The Coral Reefs of the Caribbean

The Coral Reefs of the Caribbean


When most people come to the beautiful island of Providenciales in the greater Turks and Caicos Islands, they are ready for spending time exploring everything there is to do on the islands, from walking on white sand beaches to dining on some of the freshest seafood available anywhere. There is just as much fun to be had in the water as there is on land here, and it’s a big part of what drives the tourists to visit this tropical oasis year over year. A major draw of the water activities are the expansive coral reefs.


All About Coral


Coral is more than a pretty underwater decoration; it is a living thing much like an anemone or jellyfish. They share the same structure as their fellow Cnidaria: the polyp. However, unlike anemones, they secrete a calcium exoskeleton to protect the polyps. Polyps cluster in groups, and when there are enough of them, a reef forms. Coral feed on nutrients from organisms floating in the water, and they grow best in areas of shallow, warm water where it is sunny and the water is always moving. The majority of coral reefs in the Caribbean are fringing, meaning that they encircle the islands. This provides many benefits to the islands themselves, including protection from high seas as well as being part of a large ecosystem that benefits the entirety of the ocean.


Caribbean coral reefs extend from the Greater and Lesser Antilles through the islands of The Bahamas. These reefs consist of various stony coral species and some other indigenous coral species. There are 40 to 50 species of stony coral alone. These include Staghorn Coral, Clubtip Finger Coral, Blushing Star Coral and Grooved Brain Coral. Other types of coral such as Fire, Lace and Gorgonians may be more familiar to those who have only seen coral on television until their first diving adventure.


Getting Around the Reefs


Scuba diving in the Caribbean is an incredibly popular activity, primarily in part to the shallow waters surrounding most of the Caribbean islands. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos are known for their excellent diving sites. Smith’s Reef, Thompson Cove and Coral Gardens are go-to spots for great recreational diving with multiple dive centers available to give lessons and loan out gear.


Vacation in Style

You can experience the thrill of diving the coral reefs of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos while spending your vacation in a luxury villa. When you stay in a villa at TC Villas, you aren’t far from the best diving available. Rentals are available weekly, allowing you plenty of time to explore the crystal blue waters and walk among the rich foliage while on land before jumping in to become one with the aquatic life just offshore.

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You can find our villas at TC Villas. Contact TC Villas at or by phone from 9-5 EST at 1.877.467.4858 to book your perfect beachfront vacation rental villa!

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