Idyllic off-the-grid escapes. Immersive cultural experiences. Invigorating soft adventures. And so much more…Within its 300 km² Tobago possesses a rich blend of natural and manmade diversions that cater to a variety of travel preferences. Whether you’re simply craving sun-sea-and-sand or you’re in the mood to get your adrenaline pumping, here are my picks for 101 cool, things to do in Tobago.
Please note: Some of the activities listed may be temporarily on pause due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Things to do in Tobago for Beach Bums
1. Spend a day at Pigeon Point
Undeniably the most popular beach in Tobago, Pigeon Point Heritage Park is all azure water and near-snow-white sand. This impeccable stretch of coastline features two restaurants and bars, an ice cream parlour serving up yummy local flavours, a shopping center that oozes “island vibes”, several watersports activities, and all the amenities you’ll need for a comfortable day of leisure. With scenic spots generously sprinkled throughout the sprawling estate, Pigeon Point is also perfect for photo ops. It’s no wonder CNN ranked Pigeon Point among the top 100 beaches in the world!
2. Chillax in silent seclusion at Englishman’s Bay
As well-known as it might be, Englishman’s Bay still remains a great option for those seeking a low-key hideaway. Ambiguously located on the outskirts of Castara village, this beach still only receives a handful of visitors at a time. Bonus: most beachgoers remain out-of-sight as they seek shade beneath the thick foliage lining the shore, so it almost feels like you have this prime coastal real estate all to yourself!
3. Get a taste of castaway life at Pirate’s Bay
Encircled by lush vegetation and graced with clear, calm water, Pirate’s Bay serves up epic beach vibes without the masses. The unofficial port of call for pirates back in the day, it’s now a safe haven for more socially acceptable activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, and sunning on the sand. If you’re feeling fit you can opt to walk to the beach from the village. However, I recommend hiring a local “boatman” – it’s a lot faster and way more fun to arrive by sea.
4. Enjoy homestyle BBQ on No Man’s Land
Beachside BBQ on this narrow sand spit is the perfect intermission in a tour-filled day. The smell of the home-style cooking is enough to make your mouth water all the way from the Buccoo Reef. When it’s finally time to chow down, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the richly seasoned flavours of freshly caught fish. Just cop a squat under a shady tree to consume your meal, then veg out on the sand to help you recover from the next-level “sweet-hand” (tasty food).
5. Swim & Snorkel at Lover’s Bay
Clear water meets pink(ish) sand to create a tiny, paradisical strip of beach that’s just right for two. Accessible only by boat, Lover’s Bay features an expansive coral reef that practically begs you to get your snorkel on. Plus, the scenery’s so sublime, if nothing else, you’re sure to capture a pic (or 10) for the ‘Gram! While this hidden spot might be hard to get to, once you arrive, I promise you won’t be in any rush to leave.
6. Reclaim your youth at the Nylon Pool
A dip in Tobago’s very own fountain of youth is mandatory for every visitor to the island. Dubbed the Nylon Pool by Princess Margaret, who compared the clarity of the water to her nylon stockings, this shallow sandbank is located miles offshore and it’s a popular destination for boat tours. Why you might ask? Well, legend has it that swimming in the Nylon Pool has the power to reverse aging by 10 years for women, enhance a man’s endowment, and bless the union of any couple that kisses beneath its shallow waters.
7. Discover the botanic beauty of Indian Bay
It’s rare to find a pristine beach with a perfectly manicured garden, but Indian Bay is just that. Before you even get to the coastline at the bottom of the hill, you’re treated to a lush, magical oasis. Climb the steps to capture the beautifully constructed deck overlooking a stunning ocean view. Then make your way down to the beach where lush vegetation and calm waters frame the dark sand.
8. Cruise up to Cotton Bay
A beach that can only be accessed by boat is definitely worth your attention – and your time. Calm waters and a massive strip of footprint-less sand await you at Cotton Bay. On this beach, amenities are non-existent, which makes it all the more appealing (to me). So pack a cooler full of edibles and drinkables, and hire a “boat man” to take you around the rocks from King Peter’s Bay to this beach lover’s paradise. Don’t forget a sizable garbage bag for your trash because in Tobago we’re big on taking only pictures and leaving only footprints.
9. Retreat into the trees at Buccoo Beach
Soft white sand and calm waters are just a small sample of what’s in store at Buccoo Beach. Get your adrenaline pumping as you bounce around the inflatable water park, or cast off from the shore on one of the boat tours that launch from the jetty. Once you’re finished exerting all that energy, retreat to the shade of the almond trees that line the beach. Be sure to check out the towering mangroves, not only do they add a hint of mystery to this often overlooked beach, but they’re also a great backdrop for dramatic photo ops.
10. Hike to Measure Bay
I’m a sucker for secluded beaches and you can’t get more off-grid than the hidden beach at Measure Bay. The hike takes you along a riverbank, down a steep incline, and through the ocean (yes, you literally have to walk through the ocean), but the 30-minute journey is absolutely worth it. This stunning little cove offers limited shelter, so your first priority will be to find a shady spot to set up camp. Once you’re settled, your second order of business is to climb to the top of the rocks and be amazed by the contrast of the calm, shallow bay on one side, and the churning, white foam of the Atlantic Ocean on the other side.
Things to do in Tobago for Water Babies
11. Explore Tobago’s underwater world
Scores of dive sites dot Tobago’s waters, ranging from sprawling reefs to purpose-sunk wrecks. These idyllic underwater worlds are teeming with over 300 species of kaleidoscopic coral and an impressive array of marine life. On a great dive-day, you’re treated to impressive visibility that illuminates the landscape a few dozen feet ahead of you. Patience and vigilance are usually rewarded with close-encounters with graceful manta rays, bashful turtles, and even an apathetic nurse shark or two.
