Tobago Dive Sites

The following list details some of our most popular and favourite dive sites around Tobago. These are just a few of the sites that we dive; we plan our dives according to the divers' levels, sea and the weather conditions.

Kariwak

DEPTH RANGE : 10-50FT (3-15M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: BEGINNER
GPS: N 11 ° 09.314/ W060 ° 50.646

Hawksbill Turtle at Kariwak - CLICK TO ENLARGEThis is a great reef for beginners and as an orientation dive. The reef is close to Store Bay beach and is usually flat and has no drift, thus making perfect conditions for "Discover Scuba Diving" courses and other PADI training.
The diver descends down a line into 18ft/6m on to a sandy bottom. Following the reef with sand to the right and coral sloping up to the left the diver descends to deeper water approx.40ft/14m.

On the dive it is possible to see Moray Eels, Southern Stingray and Electric rays, Angel fish, Scorpion fish and many more types of reef fish. Trumpet fish can be seen here too even though they try hard to imitate the soft coral.

Flying Reef

DEPTH RANGE : 18-45FT (6-14M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: BEGINNER-INTERMEDIATE
GPS: N 11 ° .08.102/ W 060 ° .49.976

Located on the Atlantic side of Tobago , Flying reef normally has a gentle drift between 0-2 kts of current, sometimes the drift can get pretty fast, hence the name Flying Reef. The dive runs from east to west with the current. The depth is max at 55ft/18m.

Anchor at Flying ReefThe diver follows the edge of the reef with the sand on the left and coral sloping up to the right to shallow water approx. 25ft/8m.

On the dive it is possible to see stingrays, Turtles, Nurse Sharks, schools of big eye and glass eye snapper as well as many different types of reef fish like parrotfish, French angelfish and porcupine fish. There is also a large ship's anchor surrounded by Pork Fish and Schools of Bermudan chub.

This is a great introduction to drift diving; the journey to Flying Reef takes about 10 minutes from Pigeon Point and 20 minutes from Turtle Beach , it is a beginner to intermediate dive.

Sting Ray Alley  

DEPTH RANGE : 30-50FT (9-16M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: BEGINNER-INTERMEDIATE
GPS: N 11 ° 08.125/ W 060 ° 50.414

Sting Ray Alley dive siteThis dive starts where Flying Reef ends and it is a deeper diver than Flying Reef. The current can be quite strong here at times.

On this dive it is very common to spot large southern sting rays gliding over the reef or just lying buried in the sand with two large eyes peeping out. You can also keep an eye out for lesser electric rays and Atlantic guitarfish.

Black tip reef sharks can also be seen on this dive as well, and there is a good chance of seeing large nurse sharks beneath the numerous overhangs.

Cove

DEPTH RANGE : 30-85FT (9-26M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED
GPS: N 1 ° 107.855/ W 060 ° 47.329

Located just south of Columbus Point, the current here can be very strong at times and generally travels in a westerly direction. The Cove Ledgereef has a steep gradient and extends to a sandy sea bed. The coral life includes, brilliant sea fingers, Venus sea fans, fire corals, warthy sea rods, large brain corals dot the reef.

At the edge of the reef keep an eye out for large black groupers, cubera snappers and Caribbean spiny lobsters. On the sandy bottom look out for southern sting rays, hiding in the sand, spotted and green morays can often be seen hiding among the myriad of hard and soft corals. The occasional hawksbill turtle can be seen resting on the reef.

Divers Dream

DEPTH RANGE : 30-60FT (9-20M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: ADVANCED
GPS: N11 ° 06.600/ W 060 ° 51.327

This incredible dive is located 2.5 miles off Crown Point, at Drew Shoals, on the southern end of the island. The Atlantic currents push nutrient full water up and around this shallow plateau creating a virtual feeding ground for all Grunts on Diver's Dream reeftypes of marine life. Divers drop into 65ft/20m and follow a series of Barrel sponges which angle with the current towards the dive site which ascends to the plateau at around 20ft/7m. There are two sides to dive, the left side has large overhangs where Nurse sharks tend to hang out. The right hand side where a series of large rock formations begin, these rocks give protection from the strong current allowing the diver to study the amazing amounts of fish, everything from Blue Wrasse to large African Pompano, Turtles, Nurse Sharks, Reef Sharks and the barracuda all oblivious to the current.

Because of the strong currents between 2-5kts, this dive can last between 30-45mins and is treated as an advanced dive. It is advisable to start out on the gentler drifts.

