Tobago Travel Guide: All You Need to Know

March 24, 2021Lauren Tobin

Our Tobago Travel Guide will tell you everything you need to know about this sensational country.

Tobago Beach
Find out everything you need to know in our Tobago Travel Guide before you go.

Oozing natural allure, with its palm-lined beaches, lively coral reefs, and wealth of rain forest. Our Tobago Travel Guide will prove this place has something for everyone.

Tobago’s greatest appeal, however, is its relatively unspoilt feel. This brings an overwhelming vibe of relaxation and tranquillity, perfect for a fly & flop holiday.

Keep reading our travel guide to find out more.


Tobago at a glance

Tobago at a glance
  • Best time of year to visit: December to May
  • Capital: Scarborough
  • Size: 300.5km2
  • Currency: Trinidad & Tobago Dollar
  • Main Language: English
  • Flight Time: Approx. 11 hours
  • Time Difference: GMT -5

What are some interesting things about Tobago?

While Tobago is a relatively small island at just 41km by 14km, the oval-shaped haven manages to bring a surprising level diversity through its beaches, blue waters, people, and ecosystems.

Tobago makes up one half of Trinidad and Tobago, with Trinidad being more focused on heavy industry than beach getaways.

As a result Tobago has managed to maintain breath-taking beauty in the form of clean, white beaches, and a landscape that is largely left to its own devices. This ensure you’re surrounded by true, undisturbed nature and authenticity.

Tobago is dripping in stunning beaches

Nature 

The Tobago Forest Reserve, famed as the oldest protected rain forest in the western hemisphere, is a true sight to behold. An abundant tangle of mist-covered greenery, often without a building or road to interrupt the flow of the forest for miles. Bird and animal life flourish here, with rare species attracting keen ornithologists and naturalists.

nature in Tobago with Caribbean Warehouse
Tobago is brimming with eye-catching critters

Culture

Tobago has a rich history and culture, you’re never too far from a celebration here. There are many annual festivals not to be missed. Possibly the biggest event of the year is the Tobago Jazz Festival, held between April and June. Not only will you see the best of local talent, but past performers include the likes of Elton John, Diana Ross, John Legend, Sting, and Trinidad and Tobago’s own Machel Montano.

Festivals are a way of life in the Caribbean

Chocolate

Last but certainly not least, Tobago is known world-wide for chocolate! So much so, that it’s been coined the “Chocolate Isle”. They’ve been in the cocoa industry since the 17th century, and while there have been ups and downs, cacao farming is now thriving thanks to a 45-acre Tobago Cocoa Estate.

There are now eleven different strains of cacao beans produced in the area, all with a rich, gorgeous taste. You can even visit the estate to witness production, take walks among the tropical cacao trees, and best of all – taste the delicious chocolate.


There’s so much to do in Tobago it’s often difficult to know where to start. But Our definitive guide to the top 10 places to go in Trinidad & Tobago should give you a decent idea of where to check out for an unforgettable trip. 

So, let’s take a look at what places Tobago has to explore!

What are the top sun and sea spots in Tobago?

Crown Point and around

The flat, low lying southwest has become the Tobago tourism hotspot. Crown Point is where you’ll find most of the hotels, restaurants, and night clubs, as well as the islands most popular beaches.

There are many things on this side of the island to keep you entertained during your stay. An added bonus is the airport’s just 10-20 minutes away so no need to worry about a long transfer either.

Be prepared for lots of fun, rum, and good times.

Buccoo Reef

About those beaches

Before we get into the amazing resorts, let’s talk about beaches.

There are a plethora of amazing beaches in Tobago, but this wouldn’t be a Tobago Travel Guide if we didn’t talk about Pigeon Point. Probably the most famous sunning spot where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea.

Aesthetically, it’s the most traditionally Caribbean of them all, with powdery white sands and calm turquoise sea, all lined by swaying palm trees. It’s easily become Tobago’s most photographed spot.

Relax in the warm waters of Pigeon Point

Store Bay Beach is another popular spot, and deservedly so, as it’s close to the main hotels, has delicious inexpensive food, and boasts lots of places to buy crafts and trinkets. 

In addition, if you’re a fan of underwater worlds, then Buccoo Reef is one to pop on your list. Covering around 12sq km of Pigeon Point and Buccoo Bay, it’s Tobago’s largest and most visited collection of corals.

To the south of the reef, you’ll find Nylon Pool. A gleaming coral lined sandbar forming a metre-deep swimming pool, smack in the middle of the sea.