12. Take a Glass Bottom Boat to Buccoo Reef
If you make it to Tobago and don’t visit the island’s largest coral reef, did you really visit Tobago? Buccoo Reef comprises five reef flats populated with a wide variety of marine life. It was designated as a protected marine park in 1973 so the best way to experience this natural wonder is with a certified glass bottom boat tour operator. Like many other reefs around the world, Buccoo Reef has lost some of its natural luster, however, the authorities are implementing stricter regulations to protect this habitat in the hope that it will eventually be restored to its natural glory.
13. Witness the magnificence of bioluminescence
Looking for something truly magical to do in Tobago? Take in a bioluminescence tour and watch the night come alive. For those who aren’t familiar, bioluminescence is the brilliant blue light emitted by living organisms as a result of a certain chemical reaction, and Tobago is fortunate enough to be blessed with these amazing creatures! I had my first bioluminescence encounter during a night dive at Kariwak Reef, but the standup paddle tour with Radical Sports presents a much easier way to witness this spectacle.
14. Jet ski along the island’s scenic coastlines
Jet skiing gives you a rare opportunity to pick up the pace in otherwise laidback Tobago. The Caribbean Sea offers up near-flat water surfaces that are ideal for speed, and there’s something mesmerizing about watching nature morphe into a haze of vibrant greens and blues as you zip along the shoreline. As fun as it may be, if you do decide to jetski, book this activity with a reputable company, and that you adhere to all the rules put in place to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of swimmers in the vicinity.
15. Get your Standup Paddle on
Standup paddle isn’t as easy as it looks, but it’s an alternative way to experience Bago beach life. Rent a SUP board or take a lesson with Radical Sports at Pigeon Point to sharpen your skills before venturing off on your own. Either way, balancing atop this board as you calmly cruise through the water is a great way to take in the view of the peninsula’s pristine coastline. You may fall off a few times, but that’s all a part of the fun!
16. Glide through the water in a clear Kayak
Kayaking isn’t as easy as it looks, but it’s totally worth the effort when the kayak you’re steering is as clear as the water you’re gliding over. Tobago Waterholics has paired a cute and classy vessel with the gorgeous backdrop of Pigeon Point’s pristine coastline to create the ultimate self-guided tour. If you’re a seasoned kayaker, feel free to cover as much of the “trail” as possible within the one-hour rental period. However, there’s no shame in taking it slow and coolly bobbing along, paddling occasionally to remain on course. Whichever your preference, I promise you’ll thoroughly enjoy the experience and hopefully capture some beautiful shots along the way.
Things to do in Tobago for the ‘Gram
17. Dance along “Rainforest Road”
The stretch of asphalt cutting through the Main Ridge Forest Reserve was voted the Most Soothing Drive in Tobago…by me. Flanked by lush greenery and with very little vehicular traffic, it’s undeniably the most picturesque roadway on the island. So why not take advantage of the scenery and solitude by snatching a photo or two on this empty thoroughfare? NB: The official name is Roxborough-Parlatuvier Road but I think “Rainforest Road” has a much nicer ring to it.
18. Capture a shot at the iconic Pigeon Point Jetty
Allegedly the most photographed jetty in the world, the thatched roof hut at the end of Pigeon Point’s jetty seems to have been designed for Insta-worthy captures. Whether you’re snapping photos against the backdrop of a bright blue sky or a dramatic sunset, the jetty has become a destination unto itself. Its rustic appeal turns even the simplest moments into picturesque memories and you can’t pass up an opportunity for the ultimate Tobago photo op.
19. Feel dwarfed by the Speyside Waterwheel
Once the power source for a prosperous sugar mill, the giant waterwheel in Speyside now serves as a reminder of Tobago’s industrial past. It’s also a prime spot for photoshoots as nature blends perfectly with history to create a hauntingly beautiful setting. Be sure the capture shots from both sides as you’re treated to lush greenery to the east and the brilliant blue ocean to the west.
20. Snap a pic at the I ❤️ TOBAGO sign
The I ❤️ Tobago sign has been a major attraction since it’s unveiling in 2020. Located in Scarborough and set against a gorgeous ocean backdrop, it features a heart in T&T’s iconic red, white and black. Standing at over 6 ft, the tall letters are the ideal size for you to have all the fun posing beside them or between them. Fair warning: the sign is large and close to the road, so your best (and safest) bet is to capture your photos at an angle, from the side. The other option would be for your photographer to cross to the other side of Milford Road and wait patiently for a moment when there are no cars zooming by on the usually busy roadway.
21. Strike a pose in the Argyle driveway
Lined with towering, shady trees, the long driveway to Argyle waterfalls presents a dramatic, almost foreboding scene. With sunlight peeking through the thick canopy, fluttering leaves cast dramatic shadows, creating striking visuals that are well worth capturing. Luckily, it’s not a busy street so you’ll have sufficient time to frame your shot and snap a few different poses!
22. Step back in time at the Buccoo Mills
Looking like a scene straight out of a dream, the fairytale setting at the Buccoo Historical Park and Nature Center presents many ‘Grammable moments. These historical relics have withstood the test of time and represent a history as rich as their aesthetic is pleasing. From the sprawling green field to the towering centuries’ old relics, this location can transform even the most mundane moment into a picturesque memory.
23. Capture the perfect sunset shot at Black Rock
The massive, dark rocks at Black Rock Beach form a narrow channel that serves up just the right amount of drama for stunning photos from all angles. Fortunately, this beach is never crowded so there’s no need to rush as you capture impactful sunset silhouette photos as the sun dips below the horizon.
24. Frame yourself with palm trees at Plantations
A miniature version of Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard, the palm tree-lined driveway at Tobago Plantations is a great destination for Gram-worthy pics. These palms may be nowhere as tall as the ones found in LA, but that doesn’t make them any less stately. Caught from the right angle (i.e. very low) the trees can fill the frame perfectly. Keep in mind though that vehicular traffic is regular so don’t dawdle.
Things to do in Tobago for Nature Lovers
25. Be awed by Highland Waterfalls
The 45-minute trek to Highland waterfall in Moriah may not be for the faint of heart but it’s well worth the effort. Tobago’s tallest single-drop waterfall is every bit as stunning as you’d expect and you won’t want to pass up the opportuntiy to drink it all in, in person. With a nice, gravel-covered clearing ideal for picnics and a gorgeous plunge pool that’s ideal for swimming, you can easily spend a few hours relaxing here in peace and quiet. NB: The trail isn’t clearly marked and includes a few sharp drops so this hike shouldn’t be undertaken without a knowledgeable guide.
26. Dip in all 3 pools at Argyle Waterfalls
Tucked within Roxborough’s dense forest, Argyle towers at 175 ft with three stunning tiers that become more dramatic the higher you climb. A 15-minute stroll along a clear path makes it easily accessible and a popular destination for…well, basically…everyone. Admittedly, the first pool isn’t very mind-blowing but the second and third levels deliver multiple water flows and natural tubs that beckon you to step in and take a dip.
27. Take a leisurely stroll to Castara Waterfalls
Easily accessible via a brief 8-minute stroll along a well-defined trail, Castara waterfall stands approximately 20 ft tall amidst a serene setting of lush greenery. The water cascades into a deep green pool that serves as a great swimming hole for strong swimmers while the surrounding rocks are ideal spots for those who’re more inclined to wade in the shallow end of the pool and soak up the sun.
28. Enjoy a brisk walk to Parlatuvier waterfalls
Just a 3-minute walk from the North Coast Road, the falls comprise two pools (one natural and the other manmade) that seem to be nearly fully enveloped in dense vegetation. Thin cones of sunlight peak through the trees to make this forested reprieve seem almost magical, while a defunct campsite adds a rustic touch.
29. Experience wildlife encounters in the rainforest
The Main Ridge Forest Reserve is the oldest protected forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere. Spanning close to 4,000 hectares, the rainforest is home to over an impressive collection of butterflies, birds, and trees! Marked trails at various levels of difficulty make for easy trekking, so all nature enthusiasts can safely venture into the bowels of the reserve to experience Mother Nature in all her raw glory.
30. Feed the birds at Adventure Farm and Nature Reserve
Hummingbirds, kisskadees, and motmots are just some of the birds found flitting from flower to feeder at the Adventure Farm and Nature Reserve. A lush sanctuary located in Arnos Vale, this family-friendly park provides a peaceful, controlled escape into nature. Indulge in a leisurely stroll along the clearly marked trail and train your eyes to spy the various species, or take the leisurely approach and have a seat in the observation center where bird feeders and tree branches adorned with fresh fruit attract dozens of birds with absolutely no effort on your part.
31. Enjoy the outdoors in style with CampNation Tobago
If you love being out in nature but you aren’t a fan of “roughing it” CampNation Tobago offers the perfect, luxe glamping package. A spacious 20ft tent, with a full-size bed and couch, are just the tip of the iceberg. The experience also includes a professionally catered meal in a beautifully appointed outdoor dining area, a cozy lounge area with hammocks and a toasty fire pit and, if you really want to take things up a few more notches, massages can be booked at an additional cost.
32. Go Birdwatching in the wild
Over 200 species of tropical birds can be found flying about Tobago, which explains why avid birdwatchers flock to the island on the lookout for rare bird sightings. Even those with just a casual interest can appreciate the beauty of the brilliant plumes of the blue-crowned motmot or the magnificent tail of a wild peacock.
33. Feel dwarfed beside the silk cotton tree
One of the most famous trees in Tobago, the towering silk cotton in Runnemede has a long and sordid past. Legend has it that the infamous witch, Gang Gang Sarah, used it as a launchpad in her attempt to fly back to Africa, but instead fell to her death. Today, the tree’s massive roots are wreaking havoc on the Northcoast Road, however, superstitions abound that anyone attempting to cut it down will meet their death so it remains standing to this day.
34. Soak in some Mangrove Magic
Towering roots rise up to flank the meandering wooden walkway that weaves its way through the mangroves at Tobago Plantations. The effect is a dramatic scene that is simultaneously magical and eerie, presenting many moments to bond with nature as well as capture stunning snaps. From the birds darting in and out of the sky to the crabs clambering about in the mud below, a visit to the mangrove is all at once a geological excursion and a visual treat.
35. Explore Little Tobago
A thriving wildlife reserve, Little Tobago is a tiny island off the coast of Speyside that serves as a haven for a wide variety of species. A popular destination for birdwatchers, some of the winged creatures commonly found within the island’s 100 hectares, are the red-billed tropicbirds and the magnificent frigate birds. A brief glass-bottom boat ride transports visitors to the island, offering peeks at colorful parrotfish and angelfish along the way.
36. Go Turtle watching
Several of Tobago’s beaches serve as nesting sites for the leatherback turtle from January to September each year. Grafton, Black Rock, and Turtle Beach are among the stretches of coastline visited by these incredible creatures as they come ashore to lay their eggs during nesting season. Undoubtedly one of nature’s most mesmerizing rituals, if you’re on the island during this period, turtle watching should be a top priority.
