Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Providenciales: Snorkeling Bight Reef

Bight Reef is in the Grace Bay area, with multiple hotels nearby (Coral Gardens is the closest, I'd say). If you're not staying immediately nearby, you can bike or drive here. There's parking available in a little cul-de-sac-ish area next to the Coral Gardens parking lot.

When you're driving down Penn's Road, you'll see some dilapidated looking buildings on your left surrounded by chain-link fence and wooden posts. Don't worry; you're in the right place.

Always look for the "Beach Access Parking" signs.



View Providenciales, Turks & Caicos in a larger map

Bight Reef is great for beginners and experts alike, as there's tons to see in the shallower parts of the water as well as the deeper areas. You can go waist deep, look down, and you'll see plenty of fish and coral because the water is so crystal clear (unless it has recently stormed). It's a beautiful beach by itself so if you're only interested in getting a tan, it'll be great for you as well. Relax and enjoy the postcard-worthy view.
Note the Bight Reef sign once you get on the beach. There's a bunch of coral that's being protected in a a large circular area which is roped off. You'll know where you shouldn't go by the floating red balls in the water. There's usually someone watching who will sound the alarm on a bullhorn to reprimand those who try and break the rules.

Other than that, be safe and enjoy. Here are a few of my favorite shots from Bight Reef.
This isn't a great shot, but we saw this puffer fish while we were snorkeling. It was really cute!
We ended up stalking it for a while, until it sort of hid inside this mini cave.
So many schools of fish, it was really amazing to see.
And some colors I didn't know existed in nature, like this electric blue. These guys were eating something off of the coral and we could actually hear it so keep your ears open as well when you're snorkeling.

It was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience and I really miss it. Of course, it doesn't have to be once-in-a-lifetime; I could plan a trip there soon. And I should plan a trip there soon!

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