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Our Tobago Experience

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:52 pm
by RobertE
I am submitting this here as well as in the General comments section as I raised safety concerns here with previous posts. Forgive me Steve if this is not appropriate.

My wife, daughter and I have just returned from a 10 day visit to Tobago and would sum it up as an Excellent Overall Experience and I have submitted reviews for the components of our trip in detail.
Tobago is a beautiful island..... it would stand up to any destination in the world in terms of its ingredients and what it has to offer. I have travelled to many beautiful, exotic places all over the world and this place will be a welcome addition to my travel memories. (the world is big!... and I have seen so little.....sigh )
When I started researching Tobago, I was alarmed at reports of crime....especially recent, violent ones that occurred near where I was going to be staying ..... and my posts reflect that. We experienced no problems whatsoever... I guess we were lucky?.... or we were vigilant and careful.
Especially because I brought my blond,pretty, 17 yr old daughter with us. She received many comments and stares from local men (mostly benign)
As many posters have reported and some sadly experienced.....crime does and is happening on Tobago, so you must be alert and sensible on where you go and what you do as everyone agrees.
I passed a couple of police cars in our time there but saw no other presence. We never generally walked anywhere at night...(had a rental car almost the whole time) and even walking in the day time... beaches,roads etc... we were careful. But not obsessively so.....except... walking down to the Arnos Vale beach....thru the grounds of the Arnos Vale Hotel.... that was sort of creepy (the place is borderline is being continually reported...faded glory). It has huge potential and somebody will bring it back to life eventually.

Forgive this wordy submission .

Some Highlites:
Pigeon Point Beach/Park - beautiful, loved it...especially on early morning walks (a bit too crowded as the day wore on)
Castara Bay - beautiful, definately would stay there (my kind of laid back ambiance)...views, beaches, creole dining, Boathouse bar,great looking places.. especially the Blue Marlin Room at the Naturalist (right Paul T ?) but most others as well
Englishmans Bay - stunning beach and setting (and I have seen some amazing beaches...)

Charlotteville - loved it, again... great local ambiance

Argyle Falls - Beautiful, climb up to the upper levels and go for a swim
( we wanted to go to the Highland Falls but could not find someone to guide us there...its isolated and was told by more than one guide/local that it would potentially be dangerous as people have been attacked there)

Coast Drive around the Island - many times visually stunning!...highly recommended!... the roads need to be driven to be a small car it was like being on a Go Kart Track ( Huge Fun!... my wife Hugely disagrees! )

Roxborough to Parlutuvier Mountain road - thru the Tobago Forest Reserve and we stopped and partly hiked one of the trails by ourselves ... U need a guide to point out all those annoying, beautiful hidden birds and creatures though :-)

Sunday School - we got there around 8 pm, easily parked and proceeded to sit down and have a big plate of local cooking...absolutely delicious and then waited till about 9:30 to hear the steel band. It was crowded but we stood over by the bar and had a great place to take in most of the performance, really enjoyed seeing/hearing a live steel band... we felt absolutely safe (there were lots of fellow tourists there) but we left around 11 pm
A Must Do! evening event.

Bars - Bagos!... I know its not much but its where its located, types of characters it attracts (we are sailors), cold beer ,tunes, great BBQ, sundowns etc...(not an evening bar seems to clear out)
Boathouse bar at Castara - all above applies! (except I heard it is a great evening bar)
Restaurants - La Cantina... (excellent pizza,service!), Tobago Paradise Travel and Grill...Lobster!!!, Fish!!! but only 3 tables so reserve...

We shopped at the big Pennysavers on Milford road,... it has most things You need and prices were reasonable, good booze selection (you really dont need to bring duty free booze), fruit and vegetables were better at another place closer to Crown Point along Milford road and Silja from Top O' Tobago brought us to a local meat shop/farm (excellent).... I'm sure its mentioned here somewhere

Many people have submitted that they find Tobago generally unfriendly and the Tourism workforce/Local residents cold and lacking.... we experienced just the opposite ... but we went out of our way to extend smiles, thank you's and we received the same back.... except ! .... for Mister Grumpy Icy Glare local guy :twisted: sitting on the rope swing with the ice creme pickup at Englishmans' Bay.... I tried to smile at him/say hello more than once but he just wanted to kill me horribly. :shock:

Tobago...Highly Recommended!

Coastal View
Coastal View

Re: Our Tobago Experience

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:20 pm
by Steve Wooler
Well said, Robert - I'm so glad it worked out so well for you and have to say that your very comprehensive report sums up the typical Tobago holiday experience. You will get out of this island what you put into it. :)

Sadly, our time on Tobago comes to an end within the next few hours too. We have had six glorious weeks on Tobago and I have seen and heard nothing that changes my overall impressions of the island. :cry:

Re: Our Tobago Experience

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:20 pm
by Robert T

Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm also glad that despite the initial worries it all worked out fine for you.


Have a safe trip!!


Re: Our Tobago Experience

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:20 pm
by Hugh S
Great report and great photos. I especially like the Morning Walk at Pigeon Point shot.

Hugh 8)

Re: Our Tobago Experience

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:45 pm
by Karambesi
Wonderful photos and a very reassuring report. Thank you!... =D>
Kind regards, Peter

Re: Our Tobago Experience

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:42 am
by RobertE
Thank you Steve !

This great website and your valued input... as well as everyone elses !.... was fundamental in helping us plan our Trip.
I quoted you over on The Trip Advisor forum...."You will get out of this island what you put into it"
That is probably true of anywhere one would travel to.

Thanks ! Rob, Hugh 8) and Peter =D>
and Hugh.... I like that one the best too... but I am sort of partial.... :)


Re: Our Tobago Experience

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:08 am
by Hugh S

I like that pic not just because of your lovely family but rather, it is a different feel for Pigeon Point. Few shots are taken at that time of day and in that light.

Thanks, Hugh 8)
PS. I have an old shot taken from the same place as your "Coastal View".

Re: Our Tobago Experience

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:58 pm
by RobertE
That is a beautiful shot Hugh !... taken with better equipment and knowledge than my point and shoot I'm presuming.
I sure you have other great shots of this beautiful island. :)


Re: Our Tobago Experience

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:21 pm
by Hugh S
Thank you Bob, glad you like it.

Yes, I do have a few more shots of Tobago: ... 851139907/

Hugh 8)