Siblings Trinidad and Tobago are vastly different. Larger, boisterous Trinidad parlayed its oil-boom riches into one of the region's most industrialized economies. And while its famous and lively Carnival is one of the world's great street parties, the destination's bountiful countryside, with vast forest preserves and marshland, remains off the chart for many travellers.
Tobago, just 21 miles away, is a haven for those seeking the quintessential Caribbean vacation with cosy resorts, picture-postcard beaches and a stunning marine environment. Since both islands were once part of the South American mainland, they offer a more diverse variety of plant and animal species than those found elsewhere in the Caribbean.
The famous Trinidad Carnival typically falls in February, but those who arrive at other times can still enjoy the lively beat of calypso, soca music in the city's many nightclubs where they offer a mix of the throbbing island beat. Despite its proximity to Venezuela, life on Trinidad is defined more by its colonial roots - African, Indian, Chinese, British and French - than by Latin American culture. The island's ethnic diversity is particularly evident in 'Trinibago' food. However, Trinidad is not just about the bustle. Outside the capital, travellers can visit the tallest Hanuman statue outside of India, standing at 85-feet tall, or stay at Grande Riviere Beach from March to September to see the nesting leatherback turtles. The Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge, a 700-acre former plantation, draws birdwatchers with its oilbirds, the only living species of nocturnal fruit-eating birds; while at the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, boat tours bring visitors within viewing distance of the rare scarlet ibis, which is best spotted at sunset.
Tobago is known for its quiet lifestyle and breathtaking sunsets and is also home to the UNESCO certified Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve. Escape the capital to the beaches along the north coast, or the vast tropical forest in the Northern Range with its miles of hiking trails leading to numerous waterfalls. Divers will find the world's largest known brain coral in the western hemisphere, as well as rocky canyons and deep caves populated with barracudas, dolphins, whale sharks, orange ball anemones, porpoise and manta rays.
Bursting with unparalleled spirit and culture, the dual-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago offers visitors the opportunity to experience everything from the cosmopolitan, bustling cities and towns in Trinidad to lazy days sunbathing on pristine beaches in Tobago.
For a truly authentic Caribbean experience, look no further than the island of Tobago. Immerse yourself in the island’s rich culture, escape to the stunning nature, unspoilt beaches, music festivals and activities ensuring a magical stay no matter what time of the year.
Number 1 – Rainforests
Tobago is a nature lover’s paradise boasting the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere covering a third of the island. The nature reserve has been established since 1764. A fascinating place to visit, full of colour, intriguing noises, beautiful birds and magnificent trees – fantastic for hiking and bird lovers.
Number 2 - Nylon Pool
One of the most visited attractions, Nylon Pool is an in-sea shallow white ground coral pool located off Pigeon Point easily accessible by boat. An offshore sandbar that has formed a metre-deep pool in the middle of the ocean. The name comes from Princess Margaret, who reportedly said the water was as clear as her nylon stockings.
Number 3 - Sunday School
Not a religious affair, Sunday School is a loud, vibrant street party. The perfect way of sampling one aspect of Tobagonian social life and people watching. The party starts at 8pm every Sunday evening when the Buccooneers Steel Band orchestra play pan for a couple of hours – a must visit.
Number 4 - Pigeon Point
The most beautiful beach in Tobago. Blessed with soft, white sand and picturesque palm trees, Pigeon Point Beach stretches for miles with calm, turquoise waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling. You can also enjoy water sports like windsurfing, stand up paddling boat and jet skiing. This idyllic beach is home to the famous thatch-roofed jetty which has become an internationally recognised signature of Tobago.
Number 5 – Being with Horses
Enjoy the beauty of horses, swim with them in the sea, ride them on the sand, and learn about their personality, character, their age, where they came from and how to interact with them in a gentle and easy way. This is a truly magical experience for everyone who love horses and also a great way to help differently-abled children realise their potential through therapeutic interactions.