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One Week Tobago Itinerary

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Beaches, jungle, wildlife, adventure…this little island packs a huge punch!  Best of all, it hasn’t been taken over by tourism yet.  If Tobago isn’t already on your travel list, it should be.  Based on our experiences, I’ve created a one week Tobago itinerary to get you started!

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We had the pleasure of living and working in Trinidad for a year which means incredibly easy access to its sister isle, Tobago.  The two islands make up one nation and there is an ‘air bridge’ between them.  This is a 15-minute flight that runs just like a bus service, every half hour.  We were lucky enough to get across to Tobago a few times during our year and toured the entire island.  We actually completed a modified version of this One Week Tobago Itinerary so we know what we’re talking about!

How to get around Tobago

We definitely recommend renting a car when you visit Tobago.  The only exception is if you plan to stay in the Crown Point area as that is perfectly walkable.  However, do this and you’ll miss the best of Tobago!  We’ve used Rental Cars before with great success.  They compare hundreds of car rental companies and give you the best deals.

For this itinerary, you won’t need a car until the third day.

Day One – explore Crown Point area

Fly into ANR Airport.  From here you can easily walk to your hotel in Crown Point, or there are numerous taxis waiting outside to take you.  Check-in and take the rest of the day to get to know the area.  Walk down to Store Bay and have the local specialty, Curried Crab and Dumpling.  You could walk over to Fort Milford (nothing much to see but worth the wander anyway).

Check out our list of where to eat and stay in the Crown Point area here.

Deserted beach with golden sand and seaweed in Tobago.

Day Two – enjoy Tobago beaches

Option 1 : Beach day at Pigeon Point.  If you’re feeling adventurous, visit Brett at Radical Sports Tobago to try some kiteboarding, windsurfing, SUP or Hobie sailing.  Alternatively, relax on the beautiful white sand beach and take a dip in the turquoise waters when the sun gets too much.

Option 2 : Take a glass bottom boat tour to the Nylon Pool and Buccoo Reef, or a Catamaran ride.  These tours generally leave from Store Bay.  You can book in advance if you like but you will have no problem finding people wanting to take you out if you just show up at the beach!

Option 3 : Head over to Mount Irvine Beach for some surfing.  Take a taxi and spend the day at the beach.  There are a few much quieter bays that you can walk to from here.  Keep in mind that surfing season is officially September to May, with larger more powerful waves.  Depending on your skill level, plan your surfing adventure accordingly!

Two palm trees hanging over the calm water on Pigeon Point Beach, Tobago

Day Three – north coast drive with a waterfall hike

Pick up your rental car first thing and head out along the north coast.  The best way to find this waterfall is by using the Maps.Me app.  Stop and hike at Highland Falls.

When you’ve had enough, return to your car and continue heading north past Castara until you reach Englishman’s Bay.  About 1.5km past Castara you will see a sign indicating a left turn, the beach itself isn’t visible from the road.  Here you can relax in the sand, snorkel and have lunch at Eula’s Restaurant.  Refuelled, continue your drive up to Speyside and check into your hotel for the night.

Find out where to stay and eat in Speyside here.

Highland Waterfall gushing through a narrow gorge between rocks in Tobago.

Day Four – diving or birdwatching

Option 1 :  In the morning head out on a dive.  If you are not certified you can book a resort dive, if you have your certificate you will have a few more options.  There are a number of dive shops but, more than likely, your hotel will have one and may give you a ‘stay and dive’ deal.

Option 2 : Take a boat tour to Little Tobago for excellent bird watching.

In the afternoon, drive over to Flagstaff Hill for the beautiful view over the Caribbean.  This is a great spot to take a picnic too.

View of emerald water and dense treed hills around Charlotteville, Tobago.

Day Five – Charlotteville and Pirates Bay

Check out of your hotel and head to Charlotteville for lunch at The Suckhole.  This has become THE place to eat and we discovered why.  Arrive early and be prepared to wait.  We took cards and played Cribbage to waste away the hour+ wait for our food.  Get the catch of the day, you won’t regret it!

Walk off your massive lunch along the bay in Charlotteville and watch the fishermen at work.  Get back in the car and head over to Pirates Bay for a swim, snorkel or sunbathe.  See this post for more information on how to get there.  When you’ve had enough (be sure to leave enough time before dark), drive to Castara for the night.

Check out our list of places to eat and stay in the Castara here.

Golden sand, rocky cliffs and turquoise water at Pirates Bay, Charlotteville in Tobago.

Day Six – hiking in the Main Ridge Forest Reserve

No Tobago itinerary would be complete without a visit into the Main Ridge Forest Reserve.  Get up early and drive into the forest for a hike.  We recommend the Gilpin Trail, the main trail through the reserve, that includes three waterfalls and lots of diversity.  However, there are other options depending on your preference.   Read more about the hikes here .  After your hike, you will almost certainly be hot, sweaty and hungry.

Stop in Parlatuvier for a swim if you like but be sure to go to Glasgow Bar perched on the cliff above the town to the southwest.  Sit upstairs for the best view.  We only stopped here for a refreshing beer however another group’s food arrived at their table just before we left and it looked delicious.  Don’t make the same mistake we did, go ahead and order!  The rest of the afternoon can be spent in Castara.  Try snorkelling and maybe you’ll see the large stingray population here.

Terry hiking deep in the Main Ridge Forest Reserve, Tobago.

Day Seven – Fort King George on the way home

On your way back to the airport, stop in Scarborough and visit Fort King George if you have time.  It’s an interesting cultural and historical place in addition to the amazing views across to Trinidad.  Alternatively, any of the other activities or places that you didn’t have time for earlier in the week could fit in here.

Looking over two canons to the Tobago coast and Caribbean Sea at Fort King George.

This Tobago itinerary allows for a day to go SCUBA diving.  If you don’t plan to dive, or birdwatch, we would suggest skipping Speyside.  There really isn’t much else to do here.  If you choose to skip this section either spend an extra day around Crown Point or Castara.  This will give you more time to do one of the other suggested options, an extra day of your chosen watersport or just have an extra beach day!

It is also possible to complete this in reverse if you would rather end with a relaxing day at the beach.  This would be an especially good option if you arrive early and leave late.

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How to spend a week in Tobago - view of Charlotteville from Flagstaff Hill.

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Sun behind a palm tree at Pigeon Point, Tobago

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Have you ever been to Tobago?  What would your ideal Tobago itinerary look like?  What is top of your ‘must do’ list?  Add your ideas in the comments below!

Go back to our Destinations page.

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Hi there thanks for the most informative reveiw of Tobago. We booked a last minute vacation and leaving the 27th of december. Know very little about Tobago so are looking forward to exploring. We are stayng at a resort. We were looking at renting a car and just doing some day trips. Can you assist us by providing info on spliting up the itinerary into day trips….versus one continuous trips. I do not have a concept of what is realistic from travel perspective although the island is so small I am sure we could cover all your recommended sites on a daily basis. many thanks also- what currency do they prefer?

I’m so excited for you!! It’s such a great island. You can drive the whole island in one day (although it would be a lot of time driving and not so much exploring…) so you really could do anything you wanted in a day trip. What are you interested in? Beaches, nature, activities? Pigeon Point is a must. Nylon Pool/Buccoo Reef tour is a fun afternoon. Hike to a waterfall (there are many, some paid, some free). The best beaches are between Pigeon Point and Charlotteville along the north coast. I have a post on the best beaches too… Feel free to email me at [email protected] with an idea of the types of activities you are most interested in and I’d be happy to send you a few ideas!

As for currency, they have their own called Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (about 1:5 CDN or 1:7 USD). Larger businesses in touristy locations will accept USD and credit cards but it would be best to have some local money on you too for smaller places.

Hello. We just booked a trip also staying at a resort leaving on the 20 th and staying 2 weeks. Just wondering what resort you guys are staying at?

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TOBAGO BUCKET LIST: 22 of the best things to do in Tobago

  • by Martina Kokesova
  • March 19, 2020 May 3, 2024

Tobago is not like the other Caribbean Islands. While much of the Caribbean has been lost to development, Tobago remains refreshingly untouched by mass tourism . This tiny tropical gem stubbornly resists change , and only a handful of the all-inclusive resorts occupy its land. It’s a perfect place for a quiet Caribbean escape, where locals welcome you as friends rather than just a walking dollar. Let’s dive into the best thing to do in Tobago and unlock the secrets of this beautiful island.

Tobago attractions

Forget fancy restaurants and glitzy shopping malls – this sleepy island is more authentic. This isn’t the place for spring breakers or hordes of tourists sunbathing on sun loungers.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning Travel Done Clever may receive a small commission if you choose to apply through these links. All purchases or bookings you make through Travel Done Clever come at no extra cost to you, and they help to support and run our blog.

WHY TO VISIT TOBAGO

Tobago is famous for its rich culture , stunning beaches , world-class snorkelling and diving spots , and the world’s largest brain coral . It’s also a leading eco-tourism spot with the oldest legally protected rainforest in the Western world . Birdwatchers flock here for its diverse species , while endangered sea turtles nest on its shores. These attractions are a rarity worldwide.

Trinidad and Tobago is a country situated off the northeast coast of Venezuela, formed by two islands. Both sister islands lie outside the ‘Hurricane Belt’ and provide a safe haven from severe storms. Tobago is much smaller – it’s about 40 km (26 miles) long and has more than 11 km (7 miles) across at its widest point.

unique things to do in Tobago

Don’t let the island’s size fool you – this island has a big personality and offers a unique travel experience. 

UNMISSABLE THINGS TO DO IN TOBAGO:

After spending two weeks exploring Tobago’s rich culture and natural wonders, we have had the privilege to discover some of its best attractions. Here, we share our firsthand experience and insider tips to help you make the most of your visit. Taking advantage of both guided tours and the freedom of a rented car , we had a chance to uncover hidden gems and iconic landmarks of this stunning island. Grab your sunscreen and a sense of adventure because this tropical paradise has more tricks up its sleeve than you can imagine. These are the best things to do in Tobago that you cannot miss.

1. Visit Pigeon Point Heritage Park

things to do in Tobago: Visiting Pigeon Point Heritage Park is one of the best things to do in Tobago because it’s the island's most famous beach. In fact, Pigeon Point has three coral-bordered palm tree-fringed beaches, which have calm waters and are perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

It’s easy to see why Pigeon Point Heritage Park ranks among the top destinations for many tourists. This stunning nature reserve is one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most scenic spots . What makes it so special? This internationally recognized symbol of the island rivals a painting of a tropical paradise. It has soft white sands and swaying coconut palm trees.

Here is a juicy part: visiting Pigeon Point Heritage Park is one of the best things to do in Tobago because it’s the most famous beach on the island . Pigeon Point actually has not one, not two, but three gorgeous palm tree-fringed beaches . All three coral-bordered beaches have calm waters , perfect for swimming and snorkelling. There are also excellent conditions for water sports , such as kayaking, paddleboarding, or jet-skiing.

things to do in Tobago - Pigeon Point

If you are looking for a beach with a buzz, Pigeon Point is a place to go.

Did you know Pigeon Point has three beaches: North, Main, and South Beach ? Each beach is unique and offers different activities for its visitors.

Tobago attractions: Pigeon Point Heritage Park is one of the top Tobago attractions because it is one of island's most scenic spots.

The Main Pigeon Point Beach

The Main Beach Pigeon Point Beach , with the famous thatched-roof jetty, has a lifeguard patrolling on duty. Hit the waves on the North Beach – it’s one of the best Tobago’s windsurfing and kiteboarding beaches . Book your water sports adventures with Watersports specialists   Radical Sports   and  Reel Thunder Charter s.

For more details about Pigeon Point, we recommend you to check out our article about the best beaches in Tobago . There is a longer section about Pigeon Point Heritage Park and all its amenities.

GOOD TO KNOW:

  • Pigeon Point Heritage Park, surrounded by a gorgeous lagoon and coral reef, lies on the island’s southwestern tip. It’s one of the most popular beaches on the island because it requires only a 10-minute drive from the Arthur N. R. Robinson International Airport . Pigeon Point is also easily accessible from Scarborough (the island’s capital) when you arrive on a cruise ship.
  • This heritage park operates daily between 9 am and 5 pm .
  • Did you know Pigeon Point Heritage Park is the only beach on the island with an entry fee? Adult entry for all three Pigeon Point beaches costs $TT 20(about USD 3) as of February 2024. Alternatively, you can purchase a weekly pass for Pigeon Point Heritage Park . It costs  $TT 100 f or an adult ,  just under USD 15 (as of February 2024). If you visit with children aged 6 to 12, expect to pay $TT 10 (USD 1.50) for a day pass. You need to pay $TT 50 for a children’s weekly pass. It is approximately USD 7.50 as of February 2024. Here is a bonus: senior citizens of T&T can enjoy free admission with a valid ID.

Tobago bucket list

  • Pigeon Point is one of the few places on the island with excellent beach facilities . When we visited this heritage park, we found bathrooms, showers, changing rooms and lockers. Pigeon Point also has a few shops which sell souvenirs and water sports accessories. 

things to do in Tobago - visit Pigeon Point

  • Did you know Pigeon Point is the only beach on the island with wheelchair-accessible toilets and even a floating wheelchair ? If you or your family member has mobility issues or disability, contact them at (868) 639-0601 or [email protected] .
  • Coming to Pigeon Point between mid-March and July ? Then you are in luck because Pigeon Point is a nesting spot for hawksbill and green turtles .
  • If you are looking for unique attractions in Tobago, don’t miss out on a nighttime bioluminescent tour .
  • Book a glass-bottom Bucco Reef boat tour from the Pigeon Point Jetty and swim in Nylon Pool.
  • There are plenty of delicious food options available at the local restaurants if you feel hungry.  Renmars & Traditions  serves local and international cuisine, and  the Caribbean Kitchen  specializes in the famous bake and shark. You can also try  Liz’s by D’ Bay. It serves traditional Creole dishes like ox tail, stew chicken, salt fish, and crab & dumplings.
  • Looking for more adventure? Rent chairs  and beach umbrellas for a comfortable day by the sea. Expect to pay the same price for each – $TT 3 0 or USD 4 , as of February 2024.

Pigeon Point Heritage Park has excellent beach facilities

2. Buccoo Reef

things to do in Tobago: Did you know the Buccoo Reef is one of the island's three largest coral reef marine ecosystems? That’s why taking a glass-bottom tour from the Pigeon Point Jetty of Store Bay is one of the best things to do in Tobago.

FUN FACT : Coral Reefs protect approximately 90% of the coastline shoreline of Tobago.

If you want to take your Pigeon Point experience to the next level (and trust us, you do) – hop on a glass-bottom tour to the Buccoo Reef . This protective marine park , located offshore of Pigeon Point, is one of the most famous Tobago attractions. Now, why is it such a sensation, you ask? Well, hold onto your snorkel because we’re about to dive into it!

Did you know the Buccoo Reef is one of the three largest coral reef marine ecosystems in Tobago? This underwater kingdom spans an area of 7 square kilometres . In fact, it’s nearly as expansive as the world-famous Palace of Versailles and its gardens. Imagine five majestic reef flats standing tall, reaching up to 25 metres (82 ft) in height. It’s like the Grand Canyon of the sea but with more colourful characters!

