Written by Chantel DaCosta

Destination: Tobago Cays Marine Park, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

tobago-cays-svg

The Tobago Cays Marine Park (TCMP) is located in the Tobago Cays.  The Tobago Cays are an archipelago located in the Southern Grenadines comprising five small islets, one island and extensive coral reefs. The cays include the uninhabited islets of Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradal, Petit Tabac and Jamesby.  The inhabited island, Mayreau, is also part of this popular tourist destination.

Black Coral Reef, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Black Coral Reef, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The TCMP has a total area of 66 km2 which includes a large sand – bottom lagoon enclosed by the 4 km long Horseshoe Reef.  The area is the most extensive and well-developed coral reef complexes in St Vincent. In addition to its coral reefs, TCMP also features small systems of mangroves, a salt pond in Mayreau, and sea grass beds.

The Marine Park was listed as a regionally significant ecosystem under the CARICOM the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol) in December 2014. The TCMP is therefore a special protected area.

Attractions

This protected area has a number of attractions that include:

  • Horseshoe Reef is a coral reef site of fish and coral, activities include inshore side snorkelling
  • Purunia Wreck is a 140 foot WWI British gunship which sunk in 1918 just off the western coast of Mayreau
  • Petit Bateau, James Bay, Petit Rameau – all have hiking trails
  • Mayreau Gardens features a coral reef
  • Baradal Turtle Sanctuary where green and hawksbill turtles live
  • Petit Tabac offers beaches perfect for picnics. This is the location where the desert island scene in the “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” movie was filmed.

All visitors to the Tobago Cays Marine Park are required to pay user fees. Contact the TCMP for details on fees, registered guides, and the established rules for the Marine Park use.

Sources: Trip Advisor, Discover St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tobago Cays Organisation,

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