Diving and Snorkeling

Diving Grand Turk is a unique experience. With the wall so close to shore, small skiffs able to hold small dive groups leave the beachfront and within minutes arrive at one of many pristine dive sites. You're sure to see the larger pelagics in the deep blue, along with everything you can expect to see diving Provo. The larger reef sharks, spotted eagle rays, giant manta rays, moray eels, and even enormous jewfish are not uncommon. Although the vertical drops take divers through tunnels and undersea cathedrals, the shallower sands can surprise you with dancing octopus and "football fields" of garden eels to play with. Even thousands of Atlantic humpback whales swim through en route to their winter breeding grounds (January through April).

Dive outfitters can all be found in the heart of Cockburn Town with the exception of Bohio, on the very far northern end of town. Note that anyone wishing to dive must present a valid certificate card before going out the first time. Two-tank dives generally cost between $90 and $130; gear rentals are extra. Night diving is usually a one-tank dive and costs around $50; there's a minimum number of divers required, so check around to see which company has scheduled dive.

Snorkeling is also an option for those who enjoy the underwater world but don't dive. There are numerous sites around the island that you can safely reach without a boat. Another alternative is to join a guided snorkel trip; Bohio and Blue Water Divers both offer them. Oasis Divers offers an Ultimate Snorkeling Adventure, where they set you up with mask, fins, and snorkel and guide you through your first fish identification ecotour for $45 per person, lasting approximately 1½ hours. If you wish, they also offer a Snuba experience. Snuba is an underwater breathing system that allows users to breathe from long hoses that attach to tanks floating on a pontoon at the surface instead of the traditional tank strapped on the back. Although no experience is required, it often leads to participants’ eventually becoming scuba certified.

Gibbs Cay, just a couple of miles off Grand Turk, makes a great day trip to a small, uninhabited island. Here you can hike around the island, go for a nice beach stroll or beachcomb, and then join in the day’s snorkel adventure, culminating in a swim with stingrays. Blue Water Divers, Oasis Divers, and Bohio Dive Resort offer trips here. Oasis Divers also offers a clear-bottom kayak eco-safari where participants learn a little about what's both above and below the surface and how it all works together.

Blue Water Divers. In operation on Grand Turk since 1983, Blue Water Divers is the only PADI Green Star Award recipient-star dive center on the island, priding themselves on their personalized service and small group diving. The owner, Mitch, may not go diving very often anymore, but he may put some of your underwater experiences to music in the evenings when he plays at the Osprey Beach Hotel or Salt Raker Inn! In addition, Blue Water Divers offers Gibbs Cay snorkel and Salt Cay trips. Osprey Beach Hotel, The Atrium, 1 Duke St., Cockburn Town, Grand Turk, TKCA 1ZZ. 649/946–2432; www.grandturkscuba.com.

Grand Turk Diving. This company offers full-service dives, as well as trips to nearby Gibbs Cay and Salt Cay. GT Diving also offers shore diving when you purchase at least two days of package diving; however, it is a lengthy swim so few do it more than once. In addition, they offer bicycles for hire at $20 for a 24-hour period. Duke St., Cockburn Town, Grand Turk, TKCA 1ZZ. 649/946–1559; www.gtdiving.com.

Oasis Divers. Oasis Divers provides excellent personalized service, with full gear handling and dive site briefing included. They also supply nitrox for those who are specifically trained. In addition, Oasis Divers offers a variety of other tours, including their land-based one on Segways, as well as whale-watching when the animals migrate past. Duke St., Cockburn Town, Grand Turk, TKCA 1ZZ. 649/946–1128; 800/892–3995; www.oasisdivers.com.