Start Planning Your Tobago Vacation
Trinidad and Tobago—two islands offering two unique experiences. Trinidad, Tobago’s lovely big sister is the more spirited of the two, hosting a variety of festivals, events and adrenaline-fueled activities. It’s home to the capital city Port of Spain which boasts art galleries, great restaurants and miles of sandy beaches. For a more serene experience, Tobago’s rainforest and beaches are gorgeous and fun to explore. Lush flora and thriving wildlife fill Tobago’s interior, along with rain forests, a coral reef and miles of vibrant fishing villages. Together, Trinidad and Tobago offer just about everything you’d want to experience on a perfect Caribbean vacation. Eco-tourists, beach loungers and partiers alike will find plenty to love about Tobago and Trinidad.
Other Destinations in Tobago
Mapping Out Tobago
In Tobago, the South Coast is lined with fishing villages while the North Coast boasts some of the finest beaches. Head over to the Eastern landscape, and you’ll find that it houses the oldest protected forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere. Trinidad’s North Coast on the other hand offers beaches, tall forest peaks and miles of lush rain forest. The East Coast is mostly protected wetlands while Central Trinidad is where you’ll find low, mostly agricultural plains. Tobago makes for a more relaxing luxury destination, but Trinidad offers so much cultural experience that you’ll be glad you visited both islands.
Carnival is a big deal on Trinidad, especially around Port of Spain. For those staying on Tobago, take a ferry or one of the many flights to Trinidad to spend a day or 2 reveling in the festive atmosphere.
Carnival is driven by music, and much of that music is driven by the steel drum. This instrument is an important part of the festivities and Trinidadian culture. The drums are featured in competitions such as The Panorama, and hundreds of drums pound out rhythms that fuel the daily parties or fetes.
There are many fetes throughout Carnival, but they ramp up during the last week. Some require an entrance fee, but these are generally safer. There’s so much more, but this is a celebration you have to see to understand. It’s Carnival!
Bird's the Word
Explore Tobago and travel to Trinidad to witness a beautiful array of feathers. Tobago is home to around 200 species of bird. You’ll see several of them during your time on the island. But if you, like us, are not an expert bird watcher, a guide can help enhance your eco experience. The guide will point out birds to you, explain the birds you see and lead tours in the rainforest or to offshore islands to find a wider variety of species.
To further enhance your plummage pursuit, head to Trinidad. The island is home to the Asa Wright Nature Center and the Caroni Bird Sanctuary. Both are prime bird watching locations. Even if you don’t normally bird watch, this is a unique opportunity to see amazing and exotic creatures.
There’s tremendous diving around Tobago thanks to its coral reef and crystal clear waters. With undisturbed reefs and underwater cliffs, its home to a wide and beautiful array of wild life.
St. Giles Island is one of the more recognizable dive sites. Not only is the scenery underwater amazing, but the natural rock bridges - where harsh winds and sea water blasted holes in the rock formations - above the waves are marvelous as well.
Off the west coast, the Arnos Vale Reef is home to lots of marine life, including stingrays and French angelfish. Head south to Crown Point to explore a diving spot known for numerous turtles and dolphins.
Keep it Chill: Tobago's Night Life
Tobago is quieter than its rowdy sister island, but there's a nightlife if you know where to look. And you should start looking on Saturday...well, technically Sunday. Right at midnight on Saturday nights, a large party called Sunday School takes over the town of Buccoo. Bands play on street corners, and impromptu bloc parties spring up. On Sunday, you can attend one of the harvest parties.
Shade is a party that starts at 7pm and goes on until around 4am. Grafton Beach Resort hosts one that’s less intense, but still engaging, offering a cabaret-style show every night. Bonkers is a popular club that stays pretty full every day it’s open. If you want something even more chill, check out Kariwak Village. This club is popular with tourists and locals and is known for hosting good jazz and calypso bands.
Take a Dive off of Speyside
You better get an extra oxygen tank, because you’ve got a lot of underwater exploring to do. Speyside is a great launch point for scuba divers, because the small fishing village is located near several wonderful dive destinations. And many of the businesses and vendors in Speyside cater specifically to divers, so you'll have all the resources you need.
The waters around Speyside are sprinkled with beautiful dive spots and thrive with colorful reefs with names like Angel, Batteaux and Japanese Gardens. Virtually every kind species of coral grow in the waters around Tobago. Divers are also drawn by the commonly seen manta rays. The visibility in the water is superb, so you’ll have no trouble seeing the breathtaking beauty of this submarine paradise.
Tobago Quick Facts
Trinidadian dollar (TT)
110 volts (U.S. standard)
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from Tobago.
Water is safe but heavily chlorinated
Eastern Standard Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours)
Tobago is host to more European than American travelers, so the peak season is closer to the summer.