But wait, there’s more! The Bucco Reef is not just a pretty face. This underwater wonderland receives freshwater and nutrients from the mighty Orinoco River (one of South America’s longest rivers). As you snorkel through its clear waters, you will meet up with approximately 119 fish species . And the fantastic part? You don’t even need diving equipment.

That’s why taking a glass-bottom tour from the Pigeon Point Jetty of Store Bay is one of the best things to do in Tobago .

  • The only way to reach the Bucco Reef is with a glass-bottom tour. Fortunately, several companies offer daily excursions to the Bucco Reef. The price for a tour starts from USD 57 for a 3-hour and 30-minute tour as of February 2024. They also provide lifejackets for your own safety.
  • Keep in mind that reef walking, boat anchoring, storms and coral bleaching have left their mark on the reef.
  • Avoid stepping on corals because these delicate animals are very slow-growing and easily damaged.
  • Remember, always use only biodegradable sunscreen when snorkelling so we can protect reefs for future generations.

BOOK YOUR ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME EXPERIENCE BELOW:

  3. Nylon Pool in Tobago

things to do in Tobago: No trip to T&T would be complete without a visit to the world-famous Nylon Pool because it is a breathtaking sandbank in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. That's why visiting Nylon Pool is one of the best things to do in Tobago.

No trip to Tobago would be complete without a visit to the world-famous Nylon Pool . This swimming hot spot isn’t just your average swimming hole, oh no. It’s a breathtaking sandbank in the middle of the Caribbean Sea . It gives you the island vibes, all without ever setting foot on land.

Why is visiting Nylon Pool one of the best things to do in Tobago ? Well, let us tell you, this sandbar with calm waters is a natural phenomenon . Why, do you ask? This shallow pool is only about 1 metre (3.2 ft) deep and offers excellent swimming and snorkelling opportunities . Here you will have the chance to see vibrant marine life, and if luck is on your site, you may also spot majestic stingrays.

things to do in Tobago - Nylon Pool

Nylon Pool, with palm-fringed Pigeon Point in the background, is so gorgeous that you will never want to leave this stunning lagoon! It’s like nature’s own little jacuzzi right in the heart of the sea. It lies just south of the Bucco Reef, near Pigeon Point.

But wait, it gets better! Nylon Pool is a sandbank steeped in tales of royalty and mystery. Legend has it that the locals named this sandbar after Princess Margaret , who visited the island in 1962. The glamorous British princess pointed out that the water here was as clear as her nylon stockings . And as if that wasn’t enough – rumour has it that Nylon Pool possesses mystical powers . The locals say the water in Nylon Pool has supernatural powers . It grants eternal youth to those brave enough to swim in its waters. So, forget your skincare routine; just pack your swimsuit and head to Nylon Pool instead!

Nylon Pool, with its waist-deep waters, is one of the most popular Tobago attractions . You cannot swim here or come on a kayak – it lies a distance from the shores. The only way to access it is with a boat . A glass-bottomed tour is the ideal way to experience its wonders. Several companies depart to the Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool, and these tours typically last around 3 hours and 30 minutes. They leave from the Pigeon Point Jetty or Store Bay and cost USD 57 as of February 2024.

4. Bioluminescence in Bon Accord Lagoon

After the sunsets and the first stars brighten up the sky, set out for a bioluminescent experience . Ever heard of it? You know, that magical phenomenon where tiny organisms in the water put on a light show in the water? Well, the Bon Accord Lagoon is one of those places where you can see this twinkling wonderland.

But why is this one of the most unique things to do in Tobago , do you ask? The Bon Accord Lagoon is one of the few places in the world where Mother Nature throws the coolest light show ever . Trust us, it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences you don’t want to miss. 

At first, there was only little to see – only dark water on the left and mangroves to the right. But once we dipped our toes in the lagoon, our footprints sparkled with fairy dust. Millions of gloving microorganisms lighted up the water, and suddenly, we were the stars of the show. So, if you are looking for adventurous attractions in Tobago, head to the Bon Accord Lagoon. Trust us, it will be a glowing experience you won’t soon forget !

Join a nighttime bioluminescence tour by kayak or paddleboard with Radical Sports or go by motorboat with Fish Tobago . The approximately 2.5-hour tour starts at Pigeon Point’s North Beach after sunset.

We went on our nighttime bioluminescence tour by boat, and we cannot recommend it enough. After seeing Bon Accord Lagoon, our captain was kind enough to take us also to Nylon Pool. We had a chance to stand in metre-deep water surrounded by all sides of the ocean with stars twinkling overhead. And here is the fantastic part: We had both Nylon Pool and the Bon Accord Lagoon just to ourselves. Tours start from USD 60 per person (as of February 2024).

Before you book this tour, we recommend you find out if the bio is on a cycle for optimal viewing. Here are some glowing tips for you to get the most out of your tour experience:

  • Bioluminescence tends to be more visible during certain times of the year . It is hard to see it after several days of rain or heavy rain during the day. 
  • Avoid this tour on a full moon – the best experience is when the sky is dark.
  • Keep an open mind: bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon, which means its intensity varies from night to night. Enjoy this experience regardless of the glow’s brightness.

5. No Man’s Land

Tobago attractions - No Man's Land

Looking for a serene escape tucked away from the bustling crowds of Pigeon Point, where the clock ticks a little slower? Look no further than charming No Man’s Land – a secluded little peninsula nestled in the heart of the Bon Accord Lagoon . 

Why should you make the pilgrimage to this remote oasis, you ask? Well, let us enlighten you. This secluded haven that’s remained uninhabited has untouched sands stretching as far as the eye can see. It also has clear and shallow – ideal for a refreshing swim or a leisurely stroll along the shore. But wait, it gets better! This hidden gem also serves as a haven for exotic bird species thriving in its lush mangrove wetlands.

Now, let’s ask the million-dollar question: How do you get to No Man’s Land? Well, strap on your sailor hat because the only way to access No Man’s Land is on a boat. Join one of the guided tours , which include a delightful stop here with a BBQ and refreshing rum punch from Pigeon Point of Store Bay. If you are a more adventurous soul, consider a kayaking excursion to explore this hidden gem at your own pace. 

  • No Man’s Land lacks modern amenities , as the locals try to preserve its natural beauty and avoid commercialization. Remember to pack your own refreshments if you plan to kayak or paddleboard here. Facilities such as toilets, shops, or bars are not available here.  
  • Approximately 5-hour day trip to Bucco Reef, Nylon Pool and No Man’s Land typically starts from $TT 650 per person, or USD 110 , as of February 2024. For more information or to book your adventure, reach out via call/ WhatsApp  at +1 868 790 2353 or email  [email protected] .

6. Main Ridge Forest Reserve Tobago

things to do in Tobago - explore the Main Ridge Forest with many endemic species that originated in mainland South America. It's also the oldest legally protected forest in the world.

The Main Ridge Forest Reserve should be high on your Tobago bucket list . Why is exploring the Main Ridge Forest one of the best things to do in Tobago , do you ask?

Firstly, this mountainous rainforest has many endemic species that originated in mainland South America . Maybe you don’t know, but Tobago has South America’s rainforest biodiversity because it was once attached to Latin America . The island migrated north over millions of years and now shares some species with Northern Venezuela that don’t exist in Trinidad. That’s why the Main Ridge Forest Reserve has an abundant diversity of life , like red squirrels, agoutis and armadillos. It’s also home to the island’s highest point.

Secondly, the Main Ridge Forest Reserve is a result of the 18th century conservation . Did you know the Main Ridge Forest Reserve is the oldest legally protected forest in the world? Its creation took 11 years. It saved the rainforest from deforestation by early colonial plantation owners. Today, this mountainous volcanic spine of Tobago has lower temperatures and winds and is full of incredible wildlife. 210 bird species call this protected forest home. Look out for the rare white-tailed sabre wing hummingbird , which is endemic to the island. You can also spot 16 species of mammals , 24 varieties of snakes and 16 types of lizards when exploring a network of hiking trails. 

best things to do in Tobago - birdwatching

Guided tours provide a great way to experience the Main Ridge Forest Reserve with local knowledge. The guide can help you explore untouched corners on the foot. Don’t forget to bring a raincoat, carry binoculars and waterproof shoes.

DID YOU KNOW?

Tobago is also home to a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve s ince 2020. This tiny island, with barely 300 sq km in size, has 1,774 species, 19 habitat types and 83 Red list species. It also has 41 endemic species and 15 communities with a unique cultural heritage.

If you don’t have enough time for hiking, you can also drive through the reserve. A peaceful drive through the reserve is a perfect way to see the rainforest.

7. Fort King George and the Tobago Museum

things to do in Tobago -Fort King George and the Tobago Museum

If you want to learn more about the island’s rich past , don’t miss Fort King George and the Tobago Museum in Scarborough. Why, do you ask? It’s simple: 18th-century Fort King George offers a perfect blend of history , breathtaking views and a serene atmosphere that’s hard to beat. And the Tobago Museum? This museum within a fortress is like stepping into a treasure trove of Tobagonian heritage. You can spot a fascinating collection of antique maps, paintings and artefacts in this informative museum.

Now onto Fort King George , this recently reconstructed fortress isn’t just a relic of the island’s past. This pretty fort dates back to the turbulent period. It is a time machine that catapults you back to the days when the island was a hot potato, passed around like a prized possession by warring nations.

And here is a fun fact:

Over the years, the English, French, and also Dutch fought over the island. Tobago changed hands an amazing 30 times , but eventually, the island ended up in the British hands.

But fear not! Today, Fort King George offers gorgeous views of Scarborough Bay and provides a scenic escape from the hustle and bustle. This military fort has beautifully restored colonial buildings , the officer’s quarters, a prison, kitchens, plus a parade ground. It even has several original cannons positioned just as they were hundreds of years ago. That’s why Fort King George and the Tobago Museum are top Tobago attractions for exploring the island’s heritage , covering its British and French colonial periods.

The Tobago Museum is open between 9 am to 4.30 pm between Monday and Friday. The admission fee to the museum is $TT 10 for an adult. The visit to the fort is free of charge.

8. Responsible turtle watching

things to do in Tobago - Turtle Beach is one of the crucial nesting sites for the most giant turtles on the island.

Only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood . Once out of the nest, the hatchlings face many predators, including dogs, fish and ghost crabs.

Did you know something cool? Every year, the huge leatherback turtles visit this island  for a very special reason. It’s all about their ancient egg-laying tradition. For thousands of years, these beautiful creatures have dragged themselves onto the island to bury their precious eggs on the sandy beaches. Tobago is a crucial nesting site for the most giant turtles on earth .  

Female leatherback turtles don’t begin nesting until they are around 25 years old. Then, every two years, they make their way back to the same beach where they first entered the world to lay their eggs.

The hundreds o f  nesting turtles  come to Tobago’s northern beaches to lay their eggs between March and September . Turtle Beach , Mr Irvine and also Grafton Beach are the main hotspots for sea turtles during the nesting season. Many resorts organise a turtle watch and notify the guests when they spot these giants. They also often notify their guests when they release baby turtles into the sea.

Things to remember:

  • Do not drive on nesting beaches  as the weight of the vehicle can crush eggs buried in the sand.
  • Also,  do not touch  or  disturb  nesting turtles or hatchlings.
  • Keep a distance  from the laying turtle.
  • Try to  be quiet at nesting beaches, do not use a flashlight or flash photography as it can disorient both turtles and hatchlings.

Free Travel Planner for your next holidays to Tobago

9. Sunday School Tobago

Sunday school

Did you know that the steel drums are the national instrument originating from Trinidad and Tobago ?

Wondering what to do on a Sunday night ? Everyone flocks to Buccoo Village for the legendary street party . Sunday School isn’t your typical Sunday gathering or a celebration; it’s practically a Tobagonian institution. This weekly street party with steel drum music is more about moving your hip to infectious beats. Imagine streets pulsating with the hypnotic sounds of soca, calypso and reggae. But what, there is more!

Sunday School isn’t just about dancing till dawn; it is a culinary adventure too! Try delicious delicacies from sizzling street food stalls – you are in for a flavoured-packed feast. This cultural melting pot is a famous outdoor fiesta where locals and visitors come together to party like there is no tomorrow.

So, why is Sunday School one of the best Tobago attractions ? Because it’s not just a party; it’s an experience that will leave you craving more of Tobago’s irresistible charm and rhythm!

10. Mangrove Boardwalk

unusual things to do in Tobago - Mangrove Boardwalk

The Tobago Plantations Boardwalk in Lowlands is one of Tobago’s hidden gems . When we visited it, we had all the place to ourselves.

Looking for a more adventurous activity? Step beyond the ordinary and explore the magical mangrove forest of Petit Trou Lagoon . The Mangrove Boardwalk is one of Tobago’s best-kept secrets – unspoiled and undiscovered by many. Here, you’re likely to meet more snails and birds than fellow tourists.

The Mangrove Boardwalk has towering root s and winding wooden pathways leading to different locations. It’s a haven for birdwatchers – you will spot all sorts of feathered friends flying around. The green mangroves surround this boardwalk, and their cracking branches add mystery to this quiet place. Keep your eyes peeled for tiny fish swimming in the clear waters below and crabs popping in and out of holes. It’s a nature lover’s dream come true!

Visiting the Mangrove Boardwalk is one of the best things to do in Tobago for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers . It’s also perfect for someone looking for a peaceful escape . And the best of all? It’s free to visit.

11. Castara Bay

Castara Bay has an ideal opportunity for swimming and snorkelling on the smaller northern beach (Little Bay). 

Ever heard about Castara ? This charming fishing village on the island’s northwestern side boasts remarkable diversity – and we’re not talking only about the marine life. Wondering why you should visit?

Castara Bay stands out because it offers not one , but two beaches . Little Bay is smaller and more secluded, with a reef close to the shore . Dive into the crystal-clear waters and snorkel – you can meet up angelfish and even turtles. Bigger Bay , the bustling heart of Castara , is where fishermen continue their timeless trade. And while you’re there, don’t miss the traditional sea fishing , a scene preserved unchanged for generations.

Castara is famous for its Thursday night beach bonfires

Castara Bay has an ideal opportunity for swimming and snorkelling on the smaller northern beach (Little Bay). 

  • Castara is famous for its Thursday night beach bonfires , a popular celebration among the locals.
  • Also, don’t forget to explore Castara Waterfall – it’s just a short walk from the beach.

12. Englishman’s Bay

things to do in Tobago -Englishman’s Bay

Englishman’s Bay is the kind of a place that would make Robinson Crusoe say “ Now that’s what I call paradise! “

If you’re craving an adventure far from the tourist trail , then Englishman’s Bay is your golden ticket. But why is visiting Englishman’s Bay one of the best things to do in Tobago , you ask? Englishman’s Bay is one of the prettiest bays and one of Tobago’s gems . Plus, Englishman’s Bay is a nesting ground for the largest of all living turtles, the leatherback turtle .

