Smith's Reef
Smith's Reef
4.5
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
See what travelers are saying
  • Steve D
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Better than a paid snorkeling excursion!
    Snorkeling this reef is a must, if you are staying on Providenciales. Plentiful and colorful fish, sea turtles and a vibrant reef. Smith's reef is better than virtually all paid boat snorkel excursions we've taken. We saw turtles every time when we snorkeled there. The best area is past the buoys and to the right (when looking from the beach). There is a wall of coral in that area and it goes from maybe 25ft deep to less than 6ft deep. Approximately 50-100 yards past the buoys and between 50-100 yards to the right (when looking from the beach).
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 10, 2023
  • MKTBE
    Topeka, Kansas4,051 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Turquoise Waters!
    Smith's Reef is located close to the Turtle Cove Marina, where our hotel was located. While we did not get a chance to snorkel, we enjoyed the beautiful area. It was a short walk from our hotel, and if you are driving, there is a convenient parking lot. The beach and water are rocky, so water shoes or water sandals are helpful. The clear turquoise waters are stunning and make it a perfect destination for examining the coral reef and spotting fish and sea turtles. Smith's Reef is worth a visit, and if snorkeling is your pleasure, it is free and much more cost-effective than a snorkeling tour!
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 19, 2024
  • Cathy K
    Midlothian, Virginia376 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Swim with Turtles from the Beach
    Easy to find, easy, free parking, walk right in & snorkel. There are rocks to maneuver around, but if you're careful & slow, it's fairly easy. we immediately saw & were able to swim with a turtle !!!!! The reef is close to the beach, maybe 25 feet out. No undertow or waves, just clear water. Shade trees to sit under- bring a chair. No bathroom facilities or anywhere to purchase anything, so bring a small cooler with water or sodas.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 18, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles302 reviews
Excellent
197
Very good
70
Average
28
Poor
5
Terrible
2

Cathy K
Midlothian, VA376 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Easy to find, easy, free parking, walk right in & snorkel. There are rocks to maneuver around, but if you're careful & slow, it's fairly easy. we immediately saw & were able to swim with a turtle !!!!! The reef is close to the beach, maybe 25 feet out. No undertow or waves, just clear water. Shade trees to sit under- bring a chair. No bathroom facilities or anywhere to purchase anything, so bring a small cooler with water or sodas.
Written May 18, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MKTBE
Topeka, KS4,051 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Smith's Reef is located close to the Turtle Cove Marina, where our hotel was located. While we did not get a chance to snorkel, we enjoyed the beautiful area. It was a short walk from our hotel, and if you are driving, there is a convenient parking lot. The beach and water are rocky, so water shoes or water sandals are helpful. The clear turquoise waters are stunning and make it a perfect destination for examining the coral reef and spotting fish and sea turtles. Smith's Reef is worth a visit, and if snorkeling is your pleasure, it is free and much more cost-effective than a snorkeling tour!
Written April 19, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Corey L
Asbury Park, NJ27 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
We’ve snorkeled at some pretty incredible places with some magical fish. This had some nice little fish — nothing to write home about. I’m a strong swimmer so I was fine. My spouse was a bit nervous about the current. The boats do come closer to this area than I would like.
Written April 2, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve D
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Family
Snorkeling this reef is a must, if you are staying on Providenciales. Plentiful and colorful fish, sea turtles and a vibrant reef. Smith's reef is better than virtually all paid boat snorkel excursions we've taken. We saw turtles every time when we snorkeled there.
The best area is past the buoys and to the right (when looking from the beach). There is a wall of coral in that area and it goes from maybe 25ft deep to less than 6ft deep. Approximately 50-100 yards past the buoys and between 50-100 yards to the right (when looking from the beach).
Written September 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellen S
Chicago, IL7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
The water is amazing, we have spotted a sea turtle every year. Always amazing fish and coral. The area is safe and clean.
Written September 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hope K
Auburn, AL27 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Let's just say this wasn't my favorite location. The rocks are all very slippery, so it's hard to get in and out of the water. There were also lots of little sea urchins in the rocks, which completely panicked my daughter. The waves were pretty choppy, and it was hard to maneuver around. We managed to spot a sting ray, and a couple of fish, and one person in our group saw a sea turtle. But there weren't as many fish as we saw at Coral Gardens. (Granted, I didn't go all the way around the buoys, I stayed on the side closest to shore. Two of my kids went all the way around, and they spotted some barracuda). It could have been the time of day that we went too; we went about 5:30/6 in the evening.
My younger kids really hated this beach and the waves and rocks. If you have younger kids, skip this snorkeling beach and go to Coral Gardens instead. The water is calmer and shallower, and you'll still see tons of wildlife.

