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Turks And Caicos Scuba Diving

Diving In The Turks And Caicos Islands

Turks and Caicos Beaches Scuba Diving for Families
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • The alluring turquoise waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands feature a vast, thriving coral reef ecosystem and lots of walls. The main attraction here is diving. With protected reefs dropping well past recreational dive limits just offshore, its easy to see why this is a divers paradise.

    Whether youre 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 40 islands and cays, but just eight are inhabited.

    The deep passage between the islands is a water highway for migrating fish, rays, turtles, dolphins and humpback whales from January through March.

    Diving in the Caribbean is extremely pleasant year-round. January through March offer the best opportunities to dive with migrating rays, turtles, dolphins and humpback whales.

    Diving In Turks And Caicossteep Drop

    Not far from the Bahamas, there is an archipelago that is an absolute diving paradise. There are about forty-some islands bathed in an almost permanent sun, seemingly floating on warm translucent water, and whose seabed alternates between coral gardens and walls inhabited by a rich and diverse sea life! Turks and Caicos, a.k.a. Turkish and Caicos, do not form an independent territory like their neighbor the Bahamas. They are British overseas territories.

    Lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the plots of land that constitute the Turks and Caicos Islands are split into two main groups. The first includes the Caicos islands, the biggest of which is Providenciales and West Caicos. The second includes the smaller Turk islands: Grand Turk, Salt Turk, to name a few. The archipelago is famous for its drop-offs, sometimes right off the coast. And, dont miss the Columbus Passage! Its a 32-kilometer long channel between the Turks and the Caicos. Its a fabulous area to explore during one of the Two-Tank Dives, an outing where you do two morning dives non-stopso frequent its almost a tradition here. Finally, ahhhh, the shipwrecks, the treasures of the sea– you just have to fin over to the HMS Endymion, General Pershing, or DC3, for example, to mix things up a bit. Between the diversity and accessibility of the sites, Turks and Caicos have everything to delight beginners and keep the more experienced divers interested.

    Diving In The Turks And Caicos

    Aqua Tci was formed to encompass all the great dive practices that Stephanie and Bill Wallwork, the founders, have seen and experienced from diving around the world.

    The Turks and Caicos Islands diverse aquatic wildlife, clear waters, relaxed diving and chilled island lifestyle, provides the ideal location for them to share with you their passion for diving.

    The idea is simple: the freedom provided by a small group of certified divers, combined with higher levels of personal service and professionalism, results in the best possible scuba diving in the Turks and Caicos.

    * All that is required from you is to relax, dive and chill!

    Latest News!

    We have now added to our operation with a custom Newton 36ft Dive Special boat Chucks Mate.

    This addition will allow us to offer both public and private dive trips, whilst continuing to give our signature personalized service to all our guests both new and returning.

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    Grace Bay And The Princess Alexandra National Park

    Dive Site Level: All levels

    Grace Bay Beach has been described as the most stunning beach in the world it is only natural that an exploration beneath the waves in this area would be just as spellbinding. Reef dives here start from 25 to 40 ft, and it takes 5-10 minutes to get there from shore. A barrier reef protects the coast and adds to the ambiance of this exciting dive. The walls here drop to about 100 ft, and youre likely to spot lots of grouper, lobster, turtles, snapper, grunts, barracuda, and reef fish. There are also huge barrel sponges and deep coral canyons that will capture your attention, as you sink into a life much unlike the one youre used to back on solid ground. Overall, the vibrancy of the marine life around Grace Bay makes it a must-dive location in Turks & Caicos.

    Bonus: Alternatives To Scuba Diving In Turks & Caicos

    A divers guide to the Turks and Caicos

    There are many other things to do in the Turks & Caicos islands besides diving. This tropical archipelago is great for island hopping, with each island having a distinct personality. Some of the islands are uninhabited, which is perfect if you want to spend just one day feeling like youre stranded on a beautiful deserted island, yet not. Theres also plenty of action beachside, and into the quaint towns and villages in the more populated islands.

    If you or another family member wants to dive but isnt quite feeling scuba , sign up for a SNUBA dive , which is a neat combination between snorkeling and scuba diving thatll still ensure theres plenty to talk about once you get home. Both snorkeling and SNUBA are good options if youre not certified but still want to take in some of the magic of the undersea.

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    Best Dive Sites In Turks And Caicos

    Amphitheatre – This large bowl with three slopes really makes you feel like you have arrived at an underwater amphitheater ready to see the play of colorful marine life. The dive site is located in the Landfill National Park in Grand Truk. Before you arrive at the amphitheater part, you’ll follow an incredible wall covered with black coral. Schools of jacks, stingrays, nurse sharks, triggerfish, and blue parrotfish are among many fish you can spot there. Behind the drop-off, you might even see some whales, mantas, or dolphins!

    McDonald’s – Another amazing dive site located at Grand Truk is the McDonald’s. Many scuba divers have said it’s their favorite site due to its gorgeous arches. Between the bright coral and sponges, you can spot groupers, sharks, moray eels, parrotfish, cleaner shrimp, and eagle rays. Because fishing here is prohibited, marine life has really flourished and make the dives very enjoyable.