But wait, there’s more! Well, for starters, this gorgeous horseshoe of yellow sands isn’t just your average beach . There is a tropical rainforest teeming with birdlife like wild parrots and Motmot birds behind the beach. And those crystal-clear waters ? They’re practically begging you to dive in and leave your worries behind. Just remember, Englishman’s Bay has strong currents and doesn’t have a lifeguard on duty . So, if you are not a strong swimmer, stay closer to the shores unless you want an unexpected workout. Always swim with somebody and keep an eye on each other. 

Tobago attractions - Englishman's Bay is a crucial nesting site for leatherback turtles.

  • Englishman’s Bay lies on the island’s northeastern coast, tucked away between the two sleeping villages: Castara and Parlatuvier. You can easily access it from the south of the island, just follow the Northside Road . Pay attention to a blue and white sign which indicates a left turn to the beach. After that, follow an unpaved road which will take you to a small car park near the beach.
  • Englishman’s Bay lacks facilities like toilets, supermarkets, bars and shops. When we visited it, we found only one local restaurant Eula’s , which served specialities such as roti or shrimp. There was also a small gift shop with souvenirs. Eula’s restaurant also rents beach chairs .
  • We recommend you bring a picnic and refreshments if you plan to spend a few hours here.

13. Parlatuvier Bay

Parlatuvier Bay

Come to laid-back Parlatuvier Bay between breakfast and lunch, and you will see the locals proudly returning home with their catches. 

Further north, just a 10-minute drive from Englishman’s Bay, lies Parlatuvier Bay . This partially sheltered horseshoe-shaped beach with white sands is one of the less visited beaches in Tobago . Why do you ask? The currents are usually stronger here , the water is deeper , and there is no lifeguard . So, bring your trusty floaties, or stick to sunbathing on the beach if you are not a strong swimmer. 

But here’s the kicker – Parlatuvier Bay is not just any beach . It comes with a surprise: it’s a beach with a river ! Yes, you read this right. Here, the river meets the sea and creates a spot where the locals splash.

Glasgow Bar on the hill above the village of Parlatuvier

  • Head up to Glasgow Bar on the hill above the village. This little bar has top deck views, which offer stunning vistas of the beach. Who knows, you might even spot parrots flying overhead. 
  • If you are not in a hurry, find Parlatuvier Waterfall . While not Niagara Falls, this pretty waterfall requires only a short 3-minute stroll from the beach. Can’t find it? It is opposite the Parlatuvier Pier but above the road. And the best part? It won’t cost you a penny to explore.

14. Pirate’s Bay

Pirate’s Bay Tobago

Let us tell you why Pirate’s Bay holds a special place in our hearts. This hidden cove near the town of Charlotteville isn’t just a pretty beach – it’s also an oasis. Pirate’s Bay is not a tourist hotspot – you’re more likely to meet a curious crab running across the sand than a noisy tourist. 

things to do in Tobago - Pirate’s Bay

 This quiet beach, nestled between the thick rainforest and the Caribbean Sea, is one of the best Tobago attractions . It takes a little effort to get here, but it is well worth a visit. 

Now let’s break it down why visiting Pirate’s Bay is one of the best things to do in Tobago . Pirate’s Bay has calm waters and offers some of the best snorkelling opportunities on the island. Did you know a healthy reef extends from Charlotteville to Pirate’s Bay ? Critically endangered coral formations such as sponges, soft corals and sea fans are relatively close to the shores . When you’re ready to take the plunge, dive into the crystal-clear waters and meet up with green turtles and schools of fish. 

Use only biodegradable sunscreen when snorkelling, and avoid stepping on corals. These slow-growing animals are very sensitive and can easily break underfoot.

Did you know every grain of sand in Pirate’s Bay holds secrets of the high sea? According to the local legend , the pirates buried their treasures in Pirate’s Bay centuries ago. If you’re lucky, you might even uncover a piece of history or two – after all, pirates weren’t just fairy tales!

Tobago attractions - Pirate's Bay

  • Due to its remote location, Pirate’s Bay doesn’t receive many tourists . Pirate’s Bay is free to visit, but you will not find an official water taxi with a set schedule . Also, there is no set rate – you need to strike a deal with a fisherman . 
  • Expect to pay around $TT 40 (USD 6) as of February 2024 for a short boat ride from Charlotteville. Don’t forget to tell a fisherman when to pick you up. Alternatively, drive up the narrow dirt track and take a short hike with steps from Charlotteville.
  • Pirate’s Bay doesn’t have any facilities like shops, restaurants or toilets. You can usually rent out a few chairs from a local for $TT 20 , or about USD 3 as of February 2024. Also, don’t forget to bring some refreshments for you.
  • Afterwards, have lunch or dinner in one of the local restaurants in Charlottesville. We had lunch at the local Suckhole restaurant , and we cannot recommend it enough. This small beachfront restaurant serves delicious local chicken and seafood dishes.

15. Hike from Charlotteville to Pirate’s Bay

Stairway to paradise from Charlotteville to Pirate's Bay

Stairway to paradise from Charlotteville.

Hike from the sleepy Charlotteville to Pirate’s Bay and spend a day on one of the finest beaches on the island. Sure, it might take a bit of legwork, but trust us, it’s worth every step.

Now, how to reach this slice of heaven? Take a dirt road from the village – it leads to the lookout point. Just be cautious of oncoming cars – safety first! Once you’ve parked in a tiny turn-around area, follow the steps down to the beach. 

As you descend the 150 steps to Pirate’s Bay, you will realize that paradise isn’t found; it’s earned!

As you descend the 150 steps to Pirate’s Bay , you will realize that paradise isn’t found; it’s earned!

16. Lovers’ Bay Tobago

things to do in Tobago: Lovers’ Bay stands out because it is the island’s only pink sand beach and offers perfect snorkelling opportunities. That's why finding Lover's Bay is one of the best things to do in Tobago.

Looking for an even more secluded escape? Then ask a local fisherman to take you to Lovers’ Bay . Why, do you ask? This remote secret beach , located a couple of kilometres west of Charlotteville, is an intimate retreat for romance. What sets Lovers’ Bay apart? Lovers’ Bay stands out because it is the island’s only pink sand beach . Yes, you heard it right, this small cove has crushed-shell sands which sparkle on sunny days. But what, there is more!

Did you know Lovers’ Bay is one of the best Tobago attractions because it offers exceptional snorkelling opportunities? And here is a fantastic part: just steps away from the shore lie large, healthy corals, including magnificent brain corals. The water here is calm and crystal-clear, ideal for underwater exploration.

Tobago

Lovers’ Bay lies nearby the remnant of Fort Campbellton , opposite Booby Island . Getting here might require a bit of negotiation skills with the local fishermen in Charlotteville. Strike a deal, set a pick-up time, and you are on the way to paradise. But remember, when the tide’s high, the beach shrinks faster than your phone battery. So plan accordingly!

Pack some snacks and water, and remember to take your trash with you when you leave.

17. Cool off in one of the waterfalls

cool off in one of the waterfalls

Did you know Tobago has over 14 waterfalls? Some require a lengthy hike, while others are just a short stroll away. The tallest and the most impressive is the Argyle Waterfall , featuring three pools. It lies just outside Roxborough and requires an easy 15-minute trek. The entry fee for the most publicized waterfall is $TT 60 , which is approximately USD 8 as of February 2024.

For those seeking alternatives, find the Highland Waterfall – it’s the tallest single-drop waterfall on the island . Remember, it is difficult to locate it without a guide. We recommend you visit it only on a sunny day due to accessibility issues after rain. Alternatively, Rainbow Waterfall is a perfect option requiring a 20-minute walk. Other accessible falls include Castara Waterfall and Parlatuvier Waterfall , but they are not as impressive as others.

18. Watch the seine net fishing.

things to do in Tobago - see seine fishing

Experience the traditional seine fishing action at Turtle Beach.

Forget about renting a boat for sport fishing. Instead, add a dash of excitement to your morning by witnessing the age-old tradition of seine net fishing on one of Tobago’s breathtaking beaches. Arrive early in the morning and step into a time machine that’s been running for 150 years . Whether it’s Mont’ Irvine Bay , Black Rock , Turtle Beach , Castara, or another sandy spot, you are in for a genuine treat.

19. Try a local cuisine

After a refreshing snorkelling session in the Caribbean waters, why not delight your taste buds with Tobagonian flavours at a local restaurant? Try classic dishes like crab and dumplings or t he fresh seafood specials . Tobagonian cuisine expertly blends Creole, Indian, African and Caribbean influences. It promises a culinary adventure like no other.

If you prefer an authentic dining experience, we recommend you head to The Suckhole in Charlotteville . This charming beachfront restaurant will make you fall in love with the local food, leaving you craving more.

The Suckhole is a popular dining spot in Charlotteville, so be prepared to wait at least an hour for your meal.

try local fruits

20. Little Tobago Island

the Bird of Paradise Island is renowned for its spectacular seabird colonies

If you have time to see one more gem, consider taking a captivating glass-bottom tour of Little Tobago on the island’s east side. This remote island is renowned for its spectacular seabird colonies, earning it the local nickname Bird of Paradise Island . Wander along several kilometres of well-marked trails and enjoy the melodious songs of native birds like the Red-footed Booby or Brown Booby .

You can arrange a day excursion to Little Tobago from Speyside Village at the Blue Water Inn.

2 bonus points:

21. speyside’s coral reef.

the stunning Angel Reef and the Kelleston Drain site, both boasting diverse marine life

Did you know that some of the most sought-after diving and snorkelling sites lie on the island’s east side near Speyside? Dive into the stunning Angel Reef and the Kelleston Drain site , both boasting diverse marine life, offering you a chance to meet up with exotic fish. Keep an eye on one of the largest brain corals in the world , measuring 4 metres (13ft) in height and 6 metres (20ft) in width. You can find the world’s largest brain coral just south of Little Tobago at the Kelleston Drain site.

22. Buccoo Bay

Looking for an adventure with a twist? Then head to the coastal village of Buccoo , where you can swim with horses . These majestic creatures aren’t just for riding; they are ready to take a dip with you. And here is a juicy part: they are not just any horses – they are former racehorses from Trinidad , saved by Veronika. This herd roams freely 16 hours a day and swims without the restriction of saddle or bridle.

Book your 2-hour experience with Being with Horses by emailing [email protected] or sending a message or WhatsApp to +1 868 3073425 . The weight limit is 190 pounds or 86 kg. The swim and trail combination at Bucco Bay costs USD 100 per person.

Tobago loves its traditions. If you visit the island  during Easter , head to Bucco Beach for the annual Easter goat race . Yes, you read this right, this unusual tradition started in 1925. Since then, goat racing has occurred on the Tuesday after Easter Monday . It’s an unofficial public holiday on the island, dedicated to the racing of the goats for entertainment .

 Now you know what are the best things to do in Tobago!

Don’t forget:.

around the island tour

To make the most of Tobago ,  go on the island guided tour  or  rent a car . Tobago is a small island, and you can  easily explore it in one day . You can easily explore the island in 2 days and cover most of the sights. Wind down your windows, put on your favourite tunes and get ready for your next adventure.

How to spend a week in Tobago

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epic things to do in Tobago

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5 thoughts on “TOBAGO BUCKET LIST: 22 of the best things to do in Tobago”

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Great list! I definitely have to visit Tobago when next I’m in the twin island republic. 🙂

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Will definitely put this on my list..beautiful photos

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You are very wellcome! Must admit, Tobago is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. And the best of all, it is still undiscovered by tourists.

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O no, I’m sorry to hear that. A trip to Barbados and Dominica pretty much sounds like a dream trip. We didn’t have big travel plans for this year, but either way, everything is cancelled now and we are only hoping that a full on lockdown won’t happen in Ireland. Greetings from Ireland ❤️❤️❤️ Aiva

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Trinidad And Tobago Travel Guide

Looking for an in-depth Trinidad and Tobago travel guide ?

Then you’re in the right place!

Officially called The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, this Caribbean nation consists of two islands:

Trinidad and Tobago.

Though the “sister islands” share many traits, they have their own distinct personalities and cultures. Two travelers could visit Trinidad and Tobago and have completely different experiences depending on where they decide to spend their trip!

If you’re looking for a relaxing Caribbean beach vacation , Tobago is the place to go.

Home to lush rainforests and surrounded by white sand beaches, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the country’s natural wonders on this island. Tobago is a diver’s paradise, with many reefs to explore and 45 registered dive sites like Bucco Reef . The culture of the island is also deeply influenced by African traditions, which you can savor through Tobago’s cuisine.

Trinidad, on the other hand, is home to most of the country’s major metropolitan areas and moves at a faster pace than its sister island.

Most cruises to Trinidad and Tobago dock in the nation’s capital, Port of Spain, where travelers can learn more about the country’s culture and history at the National Museum and Art Gallery as well as Trinity Cathedral.

If you’re looking to experience Carnival, Trinidad is also the place to go; the massive, colorful celebration happens every year in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday.

Street food lovers should also check out Trinidad, where you can find plenty of Indo-Caribbean goodies like roti and bake and shark at local Trinidad markets .

Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Trinidad and Tobago — one of the top places to travel in the Caribbean .

Note: This guide to Trinidad and Tobago travel contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Trinidad and Tobago travel guide

Map Of Trinidad And Tobago

Use this map to begin your Trinidad and Tobago trip planning!

map of trinidad and tobago

Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the graphic.

Activities In Trinidad & Tobago

Learn about what to do in Trinidad and Tobago for an incredible trip!

Trinidad and Tobago travel guide hummingbird

Trinidad And Tobago’s Best Outdoor Experiences

stand up paddleboarding is one of the top things to do in Trinidad and Tobago

Learning To Stand Up Paddleboard In Tobago

Sea views when traveling to Trinidad and Tobago

Taking The Scenic Route: Driving Up North Coast Road In Trinidad

Tips For Planning A Trip To Trinidad And Tobago

These guides can help you plan the ultimate Trinidad and Tobago vacation !

Yellow building while exploring Trinidad and Tobago tourism

Are You A Trinidad Or Tobago Traveler?

Carnival Festival on a Trinidad and Tobago vacation

6 Signs You’ve Survived A Trip To Trinidad And Tobago

Visit Trinidad and Tobago to see wildlife and local birds

12 Things You Didn’t Know About Trinidad And Tobago

Top Trinidad And Tobago Tours

Book a tour and get to know the cultures of Trinidad and Tobago through a local.

  • Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool Adventure in Buccoo, Tobago
  • Steel Pan Drumming Class In Crown Point, Tobago
  • Trinidad Mud Volcano Hike & Food Experience From Port Of Spain
  • Cocoa Community Chocolate Immersion Tour In Brasso Seco Village, Trinidad
  • Trinidad Rainforest Hike to Waterfall from Port Of Spain

Renting A Car In Trinidad And Tobago

Need a rental car for your Trinidad and Tobago trip?

Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

tobago travel blog

Hotels In Trinidad And Tobago

Click here to browse hotels in Trinidad and Tobago!

Prefer self-contained stays? 

Click here to check out unique local rentals!

You can also use this map to search for local stays:

Trinidad & Tobago Travel Insurance

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on a Trinidad and Tobago tour. When visiting Trinidad and Tobago — or any other destination in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Trinidad and Tobago itinerary.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks .

Trinidad And Tobago Travel Guide FAQ

Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling Trinidad and Tobago .

Q: Why are Trinidad and Tobago called a twin island republic?

