The Tobago Cays are a small collection of islets just off Mayreau, protected by a horseshoe reef and surrounded by beautifully clear water. The beaches are some of the most beautiful in the Caribbean and there is diving and snorkelling on Horseshoe reef and wall.
There are day charters out of St Vincent, Bequia and Union Island. Anchor damage, together with over-fishing and removal of black coral has led to the death of some of the reef; hard coral lies broken on the bottom. The cays have now been declared a wildlife reserve and visitors are asked to take care not to damage marine resources. Although the Tobago Cays are crowded with charter boats, liveaboard boats or day charter catamarans, the reef is slowly coming back to life. Mooring buoys have been put in to prevent anchoring on the reef. Parrot fish, grouper, trunkfish, snapper and other reef fish, including a 6-ft nurse shark, can now be seen again. There are free moorings inside Horseshoe reef for day charter boats or dinghies, and anchorages west of Petit Rameau in the cut between Petit Rameau and Petit Bateau, or to the south of Baradel. You can shop at your boat or on the beach. Ice, fresh fish, lambi, lobster, T-shirts, even French designer clothes.