First up, Trinidad may not be a typical Caribbean island but the lively capital of Port of Spain is well worth exploring with all the fun and excitement of a bustling city. During Carnival season, steel-pan music fills the air and the atmosphere is electric.
However, there’s much more to Trinidad than its capital city and its’ famous carnival. The swamps and forests are a bird-watcher’s dream, the hiking and cycling trails are spectacular and each coast offers a totally different character. The northeast is rural with rugged beaches whereas the southwest is home to the island’s Indian culture with flamboyant temples and the aroma of fragrant curry filling the air.
Unlike Trinidad, that has relied on gas and oil as its’ main industries, its neighbouring twin, has carefully protected its’ natural assets. Although small, being 42km long and 10km wide, Tobago is known as the Caribbean’s greatest eco-destination and the stunning landscapes and unspoilt beauty make it the ideal place to unwind.
Buffered by the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic on the other, the island has a some of the best coral reef in the world. The reef has been a protected marine park since 1973 and includes over 44 different coral species – any diver’s dream.
One km off the north eastern edge of Tobago is the tiny island of Little Tobago which is one of the most important seabird sanctuaries in the Caribbean. So much so that David Attenborough even filmed part of his BBC series The Trials of Life on the island in 1990. Today tourists as well as avid bird watchers visit the island each day intrigued by the very special undeveloped island and its spectacular inhabitants.
On land, Tobago’s most important natural site is the Main Ridge Forest Reserve. Having been protected since 1776 it is the only piece of prime forest – land that has never been developed or cultivated- in the entire Caribbean. Coupled with the fact that the island was originally attached to the mainland of South America millions of years ago means that there are many indigenous species that are not found on other islands.
Nearby is a luscious, bountiful and idyllic destination with powdery white sands and warm blue waters. This island certainly meets the Caribbean dream complete with peaceful waterfalls and verdant forests inland. There is so much to see on Grenada, the capital St George is picture postcard perfect with its pastel coloured colonial houses clinging to the hillsides. The old fort is worth exploring with its dark tunnels while the restaurants and shops of the capital will need no encouragement to entice you in.
The spice estates that have given the island its income for so many years are fascinating. It’s not called The Spice Island for nothing – the island is famous for its plentiful ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon and clove production. You can literally smell the nutmeg on Gouyave’s main road where the vast processing station sorts the island’s spices- another great place to visit.
Grenada’s way of life is constantly friendly and welcoming, there are fantastic restaurants overlooking the stunning beaches serving fresh crab and delicious Caribbean specialities – this is a truly charming experience!
Visiting all three islands together undoubtedly makes you feel like you have explored so much more and experienced incredible hidden treasures.
The caribbean has some beautiful islands to explore, don’t just stop at Tobago, Trinidad and Grenada. Take a look at our holiday page for inspiration for your island hopping adventure!