On my beach trips, besides just laying around in the sun and reading (which I do plenty of), I like to plan a couple of activities that give me a taste of what is special about that particular place. You can read about my experience paddleboarding through mangroves and horseback riding on the beach, but the icing on the cake of this trip might just have been our snorkeling excursion. A snorkeling trip is probably the most popular thing to do n the Turks and Caicos and that’s because it’s home to the third largest barrier reef in the world (behind Australia and Belize). To get to the reef, you’ll need to be on a boat and there are plenty of companies that offer snorkeling excursions out of Grace Bay. We chose to sail with Island Vibes because I’d read some good reviews and it seemed like their guests had an overall fun time. We did the half-day snorkel cruise and here’s how it went:
We got picked up on the beach just down from our resort (there are breaks in the buoys every little bit where the boats come ashore). I think the boat probably made 4-5 stops (we were second to last) but we were told what time to be out there and were picked up right on time. There were probably 15-20 people on board but it never felt too crowded. Our captain and first mate cranked up the music and we headed out to the reef. Our first stop was our only snorkeling spot (I’ve been on other snorkeling trips where they’ll take you to 3-4 spots) but all of the snorkeling on Provo happens on this reef so it’s really the only (and best) spot to go.
Let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed by the snorkeling. We spent about 45 minutes to an hour on the reef (we stayed as long as we wanted to) and it was the best snorkeling I’ve yet to do anywhere. The reef was colorful and vibrant with a large variety of coral and we saw so many different kinds of fish. We had a GoPro with us so we could get some awesome snaps but unfortunately due to a bug between GoPro and Apple’s latest software update, I can’t import them for a while yet. Anyways, that’s a good lesson that it’s a good idea to have a backup camera (or iPhone) on hand!
After we wrapped up snorkeling, our party on the boat was just beginning. We headed over to Little Water Cay for some time to explore the island while our crew got lunch fixed. We anchored and everyone jumped off the boat but before we headed off onto the island, we got a demonstration on how they catch and prepare conch.
Next we headed off in search of the famous iguanas that call the island home. They were pretty shy (not as friendly as the famous iguanas on Leaf Cay in the Exumas) but could be coaxed out of hiding with some food.
After that we walked across the island to the other side, enjoyed the views, and even found a starfish.
Back on the boat we had fresh conch salad (with tomatoes and onions) and enjoyed sandwiches, chips, and unlimited rum punch. Heading back to Grace Bay, we dropped anchor, turned up the music, and had a little party on the boat where we made full use of the slide and diving board. We played in the water and jumped off the boat for about half an hour before we started the drop off process. In total we were gone about 3 ½ to 4 hours and we were EXHAUSTED by the time we made it back to our resort. We all agreed that the ½ day trip was just perfect.
Tips for a Snorkeling Trip in TCI
- Wear (and bring) plenty of sunscreen. You’ll want the kind that’s non-toxic and safe for coral.
- Consider bringing either a rash guard or sun shirt as your skin may need a break.
- The boat should provide drinks (check ahead of time) otherwise be sure to bring water.
- Bring towels and some dry clothes or a cover up if you’ll want to get out of your wet things.
- Bring a waterproof backpack if you have one and are bringing things you don’t want to get wet.
- Bring a GoPro or waterproof camera or consider getting a waterproof case for your phone. You’ll for sure want to capture all of this underwater beauty.
Snorkeling in the TCI was amazing and something you definitely shouldn’t miss doing while you’re there. And I’d highly recommend a trip with Island Vibes Tours! Have you been snorkeling on Provo? Did you love it? Come on over to Facebook and tell me about it.