Experience the Caribbean: Tobago

This small island of lush hills and idyllic beaches is a haven for birds and wildlife, with forests to explore and hidden bays to discover

Thanks to increasing conservation efforts, this peaceful little island is a growing ecotourism destination, from the rainforests of the protected central hills to the coastline of sheltered bays. Famed for its colourful tropical birds, Tobago offers the Caribbean’s most diverse birdwatching, and you can visit uninhabited coastal marine reserves to see leatherback turtles, manta rays and crabs. But the key to most holidays here is sun, sea and sand. The whole island is lined with perfect sandy beaches, from idyllic Buccoo Bay and Pigeon Point in the more developed south-west to beautiful Englishman’s Bay on the west coast and isolated retreat Pirate’s Bay on the north tip. And for the ultimate in ecotourism, the island's so small (26 miles across) that you can get around most of it by bike.

Tobago hot spots

  • Incredible marine life

    Tobago is one of the best diving areas in the south-east Caribbean, not only for its water clarity, spectacular tropical fish and more than 300 species of coral, but for its large numbers of manta rays, particularly around Little Tobago and Goat Island, where Angel Reef offers some great snorkelling. Serious divers should head here or to Speyside and Sisters Rocks, where rocks drop down to a depth of 140ft and hammerhead sharks lurk.

    Incredible marine life
  • Tropical hummingbirds

    Tobago is so close to to South America that over 30 percent of its birds are colourful tropical species, making birdwatching here utterly magical. Arnos Vale Road’s Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve is heavenly for hummingbirds, and guides from Cuffie River Nature Retreat offer broader wildlife tours. Other top spots are Little Tobago (where Audubon’s shearwaters can be sighted across the 450-acre sanctuary) and the Bon Accord Lagoon.

    Tropical hummingbirds
  • Nature of a different kind

    Pitch up at Luise Kimme’s gorgeous gallery and studio to find out about the German sculptor's life and work. Kimme lived near the village of Bethel from 1979 until she passed away in 2013. She created the mad, surreal 10ft-high sculptures of dancers and folklore characters, carved out of oak and cedar tree trunks, that clutter the wild and lovely gardens surrounding her former house and studio. Visit them for an unexpected view of island life.

    Nature of a different kind
  • Get on your bike

    With very little traffic, Tobago is the perfect island to explore by bike, criss-crossed by trails taking in waterfalls, historic sites, rainforest, tiny seaside villages and lovely beaches. While you can hire a bike and go it alone, you’re better off in the excellent care of Mountain Biking Tobago, a long-running operator led by cheery Trinidadian Sean de Freitas with routes for all levels of fitness and experience.

    Get on your bike
  • Take a maxi taxi

    Charlottesville, Tobago's most northerly village, is a treat, as is sharing a minibus with locals to get there. This traditional fishing village in Man of War Bay is responsible for some 60 percent of the island’s fresh fish, caught by fishermen who work as a co-operative. With just one small shop, three Creole restaurants and a coffee bar, it’s as close to old-school Tobagonian life as you’ll find.

    Take a maxi taxi
  • Feast before you fly home

    Buy a sumptuous lunch box from one of the vendors at Store Bay and feast on curried crabs and dumplings, rotis, or shark as you bake on the beach. ‘Manned’ by women who serve up the most amazing feasts from their tiny spaces and happily shoot the breeze when they’re not busy, it makes for one of the best ways to eat local food.

    Feast before you fly home
  • Grilled fish at Kings Bay Cafe

    Looks can be deceiving. What appears to be someone’s home in a gaily painted blue house has a blackboard on the roadside, a gorgeous, breezy verandah with stunning views of King’s Bay at the back, and some of Tobago’s best grilled fish dishes in between. The frozen brownies are pretty amazing too.

    Grilled fish at Kings Bay Cafe
  • Rum punch at Bago’s

    Tobago isn’t known for its nightlife and most places are closed by 11pm, but Bago’s, on the beach at Pigeon Point Roadin Crown Point, is as lively as they come – thanks in part to strong rum punches, cold Carib, footie on TV and delicious food. It’s best around sunset, when it quickly gets packed, so come early, grab your spot and prepare to lime.

    Rum punch at Bago’s
  • Time your trip for...

    The Great Fete weekend in August. Billing itself as a ‘melting pot of local pop culture and extreme vibes’, it’s a precursor for the Carib Great Race power boat race in early September. The Easter Monday goat and crab races are pretty special too.

    Time your trip for...

Incredible marine life

Tobago is one of the best diving areas in the south-east Caribbean, not only for its water clarity, spectacular tropical fish and more than 300 species of coral, but for its large numbers of manta rays, particularly around Little Tobago and Goat Island, where Angel Reef offers some great snorkelling. Serious divers should head here or to Speyside and Sisters Rocks, where rocks drop down to a depth of 140ft and hammerhead sharks lurk.

Tobago liveblog

We've sent blogger Jules Pearson (a.k.a. London on the Inside) to experience everything Tobago has to offer – follow her live as she tries her hand at paddleboarding, tours cocoa esates and explores the rainforest...


Book a holiday with BA: Tobago Flights + 7 nights hotel from £549pp

Availability may be extremely limited, particularly during peak periods. Price is in GBP per person based on two adults sharing 3.5* accommodation on a room only basis at Grafton Beach Resort and include return flights from LGW to Tobago. Price correct as of 24 April 2014. Bookings must be made by midnight 25/05/14 for selected travel between 04/09/14 – 16/10/14. Some payment methods attract a handling fee. Holidays are ATOL protected (number ATOL5985). For full terms and conditions, visit ba.com.