On the north shore of Providenciales Island and west of Grace Bay, the snorkeling at Smith's Reef is popular its spectacular reefs which come close to shore. The main reef is a small circular zone just offshore that is clearly marked by an enclosed floating ring. At the beach-accessed Smith's Reef, there are staghorn coral and elkhorn coral gardens with colorful fans ...
On the north shore of Providenciales Island and west of Grace Bay, the snorkeling at Smith's Reef is popular its spectacular reefs which come close to shore. The main reef is a small circular zone just offshore that is clearly marked by an enclosed floating ring. At the beach-accessed Smith's Reef, there are staghorn coral and elkhorn coral gardens with colorful fans and sponges. You can expect to see turtles, parrotfish, wrasse, queen angel fish, cornetfish, trumpetfish, yellow tail snapper, octopus, squid, southern stingrays, spotted eagle rays and nurse sharks among the vase sponges and pink anemones. Watch out for the lionfish that frequent the reef.
There is a marked snorkel trail starting north of Turtle Cove Marina in 8 to 25 feet deep water. The Smith's Reef Snorkel Trail is maintained by the National Trust. The Smiths Reef snorkeling is best on calm days. Since this area is just around the corner from Turtle Cove Marina, keep an eye out for heavy boat traffic, such as from snorkel tour boats. The reefs start right from shore and extend offshore for about 300 feet. There are alternating gaps along the shore of sand, sea grass and then reef. There are three reef zone spread along the beach from the marine heading east. It is possible to start at one reef near the marina and keep snorkeling east about 150 feet offshore and hit each of the reefs. The best reef is the eastern most reef.
Providenciales Island, which is popularly known as Provo, is a world renowned diving destination that is growing in popularity for snorkeling. With the third largest barrier reef in the world, the 14 mile barrier reef stretches along most of the north shore that provides calm, clear waters.
After a long morning of snorkeling at Smiths Reef, check out the Tiki Hut in Turtle Cove for a cool drink to wash away the salt water.
To reach the Smith Reef snorkeling, head north of Turtle Cove off Bridge Road at the start of Grace Bay. There are three access points for Smiths Reef including two off Coconut Road and one off Lower Bight Road. Many consider the access point at the far east end of Coconut Road to offer the best snorkeling access directly offshore of three white houses.
To reach the snorkeling on Turks and Caicos by air, fly into Providenciales International Airport (PLS) located in the middle of the island. The airport is served by American Airlines, Delta and United from Dallas, Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston and Miami. There are also inter-island flights on Caicos Express Airways and interCaribbean to Nassau, Jamaica, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
PRO TIP: The Smiths Reef snorkel trail was restored in 2021 by the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund with help from the Sandals Foundation. The snorkel ring that keeps snorkelers off the fragile central reef zone was was improved and new underwater signage was added. In addition, there were channel markers added to keep boats out and protect the snorkelers. On shore, there is new signed to help educate new snorkelers as to appropriate etiquette at Smiths Reef.
Overall, Smiths Reef is the 2nd most popular snorkel dive spot of all 32 snorkeling dives in Turks And Caicos. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Smiths Reef including Bight Reef, Northwest Point, Davy Bight Beach, Grace Bay Beach, Babalua Beach and Sapodilla Bay Beach.
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