Trinidad and Tobago are known as a twin island republic due to the fact that the two islands are officially part of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Q: How do you travel from Trinidad to Tobago?

You can take a boat from Trinidad to Tobago via the Trinidad and Tobago Inter-Island Ferry Service.

Q: Is Trinidad and Tobago expensive?

Compared to other islands in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the least expensive to visit. Budget travelers can expect to spend about $85-$100 per day, not including flights.

Q: What is the best time to visit Trinidad and Tobago?

The best time to visit Trinidad and Tobago is January through May, which is outside of the rainy season.

Q: What are the most exciting places to see in Trinidad and Tobago as a tourist?

You’ll definitely want to experience all the natural wonders Trinidad and Tobago have to offer on your trip. Birdwatchers will love Yerette , a sanctuary in St. Joseph, a town on Trinidad that’s home to 13 different species of colorful hummingbirds. Divers and snorkelers should head to Buccoo Reef off the coast of Tobago, the island’s largest and best-preserved coral reef. If you’re not feeling a swim, you can also experience the reef through a glass bottom boat tour.

History buffs should check out Fort King George in Scarborough for a glimpse at Trinidad and Tobago’s British colonial past. The fort’s location atop a hill will give you incredible views of the shore and the island’s mountains. While you’re there, head to the Tobago Museum to learn more about the island’s native history and see some Amerindian artifacts.

Of course no island vacation is complete without a trip to the beach! Tobago’s Pigeon Point is considered the country’s best with white sand and plenty of opportunities for water sports. Try stand-up paddleboarding in Tobago or windsurfing through the beach’s calm waters.

Q: Is Trinidad and Tobago dangerous for tourists?

There are a fair amount of things to watch out for when traveling to Trinidad and Tobago. Both violent crime and petty crime are common throughout the country, particularly in certain areas of the capital, Port of Spain. Try not to go out alone after dark and avoid secluded beaches, as these can be targets for robberies and assaults.

And of course, always be aware of your surroundings — as well as your belongings. Investing in pickpocket-proof clothing can help.

Home break-ins also occur in the country, particularly on the island of Tobago. If you are renting a home or villa, make sure it has a 24-hour security system and keep the contact information for local authorities handy.

Tourists are also frequently the targets of scams in Trinidad and Tobago. Be firm with street hawkers and vendors and do not take rides from anyone you don’t know, particularly at the airport. Also, be sure to inspect any ATMs before inserting your card, as ATM scams are common. And never ever give your pin number to a stranger!

Q: How does Tobago differ from Trinidad?

While Trinidad has more of an urban feel with bustling business hubs like Port of Spain, Tobago more closely resembles the typical laid-back Caribbean island.

On Tobago, you’ll find white sand beaches, resorts and water sports as well as more of an African influence on the culture and cuisine.

Thanks to its booming oil and natural gas industry, the island of Trinidad has become a big business destination. If you’re looking to explore the nation’s cities, this is the place to be.

Q: What are the cultures of Trinidad and Tobago?

The country’s colonial history has had a huge impact on its culture, with many diverse populations living among each other on the islands. The majority of Trinidadian residents are East Indian (Caribbeans of Indian or South Asian descent) or African and many others consider themselves mixed race.

As the country was a British colony for many years, English is the official language and is widely spoken on both islands. You’ll also see European, Creole and Spanish influences throughout the country, particularly in the cuisine.

Q: Do I need a visa to visit Trinidad and Tobago?

Visitors from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as well as many other countries do not need a visa to visit Trinidad and Tobago for less than 90 days. Other countries may require a visa to enter the islands.

It’s recommended to view your country’s Trinidad and Tobago International Travel Information page for the most up-to-date information on entry and exit requirements. You can also contact the Consulate General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Q: Are credit cards accepted in Trinidad and Tobago?

Many large hotels and tourist operators accept credit cards, particularly MasterCard and Visa, though it’s recommended to carry some cash for making purchases from smaller restaurants and street stalls.

Q: What is the local currency in Trinidad and Tobago?

The local currency in Trinidad and Tobago is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar.

trip to Trinidad and Tobago

What would you add to this Trinidad and Tobago travel guide?

Tobago travel guide: beaches, rainforests and feasting

Unwind to the beat of this small island's unique rhythm

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A view from the sea to the coastline and Castara's Resort

Barely a day into my visit to Tobago I found myself on horseback in the shallows of Buccoo Bay. I clung on, knowing my horse may wade in even further to swim, and that I would be expected to simply go with the flow. 

That was just another day in Tobago, a free-spirited Caribbean island with an uncanny habit for drawing you out of your comfort zone and into exhilarating escapades of adventure.

Why you should visit Tobago

There's a realness to Tobago that doesn't always feature in the Caribbean resort fantasy. The coves of pearly white sand, slouching palm trees and irresistible water are all there, but it's less manicured. The more built-up areas, like the capital Scarborough, are boisterous pockets of unfiltered life, while many inland villages are little more than clusters of half-finished buildings where untethered animals roam freely around their keepers. 

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Tobagonians wouldn't have it any other way. They've honed the art of not taking life too seriously, coolly devoting it to family and community, all generously seasoned with a mischievous sense of humour. These are the key ingredients to life here and, just like the local music genre soca, there's an inherently jovial rhythm to it all.

The pier at Pigeon Point

Pigeon Point is one of the island's most picture-perfect spots

What to do in Tobago

Sink into one of Tobago’s fine beaches and be entirely content. Buccoo Bay, Pigeon Point and Castara Bay are just a few of the most photogenic spots, but there are countless hidden gems waiting to be found, many virtually untouched by any flicker of civilisation. Pirate's Bay, on the northeast tip near Charlotteville, is every bit as secluded as it was in its more nefarious past. 

But it would be a crime to limit any experience of Tobago to beaches alone. When it's not submerged between the tides, No Man's Land is an uninhabited peninsula that attracts hordes of visitors twice a day. There are schools of brilliantly coloured parrotfish in the coral reefs that can be snorkelled just a few minutes out from this ribbon of sandy coastline. Somehow the water is knee-deep out by those reefs, so you can experience the phenomenon of standing in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.

A man paddle boards at sea at sunset

Whether you prefer to paddleboard or snorkel, you can explore the coastline above and below water

Inland Tobago engulfs you in exotic plant and animal life, an experience that peaks on the island of Little Tobago . It's reserved exclusively for nature, particularly the many seabirds that flock balletically off its verdant coastline, and none more famously than the elegant red-billed tropicbird. It's a steep, sweaty ascent to the island's observation deck, but if David Attenborough deemed the airborne spectacle that awaits you worthy of his "Trials of Life" BBC series, you might too. 

The main island is just as fertile, with a soaring, rainforest-covered interior that feeds a vibrant ecosystem and climate. The Main Ridge Forest Reserve is a portal to the oldest protected rainforest on the planet, and home to a thriving colony of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic. 

A guided tour is an immersive introduction to the island's ecological lifeblood, especially when you discover the enchanting waterfalls hidden deep in the overgrowth. The water is far from cold at Parlatuvier Falls, but it offers welcome and well-earned refreshment after a day spent navigating the dense and unruly vegetation. 

A tropical bird

Discover the island's exotic plant and animal life, such as the Trinidad motmot

Eating and drinking

Tobago's cuisine, with its roots in the Indian subcontinent, is anything but subtle. Flavour, spice, heat – all are cranked up to the max. Take the ubiquitous breakfast street food, doubles. These small flatbreads filled with curried chickpeas may look harmless but deliver a ferociously potent hit of deep, fruity, addictive heat that I'm still reminiscing about. 

Fish is both a staple and delicacy, the warm waters giving the island rich stocks of kingfish, lobster and red snapper. At the rustic Bird Watcher's Restaurant and Bar in Speyside, owner Mr Frank has been serving what many locals consider the island's finest lobster for over 20 years; I would consider it arguably the finest lobster I’ve eaten anywhere. The huge specimens are grilled simply with butter, lemon and garlic and are best eaten by hand in a ritual of shameless, messy silence, lubricated by a cleansing Carib beer. 

Tobago's exotic produce is the foundation of specialties found everywhere, like hearty coconut bake, fragrant crab and dumplings , and comforting breadfruit and stewed dasheen. Fresh coconut water, drank directly from the machete-hacked opening of the fruit, never gets boring. Even the menus of the more refined dining spots, like The Seahorse at Stonehaven Bay or the Brown Cow in Pigeon Point, never stray too far from Tobago's most classic dishes, even if their zingy, rum-spiked cocktails may be a notch more flamboyant.

Two food dishes: one of red snapper, the other red snapper and breadfruit

Tobago's cuisine packs a punch – expect spice, flavour and heat

Where to stay in Tobago

For now, Tobago is one of the few Caribbean islands that isn't overrun by blingy, identikit hotel resorts. Perhaps the nearest things to that aren't hotels at all. 

Ohana Villa is a 12-person rental property of dramatic scale, elevated on the Scarborough coast. The opulent terrace has two infinity pools and the grandest rooms have four-poster beds, with showers inside and out, offering inspiring sea views. 

Sunsets are unrivalled, either from the house or the strip of quasi-private beach it comes with. The building's arrowing silhouette recalls period architecture from the Far East, while the interior has a luxe Polynesian finish. Together it's an extravagant wedding venue, bougie getaway or potential "Love Island" location.

Split image, one half showing a bathroom overlooking the sea and the other a four-poster bed at Ohana Villa

Sunsets at Ohana Villa are 'unrivalled'

Castara Retreats is more like a hotel, just with fewer bad habits. Overlooking the ruggedly beautiful Castara Bay on the Caribbean coast, the complex of eco-lodges unfurls over the abundant hillside rainforest, like ivy over a castle's walls. Some of the self-catering cabins have terraces facing both the sea and the Main Ridge Forest Reserve and, if the weather turns, trust me – it's the kind of rainfall you'll enjoy being woken by.

The hotel's sustainability practices contribute to Tobago's growing reputation as an ecotourism hotspot. It is constantly fine-tuning its approach to hospitality, including its authentic restaurant, but it is already bringing its A-game to the wellness offering. Led by Judha, who conducts welcoming daily yoga classes and personalised massage therapies, it's a key reason why Castara Retreats can legitimately call itself a retreat.

The balcony of a wooden building at Castara Retreats, looking over the beach and sea

Focus on wellness and relaxation at Castara Retreats

Rates at Ohana Villa start from £1,343 (USD$1,699) per day from May to October, and £1,580 (USD$1,999) during the high season. Rates at Castara Retreats start from £117 (USD$148) for a one-bedroom lodge during the main season, and £130 (USD$164) during high.    

Dominic was invited to visit Tobago by Four PR agency, working on behalf of the Tobago Tourism Agency (TTA). Castara Retreats hosted Dominic on a complimentary basis, while TTA sponsored experiences at Ohana Villa and other selected businesses in Tobago during his stay.

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Tobago Travel Guide

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An elongated oval just 41km by 14km, Tobago manages a surprising diversity within her craggy coastal fringes. Rich in natural allure, from deserted palm-lined beaches and lively coral reefs to a wealth of lush rainforest, and with plenty of tourist infrastructure in its southwest corner, the island offers something for every taste. Tobago’s greatest appeal, however, is its relatively unspoilt feel. Although tourism has definitely taken root here, development has so far been fairly low-key when compared with many other Caribbean islands. There are few all-inclusive resorts and none of the high-rise hotels that have blighted many other tropical paradises – and the hustler mentality that exists on more touristy islands is less intense here.

Charlotteville

Crime and safety in tobago, getting around, organized tours, scuba diving, tobago festivals.

A place where locals and tourists tend to co-exist in an easy equilibrium, with everyone frequenting the same beaches, bars and nightclubs, Tobago’s overall vibe is overwhelmingly laidback and relaxing. Moreover, celebrations such as the Easter goat races are attended by more Tobagonians than tourists, and local culture is honoured at the annual Heritage Festival each August. The uniquely friendly mentality here is best expressed at the year-round Harvest Festivals, where entire villages open their doors to passing revellers.

Tobago is breathtakingly beautiful; heavy industry is confined to Trinidad, so the beaches here are clean and the landscape left largely to its own devices. The flat coral and limestone plateau of the southwest tip is the island’s most heavily developed region, with the majority of hotels, bars and restaurants as well as the best – albeit most commercialized – beaches such as Pigeon Point and Store Bay . There are also quieter stretches of sand along the area’s smart hotel coast, where glass-bottom boats head for Buccoo Reef , palms sway over the Mount Irvine golf course, and hotels around Plymouth run night excursions to watch giant turtles laying eggs on the beach. Strong currents in this area provide some excellent surfing possibilities, with the rough seas between November and February (the height of the tourist season) producing big breakers at Mount Irvine Beach.

But Tobago isn’t just sun, sand, surf and the tourist dollar. The commercial clamour of the southwest tip is kept in check by the capital, Scarborough , a lively, picturesque port town tumbling down a fort-topped hillside. Pummelled by the dark-green, wave-whipped Atlantic, the island’s rugged windward (south) coast is lined with appealing fishing villages; Speyside and Charlotteville in the remote eastern reaches have coral reefs as ornate as you’ll find anywhere in the Caribbean and scuba diving is a burgeoning industry. Tobago is an excellent and inexpensive place to learn to dive, and there’s plenty of challenging drift diving for the more experienced, while the many fringing reefs within swimming distance of the beaches make for fantastic snorkelling. Coral sands and glassy Caribbean waters along the leeward (north) coast provide some of Tobago’s finest beaches; some, like Englishman’s Bay , are regularly deserted, while at Parlatuvier and Bloody Bay , you’ll share the sand with local fishermen. Castara , meanwhile, holds the only real tourist infrastructure along Tobago’s Caribbean coast, with a host of guesthouses and places to enjoy the excellent fresh fish meals.

The landscape of the eastern interior rises steeply into the hillocks and rolling bluffs which make up the central Main Ridge. These mountains shelter the Forest Reserve – the oldest protected rainforest in the western hemisphere – an abundant tangle of mist-shrouded greenery dripping down to fabulous coastlines, often with neither building nor road to interrupt the flow. Ornithologists and naturalists flock in for the bird – and animal life that flourishes here; David Attenborough filmed parts of his celebrated Trials of Life series at Little Tobago, a solitary sea-bird sanctuary off the coast of Speyside. For slightly less committed nature-lovers, the island’s forested interior offers plenty of opportunities for birdwatching or a splash in the icy waterfalls.

Brief history

Tobago has long been a hotly contested property. The original Carib population fiercely defended the paradisiacal island that they called Tavaco (the name is derived from the Indian word for tobacco) against other Amerindian tribes, and thwarted European colonization throughout the late 1500s and early 1600s. English sailors staked Britain’s claim in 1580, tacking a flag to a tree trunk during a water stop en route to Brazil; and in 1641, England’s King Charles I presented Tobago to his godson James, the Duke of Courland (in modern Latvia). A group of Latvians arrived a year later, but their settlement at Plymouth suffered constant attacks from the Caribs, and in 1658 was taken by the Dutch, who called it Nieuw Vlissingen. Twenty years later, the Courlanders left for good, and in the following years, the Amerindian population slowly petered out. Meanwhile, the belligerent shenanigans of the Dutch, English and French turned the coasts of Tobago into a war zone , with the island changing hands 31 times before 1814.

Pirates and plantations

During the eighteenth century, forts sprang up at every vantage point, and Tobago descended into turmoil, plundered by pirates and officially declared a no-man’s-land in 1702. In 1762, however, the British took decisive action and sent a powerful fleet to Tobago, taking possession of the island with swift precision. Sustained by the promise of stability that came with firm British control, plantation culture began in earnest, with the island transformed into a highly efficient sugar, cotton and indigo factory. Africans were shipped in to work as slaves , with around 3000 toiling on the plantations by 1772, under the control of less than three hundred Europeans. The economy flourished and, by 1777, the island’s eighty or so estates had exported 1.5 million pounds of cotton, as well as vast quantities of rum, indigo and sugar. The numerical might of the slave population led to many bloody uprisings , with planters doling out amputations and death by burning and hanging to the rebels.

Emancipation and beyond

Once the Act of Emancipation was passed in 1834, most of Tobago’s African population took to the interior to plant small-scale farms, and also established coastal fishing communities. Some continued to work the estates as free men and women, but when Britain removed its protective tariffs on sugar sales, Tobago’s unmechanized industry was unable to compete with other, more efficient producers. A severe hurricane in 1847, along with the collapse of the West India Bank (which underwrote the plantations), marked the beginning of the end for the island’s sugar estates.

In the aftermath of the Belmanna Riots , Tobago’s Legislative Council relinquished its tenuous rule, and the island became a Crown Colony in 1879. Having reaped all it could from the island and its sugar industry, England had little further need for this troublesome, ailing dependency. In 1899, Tobago was made a ward of Trinidad, effectively becoming the bigger island’s poor relation with little control over her own destiny. With the collapse of the sugar industry , the islanders fell back upon other crops, planting the acres of limes, coconuts and cocoa that still remain in patches today. Boosted by the arrival of free Africans in the mid-1800s, the black population clubbed together to farm the land, tending their food crops in the efficient “ Len-Hand ” system of shared labour that is still celebrated during Harvest Festivals. By the early 1900s Tobago was exporting fruit and vegetables to Trinidad, and was granted a single seat on the legislative council in 1927.

Tobago today

In 1963, Hurricane Flora razed whole villages and laid waste to most of the island’s crops; the ensuing restructuring programme saw the first tentative steps towards developing a tourist industry. By 1980, the island had her sovereignty partially restored when the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) was reconvened, but it had authority only over the island’s more mundane affairs while the main decisions were still made in Trinidad. Although Tobago now has a stronger profile in the republic’s affairs, the island is still perceived to be looked down on by bigger Trinidad, much to the resentment of the local populace.

In terms of economy, tourism remains the island’s main earner, and development projects abound, many slated for some of the island’s most pristine and lovely stretches of coast. It remains to be seen whether all this construction will erode the very things that attract tourists to Tobago in the first place.

Tumbling willy-nilly down a hillside to a horseshoe bay of calm Caribbean waters, where frigate birds swoop over the fishing boats, the absurdly pretty CHARLOTTEVILLE looks its very best as you approach the village on the Windward Road. Snugly situated under the protective cover of Man O’ War Bay , Charlotteville is one of Tobago’s foremost fishing communities – more than sixty percent of the island’s total catch is brought in by local fishermen. Bordered on each side by steep forested hills, the village has an isolated feel, although this is in fact one of Tobago’s biggest communities with around 5000 inhabitants. It is also one of its oldest, first settled by Caribs and then by the Dutch in 1633 – for many years the bay was known as Jan De Moor Bay after an early Frisian occupant. During the plantation era, the area was divided into two successful estates, Pirate’s Bay and Charlotteville; sugar shipments made regular departures from the bay, and the village prospered. In 1865, both estates were purchased by the Turpin family, who still own much of the surrounding land. Today, tourism plays its part – albeit as second fiddle to fishing – in sustaining the local economy, and the village is increasingly popular with independent types who come for the quiet beaches and laidback charm. If you’re seeking peace, quiet and great beaches, it’s hard not to become utterly besotted with Charlotteville.

The hole-in-the-wall shops and sprinkling of restaurants that make up Charlotteville’s centre line the road along the beach, while the streets that stretch inland and uphill, spreading back from a central playing field, are mostly residential. Slap in the centre of the village is the Fishermen’s Co-Operative , where the day’s catch is weighed, scaled and sold (and in the midst of an upgrade at the time of writing); adjacent to it is the proposed site for the controversial new Charlotteville Beachfront Mall . Beyond the site, the bay view opens up, the sea wall dotted with benches and the beach mostly taken up with fishing boats and nets drying on the sand. The long concrete pier offers a lovely perspective back over the village, and is a great spot from which to watch the sun set.

Bustin’ the bamboo

In Charlotteville and other rural Tobago communities, music at open-air celebrations and Christmas/Old Year’s festivities is often given an ear-splitting percussive accompaniment. Loved by small boys for the incredibly loud, cannon-like explosion that’s produced, the tradition of “ bustin’ the bamboo ” remains a popular – if rather dangerous – sport. To achieve the desired earth-shaking report, the prospective buster must have the know-how to first select a piece of bamboo of the correct age and durability with at least four or five internal joints, and then cut the section so that joints seal each end. A hole is pierced at one end, and the bamboo is filled with pitch oil (kerosene) from a slit at the opposite end. The fuel is lit and fanned until it heats up sufficiently to blow out the remaining joints, which creates the resounding boom and often results in the loss of eyelashes and moustaches.

Pirate’s Bay

Charlotteville’s main street veers away from the coast at the eastern end of the village, but a dirt track continues along the shoreline to the town’s – and, for many, Tobago’s – most attractive beach, Pirate’s Bay . After walking for about fifteen minutes along the steep track you’ll come to a long concrete stairway, at the bottom of which you’re rewarded with a stunning horseshoe of calm emerald-green water and fine yellow sand, with a backdrop of trees, ferns and foliage. A tumbledown fisherman’s hut is the only building in sight, and there’s even a freshwater rinse, courtesy of a stream trickling down from the hills. The bay’s translucent waters offer fantastic snorkelling , especially on the left-hand side. The seventeenth-century buccaneers after whom it was named may have gone, but the bay still has its freebooters, a large colony of frigate birds , which feed by snatching recently caught fish from the beaks of smaller sea birds. These, and other birds such as terns and pelicans can be found at St Giles Island a few kilometres to the north, but strong currents make it difficult for small boats – and thus birdwatchers – to get there. If the walk (or the stairs) are too much for you, you can usually arrange for one of the village’s fishermen to drop you at the beach and pick you up. Though the track is partially driveable, it’s best to leave your car in town – the only place to park is also the only turning spot, so leaving your vehicle there means anyone else will have to reverse back down the hill.

There was a time when crime of any sort was virtually unheard of in Tobago, but several high-profile robberies and attacks in recent years have tarnished the island’s reputation as a safe haven in the Caribbean. Most of the victims have been expat residents rather than people on holiday, and many put these crimes down to disputes and simmering tensions between the newcomers and their local neighbours rather than opportunism. Nonetheless, it has to be said that crime statistics have risen here in recent years, and while some Tobagonians still leave their front doors unlocked and their parked cars open, visitors are well advised to take the common-sense precautions to avoid potential problems.

Another main concern of late has been break-ins at villas , whose often-idyllic locations – in the middle of nowhere with only the birds for company – are irresistible to tourists and criminals alike. If you do stay in a villa, bear in mind that those clustered together in a resort-style complex, complete with gates and security guards, are obviously the safest choice. Always ask about security measures such as outside lighting and window locks or grilles before renting, and make sure that you lock doors and windows securely before going out and when retiring for the night. Should the worst happen, don’t offer any kind of resistance to thieves; and call the police on t 999 as soon as possible; in addition, there are police stations at Scarborough ( t 639 2512), Crown Point ( t 639 0042 or t 639 9872), Old Grange ( t 639 8888), Moriah ( t 660 0029 or t 660 0100), Roxborough ( t 660 4333) and Charlotteville ( t 660 4388).

Given Tobago’s small size, public transport can be a useful option for short journeys, particularly in the southwest, with plenty of route taxis, maxis (with blue bands in Tobago) and buses plying the main roads. In remote corners of Tobago, and on Sundays throughout the island, waiting times can be long. All public transport to outlying spots such as Castara, Charlotteville or Speyside departs from Scarborough; bear in mind that it’s best to get an early start, since many of the services to outlying towns and villages leave early in the morning, with a significant lull during the middle part of the day. Renting a car is by far the easiest way to explore the island, even if you just rent one for a day for a round-Tobago whirlwind trip.

Easter weekend is to Tobago what Carnival is to Trinidad: an unofficial national holiday when hotels are filled to the brim and the island erupts with festivities. A succession of huge open-air parties and well-attended harvest feasts culminate on Easter Tuesday at the Buccoo goat races , a tradition since 1925. Though attempting to race one of the world’s most belligerent animals may seem a little ridiculous to the uninitiated, these tournaments are taken very seriously by aficionados, who study the form (and character) of the sleekly groomed animals and place bets on their favourites. Raised separately from the run-of-the-mill roadside grazer, racing goats undergo a rigorous training routine and return to the tracks year after year. Prize specimens live out their days as stud goats to breed more potential champions.

The preliminary round at the Mount Pleasant Family Fun Day on Easter Monday gives everyone a chance to see which goat is running best, but the main event is at Buccoo on the Tuesday. Food vendors and craft stalls line the streets and a carnival atmosphere builds as fast as the crowds, who are kept entertained by dancing and drumming in between stakes. Smartly attired in white shorts and coloured vests, the jockeys limber up by the side of the tracks, a necessary exercise, as their ability to keep up with their goat (and keep hold of it) over the 150m race has more influence on their success or failure than the capabilities of the goat itself: animals are raced at the end of a rope, and kept on course via taps from a long switch. Once the jockeys manage to manoeuvre their malignant charges into starting position, the actual races are a joy to watch. With wild-eyed stares, the goats tear haphazardly down the track, often taking a diagonal course that trips up competitors and runners alike, to the delight of the spectators. The best of the bunch battle for supremacy in the final “Champ of Champs” race, while “Champion Jockey”, “Champion Trainer” and “Most Outstanding Goat” prizes are also presented.

Once all the races are over on Tuesday, the final all-night party swings into action, and the dancing continues until dawn.

Tobago has a bewildering number of tour companies and guides , with options ranging from the highly qualified and experienced to the downright charlatan (note that certified guides have an ID badge issued by the Tobago House of Assembly). It’s worth spending time considering the options before parting with your cash. Several established companies offer standard island tours covering Tobago’s main sights, which are great if you want a hassle-free overview of the island. A boat ride is one of the best ways to appreciate Tobago’s gorgeous coastline and get some excellent snorkelling. Several operators work the waters, and trips usually include lunch, snorkelling at Englishman’s Bay or other similarly deserted coves, and an open bar; half-day, or sunset and moonlight dinner trips are also on the roster of most operators.

Full-day tours (land or sea) of eight hours or so almost always include lunch and cost US$70–90 per person; half-day tours hover at around US$50 for four to five hours. Most people book through reps who visit the main hotels or trawl the beaches, but you can sign up independently as well. Note that the prices given here are for adults; all companies offer reduced rates for children.

There are also several guides who specialize in the Forest Reserve , and who are usually to be found at the main entrance, Gilpin Trace. Glass-bottom boats to Buccoo Reef are one of the most popular tour options on Tobago; all leave from Store Bay. Other more active tour options include fishing , mountain biking , golf , horseriding and scuba diving .

Tobago is one of the best scuba-diving spots in the southeastern Caribbean, yet it has relatively few divers visiting its dazzling coral reefs, volcanic formations and marine wrecks. The island is internationally recognized for the exciting and challenging drift dives caused by the Guyana current, which results from the confluence of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The seas around Tobago are home to 300 species of South Atlantic coral and a variety of spectacular multicoloured fish , not to mention larger species such as stingrays, manta rays, sharks, dolphins, turtles and squid . Rarer species such as toadfish and shortnose batfish are also occasionally spotted. Adding a touch of history to underwater encounters are the sunken ships that litter the sea floor.

There are many dive shops in Crown Point thanks to the sheer volume of visitors in the southwest, but Speyside is the island’s premier diving destination, with a variety of spectacular sites surrounding the offshore islands: Goat Island is popular for drift dives; St Giles for its rocky pinnacles and underwater canyon; and there’s a reasonable chance of seeing manta rays on dives around Little Tobago. Popular dive sites in the area include London Bridge, Bookends, Angel Reef, The Cathedral and Kelliston Drain – the site of the single largest brain coral in the Caribbean, and possibly the largest in the world. For more advanced divers, Sisters Rocks, offshore of Bloody Bay – with the sea shelf falling to 667m – is especially popular for larger species of fish including hammerhead sharks.

Tobago’s diving industry was only established in the 1980s but since then scuba-diving operations have multiplied with many hotels, beaches and guesthouses sporting their own centres. Prices vary slightly between operators; in general one to three dives cost about US$50 each, half-day resort courses US$65, five-day PADI open water certification courses US$480 and advanced open water from US$385. When deciding who to dive with it’s worth contacting the Association of Tobago Dive Operators ( t 660 5445, w tobagoscubadiving.com ); they can provide a list of certified scuba-diving operators. Always check for the prominent display of a dive affiliation, such as NAUI, PADI, SSI or BSAC. A good operator will always ask you to fill in paperwork and present a diving certification card. The rental equipment should be well rinsed; if you see sand or salt crystals this may indicate careless equipment care. Inspect all equipment thoroughly, check hoses for wear, see that mouthpieces are secure and ensure they give you a depth gauge and air-pressure gauge. Listen for air leaks when you gear up and smell the air, which should be odourless. If you smell oil or anything else, search for a different operator. In case of accidents, Tobago has a recompression chamber in Roxborough ( t 660 4000).

Though Carnival in Trinidad tends to take precedence in the T&T festival calendar, Tobago more than holds its own in terms of celebrations, and even if your visit doesn’t coincide with some of the bigger events, there’s almost always a beach party or fete to liven things up. Of the annual festivals, August means Great Race , when a flotilla of high-powered speedboats compete to be the first to cross the waters between the two islands. This being T&T, there’s more concentration on partying than maritime action: the whole shebang kicks off with the massive Great Fete outdoor party and stageshow at Pigeon Point, and on race day itself, huge crowds gather at the Store Bay finish line, all the while entertained by blaring soca, rhythm sections, pan bands and copious quantities of rum and beer. A similar scene unravels at the annual round of fishermen’s festivals , which celebrate patron of the trade St Peter by way of friendly beach parties at Castara and Charlotteville: vats of pacro water (shellfish soup) simmer and stacks of speakers get everyone in the mood for dancing. For something gentler, you might check out the Harvest Festivals held in the island’s villages throughout the year, which feature folk singing and dancing, heaps of “blue food” such as dasheen and tannia, and a friendly, community vibe. But the most hyped event on the island these days is the Tobago Jazz Festival , held between April and June by the sea at Plymouth and featuring international acts alongside the best of local talent – past performers include Diana Ross, Elton John, Sting, Emile Sandé, Erykah Badu, John Legend and, of course, T&T’s own Machel Montano.

