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    Tobago

    Tobago offers many experiences for the discriminating scuba diver. Just north of Venezuela and south of Grenada, this modest island is home to just over 50,000 people. But, its small size belies its reputation for big diving. With dive sites for every experience level, the healthy reefs feature both hard and soft coral and provide the chance to view some of the largest recorded brain coral in the world. Most dives are thrilling drift dives fueled by the nutrient-rich Guyana Current and offer the opportunity to swim with pelagics – an exciting treat for even the most experienced diver. However, it isn’t just the reefs that drive divers to this location, the marine life is also varied and abundant, with macro photography being a favorite activity. On land, Tobago is a nature lover’s paradise with hiking through the forest and bird watching being popular with many visitors.

    Great Dives

    • MV Maverick – This 107-metre/350-foot ex-Trinidad-Tobago car ferry sits intact and upright with lush growth and prolific marine life that can include barracuda, turtles, eagle rays and cobia. Intentionally sunk off Rocky Point in 1997, it’s now home to countless schooling fish. The top of the wreck is at 15 metres/50 feet and the bottom at 30 metres/100 feet.
    • Diver’s Thirst – On the south side, this dive site features encrusting coral growth surrounded by dense fish schools, large nurse sharks, black tip reef sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, stingrays and turtles. An encounter with a bull shark or tiger shark is also possible.
    • Keleston Drain – This site boasts one of the Caribbean’s largest brain corals. You’ll spy moray eels, big schools of Creole wrasse and jacks, and you may get the chance to spot manta rays, barracuda and reef sharks. A slow drift takes you by waving gorgonians, sea whips, sea fans, plumes, soft corals and multicolored sponges.
    • The Sisters – This is a rock formation with five pinnacles rising from more than 40 metres/130 feet. Explore the overhangs and caverns where you’ll find lobster, stingrays and nurse sharks. Hammerhead sharks are known to school here.
    • Flying Reef – This popular reef is long and relatively shallow – only 15 metres/50 feet. Soft corals and enormous sponges dominate, while a variety of different reef fish busily dart about the reef. You drift past huge colonies of plate coral and may see stingrays in the sand beside the reef.
    • Mt. Irvine Wall and Extension – The wall is the shallower dive closer to shore and the extension is a deeper site following the outcropping rocks of Mt. Irvine Bay. The wall contains beautiful canyons, cracks and ledges and is home to large groups of schooling fish and the occasional seahorse. At the extension, you reach a massive coral reef that offers shelter to a variety of creatures and off the reef you might see tarpon, cobia and eagle rays.

    Want to know more? Visit ScubaEarth® for further information on thousands of dive sites, marine species, destination essentials and more.

    Dive Summary

    Visibility – The nutrient-rich flow from Venezuela’s Orinoco river influences not only the lush reef growth, but also affects visibility. Depending on the time of year, Tobago’s water can be a beautiful turquoise color with 15-30 metres/50-100 feet of visibility or can become cloudy with visibility dropping around to around 10 metres/30 feet. The great thing about an island is that if conditions are not ideal on one side, they are likely much better on the other.

    Water Temperature – In the winter, the water temperature around Tobago averages 25°C/78°F, and rises to 28°C/84°F in summer.

    Weather – Tobago is outside the main hurricane belt and seldom feels the effect of the hurricane season. Diving is fine all year but visibility can be lower in the rainy season from July to December. Seasonal temperatures average 27°C/80°F in winter and 30°C/88°F in summer.

    Featured Creatures – From hawksbill turtles to moray eels, octopuses to eagle rays, divers can interact with more than 300 species of marine life. In addition to the more common fish life, divers can also spot rare dwarf angelfish such as the cherub and flameback. The big animals are also often out in force and can include schooling jacks, scalloped hammerhead sharks and manta rays.

    Recommended Training – Since drift diving is the norm on Tobago, the PADI Drift Diver course is highly recommended. AWARE – Fish Identification and PADI Digital Underwater Photographer will help you enjoy the diverse marine life on Tobago and capture great shots.

    Travel Info:

    Language – The official language is English but many locals also speak Creole that is a combination of Patois and European languages.

    Currency – TT (Trinidad and Tobago dollar) is the official currency. In most places, credit cards are accepted.

    Major Airports – A few international flights arrive at Tobago’s A.N.R. Robinson International Airport. There are more flights into Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport and regular service between the two islands.

    Electricity and Internet – 110 volts, 60Hz is most common, but 240 volts, 60Hz is available on Tobago. Inquire at your hotel before you arrive. Internet is available at major hotels and internet cafés.

    Topside Attractions – Visit the Main Ridge Rain Forest. Bird watch on Little Tobago Island or along the Gilford Trace trail to spot some of Tobago’s more than 200 bird species. Hike to Argyle Falls. Try the Adventure Farm and Nature Reserve for hummingbird spotting. Visit the beautiful Pigeon Point Heritage Park.

    Locate PADI Dive Shops and Resorts in Tobago.

    Information links:
    visittobago.gov.tt
    gotrinidadandtobago.com

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