Tobago lives from tourism, but is hardly touristic compared to other Caribbean islands. The last years Tobago becomes more and more the holiday destination of the ‘locals’ from Trinidad. Infrastructure and activities in general are not as developed as in other parts of the Caribbean. This is not a bad thing, but something which gives Tobago it’s own and often unique style. Things are relaxed and often quite slow, no high rise hotels and still plenty unspoiled beaches. Service can range from awkward to super friendly, but bare in mind that the local workforce is not trained for the tourist who wants it all and who has seen it all. Be demanding and rude, and you’ll get treated the same way. Be friendly and patient and you’ll normally find the people to be extremely friendly. Tobago is by no means part of a poor country – compared to some other parts of the Caribbean – and you won’t be bothered if you have money. On the other hand don’t expect the local people to run because you have some (since they won’t..).
This site is primarily aimed at locals and ‘local tourists’. A big part of the tourist coming from abroad are returning visitors – who once been to Tobago and keep coming back – and a big group of locals who married abroad and keep returning to Tobago. They don’t need this post, since they all ‘been there’. For those who never been there some suggestions.
Never been to Tobago ? This is how to get there :
- You’re a sailor. Well that’s easy, you plot your route and head for Tobago (formalities on arrival can be found here)
- In all other cases you”ll need a flight. Bookings made through a travel agency saves you some hassle, but booking a flight and accommodation by yourself can save you a lot of money. Accomodations ranging from guesthouses to luxury hotels and villas are available and travel agents pocket a nice percentage of your money.
- Tobago has it’s own airport. Direct flight to Tobago (airport code TAB) are available from these airlines :
- For most countries there are no visa regulations although most visitors have to fill out a form with intended address and lenght of stay (handed out in flight).
- Accommodations can be found easily both when arrived and through the internet. Bare in mind that some seasons are crowded. Especially with activities like the annual boat race and carnival tourism has a short peak with mostly local tourism. At these times the lower priced guesthouses tend to be fully booked. Advice: book a stay for the first days after arrival and if not satisfied look from there on ! Don’t waste your time going to Pigeon Point every day or stay in Coco Reef only ! Tobago has much more to see !
- Car rental is quite cheap and widely available (left hand driving !). Local transport is even cheaper and gives you a chance to meet some locals : Stand next to the road and just stick out your hand. A lot of private cars working as a taxi (mostly cars with a number plate starting with an H, who have a matching insurance) take passengers for rates that are known (not by tourist so sometimes they are overcharged). When asked for a drop at an address of the main road you’ll normally will get this for some extra fee. Public transport is also very low priced but not very frequent.