The Bight Reef

Found right off the beach in the Bight, this spot is the most popular and busy snorkeling site on Providenciales. This reef tends to have a high density of relatively tame fish, although the larger sea creatures such as turtles, stingrays, barracudas and lobsters are less common than at some of the other snorkeling sites.

This beach is also known locally as Coral Gardens, named after the nearby resort.

Unlike Smith's Reef which is more extensive, the Bight Reef consists of only one main reef that extends 350 feet out from the beach.

French Grunt fish at the Bight Reef.

Due to damaging behavior by snorkellers and sediment caused by dredging and powerboats, the Bight Reef has declined a bit from what it was fifteen years ago.

The bight reef is easily to get to from two beach accesses. See our Bight Reef map.

Dangers

By far the greatest danger at the Bight Reef is careless and reckless boat operators. The area has a roped off swim zone around the reef, but small speedboats offering banana boat and tube wake rides tend to travel excessively fast directly outside of this zone. Along with being dangerous, these boats also churn up sediment and reduce visibility in the water.

Ray at a coral head at the Bight Reef.

Although not much of a threat, the occasional Lionfish is something to be aware of. An invasive predatory species from the Indo-Pacific , Lionfish have venomous spines on the their back capable of giving very painful stings which in worst case scenarios can cause temporary seizures or paralysis. Fortunately, the lionfish are not aggressive to humans and only sting in defensive situations.

Currents and tides are rarely an issue at the Bight Reef. However, beginners and unsure swimmers should consider using a snorkeling vest. As with any location, strong winds or rough conditions can make snorkeling unpleasant and difficult and should be avoided.

Important Snorkeling Guidelines

As with all reefs in the Turks and Caicos, great care must be taken to preserve and protect the coral and sea life.

  • Don’t touch or stand on anything. Coral is a living animal and you will likely kill or severely harm any part you contact.
  • Make sure not to brush anything with your flippers or gear.
  • Don’t take anything. This includes all shells, sand dollars, sea urchins, starfish and small pieces of coral.
  • Don’t heavily coat yourself with sun screen or other lotions before snorkelling. Use biodegradable lotion.
  • Don’t follow closely or chase any sea life.
  • Don’t attempt to feed any sea life.
  • If you are in charge of children, make sure that they understand and follow these guidelines.

This snorkeling site is part of the Princess Alexandra National Park and it is illegal to fish or collect conch and lobster.

Starfish can be found in the sea grass surrounding the reef.
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Last reviewed by an editor on 9 June 2013.
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