Tobago Scuba Destination Info:
GMT -4 hours
Phone Code: +1868
A great Island in the southern Caribbean, sister island to Trinidad 40 miles further south, just south of the hurrican belt. The island is quite undeveloped and is very different from most of the more popular Caribbean islands. The people are very friendly and sleepy, there is still that undiscovered feeling to the place.
The south west end of the island is more built up and is the home to most of the hotels and the airport, it is mainly flat with small hillocks and plenty of accesible beaches, as you travel to the northern end of the island it becomes more mountainous and the beaches are fewer and less accesible, most of the interior and northern end of the island is covered in rain forest, with several rivers and waterfalls and is rich in Eco tourism.
The best place for diving is Speyside on the atlantic side to the north of the island with a diverse array of different dive sites to suit all levels, Charlotteville on the very northern Caribbean side of the island is perhaps the most suprising place, you feel like you have gone back 20 years when you arrive, and is also a good place to dive from, the diving in the south is also good but not as diverse as the north.
Caribbean Airways, British Airways, Monarch and Virgin all fly to Tobago direct, many other major airlines connect via Trinidad a 20 min flight away. A daily ferry also runs from Port of Spain in Trinidad.
You’d be pushed to do all of Tobago’s dives in a fortnight’s holiday. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced diver, there’s something for everyone.
The Southern Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea meet around the island of Tobago. Consequently, the surrounding waters are teeming underwater life. Over 300 species of coral, including the world’s largest brain coral, fish galore - Glassy Sweepers and Spotted Drums. Fairy Basslets, Parrotfish, Barracuda, Triggerfish, Sergeant Majors, every species of Angel Fish. Southern Stingrays, Morays, Turtles, Nurse Sharks, as well as on the Northern Atlantic side of Speyside, drift diving with Manta Rays, and Tarpon.
All in all one of my favourite dive locations for it's diversity and sheer volume of marine life.
From the autumn of 2003, the number of dive sites in Tobago was increased with the addition of two new wrecks. The first is in the Speyside area between Goat Island and the mainland, at the northeast tip of the island. The second went down off Mount Irvine Point on the Caribbean side, very near to the wreck of the MV Maverick, which is a popular site with divers.
Less frequently visited, but well worth the effort, is SS Kioto, 4 nm SW of Crown Point. She was torpedoed in 1942, then shelled and later bombed, so she is considerably broken up. Lying in 10m of warm water, frequented by barracuda, rays and nurse sharks. Several unexploded bombs too !
Whale Sharks are rare in the Caribbean, they are most often seen in Tobago in the summer time - June and July being the most likely months for an encounter with these giants. All types of other large ocean fish can be seen around the island as they come to feed on the smaller warm water fish from the caribbean sea, expect to see huge shoals of Tarpon swimming a few metres away.
Over 300 species of coral, including the world’s largest brain coral, all in pretty good condition. Some evidence of bleaching, particularly in the simmer months when the 'Orinoco Flow' raises the water temperature.
Tobago is an all year round dive location, although during the rainy season May to December the visibility can be reduced due to run off from the land, and the seas can be a bit rougher than during the dry season.
In July/August visibility is reduced by the 'Orinico Flow', a hot green layer spreading out from S. America and enveloping Tobago. Water temperature in this layer is around 31c ! As you drop below it the temperature returns to the more normal 27-28c, but it's like diving under a green cloud overcast.
Big Blue Planet knows about the following locations in Tobago: