An introduction to Tobago for first-time visitors, by Rachel Harries-Darke
- Picture postcard beaches
- Palm tree-lined golf courses
- An amazing underwater world
- Beautiful coral reefs
- Fascinating wildlife including manta rays and giant turtles
- A range of accommodation for all tastes and all budgets
- Incredibly friendly locals; a safe environment
- Small enough to make exploring in a day possible, but not so small that you feel claustrophobic
- A huge range of restaurants with something to suit all tastes
- Enchanting hamlets and villages, untouched by commercialism
- Contrasting landscape offering dense forest, calm blue Caribbean sea, and steep hills
- Bustling capital – Scarborough – quite unlike any other world capital!
- This is Tobago! And the huge number of repeat visitors say a lot about its enduring appeal… We hope you will love Tobago as much as we do when you visit this delightful island.
So what will Tobago offer you? Well, you won’t get the plethora of five-star resorts that Barbados boasts, nor will you get the nightlife that Jamaica serves up. If you want those holidays, go there. The pace of life in Tobago comes in two speeds: slow and slower. No worries, take it easy, chill… Tobago is the place to go to lie back and relax.
Visitors talk of stepping off the plane and feeling the stress being sucked out of their body. Broad smiles greet you at the taxi rank, the crystal clear Caribbean glints at you as you travel on to your accommodation. And a cold Carib beer or refreshing rum punch will greet you at your destination. One of the best things about Tobago is that it welcomes you.
Your stay might be at one of the handful of all-inclusive resorts on the island, but we at myTobago hope to encourage you out of those four walls and to explore the island - the rainforest, the villages and the many small restaurants dotted around the island. If you want to stay at one of the smaller establishments, we hope to help you find the right one.
Tobago is just 8 miles wide and 26 long, but it takes a few hours to get from one end to the other. Another charm of Tobago is the lack of infrastructure. The best way to dodge the potholes, whizz around and have a whole lot of fun is by hiring a jeep. The most developed areas of Tobago are in the Lowlands - in the southwest. Here you’ll find A.N.R.Robinson International Airport, a few smart hotels along the Caribbean coast, Buccoo Reef, the fine white sandy beaches of Pigeon Point and Store Bay, and Scarborough – the colourful capital and port.
Tobago’s south coast, pounded by the Atlantic Ocean, is dotted with charming fishing villages, of which Speyside is probably the most popular. The north Caribbean coast has many beautiful coral sand beaches like Castara, Englishman’s Bay, Parlatuvier and Bloody Bay, often deserted except for a few fishermen. The most northerly of the villages along this coast, Charlotteville, lies where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, and, like Speyside, has impressive coral reefs - many within swimming distance of the beach - ideal for diving and snorkelling.
The eastern side of the island rises steeply into the hills which make up the central Main Ridge. Then main rainforest is located here, a rainforest that falls sharply away to the palm-fringed, sandy beaches below. Dripping with moisture and shrouded in mist, the rainforest is a paradise for naturalists and birdwatchers.
Finally, there’s Little Tobago – about 1.5 miles (2.5km) out to sea and just 1.3 miles (2km) long at its widest point. Little Tobago is an uninhabited seabird sanctuary off Speyside. Local fishermen happily take visitors to see the island with its resident birdlife, including terns, boobies and the red-billed tropic bird.
So, wherever you choose to stay and whatever you choose to do while you're there, you’ll see that Tobago offers something for just about everyone. If you’re a diver, an ornithologist, a nature lover, a sun worshipper, a lover of fresh food, a laid-back lifestyle, a people-watcher, a beach babe, surf dude, sailor, romantic couple, oldie, young person or on a tight budget, then you’ll love Tobago, just like us.
The Tobagonian People
Without any question of doubt, Tobago's most endearing resource is its endemic population - the Tobagonians. Often initially somewhat offhand, it normally takes little to unleash their humour, hospitality and huge pride in the island. Once you have 'connected' with Tobagonians, the island is bound to capture a portion of your heart.
We recommend that first-time visitors, in particular, read our articles on the Tobagonian people.