Tobago is a small Caribbean island not far north of Venezuela. It is 40 km long by 14 km wide and has a population of only 55000 yet it contains a remarkable diversity of appeal for the tourist. Part of its charm lies in the fact that it is relatively unspoilt with little commercial development. It enjoys its own authentic culture and style. Here are some recommended activities and sights:
1. Scuba Diving
The island is surrounded with coral reefs abounding in wonderful underwater life including a multitude of tropical fish, manta rays and leatherback turtles. There are many dive centres so prices are competitive.
2. Snorkeling and/or Glass Bottom Boats
If you do not fancy diving then snorkeling and glass bottom boats both offer easy ways to see the fish at close quarters. There are many excellent reefs that are just off the beach – particularly recommended are Mt Irvine and Speyside beaches.
3. The Beaches
Some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean are to be found here including Englishman’s Bay, Pigeon Point, Parlatuvier and Pirate’s Bay.
4. Little Tobago
Just off the north-east coast near Speyside lies the island of Little Tobago which is a bird sanctuary containing many wonderful seabirds. You can hike around this small island but it is recommended that you take a guide who will be able to point out many of its hidden sights.
Castara is a delightful village on the northern coast where you can bathe and take in some refreshments.
There are two pretty and challenging golf courses at Mt Irvine and Tobago Plantations. Take the golf cart and plenty of sun cream.
7. Scarborough Botanic Gardens
The capital, Scarborough, is busy but does not have many tourist attractions. However the botanic gardens are well worth a visit in order to see the ancient Silk Cotton trees, the Bearded Fig, Breadfruit trees and avenue of Royal Palms.
8. Scarborough Fort King George
This old fort enjoys a marvelous position with commanding views over the south-west of the island. It also contains a museum with many interesting artifacts and documents.
9. The Rain Forest
Take a guided tour to see some of the remarkable lush vegetation and the sparkling waterfalls. If you are lucky you might catch sight of the secretive caiman. You will certainly see many of the spectacular bird varieties that inhabit the island.
10. Charlotteville and Flagstaff Hill
Charlotteville is a very pretty fishing village in the far north of the island. The road along the north coast winds through vast tracts of rain forest so the journey itself is an adventure. Don’t miss the lookout at nearby Flagstaff Hill where you will enjoy unparalleled views over the coastline.
The people on Tobago are very friendly and laid back but do not expect prompt service. There are many fine and inexpensive restaurants and cafes. There are no big shops or shopping malls on Tobago which for many will be another great reason to go there.