Mix in some history

To add a bit of culture into your Tobago adventure, head to Fort Milford. Here you’ll find the ruins of gun-slatted coral stone, built by the British in the late 1970’s.

Six cannons remain, five of which are British and one French. It’s surrounded by well-kept gardens, making for a quiet, shady chill-out spot. Moreover, the panoramic views over Store Bay Beach and Milford Bay all the way up to Pigeon Point are truly spectacular. 


FUN FACT

Nylon Pool was said to be named by Princess Margaret during her stay in the 1950s; she supposedly remarked that the water was as clear as her nylon stockings, which had just been invented!


There’s plenty more Tobago facts where that one came from. 

Scarborough

Next up on our Tobago Travel Guide we’re visitng Scarborough, Tobago’s sizzling capital. A flourishing town, brimming with vibrancy, where tourism and local culture live in harmony. Considering its small size (although it’s the largest town on the island), there’s loads of things to keep you busy here.

Bacolet Bay Beach 

The Bacolet area is infamous for its striking beauty. In fact, Bacolet Bay Beach was actually the setting for Walt Disney’s “Swiss Family Robinson”. In the late 60’s and early 70’s it was a playground for Hollywood’s rich and famous. Even The Beatles were seen living it up on Bacolet, wonder where they parked the yellow submarine.

Crescent-shaped Bacolet Bay Beach is a tranquil spot, with its yellow sand shaded by palms and Indian almond trees. Boasting a protective coral reef, the bay makes for great swimming, although be careful of the occasional undercurrents and rougher seas in winter.

Nearby you’ll find beach bars for drinks and snacks, so you can be refreshed and refuelled between sun, sleeps and swims.

Scarborough has its fair share of beaches too

Central Scarborough

If you’re after somewhere to have a bit of a mooch away from the beach, we’d suggest heading to Central Scarborough. Home to the popular market, NIB Mall and port there’s a friendly and absorbing scene with a mix of locals and tourists. Perfect for bargains, chats with the stall holders and a way to get an idea of authentic Tobago living.

Botanical Gardens

Next to the centre of Scarborough you’ll find the popular Botanical Garden. Founded in the 19th century, it celebrates the unique flora of Tobago, showcasing some of the most exquisite plantlife on the island.

For example orchids, silk-cotton trees, huge saman trees, and royal poinciana and much more can all be found here. In addition to the eye-popping plants, keep an eye out for the island’s colourful blue-crowned mot mot bird flitting around the grounds.

History comes alive in Scarborough

No visit to Scarborough would be complete without a visit to Fort King George.

An elevated fort built way back in 1781 complete with cannons, barracks, and artefacts; it’s the largest of its kind in Tobago. Explore the museum and learn all about life in the times it was built among other fascinating tit-bits about the location.


North-West Coast

The North-West Coast is home to many sights and experiences to behold. For instance beaches, reefs, golf, surfing, and shopping towns are all available to dazzle your senses. More laid-back than the likes of Crown Point it’s a great base for your Tobago adventure. 

We’d suggest staying in Black Rock, as it’s settled right on Stonehaven Bay (Or Grafton Beach as it’s known). A glorious, wide swath of beach with coarse sand that attracts nesting turtles in the March-August season. Moreover, there’s great swimming, and a particularly gorgeous sunset in the late afternoon.

Just north of Black Rock, you’ll find the incredible tree-masked Turtle Beach (officially Great Courland Bay). It’s a picturesque kilometre of yellow sand, flecked with volcanic greys.

Tobago diving with turtles
Go diving with some special creatures in Tobago

Water sports 

Water sports are the order of the day in terms of activities on the North West coast. The sea offers steep water shelves and large waves, perfect if you like exhilarating swimming or water sports.

While a river at the western end can be nice for a freshwater dip, when not in dry season. Please note that part of the beach is allocated to guests-only from Turtle Beach Hotel.

History

Filling out the claim that Black Rock a brilliant destination for all travellers, there’s a bunch of local history waiting to be discovered here.

For example, it’s home to a bustling friendly village full of historical sites and stories. In addition to the village you’ll find a traditional fort nearby, Fort Bennet.

Built in the 1680’s Fort Bennet is a mini, well-preserved, historical site offering gorgeous views of the coast as well as a small garden to enjoy.


But what should you definitely do?

We get it, there’s so much to do in Tobago. So it can be difficult to know where to start. 

But that’s exactly where our Top 10 Places to visit list comes in. Just click the button below and we’ll show you the spots you should definitely be hitting when you visit for a truly memorable stay in Tobago.

We’ll also tell you where you can get the low-down on a couple of super-chic, wallet-friendly resorts in Tobago

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