An Amazing Setting and Perfect Conditions
With crystal-clear ocean water and a pristine marine environment, Providenciales is an unparalleled destination for water sports. There’s a tremendous selection of things to do on and in the ocean.
Many boat tours can be booked as private charters, allowing the excursion and activities to be tailored to exactly how you’d like to spend the day.
Our Spectacular Reefs
The Turks and Caicos is home to one of the largest barrier reefs in the Caribbean, and this system surrounds almost the entirety of the Caicos Islands group.
When snorkeling the beach reefs, you likely won’t see large sharks, dolphins, or whales, however, the variety and number of colorful reef fish is excellent. It’s common to spot queen angelfish, French angelfish, yellowtail, stoplight parrotfish, trumpetfish, jacks, snappers, French grunts, butterflyfish, damselfish, and more.
The coral is impressive as well, and there are sea fans, sponges, sea urchins, and anemones too. In the seagrass surrounding the reefs, turtles, southern brown stingrays, and spotted eagle rays can be seen gliding by.
Snorkeling is an activity that can be enjoyed and appreciated by the whole family. Safety is of course key, and it’s advisable that a flotation or snorkeling vest be worn by anyone who’s unsure in the water.
The Turks and Caicos is renowned for its pristine reefs and coral, and Providenciales is a great destination to dive from as sites along the entire western side of the Caicos barrier reef and wall are regularly accessed from the island.
Each region of the reef offers a unique aspect. The walls of Northwest Point and West Caicos are impressively sheer, Grace Bay offers fascinating spur and grove formations, and the wall off French Cay, lit by the sun due to its southern exposure, is home to some of the most impressive coral in the country.
Grey reef sharks are common at many barrier reef sites, and dolphins, manta rays, hawksbill turtles and leatherback turtles can be spotted as well.
Freediving is a sport that’s gaining wider recognition. Blurring the line between an extreme sport and an eco-activity, this sport utilizes a mask and fins similar to the common snorkeling set up. The edge of the Caicos barrier reef makes for a spectacular playground, and with a little practice, it’s easy to dive down to depths of 30-40 feet (9-12 m).
Experiencing the reefs and wall with the simplicity of freediving is amazing.
Due to the associated dangers and risks, it’s recommended to receive professional instruction, and to have a rescue boat present when freediving.
Wetlands and Mangrove Channels
Extensive and ecologically important mangrove wetlands cover a large percentage of the Turks and Caicos. These unique habitats are teeming with wildlife and natural beauty.
Kayaking and Paddleboarding
Far too shallow for most motorized vessels, these channels and wetlands are best discovered by the silent kayak or stand-up paddleboard. As the nursery for countless species, wildlife sightings above and below the water’s surface are common.
Every location is different, yet you’ll likely get a close-up view of juvenile lemon sharks, stingrays, turtles, starfish, and conch. Hiding in the dense mangrove are green herons, and in the sky above, pelicans, egrets, and frigatebirds.
Depending on your preferences, it’s possible to either rent kayaks and paddleboards, or take a guided eco-tour. Both routes have their respective advantages, yet there’s so much interesting life to be discovered in the wetlands, and a guide with be able to identify and find the creatures that are often overlooked.
Wind and Waves
Water sports, powered simply by the elements, are making a big comeback.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better spot for learning to kiteboard at than Long Bay Beach on Providenciales. Here, the brilliantly-turquoise water is only waist deep, and the bottom is soft white sand. There are quite a few kite schools to choose from, and many students will be able to kite on their own after 8-12 lessons.
There are countless locations throughout the islands for an experienced kiter to explore. A day trip to North and Middle Caicos or South Caicos, or a downwinder through the Caicos Cays will offer kite sites and vistas that very few have the opportunity to experience.
Flat water windsurfing is likewise great, and equipment rentals and instruction are available from some of the kite schools.
We don’t have the predictable breaks that some of the other Caribbean surf destinations have, yet when the conditions are right, both conventional surfing and stand-up paddle surfing on the barrier reef is exquisite.
- Some water sports companies are not licensed. You will typically have no legal recourse in the event of an accident. This is especially common with banana boat and other wake ride operators. You may want to confirm an operator is licensed before using their services.
- Some water sports companies do not carry insurance or have inadequate insurance. This is especially common with banana boat and other wake ride operators. In the event of an accident, you will be responsible for your complete medical costs. If you have health insurance, you should be aware that you may not be covered for sports accidents and accidents outside of your home country. In addition, travel insurance does not usually cover sports accidents. You may want to confirm an operator is properly insured before using their services.