On the north shore of Providenciales Island to the west of Grace Bay, the Bight Reef snorkeling is known for its dramatic reefs and coral formations with colorful fans and sponges. Also known as Coral Gardens Reef, the main snorkeling area is clearly marked by a large ring of orange buoys. These buoys surround the reef exclusion zone where you are NOT allowed to snorkel within. Just follow around the outside of the buoy ring in 3 foot to 15 foot deep water. The best snorkeling is found at the furthest buoy from shore (about 300 feet offshore). Beyond the buoy ring, there are sand grass flats which are popular with green sea turtles and spotted eagle rays, so make sure to venture off the buoy line. When snorkeling Bight Reef, you may encounter parrotfish, yellow snapper, moray eels, groupers, grunts, trumpetfish, angelfish, blue tangs, nurse sharks, Southern Stingrays, spotted eagle rays and green sea turtles. The snorkeling is best on calm days.
After a long morning of snorkeling, check out the adjacent beachfront Somewhere Cafe at the Coral Garden Resort for a cool drink to rinse away the salt water. If you happen to be snorkeling on a Thursday afternoon, don’t forget about the Fish Fry at Bight Park just to the west that starts at 5:30pm.
To reach the Bight Reef snorkeling, there are two roadside parking areas along Penns Road and along Stubbs Road. Both of these roads are off Lower Bight Road. From the roadside parallel parking areas, there are public beach access paths next to Coral Gardens Resort and Windsong Resort, respectively. It is located roughly 2.5 miles west-southwest of downtown Grace Bay.
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.
When it comes to somewhere to stay, it doesn’t get more convenient that at the adjacent Coral Gardens Resort. This ‘resort’ is actually a condo complex that has two rental agencies managing the day to day unit rentals, and each rental agency has a separate phone number / website. This makes it a little confusing and one of the agencies that rents a majority of the units is actually difficult to find but easy to work with. Both phone numbers are provided below.
Overall, Bight Reef is the 1st most popular snorkel dive spot of all 32 snorkeling dives in Turks And Caicos.