The quiet island of Salt Cay offers excellent snorkeling and scuba diving. Visibility tends to be excellent, especially when compared to the typical conditions at the popular beach snorkeling spots on Providenciales. However, the size and scope of the reefs and coral easily accessible from shore is a bit limited compared to the deeper reefs, and if you’re certified, scuba diving will provide a better experience.
There is no single best location for beach snorkeling on Salt Cay. The west end of North Bay (North West Point) has vibrant coral and sea life, but ocean conditions aren’t always optimal. The ocean off of Deane's Dock and Balfour Town Beach is typically calm, yet the area isn't quite as colorful. See the locations section below for more information.
Snorkeling Boat Cruises
A snorkeling boat excursion will allow for access to some of the excellent pristine and extensive reefs found offshore and near adjacent cays. From approximately January through April, it’s possible to see and snorkel with migrating humpback whales.
Salt Cay Divers is the only business on the island that offers boat trips.
Equipment Rentals and Sales
Salt Cay Divers rents snorkeling equipment, and some accommodations offer complimentary gear usage.
Sales are limited to a few mask sets available at Splash Boutique in Balfour Town. If you’d like to purchase snorkel gear, due to the very small selection of equipment on Salt Cay we recommend that you do so at a dive shop before you arrive on Salt Cay, either on Providenciales or elsewhere. Working with a decent dive shop will allow you to get the best-fitting gear that your budget allows for.
Beach Snorkeling Locations
Below are the best locations for snorkeling from the beach on Salt Cay.
North Bay Beach
The beautiful North Bay Beach offers the best snorkeling close to the shore on Salt Cay. Quite a few small reefs can be found in varying distances off the beach, but the far northwestern and northeastern ends have the highest density of coral. Simply look for the dark patches and explore.
Interesting snorkeling can be found off the easily accessible Balfour Town Beach and Deane’s Dock, however, the coral isn’t quite as vibrant as at some other spots. You should however see plenty of colorful reef fish and may also see a stingray or eagle ray. This area is typically sheltered and calm.
The remote and far southern point of Salt Cay has fascinating spur and grove formations in some spots, but the snorkeling quality in the general area is highly dependent on ocean conditions. It’s worth checking this area out if the weather is calm and your schedule allows. Beware of currents.
Important Snorkeling Guidelines
- Don’t snorkel on your own.
- Be aware of currents and don’t venture far from shore.
- 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 sunscreen or other lotions before snorkeling.
- Don’t follow closely or chase any sea life.
- Don’t attempt to feed any marine life.