Tobago

With its protected rainforest, coral reefs and rare bird species, Tobago is truly a natural paradise, great for divers, explorers and visitors of all ages.
Island Guide
Tobago island guide
On the southern tip of the Caribbean and less than 18 miles North of Venezuela - Tobago is a slice of paradise where the sun caresses green hills that tumble into turquoise seas. It might be Trinidad’s little sister (just 21 miles separate the two islands) but it’s definitely the pretty one of the family.

The pace of life is slow, like really slow. Limin (hanging around) is extremely popular and the charming locals urge visitors to adopt this attitude for maximum holiday enjoyment. And with palm fringed beaches, warm waters, good food and drink this is easy to do.

Tobago
Allegedly, Tobago was the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's famous novel Robinson Crusoe, but as the island changed hands 29 times there’s plenty of real history too. Tobago surprises visitors with unspoiled beaches, crystal clear waterfalls, ancient rainforests full of exotic birds (that attract twitchers from around the world) and some of the best SCUBA diving anywhere. Couples, families and honeymooners who appreciate the simple, unpretentious charm and beauty of the unspoilt Caribbean will love Tobago.

Getting to Tobago
From the UK, there is a regular scheduled flight service at least 2 days a week on British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. Scheduled flights from London Gatwick are direct with a touchdowm, so journey times are between 10 to 11 hours depending.

Monarch airlines used to fly to Tobago, but the long haul service has ended.

Crown Point International Airport is comparatively small to other Caribbean airports, but is quite comfortable. Fill in the Customs Forms correctly on arrival as local officials can be officious! If you need to arrange a taxi, check official taxi prices on the notice board, outside the arrivals hall.

The airport departure tax is included in your longhaul flight ticket. The local airport departure tax must be paid if you fly on inter-island flights, but there is no departure tax between Trinidad and Tobago. Regular flights run between the two.

Tobago


Out and about
In Tobago hiring a car is easy but don’t underestimate the time it takes to get around narrow twisty mountain roads and old cars hindering your progress. At least driving is on the left! The speed limit is officially 30mph/50kph wearing seats belts is compulsory, there is a fine for not using a seat. There are limited petrol stations, so fill up before you decide to do a complete round trip of the island. The bus service is a bit hit-and-miss and you need to buy a ticket before getting onboard (drivers can't accept money). Fixed route taxis are quite good but it may take sometime to establish where they are going too. Taxis hang around most hotels and although not the cheapest transport they are quick and easy (look for the letter H at the start of the number plate).

Sightseeing
Tobagonians love showing off their island so don’t be afraid to ask for things to see or do. Hire a guide and take a rainforest walk - pack a costume as the cold inland pools provide a change from the clammy forest. Along with an array of boat excursions a powerboat outing is great fun with snorkelling, lunch and drinks included. Hire a car and see the island on a full day sightseeing trip - Fort King James, Roxborough, Bloody Bay, Speyside in the North and the Argyll Waterfalls.

Tobago


Tobago beaches and activities
Every postcard seems to include Pigeon Point Beach and with reason. Soft white sand and gently swaying palms meet turquoise blue waters here and famous buccoo reef is only a glass-bottomed boat-ride away. The beach (small daily admission fee applies) is well equipped with toilets, showers, restaurants, bar, shop etc. No nude sun bathing here please but walk around the to the opposite side for a really quiet spot. Most Tobago hotels front a beach (all beaches are public) and offer watersports equipment such as Sunfish sailing, windsurfers, kayaks etc. The best dive sites are over at Speyside (including the worlds largest brain coral), where the small beachfront resort Blue Waters Inn can be found. Store Bay Beach is also very good with a lifeguard on duty. Facilities are good although the weekends can be loud and busy with locals chilling out. Most beaches have golden sands although a few in the north have dark volcanic sand.

TOBAGO FACT FILE
Capital
Scarbrorough

Population
(Tobago) 60,000

Currency

Trinidad & Tobago Dollars; US$1=TT$6.20 (rate varies)

Official Language
English

Status

Independent nation; Republic the British Commonwealth

Business

Banks open Mon to Thurs 8am-2pm; Fri 9am-12noon and 3-5pm.

Shops open Mon to Fri 8am-4.30pm and Sat 8am-12noon.

Credit cards widely accepted.

Electricity

110 volts AC 60 cycles with 220 volts in some areas.

Time

-4 GMT - Tobago Time does not operate UK Daylight-Saving Time.

Local airport departure tax

Trinidad and Tobago Dollars: TT$100 (approx £10). This is included in your long haul UK flight ticket: Tobago Airpot, A.N.R. Robinson International Airport

Tobago Wedding Information


Minimum stay

Three days residence before applying for a License and ceremony can be conducted 3 working days after arrival. Conducted Mon-Fri excluding Public Holidays.

Minimum age

18 or over

Documents Required

  • Birth Certificate
  • Valid 10 year Passport.
  • Full names, addresses, occupations and religions
  • If divorced, you need the Decree Absolute
  • If widowed, you need the Death Certificate of former spouse and previous Marriage Certificate.
  • If you name has been changed by Deed Poll, you need legal proof.
  • You must take originals (not copies) of all required documents with you
Tobago resorts and hotels
Although there are fewer hotels than on other larger islands, there is quite a wide variety. All-inclusive hotels are becoming more numerous and tend to offer good value. The Crown Point and Store Bay area is the only really discernible resort area (close to the airport) with several hotels a good beach, some small local shops, bars and a few restaurants. Most other hotels are strung out between bays with relatively few amenities close by - often just a village shop and bar. Speyside on the north west coast is a great base for divers and twitchers, but hotel choices are limited and the area is less busy but a great choice to get away from it all.

Eating and drinking
Diverse and excellent on both fronts. Spanish, French, West African, Chinese and Indian cultures have influenced local cuisine. Try a spicy roti, coconut flavour ice cream and wash down with an ice cold Carib or Stag beer. Sample the local favourites like curried crab and dumplings, callaloo soup and pilau. Exotic lobster, grilled fresh fish, chicken fixed a hundred different ways. The rum is good and Angostura bitters (made in Trinidad) is added to many soft and alcoholic drinks.

Shopping
No malls, no glitzy boutiques. Just local souvenir shops selling handmade batiks, wraps, carvings, jewellery, T-shirts etc. Bigger hotels may have a couple of shops selling more upmarket goods so the credit card could still come in useful. Duty Free alcohol at the airport is very reasonable. ATM machines available.

Weather in Tobago
Tobago has fairly consistent temperatures and fewer autumn storms than many of the more northern islands. Cooling Trade Winds blow consistently, with a sunny climate all year round and average daytime temperatures varies between 29°C to 31°C. The water temperature is only a few degrees lower. The Dry Season, January to April are dry and sunny months. The Rainy Season is from June to November. However, it is quite possible to get rain in May and December. Rain generally falls in short sharp bursts.

Hurricane season is from June to November and affects Florida, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Although the odds are pretty small that a hurricane will hit a particular Caribbean island while you're on holiday, they are higher in hurricane season than for stays from December to May.
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