grand Turk and have access to different dive spots than other dive shops.
5. Oasis Divers
Speaking of Grand Turk, Oasis Divers are also located on the island.
If you’re interested in exploring the various dive sites of this beautiful island, they’re who you should go to.
Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Turks and Caicos
Many of the resorts in Turks and Caicos offer dive shops, certifications, tours, and more since it’s such a big diving destination.
1. Beaches Turks & Caicos
Beaches Turks & Caicos is a hotel that encourages you to get your dive certification during your stay.
They offer courses, tours, rental equipment, everything but an actual dive shop where you can buy equipment.
2. Club Med Turkoise
Club Med Turkoise includes a dive shop mentioned above, including free dives for guests.
With constant boat trips, you can get all the dives you could ever want in this resort, and they also have courses, tours, and guides available for you to enjoy.
3. Alexandra Resort
The Alexandra Resort is on Grace Bay, next to Princess Alexandra National Park.
However, you can’t dive directly at the hotel.
The concierge will happily arrange separate lessons or tours at a dive shop, but the most you can do at this resort is snorkel.
However, given that the beach is next to a national park and Smith’s Reef, you shouldn’t immediately discount this hotel as an aquatic destination.
4. Pine Cay
Pine Cay is a private island partnered with Big Blue for all your scuba diving needs.
The resort doesn’t have a dive shop or its tour operators but seeing you get your exclusive dive spots around the island.
They have a lot more to offer.
However, their services are limited to tours, as you can’t learn to dive at this resort.
5. Bohio Dive Resort
If you want an all-in-one diving resort, then Bohio Dive Resort has you covered.
Diving lessons, certifications, tours, everything you could want for a vacation focused exclusively on scuba diving.
In addition to the usual diving spots and tours, they also have night diving!
Indeed a treat for anyone staying at the resort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Diving in Turks and Caicos is a fantastic experience you should experience at least once if you’re a serious scuba diver.
How much does it cost to scuba dive in Turks and Caicos?
While it depends on what gear you have and how much you’re renting, you can expect around $75 for a single tank drive, over $100 for a two-tank dive, and about $400 for an open water PADI certification course.
Are there sharks in Turks and Caicos?
Yes, there are a lot of sharks around the steep drop-offs of Turks and Caicos.
They are mostly friendly and non-aggressive. Ignore them.
A Never-Ending Wall of Coral
Diving in Turks and Caicos is something every diver whose serious about diving should do at least once.
The incredible marine life, the fantastical topography, and best of all, few divers.
Turks and Caicos are often overlooked by tourist and is mostly frequented by cruise ship guests.
Fewer divers than you think for a high-profile diving destination.
So you won’t get to see some of the best wall diving spots in the world.
You’ll get to explore them independently, without crowds.