Diving in Tobago is fairly easy. Warm water between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius, moderate dive depth, close distance to dive sites, small groups and experienced guides make your dive experience safe and enjoyable.
Only occasionally the current can be strong (which makes some great Drift Dives) and the surface conditions rough but there are always some spots which are sheltered.
In general it is easier to start diving in the south and then proceed to dive sites in the north eastern end of the island.
Our daily excursions are two tank dive trips between the hours of 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. On request we offer a third dive in the afternoon or a night dive at 6:00 pm. Maximum dive time is 60 minutes and maximum depth limit is 30 meters. The surface interval between the dives will be at least 60 minutes. We serve complimentary bottled water and snacks during the surface interval. Trips to Speyside (Little Tobago), Charlotteville or Sisters can be arranged on demand with sufficient lead time and are subject to additional charges.
There is no mandatory check dive or refresher dive required but we strongly encourage divers with a dive break of more than one year to start with a relaxed shore dive in order to get their skills up to date.
Most boats in Tobago don't have a platform to enter and exit the water. We are entering with a seated back roll and exit with a comfortable ladder. This procedure requires a certain physical strength ! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. We try our best to assist and to find solutions for every individual who is fit for diving.
Both the Atlantic and Caribbean sides are great for diving. While the Caribbean has an abundance of relaxed dive sites, the Atlantic makes for some adventurous drift diving. Here's a quick review of some of our most popular sites. A guide to recommended experience level for each site is also provided.
Lets take a look first at the Atlantic Coast first
COVE REEF 10-30m / 30-90ft **
Cove reveals a wide variety of marine life. This dive is along a steep reef slope where plates and sponges are intertwined. The reef bank is speckled with holes that hide lobsters and large green Morays. The prolific array of sponges and soft corals attracts a wide range of reef fish including Tangs, Damsels and Basslets. Amongst the waving sea fans and plumes you'll see shoals of Chubb and Sergeant Majors, patrolling Barracuda and often turtles. Keep your eyes open for the spectacular Queen Trigger fish.
FLYING REEF 10-16m / 30-50ft **
Running parallel to the airport runway and almost a mile offshore, where strong westerly currents race through the channel between Trinidad and Tobago lies Flying Reef. The current determines how far you will travel along this stunning reef which is home to all kinds of marine species. This is one site where you're sure to get familiar with Tobago's famous Nurse Sharks as they take shelter under the many ledges. As the current carries you along the reef edge remember to look in the sand bed to your left where you'll spot semi buried Stingrays, Electric Rays and Garden Eels.
KARIWAK REEF 5-16m / 15-45ft *
It is easy to stand on Storebay beach and not realise just 20m offshore lies a stunning reef. A gentle sloping reef that stretches around the Storebay headland, Kariwak is perfect for those making their first Open Water dive, but make no mistake experience divers will fall in love with Kariwak too. You will marvel at the sheer number of Squirrel fish, Rock Hinds, Queen and Rainbow Parrotfish and French Angelfish that graze on coral polyps. Shoals of Sergeant Majors, Blue Tangs are abundant. Green and spotted Morays, Electric Rays and the flamboyant Flying Gurnards all habituate this gem of a reef.
DIVER'S THIRST 16-40m/50-120ft ***
This reef has formed over what is technically the northern end of the Andes mountain range. Ledges overlap at obtuse angles creating hide-aways where shy Porcupine fish seek shelter and Sharks and Morays lie in wait. Between Flying reef and Dream, Thirst is an untouched garden of soft and hard corals. Black tips and Barracuda proliferate these waters.
DIVER'S DREAM 15-20m/45-60ft ***
Just 2.5 miles offshore in open ocean, a plateau rises up from the deep to just 15m. Here lies 'Dream' where ocean currents race over the reef and channel between coral encrusted rock formations, twisting barrel sponges and fans as they go. You'l be impressed at how vibrant and thriving this reef is. Diving the dream is like flying over an aquatic metropolis, gangs of fish hide behind rocks staying out of the currents, Spotted Eagle Rays hover like kites in the wind and Black tips patrol in numbers. It is hard to dive the Dream the same way twice, and harder to dive it twice and not want to go again.. and again… it's not called Diver's Dream for nothing.
So now lets take a look at some of the sites on the Caribbean Sea side ...
