A beach at sunset. There is text on the photo that reads "Scuba Diving in Turks and Caicos".

The Ultimate Guide To Scuba Diving In Turks and Caicos

It’s difficult not to think of scuba diving when thinking of Turks and Caicos – a British overseas territory that is an archipelago made up of some 40 islands and cays in the Atlantic Ocean. But don’t let the Atlantic Ocean part fool you. This tropical paradise is synonymous with diving due to its various dive spots with beautiful waters filled with reefs and walls and abundant marine life.

A shoreline with houses hidden behind trees.
The beautiful crystal clear water in Turks and Caicos are not to be missed!

Our adventure awaits, so let’s check out scuba diving the Turks and Caicos Islands…cue the steel drums.

Getting There

Before we can dive into those crystal clear waters, we need to get there. The main airport for getting to the islands is Providenciales International Airport on – I’ll give you one guess – Providenciales, or Provo, Island. Many direct flights can be found to Provo, including flights from Boston, New York City, Washington, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Atlanta. From Canada you can fly directly from Toronto and across the pond you can get a direct flight from Heathrow.

Aerial view on a plane overlooking Turks and Caicos.
Before you even land that clear blue water will be calling.

Once you land in Provo, you’ll have some options of a short boat ride or flight to get to the island of your destination.


There are plenty of places to stay in Turks and Caicos and plenty of those places cater to scuba divers. Your accommodations will depend on your final destination island. The four main islands that have diving operations are Provo, Grand Turk, South Ciaos and Salt Cay. Of course, if you are doing liveaboard diving you won’t have to worry about land accommodations, but more on that later.

Coastal view of the Turks and Caicos beach with a hotel.
You’ll be spoiled for choices of where to stay, and most places will be close by a beach.

If not going much further than Provo, you may want to check out the Ocean Club Resort, Grayce Bay Club, or the all inclusive Beaches Turks & Caicos.

A compilation of 2 different photos. One is of an outdoor dining area and the other is inside of a bedroom.
The all inclusive Beaches on Provo will not disappoint. (Photo courtesy of Beaches Turks & Caicos)

On Grand Turk some options are Osprey Beach Hotel, or perhaps a bungalow at the Manta House.

Osprey beach hotel room.
If staying on Grand Turk, Osprey Beach Hotel is a nice option.

Heading over to South Caicos some choices are Sailrock, or the more secluded South Caicos Ocean & Beach Resort. For Salt Cay, travelers generally stay by a nearby island, such as Grand Turk. However, if looking for something intimate with no frills, you may want to check out the Tradewinds Guest Suites.

Sailrock south Caicos resort with a cabana and a pool overlooking the water.
Hard to beat the view at Sailrock on South Caicos. (Photo courtesy of Sailrock South Caicos)

Scuba Diving In Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos is truly at the top of many lists of top dive destinations, with numerous dive sites to choose from. Home to one of the world’s largest barrier reef systems with swim-throughs, wall dives and abundant marine life, it’s easy to see why many in the diving community choose to travel here time and again.

A person scuba diving underwater by the reef in Turks and Caicos.
A stunningly beautiful underwater world awaits in Turks and Caicos. (Photo courtesy of Investment Monitor)

While scuba diving the pristine reefs of the Turks and Caicos islands, divers will have the opportunity to see a multitude of reef fish, eagle rays, sea turtles and nurse, lemon and reef sharks. There’s also plenty of wall dives and some beach diving opportunities as well. But before we get in the water, let’s choose our dive operator…

Dive Operations

Currently, dive operators for Turks and Caicos can be found on four of the islands. The following are some operations available on those islands: Provo – Dive Provo, Aqua Tic and Seafari Turkoise – Dive Center; Grand Turk – Grand Turk Diving Co. and Blue Water Divers; South Caicos – Reef Divers; and Salt Cay – Salt Cay Divers.

Aerial view of the Turks and Caicos beach with the dive boat in the waters.
Dive operators, such as Seafari Turkoise, offer various diving options. (Photo courtesy of Seafari Turkoise)

If you don’t want to be tied to land, there are some options for liveaboard diving as well. For livaboards you have options of Explorer Ventures and Aggressor Adventures. By choosing one of these dive boats, you get to scuba dive some of the best dive sites on multiple islands, not just one!

Looking into the Aggressor ||, a live aboard boat, with dining tables.
If looking to stay out on the water, the Aggressor II is a nice option. (Photo courtesy of Aggressor Adventures)

Diving Sites Of Turks and Caicos

It would take several blogs to discuss all the dive sites to be found in all of Turks and Caicos. Here are some of the more popular dive sites of Provo, Grand Turk, South Caicos and Salt Cay.