Maverick Wreck

DEPTH RANGE : 55-100FT (16-30M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: INTERMEDIATE- ADVANCED
GPS: N11 ° 12.207/ W060 ° 48.272

Lying in 100ft of water is the wreck of the M.V Maverick, once a passenger ferry between the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago . The Scarlet Ibis as it was then called served for M.V.Maverickmany years before being replaced with a bigger faster ferry.

The top of the Wreck is 55ft and the descent is down a line attached to the bow usually passing though a school of bait fish with Bonito fish darting in and out upon reaching the bow.

This is a perfect wreck to dive as an introduction to wreck diving, as it was sunk specially for diving in 1997, and as such access to many areas are easy and safe.
Because of the depth the dive usually lasts 30-35 minutes and it is possible to penetrate the ship even as far as the engine rooms. Reef building crabs, sennet fish and clams, there has been a lot of coral growth on it, making it a fascinating dive.

Mt Irvine Wall

DEPTH RANGE : 18-50FT (6-15M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: BEGINNER
GPS: N 11 ° 12.003 / W060 ° 47.823

Hawksbill Turtle at Mt Irvine Wall, TobagoMt Irvine actually has three dive sites, the "Wall" is a shallow 30ft dive close to shore interesting for the crevices where Moray Eels, Spiny Lobsters and Crabs live.
Mt Irvine Extension is a deeper dive site following the outcropping rocks of Mt Irvine Bay, Large Groupers, Snapper and Hawksbill Turtles enjoy this beautiful reef which is big enough for several dives. A favourite visitor is the Spotted Eagle Ray, although they tend not to approach divers they do circle and are often seen in pairs.

Rainbow Reef is in the centre of Mt Irvine Bay 50- 70ft, the reef is so named because of the schools of Rainbow Runner seen here, and there is also a large fisherman's type anchor possibly 17th century wedged upright as if to stop a ship running aground!

Arnos Vale

DEPTH RANGE : 16-45FT (5-14M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: BEGINNER
GPS: N 11 ° 13.806/ W 060 ° .45.986

Arnos Vale, TobagoA stunningly beautiful dive, easy enough for beginners, we take a lot of our beginner courses here, ideal for training dives. Lots of fish life, locally known as the nursery, because of the amount of juveniles that can be found on this dive. Fantastic rock formations and small crevices. This site is also perfect for night dives.

Culloden

DEPTH RANGE : 23-66FT (7-20M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: BEGINNER
GPS: N 11 ° 14.973/ W 060 ° 44.831

Fish on Culloden reefBeing deeper than other reefs in the area, Culloden is home to interesting reef creatures not seen on the shallower reefs. The majestic reef structure is inundated with schooling fish. The dive meanders through shallow crevices before ending at a flat sloping reef with several old anchors of unknown origin. They could tell a tale or two!

Japanese Gardens

DEPTH RANGE : 20-110FT (6-33M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED
GPS: N 11 ° 17.851 / W 060 ° 31.148

Creole Wrasse at Japanese GardensJapanese gardens run along the side of Goat Island which is located at Speyside at the north end of the Island . As the name suggests this site is a veritable garden of corals, both the hard and soft and the colours are exceptional.

The dive begins in 50-60ft and curves around Goat Island , there can be strong currents on the curve so it is advisable to stay close to the coral and out of the main stream. Just around the curve there are some rocks that the diver must pass though followed by some small caves where Nurse Sharks like to hang out. From here the current usually helps the diver along passing over large Brain corals and passing large schools of Jacks.

Kelliston Drain

DEPTH RANGE : 54-120FT (16036M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: ADVANCED
GPS: N 11 ° 17.564 / W 060 ° 30.251

Manta Ray at Kelliston Drain, TobagoThis long plain of lush coral drops from 30' to 60' then slopes off steeply. Home to one of the World's biggest brain coral! This single colony is about 10ft(3M) high and 16ft(5.3M) across, and is the largest single brain coral colony in the world! Comprising of millions of individual coral animals, huge as it is, the colony is very fragile. The adjacent reef is full of colourful sponges, great branching corals. Good chance of seeing large green morays and great barracudas as well on this dive.

This is also where Tobago's famous manta rays show up in season! 

As a matter of interest the house on Goat Island was once owned by Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond (007) books.

Bookends

DEPTH RANGE : 30-120FT (9-36M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED
GPS: N 11 ° 17.276/ W 060 ° 30.637

Tarpon at BookendsThe name is derived from the two large rocks with a large vertical gap between them that gives the appearance of bookends. When the conditions are good, this is a fantastic dive. The dive starts at the western end of the rocks and a negative entry is required because the drop off point is quite close to the rock where there is usually a very strong surge. Divers must ascend as quickly as possible, to avoid being pushed onto the rocks or drifting into deeper water, but, once you get down, this dive is really worth it. Shoals of grunts, parrotfish, angelfish, blue chromis.

