Tobago snorkeling beaches

Tobago snorkeling beaches allow snorkelers to discover the colorful Caribbean underwater life. No matter you are an adventurous pro snorkeler or a beginner, seek easy shore access, or prefer taking boat trips, you will certainly find the place here that suits you the best. Read this guide to find out where to snorkel on this heavenly island that was named one of the best snorkeling places in the Caribbean by USA Today!

Tobago travel basics

From colorful hard and soft coral species through a variety of fish species to turtles and manta rays, Tobago has a lot to offer for ocean-lovers. Thanks to its diverse landscape featuring rainforests and waterfalls, your Tobago holiday can be a perfect mix of water and land activities.

Where is Tobago?

Tobago is the smaller of the two main islands that make up the Republic of and Tobago. It is located in the southern Caribbean, northeast of the island of Trinidad and southeast of Grenada. Many airlines offer flights to Tobago from all over the world. Also several Caribbean cruises include these islands in their itinerary. Traveling between Trinidad and Tobago is also easy. You can take an island-hopper boat or ferry, moreover between-islands flights are also available.

Tobago map to find the best snorkeling spots:

Trinidad & Tobago Map

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Best time to visit

Lying close the Equator Tobago has a tropical climate that features 2 seasons. The dry season runs from Januar to May. The rainy season is from June to December with 15+ rainy days per month. Temperatures are similar all year round. The maximum is around 31-32 °C (88-90 °F) and 20-22 °C (68-72 °F) the minimum. Cooling northeast trade winds make the humid weather bearable even in the hottest months.

Mount Irvine Bay
Mount Irvine Bay

Although Tobago is officially out of the hurricane belt, there is a higher chance that tropical storms might affect it in the Caribbean Hurricane season. Schedule your visit to explore Tobago snorkeling beaches for the dry season if you want to experience bright sunshine and calm seas! If your holiday allows you to travel only between August and October when hurricane risk is the highest, consider other islands like Aruba in the Dutch Caribbean!

Tobago best snorkeling places

The coastline of Tobago features beaches for everyone but especially for snorkel fanatics thanks to the fringing reef system around the island. However, almost all beaches offer some marine life to see, but let’s see what the best Tobago snorkeling beaches are.

Englishman’s Bay

Englishman’s Bay is one of the loveliest white sandy beaches with a gently sloping coral reef on the right. A variety of different hard coral species and colorful soft corals can be seen here.

Englishman’s Bay
Englishman’s Bay

This picturesque beach is surrounded by tropical jungles making you feel in paradise. Search for moray eels and octopus between the corals and challenge yourself to spot stingrays on the sandy sea bottom.

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Where to snorkel in Cuba

Castara Bay

A crescent-shaped, isolated golden sand beach on the less visited side of the island. Castara Bay includes two smaller bays, the Big and the Little ones. The bigger one is where village life happens and fishermen pulling out their nets. Little Bay is the place where snorkelers should go to enjoy floating in calm, clear water. If you are lucky, you can spot manta rays here!

Pirate’s Bay

An isolated place on a remote location, part of the Man O’War Bay area. You might know this place from the original Robinson Crusoe movie. It is accessible from land via a tricky dirt track and trail. It is a more comfortable way taking a boat.

Pirates Bay
Pirates Bay

By visiting Pirate’s Bay you can explore the rich fringing reef along the coast while observing coral structures and shoals of tropical fish. A big population of sea urchins and sponges live here and often turtles swim by. For a guided snorkeling in Pirate’s Bay, we recommend looking for ERIC! This Eco Snorkel Tour is organized by the Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville.

More snorkeling destinations in the Caribbean:
Puerto Morelos snorkeling
Best Barbados snorkel spots
Where to go snorkeling in Grenada

Kariwak Reef at Store Bay

Store Bay is one of the most popular and busiest public beaches in Tobago that became famous for the Great Race speedboat competition. Boat traffic is high throughout the year not only during this event, therefore be extremely careful while snorkeling here, carry a high visible swim buoy for your safety! The Kariwak Reef is on the left side of the beach.

The shallow water and gently sloping reef make snorkeling in Store Bay easy even for beginners. A wide variety of tropical fish like parrotfish, angelfish, butterflyfish will entertain you here. Keep your eyes on the sandy bottom where you might spot stingrays!

Arnos Vale

The very best of Tobago snorkeling beaches with pristine corals and abundant marine life. The whole area is filled with corals and the reef starts close to the shore. You can see moray eels, squids, barracudas as well as many tropical fish species. Expect to meet turtle in the water and sometimes on the shore too since Arnos Vale is a turtle nesting area.

Turtle in Tobago
Turtle in Tobago

There is an abandoned hotel -Arnos Vale Hotel- on the site which closed a few years ago. A pretty picturesque place but due to its remote location visiting Arnos Vale is recommended with organized tours or with larger groups for safety reasons. Alternatively, you can arrive by boat as well.

Boat snorkeling tours on Tobago

As you could see, many Tobago snorkeling beaches are easily available from shore but there are countless pristine reefs in the surrounding waters. If you are planning to take a boat snorkel trip, these are the best places to visit:

Buccoo Reef

The area is a protected marine park. The Bucco reef system is approx 7 km2 and consists of two lagoons. The Reef Lagoon is famous for the big staghorn coral colonies while the Bon Accord Lagoon features macroalgae, seagrass, red mangrove, brain corals, elkhorn corals. Often manta rays and different turtle species (Leatherback, Loggerhead, Hawksbill) cruise around Bucco Reef.

Buccoo Reef
Buccoo Reef

Snorkeling trips are available from Store Bay. Unfortunately, due to the high number of visitors and polluting glass bottom boats the corals don’t look as vibrant as it was years ago and the area is often busy.

Lover’s Bay

Lover’s Bay is a pretty little beach that is part of the Man O’War Bay region. Gorgeous beach with multi-colored sand offering easy snorkeling for beginner snorkelers with a wide variety of marine species to see. Colorful fish like angelfish, parrotfish, and butterfly live and often turtles swim in. Accessible with SUP as well.

Lovers Bay
Lovers Bay

Angel Reef – Goat Island

This shallow reef is a favorite of Tobago snorkeling beaches amongst snorkelers and divers. The corals are on the right side where brightly colored tropical fish swim between them including a big number of French Angel Fish and Queen Angel Fish. Thanks to the cleaning stations alongside often manta rays visit the spot. Moreover, you have a chance to see nurse sharks as well. Boats depart from Blue Waters Inn.

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Snorkeling places Tobago

Anett Szaszi

Anett is a certified scuba diver, freediver and an expert in snorkeling with more than 10 years experience. She fell in love with the ocean when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea in 2008. Since then , she is traveling all over the world to discover our waters. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. Visiting mega-cities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. She is interested in sustainable traveling and marine conservation. She is hoping to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!