Stretching offshore between Pigeon Point and Buccoo Bay, the extensive Buccoo Reef was designated as a marine park in 1973 and a Ramsar site in 2006. The fringing reef boasts five reef flats separated by deep channels. The sheer array of flora and fauna – dazzling sponges, hard corals and tropical fish – makes marine biologists giddy. However, despite the efforts of conservation groups, some sections of Buccoo Reef have been battered by too much use and not enough protection.
Glass-bottom-boat reef tours are an accessible way to explore the reef. Tours leave from Store Bay and Pigeon Point. Most operators charge TT$120 per person for a two-hour trip. The boats pass over the reef (much of which is just a meter or two beneath the surface), stop for snorkeling and end with a swim in the Nylon Pool, a calm, shallow area with a sandy bottom and clear turquoise waters. All the operators are pretty similar, often playing loud soca and selling drinks on board; you’ll be repeatedly approached by touts when on Store Bay and Pigeon Point beaches.