    Thunderdome – A metal dome structure that was originally built for a French game show, has now become the highlights of this dive site. Even though the dome has collapsed, it is still very interesting to see. The dome is now covered with Christmas three worms, clams, blennies and surrounded by other small colorful fish. You can also spot some lobsters, snappers, and grunts. It’s a great site for some underwater photography.

    Shark Hotel North West Point Area

    Shark Hotel is the name given to this dive site which hosts a congregation of small to large Reef Sharks at the plateau point. This wall starts at 35ft and drops to depths of 100ft and some more! This dive site boasts the largest Pillar Coral colony in all of Turks and Caicos.

    Things to See:

    Not only famous for the abundance of sharks that seem to gather here, but also for the variety of formations of gold and purple Tube Sponges that are scattered across this reef. This dramatic wall features all the colors of the rainbow with Parrotfish, Blue and Brown Chromis, Trumpet Fish, Damsel Fish, Goat Fish and more of your usual Caribbean reef suspects. When you reach the famous Shark Hotel plateau, gently kneel into the sand or perform your best hover and simply watch the Reef Sharks cruise on by. This dive site also attacks large schools of Horse Eye Jacks, who sometimes approach the calmest of divers!

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    Turks And Caicos Dive Areas

    8 of the 40 cays and islands in Turks and Caicos are inhabited, but each offers its own unique character. These are some of the best dive areas favored by scuba divers:

    1. Providenciales

    The most well-known, developed, and populated of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Providenciales, often referred to as simply “Provo,” serves as the center of tourism. The dive sites are abundant with marine life as part of the area has been protected.

    2. Salt Cay

    Boasting wrecks, caverns, and wall dives, not to mention humpback whales, Salt Cay offers a varied range of dive sites. It is one of the most remote areas of Turks & Caicos, which is why it has some of the most beautiful dive sites with pristine coral reefs, rich in marine life and great wall dives. During the winter seasons this is the spot to see migrating humpback whales.

    3. Grand Turk

    Capitol of the territory, Grand Turk boasts topside history and cultural charm. Its turquoise waters and protected, plunging reefs make it a premier dive destination. The largest marine protected area of Turks & Caicos, the Columbus Landfall Marine National Park, is located in Grand Turk. There are plenty of dive sites accessible by both boats and from the shore. Scuba divers can find some very beautiful healthy reefs with a variety of sponges and deep drop-offs.

    4. West Caicos

    5. French Cay

    You might also want to check out another great destination to see humpback whales – Moorea, French Polynesia.

    Scuba Diving Programs For Advanced Levels

    World’s Best Diving: Explorer Ventures Turks and Caicos Explorer II

    These packages are designed to meet the needs of those who’ve taken scuba trips in the past and are either still looking for a guided experience or trying to get out on their own.

    Enriched Air Diver : this is PADIs most popular specialty scuba course. The enriched nitrox air eliminates decompression time, especially on repetitive scuba dives. If longer diving sessions and shorter surfacing times sound appealing, then dont hesitate to sign up for enriched diving.

    Rescue Diver: past graduates have often described the PADI Rescue Diver course as one of the most challenging yet rewarding theyve ever taken. Youll learn the special safety skills necessary to prevent and manage problems in the water, making you an invaluable asset to any scuba group.

    Dive Master: the PADI Dive Master course offers the first level of professional scuba training. Youll work closely with a PADI instructor to hone your dive and rescue skills and obtain the qualifications to lead your own diving group and assist others in training.

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    Training And Padi Certification Course

    You will need to have completed a certification course and be in possession of your certification card before you are permitted to dive. The foremost certification agency is PADI .

    We recommend that most begin with the PADI Open Water Diver course. Open water means there are no overhead obstructions , and you can surface at any time. The open water course normally has 2 in-pool/classroom days and 1-2 days of certifying dives in the ocean . Depending on the intensity of the course, these may be shortened by a day, but expect to spend 3 or 4 full days getting certified.

    A common approach to getting scuba diving is to do the PADI eLearning course online, which costs $190 and takes about 8 hours of study. You take the online test and when you pass, you will need to complete the theory portion of your training. You can usually book the pool-training at a local scuba club or dive center, and take the in-pool dives locally. Finally, they give you a referral and you do your final, in the water, qualifying dives whilst on holiday, such as in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This way you don’t spend any of your vacation time in a classroom or pool, and, whilst still part of your training, your first dive you get to start ‘real’ diving. You’ll then be certified to dive to 18 meters .

    Coral Gables Grace Bay

    All dive sites in Grace Bay are only a 15-minute boat ride from shore. This Marine Reserve, named Princess Alexandra National Park, has been a protected sanctuary since 1992. It has provided a sanctuary for wildlife and safe breeding grounds producing an abundance of fish and reef creatures! Coral Gables dive site features a gently sloping wall which is perfect for any level of diver as they can choose their own depths.