37. Appreciate the flora in the Botanical Gardens
African tulips, orchids, and brilliant flamboyant trees are just a few of the plants you’ll find within the 3 hectares of the Botanical Gardens in Scarborough. Once part of a sugar estate, this stretch of well-manicured greenery now serves as a picture-perfect retreat on the outskirts of the usually bustling town.
Things to do in Tobago for a Drink (or two)
38. Drink in the view at Glasgow’s Bar
Perches above Parlatuvier Bay, Glasgow’s serves up a million-dollar view for the bargain price of a single beer. Regardless of whether you grab a seat on the lower deck or the top floor, you’re going to have a great vantage point to take in the kaleidoscopic scenery of the bay’s blue water, the surrounding greenery, and the village’s colorful homes that all come together to form the most idyllic real-life painting.
39. Knock back a beer at Speyside Overlooking
The view through the bank of windows at the back of Speyside Overlooking Restaurant & Bar is heavenly. On a clear day, nature’s finest shades of greens and blues stretch well beyond Speyside beach, all the way to Goat Island and even further than that. Fancy, specialty cocktails, may not be on the menu, but just knocking back a cold beer while staring through those windows is more than enough.
40. Take a Sip at Time to Wine
A cafe and wine bar, as well as a store, Time to Wine is a shabby chic outfit located on Store Bay Local Road. The island’s premier source for all things fine and all things wine, you’re bound to find a bottle of something you’d like to sample and quite possibly buy. Order a meal off their menu or get yourself a cheese platter and settle in for a relaxing night of quality spirits.
41. Chill out at Anchor Bar & Grill
The “bar” portion of Mt. Irvine’s Anchor Bar & Grill may lack conventional aesthetic appeal but it more than makes up for it in beachfront views and rustic charm. The miniature wooden structure is a low-key watering hole for beachgoers during the day but at night, it transforms into a hotspot with music blaring, fish frying (literally), and a quirky collection of beach boys, tourists, and the after-work happy hour crew all unwinding and liming together. I’ll definitely cheers to that!
42. Enjoy the manmade cove at Renmar’s
Grabbing a drink at Renmar’s in Pigeon Point is almost as imperative as visiting the iconic beach itself. Somewhat of an institution on the island, this beach bar (more commonly referred by the owner’s name, “Basso’s”) recently acquired its very own miniature cove. This rare amenity, along with the fact that the bar offers both indoor and outdoor seating, makes Renmar a great place to grab a drink, listen to some good music, and bask in a pseudo-private beach experience!
43. Sample Tradition’s legendary mango shot
The mango shot served exclusively at Traditions is legendary! Sweet and spicy with just the right amount of alcohol to give it a nice kick, this shot is a must-try when you’re on the island. Don’t bother asking for the recipe as the bartenders are tightlipped about their concoction but there’s no need to mix it yourself when there’s always an endless supply behind the counter.
44. Drink coconut water from the Shell
Coconut water is delicious. But fresh coconut water straight from the shell is next-level refreshing! Coconut vendors can be found along the roadside in almost every village in Tobago. From east to west there’s never a shortage of fresh coconut water so be sure to get your fill. Bonus: consume it on-the-spot then have the vendor to split it open so you can enjoy the jelly inside – yum!
45. Soak in the sunset from Bago Bar
If it weren’t for the massive Carib bottle tipped over and seemingly pouring its contents onto the roof of Bago Bar, you’d likely miss this inconspicuous spot just on the corner of Pigeon Point Road. With its deck on the edge of Swallows Bay, Bago Bar serves up a great selection of drinks (and eats), along with fantastic ocean views. Arrive just as the sun is going down and you’ll be treated to the most spectacular and uninterrupted sunset view.
Things to do in Tobago for Foodies
46. Savour a serene meal at Shore Things Cafe & Crafts
A quaint restaurant overlooking the ocean in Lambeau, Shore Things serves up scrumptious local meals, refreshing homemade juices and oodles of homey charm. Owner operated with a staff that’s as pleasant as the dishes are tasty, Shore Things curated a rustic, kitschy-cute aesthetic long before Instagram made it cool. Now, this seaside hideaway attracts a steady flow of diners who come for the food, return for the ambiance, and always appreciate the company of the chirping birds that frequent the well-stocked bird feeder.
47. Enjoy the best seafood at Fish Pot
Don’t let Fish Pot’s simple facade fool you, this unassuming restaurant in Black Rock serves up world-class cuisine. You’ll never go wrong ordering their catch of the day but regardless of whether you opt for the mahi-mahi or lobster, you’re guaranteed to get seafood that was caught only hours before and expertly cooked to perfection. From scrumptious side dishes to decadent desserts, your tastebuds will be beside themselves as a result of all that flavor.
48. Experience fine dining al fresco at Seahorse Inn
The Seahorse Restaurant & Inn is a staple on any food-focused Tobago itinerary. Whether you’re feasting on seafood, red meat, or going vegetarian, rest assured that this particular fine dining experience is unmatched elsewhere on the island. Savor perfectly prepared and plated meals while listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean as you dine al fresco. Be sure to save room for dessert though, because their pineapple cheesecake cannot be missed!
49. Dine Seaside at Suckhole
A quaint seaside restaurant in the equally quaint village of Charlotteville, Suckhole Restaurant & Bar is known as much for its notoriously long wait-times as for its delicious menu. But the wait is always worth it. With minimal frills as it relates to the ambiance, the focus is squarely on the impeccably presented meals. Crisp fries and rich salads accompany your choice of meat and you’re guaranteed to relish every bite!