Provo is home to many dive sites. If not looking to island hop, pick one of the many friendly dive resorts, unpack and get underwater. It would take multiple trips to experience all of Provo’s dive sites, but below are some highlights.

Northwest point

The Northwest point of Provo is good to dive almost year-round. Known for its wall diving, gold and purple tube sponges and horse-eyed jacks, you can’t go wrong sticking here if limited for time.

A tube sponge underwater in Turks and Caicos.
The Northwest point of Provo has sites filled with gold and purple tube sponges.
Shark hotel

You are definitely going to want to “check into” Shark Hotel when visiting Provo. This is an amazing vertical wall dive, with the top of the wall starting at about 45ft. From there, divers will descend straight down to between 80ft to 100ft to another plateau. After that is the abyss, so mind your buoyancy.

On this dive, you are likely to see some puffer fish, snappers, goatfish and reef sharks. Also, there is a very large collection of pillar coral. A dive not to miss!

A shark underwater in Turks and Caicos.
Small reef sharks can typically be seen at Shark Hotel.
Eel Garden

If looking for garden eels, you’ve come to the right place. Sitting on top of a nice vertical wall in a sand bowl, you’ll find these sea creatures poking out of their holes.

Also at this site you may see moray eels, reef sharks, puffer fish, and lionfish. One of the more interesting sites to see a variety of aquatic life.

A group of garden eels underwater in Turks and Caicos.
Not your typical garden, but quite a sight,

Amphitheater is a wonderful geographical formation and a great place to watch underwater marine life.

Divers will follow a sandy bottom down to a V opening of coral. Once inside the “theater” at about 85ft, you can see large elephant ear sponges, black coral formations, barrel sponges and orange rope sponges. Marine life includes spiny lobsters, various reef fish and maybe even some sea turtles. An amazing show!

A spiny lobster underwater in Turks and Caicos on the sand.
The tasty spiny lobster can be found at Amphitheater.
Grace bay

Grace Bay is located on the North side of Provo, a little right of the middle of the island. Just on shore is the beautiful Grace Bay Beach. Out in the water, there are many dive sites to choose from. These sites are better to dive in the summer, as changes in wind direction can make them undiveable in the wither months.


“I’m going to Graceland, Graceland,” but not Memphis Tennessee! (Just in case you have no idea where that came from look here). While this is not the old home of Elvis, it is home to a sand chute that leads to a swim-through and then a nice wall.

While wall diving at this site, you will see a multitude of reef fish and maybe even a reef shark darting in and out of the walls cracks and crevices.

Coral gables

At Coral Gables you can find another sand chute that gently sloops down to a wall. The top of the wall has a couple of nice coral formations that are inhabited by reef fish, such as groupers and snappers.

A grouper fish underwater in Turks and Caicos.
The “so ugly it’s cute” grouper calls Coral Gabels home.

The name Aquarium is fitting for this dive site as that is exactly what you will feel like you are diving in at this location. Here there are many sand chutes running down between the coral to a bottom depth of about 100ft. At the top of the wall divers can see schools of various fish, but the most pervasive are snappers and grunts. An amazing dive and one not to be missed, if you love seeing much marine life.

A group of grunt fish's underwater.
Many grunts can be found swimming in schools at the Aquarium.
French cay

Several great diving spots can be found off of French cay, which is just about 15 miles South of Prove. These dive sites – with their rather provocative names – are worth a visit.

G Spot

At this dive site you will start on a plateau littered with beautiful soft coral formations. From there you can follow the coral down to a V shaped Wall drop-off to the depths below. This site offers some beautiful pictures for those diving photographers.

An underwater image of a soft coral in Turks and Caicos.
On the plateau of G Spot you will find many soft coral formations like those pictured above.
Double D

Now I know what you’re thinking, especially after the name of the last dive site. However, Double D’s name comes from the two pinnacles that rise from the bottom…maybe your gutter mind was on to something after all. Anyway, the wall at this site is not as dramatic as other sites, as it has a nice slope to it.

As you swim down the gently sloping wall among the multitude of coral you’ll see an explosion of sea life. Among these sea creatures you will find lionfish, parrotfish, spotted eagle rays, spiny lobsters and perhaps even sea turtles.

A parrot fish swimming in water.
Parrotfish a plenty at Double D.
Molasses reef

Not to be confused with Molasses Reef off of Key Largo, this shallow reef was the cause of several shipwrecks. However, the main diving is on the reef’s wall. Closer to the surface, divers will see plenty of reef fish including Nassau groupers. Heading down deeper, keep an eye out for reef sharks and spotted eagle rays.

