This was our second trip to Tobago for scuba diving. This time, my wife and I wanted to spend some of our time staying in Speyside to experience the dives there. We selected Manta Lodge and Tobago Dive Experience. On our first trip to Tobago, we spent almost all of time in the Crown Point Area and on this trip we wanted to spend more time in Speyside.
The diving was fantastic, and the stay at Manta Lodge very pleasant and relaxing. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, and the food was quite good. The accommodations at Manta Lodge are basic and the Lodge is an older property. That said, it is quite clean and comfortable with daily maid service. Our favorite meal was a dinner of King Mackerel caught that day. Excellent! Free wireless internet is available (in the lobby area). The bar situation is interesting. Someone was usually around to assist us, but if no one is around, you just walked behind the bar, selected a beverage, and wrote down your choice in the spiral notebook.
What made this trip very special for us was diving with Sean Robinson (Tobago Dive Experience has a shop located at Manta Lodge). For several of our dives, my wife and I were the only divers with Sean. Even on busier days, the groups on the boats are small (which we prefer). Sean has made over 25,000 dives and has a wealth of knowledge on Tobago dive sites as well as scuba diving techniques. Sean was always offering pointers on how to improve our diving.
The currents at some Tobago dive sites can be challenging, and divers should be comfortable with drift dives. With Sean, we did negative entries with BC deflated. This type of entry allows a group begin decent immediately and stay together even in stronger currents. The staff at Tobago Dive Experience was very skilled at helping (and tracking) divers during drift dives.
On the dives, Sean was always hunting for sea life to show us, and he was always looking for the animals that are more uncommon. My wife and I have both logged over 500 dives. Many of these have been in the Caribbean. Tobago offers a great opportunity to see things not easily found elsewhere in the Caribbean. On this trip, some of the special sightings were a Whitenose Pipefish, a Tobaccofish, and a couple of Cherubfish (a member of the Angelfish family). Sean was also hunting for a Flameback Angelfish, but we didn't see one of these on this trip; maybe next time. I am an (amateur) underwater photographer and Sean also gave me a few tips on photography including how I should approach Garden Eels for a close up shot. I need more practice at this.
In my opinion, most of the dive sites around Speyside are superior to the Crown Point area. On this trip, Sean also took us to St. Giles island, and the Sisters. Diving the Sisters was arguably the best dive of the entire trip. St. Giles is also interesting above water for its huge colony of nesting Frigate Birds.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The cozy 22 room property may be small, but it still features a number of 'big' amenities - the Green Moray Bar & Restaurant, soft sand beach, full service dive shop, freshwater swimming pool, reading nook with a multi-lingual lending library, endless hiking trails and plenty of room to relax! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Evoline ltd so you can book your Manta Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Manta Hotel Speyside