At around 50 ft (15m) there is a huge indentation which is devoid of coral and often referred to as the "Tarpon Bowl". Here divers can kneel while looking at roaming tarpons or at nurse sharks that lie beneath the overhangs, coming to the shallower end of the dive, keep an eye out for blacktip reef sharks, which can often be spotted.

Sisters

DEPTH RANGE : 30-120FT (9-36M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: ADVANCED
GPS: N 11 ° 20.003/ W 060 ° 38.714

The Sisters, TobagoLocated approx. 1.5 miles from land on the Caribbean side of Tobago are the "Sisters", a group of rocks about 100ft high out of the water. They sink down to 150ft around the rocks, this creates a slope which is covered in soft corals; because of the distance from land and the depth of water, large pelagic fish congregate here.

On many dives we have seen Whale and Hammerhead Sharks in the area, and in the rocks Turtles, Moray eels and Lobsters. The months of October-May are the best time to see the famed Hammerhead Sharks, which can often be seen in schools. But, don't worry, they are the Scalloped Hammerheads.

There is a slight drift and this helps push the diver along as with all our drift dives the dive leader carries a surface marker which the boat follows.

Travelling by boat to Sisters also gives the diver an opportunity to see the beauty of the Caribbean coast. We can sometimes travel up to Charlotteville by car, and take a boat out to the Sisters, this is ideal for divers who get easily seasick.

London Bridge

DEPTH RANGE : 40-100FT (12-30M)
DIVING EXPERIENCE: ADVANCED
GPS: N11 ° 21.369/ W 060 ° 32.009

Diving the St. Giles area is always weather dependent, so you won't know until you leave Man of War Bay if you will be able to dive these offshore rocks. Not until you arrive at London Bridge will you know whether the waves, surge and current will allow you to dive through the bridge. If there is even the slightest swell, the funnelling effect of the rocks leading to the hole accentuates its effect, making the passage through the hole unsafe.

London Bridge passageFrom the surface, London Bridge is easily identified; the largest of a group of rocks to the north of St. Giles has a hole right through the middle like a polo mint. Half of the hole is above the surface and the bottom half is submerged. The waves delight in crashing through the hole then rushing back as if they fear what lies on the other side.

The boat driver, manoeuvres the boat carefully in the entrance to the hole. So close are the rocks, executing a backward roll seems likely to risk a bang on the head. Of course, you should be positioned safely and drop into the water to begin your descent to the entrance of the hole. From the northern side, the entrance is wide; the bottom is at 35 feet and about 15 feet across.

The base of the hole is made up of huge slabs of rock like a magnified cobbled street. As you begin to swim through and the hole narrows, feel the thrust and tug of the water movement. The fish sway back and forth, suspended in space. Tangs, ocean surgeonfish, French angelfish, trunkfish and trumpet fish occupy the channel. The vertical walls are encrusted with yellow and orange sponges and probably a lot more.

Toward the end of the passage, it narrows to around 3 feet. The vertical sides tower above. At the end of the hole there is a lip and the instructions given in your dive briefing should be clear: swim over and immediately down to get out of the surge and current. Tip over the edge and find yourself at 45 feet, in an area of sand punctuated with big blocks like giant chess pieces. You'll soon be dwarfed by the terrain.

Just as with all Caribbean reefs, there is an abundance of parrotfish. Midnight parrotfish are not a common sight on most reefs, but you'll see many on this site. These big fish are midnight blue with lighter bright markings on the head above the mouth. Stoplight and princess parrotfish are also common around London Bridge . Smaller reef fish, such as bi-colour damselfish and chromis, create soft clouds across the hard rocky surface.

London Bridge PassageThe current will carry you around a corner; look up at the rugged structures above you. Angular rocks shoulder away the waves as they rush at the cliff face. The wall looks like a series of giant steps; another impression that this terrain is meant for creatures larger than humans.

Over the rock, another wall awaits our inspection. Spend the remainder of the dive slowly drifting along the wall at 30 feet. Swim away from the wall slightly to make your ascent, to give the boat room to manoeuvre. But, as soon as you begin to go up, the current may whisk you away. So, simply hang in it while you do your safety stop.

London Bridge combines an exciting and unusual submarine terrain with colourful and interesting marine life. When weather and conditions are right, it is a definite 'must'.

 

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