DIRECTIONS: At the end of Coconut Road, keep driving onto the dirt road straight ahead -- it is not private property. It'll lead to a parking lot. Park there, then walk out to the beach. Go to your left and walk along the beach until you get to the orange buoys. That's where the snorkeling area is.
Written August 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James H
Knoxville, TN271 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
Great place to snorkel. Not as crowded as the Grace Bay (Coral Garden) and lots of areas to explore.
Written June 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathy M
8 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
My husband and I only snorkelled the one area that is marked off with floating rope and buoys. The reef was very nice , small as I have snorkelled Cozumels large reefs. I found the coral reefs that are off the shores of Turtle Cove to be much more rewarding in terms of experience. You have to be a strong swimmer or wear a snorkel vest out at smiths reef it’s deep and it’s right by the marina so the big boats comming in and out create a lot of wake while attempting to snorkel. If you want to see lots of fish and nice pieces of coral and you’re not the strongest swimmer go to Turtle cove instead. You can see the darker areas of water are all the large reef pieces perfect for snorkelling. The beach at Turtle Cove was also my favourite on the island! No big crowds ( grace bay ) no wild dogs and dead sargassum ( Taylor bay) lots of white sand ( smith reef lots of coral shore hard to get into the water wear water shoes.)
Written June 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fitzgig
Detroit, MI395 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
For those who said it was a dead-ish reef, you missed the coral heads and lively underwater city beyond the red restricted area buoys. It. Does not equal the Red Sea or the Maldives, but…… It was quite a nice reef with a lot of fan corals, purples, brain corals and fish/ turtles. Most of the usual reef residents we in attendance, did not spy any unique species, but interesting none the less. Lots of turtles, a passive barracuda (about 3 feet long & in need of orthodontics- lol) pipefish, etc.

A bit rocky getting into the water near the buoys, but an easy entry all things considered. Not slippery rocks, they are smooth, but take your time and don’t be the numbskull who tries to enter the water with flippers already on. 🤦‍♀️

There is no shade, so bring an umbrella or something, especially in the summer. Also, bring drinks and reef-safe sunscreen. We parked along the road near the dead end circle/turn around, as did many others. We accessed the beach via a construction site, but there is probably a safer/more permanent way to access the beach.

We took floats (noodles) for members of the party who were not confident snorklers. It allowed them to focus on the lovely reef instead of worrying about buoyancy. The bustling reef is about 150 yards out from shore and to the right of the red buoys. There is a single white buoy in that general area -so we floated for hours between the red buoy area and the white single buoy. The water is shallow in there, maybe 2-6 feet, so be careful not to bump or touch the coral - humans banging into coral damages it! Really nice reef, great visibility and relatively little current or chop for us.

I think this is a don’t miss destination if you are snorkel inclined. Just go prepared and you won’t be sorry. PS - we felt perfectly safe there, swimming, parking, and on the beach itself.
Written June 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rebeccabrabb
West Monroe, LA1,020 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
I really enjoyed this reef! We filled the directions given and found it. It’s a little walk but nothing major. Perfect snorkeling! Saw a friendly turtle! Laid on the sand for a while. Not crowded. Perfect
Written April 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 292
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Smith's Reef - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Turks and Caicos HotelsTurks and Caicos Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Turks and Caicos
All things to do in Turks and Caicos
Casinos & Gambling in Turks and CaicosAmusement Parks in Turks and CaicosDay Trips in Turks and Caicos
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars