For whatever reason, you may have a limited time to explore the 300km² of paradise that is Tobago. Whether here on business or have a layover, here are some ideas that would give you a taste of what Tobago has to offer.
We here at Destination Trinidad and Tobago are going to plan an itinerary that you can follow in the event you have a few days to explore. Disclaimer: activities may vary on the days of the week that you travel to the island. It is a general itinerary created on the assumption that you ran away from the sister isle for “ah two days”.
It is recommended that you rent a car for the duration of the trip, it will be cheaper than hiring a taxi and more reliable than using public transportation. For your one night to ensure the best rest, stay at a place that is perfect for you. Whether you prefer resorts like Le Grand Courlan, small hotels like Chic Boutique or self-catering apartments such as Beverly’s Oasis Suites, Tobago has it all.
Step off the plane… breathe in the clean Tobago air… and get ready to go on an adventure.
As you cross the tarmac and exit the A.N.R. Robinson International Airport, head across to Store Bay. Before the slight descent to the beach, you face the difficult choice of where to set up to relax. The blue waters approach ever so often as if to tell the colourful beach umbrellas hello. Locals renting chairs and umbrellas offer you low prices for your temporary haven and you set up. There you can lounge on the beach for an hour or two admiring the unspoiled horizon then board a glass bottom boat en route to the Nylon Pool.
While sipping a drink on the top deck of the boat as it glides over the Caribbean Sea, glance to the left to see the picturesque Pigeon Point Heritage Park in all its glory or stare across the watery horizon with varying shades of blue. If the rum punch does not help you forget everyday life and encourage you to live in the moment, the rhythmic soca music blaring from the speakers will.
The tours from different operators vary but tours usually include a snorkelling stop at the Buccoo Reef and a swim at No Man’s Land (a secluded beach only accessible by boat). As the boat returns to Store Bay, hop into the transparent water and wade through waist-high warm water that tempts you to submerge yourself.
But this is a whole day dedicated to beach-hopping!
Your next stop is Canoe Bay, a small beach with an entrance fee of $15TT (less than 3USD). Travelling along Claude Noel Highway (in the area between Tobago Plantations and Canaan), there are marked signs indicating the turn-off for the beach. This beach offers a prime and unobstructed view of the planes departing and arriving at the airport.
After a cool swim at Canoe Bay, head to Shirvan Road to visit a stretch of Tobago’s beaches. The first stop is Buccoo Bay, the fishing village. Its expansive sands are not usually visited by seabathers but more commonly traversed by the horses that ride along the beach. Whether you decide to take a horse ride or not, you continue the adventure at Mount Irvine and try a hand at a putt in the Mount Irvine Golf Course. If golfing is not your thing, you can relax at the Mt. Irvine Beach. There, you can kayak or snorkel if you choose. The marine life off the coast is amazing. Colourful fish and a multitude of coral species can be spotted.
Proceed to Back Bay next, a secluded beach with a natural pool that seems as if it were made for two. It lies between Mount Irvine and Grafton. The next beach on the agenda is Grafton/Stonehaven Bay, its low calm waves are ideal for skimboarding (surfing on the shore). The final beach stop is Black Rock Beach, post-beach dip, visit the ATV Rides nearby to go on the adventure of a lifetime.
If the adrenaline rush of ATV riding is not your type of excitement (or after you’ve experienced it), head in the direction of Plymouth and visit the tomb of Betty Stiven. The tombstone that was erected in 1783 has a mysterious inscription that baffles visitors to date. Maybe you can figure it out?
The last stop on your trip should be the Courland Monument. Located in Plymouth, it offers an impressive view over the Grafton/Stonehaven Bay that you can enjoy the sun setting over the horizon. Retire to your accommodation option to rest for the tomorrow’s adventure.
Get into your taxi/rental and head in the direction of Scarborough, the island’s capital. The second day would be one of many photo opportunities so ensure you have a good breakfast and a full camera battery.
First stop: Fort King George. This fort is Tobago’s best kept and has an unmatched view of Scarborough. Journey up the Windward Road to explore the South-East side of Tobago.
Second stop: Fort Granby. It may seem as though solely history-lovers are in for treat today but there’s something for everyone! This picturesque fort is perfect for adventure as well images to capture the natural beauty of Tobago. The fort lies on a headland with covered gazebos that look over either side into the Barbados and Pinfold Bays.
The Windward Road follows the coast and the ocean is always within sight. Further north along the road, one meets up with the coastal paradise of Speyside. Though it is known for the best diving sites in Tobago, casual swimming is just as great. Drive into the property at Blue Waters Inn and have lunch then relax on the shores of Batteaux Bay. The hotel and private tour operators offer tours and diving trips to Little Tobago and Kelleston Drain.
On the way back to the main road, be sure to stop at the magnificent Speyside waterwheel. It once provided power to the entire village and though it is not in use today, it is well-maintained.
Proceeding in a southerly direction on Windward Road, take the turnoff to go to the Argyle Waterfall. The entrance fee is $60TT (approximately 55USD) for the guided 15-20 min to the tallest waterfall in Tobago. The water tumbles over 175ft of rocks in a stepped formation. At the base of the falls, there are pools perfect for swimming.
You then have the choice to head over to the Main Ridge Forest Reserve for a stroll through the oldest forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere or drive across the island (to get back to your hotel) through Parlatuvier.
If you choose to pass through Parlatuvier, its lookout is a must-visit destination. Snap your own iconic pictures of the jetty for the memories.
When passing through Castara (and if it is a Wednesday or Saturday), stop at the beachfront dirt oven and place an order for fresh bread! While you wait, relax by the beach, you might see some interesting marine life. Manta rays visit the bay quite frequently. About ten minutes’ drive past Castara (on the left heading to Scarborough), be on the look out for the sign to the Mount Dillon Lookout. It gives impressive views of the Castara Bay and Western Tobago. (We told you the camera come in handy.)
Then head back to your car for the journey through Tobago’s winding countryside roads back to your hotel. By the time your head leans against the headrest on your flight out of the Tobago, you would feel filled with the adventures have to offer.