Northwest of Speyside and southwest Charlotteville, the snorkeling at Pirates Bay is well known even though it is quite isolated. Located on the northeast side of Man O’ War Bay, it has a scenic reef that starts right on the coastline and runs to about 150 feet offshore. The reef shelters this calm bay and the waters are up to about 20 feet deep. While snorkeling in Pirate’s Bay, you may encounter angelfish, butterflyfish, wrasse, Southern Stingrays and moray eels among the elkhorn coral formations.
While most snorkelers at Pirates Bay walk 30 minutes from Charlotteville, the beach can be approached by parking at the hill top and walking down the steps to the beach. It can also be accessed by boat. The Pirates Bay snorkeling dive site is located roughly 0.7 miles north-northwest of Charlotteville.
The shallow water reefs surrounding Tobago are very popular for snorkeling. These water are filled with great diversity of reefs, rock pillars, wrecks and extravagant undersea gardens filled with giant sea fans, whips and plumes. The reefs are home to over 300 different species of coral including staghorn, elkhorn, fire coral, brain coral and starlet coral. There are giant tube sponges that also attract numerous angelfish. Generally, there are moderate to strong currents at most snorkeling dive sites, so there are few options for moored snorkeling dive boats.
When considering a Tobago snorkeling trip, keep in mind that, for the Caribbean, there is a shocking change in water temperature with season. February and March are known for the coldest water temperatures (as low as 68F). With the rainy season starting in June, the best months for snorkeling are late April and May.
To reach Tobago snorkeling by air from Europe, fly into Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson International Airport (TAB) in Crown Point on the southwest point.
To reach Tobago snorkeling by air from North America, fly into Piarco International Airport (POS) on Trinidad located southeast of Port Of Spain. There is a twice-a-day ferry service (4 hours) and seacat service (2 hours) between Trinadad and Tobago.
Overall, Pirates Bay is the 9th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 20 snorkeling dives in Tobago.