Destination Tobago

Pigeon Point, Tobago

Destination Tobago

By Shaun Hutchinson

Trinidad & Tobago | Wednesday 30 March 2016: 11:11 BST

Tobago is perfect for the power break. Everyone wants to condense their experiences into a strong formula, to cram everything into a busy schedule. So despite T&T being at the end of the chain of Caribbean islands, Tobago must be the first choice of the region’s favourite destinations.

It’s clear that the pace of development on the island has stepped up, with new and renovated buildings everywhere, serving both tourism and infrastructure. There are several new shopping malls, the continued renovation of ANR International Airport, recently opened Scarborough Library Facility, the Victor E. Bruce Financial Complex and the Scarborough General Hospital.

Despite all this development, Tobago retains its essence. Beautiful, dramatic landscapes, traditional architecture, picturesque beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere – it’s the archetypal Caribbean island.

Described by Tobagonian politician Orville London as the “capital of paradise”, Trinidad’s sister island is just 26 miles long and 8 miles wide (42km × 13km), simple to navigate and enjoying superb weather (average 28 - 30°). For such a small place there’s plenty to do, from sailing, diving, snorkelling and fishing to golf, horseback riding, bird watching, walking tours and mountain biking. Even at a leisurely pace a day is all it takes for an island tour on the Atlantic and Caribbean coastal roads with stop-offs at quaint villages such as Castara, Speyside or Charlotteville, and a return through the world’s oldest nature reserve, dating from 1776.

Tobago’s beaches offer no real surprises – just white sand, calm waters, beachside crafts and food stalls, together with the usual water sports. It’s from buzzing Store Bay or nearby Pigeon Point, with its wedding and conference facilities, that excursions depart for the island’s famous Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool.

Capital Scarborough’s pubs and beachside Esplanade with its eateries get lively when cruise ships dock. The colonial-era Fort King George and its informative Museum of Tobago History and the steep slopes of the Botanical Gardens make pleasurable days out.

A visit wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Sunday School at Buccoo, which compliments the vibrant and buzzy Crown Point with its nightlife, restaurants, the brand-new D’Coliseum Mall, shops and diverse restaurants. Villas and other accommodation can be found across the island, but Crown Point is the magnet for visitors. It is both budget and luxury accommodation, beach and inland, as well as hotel or apartment-based and restaurant or self-catering options. Just-caught seafood – especially crab and lobster – is usually on the menu at hotels, or any of the many restaurants dotted around.

Blue Crab in uptown Scarborough is recommended, as well as Basso’s at Pigeon Point for beach-side dining, and belly-bursting fare at Jemma’s Treehouse Restaurant in Speyside. Don’t leave without sampling Tobago’s national dish of crab and dumplings, with callalloo and coocoo on the side (ent!) – best enjoyed with fresh juice, Carib or Stag lager at a Store Bay beachside joint.

For a change of pace, the visitor can take a boat or a flight to cosmopolitan and frenetic Trinidad. It’s three hours away by the T&T Spirit from Scarborough and about 45 minutes by air from ANR International Airport.

Virgin Atlantic and British Airways visit Tobago twice weekly from Gatwick. From November 2016, Thomas Cook Airlines will also fly to Tobago from Manchester.

The following package is available by calling Caribbean Reunion Club on 020 7344 0101:

7 Nights Package including Flights with British Airways from London Gatwick, Accommodation and breakfast.

• Magdalena Grand Beach Resort from £987pp
• Grafton Beach Resort from £938pp
• Coco Reef from £1077pp

All prices per person, based on 2 adults sharing.

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Soca News
June 2017

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