50. Have lunch in a Treehouse
A Tobago landmark in its own right, Jemma’s Treehouse Restaurant is a mandatory stop on any eastbound road trip. Apart from the novelty of dining in a “treehouse”, Jemma’s serves up some of the most authentic and delicious homestyle Tobago cooking you’ll find anywhere on the island. From a hearty breadfruit pie to callaloo that tastes just like your grandmother used to make it, the menu screams “Sunday lunch”.
51. Catch your own dinner
Regularly enjoying fresh seafood is definitely a perk to living that good old #islandlife. But imagine how much cooler it would be if you actually hook your own catch of the day? Whether you book a fishing trip with a tour guide, ask an accommodating fisherman to tag along on one of his off-shore excursions, or simply cast your line from the shore, there’s no telling what you’ll reel in! If you’re lucky like me (or skilled), you’ll catch a big one on your first try!
52. Enjoy outdoor-chic dining at Cafe Down Low
Rustic meets chic at Cafe Down Low, a trendy restaurant tucked away ever so inconspicuously along Auchenskeoch Buccoo Bay Rd in Buccoo. It might be easy to miss, but once you’ve found it you’ll fall in love with this well-appointed, open-air restaurant. Not only is the local fare served here absolutely scrumptious, but Cafe Down Low also oozes Insta-worthy charm. From beautiful wooden finishes and trendy furniture that add just the right pop of modern appeal; to its open-air dining area and serene cigar room, this hidden gem is the chic island-dining experience you were looking for, without even knowing it!
53. Try the iconic dirt oven bread
Call me hyperbolic, but you need to believe me when I say no bread or pastry will ever be as delectable as those that emerge hot and fresh from a dirt oven. Made with great care and patience the traditional way, these goodies take a while to prepare, but the results are always scrumptious. Thankfully, dirt oven-baked goods remain part and parcel of the Tobago experience and a sprinkling of these homemade convections can be found in both west and east Tobago so be sure to pick up a treat or two while you’re on the island.
54. Eat the BEST curry crab and dumpling in Tobago
Every destination has a signature dish and for Tobago, that comes in the form of curried crab (still in the shell) and dumplings. Well seasoned and sauced, this Tobagonian dish is a mandatory item on any foodie’s agenda. But you can’t just have it anywhere…The best curry crab and dumpling (with a healthy serving of provision on the side) is actually found at a small eatery in Buccoo Village, on Golden Grove Road. If you didn’t have it there, I’m not really sure you’ve had it at all.
55. Dine “Under the Sea” at Edge of the Reef
At Edge of the Reef, you get a mix of fun and fine dining as you enjoy delicious meals surrounded by beautiful depictions of marine life. The interior walls are covered with an incredible mural of a thriving reef with graceful manta rays, gentle turtles, and colorful corals, creating a visual experience unlike anything you’ll find at another restaurant on the island.
56. Have lunch in the middle of the rainforest
Lunch with a view of a thriving rainforest isn’t always top of mind when you think of island escapes, but in Tobago, it comes highly recommended (by me). Vaness’s Sunshine Cafe in Bloody Bay serves up delicious homestyle cooking and meals include all the fixings for the typical “Sunday lunch” with pie, peas, callaloo, and veggies alongside your choice in meat. Enjoy a hearty lunch al fresco while listening to nothing but the gentle howling of the wind and the chirping of the birds.
57. Sample award-winning chocolate
The Tobago Cocoa Estate is the source of many award-winning chocolates made by celebrated artisan chocolatier, Francois Pralus. These expertly concocted confections range from dark bars that are as strong as 70% chocolate to a much tamer 45% that is much more my speed. The estate offers leisurely tours of the plantation, followed by a rum and chocolate tasting on the deck overlooking the cocoa trees.
58. “Make market” like a local
There’s no shortage of fresh produce in Tobago. If you pay a visit to the Scarborough market or make a pit stop at a roadside vendor, you could be feasting on fruit bowls for breakfast each morning and crisp side salads with lunch every day. Whichever option you choose, take care to inspect each item for imperfections to ensure you get the very best.
59. Feast on dasheen dishes at the Blue Food Festival
The Blue Food Festival takes place the third weekend in October every year and it’s all about showcasing the many, many ways Tobagonians have been able to infuse the root crop dasheen into their daily diet. Called “blue food” because of the blueish hue it takes on once it’s cooked, dasheen serves as the inspiration – and main ingredient – for scores of inventive dishes presented by cooks from the villages of Bloody Bay, Parlatuvier and L’Anse Fourmi.
Things to do in Tobago for Sports Enthusiasts
60. Watch Goats Race in Buccoo
Yes, you read that correctly. Goat racing is an actual sport in Tobago. Indigenous to the island, goat racing emerged as an alternative for the lower classes who couldn’t afford to participate in horse racing. Jockeys race thoroughbred goats tethered to exactly 9 ft of rope and the excitement is real as these sturdy creatures go thundering down the state-of-the-art track at the Buccoo Integrated Facility.
61. Cheer on your favourite Dragon Boat
The annual Tobago Dragon Boat Festival is a pretty big deal in the local dragon boat racing fraternity. Hundreds of crew members descend on Pigeon Point Heritage Park every third weekend in June amped up and ready to go for gold! Heats are held on Saturday while the finals take place on Sunday. Both days bring unparalleled levels of excitement to the beach so you might want to make a weekend out of it!
62. Cheer on the boats at Great Race
On record as the longest-running offshore powerboating event in the world, the annual Great Race features a course that begins in Trinidad and ends in dramatic style off the coast of Tobago. Thousands of spectators line the shore at strategic points from Store Bay to Scarborough to catch a glimpse of the boats zipping across the water and if you’re on the island on this day in August you should find yourself among them. While the sighting of the boats may be brief, the vibes last all day with music playing and drinks pouring all day long.
