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Smith’s Reef concentrates the best the Caribbean Sea has to offer. On a small area, this location includes coral reefs, flats covered with thousands of sea fans, as well as shallow seagrass meadows. These environments attract an exceptional biodiversity, including dozens of species of reef fish, green turtles, eagle rays, and barracudas. And in addition, this spot has a free beach access. Don’t miss it if you are visiting Providenciales!

Atlantic spotted eagle ray at Smith's Reef
Spotted eagle rays frequently visit Smith’s Reef.

How to go snorkeling Smith’s Reef?

Smith’s Reef is located in Turtle Cove, on the north coast of Providenciales. The two closest beach accesses are at Turtle Cove Marina and are located on the map below. Access to the beach and the reef is free.

If you like walking, you may like to know that it is possible to reach the spot on foot from Grace Bay hotels, by a beach walk. Distance is for example 1800m from Gansevoort Turks and Caicos, 4000m from The Palm Turks and Caicos, or 6000m from Grace Bay Club.

Smith's Reef snorkeling map, Turtle Cove, Providenciales

Water entrance for snorkeling Smith’s Reef

Enter the water from the beach, near the coral reefs, marked in red on the map below. The reefs are not always easy to find: try to locate the green and red buoys, use Google Maps, or observe the snorkelers already in the water.

Coral and sea fans at Smith's Reef
Smith’s Reef displays a nice diversity of corals, sea fans and sea rods.

Smith’s Reef snorkeling exploration tips

Smith’s Reef boasts varied underwater environments. Within a small area, it hosts coral reefs, reef flats covered with sea fans, as well as seagrass beds, which can all be explored. These different environments are mentioned on the map above.

Aerial view of Smith's Reef
Aerial view of Smith’s Reef and the main coral areas.

It is on the coral reefs that you will observe the greatest diversity of fish species. In particular, you’ll spot damselfish, stoplight parrotfish, bluehead wrasse, and butterflyfish, which appreciate this environment rich in shelter and food. The Queen angelfish, one of the most beautiful fish in the Caribbean, is regularly seen on the reef too.

The coral areas are also visited by larger species, such as great barracuda, spotted eagle rays, and green sea turtles. Turtles are also easily found in the seagrass beds, on which it comes to feed and rest.

Before getting out of the water, explore the extensive flat covered with sea fans that extends to the east of the spot. It is the kingdom of large schools of blue tang, who roam it tirelessly, grazing on the small algae that grow on the flat.

Foureye butterflyfish at Smith's Reef
The foureye butterflyfish is the most common butterflyfish species that can be seen at this location.

In total, over a hundred species of reef fish occur at Smith’s Reef. Fishing is prohibited there, it is the guarantee of beautiful sightings. This spot is located near the Turtle Cove Marina exit. Be aware of boat traffic beyond the reef.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There are a few villas for rent on the beach, right in front of the spot. A choice of accommodation is also available around Turtle Cove Marina, a 5-15 minute walk from Smith’s Reef.

However, it is in Grace Bay that most visitors stay. Dozens of resorts, the most famous of which being the Gansevoort Turks and Caicos, the Palm Turks and Caicos, the Seven Stars Resort and Spa and the Grace Bay Club, follow one another along the shore.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth15ft/5m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersBoat traffic
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.