    Things to See:

    Drop in at 30ft and explore the sandy bottom. Here you can find Tile Fish stacking rocks and Bi-coloured Damsel Fish making a home within them. Look out for the sneaky camouflaged Peacock Flounders until they get spooked and then watch the electric blues emerge from the whites. Explore the wall at your own leisure and watch Groupers get groomed at their favourite cleaning station. In the midwater you can see Yellow-tail Snappers drift around and above them some Creole-Wrasse dance in the sunlight.

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    Scuba Diving Programs For Beginners

    Never scuba dived before? A little intimidated by the prospect? Never fear! This beginners-only class is the perfect introduction.

    Introduction to Scuba Diving: Our PADI-certified instructors will teach you all the basic fundamentals of scuba diving in the stress-free safety of a swimming pool.

    Open-Water Diver: if youve never scuba dived before and are eager to experience the unequaled adventure awaiting in the world beneath the waves, this is the class for you. Although no scuba experience is required, you must be in good health and possess adequate swimming skills.

    Princess Alexandra National Park

    Turks and Caicos: Diving Paradise  Sailing With Gratitude

    This is a very wide national park as it stretches deep into the ocean. So, Princess Alexandra National Park includes several beaches with an amazing variety of marine life and allows you to snorkel from the shore.

    The park is located north of the island of Providenciales and has several points of interest and dive sites for you to choose from. Then, you can see the popular and impressive coral reef off the coast, namely Smiths Reef.

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    Turkoise Is A Heaven For Divers

    Club Med Turkoise has so much to offer! located in Grace Bay of Providenciales Island. This vivacious Caribbean resort is the perfect place to let your inner child run free.

    Relish in the excitement of your favorite watersports, or go for a swing on the flying trapeze before dancing the night away under the stars. Surrounded by vividly colorful bungalows, gorgeous hibiscus-lined beaches, and turquoise waters, this resort offers a picturesque setting for creating ever-lasting memories.

    Dive Resorts And Accommodations

    The Turks and Caicos offers several dive-oriented accommodations and all-inclusive resorts with dive-centric packages.On Providenciales, the countrys largest all-inclusive resorts, Beaches Resort and Club Med Turkoise, have vacation stays that include unlimited diving trips. These resorts also include a great range of other activities and amenities as well.

    The less extensive Bohio Dive Resort on Grand Turk and Salt Cay Divers on the tiny island of Salt Cay primarily support the dive community, and are within short boat trips of excellent reef sites.

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    Intro To Turks & Caicos

    Turks and Caicos is a group of 40 islands and cays located just 550 miles southeast of Miami, Florida. With its close vicinity to North America and the allure of white sand beaches, warm Caribbean waters, and colorful marine life, the Turks and Caicos group is a popular dive travel destination. The islands are surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters and 1000 square miles of gorgeous healthy reefs.

    The Reefs And Wildlife

    Scuba Diving The Turks & Caicos Islands

    First and foremost is what youll see underwater. Marine life is vibrant throughout the Turks and Caicos, yet topography differs a bit.

    The eastern Turks and Caicos reefs near Grand Turk and Salt Cay support a high density and variety of fish and sea creatures, yet the underwater terrain and coral reef features of the Caicos Islands tend to be more impressive.

    The majestic and sheer wall sites of the western Caicos Banks are only accessed from Providenciales and in our opinion are the finest sites in the country.

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    The Dives In Turks And Caicos

    8 of the 40 cays and islands in Turks and Caicos are inhabited, and each offers its own unique character. This trip includes an average of 27 dives, including night dives.

    French Cay Rock and RollThe top of the wall is at 40 feet, and there is an abundance of barrel sponges, elkhorn, and pillar corals. Juvenile barracuda and lobsters are spotted in the daytime. This dive is a great option for the afternoon or night dive.

    French Cay West Sand Spit The wall starts at 40 feet and is covered with large coral formationspillar corals, barrel sponges, and deep-water gorgonians. Keep an eye out for nurse sharks, French angels, ocean triggerfish, and huge stingrays. This site is weather permitting.

    Northwest Point Black Coral ForestThe walls start at 45 feet and drop to below 300 feet. There is an overhang where at least five species of black coral are growing. The base of the overhang is at 75 feet.

    Northwest Point Shark HotelNamed for the Caribbean reef sharks often seen cruising by, the wall levels off at 90 feet at a plateau covered with plate corals. At 100 feet, a chimney cuts through the reef exiting at 130 feet on the deep wall with lots of pillar coral on top.

    Northwest Point The CrackThe wall doglegs to the south forming a huge penny slot crack that divers can swim and exit at any time. A massive barrel sponge with an anemone above it is at 85 feet. Divers swimming to the south may encounter schooling fish and a resident sea turtle.

    Diving In Turks And Caicos

    When picturing the Turks and Caicos, one imagines dreamy turquoise waters and sand so white you could paint a picture on it like a canvas. Turks has arguably more to offer than the more populated neighbor, the Bahamasmany divers think so.

    Beneath the surface of these clear waters, scuba divers descend to pristine reefs and dramatic walls. More than 40 different islands and cays make up this island chain, of which only 8 are inhabited! With standard visibility of 200ft and one of the longest barrier reefs in the world, this is truly a divers paradise.

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