63. Venture off-road on an ATV
Rugged, mountainous terrain makes Tobago a great destination for ATV-ing. While this activity isn’t as popular as it is on neighboring Caribbean islands, it’s still available in Black Rock. Spend just under an hour maneuvering over, under, and around roots, branches, and other natural obstacles before you make it to the top of the hill where a gorgeous view awaits.
Things to do in Tobago for History Buffs
64. Brush up on your History at Fort King George
Constructed in the 18th century and named after King George III, Fort King George is the largest, most well-preserved fort on the island. Several of its original buildings have been carefully restored, including the Officer’s Barracks, the Gun Powder Magazine, the Prison Cells, and the Bell Tank. This popular heritage site includes a museum of curated artifacts, an out-of-commission lighthouse, several cannons, and multiple vantage points for amazing views of the old coconut plantations, the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the capital of Scarborough.
65. Learn about Tobago’s first European settlers at the Courland Monument
Before the island “belonged” to the British or the French, Tobago was first colonized by the small European nation once known as the Duchy of Courland (a principality of Latvia). To commemorate the country’s once significant influence in the Caribbean colonies, descendants of the original pioneers who settled on the island in the 1600s erected Courland Monument. It’s an intriguing structure featuring interwoven parts that present fun opportunities for photo ops.
66. Watch the sunset at Fort Bennett
Originally built by the Dutch in the 17th century, Fort Bennett was the site of many battles fought between various European powers. Located in Black Rock, today’s stone ruins, cannons, and stunning views of Grafton Bay attract a steady flow of visitors on a daily basis. It’s particularly lovely at sunset, due to the panoramic view of the horizon from the gazebo.
67. Bask in the Beauty Fort James
Originally called “Jekabforts”, Fort James was erected by the Courlanders in the 17th century to protect their interests on the island, which served as a major European trading hub. Centuries later, the restored stone structure and cannons share the sprawling grounds with shady trees and strategically places benches that make it a great place to take an extended break and soak in the beautiful view of Courlan Bay.
68. Retreat into the Greenery of Fort Granby
Once the guardian of Tobago’s first capital, Goerge Town, Fort Granby was abandoned by the British in favor of Fort King George. In its heyday the fort boasted several buildings however today only their foundations remain along with a few cannons that still maintain a defensive position, pointing out to the ocean. Now the grounds feature several gazebos and picnic benches, all under the shade of heavy treetop coverage, making it a cool place to enjoy a picnic. That is, once you don’t mind the company of James Clark, whose gravestone sits at the end of the fort.
69. Check out Cozy Fort Campbelton
Overlooking Man-o-War Bay and the coastal town of Charlotteville, Fort Campbelton is one of those sites you visit exclusively for the view, not the experience. This tiny battery with its two cannons once protected the eastern portion of the island from American privateers. Easy to miss and oftentimes forgotten, it can be accessed via a narrow lane lined by private residences. Due to the fact that the fort almost feels like it’s in someone’s front yard, it may not be ideal for an extended stay however there’s a gazebo with seating for those who feel inclined to linger.
70. Unravel the mystery of the Mystery Tombstone
The tombstone of Betty Stiven has been an enigma for as long it’s rested in the village of Plymouth. The inscription reads: “Beneath these walls are deposited the body of Mrs. Betty Stiven and her child. She was the beloved wife of Alex B Stiven. To the end of his days will deplore her death, which happened upon the 25th November 1783 in the 23rd year of her age. What was remarkable of her, she was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it except by her kind indulgence to him.” While many theories surround it, none have been confirmed and the tombstone remains an attraction for visitors curious about the real story of Betty Stiven’s life. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to crack the case!
Things to do in Tobago for the View-Chasers
71. Take in the view from Mt. Dillon’s Lookout
There are views and then there are VIEWS. Mt. Dillon falls into the latter category with miles and miles of brilliant blue water stretching out before you interrupted only by the outcropping of greenery courtesy Castara village in the distance. An often overlooked lookout point, Mt. Dillon is a perfect stop for a picnic lunch with a side of photo ops.
72. Get a closer look at Castara Bay
Mt. Dillon provides a great view of Castara from a distance, but if you want to get a closer look, stop at the bend just before you descend into the village. Nameless, but easily identifiable by the sturdy stone fence that lines the roadway, this spot is where you can soak in the beautiful details of a truly idyllic seaside hamlet and come to understand why it continues to attract a steady flow of European visitors annually.
73. Go lookout hopping along the North Coast
Nothing beats a road trip, and as far as routes with views go…nothing beats the Northside Road. Lookout points dot the roadway with views of Englishman’s Bay, Castara Bay, and Parlatuvier Bay, just to name a few. Give yourself a day to get this done just right because there are many stops to be made, vistas to be seen and photos to be snapped.
74. Fall in love with the view of Pirate’s Bay
Drinking in this view requires a bit of an uphill trek from the village (or the beach) but you’ll have no complaints once you get to this sweet spot and feast your eyes on the scene below. With the cluster of Charlotteville’s colorful homes to your left and the startling greens of the bay and surrounding forest to your right, you’ll be perfectly content to take a break at this strategic rest-stop, whether you’re on your way to or from Pirate’s Bay.
75. Drink in the sight of Englishman’s Bay from “The Bend”
This particular lookout point doesn’t appear to have an official name but it really should. A mandatory stop when you’re cruising along Northside Road, this view never fails to take my breath away. And I’m sure it won’t disappoint you either. The shockingly brilliant greens of the foliage and water at Englishman’s Bay are perfectly presented at this particular angle. It’s no wonder this scene has graced the pages of countless glossy magazines, as well as served as the header image in many an online article about Tobago.
