Tobago Travel Guide

Tobago has been a hot spot Caribbean destination for years. This lush island lays claim to part of the economic powerhouse in the Caribbean. Although it plays host to many visitors every year it is not typically considered a “tourist” location. This area is a hub for vast oil and gas reserves and this has led to the high standard of living for some of its inhabitants. The northern beaches are peachy in color and the water is a sparkling blue-green. When you travel to Tobago, admire the backdrop of the mountainous Main Ridge and the island around it. In Tobago, you can always find excellent accommodations and amenities for any traveler. Enjoy the lush rainforest, the oldest protected rainforest in the western Hemisphere.  To learn more about all the beautiful beaches on Tobago, visit here.  Now view our Tobago Travel Guide to help plan your next Caribbean vacation!

Weather

Tobago enjoys a tropical climate and is sunny all year round. The average daytime temperature is 83°F and maximums in the 80s to low 90s. The water temperature is a few degrees lower. Trade Winds blow consistently, cooling the island so effectively that air-conditioning is the exception rather than the rule.

Tobago has two seasons (three with Carnival): the Dry Season between December and May, and the Wet Season (Hurricane Season) between June and November.  Tobago is outside the main hurricane belt and has fewer autumn storms than many of the more northerly islands.  Carnival, a popular festival throughout the Caribbean, takes place on two consecutive days in February and is full of music, dance, singing, and costumes.

Best Time to Travel

The best time to visit Trinidad and Tobago is from January to May when the skies stay clear. Although the islands aren’t on the hurricane belt, afternoon rain showers are daily occurrences from June to December. Hotels lower their rates to account for rainy weather during this wet season. At least the weather stays pleasant year-round: There’s little humidity and average temps hover in the low 80s.  If you want cheaper hotel rates, April to June and October to December are much cheaper and easier to find accommodations, but can be on the rainy side.  The dry season only lasts from December to May.

Getting to Tobago

To enter Trinidad and Tobago you must present a passport valid for six months after your departure date.  You may also need to show a printout of your flight itinerary to show that you have a valid ongoing ticket.  For stays of less than three months, visas are not required by citizens of the US, Canada, the UK, India and most European countries.  Visas can be obtained through the Trinidad and Tobago embassy or consulate in your home country or, if one doesn’t exist, online via the website of the T&T government’s Immigration Division.

There are non stops to Trinidad from Houston (United), Miami (American, Caribbean Airlines), Ft. Lauderdale (Caribbean Airlines, JetBlue), New York–JFK (American, Caribbean Airlines, JetBlue), New York–Newark (United), and Toronto (WestJet). There are no nonstop flights to Tobago from the United States; to get to Tobago, you will have to fly from Trinidad to the A.N.R. Robinson International Airport on Caribbean Airlines or LIAT.

Getting Around in Tobago

By Car

In Tobago, you’ll want to rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle over relying on expensive taxi service. Driving is on the left, British-style. Be aware that Tobago has very few gas stations—the main ones are in Crown Point and Scarborough. Be cautious driving the island, because despite the introduction of the Breathalyzer, many people still take their chances driving after drinking, and erratic driving is the norm rather than the exception.

By Taxi

The fare from Crown Point Airport to Scarborough or Grafton Beach is about $65. Taxis are easily identified by their license plates, which begin with the letter H. Passenger vans, called Maxi Taxis, pick up and drop off passengers as they travel (like a bus) and are color-coded according to which of the six areas they cover. They’re easy to hail day or night along most of the main roads near Port of Spain. For longer trips you need to hire a private taxi. Cabs aren’t metered, and hotel taxis can be expensive.

By Ferry

Trips between Trinidad and Tobago are made on one of the two high-speed CAT ferries and take 2½ hours. The ferries leave twice a day from the jetty at the foot of Independence Square in Port of Spain and three times a day from the cruise-ship complex in Scarborough.  There is also a water-taxi service that travels between Port of Spain and San Fernando in southern Trinidad .

The seas between Trinidad and Tobago can be very rough, and flights are frequent and only 20 minutes long, so it might be better to fly than take a ferry.

Must See Places

Fort King George

On Mt. St. George, a short drive up the hill from Scarborough, Tobago’s best-preserved historic monument clings to a cliff high above the ocean.   Ft. King George was built in the 1770s and operated until 1854. It’s hard to imagine that this lovely, tranquil spot commanding sweeping views of the bay and landscaped with lush tropical foliage was ever the site of any military action, but the prison, officers’ mess, and several stabilized cannons attest otherwise.

