Come Visit Tobago
Tobago is a small island in the Caribbean between Trinidad and Grenada. It’s a place where visitors can experience authentic island life, away from the overdeveloped resorts and crowded cruise terminals that are common in some of the other Caribbean destinations. With only 41 kilometres by 14 kilometres, Tobago offers a glimpse of traditional island living. Its natural beauty, local cuisine, and friendly people make it a sought-after location, with a colonial history that saw the island change hands over 30 times.
Tobago boasts a rich biodiversity, which can best be experienced in the protected UNESCO MAN and the Biosphere Main Ridge Forest Reserve that runs along the island’s spine. The island’s natural beauty is highly valued. Tobago is the only English-speaking Caribbean island with Blue Flag pilot status for three beaches at Bloody Bay, Mt. Irvine Bay, King’s Bay, and a few Green Key-certified hotels. Whether you explore the lush rainforest-carpeted landscapes or relax on the island’s pink, white, or black sandy beaches with aquamarine waters, Tobago is a feast for the senses.
Tobagonian hospitality is renowned, and the island hosts various festivals throughout the year, offering visitors plenty of reasons to smile.
Tobago is a small yet diverse island, rich in culture, history, and geography. Located outside the hurricane belt between Trinidad and Grenada, it boasts almost perfect weather year-round. Regardless of the type of Caribbean holiday you're looking for, Tobago has something for everyone. Here are my top five reasons for visiting our pristine island:
1. Tobago is a land of million-dollar sea and forest views, with an area of only 116 square miles. The island is home to the oldest protected tropical rainforest in the Western Hemisphere - the Main Ridge Forest Reserve.
2. Tobago is home to various above-ground animal life, such as birds, frogs, and medicinal and ornamental plants indigenous to the island.
3. Tobago's reef systems are rich in marine biodiversity below the water, offering the best diving and snorkelling experiences in this hemisphere. You can spot corals, sponges, sea horses, rays, sharks, moray eels, and more.
4. Tobago's warm and hospitable people live in harmony with the environment and each other despite diverse racial and religious beliefs.
5. Tobago has a rich history, having been colonised by the French, Dutch, Spanish, and British in the 17th and 18th centuries, during which time it changed hands 31 times. The island has tangible and intangible remnants of their occupation in former slave estates and other sites. The culinary offerings reflect this rich diversity.
Tobago's beauty lies in its lack of commercialism, making it an unspoilt and authentic, less developed yet friendly and fun destination. It is reminiscent of the Caribbean's past and is perfect for travellers looking for a peaceful and uncrowded place to enjoy their holiday. With a population of just over 50,000, Tobago offers plenty of opportunities to safely explore the island's beauty, whether trekking through the many trails of the Main Ridge Forest Reserve or lounging on one of its numerous beaches. Tobago is a soothing balm for the soul in these trying times.
Tobago is home to several excellent destinations that are worth exploring. Here are three of the most popular tourist attractions on the island:
1. Main Ridge Forest Reserve: This UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve is the oldest protected tropical rainforest in the Western Hemisphere. It is also the backbone of the island. You can discover a kaleidoscopic array of flora and fauna by exploring the forest on foot. Alternatively, you can take to the water to explore several reefs and offshore islands, including Little Tobago.
2. Fort King George: Located in Scarborough, this formidable battlement is one of the best-preserved historical sites on Tobago. Built by the British in the 1770s, it is a testament to the island's tumultuous colonial history. You can still view the original cannons, officers' barracks, gunpowder magazines, and prison cells. The site dramatically overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.
3. Pigeon Point Heritage Park: This idyllic stretch of sand is the island's most famous beach. It is home to the signature image of Tobago, with its iconic thatched-roof jetty. The beach boasts clear, bath-like aquamarine waters home to protected coral reefs. There are also beachside cabanas, bars, and restaurants a stone’s throw away. Pigeon Point is an official heritage park embodiment of the Caribbean beach ideal.
How to Get Around
If you're travelling by plane, you can reach Tobago at the A.N.R Robinson International Airport in Crown Point. Several international flight services, including British Airways and Caribbean Airlines, connect to Tobago. Alternatively, you can fly to Trinidad's Piarco International Airport, better served by most major airlines. From there, you can take a domestic shuttle with Caribbean Airlines to connect to A.N.R Robinson International.
Travelling by water is an excellent option to enjoy a scenic journey. You can take a fast ferry from Trinidad's Port of Spain to arrive in Scarborough. The sailing duration is typically between two and a half to three hours, and tickets can be purchased from the Trinidad and Tobago Inter-island Ferry Service website.
Once you set foot on Tobago, you'll find that the island is relatively small, covering only approximately 300 square kilometres. This means that everywhere on the island can be reached with an hour and a half drive at maximum. As a result, hotel and airport pick-ups are typically included as part of your stay, and all sites, amenities, and attractions have relatively easy access.
If you plan to explore the island independently, you can use hired and local route taxis, maxi-taxis (minibuses), and car and bike rentals. If you plan on driving yourself, be prepared for poor road conditions in certain areas, and you'll need to get accustomed to the fact that many locals use hand signals to indicate either turning or stopping. A public transportation bus service spans the entire island, but be aware of potential Sunday delays.
Anyone spending more than a few days on Tobago will quickly become familiar with the island's winding roads, bays, and bends. It will soon start to feel like home.