76. Check out all the best vantage points on a Windward Road trip
The Windward Road route may not be blessed with as many stellar views as its northern counterpart but it’s still worth the drive. From the phenomenal vistas of Speyside at the lookout point to incredible views of Charlotteville from Fort Campbelton and Flagstaff, you won’t be disappointed with this particular country run.
77. Soak in the beautiful blues and greens of Batteaux Bay
Call me crazy but from the vantage point at the small battery overlooking Batteaux Bay, it always feels like the trees are greener, the water bluer, and the skies so much clearer than anywhere else on the island. Whether or not your final destination is Blue Waters Inn, make the drive up the hill to this small cul de sac and take in the view from above. The cannons (remnants of a life and time long gone by) provide a tiny dose of history and add another layer to this particular lookout point.
Things to do in Tobago for Night Owls
78. Lime on “The Strip”
There’s one place in Tobago that doesn’t subscribe to the island’s claim of serenity and that’s “The Strip” in Crown Point. Casinos, bars, restaurants, and street vendors all come together to create a neverending cacophony of sound and activity. And visitors and locals alike flock to it like bees to honey. If you’re among those looking for pumping nightlife in Tobago, this is where you need to be.
79. Soak up the Culture at the Castara Bonfire
Castara’s bonfires every Thursday put a twist on the concept of “nightlife”. Moko jumbies, African drummers, and steelbands are just a few of the live performances you’ll take in during this weekly ritual on the beach. Stick around long enough to see the 6 foot plus bonfires being lit and don’t shy away from the limbo stick, give it a try and see just how low you can go!
80. Get Chic at No Man’s Land bonfire
Waterholics takes beach bonfires to a whole new level with a chic setup on No Man’s Land. With cozy lounge areas, a steady flow of food and drinks, and just the right tunes to keep the party pumping, this luxe bonfire lime delivers an exclusive experience you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in Tobago.
81. Enjoy a chill Sunset cruise
Sunsets in Tobago are always an incredible sight. And the best vantage point is from the water. Aboard a catamaran or glass-bottom boat, you can watch the sun dip below the horizon without any distractions or obstructions. The Caribbean’s signature rum punch is usually served, and some captains go the extra mile to provide snacks as they take you on a tour of the Bon Accord Lagoon, No Man’s Land, and a few other popular attractions around the western tip of the island.
82. Dance the night away at Sunday school
Every Sunday night Buccoo village transforms into a hot spot for locals and tourists alike with a party at the Buccoo Integrated Facility. The festivities spill out into the street, which is always lined with food vendors selling tasty local meals. Live steelpan music by the village band, the Buccooneers, kicks things off around 8 pm followed by a steady stream of everything from soca to dancehall to reggae, keeping patrons dancing all night long.
Things to do in Tobago for Tour-ists
83. Take in Tobago from the water
Coastal tours allow you to see the island from a very unique perspective. Whether you opt for a speedboat or a catamaran, spend the day out of the water snorkeling, swimming, and maybe even doing a little bit of fishing. Excursions usually depart from the western point of the island and head east along the north coast, making stops in idyllic places such as Arnos Vale for snorkeling and Cotton Bay for a leisurely lunch.
84. Be at one with Horse with Being with Horses
Being with Horses offers an exciting horseback riding tour that takes visitors through Buccoo Village and into Buccoo Bay. One of the most unique experiences on the island, there’s no feeling more humbling than being chosen by a member of the BOC herd, to be their rider for the day. There’s also no experience more exhilarating than swimming in the open ocean on the back of one of these great creatures.
85. Bike around the island
Mountain biking is still a growing sport in Tobago but there’s a reason why the destination’s International Cycling Classic attracts several hundred participants from around the world annually. Varied terrain and stunning views make for great trails! Even if you’re not a professional athlete, there are several biking operations that offer tours for everyone from beginners to extremists. Enjoy an easy ride along the western coastline our test your mettle in the rainforest with trails that can take you as high as 1,700 ft above sea level.
Things to do in Tobago for Cultural Aficionados
86. Pull Seine and get some fish
The Tobagonian practice of “len’ hand” is often observed when strangers help fishermen pull in their catch. The event happens spontaneously whenever a net is cast in villages around the island. However, it’s a guaranteed occurrence at the annual Black Rock Sea Festival, which is part of the Tobago Heritage Festival. During this demonstration, fishermen catch fish by “shooting seine” (a large fishing net) into the ocean and it’s all hands on deck when it’s time to undertake the very strenuous task of pulling the seine back into shore. Once the net – laden with fish – is back on land, everyone who helped gets to share in the spoils!
87. Walk in an Ole Time Wedding
Take a few steps forward and a few steps back to the beat of the tambrin drums at the Tobago Ole Time Wedding. A tradition upheld and showcased by the village of Moriah at the Tobago Heritage Festival, the Ole Time Wedding is an edifying (and often entertaining) history lesson on what life was like back in the day. A bride, a groom, a few dozen bridesmaids, and groomsmen, a mistress, a Master, and his wife are just a selection of the characters that come together to weave this dramatic and often hilarious tale of what wedded bliss once looked like in Tobago.
88. Take a jump at Tobago Carnival
Disclaimer: I have never played mas in Tobago and due to my obsession with Trinidad Carnival, it’s unlikely that I ever will. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. If massive crowds numbering in the thousands don’t appeal to you, Tobago offers a much smaller, more intimate, and traditional Carnival experience at the same time (Monday & Tuesday before Ash Wednesday). Most bands have fewer than 100 masqueraders and costumes traditionally offer significantly more coverage than their Trini counterparts.