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Andy Turner

written by Andy Turner

updated 26.04.2021

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Sandy beach, colorful scarves, sarongs, Pigeon Point, Tobago, West Indies, Caribbean

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While Trinidad booms with industry and parties all night, tiny Tobago (just 42km across at its widest point) kicks back in a hammock with a beer in hand watching its crystalline waters shimmer in the sun. Though Tobago is proud of its rainforests, fantastic dive sites, stunning aquamarine bays and nature reserves, it’s OK with not being mentioned in a Beach Boys' song. It accepts its tourists without vigor, but rather with languor, and allows them to choose between plush oceanside hotels or tiny guesthouses in villages where you walk straight to the open-air bar with sandy bare feet, and laugh with the locals drinking rum.

Attractions

Must-see attractions.

Pirates Bay, Small Antilles, Tobago, Caribbean

Pirate’s Bay

Past Charlotteville's pier, a dirt track winds up and around the cliff to concrete steps that descend to Pirate’s Bay, which offers excellent snorkeling…

Corbin Local Wildlife Park

Corbin Local Wildlife Park

Established by hunter turned conservationist Roy Corbin in Tobago's forest-covered interior, just inland of the windward coast's Hope Bay, this nonprofit…

Fort King George

Fort King George

Atop a hill at the end of Fort St, this sizable fort was built by the British between 1777 and 1779, and is worth a visit to see its restored colonial-era…

Mt Irvine Hotel Beach

Mt Irvine Hotel Beach

Just south of the main Mt Irvine Beach, a turnoff from the main road leads to an adjoining swath of sand, where the swimming in calm emerald waters is…

Stonehaven Bay

Stonehaven Bay

Northeast of Mt Irvine, this fabulous sweep of coarse yellow sand, also known as Grafton Bay, offers some fabulous swimming and bodyboarding in clear…

Tobago Forest Reserve

Tobago Forest Reserve

A 20-minute drive east of Castara, at Bloody Bay, the Roxborough–Parlatuvier Rd strikes inland, meeting the Windward coast at Roxborough. This smooth,…

Little Tobago

Little Tobago

Also known as Bird of Paradise Island (though it isn't home to any of the eponymous birds), Little Tobago was a cotton plantation during the late 1800s,…

Big Bay

The wide sweep of Castara's main bay, overlooked at its centre by a large fishers' facility, mixes commerce with tourism. Fisherfolk tend boats and pull…

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Tobago Travel Guide

With its untouched coral reefs, lush rainforests, and Caribbean charm, Tobago is an unspoiled paradise. Snorkel in Buccoo Reef, spot tropical birds in Main Ridge Forest Reserve, or enjoy eating a new cuisine in local restaurants. Explore what makes Tobago the place to be with Outlook Travel Magazine.

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Our 5 (well, more than 5) favourite Tobago beaches for 2023

OK, no matter what else you may have come to Tobago to explore, enjoying its truly stunning beaches is bound to feature high up on your list of things to do! So here are our top five — plus many of our other favourites. One quick tip: the further north you go, the quieter the beaches tend to be. And, of course, if you want the low-down on all Tobago’s beaches, make sure to check out the rest of our Beaches section!

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25+ cool & important facts about Trinidad & Tobago

There are many people and things that have landed Trinidad and Tobago in the history books …or which are just plain cool! Here are just some. And if you know more that you think should be here, feel free to give us a shout! We always love to hear from our readers.

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Watching out for Trinidad & Tobago’s turtles

Your guide to turtle-watching and turtle conservation in both Trinidad and Tobago

Go hiking: popular Trinidad hikes for your bucket list

Of all the out-doorsy things you can do in Trinidad & Tobago , hiking is one of the best. Much like the country, hikes can accommodate almost everyone, from the gentle soul who’s looking for equally gentle terrain to the most intrepid, bring-it-on types. Here are some of Trinidad’s most popular hikes — from easy waterfall hikes, to caves with over a million bats, and the country’s most gruelling climb

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Mishael Morgan: Trinidad-born, Emmy-winning history maker

Trinidad-born Mishael Morgan made history in June as the first woman of colour to win the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. A few weeks after her historic win, Caroline Taylor caught up with her for a wide-ranging chat about her career, living a purpose-driven life — and what’s next for her

tobago travel blog

Tobago sightseeing — and boons for birders!

Our favourite sightseeing spots, day trips , and birdwatching sites

Payge Turner in the Battle Rounds of The Voice

Becoming a Payge Turner: meet Trinidad’s Paige Roopchan (part 2)

With a wealth of both musical and athletic talent, Trinidad-born Paige “ Payge Turner ” Roopchan’s path, however winding, seems destined for stardom

Pirate's Bay. Photo courtesy Tobago Tourism Agency

Tobago achieves two green travel milestones

Northeast Tobago declared a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve, right after three Tobago beaches achieve Blue Flag Pilot status Earlier today, the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited and the Environmental Research Institute, Charlotteville (ERIC) celebrated the island obtaining the UNESCO Man & the Biosphere (MAB) designation, which TTAL described as an opportunity to develop and promote …

A Long-billed starthroat (Heliomaster longirostris) hovers near a vervine bush at Asa Wright Nature Centre. Photo by RAPSO Imaging

Saving Trinidad’s Asa Wright Nature Centre

The treasured eco centre needs to urgently raise capital in order to stay operational Exactly a month ago, on the 24th of September, the Asa Wright Nature Centre ’s Facebook page put out an SOS for help. “Due to COVID-19, we need your help now!” The post read, explaining that donors had the opportunity to double …

View from the Trinidad Hilton

Trinidad Tourism begins to prepare for T&T border re-opening

Trinidad’s tourism stakeholders are one step closer to safely re-opening the sector to international travellers. Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL), in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), hosted a webinar called Train the Trainer: COVID-19 Health Guidelines for Reopening the Tourism Sector & the Tourism Health Information System on 14th October. Over 200 tourism …

The Johnson-Roopchan family

Meet the Johnsons | The making of a Trini Payge Turner (part 1)

With roots in a multi-talented and musical Trinidadian family, Paige Roopchan is fruit falling very close to the tree By now, you’ve no doubt seen 28-year-old Payge Turner ‘s stunning performance on the season premiere of The Voice last Monday. If not, you can check it out below. You can also read our full profile on …

Discover more

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beyond ordinary

Where unspoilt traditions, untouched natural beauty and undiscovered gems merge to create the idyllic Caribbean escape 

Go Experience

Indulge in a truly authentic Caribbean escape where the wild and untamed beauty of nature is rivaled only by the genuine warmth and hospitality of its people.

Visit Tobago Diving Reefs

On island you will find a variety of accommodation choices suited to your needs and budget. Choose from luxurious villas, family friendly resorts or even a quaint bed and breakfast.

For on the go travelers who want to spend most of their time outdoors, a self- catering apartment might be your best bet.Whatever, the final choice, we are sure that your first and perhaps most important choice in your destination planning will be a good one.

Go Plan

Craft an extraordinary escape with a conveniently scheduled flight and charming accommodations perfectly suited to your needs. Your journey to paradise begins here.

Fun Facts

Bacolet bay Beach was the location for the 1960 movie, Swiss Family Robinson and a favorite frolicking spot for the Beatles in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Bloody Bay, on the Leeward coast, is named after a bloody naval battle that is reputed to have turned the blue waters red with blood. However, some claim that the beach was stained by red earth deposits.

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Photos from Tobago

Speyside, Tobago

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Latest blog posts from tobago.

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TT Travel Tour Listing!

Find your local places, you love most to roam around.

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The popular categories are progressively below.

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Jules Exclusive Clothing

Hi, all welcome to Jules Exclusive clothing Tobago, we offer women's, man and kids clothing at ....

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Savi's Vege Mart

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Rama's Local Cuisine

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KP's Exclusive

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Health-T You Agribiz LTD

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Iland Girlz Halaal Restaurant

Iland Girlz halaal restaurant, We are located at corner Buccoo road and shirvan road Tobago. Welc....

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Evon's Place

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KONCRETE PROJECTS GROUP

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KAMRI GLASS & WINDOWS

About us: Kamri Investments, Limited was founded in 2002 by Kameel Khan and Rizwana Khan. Kamri is a....

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Exquisite Local Drinks

Welcome to Exquisite local Drinks of Tobago. With a mirage of milk- based punches and exotic alcohol....

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Happy Days Travel

Happy Days Travel

Do it Now – Don't Wait for Retirement!

A Complete Travel Guide to Trinidad

This photo shows the unspoiled beach of Maracas Bay, Trinidad, fringed with tall Palm trees and framed by a clear blue sky

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Welcome to my Trinidad travel guide!  In this article, you will find all the information you will need if you are planning a trip to this Caribbean island.

In this article

First Thoughts

Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands of Trinidad and Tobago.  Mention the words ‘Caribbean island’ and the image conjured up for most people is of palm-fringed, white-sand beaches and gloriously clear azure-blue sea.  Whilst Trinidad does have a number of places to swim and sunbathe, this is not its main attraction.  Being an oil-rich island with a stable economy, Trinidad is far less reliant on tourism than other destinations in the Caribbean.

For the visitor, this manifests itself in a lack of information, signage and infrastructure directed at tourists.  In some ways, this makes a refreshing change.  When travelling around the island, you get to experience it like a local.  It can also be frustrating, however.  We spent a lot of time looking for places we’d read about, only to get there and find the attraction closed for the day or, even, permanently shut down.

Having said this, though, Trinidad is an amazing place with friendly people, good food and great music.  I would definitely recommend a visit!

This photo shows the sun setting over Caroni Swamp

Essential Information About Trinidad

  • Area – 4,748 square kilometres
  • Population – c 1.3 million
  • Language – English
  • Capital – Port of Spain
  • Currency – Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TTD)
  • Time zone – GMT -4
  • Telephone – the country code for Trinidad is 868 .
  • Electrical socket – standard voltage of 115V with type A and B sockets (two flat pins or two flat pins with a third round earth pin).  If you are travelling from the US, you won’t need an adaptor, but if you’re coming from the UK or elsewhere, you will.  Why not take  a universal travel adapter  with you.
  • Visas – visitors from most countries, including the UK and USA, do  NOT need a visa to visit Trinidad.  Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry to the country.  You will be given the right to remain for ninety days.  You may be asked to show your return air ticket and proof of sufficient funds to pay for your stay.

Drug traffickers face severe penalties.  Marijuana is illegal.

Same-sex relationships are still illegal in Trinidad.  Legislation exists that bars LGBT people from entering the country.  In reality, this is rarely enforced and there is growing local support for LGBT rights, but it’s still best to avoid public displays of affection.

It is an offence for anyone, including children, to wear or carry camouflage clothing.

Health and Safety in Trinidad

It’s important to check the latest health advice issued by your government before you travel.  In the UK, this is available from  the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) .

In some areas of Trinidad, medical facilities may be limited.  The main hospital in Port of Spain, as well as several private clinics, is able to treat most problems, but medical evacuation to Miami or elsewhere may be necessary in more serious cases.  Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance.  For UK nationals, the Caribbean is excluded from most general policies, so you need to buy extra cover.

There is a risk of Zika virus transmission in Trinidad.  Also, mosquito-borne dengue fever is endemic.  The best line of defence is not to get bitten!

  • Use  a DEET based insect repellent
  • Wear  mosquito repellent bracelets
  • Burn  mosquito coils
  • Cover up, especially at dawn and dusk
  • Eat Marmite!  This is Mark’s preferred method!

If you need medical assistance whilst in Trinidad, dial  811 .

The vast majority of tourist visits to Trinidad are incident-free.  However, it is sensible to consider the following:

There’s a high level of gang-related violent crime in Trinidad, especially in certain neighbourhoods in Port of Spain – Laventille, Morvant and Barataria.  Whilst these crimes generally involve only local people, these areas are best avoided, particularly after dark.

Opportunist theft, especially during festivals and carnival season, is common.  Take the same precautions as you would take anywhere:

  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash
  • Don’t wear ostentatious jewellery
  • Use a hotel safe where possible to store valuables and passports
  • Wear  a money belt
  • Don’t walk in deserted areas, even during daylight
  • Take care when withdrawing cash from an ATM

Whilst hiring a car is the best way to  get around Trinidad , you will experience erratic driving practices and dreadful road conditions, so you need to be extra vigilant.  The Churchill Roosevelt Highway to and from Piarco International Airport is a notorious accident blackspot with boy racers using it as a racetrack.

Always drive with the doors locked.

Always use licensed vehicles, identified by registration plates beginning with H (for hire).  Some cars and minibuses with P registration plates offer taxi services, but these are private vehicles and should be avoided.

The threat of terrorist attack in Trinidad is quite high with crowded places likely to be targeted.  Over 100 Trinidadians are known to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight with the Daesh terrorist group.  Some of these people were arrested on their return to Trinidad in early 2018 as it was thought they were planning attacks during carnival.  The government of Trinidad and Tobago has a robust counter-terrorism strategy and co-operates with international governments to reduce the risk.

Visitors should check with their government’s most up-to-date travel guidelines, but shouldn’t be put off travelling to Trinidad.

Emergency numbers

  • Fire and ambulance – 990
  • Police – 999

This picture shows the view of maracas Valley from Yerette

Festivals and Celebrations in Trinidad

Public holidays.

Trinidad’s 17 annual public holidays reflect the country’s ethnic and cultural diversity with Christian, Hindu and Muslim celebrations included.  Banks and workplaces close, concerts are organised, shops have sales, and families get together to eat, drink and socialise.

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • March 30 – Shouter Baptist Liberation Day – a relatively new public holiday in recognition of the African-based religion that suffered persecution in colonial Trinidad.
  • February/March – Monday, Tuesday and Ash Wednesday before Lent – Carnival.  This is Trinidad’s most famous festival with fetes, pan and calypso competitions and costumed street processions.
  • March/April – Good Friday and Easter Monday – as well as attending church and baking hot cross buns, Trinidadians indulge in the ‘beating of the bobolee’.  This involves pummelling an effigy of Judas Iscariot or, more usually these days, of any politician or public figure who’s thought to deserve it.  Easter weekend also sees a colourful kite festival at the Savannah in Port of Spain.
  • May 30 – Indian Arrival Day – commemorating the arrival in 1845 of the first indentured Indian labourers to Trinidad.
  • June 10 – Corpus Christi – a Catholic holiday marked by processions in many island villages.
  • June 19 – Labour Day – a public holiday in recognition of trade unions and workers.  It is most publicly celebrated in Fyzabad, southern Trinidad, where the powerful Oil Workers’ Union was established.
  • August 1 – Emancipation Day – commemorating the abolition of slavery in 1834.  There is a procession through Port of Spain.
  • August 31 – Independence Day – celebrating the 1962 independence from the UK.
  • August/September – Eid-ul Fitr
  • September 24 – Republic Day
  • September/October – Divali -a festival honouring Mother Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of light.
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • December 26 – Boxing Day

Other Celebrations in Trinidad

  • Phagwah – celebrated in March or early April to honour the Indian tradition of Holi.  It is best experienced in central Trinidad.  It isn’t a public holiday, but many Trinis of all backgrounds take part.
  • Turtle Season – the leatherback laying season officially opens on March 1st with guided viewing sessions at Grande Riviere.
  • La Divina Pastora – held on the third Sunday after Easter in Siparia in southern Trinidad.  A statue of the Black Virgin is carried in a procession through the town and locals, dressed in new clothes, celebrate with feasting and drinking.
  • Pan in the 21st Century – steel band competition held every April in Port of Spain.
  • Santa Rosa Festival – held in the last week in August in Arima, Trinidad.  It celebrates the culture and traditions of indigenous Amerindians with musical and acrobatic performances and street parties.
  • Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival – held over two weeks in September with films from all over the Caribbean, plus arthouse cinema from around the world.
  • San Fernando Jazz Festival – takes place over two days in late September on San Fernando Hill, Trinidad.
  • Steel Pan Jazz Festival – a series of concerts and workshops held at the beginning of October each year in Port of Spain.  It features a fusion of foreign jazz masters and the best Trini steel bands.
  • Taste – a culinary festival which takes place in Port of Spain every October with cooking demonstrations, rum, wine and food tastings, and live music.
  • Hosay – an Islamic festival commemorating the martyrdom of Mohammed’s grandsons. Hussein and Hassan, during the Holy War in Persia.  It is marked by four days of night parades which goon to the early hours.
  • Parang Season – taking place in December, this is a tradition of nativity songs sung in Spanish with a mixture of French patois dating from colonial days.  Parang groups perform in bars, clubs and door-to-door.

Best Time to Go to Trinidad

Trinidad is a year-round destination with temperatures ranging from 21 to 32 degrees centigrade every day.  In this tropical climate, rain is possible at any time, although the wet season is generally thought to run from the end of May to November.

Most visitors go to the island between December and March.  At this time, the magic of carnival is everywhere, the trees are in full bloom and the weather is at its most forgiving with long hours of sunshine, very little rain and cool nights.

Accommodation and flight prices are pretty consistent throughout the year, though there is an inevitable price hike during Carnival week.

A photograph of Las Cuevas Beach, Trinidad glimpsed through the trees

What to Pack for Trinidad

With its tropical climate and consistently warm temperatures, unless you are someone who particularly feels the cold, you are unlikely to need jumpers and jackets when visiting Trinidad.  You’ll definitely need sunglasses and a sunhat.  The best policy is to pack light.  Don’t forget your umbrella, though!

Where to Stay in Trinidad

Trinidad has a wide range of hotels, guesthouses and self-catering apartments to suit all pockets.  I recommend that you search for suitable accommodation on Booking.com:

What to Eat in Trinidad

Trinidadian cuisine is influenced by the food of Africa, India, China, Europe and Latin America giving a unique and diverse range of dishes.  You are just as likely to be offered traditional Trinidad dishes in a five-star hotel as in a private home or a street food stall.  Trinidadians are very proud of their food heritage and are keen for visitors to experience it.  ‘Local’ can mean anything from Indian curry and roti to Creole coocoo (a cornmeal polenta flavoured with okra) to South American pastelles (cornmeal patties filled with ground meat or fish, olives and raisins, and wrapped in a banana leaf).   Here, I’m listing some of the foods you just HAVE to try!!

Shark ‘n’ bake

Shark ‘n’ bake is one of Trinidad’s most popular street foods.  Slices of seasoned shark meat, accompanied by chadon beni (local coriander), tamarind, and garlic sauces, and topped with fresh salad and pineapple, are served hot in a light fried bread roll.

Delicious as it is, be aware that sharks are disappearing from Caribbean waters to the detriment of the region’s reefs and fish populations.  For this reason, you’d be better to ask for more sustainable fish with your bake.  Mahi-mahi, tilapia, and flying fish are all good choices.

Doubles are the most popular Indian snack and are served all day every day from roadside stalls.  Vendors set up as early as 5am and locals eat them for breakfast on the way to work.

If you order doubles, what you get is two pieces of soft, fried bara bread sandwiching a runny channa curry that’s dressed with cucumber, pepper sauce and mango chutney.  They are delicious but incredibly messy to eat!  If you prefer to have less pepper sauce, ask for your doubles to be ‘slight pepper’.

Other popular street foods

  • Aloo pies  – flattened fried dough balls filled with spiced potato (cheese, beef or fish versions are also available)
  • Pholouri  – fried split pea-flour dough balls served with tart and tasty tamarind curry sauce
  • Sahina  – ground channa and dasheen leaf fritters
  • Local oysters  – small oysters served in a cup with a peppery, vinegary tomato sauce
  • Corn soup  – a thick and satisfying split-pea broth with vegetables, chunks of sweetcorn and mini dumplings
  • Accra  – peppery saltfish fritters
  • Gyros  – wraps of meat, fish or falafel

Traditionally served for breakfast, buljol is a blend of flaked saltfish, onions, tomatoes, lime juice and sweet peppers, usually eaten with avocado and light airy bread rolls called hops.  Sometimes, the hops are substituted with coconut bake, a flat round bread made with grated coconut.

Widely considered to be the national dish, roti is a stretchy flatbread used to wrap curried meat, vegetables or fish.  There are several variations of roti skins including the oddly-named buss-up-shut , a thin shredded skin that is used to spoon up mouthfuls of curry sold in ‘snackboxes’.

Roti fillings range from curried chicken and beef to conch, goat and shrimp.  Common vegetarian fillings are channa (curried chickpeas), potato, sweet pumpkin, bodi (green beans) and spinach.

Creole Cuisine

  • Pelau – a classic Creole chicken dish.  The chicken is caramelised in burnt brown sugar.  Rice, pigeon peas, garlic, onions and pumpkin are then added and the whole thing is cooked slowly in coconut milk.  The dish is traditionally served with coleslaw and a slice of avocado.
  • Callaloo  – a dish of chopped dasheen leaves cooked with okra, pumpkin, coconut milk and, sometimes, crab meat.  It tastes good, although the slimy texture might be offputting for some (like me!!).
  • Sunday lunch  – baked chicken served with rice, stewed peas, macaroni or potato pie, and pasta, potato or green fig salad.
  • Souse  – pigs’ or chickens’ feet marinated in lime juice and peppers.
  • Oil down  – vegetables (especially breadfruit and cassava) stewed in coconut milk and flavoured with pig tail.  These are served as the classic accompaniment to all main meals.

What to Drink in Trinidad

Trinidadians are big beer drinkers.  Two local brews are the most popular – Carib , a light, golden lager, and Stag , a stronger, darker beer marketed as ‘a man’s beer’!  Guinness and Mackeson stouts are also widely drunk.

As you would expect, rum is sold everywhere in Trinidad!  The most popular brands are the clear  White Oak and the dark varieties  Black Label  and  Royal Oak .  All of these are 43% abv and are usually drunk with a mixer or as an ingredient in a cocktail.

At 75% proof, the wickedly strong  Forres Park puncheon rum  is drunk neat by the locals but is probably best avoided by tourists unless it’s in a rum punch!  This cocktail is a delicious blend of rum, blended fruits, nutmeg and a dash of Angostura bitters, the locally produced medicinal tonic which is a staple in drinks and in cooking.

Soft Drinks

Most soft drinks in Trinidad are high in sugar with diet options rarely on offer.  LLB, a local mix of lemon, lime and Angostura bitters, is widely available and makes a refreshing drink in hot weather.  Carib shandy in sorrel, ginger, or lime varieties is another popular option.  The best thing for the heat, though, has to be fresh coconut water, sold fresh from the nut or bottled.

Chocolate Tea

This is usually served with breakfast and is sweetened cocoa spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon.

Best Things to Do in Trinidad

Take a boat trip on caroni swamp.

Despite being close to the main highway into Trinidad’s capital, Port of Spain, Caroni Swamp is an oasis of calm and is definitely worth a visit.  Two or three companies offer boat trips every day at dusk.  This is the best time to see the iconic scarlet ibis coming into roost, but it is also feeding time for the mosquitoes, so make sure you cover up and use plenty of repellent.

Read my article about our visit to Caroni Swamp by clicking here .

Watch this video to learn about some of the wildlife you can expect to see during a tour of Caroni Swamp.

Visit the Surreal Pitch Lake

Pitch Lake is a 40,000 square metre site which is the largest deposit of pitch in the world.  This surreal landscape is well worth a visit although you’d be advised to hire a guide as parts of the site are not safe to walk on and you could end up submerged!

Click here to read my post about our visit to Pitch Lake.

This picture shows a guide demonstrating the colour and consistency of the pitch in Pitch Lake, Trinidad

Spend a Couple of Days in Port of Spain

Trinidad’s capital, Port of Spain is not the most attractive city, but it’s vibrant with a lively music scene, some great food and fascinating history.  There is more than enough to detain you for a couple of days.

Read my full guide on what to do in Port of Spain here .

This photo shows the wide open space of the savannah with a large spreading tree in the centre providing much-needed shade

Go ‘Down the Islands’

The Bocas  is a group of rocky islets separated from mainland Trinidad, and from one another, by the Bocas del Dragon (Dragon’s Mouth), a series of channels connecting the Gulf of Paria with the Caribbean.  A very popular local outing is to take a boat trip ‘down the islands’ from Chaguaramas marina.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time to do this, but it is firmly at the top of the list for the next time we’re in Trini!

Dolphins frequent the waters between the islands, as do leatherback turtles and pilot whales.  You may get lucky and spot all three.

In the eighteenth century, the Bocas had a thriving whaling industry with whaling stations on the three main islands of Gaspar Grande, Monos and Chacahacare.  Today, the islands are sparsely inhabited, with no roads and dense forest covering the interiors and hiding the few holiday homes that have been built on them.  They are only accessible by boat.  Few trips actually land on the islands, preferring instead to drop anchor in the bays for an afternoon of eating, drinking and swimming.

The first island you pass when heading down the Bocas chain is the small rocky Carrera, Trinidad’s equivalent of Alcatraz.  A prison was built on the island in 1876 and convicts still do hard labour there.

If you go on a trip organised by the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA), you may be able to land on the most accessible island, Gaspar Grande, and visit the eerie Gasparee Caves.  Once used by pirates to hide their booty, the caves are now home to colonies of fruit bats.  There are impressive stalactites and stalagmites in the cathedral-like, 35 metre deep, main cavern and a deep clear turquoise tidal pool you can swim in.

The furthest island from the mainland is Chacachacare, an hour’s boat ride away.  This former leper colony is the largest island in the Bocas and has a number of lovely beaches with pale golden sand and shallow, calm, crystal-clear water.  You are free to explore the derelict structures of the leper colony and imagine what life must have been like for patients who lived there.  Established in 1887, it was run on prison lines by a group of Dominican nuns.  Incredibly, it was in use until 1984, when the last 30 patients were transferred elsewhere!

Relax on the Beach at Maracas Bay

Unlike most Caribbean islands, Trinidad is not known for its tropical beaches.  However, there are exceptions and Maracas Bay is one of them.  There is a wide expanse of golden sand with sunbeds and umbrellas available to hire.  A number of beach bars offer drinks and typical Trini street food including shark ‘n’ bake and doubles.

At one end of the bay, local fishermen mend their nets and land their catch.  They are happy to chat to you about their lives and how they make their living.

You can reach Maracas Bay via Trinidad’s famous north coast road .

This photo shows the unspoiled beach of Maracas Bay, Trinidad, fringed with tall Palm trees and framed by a clear blue sky

Hire a Car to Explore the Island

If you are not taking a tour, the best way to explore Trinidad is to hire a car and drive yourself.  There are several car rental companies located at Port of Spain’s international airport.  Several of them accept advance bookings online.

As I explained in this post , many of Trinidad’s roads are in a terrible state of disrepair so you will need to keep your wits about you at all times, but the rewards are worth it.  You can drive along the east coast , explore Trinidad’s north-west corner , and visit some less well-known attractions such as the Waterloo Temple in the Sea .

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Learn about Hummingbirds

One of the highlights of our trip to Trinidad was learning all about hummingbird s.  Several species of these fascinating creatures are native to Trinidad and Tobago.  They are valued by the locals, not least because the Amerindians, the original inhabitants of the islands, believed that hummingbirds contained the souls of their ancestors.  Hummingbirds are the major pollinators in Trinidad and Tobago, pollinating over 8000 species of flowering plants.  The hummingbird is on the national coat of arms, the currency, and the passport.  It is the symbol of Caribbean Airlines and the country’s post office.

Whether or not you are a twitcher, I urge you not to leave Trinidad without visiting both the Asa Wright Nature Centre and Yerette .  In the former, you will be able to observe hummingbirds feeding and go on a guided nature trail to learn all about Trinidad’s flora and birdlife.  At Yerette, you will be royally entertained by Theo and Gloria Ferguson.  Gloria will prepare a simple but delicious lunch for you and Theo will have you enthralled by his encyclopedic knowledge of hummingbirds and his stunning photos of them.  In their gloriously floral garden, you will get up close and personal with these incredible birds and marvel at their behaviour as you try to capture shots which would adequately convey their beauty.

This photo shows the main house painted green and set amongst lush tgrees and shrubs

Visit Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust

Another must-see destination on Trinidad is the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust located, incongruously, in the grounds of the Petrotrin Oil and Gas Company!  This verdant oasis is a conservationist’s dream.  The breeding programme being run here is the most successful in the Caribbean and the trust’s education project, in conjunction with local schools, goes from strength to strength.

This photo shows shocking pink water lilies on the surface of one of the lakes at Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust, Trinidad

Experience Carnival

If you’re lucky enough to be in Trinidad during carnival time, you’re in for a treat!!  The focus of the festivities is in Port of Spain with the main carnival parades taking place on the Monday and Tuesday before the start of Lent.  The build-up, however, happens for several weeks before with competitions to find the best calypso, soca, and steel pan bands.  The culmination of all of the celebrations is the Carnival Tuesday Parade of the Bands with the full display of elaborate costumes that people have been working on for months.  It surely is a sight to behold!!

This photo shows a girl dressed for carnival in a flamboyant costume of pink and gold complete with an elaborate headdress

Take a Tour

Whilst it’s perfectly possible to explore Trinidad independently, why not join a tour and let someone else sort out the logistics?  It’s a great idea, especially if time is limited.  Whenever we visit a new destination, we book a tour with a local guide.  There’s no better way to get under the skin of a place!  We use Viator  when we want to uncover interesting things to do in a new country.  They’re easy to use and book with, and we’ve had some amazing experiences with them.

Check out these options:

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TOGO – Best 10-day itinerary for a road trip from south to north

Table of Contents

Flights to Lomé 

How to get a togo visa, getting around togo, hotels in togo, togo itinerary day 1: arrival, togo itinerary day 2: partial lomé city tour and to sokodé, history of bassar, nangbani metal furnaces, what is a tata or takienta house, what to expect at the grottoes de nok, togo itinerary day 6: kara to kpalimé, togo itinerary day 7: kpalimé and surroundings and go to lomé, voodoo in aného-glidji, day 9: lomé city tour and beach time, togo itinerary day 10: fly out.