Buccoo Reef

This 10-acre coral reef and the tropical fish that inhabit it have long been popular among tourists, but have suffered in recent years from the many visitors.

 

 

Fort Bennett

Fort Bennett is located in Black Rock, Tobago, overlooking Grafton Beach. The Fort was built by the Dutch between 1628 and 1636. Later on, in the 1680’s the Courlanders refortified it in order to protect their then flourishing settlement in the Great Courland Bay area.

 

 

Cocoa Estate

The Tobago Cocoa Estate W.I. Ltd is a heritage park where visitors can learn about the history of cocoa in Tobago, see historical displays and participate in the fermentation and drying activities at the estate. Finally, the visitor will experiences the agro-culinary approach to tourism and participate in a rum and chocolate tasting session after an evening of dinner that showcases the local cuisine of Tobago.

 

Speyside

At the far reach of Tobago’s windward coast, this small fishing village has a few lodgings and restaurants. Divers are drawn to the unspoiled reefs in the area and to the strong possibility of spotting giant manta rays. The approach to Speyside from the south affords one of the most spectacular vistas of the island. Glass-bottom boats operate between Speyside and Little Tobago Island, an important seabird sanctuary.

 

Outdoor Activities

Undersea Tobago

Located at the Coco Reef Resort, Undersea Tobago provides PADI scuba diving tuition and guided dive charters to both reefs and wrecks.  Scuba experiences are available for the entire family. Undersea Tobago, where personal attention meets adventure!  For more information call 868-631-2626, or visit them on the web at Undersea Tobago.

Stand Up Paddle

Learn to stand up paddle from the beautiful Pigeon Point beach in Tobago. Their personalized Instructor will teach you all the basic skills and make sure that your lesson is lots of fun. If you are feeling up for it and time allows we can even go for a paddle further along the point. They also offer Bio Luminescence tours at night, Swamp and lagoon tours, surf lessons and a whole lot more all on Stand Up Paddle Boards.  For more information call 868-681-4741, or visit them on the web at Stand Up Paddle.

Being With Horses

They offer a trail-swim combination. This special 2 hour experience is a joyful one for both horses and riders, including first timers who have never spent time with horses. For more information call 868-639-0953, or visit them on the web at Being With Horses.

Zoe Snorkeling Charters

Looking for the ultimate in personalized, snorkeling tours then look no further than “ZOE” Snorkeling Charters. They offer the fastest and most fun way to go snorkeling or liming (hanging out) in Tobago.  For more information call 868-681-4741, or visit them on the web at Zoe Snorkeling Charters.

Eureka Natural History Tours

Experience the abundant and diverse natural history of Tobago. Discover the rich populations of neo-tropical birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and other wildlife with one of the country’s most professional naturalist, Jason Radix.  For more information call 868-731-0759, or visit them on the web at Eureka Natural History Tours.

Best Rated Restaurants

$-Inexpensive     $$-Moderate     $$$-Pricey     $$$$-Ultra High End

$$$$  The Seahorse Inn

Creole crab cakes, Jerk Chicken Satay … there’s a reason this is one of the top culinary addresses in Tobago.  Fabulous beach side dining with fresh seafood, premium ingredients, and great personal and attentive service.  For more information call 868-639-0686, or visit them on the web at The Seahorse Inn.

$$ – $$$  Kariwak Village Restaurant

Recorded steel-band music plays gently in the background at this romantic, candlelit spot in the Kariwak Village complex.  Whatever the dish, it will be full of herbs and vegetables picked from their organic garden, and there is always a vegetarian option. Be sure to try the delicious homemade ice cream and the reasonably priced but potent cocktails. Friday and Saturday buffets, with live jazz or calypso, are a Tobagonian highlight. Those really taken with the food can even purchase the restaurant’s cookbook, Cooking Kariwak Style. For more information call 868-639-8442, or visit them on the web at Kariwak Village Restaurant.

$$$  The Fish Pot

Beautifully presented dishes made with the freshest of fish is the big draw at this cozy eatery. The surf and turf, featuring Caribbean spiny lobster, is excellent. The bar is usually lively and populated with regulars who consider this an essential Tobago dining experience. For more information call 868-635-1728, or visit them on the web at The Fish Pot.

$$$  Blue Crab Restaurant

The Sardinha family has been serving the best local lunches at their home since the 1980s. The ebullient Alison entertains and hugs diners while her husband, Ken, does the cooking. The food is hearty and usually well seasoned in the creole style. The only bad news is that the restaurant is primarily a lunch spot—it’s open for dinner only three days a week.  For more information call 868-639-2737, or visit them on the web at The Blue Crab Restaurant.

$$$  The Watermill

Lush surroundings, great food, and impeccable service make this alfresco eatery a good choice. Despite the romantic atmosphere, the beautifully presented fare here will likely not break the bank. The fresh seafood offerings are always a good choice, and those seeking a luxurious and special treat may want to try the butter-poached lobster. Be sure to leave room for one of their homemade desserts such as guava or coconut cheesecake.  For more information call 868-639-0000, or visit them on the web at The Watermill.

Bars & Nightlife

Green Shop (aka Pumpy’s)

Rum shops aren’t known for their amenities. The more traditional ones are little wooden shacks attached to someone’s house, or perhaps standing alone on the side of a road or street corner. In Canaan, Green Shop – or Pumpy’s as the locals call it – is a rum shop of old that’s simply grown a little bigger. The simple wooden shack has a three-man bench out front for people watching and a short bar inside with not much on offer but rum, ice and chasers – only now there are a few more benches. Here, rum is the great equalizer: Pumpy’s is popular with old-timer locals, the drop-in-after-work crowd and late-night crews who stop for a quick “prime up” before heading to nightspots such as Shade and Illusions.  For more information visit them on Facebook at Pumpy Green Bar.

Bago’s Beach Bar

Mixing Caribbean charm, funky tunes and its own beach with sea grape trees for shade, Bago’s Beach Bar is described by regulars as an “elegant rum shop”. It’s a perfect spot for the sunset crowd after a long, hard day of beach activities. There is also a nightly happy hour from 7pm to 8pm, and karaoke on Saturdays.  For more information call 868-793-9901, or visit them on Facebook at Bago’s Bar.

Grafton Beach Resort

Grafton Beach Resort has some kind of organized cabaret-style event every night. Even if you hate that touristy stuff, check out Les Couteaux Cultural Group, which does a high-octane dance version of Tobagonian history. For more information call 868-639-0191, or visit them on the web at Grafton Beach Resort.

Kariwak Village

As many locals as visitors frequent Kariwak Village on Friday and Saturday nights, when one of the better local jazz-calypso bands almost always plays. Expect more of an older crowd. The fruity cocktails here are the best on the island. For more information call 868-639-8442, or visit them on the web at Kariwak Village.

The Shade

This sure bet for raucous late-night fun is open from 7 pm to 4 am Thursday through Saturday. It’s across the road from Crown Point’s only gas station. For more information call 868-329-0082,  visit them on Facebook at The Shade.

Top Tobago Hotels
Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort

Including a private beach area, hot tub and 3 swimming pools with terrace, the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort is set on the shores of Little Rockly Bay and a 10-minute drive from Scarborough City.  The Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort features 4 dining options, 3 bars and a breakfast buffet included in the rate.  Guests at this ocean-front complex will enjoy a golf course, tennis courts, kids club, spa services, banquet and meeting facilities and a diving center. Activities such as hiking, bird watching, kite surfing and horseback riding can be arranged.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort.

Plantation Beach Villas

This property is a 15-minute walk from the beach. Showcasing a year-round outdoor pool, barbecue and sun terrace, Plantation Beach Villas is located in Black Rock in the region of Tobago, just 2.8 miles from Diamond. Free private parking is available on site.  Guests can enjoy a drink at the on-site bar.
You can play ping-pong at the property, and the area is popular for canoeing.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Plantation Beach Villas.

Blue Waters Inn

Showcasing an outdoor pool and water sports facilities, Blue Waters Inn is located in Speyside, just 18 miles from Diamond. The hotel has a year-round outdoor pool and views of the sea, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. Free private parking is available on site.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Blue Waters Inn.

Coco Reef Resort & Spa

This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. On the beachfront in Crown Point, the Coco Reef Resort & Spa features an outdoor pool, lush gardens and a luxury spa. The air-conditioned rooms have private balconies with garden or sea views.  Coco Reef Resort & Spa has a sit-down restaurant, as well as meeting facilities, a tour desk and luggage storage. Free parking is available on site.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Coco Reef Resort & Spa.

Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort

This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. This delightful adult-only resort is in scenic Stonehaven Bay. It features an outdoor pool, a Spa with hot tub, massage and beauty treatments and tennis courts, 5 miles from Scarborough.  A buffet breakfast is served daily at Le Grand Courlan, which boasts a number of restaurants. The Pinnacle serves local and international cuisine, and the Caribbean Bistro has garden views. Buccaneer’s Beach Bar and Grill is on Grafton Beach just in front of the hotel.  A gym, racquetball facilities and a game room are all available, as well as water sports and snorkeling on Grafton Beach. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort.

28 Comments

  1. Patrice

    Awesome information. I’m from Trinidad and Tobago and you did well in representing its beauty and key points of interest. I’ll definitely be using this site as a guide for my partner who is a beach fanatic.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Patrice. I am glad you enjoyed reading my Tobago Travel Guide. Yes, your partner will enjoy BeachTravelDestinations.com if they are a beach fanatic for sure 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  2. Corrine

    Wow, does this place ever look amazing! Is it very child-friendly? Are they many all-inclusive resorts?
    We travel with three kids and often have a hard time finding hotels with suites that allow five people but somewhat affordable. Maybe this is a trip I’ll be taking with my husband with the kids!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, it is a family friendly island.  They would have so much fun with the wildlife and birds there.  Of course playing at a calm beach is always fun for the kids too.  I don’t know of any all-inclusive hotels on Tobago, but I do know that the Plantation Beach Villas are a great choice for families.  You will find all the amenities of home to cook in, or go out to eat.  The Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort has a kids club, so this hotel definitely caters to families as well.  These are both great choices for families.  Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com!

      Reply
  3. Jan

    Traveling is great for all the experiences during the trip, but reading through travel sites like beachtraveldestinations is all about the pleasure of fantasizing about the travel destinations first.
    I really like how your website and this Tobago travel guide page describe beach locations and practicalities with passion. I was wondering though if small places like Tobago suffer from over popularity with tourism like you describe Buccoo Reef?
    Jan

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Jan and thank you for reading the Tobago Travel Guide.  Tobago is one of the Caribbean Islands that doesn’t get the crowding like some of the other popular Caribbean Islands.  So, it is not as popular, rendering it be  much less crowded, and rates are also a little bit lower than some of the other islands.  So, no it is not suffering from over popularity 🙂  Thanks for visiting beachtraveldestinations.com, and if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

      Reply
  4. Miren - Hi Money Bye Scams

    Hey Leahrae!

    I’m very glad that I have come across your site!
    All these amazing destinations are on my bucket list, there are so many places to visit that sometimes it’s hard to choose where to go first lol.
    I have bookmarked this page and will check it out for future references =)

    Keep up the great work!

    Miren

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Miren!  I am glad you found the Tobago Travel Guide helpful for your future travel plans.  Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com!

      Reply
  5. Pastor Gabriel

    The Lord Bless You Leahrae ,
    Pastor Gabriel Helene here. Your Website is simply Amazing really nice and well conceived I look forward to visit some of the nice places in the Future. Very informative and I am ready to visit Tobago after reading this wonderful article.

    God Bless

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Pastor Gabriel for visiting the Tobago Travel Guide. I am glad you enjoyed, and come back and visit soon!

      Reply
  6. Will

    What a great travel guide! I’ve never been to Tobago, but after reading this I think I need to put it on my destination list. Looks gorgeous and with an average temp in the 80s year around, it sounds awesome too. I’ve been wanting to learn how to stand up paddle, might be a good place to learn! Thanks again for the informative post.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Will, and stand-up paddle boarding is so fun and easy. You can enjoy the water, catch the sunshine, swim, enjoy the ocean, get some exercise, all in one activity. I love it actually 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed the Tobago Travel Guide. Please come back when you are ready to plan your Caribbean Island vacation!

      Reply
  7. Steve

    Wow, love this post and so many great recommendations for rooms and other things. This really is very informative and will make it very easy for me if I do decide to visit Tobago, by the way, love the video.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Steve! Yes, the video seals the deal! Tobago is one of the Caribbean Islands that sort of gets forgotten about, but none the less, just as beautiful with gorgeous beaches as the other Caribbean islands. Plus Trinidad is so close, you can take the ferry there, or hop on a plane and visit two islands in one dreamy vacation 🙂

      Reply
  8. Leigh

    When I first looked at your site, I smiled as this is a travel web site that captivates your attention, I love everything about it, it’s like surprise after surprise as you go down the page with the pictures text, advertising, information about how much things cost so to speak, I feel like I’m there already!
    🙂 you have been working hard for awhile and it shows. I am traveling abroad currently in Ireland and I have to say your site makes me dream of summer. I will definitely come back and spend more time on your web site. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Leigh for the wonderful comments 🙂 Yes, I have been working hard and I am glad you hare having fun dreaming about wonderful beach destinations while visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com 🙂

      Reply
  9. Deedee

    I’m so thankful to have found your website — you do such an amazing job of bringing these destinations to life, and anticipating the questions we travelers are likely to have. I love the idea of Tobago, not just for all that it offers, but because it’s so easy to get to Trinidad, too. It definitely sounds like flying between the two is a more comfortable option. Can you tell me, though, how the cost of the ferry compares to air travel for this short trip? Also, is it possible to book a flight on short-notice, or will we need to do that when we make our other arrangements?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am so glad you enjoyed reading the Tobago Travel Guide. You can book a flight or boat ride at any time to go between Trinidad and Tobago. It won’t be necessary to have an advanced purchase. The ferry will run you $100 round trip and you can actually catch a flight for about $80. So the flight is definitely cheaper and faster 🙂 Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Reply
  10. Arie

    I never really looked into visiting Tobago but now that I am seeing this, I really would like to take a visit there seeing as just how beautiful this island is!

    One of the first things that got me interested is hearing about the weather being around 80 degrees which is great compared to how it is where I am.  One week, it can be a beautiful day and then the next, there could be a massive snowstorm!

    The first area in that island I would probably be interested in visiting would be the cocoa estate. It looks to be a beautiful area where you, and maybe someone else, could go to relax and admire the lush environment as well as tasting rum and chocolate.

    I watched one of the videos for stand up paddling and I gotta say, that looks like a ton of fun. That is also something which I am interested in trying.

    The Kariwak village is definitely one I would be sure to check out if I got a chance to visit there! It looks quite beautiful and hearing about the stuff they have there like tropical fruit, homemade yogurt, and as you mentioned, ice cream, there is no way I could pass something like that up!

    My question is, what is or would be your favorite part about visiting Tobago? Is there a favorite place there you would visit, or have visited?   Or a favorite activity there?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      First, thank you for reading the Tobago Travel Guide Arie.  I can see that you will love visiting there.  I would say that I am pretty much in agreement the that Cocoa Estate is on top of the list.  So interesting to see how chocolate and rum is made, and then tasting the two…perfect.  I love any water activities, so paddle boarding (something I love) would be the first activity that I would do, any island I go to probably.  It’s fun, peaceful, and invigorating all in one.  I would also ferry over to Trinidad for the bird sanctuary.  I love the birds in the Caribbean, and this is something not to miss, for me anyway.  Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment 🙂

      Reply
  11. Lee

    I keep finding myself returning to this site to research my holiday destinations. Once again another brilliant travel guide to a stunning location. Tobago seems to have the standard beautiful white sandy beaches and wonderful turquoise waters that one thinks of when travelling to the Caribbean but I was also attracted by the chance to visit a rainforest. Also thanks for sharing about the cocoa estate, this is a must do for me as I love rum and who doesn’t like chocolate?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I don’t know of anyone that does not like chocolate! The Coco Estate is one place that every visitor to the island needs to visit. Of course, I think the rainforest is another must with all the beautiful birds and fauna. Thank you for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com again 🙂 Hope I can get you start your planning 🙂

      Reply
  12. John ツ

    I love it, love it, love it! Thanks for sharing these dream places Leahrae. Each time I come to your website you have a new “paradise on earth” place to show. I wonder if you really have been to all those places yourself, if you really did, then you are the most lucky person on this planet.

    Can’t wait for your next destination.

    John ツ

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you John 🙂 I am glad you loved visiting Tobago and some of the other destinations on BeachTravelDestinations.com. Oh, I wish I had been to all of them. I would truly feel like the luckiest person on the planet! Thank you for visiting the Tobago Travel Guide!

      Reply
  13. s

    Tobago looks beautiful! The water looks so calm and clear. It is strange how so many islands seem to have those daily rain showers! I remember that in Barbados and Hawaii. Thanks for the travel guide. I would like to go to Tobago one day, and you have given me everything I need to start planning!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, I do think that all of the Caribbean islands have those short showers. We get them here in Florida too. Nice thing is they don’t last long, and before you know it they are gone again, and the sun is out. You would love Tobago, along with Trinidad. When you do go, make sure you spend time on each island.

      Reply
  14. Alex

    I have never been to Tobago before, but I really want to go there now! This article was informative and thorough. As a college student at UC Santa Cruz, I love that you included inexpensive places to stay at. Tobago is definitely on my bucket list and I am in the planning stages. Is it safe to visit there right now?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Tobago is beautiful and worth going to! I think that with any foreign country, well most anyway, you just have to take precautions while traveling to stay safe. Some places, I know I will not travel to at the moment because of the political or religious upheaval that is going on. I feel that you most certainly can travel to Tobago. Just be safe!

      Reply

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