Tobago and Trinidad Vacation
About Tobago and Trinidad
Christopher Columbus charted his third voyage in 1498 to explore the Southern Islands of Trinidad & Tobago (also known as the T&T islands), where he discovered established Caribbean communities. With Captain Timothy Roberts at the helm, we cruised towards Venezuela on Holland America’s Prisendam Ship, to T&T. These islands are within a 7 miles reach of Venzuela, and sit between the Carribean and the Atlantic.
Tobago, “Capitol of Paradise”, is the smaller island, only 116 square miles and less developed. It’s located only 19 miles northeast of Trinidad, the larger island of 1,864 square miles. Both islands have one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the Caribbean, including origins from Africa, China, Portugal, Europe, and China.
Our vacation to Tobago and Trinidad
We visited the smaller of the two islands, Tobago which has a long and narrow shape, resembling a cigar. Tobago is supposedly the Caribbean’s “most ruled” island with colonial forces swapping control 30 times before England “won” in 1814, then independence came in 1962. Upon our arrival into the Scarborough Port on the southwest coast of Tobago, we were greeted by a steel drum musician to get us into the rhythm of the island, as well as a big smile from our driver James, email here, arranged for us by Ted’s Sunshine Enterprises & Tours, www.sunshinetourstobago.com . James escorted us throughout our visit and introduced us to Tobago – the local cuisine, flora, fauna, history of the people on the island.
Our itinerary included a drive on windy roads through hills of rainforest and picturesque villages across the island to the leeward coast (Caribbean side) where we made a few stops for photos, and went as far as Englishman’s Bay. Colorful homes and fruit stands lined the main road and we spotted birds along the way.
We had a limited amount of time before we needed to be back at the Port, so we weren’t able to see the entire island, so we drove towards Pigeon Point to snorkel at Buccoo Reef National Park, a protected marine park and the largest coral reef in Tobago. We made a few stops along the way – Arnos Vale, and Stonehaven Villas – for an incredible view of Stonehaven Bay. If you want privacy and luxury, this is a great place to stay when you visit Tobago. The fourteen spacious villas at 3,700 sq ft each, have private infinity pools, 50ft verandahs, and three air conditioned bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms; providing the ultimate in luxurious Tobago villa living.
Throughout the drive, James told us about his Christmas Dinner and favorite homemade dishes of Calaloo Soup (spinach, onions, coconut juice, ochres, garlic, herbs, spices, raisins), chicken and pumpkin stews, macaroni pie, potatoe salads, and our appetite was ready for some local cuisine, so we stopped for lunch near Store Bay. We had a lot to choose from, but given the abundance of fresh fish, the seafood specialties were by far the most popular.
It was a rainy day and the water was choppy, visibility poor, so we enjoyed lounging under giant Palm trees at Pigeon Point Beach and watched kite surfers at one of Tobago’s most popular resorts. Before we returned to the ms Prinsendam, we had a quick tour through Scarborough, and James drove us up to see the view from Fort King George which sits on top of the town’s main hill.
We want to return to this undeveloped paradise and attend February Carnival celebrations at T&T, but also diving/snorkeling at Angel Reef and the Japanese Gardens located at Speyside where you can see the world’s largest brain coral (13 ft X 20 ft.), and manta rays up close.
We loved our vacation to Tobago and Trinidad! Have you ever been? What are your favorites from the T&T islands? Comment below!