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Dive Review of Tobago Dive Experience at Manta Lodge/Manta Lodge in
Trinidad and Tobago/Speyside

Tobago Dive Experience at Manta Lodge/Manta Lodge, Jan, 2010,

by Janna Poll, co, usa ( 2 reports). Report 5346.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, asia, palua, truk, hawaii, fiji, british columbia, calif, florida, baja, mexico and cozumel, grand turk, caymans, puerto rico, st maartin, saba, honduras, belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas
Water Temp 79 to Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 70 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions DM arthur wouldn't let anyone go more than 45 minutes. came up with 1200-1500 # each dive. Said he didn't want to get too much nitrogen in his system. Makes it very expensive for divers...and disappointing.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 1 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No rinse tank. Only got 13 oz for personal drinking for two dives, certainly not enough to rinse camera. scenery so bland that I didn't bother to assemble the gear I hauled in.
Unlike Undercurrent report that the current is too wild for camera, not true. DM said with some NE storms they get some rippers, but we sure didn't have much.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 2 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments Mosquitoes still active with 25% deet, they didn't care.
Plan for landscape photography, but not so much underwater. Scenery on island is incredibly beautiful and unspoiled. Very few tourists. Most locals know each other, especially up in the NE by Speyside. friendly. Island is clean and water was safe.
Tobago dive experience doesn't do much of any service and they don't have their own dock. You haul all your gear from hotel, into the truck, onto the dock, setup, into the boat, between dives and then in reserve. No rinse tanks and had to use a city hose on the dock. Little water, a few awful cookies, low service. This isn't a liveaboard, Dorothy!
The shuttle flight to Tobago from POS (tee hee-Trinidad's code) is quite informal and they allow two 50lb bags to be checked. If you get off your flight in POS quickly, you CAN make the last shuttle to Tobago. They roads in Tobago are good, but very twisty and I wouldn't want to drive them at night and from the left side. Our hotel included shuttle and that was good. However, it is nice to have a car to tour if you are adventurous.
FOOD IS OUTRAGEOUSLY priced on these islands. Typically very tasty, clean, and lots of fruits and veges, but expensive. They typically charge 30-40US$ for dinner and that's just one course and not drinks. Hotels are very basic and really get the tourists on meal expense. Local places are safe and offer lunch for around $15ppUS without drinks, which is closer to reality (usually fish, beans, rice and veges).
Locals are sometimes aloof and you have to take the initiative to chat with them (esp the women). Then they are sweet and wonderful. Dialect can be challenging, esp for europeans that know non-slang english. They basically drop the consonants, but can slip into nearly regular english for visitors.
If you spend time in Trinidad, go to the local fair up by the university at night around 8 for great local food and for really cheap. It's safe, good and more of what you want to see. Our first night we got into Hyatt at Port of Spain later, so we hit the restaurant. WOW! $170 and that was no drinks, no dessert, just two entrees. Do go to the bird sanctuary where the red ibis flock.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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