89. Dance the Cocoa in Charlotteville
“Dancing the cocoa” is an iconic Tobagonian tradition and the highlight of Charlotteville’s Natural Treasure Day Heritage production. Villagers adorned with hats and belts of dried leaves dance atop the cocoa beans to highlight the centuries-old practice that was carried out to ensure the beans looked rich and shiny in order to get the best possible price at the market. It’s a fun demonstration to watch and, if you don’t mind getting your feet dirty, you can have a go at it yourself!
90. Learn the Tobagonian twang
Tobagonian’s native tongue may be English, but their dialect is a fascinating language of its own. Just as you’d attempt to learn a bit of Italian while in Italy and a smattering of French when in France, so too should you acquaint yourself with a few Tobagonian turns of phrase because, to be honest, their colloquialisms are quite fun! Your juice isn’t strong enough? Politely let your server know it’s “wahtrish” (watery). Give it a try and before you know it you’ll be heading back home fluent in Bago lingo.
Things to do in Tobago for Shopaholics
91. Get Rootsy Souvenirs at Englishman’s Bay
Nothing says ideal island souvenir like something made of bamboo or wood. From bamboo bird feeders and wind chimes to wooden facemasks and calabash bowls, you’ve got a wide selection of rootsy items to choose from both at Eula’s souvenir shop and the colorful kiosk a stone’s throw away.
92. Collect Cute Souvenirs at Store Bay Craft Market
Minature steelpans, wood carvings, handcrafted leather, beaded bracelets, Tobago beach towels, and a host of other items can all be found at the Store Bay craft market. With over a dozen vendors to choose from and such a wide variety of goods on sale, this is where you go to get your bulk souvenir shopping done. You’re bound to find something for everyone on your list.
93. Shop Designer Leather Goods at Ted Arthur
Handcrafted leather accessories by local designer, Ted Arthur, are the ultimate souvenir for anyone with an eye for fashion. The epitome of Tobago’s small-island flavor, these bespoke items usually feature bright color schemes and tropical accents such as hibiscus flowers From handbags to shoes to earrings, Ted Arthur’s items have been gifted to many prominent visitors to Trinidad & Tobago, including the Obamas, India.Arie and Ashanti!
94. Find Fun Beachwear at Pigeon Point
The colorful huts at Pigeon Point Heritage Park may not be buzzing with foot traffic all day but they are treasure troves of adorable beachwear just waiting to be noticed, purchased, and worn. Cute coverups, sassy sunglasses, trendy hats, fun beach bags, and more make this spot a great shopping zone for anyone who wants to step up their beachwear game.
Things to do in Tobago for Self-Care
95. Pamper yourself at Le Grand’s Spa
Release all toxins with a stint in the sauna; ease your tension with a blissfully mindnumbing Swedish massage, and rejuvenate your skin with a body scrub that leaves you feeling silky smooth. If you plan it right, this self-care session at the Spa at Le Grand Courlan could take all day, so be sure to make a lunch reservation at the Caribbean Bistro – their seafood chowder is the best!
96. Center Yourself at Kariwak Village
The positive effects of yoga can take your vacation vibes to levels previously unattained. And, in Tobago, yoga doesn’t get much better than the experience offered at Kariwak Village. Under the shade of the beautiful gazebo, surrounded by a lush garden, open yourself up to the certified yogis, who will provide you with all the guidance you need to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.
97. Volunteer at Healing with Horses
There’s a lot to be said for conscientious travel and Healing with Horses is one of the few entities in Tobago that have an official channel through which visitors can contribute to the community. The local non-profit organisation provides equine therapy for children with various disabilities and they’re always happy to get volunteers to assist them with various activities at the horse park.
Things to do in Tobago for the heck of it
98. Live your best villa life
There are scores of luxury villas scattered about Tobago. We’re talking infinity pools with million-dollar views, concierge services, and private chefs. At the very least, some of them are just really fabulous houses without the frills. Either way, the Tobago villa experience is the opposite of #basic, you could live the high life at any one of them. Whether it’s a girlfriends getaway or a boy’s lime; a family reunion or a special celebration, #villalife in Tobago is an experience unlike any other.
99. Get cozy at a cottage
Tucked away within the lush foliage of Tobago’s thriving rainforest is a collection of some of the cutest cottages and cabins you’ll ever see. Cozy, comfortable, and calling out your name, these hidden gems are perfect for solo escapes and sexy rendezvous. You can find them close enough to civilization in the hills of Black Rock or venture further east and have your pick of these accommodation options in villages like Parlatuvier and Charlotteville.
100. Plane spotting
It might not be Maho Beach, but the cove behind the ANR International Airport is a great spot to watch the planes come in…if you’re into plane spotting. With flights from Trinidad landing almost every half an hour, you never have to wait around too long to spot a plane however the real thrill is witnessing the large international aircraft descend over the water before touching down on the tarmac just a few miles away!
101. Drive around the island in one day
Yes, you can pace yourself if you wish. But there’s something about being able to circumnavigate the entire island in one day that tickles me. Admittedly, it’s a tedious task, but if you strategically schedule breaks at lookout points and beaches, you’ll find that it makes for an enjoyable way to spend the day. I recommend heading east taking the more scenic Northside Road then cutting through the rainforest via Roxborough-Parlatuvier Road, swinging up to Charlotteville then returning to the west along Windward Road. There’s a lot of ground to cover so be sure to get an early start! Tip: If you need to book a rental car, 1st Choice Autorentals has been my go-to rental company on the island for years because of their impeccable service and well-maintained fleet.