While in Turks
and Caicos, choose to stay on luxurious private islands like
Parrot Cay and Pine Cay or a quiet corner of nearby Providenciales
for powder-soft sand and crystal-clear waters on your doorstep,
while opting to venture further south via liveaboard gives you the
best access to the more remote and advanced diving in Turks and
Known by locals simply as 'Provo', Providenciales is the most
developed of the Turks and Caicos Islands and once harboured
real-life pirates of the Caribbean who needed to keep their heads
down. Nowadays, the island's turquoise waters harbour a plethora of
impressive marine species, with reef sharks, eagle rays and
occasional hammerhead sightings all on the cards.
Northwest Point Marine National Park features deep, vertical
walls and is a good place to spot Caribbean reef sharks. Shark
Hotel dive site is particularly fruitful for sharks (as the name
would suggest), with lucky divers spotting a lemon shark or tiger
shark too, while The Hole In The Wall features a unique
swim-through with its exit at 30 metres.
There can be some current at times, and this, together with the
disappearing bottom, makes the sites best suited to divers who are
certified as advanced. Diving in the Turks and Caicos puts you up
close and personal with an array of marine life, but megafauna
sightings are not limited by bottom time; keep an eye out for
bottlenose dolphins accompanying the dive boat to and from the
sites, and a visit between January and April could also see you
spotting humpback whales during your surface intervals...
While the deep walls in and around Providenciales are impressive
dive sites and a great introduction to the advanced diving in Turks
and Caicos, a liveaboard trip will help you reach the more remote
sites in the area. During the first few months of the year, the
liveaboard heads to Silver Bank to maximise your chances of
spotting the migrating humpback whales. Throughout the rest of the
year, the boat will head down to dive the walls and reefs of West
Caicos and French Cay.
The dive sites here edge toward the more advanced diving in
Turks and Caicos, with deep walls festooned with gorgonians and
soft coral-covered plateaus providing a playground for reef sharks,
Nassau groupers and jacks. Keep an eye out in the blue for passing
eagle or manta rays, and you may just have a passing visit from a
bigger shark or two too...