Togo is a tiny country in west Africa and probably not the first destination in Africa most people would choose. I had Togo on my radar since I did a two-week road trip in Benin late 2019. Due to the pandemic, it took three years to finally visit, and Togo did surprise me. It has similarities to Benin but it’s also completely different. In this 10-day Togo itinerary I take you from south to north and east to west. I have pieced together the most efficient itinerary, but I will advice where you can add time to relax and do nothing. Enjoy Togo!

Planning a Togo road trip itinerary

To make an efficient road trip and not loose time so that you can see everything you need to do some planning. I’ll list the basics which should be enough to have a great and smooth trip.

There are various local flights from neighbouring countries to Togo but intercontinentally the choice is limited. Best options are Brussels Airlines, Air France or Kenya Airways. One expert tip: Check also the business class fare. When I went it was just 200€ more with Brussels Airlines and so much more comfortable. Once you arrive at the airport exchange money as it’s most easy there and rates are good. 

Togo has an e-visa system for many nationalities. Make sure to use the official Togo e-visa site . If you cannot take one there is no other options as to get one from an embassy. 

Togo is a small country but getting from the capital Lomé to the far north is a 15-17 hour drive. I highly recommend contacting Romain (contact me for his WhatsApp number) who I used to drive me around Togo. He is based in Benin but Togo is just an hour away for him so he drives in Togo as well. If you have 3 weeks time then visit both countries by adding a 2-week Benin road trip to this Togo road trip. It’s a great combination in west Africa .

In Lomé there are some overpriced luxury hotels. Although I love luxury hotels it has to be fair to what you get. So, it was better to book something smaller. In Lomé the New Robinson Plage is a place I recommend. Hotel Central in Sokodé (ask for a bungalow), Hôtel La Douceur in Kara (small rooms but awesome restaurant) and Hotel Parc Residence in Kpalimé (best pool in Togo) all have clean rooms, hot water, a bar and restaurant and good rates. 

Now lets have a look at the Togo itinerary which I perfected after visiting Togo. 

My arrival was in the late afternoon / early evening which meant I did not have a lot of time left to do something on the day of arrival. I do prefer a daylight flight over any night flight though. After a quick dinner in Lomé with my driver/guide I went to my hotel. I booked a room for the guide in the same hotel so we could travel around more efficiently. After going over the itinerary one more time, I went to bed early as all the next days would be exceptionally long ones with lots of driving.

PLANNING TIP: If your arrival was in the morning then make sure you visit the places of day 9 the first day as you probably will fly out in the morning time and not have time to see them on day 9. EXTEND YOUR TRIP: Add an additional day to relax and enjoy the Togolaise beaches around Lomé.

Driving north to Sokodé is around 350 kilometers over a well paved road but will take 6-7 hours depending on traffic. This meant, for the Lomé city tour, I did not have much time on the first day. I do recommend visiting the Voodoo Akodessewa Fetish Market before heading north to have plenty of time on day nine for the remaining places of interest in Lomé. I departed the hotel at 08:30AM which was early enough.

The Voodoo Akodessewa Fetish Market is a bit touristy I must admit but it is worth visiting. You’ll see all kinds of dead animals and other Voodoo related items. Do note that these animals all died a natural cause! You can also have a small ceremony to have your travels blessed. I did that, to make sure this Togo road trip itinerary would have a safe ending.

After an hour it was time to start driving north. A long way. After just over 3 hours it was time for lunch in Atakpame. Late afternoon I arrived in Sokodé where I had dinner at the hotel. Most days I had dinner at the hotels. It is more expensive than going out of course but it is clean and actually the same food and same taste. Foufou with chicken and sauce is a local dish and highly recommended.

Togo itinerary day 3: Sokodé to Kara via Bassar

I love to learn about a country and its history and that history you can find in Bassar. A full day of this Togo itinerary is dedicated to trace the metallurgy history of Togo in the Bassar area. Make sure to leave around 9-10AM so you will be in Kara in the late afternoon. In the north of Togo there are plenty of police/military checkpoints which can slow you down.

Iron working in the area dates back to the 5 th century BC and the place was in use until the 20 th century. The area is known for its iron deposits and the local communities developed a way to extra the iron in a remarkably interesting technological way. There are various sites around Bassar but the best to visit are the metal furnaces of Nangbani as they are most easily reached.

EXTEND YOUR TRIP: Plan additional days in Fazao-Malfakassa National Park to see elephants. Although I love wildlife, for me this was not the most interesting to see in Togo. I drove through the park but of course the wildlife was deep in the park and I didn’t see anything. The area is lovely though.

At the metal furnaces site of Nangbani you will see dozens of furnaces. Some furnaces are complete, some torn by erosion. They function in an interesting way. These furnaces are like a cylinder with an inner heat resistant layer and outer more soft layer to keep the heat inside. Once the miners extracted the iron ore from the mines (which still exists as well but I couldn’t find a way to visit) they would take it to the furnaces. The furnaces would be filled with layers of ore and dry wood and then the furnaces would be closed and put on fire. It would be heated for 2-3 days, and all the iron would drip to the bottom. The iron would be taken out and sold to traders from far away.

I really enjoyed my visit and learning about this ancient way of iron working. At the moment the site is listed as a tentative UNESCO site but I would say it certainly deserves status. After the visit I had lunch in Bassar, visited the market and continued via Kabou to Kara for the night. In Kara, I stayed in Hôtel La Douceur, but even if you don’t stay there go for and have their Foufou with intestine sauce. Make it spicy. It is so good.

Day 4: Day trip to Koutammakou from Kara

Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba, is at the moment the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Togo. As one of my goals is to see all UNESCO sites , I had no choice as to add a visit to this Togo road trip itinerary. Anyone travelling to Togo should visit Koutammakou especially if you are interested in local culture and ethnics. The site is most easily reached as a day trip from Kara via Kandé which is still a 2.5-hour drive one way. This day was for me the highlight of my Togo road trip itinerary.

I departed Kara around 08:30AM and reached the entrance around 10:00. There is a small fee you must pay there, and you must go with a local guide. Make sure to respect the local Tamberma people as they live in their traditional way. It another 20-30 minutes’ drive to the Tata houses (or Takienta).

The Tata or Takienta houses are like castles made from mud and straw. They are mostly two stories high, with the ground floor reserved for their livestock. A “middle” floor served as kitchen and adjacent tower which often served as a granary. The roof is mostly flat with towers, serving as storage, with thatched roofs. There are sleeping compartments on the roof as well. With just one entrance, and complete darkness after the entrance, the people could easily defend their homes. Around the entrance you can also see various Voodoo deities protecting the family home.

These houses are grouped together, including additional secondary buildings, forming small villages. The villages are often built around a spring, water stream and with good fertile land surrounding it. The Batammariba people live in great harmony with the nature surrounding them. They still follow their long-standing traditions.

I visited two villages. One which does receive most tourists, it also had the UNESCO sign there. The other village I reached by walking for about 30 minutes. It was much more authentic and saw the locals doing their daily thing. In the end, back at the first village I had the opportunity to taste some of their local alcoholic brew. It was around 2PM when I left for Kandé for a light snack and a cold beer.

Before returning to Kara I visited the Tcharè village for the famous black smiths and also Sarakawa wildlife park. The latter was a bit disappointing as it’s more like a zoo as many animals are not even originally from Togo. Dinner I had back in Kara with some delicious bush meat.

Day 5: Day trip to Grottoes de Nok from Kara

In the north of Togo, towards the border with Burkina Faso, the landscaped changes drastically. There are huge sandstone cliffs facing north. It’s these cliffs that are of interest as there are shelters at the top of several cliffs dating to the 17-19 th century. Indigenous people used these shelters in periods of turmoil, including slave trade by Germany , in the area. Four of these places are on the tentative UNESCO list as “Greniers en série des grottes de Nok, Mamproug, Kouba et Bagou”. I visited the site in Nok as it is the largest and easiest to get to.

Why make a day trip from Kara to see these shelters? This is because even today there is a bit of turmoil spilling from Burkina Faso into Togo and the very north can, at times, give troubles. This is the longest day of driving of this Togo road trip itinerary, but it is worth it. It took around 4 hours to reach the grottoes of Nok. I left Kara at 07:00 and around 11:00 the view was as in the photo below. I reached the cliffs, but I had to get up there, which was another hour driving through tiny villages which don’t see tourists for long periods.

Once at the top of the cliffs it was about 200 meters to the entrance. There is a staircase which takes you down about 20 meters to the grotto. The grotto of Nok is approximately 50 meters long, and 10-15 meters deep at most. In times of turmoil the people would fill the storage places with grain and other food. With a natural cool temperature, it was the perfect place to keep food during a siege. At the grottoes de Nok there is also a fresh water source for water supply. Inside the grotto the ceiling is still black from the people using the place to cook food and live. Today, these grottoes are still a sanctuary and play a significant spiritual role in the local’s life.

When I climbed down and saw the place for the first time, I really had a wow, which is rare for me. It’s an amazing place, and, if you make it to Togo then make sure to plan your Togo itinerary all the way up north and visit as well. Make sure to go with a local guide and plan it ahead as the site is closed otherwise. The visit took about 90 minutes, after which I drove back, via another road, for safety, to Kara.

Day 6 was another long day of driving, but that’s Togo. The sixth day of this Togo itinerary goes back south, southwest to be precise, to Kpalimé. There are a few interesting stops on the way but in the end, it is an easy day. First stop at the weavers in Bafilo. This is set up as a community project where locals, mostly without jobs, can go and weave. The produce is then sold to produce traditional clothes in the surrounding areas. A good initiative.

Continuing south make sure to take the old road so that you’ll pass the Aledjo fault rock which is an interesting place as the road goes through a rock that’s tilted from the mountain (see photo in the gallery). In Atakpamé it was time for a cold beer along the road. I also bought a full bunch of bananas from the street sellers. It was enough for lunch.

Just before reaching Kpalimé in the late afternoon, it was time to watch the bat cave. It was also the first place outside of Lomé I met other (western) travelers. These caves are spiritual for the locals. The story goes that long ago, they had to leave and found shelter by following the bats. In the afternoon, thousands of bats come out of the caves to look for food. Quite a spectacle to see and worth stopping for an hour.

I arrived at Hotel Parc Residence in Kpalimé around dinner time. Make sure to book a room in the main building. It is a great hotel with the best pool in Togo. For dinner, I recommend one of the dishes with locally produced pepper. It is amazing.

The area around Kpalimé is a preferred day trip from Lomé by many tourists that visit Togo. I wasn’t the only one compared to the north. After breakfast I left my luggage for storage at the hotel and drove towards the Kloto Mountain which is located near the border with Ghana. I started at Château Viale which was build in the mid-20 th century by the French which ruled Togo at that time. The owner had various plantations in the area. After independence it fell into disrepair but can be visited. Plans are to turn it into a hotel which would be great as the views there are amazing and the climate cool.

From Château Viale I continued my way further towards the Ghanese border to visit a local village. After checking this out it was time to head back to Kpalimé to visit the cathedral located in the center. There is also a beautiful craft market / center in Kpalimé in case you must pick up some souvenirs. After lunch I continued and drove back to Lomé where I stayed again at the New Robinson Plage enjoyed the afternoon at the beach with a good cold beer and after a nice dinner with a good bottle of French wine.

EXTEND YOUR TRIP: An extra day in Kpalimé is easily spent. Enjoy the pool of the hotel or go hiking in the Kloto rainforest to one of the waterfalls. Both, or combined, are perfect options to extend this Togo itinerary by a day and have more time to relax.

Day 8: Day trip to Aného-glidji & Agbodrafo

Aného-glidji was added to the tentative UNESCO list of Togo back in 2021 so, why not make a visit. Even if it wasn’t added it’s a nice day trip from Lomé along the coast towards Benin. The area is most famous for the remains of German colonial time as they had their capital there until it moved to Lomé. The buildings do need a lot of renovations, but it was interesting to see this European colonial architecture there. After checking out most of the structures we picked up a local guide to visit a Voodoo sanctuary.

The tentative UNESCO sites also includes the Voodoo Sacred Woods which are a no go for foreigners and non-believers. I could see the entrance though and went to a local house have a glass of pastis which, of course, is a remainder of French colonial time. Then, the local guide suddenly got permission to go to a Voodoo sanctuary for a ceremony. This was unplanned and really raw and local. It took about an hour and, although I don’t believe in Voodoo, it was interesting to learn their ways.

After the Voodoo ritual we drove to the Benin border and lunch in Aneho. On the way back to Lomé make sure to stop in Agbodrafo at the Maison des Esclaves. The point of no return. A sad time in history but it is history and should be preserved. Slaves were brought from northern parts of Togo to here by the colonist before putting on a ship to the new worlds. At the Maison des Esclaves, also called Woold Homé you can see the offices upstairs and the tiny cellar under the house where the slaves were kept in darkness.

Between Agbodrafo and Lomé are some great beaches and plenty of places to stay. I don’t like to change hotels that much as I prefer to drive a bit more. If it doesn’t matter to you, I recommend staying around the area for the night. It will save an hour driving. It was late afternoon before I arrived back in Lomé.

The final day of this Togo road trip itinerary is an easy one. Time to sleep long, have an easy breakfast before heading to Lomé center. There are just a few places of interest left. I recommend starting at the Cathedral of Lomé for a short visit and then go to the National Museum of Togo.  A visit takes about an hour not more. Opposite the museum is Independence Square and the Independence monument. Guards will tell you not to enter the square, but a guide helps, and we were allowed to quickly see the monument and get some photos done.

Another interesting museum is Palais de Lomé which holds now a modern art museum. Make sure before you go that it’s opened as I arrived when it just closed for lunch and the rest of the day. Luckily the guards allowed me to enter the gardens and see the Palais de Lomé. Luckily it had enough windows to have a look inside as well.

I decided to go back to the hotel and just relax. You could also visit the local markets, have a lunch in Lomé or wander a bit around but honestly, Lomé isn’t the nicest capital in the world.

I could have decided to fly out the previous day but, taking 1 night more meant I could fly in business class for the price of economy plus just 200 euro. A no brainer.

Togo really surprised me as I thought it would be just Benin but less interesting. Togo is smaller yes, but it’s totally different. The highlight for sure was Koutammakou but the Metallurgic Furnaces of Bassar and the Grottoes de Nok were the big surprise. They deserve UNESCO status in my opinion for sure. Will I return to Togo? No, but that’s my answer to almost all places around the world.

If you go to Togo, I’m sure you will enjoy! If you want to go longer check out my Ghana road trip itinerary and Benin road trip itinerary which can easily be combined to this Togo road trip itinerary.

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Did you visit Togo too or do you have questions? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Love to hear from you!

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    The government of Trinidad and Tobago has a robust counter-terrorism strategy and co-operates with international governments to reduce the risk. Visitors should check with their government's most up-to-date travel guidelines, but shouldn't be put off travelling to Trinidad. Emergency numbers. Fire and ambulance - 990; Police - 999

  23. TOGO

    Hotels in Togo. Togo itinerary day 1: Arrival. Togo itinerary day 2: Partial Lomé city tour and to Sokodé. Togo itinerary day 3: Sokodé to Kara via Bassar. History of Bassar. Nangbani metal furnaces. Day 4: Day trip to Koutammakou from Kara. What is a Tata or Takienta house. Day 5: Day trip to Grottoes de Nok from Kara.