Trinidad and Tobago Directory
Trinidad and Tobago Overview
Tobago (to-bay-go). The Island that inspired Robinson Crusoe, 25 miles long and 8 miles wide is located just of the Venezuela coast. Tobago and it's larger sister Trinidad are the southern most of the Caribbean Islands and split the Atlantic and Caribbean Seas. The Island is cool, serene and green - with lush tropical rain forests and mysterious blue oceans. Tobago, the true Caribbean island where life is at peace. It's what you've always dreamed of - Explore Tobago!
As in Trinidad, the key to Tobago's ecology is diversity. If the theory is correct that the two islands are a continuation of the Andes, then Tobago represents the cordillera's easternmost outcrop. Thanks to these continental origins, the island's volcanic Main Ridge teems with species unknown in most of the Caribbean. In addition to its almost overwhelming variety of flora and fauna, Tobago enjoys the advantage of being small. Everything is accessible: the mountains are not too high, the forests not too impenetrable, the coral reefs not too deep or distant. And very few species could be considered noxious: even the snakes are non-poisonous, which is always nice to know when you're walking through the rainforest.
Scuba Diving: Hmmm, Tobago Diving...You'll LOVE it. It's tranquil, quiet, very laid back and friendly. Tobago's got to be the least known little island that ever comes to mind when it comes to diving. It's a little secret in the Caribbean. Mantas? Heck, who needs to fly halfway around the world to Yap to see them? In Tobago drift diving predominates. You will find dive sites all over the island with drifts of varying intensity allowing both beginners and experienced divers to enjoy. The ones that will really enthrall are St. Giles, Speyside and Crown Point.
Beaches: One of the great things about Tobago is that with a little initiative and a sturdy vehicle, you can find an idyllic expanse of sand and sea. The rough northeast side of the island is inundated with bay and cove beaches reachable via dirt roads and walking paths. Break out the map and search for places like King Peter's Bay and Pirate's Bay. Similar beaches can be found on the south side of Tobago, but take caution when swimming: The Atlantic side of the island is prone to strong currents and heavy waves. More mainstream, and crowded, beaches are found on the extreme southeast tip, near the airport and hotels. The throngs of visitors to Pigeon Point can sometimes make it look like Atlantic City on Memorial Day, but the virginal sands and bathtub-warm blue water are hardly something you'll find in New Jersey. The peninsula is privately owned so there's a US$2 admission charge, which is a pittance considering the fine snorkeling and beautiful sunsets at Pigeon Point. A lively crowd can always be found just south at Store Bay beach, near the Coco Reef Resort. Reggae and calypso float through the air, and Rastafarians mingle among the beach parties selling arts and crafts or just joining in the fun.
Restaurants: Crab and dumplings are emblematic of the native cuisine, and you can buy them at many restaurants and take-out stands. (Try the ones at Miss Esmie's or Miss Jean's in the Store Bay crafts market.) Other typical dishes include rotis - an Indo-Trinidadian creation that consists of pancake-like bread filled with curried meats and potatoes - callaloo, stews and fish. Continental cuisine is also sprinkled in with the West Indian staples at most restaurants. Whatever and wherever you eat, it's bound to be fresh, especially the seafood and produce. For the most part, dining out is an inexpensive venture in Tobago, except in some of the finer hotels. (Prices quoted are per person, excluding drinks, tax and service except where noted.)
Golf: The Mount Irvine Bay Golf Course is an 18 Hole Course with spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea, carved out amongst an old coconut plantation. The Course was designed by the late Commander John D. Harris and considered his finest and one of the premier Golf Courses in the Caribbean. Established in 1968, the Course is set within gently rolling countryside along the coast, with a view of the sea from every hole and an abundance of massive coconut palm trees.
|Trinidad and Tobago Facts|
Travelers cheques and credit cards are accepted by most establishments. For Customs and Excise purposes only cash is accepted.
Skimpy clothing is fine for the beach but nowhere else. Nude or topless sunbathing is against the law. Casual clothing is appropriate during the day and for evenings and at most restaurants. You'll notice that locals love to dress up, Trinidadians more than Tobagoans. Men may want to take along a coat and tie, several restaurants require them in the evening.
The confluence of the strong Guyanese Current and the seasonal outflow of Venezuela's Orinoco River cause Tobago's waters to be rich in nutrients, making the vis variable, averaging between 50 and 80 feet. Can be far less following seasonal rains.
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