hile in the Turks and Caicos, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding ways to explore the stunning turquoise waters for which the Turks and Caicos have become known. There’s snorkeling and scuba diving—and then there’s snuba.
Snuba is a unique water sport that combines snorkeling and scuba diving, and on the island of Providenciales, it’s offered exclusively by Snuba TCI. As a relatively easy activity that doesn’t require the formal training and certification that scuba diving requires, snuba is perfect for visitors who are only in the islands for a short time but still want to explore the reef and underwater world of Turks and Caicos.
Learning to Snuba
Learning the ropes of snuba takes no more than 30 minutes. It’s an activity suitable for participants as young as 8 years old, making it a viable option for families traveling with young children.
A standard snuba setup involves connecting the diver to a standard diving tank secured to a snuba raft. The diver is connected to the tank on one end by a long air hose, while the other end has a regulator to facilitate breathing. Meanwhile, the raft remains on the surface while you’re underwater and follows your every move.
Explore the Reef
As the heavier equipment remains on the surface, snuba divers have the mobility to explore the ocean at depths up to 20 feet. This allows for some fantastic sightings that can’t be seen at the surface level. From tiny creatures such as shrimp and small fish, to eagle rays, lobsters, crabs, and exquisite coral reefs, you’re sure to be wowed by the beauty that can be found underwater. But if you’d prefer to stay closer to the surface, snuba can also be enjoyed at depths of 2 to 10 feet.
Snuba divers normally wear standard snorkeling equipment, including fins, a snorkel mask, and a weight belt to control buoyancy. All of the required equipment can be rented directly from Snuba TCI, making for a hassle-free snuba expedition.
As an added incentive, everyone on an excursion with Snuba TCI gets one complimentary photo to ensure you have a keepsake of your time submerged in the beautiful Turks and Caicos waters. Additional photos can also be taken for a small fee, but this is optional.
The tour company also operates a half day snuba and snorkel boat tour during the week, which goes a short distance out to the barrier reef in Grace Bay. Here, you will snuba at one location and snorkel at another. However, snorkeling experience is required for this tour.
Snuba TCI is owned and operated by Jodi Taylor, who has a wealth of diving experience and is certified by PADI, the premier dive training organization. Jodi’s passion for diving, marine life, and meeting new people led her to follow her dreams and launch Snuba TCI on Providenciales in 2004. The company is located on the beach at the Bight Reef (also known as Coral Gardens due its close proximity to Coral Gardens Resort) in central Providenciales.
The Bight Reef
The Bight Reef is the most popular snorkeling site in the Turks and Caicos, and with good reason. The reef is easily accessible, contains a wide variety of marine life, and is located right off the beach, making it an ideal spot for beginners.
Fish and Wildlife
It’s common to spot parrotfish, snapper, grouper, barracudas, bar jacks, and much more while snorkeling the Bight Reef. Hidden within the crevices of the coral reef, lobsters, eels, and sea cucumber can also be found. It should be noted that sunscreen containing chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate are harmful to the reef systems, and visitors are therefore encouraged to use reef-safe sunscreen while in the Turks and Caicos.
The accesses to the Bight Reef are easy to find just off of the Lower Bight Road between Grace Bay and Turtle Cove. While driving, look for signs for Coral Gardens Resort and Windsong Resort, and you won’t miss it. If you’re staying in the Bight Area, you can also take a quick stroll along the beach to find the Bight Reef.