Aerial view of the Undersea Explorer semi-submarine The Undersea Explorer is able to navigate close to the reef, offering a great view of marine life.
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Caicos Tours

Turtle Cove Marina, Turtle Cove, Providenciales
The 'Undersea Explorer' semi-submarine operated by Caicos Tours.

THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS are surrounded by approximately 340 miles (547 km) of barrier reef, which is considered to be the second finest reef system in the tropical Atlantic, and our reefs are one of the main reasons that visitors travel from across the globe visit our spectacular islands.

Caicos Tours operates the Undersea Explorer, a unique semi-submarine vessel, which is a great and fun way to experience our beautiful reefs. The tour can be a great option for those who don’t want to or can’t scuba dive or snorkel, young or old.

Caicos Tours also has the elegant Sea Jay, which is a day yacht available for private and custom charters at a reasonable price.

The Undersea Explorer

The Undersea Explorer was designed for viewing coral reefs, and was specifically engineered in Australia for the Great Barrier Reef. The vessel is a boat, yet the central hull allows guests to sit well below the water’s surface in air-conditioned comfort, with large observatory windows to see out of.

Crew at the Undersea Explorer in the Turks and Caicos
The friendly crew at the Undersea Explorer.

The vessel has seating for a maximum of 16 passengers, with a window for each passenger. A knowledgeable guide leads the tour, identifying the various fish and marine creatures, and guests are provided with fish identification cards.

Tours take place off the north coast of Providenciales, at reefs in the Turtle Cove, Smith’s Reef, and the Babalua Beach area. This section of bay is relatively shallow and calm, with a large number of bay reefs interspersed between seagrass beds and sandy ocean floor. Tours depart from Turtle Cove Marina near the popular Mango Reef restaurant, and the trip from the dock out to the reefs isn’t long.

The reefs are of course out in the wild, so there’s no guarantee of what may be seen, yet there are some regular sights. Green turtles and hawksbill turtles are common, as are stingrays, eagle rays, and a wide number of reef fish that often includes blue tangs, stoplight parrotfish, mangrove snappers, several types of jacks, bluehead wrasse, French grunts, yellow goatfish, porcupinefish, and much more. In the seagrass bed might be red cushion starfish, conch, and nurse sharks, and spiny lobsters can sometimes be seen hiding in the reef.

Above: The beautiful Smith's Reef near Turtle Cove.   Top right:  Top left:  A number of reefs are found in the bay off of Turtle Cove, and a short boat trip from the Undersea Explorer's dock.   Bottom right:  Top right:  A school of blue tangs at Smith's Reef.  

Fun for All Ages

Mermaid on the reef
Caicos Tours has a unique mermaid tour, which can be great for groups with kids.

The Undersea Explorer is a wonderful way for people of all ages to enjoy the wonders of the ocean, but for visitors looking to entertain little ones, the Mermaid Adventure Tour is an exciting opportunity. The tour includes an educational exploration of the local coral reefs, but with the bonus of a mermaid sighting. The mermaid also makes private appearances and can be arranged for private kids parties, camps, weddings, or corporate events.

The Turks and Caicos supports an incredible range of marine life, nearly all of which rely on the reefs for survival. The extensive wetlands of the Caicos Islands are an important counterpart to the reef systems that serve as nurseries for many species that are found on the reefs offshore. Many of the tropical Atlantic water species are represented on or around the Turks and Caicos Barrier Reef. Particularly, the reef system excels in the general diversity of species, and supports large densities of stoplight parrot fish, Caribbean reef sharks, and a plethora of hard and soft coral species.

It can be challenging to get children or non-swimmers to engage with our underwater environment, but the Undersea Explorer opens up a whole new world to life below the surface in a safe and comfortable environment, elevating visitor experiences with the islands and their surrounding waters in a unique way.

Private Charters on the Sea Jay

Boat in the Turks and Caicos
Sea Jay, a 30' Mainship Pilot day yacht operated by Caicos Tours.

Caicos Tours also provides private bespoke day charters on the Sea Jay, a Mainship Pilot 30' day yacht, which offers a comfortable and stable vessel that’s perfect for exploring the secluded cays, bays, and remote beaches of the Turks and Caicos.

The Sea Jay has a toilet onboard, as well as a small cabin, and a galley space. Choose from full-day, half-day, or sunset excursions. A range of refreshments and snacks is provided according to the trip.

Located at Turtle Cove Marina

Turtle Cove Marina is a full-service marina that caters to private vessels and local tour companies. The location is the oldest marina on Providenciales, and is home to many restaurants and shops. The broader Turtle Cove area supports low-density and upscale residences and villas.