Tobago is an untouched and relatively undiscovered island paradise. Swaying palm trees and long deserted stretches of soft sands bask in tranquillity and sunshine. It’s an absolute hit for snorkelling and diving, and in recent years it’s become one of the Caribbean’s most sought-after diving locations. The famous Bucco Reef and Nylon pool are one of the wonders of the world and are well worth a visit. Scattered around the island are small fishing villages and pastel hued houses and in the rainforests of the central mountain range you’ll witness a display of stunning wildlife, exotic flowers and the magnificent Argyle Waterfall.
Things to see and do in Tobago:
Attractions: A great place to start is the island’s capital city of Scarborough, which is home to the historic ruins of Fort King George, which was built by the British in 1777. There is also a fascinating museum dedicated to Tobago’s rich history. Just a short drive outside of the capital is the stunningly beautiful Argyle Waterfall. Nestled in the rainforest, the falls give a real flavour of the island’s natural untouched beauty. Make sure that you take a visit to the iconic and much-photographed Pigeon Point Beach, with its thatched-roof jetty, which is set amidst the sparkling turquoise waters. Also, don’t miss out on a trip to the fishing village of Charlotteville, with its spectacular Pirate Bay. The bay can be accessed via a track or by boat but once you’re there you’ll be rewarded with a secluded beach with views of the crystal-clear ocean and the surrounding lush vegetation. Tobago is renowned for its abundant flora and fauna with fabulous bird spotting opportunities and there is no better place to head to than the Tobago Forest Reserve. The reserve was established in 1763 and welcomes visitors to enjoy guided tours, hikes and bird watching. Finally, if you fancy a short day trip to the more lively neighbouring island of Trindad, simply hop on a ferry and you’ll be there in a couple of hours.
Events/festivals: In March, the island hosts its annual Trinidad and Tobago Carnival – a buzzing event with street parades, live music, lots of drinking, eating and colourful costumes. April sees the slightly unusual ‘Buccoo Goat & Crab Race Festival’ where groomed goats and blue crabs compete in races. The summer months of July-August see the island celebrating its historical roots with music and drama. Jazz lovers will enjoy taking a visit to neighbouring island Trinidad in October for the annual San Fernando Jazz Festival.
Sports: Outdoor pursuits to explore Tobago’s verdant landscapes are popular – so if you’re into mountain biking, hiking or trekking you’ll be in your element. Water-sports are also great here including snorkelling, diving, deep-sea fishing and windsurfing. Some of the best dive spots in the Caribbean can be found in the waters surrounding the island, including the famous Bucco Reef and Nylon Pool.
Nightlife: If you’re looking for a lively nightlife scene, Tobago probably isn’t the place for you. Whereas most hotels will offer some kind of low-key entertainment, outside of that you will struggle to find a bar open after 11pm.
Eating/Drinking: Combining African, Indian, Chinese, European and Middle Eastern influences, Tobago’s cuisine is a great mix of flavours. Popular local dishes include blackbean soup, fish broth and cream of crab. Also, make sure you take the opportunity to eat some lobster while on the island – it’s great value and extremely fresh too! Coconut water is a popular drink – and as with every other island in the Caribbean, rum is an ever-popular tipple.
Shopping: It will probably come as no surprise that shopping opportunities on the island are few and far between – indeed it is this lack of commercialisation that usually attracts visitors to Tobago. That said, you can pick up a few souvenirs to take home including local handicrafts, wood carvings, bags and costume jewellery – plus of course some local rum – and in the capital of Scarborough you will find lots of street vendors and a market selling fresh food.
When to go
Tobago enjoys great all-year round weather, with little humidity and temperatures generally in the 80s. The months offering the best weather are from January to May when the skies are the clearest. Tobago is not on the ‘hurricane belt’ although between June to December there may be the occasional afternoon rain shower.
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