What to do in Tobago
Tobago is the smaller (27 miles long by 7.5 miles wide) isle of Trinidad and Tobago. It's sleepier, mellower, and—yes—more languid than its flashier sister island 20 miles to the southwest. Tourism on Tobago is a low-key affair, as the island is populated by mom-and-pop lodgings, empty beaches, and a molasses-slow pace; however, that doesn't mean there is nothing of note here. There are excellent snorkeling reefs, like the waist-deep Buccoo Reef, gorgeous bays including Pigeon Point, and exotic sea life. The island also has forests of breadfruit and mango as well as Pigeon Peak Reserve, which dates back to 1765 and is the oldest legally protected reserve in the Western Hemisphere. All of this and a smiling, fun-loving populace are sure to please. After all, Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe came ashore near the present-day Blue Haven Hotel and he discovered his own private tropical paradise—chances are you will, too.
The limestone island's capital and main port is Scarborough, which dates back to 1654 and is located on the southern coast. Most of Tobago's 50,000 residents reside in this city, leaving the rest of the island peppered with tiny hamlets. Scarborough is surrounded by mountains that protect a scenic bay, and it's currently undergoing a waterfront improvement project in an attempt to spruce up its dowdy image. Most of the tourist infrastructure lies South and west of Scarborough—close the airport—while rural Tobago gently rolls to the north. The drive from one end of the island to the other takes you along a winding road through fishing villages. The less arid eastern end of the island is fringed by several islets, including Little Tobago Island, home to the now extinct greater bird-of-paradise.
Tobago Travel Q&A