Live anywhere long enough and you’re inclined to become immune to its charm. The beaches aren’t as dazzling. The culture isn’t as fascinating. The residents aren’t as welcoming. And your day-to-day activities tend to dull the shine of otherwise exciting experiences.
Lucky for me, Tobago isn’t just ‘anywhere’, it’s paradise on earth. So, after two stints and a total of almost 3 years, I still remain in awe and enamored of this most remarkable Caribbean island I have the privilege of calling Home.
The smaller of the pair of islands that comprise the twin island state of T&T, Tobago is the authentic and unadulterated complement to her industrialized Big Sister, Trinidad. Of course, the destination isn’t ideal for everyone but, if you’re a conscientious traveler who truly wants to ‘get away’ from it all, Destination Tobago should be on your Travel Bucket List.
1. Because…Seclusion #offthegrid
Beaches and waterfalls all to yourself. Uncluttered hiking and biking trails. Great restaurants that don’t require a reservation. And uncrowded boutique hotels. Still a relatively undiscovered gem, Tobago is one of the few Caribbean islands that offers the natural beauty travelers are seeking without the horde of tourists. No crowds. No lines. No rush. The island’s tourism product favors eco experiences that provide a reprieve from the masses so serenity is almost guaranteed.
2. Because…Authenticity. #truthintravel
Whether its a result of calculated restraint or unconscious happenstance, Tobago has managed to remain unspoiled by the wave of development that has turned many Caribbean islands into cookie cutter resort destinations. In Tobago, modernization is tempered by tradition and the natural environment is allowed to flourish in a manner that delivers a vintage Caribbean experience. While on the island you can still drive into the countryside and purchase bread baked fresh in a dirt oven; or visit a village during its annual Harvest and be fed delicious home cooked meals by complete strangers; or acquire free fish after helping fishermen pull in their catch. Indeed, if simple pleasures are what you’re seeking, Tobago’s ability to deliver the perfect dose of comfort alongside an unpretentious atmosphere makes it worthy of your travel bucket list.
3. Because…Beaches. #vitaminsea
Gorgeous beaches aren’t exclusive to Tobago, but it doesn’t hurt that the island is full of them. Fifty-five to be exact (at least according to tourism officials). We’re talking the startling sapphire blue waters of the Caribbean Sea on one side, and the vibrant emerald green of the Atlantic Ocean on the other. There are secluded bays that can only be accessed by boat; romantic coves just big enough for two people; long stretches of powder soft sand that host only a handful of people at a time; and of course, for those who need it, a selection of beach facilities with all the amenities required for a comfortable day-long excursion. Whatever your preference, there are scores of options from which you can choose and I promise that none of them will leave you disappointed.
4. Because…Views #nofilter
Pastel colored fishing boats bobbing on sapphire blue waters. Kaleidoscopic houses dotting emerald green hillsides. It seems that along every winding road, around almost every bend, there’s a vibrant vista waiting to take your breath away and stop you dead in your tracks. Even the island’s bars are measured based on the quality of their views. A photographer (professional or amateur) could easily exhaust multiple memory cards shooting the views you’ll encounter on any given day. An avid Instagrammer will quickly fill up their smartphone with enough selfies and plandids to keep their profiles relevant for weeks. And those appreciators of true beauty, who aren’t concerned with lighting, angles, or social media validation, will be perfectly content to do nothing but soak in the sheer beauty of the scene before them. Whichever category you fall into, the many postcard perfect views you’ll encounter the deeper you escape into Tobago’s countryside, is enough for you to add this island to your travel bucket list.
5. Because…Culture #exploremore
Tobago has one of the richest, most well preserved cultures in the Caribbean. The sight of goats thundering down a race track tethered to jockeys by precisely 9 feet of rope is not something you see everyday but visit the island during Easter and the annual goat races is all anyone will be talking about. Similarly, the thought of joining a community-wide wedding procession featuring a bride, a groom and several dozen bridesmaids and groomsmen sounds unreal, but make your way to the village of Moriah during the Heritage Festival and you’ll find yourself swept up in the melee. But all of these things are a part of the Tobago experience and Tobagonians do their very best to preserve these traditions and promote them to curious visitors.
6. Because…Nature. #naturelovers
Within its 116 square miles and the surrounding ocean, Tobago lays claim to approximately 55 beaches; the oldest rain forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere; over 20 dive sites; the largest brain coral in the world; over a dozen (known) waterfalls; 220 species of birds; 110 species of butterflies; a sandbar whose water allegedly holds mystical powers; acres upon acres of explorable mangrove swamp and so much more. The island’s terrain includes towering hills that deliver gorgeous views, as well as deep valleys that contain hidden coves and rippling rivers. Whether you’re looking for a soft adventure amidst Tobago’s more rugged landscapes, or you just want to relax on a quiet beach without any interruptions, the island’s natural offerings can cater to your needs.
7. Because…Trinidad. #islandhopping
Truthfully, if Tobago is your cup of tea, Trinidad might not be high on your list. But, if you’ve already journeyed this far, take advantage of the two-for-one travel deal that is T&T. Often referred to as the NYC of the Caribbean, Trinidad brings the hype and vibes. Home to the famous Trinidad Carnival, the island also offers a vibrant nightlife and extensive shopping. So, if you’re looking to pick up the pace a little bit, or you’re simply curious, you can hop on a 20 minute flight or take a 3 hour ferry ride to Trinidad an soak up a completely different experience.
Fact: This type of off-the-beaten path vacationing might not be everyone’s cup of tea. If however, you’re the type of traveler whose ideal Caribbean vaca includes secluded beaches, million dollar views, and unique cultural experiences, then Tobago needs to be on your travel itinerary. So hop online and book your flight to come pay us a visit!