MT IRVINE WALL 8-20m/20-60ft *
Seen from the shore the "wall" appears as a rock headland. However Mt Irvine wall is shallow and drops to a flat sandy bottom at 40ft. A gentle dive the wall is best taken slowly. Here divers can peep into crevices and cracks where they'll see Eels and Lobster. Hermit crabs and Brittlestar share the shelter of the inside of purple barrel sponges. Above you can see fans waving in the surge and barracuda playing in the white surf. Snake Eels forage in the sand bed and Scrawled File fish pivot along the wall. Take your time and look carefully for you might spot seahorses clinging by their tails to corals or even the ornate Frogfish and elaborately camouflaged Scorpionfish all of which can be found by the keen eyed.
MT IRVINE EXTENSION 10-25m/30-75ft **
This reef starts where the wall finishes. Large rock formations, volcanic in origin provide shelter to the vast number of sea plumes. Look close and you'll see spotted Cyphoma clinging to them in the surge. Basslets and Spotted Drums dart amongst the plumes. Eventually these rocks give way to a classic reef stretching out across Mt Irvine Bay. In the sandy bottom Stingrays lie semi buried, Spiny Lobster hide in holes and Damsel fish eat away at corals. Large shoals of Blue Tangs, Atlantic Spade fish and Big eye Snapper are common here. Turtles glide in over the stony corals and volcanic rocks that make the end of this dive seem like you are on the moon.
DUTCHMANS REEF 12-16m/40-50ft *
Inside the heart of Mt Irvine Bay, Dutchman's is the site of an 18th century shipwreck. Following the reef edge is much like Mt Irvine extension and you can see hundreds of Christmas Tree worms, Nudibranch and Cyphoma. Or you can ride on top in the shallows where the beautiful gardens of plumes and fans are home to many small reef fish, Octopus, Squid and the wonderful Honeycomb Cowfish.
THE SISTERS 15-30m/45-100ft ***
The Sisters is a line of 5 wind raked rock pillars one mile off shore. These nutrient rich waters are the feeding grounds of Hammerheads, elegant Mantas and occasionally Whale Sharks. There are many ways to dive here, one is to drop off the ocean side of North Rock and parachute down to 30m. You can see how the pillars are formed in tiers as you descend, each level creating its own diverse ecosystem. Sea Whips reach up from the deep below while all around Schooling Hammerheads and gliding Mantas come in and out of the blue. This is a real Aquatic Safari that you'll definitely want to bring your camera on.
MS MAVERICK 15-31m/45-100ft **
The Maverick is the wreck of an old Trinidad-Tobago car ferry called the Hummingbird. She sits on a sand bed at 31m and since she was scuttled in 1997 for diving purposes has become an artificial reef. With all doors, portholes and windows removed she is ideal for those embarking on their first wreck dive. Turtle, Barracuda and Eels are all resident along with large shoals of ocean and reef fish. The decks are covered in young corals, Bristleworms, Fireworms and Cucumbers.
ARNOS VALE 9-12m/30-40ft *
Beginning at the edge of a rocky shelf, then following a circuitous route around massive boulders, Arnos Vale is a 'nursery'. Here you will be amazed at the vast number of juvenile reef fish. Tiny puffers, juvenile pea-like Trunkfish, Parrot fish, Damsels, they are all here darting in and out of the soft corals. Another gem overlooked by many divers, the Vale also makes for excellent night diving. Shine your torch in the crevices and spy Banded shrimp and Snapping shrimp, Basket stars and sleeping fish down inside barrel sponges.
SPEYSIDE, CHARLOTTEVILLE, ST GILES & LONDON BRIDGE.
This region of Tobago provides us with over 10 different dive sites stretching from Shark Bank to Man-O-War Bay. Warm Caribbean waters meet with the cooler Guyanese current creating excellent drift dives. Stunning coral gardens that hide Shrimp, Eel and Tiger tail encourage reef fish not normally seen in such numbers, Black tip and Reef Sharks are common, Plankton blooms in these nutrient rich waters attract pelagic species, Tarpon play in the white surf and Barracuda form schools. Though most of the sites are drift dives for advanced divers, there are some suitable for the less experienced. The land trip provides you an excellent opportunity to see a little of the islands topside scenery. Surface intervals are made on Little Tobago and post dive lunch can be taken at Birdwatcher restaurant. Our excursions to Speyside are more than just diving as we like to make this a whole day out for you to enjoy. However the quality of diving alone means your trip to Tobago should never exclude one of our Speyside excursions.