A spotted eagel ray underwater in Turks and Caicos.
On Molasse Reef you may be able to spot a spotted eagle ray…see what I did there?

Grand Turk

Welcome to Grand Turk, with its impressive wall diving. Start your dives in the shallows and then head out over the drop-off, with the bottom thousands of feet below you.

Grand Turk is also home to the Columbus Landfall National Park that runs the length of the island’s West coast. The West side of the island is also where you will find over forty dive sites. Below are some of the best sites.

Turks and Caicos beach with a dock.
When not diving, you can enjoy the many beaches that make up Columbus Landfall National Park.

Often mentioned as a favorite dive site, McDonald’s – located on the Northwest side of the island – gets its name from its beautiful coral arches.

At this site you will also see parrotfish, groupers, spotted eagle rays, moray eels and maybe even a shark roaming among the bright coral and sponges. This is a must dive site for Grand Turk!

Moray eel underwater in Turks and Caicos.
You’ll find moray eels – like the one above – waiting for their to-go order at this McDonald’s
Chief Ministers South

Looking for a more shallow relaxing dive site, Chief Ministers South has you covered. On the south end of the West coast is a large sandy bottom with a spattering of coral heads. In the sandy area among the seagrass you might find some sea turtles and stingrays.

Sting ray underwater in Turks and Caicos.
Stingrays love to frolic among the seagrass at Chief Ministers South.

Grab your tank and get ready for some good bottom time at this site!

Coral Canyons

Not too far North of Chief Ministers South, you can find Coral Canyons. This is an excellent dive site that offers beautiful hard coral formations.

Hard coral underwater in Turks and Caicos.
Stunning hard coral – like shown above – is abundant at Coral Canyons. (Photo courtesy of Turks and Caicos Tourism)

At the beginning of the canyon, you’ll be at about 60ft deep. Following the canyon down you’ll hit the bottom at about 85ft. There is also another drop off after that to a sandy bottom over a 100ft below. Reef fish are prevalent among the coral and you may even find some nurse sharks relaxing out there too. This is a great spot for underwater photographers.

Nurse shark laying on the sand underwater.
Keep a look out for sleeping nurse sharks among the coral.
Coral Gardens

Continuing up North is Coral Gardens, perhaps the most popular dive site of Grand Turk. The coral so abundant and healthy at this spot, that there is no sand to be found on the bottom.

This dive site can be done as a shore dive and snorkelers can get in on the action too. Among the coral, you can find reef fish including angelfish, yellowtail snappers, parrotfish and Nassau Groupers.

Parrotfish swimming around coral.
Angelfish and parrotfish – like those shown above – are always out strolling Coral Gardens. (Photo courtesy of Beaches Resorts)
Other dive Sites of interest

There are plenty of more sites worth checking out on the Northwest side of Grand Turk. These include Black Forest – with rare black coral, Amphitheater – with its exciting coral-lined V-shaped drop-off, Gorgonian Wall – with its plentiful soft coral formations and Anchor – which lies a large – over a hundred-year-old – encrusted in coral anchor. Check them all out, if you have time!

South Caicos

Looking for somewhere a little less crowded, take the 20-minute flight from Southeast Provo to South Caicos. While limited for accommodations, the diving makes up for it.

Convair CV-440

This private plane was built in 1953 and went down in “unknown” circumstances in 1978. Everyone safely got off the plane before it sank to the sea bed in about 55ft of water.

A plane landed in Turks and Caicos.
A Convair – like the one above – crashed off of South Caicos in 1978.

While there is not much of the plane left today, this makes for a nice shallow dive with plenty of subjects to photograph. The sea life you might find here includes sea turtles, schoolmaster snappers, moray eels, and barracuda. Definitely bring that camera!!

Lost Anchors

This is another dive site that is very popular. The encrusted anchors at this site have become a cornucopia of marine life. Among the elephant ear and barrel sponges you will find plenty of reef fish and possibly an octopus or two. Another spot to make sure you have your camera.

The Grotto

An excellent dive site with both swim-throughs and a wall drop-off. The Grotto usually tops dive site lists for South Caicos for it’s beautiful geographical formations and sea life.

Among the coral along the wall, you will see plenty of reef fish, but also possibly Hawksbill sea turtles, manta rays, and reef sharks.

The Arch

This naturally formed arch is rather impressive, at about 15ft wide. Other than making it fun to dive through, you’ll also see a gambit of marine life including reef fish, spiny lobster, and rays playing among the hard and soft coral formations.

Many of the dive sites for South Caicos are within the protected Admiral Cockburn Land and Sea National Park. Additional popular dive sites of South Caicos include Dove Cay – with some elkhorn coral and Eagle Ray Alley – with – I’ll give you two guesses – eagle rays. There can be swift currents at these sites, so plan accordingly.

An elk horn coral underwater in Turks and Caicos.
The weirdly cool elkhorn coral can be seen at Dove Cay.

Salt Cay

With just a little over a hundred residents, Salt Cay is the smallest of the inhabited Turks and Caicos islands. From its dirt roads to its lack of modern development, travelers will feel as though they have stepped back in time to stay on this secluded island. Oh, and the diving is nice as well.

HMS Endymion

For you wreck divers there is the HMS Endymion, which may be the most popular of the Salt Cay dive sites. This 44-gun wooden frigate was wrecked on the reefs of of Salt Cay in 1790.

There is not much left of this wreck, but among the coral, you can still find the ship’s anchor and chain. The wreck lies in about 40ft of water, so it’s a good spot for all levels of divers, as well as snorkelers.

Close by the Endymion is another wreck that also hit the shallow reef and sank. On the remains of this wreck, you can find the ship’s anchor, chain and engine.

Point pleasant

Located North of Salt Cay is Point Pleasant, another shallow dive site. Known for its pillar and elkhorn coral formations, divers can also find nurse sharks and the impressive tarpon – which can grow up to 8ft long – at this location.

A group of tarpon fish underwater in Turks and Caicos.
Tarpon, which can grow to 8ft long, can usually be found at Point Pleasant.
Other dive sites of interest

There are a few more sites to be found off of Slat Cay, like Kelly’s Folly and Rookery. Both of these sites boast pillar coral and black coral trees and are also worth a visit.

With so many dive site options available, it is best to check with a local dive shop to see which of the above sites their dive boat visits. Private charters may also be an option, but remember all dive operators are subject to the weather.

Other Activities

As with most of our trips, scuba divers don’t get all the fun. There are plenty of non-diving attractions for everyone in the Turks and Caicos islands.

Whale Watching

Whale watching is a very popular activity to partake in while visiting Turks and Caicos. This is best done in the winter months between December and February when the humpback whales are migrating. During those months, it is not uncommon to see the whales traveling through the “Columbus Passage” that is between Grand Turk and Salt Cay and the remaining islands.

A humpback whale jumping out of the water.
Book an outing to see the majestic humpback whales as they migrate. (Photo Courtesy Of NCSeagrant)

For those that want to get a little more up-close and personal, you can also try snorkeling with the whales, an experience you will recall and tell stories of the rest of you life.

Sunset Champagne Cruise From Grace Bay, Provo

This is not a three hour tour, but a two hour one that will be better than Gilligan’s cruise. For adults only, hop on board, grab a glass of champagne and enjoy a relaxing cruise to watch the beautiful sunset. This may not be a bad place to pop the question for those hopeless romantics.

A sailboat at sunset in the water.
Looking for a romantic outing? Try the two hour sunset champagne cruise

Jet Ski Excurisions

How about taking a couple of hours to go on a jet ski safari? Get on your personal jet ski and follow the guide to the ghost ship La Famille Express, which ran aground during a hurricane in 2004.

Continue your journey on to see some of the more secluded cays and beaches. An adventurous good time!

People jetskiing around a ghost ship.
Jet ski the crystal clear waters around a ghost ship…if you dare! (Photo courtesy of Sun And Fun Sea Sports)

Love Buggy Island Tour

If you’d rather do a tour on land and get lunch, then select your love buggy and get motoring. These cool three-wheelers are a pretty neat way to do some exploring!

As you drive your love buggy across Provo you will make stops at various places, including the Cheshire Hall Plantation and the Junkanoo Museum. you’ll then get lunch and keep on cruising. An excellent way for a fun cultural experience!

A group of people in red buggy's on the beach.
The love buggy is a unique way to explore the Provo. (Photo courtesy of Turks And Caicos Tourism)

Of course, there are plenty more things to do on the various islands, so grab your bags and get traveling!

Wrapping Things Up

The Turks and Caicos islands offer an amazing tropical paradise getaway. Divers and non-divers can enjoy the fun above and below the waves. But do be careful. You might find it hard to leave, once you get there.

A coastal view of the Turks and Caicos beach.
Travelers beware, leaving this tropical paradise won’t be easy.

“How boring would the world be if everywhere and everyone were the same. Safe travels and good adventures.” Scuba Jay

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