Safest areas in Tobago

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Jsd
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Safest areas in Tobago

Post by Jsd »

Hi everyone, I've been trying to find out some information about Tobago but my searches always provides info on Trinidad as well so i dont know how acurate the info is. We are going to be staying at Blue Waters Inn in September, so what I would like to know is the following-
1) what is the crime rate like in Tobago and is it safe for british tourists ?
2) is the hotel in a safe area?
3) I know September is still within the rainy season ... what should I expect westher wise ie loads of rain or mainly sunny and dry with short heavy down pours etc.
4) would you advise hiring a car ... we are there for 7 nights and we're thinking of having around for a couple of days.
Any help with the above and any other info that might be useful to myself and hubby would be much appreciated.
PaulMakin
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Re: Safest areas in Tobago

Post by PaulMakin »

Welcome aboard

others will be along soon with detailed advice but the general gist is to exercise the precautions that you would employ anywhere else in the world and you will have an uneventful visit. Crime against tourists is low but playing silly games can lead to winning silly prizes !!

TnT is a develping nation and flaunting (what could be perecived to be) high wealth may be a temptation too far for some. acquisitive crime is perpetrated against all, not just tourists.

press reports recently of an alleged incident at a hotel in the SW seem to be unfounded but investigations continue. Quite often there's a back story to these episodes which doesn't hit the public domain. You will have seen press reporting of "drive bys" which seem to have increased - these are always local disputes over money/property/love but it's unpleasant to read. Proximity to trinidad with its gang/drug/gun culture is a static risk unfortunately.

not aware of any problems at Speyside and i do get up there quite often.

wet season is not a monsoon season and september can sometimes see a mini dry season (petit careme) - a sort of indian summer. a lot depends on the winds during the wet season and we do get periods of becalmed weather as the pressures in the ITCZ equalise. this can produce days of overcast conditions with increasing heat and humidity which are slow to clear. Fully wet days are not that common and, to be fair, could happen anytime of the year.

would definitely recommend hiring a vehicle. although tobago is small it can and often does take a long time to get around - with your own transport it gets a lot easier.
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Steve Wooler
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Re: Safest areas in Tobago

Post by Steve Wooler »

Hi Jsd

Welcome aboard. :D

My apologies for my late welcome to the forum, but Paul has done a stellar job so I don't know why I'm bothering to add anything. :twisted:

I wouldn't change a word of Paul's post, but just to confirm....

1) One of the privileges (sometimes curses) of administering myTobago over the past 24 years is that I receive a huge amount of information from contacts on the island and visitors returning from holiday. Most of it remains unpublished for reasons of legality or confidentiality. The point is that I am constantly amazed at how often there is aback story on those few occasions when there is a case of high-level crime against tourists. The bottom line is that if you behave like an idiot, then expect to be treated like an idiot; exactly the same as at home. Flash the cash or expensive toys and it might not be surprising if you are relieved of them. If you meddle with drugs and the type of people that sell them, your risk factor rises exponentially. And, sad to say, if you try too hard to immerse yourself in the local culture and people, you are all too likely to fall victim to the parasites that feed on gullible tourists - like everywhere else in the world. In summary, after more than 20 visits to Tobago over the last 25 years, personal security is not something we consider when planning a return or recommending the destination to others.

2) The Blue Waters Inn is one of our favourite places in Tobago. We enjoyed a week there earlier this year - and have stayed there about 6 times over the past 20+ years. The hotel itself is situated in a secure compound and employs a large team of smartly-dressed security guards who monitor the single access road and patrol the compound. A total waste of money to my mind. I have never felt uncomfortable in Speyside village, or heard of any issues.

3) Frankly, with the world weather as screwed as it is, its anybody's guess what the weather might be. As anywhere, you just have to book and hope for the best.

4) Yes, most definitely. Driving around the island is by far the best way to appreciate the island. If this is your first visit to Tobago, then I would recommend by starting off with a guided island tour. That way you will receive a basic ground knowledge of the island and get used to the roads and layout. Then simply grab a road map from the hotel, jump into your rental and hit the road. Public transport is not an option and whilst you could spend a week or two happily on the beach at the Blue Waters, you would be really missing out on what Tobago has to offer.

More than anything else, enjoy! :)
Steve Wooler
myTobago.info - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago
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Kurt.Halfyard
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Re: Safest areas in Tobago

Post by Kurt.Halfyard »

I also recommend hiring a vehicle (Sheppy, aka Colin Shepard, has never let us down) - rent the smallest little subcompact he has for the narrow roads. Most of his cars are in 'well loved' shape, and would not raise suspicion of a tourist or target. We've done some serious "off road" excursions in Sheppy's cars, and never once, ever felt at risk from the terrain or the people. Most are friendly, or quietly keep to themselves. I've had my kids at all ages in many places on the island, after dark, in the rainforest, (even the abandoned Arnos Vale Hotel, which I guess would be the riskiest place).
There has never been an issue in the past 20+ years of enjoying the island as a Canadian traveller with children who certainly sticks out, visually, on the island.
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