Arrive | Leisure | Travel | Trinidad and Tobago Escape to Tobago | Destination Even at the height of Carnival season, Trinidad’s sister island maintains its laid-back, tranquil vibe. Need to escape from the fetes and frenzy? Welcome to Tobago’s beaches and bays, forests and waterfalls — a natural vitamin shot for the soul By Caribbean Beat | Issue 149 (January/February 2018) 0 Comments Shoreline canter on horseback. Photo by Piotrandrewsphotography.comSunset at Mt Irvine Bay, Tobago’s most popular surfing site. Photo by Welmoet PhotographyGoats — like these, heading home on a rural lane — are staple livestock in Tobago. They also become the star attraction at Easter, when traditional goat-racing brings out the island’s competitive instincts. Photo by Chris AndersonAmong villages of modern concrete houses, a few Victorian-era wooden gingerbread cottages still survive. Even the most modest boast hints of elaborate fretwork, and high-pitched roofs designed to repel tropical downpours. Photo by Chris AndersonJust twenty-five miles long and six wide, Tobago can feel bigger than its size on the map, thanks to its rugged terrain and winding mountain roads. Photo by Debralee Wiseberg/iStock.comThe island’s Main Ridge is home to the oldest legally protected forest reserve in the world, dating to 1776. Photo by Debralee Wiseberg/iStock.comThe jetty at Pigeon PointPhoto by Tarique EastmanOver two hundred and forty bird species have been recorded on Tobago. Photo by Debralee Wiseberg/iStock.comPirate’s Bay. Photo by Joanne HusainParlatuvier Falls. Photo by Marianne S. HoseinTobago map 1. The beach is usually a place to relax, but there are also options to get your blood racing — like a shoreline canter on horseback. As co-founder of the Buccoo-based NGO Healing with Horses, Veronika Danzer-La Fortune introduces differently-abled youngsters to a gentle equine herd for fun and therapeutic play. 2. The numerous small rivers tumbling down Tobago’s hillsides create an abundance of waterfalls — some of them popular tourist spots, others known only to locals. Getting to Parlatuvier Falls — near the village of the same name on the island’s Leeward Coast — requires an arduous scramble over giant boulders, but the reward is a pristine pool surrounded by emerald green foliage. 3. Tobago has no shortage of pristine blue bays — but, for many locals, Pirate’s Bay near the island’s northern tip may be the most treasured of all. On the outskirts of the village of Charlotteville, it’s accessible only by boat or footpath, making it an oasis of quiet. 4. Over two hundred and forty bird species have been recorded on Tobago — from shy manakins to gregarious parrots, impressively large tropicbirds to tiny hummingbirds, their iridescent plumage catching the light as they flit among nectar-filled flowers. 5. Viewed from beach level, the jetty at Pigeon Point and its thatched shed may be Tobago’s most instantly recognisable and most photographed landmark. But from high above it’s barely a speck in the broad expanse of shallow blue water extending all the way out to Buccoo Reef. 6. As any Tobagonian can tell you, the island’s Main Ridge is home to the oldest legally protected forest reserve in the world, dating to 1776 — an early milestone in the history of conservation. The reserve is home to hundreds of species of wildlife, and protects Tobago’s watershed — and is criss-crossed by hiking trails that can take you to the very heart of the island’s natural splendour. 7. Just twenty-five miles long and six wide, Tobago can feel bigger than its size on the map, thanks to its rugged terrain and winding mountain roads. 8. Among villages of modern concrete houses, a few Victorian-era wooden gingerbread cottages still survive. Even the most modest boast hints of elaborate fretwork, and high-pitched roofs designed to repel tropical downpours. MORE LIKE THIS: Guyana: great escape9. Goats — like these, heading home on a rural lane — are staple livestock in Tobago. They also become the star attraction at Easter, when traditional goat-racing brings out the island’s competitive instincts. 10. Sunset at Mt Irvine Bay, Tobago’s most popular surfing site. ADVERTORIAL Barcode This Carnival season, Barcode continues to bring premier entertainment in our “I Love Soca” series. Every Tuesday, from 2 January to 13 February, 2018, Barcode showcases the best soca artistes from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Grenada, St Vincent, and beyond. Situated on the Scarborough Waterfront, our bar/club hybrid is unique as the island itself. Our newly extended outdoor decking is fully covered, and can easily accommodate three hundred persons with the extraordinary feel of the southern Atlantic breeze. Blue Haven Experience the grandeur of old-fashioned nostalgia! Situated on a majestic cliff overlooking Bacolet Beach, romantic Blue Haven provided the idyllic scenery for several golden-age movies. Splendidly refurbished while retaining its retro-charm, Blue Haven combines the ambiance and atmosphere of “yesterday” with modern living. Guys Autozone When visiting beautiful Tobago, why not optimise your exploring by renting a vehicle from Guys Autozone? What can you expect from this family-owned company? We offer the most affordable rates on the island and individualised packages to suit our diverse customers. Continuously aspiring to remain the best in the auto rental industry, we ensure a convenient, courteous experience, which adds to our clients’ peace of mind. Our mantra, “excellence matters,” speaks for itself! Island Investments Leading real estate and villa rentals, established for over thirty years. We are the experts on property ownership and vacation home rentals in Tobago. Our standards exceed the rest. See us for property or land acquisition and sales with personalised, knowledgeable service. Peeping Fish “Where beach meets street.” The one-stop shop for the trendiest local and international brands of swimwear, resortwear, footwear, and accessories. Our eclectic mix of specially curated pieces celebrates the individuality of the adventurous spirit, on or off the beach. Shaw Park Complex Home to stunning local art and a stellar events team who ensure an exceptional and tailored experience for every guest. The 5,000-capacity Shaw Park Complex is a modern centre for the arts which features both theatre and conferencing capabilities. MORE LIKE THIS: Word of mouth (Jan/Feb 2018) Skewers One of the island’s gems, Tobago’s number one Arabic restaurant, providing a consistently exquisite menu of unique Middle Eastern food infused with a local flavour, for over ten years. There’s only one Skewers. 100% Halal. The Sugar Mill Suites Nestled in the unsullied Tobago Plantations Beach & Golf Resort, you can choose between our comfortable luxurious modern “homes,” our elegant old-fashioned condo-style units, and our cozy bungalows. These types of accommodation offer you the convenience and excellent service you’d expect from a top class-resort. Find out more about Sugar Mill Condos, Bungalows, and Villas to better accommodate you. Tomas Villa This luxurious villa, recently renovated, is located in the Bon Accord Development, five minutes from the A.N.R. Robinson International Airport and the popular beaches of Store Bay and Pigeon Point. Restaurants, nightlife, and supermarkets are only minutes away. Tobago is known for its green, clean, and serene atmosphere. You’ll be enthralled by its tranquility, diverse cultures, beautiful beaches, and dive sites. Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort Tropikist offers a stunning panoramic view, an ideal location close to the airport, plus easy access to beaches, local attractions, and activities. Bask in the sun, then enjoy a cocktail as the sun sets! Tropikist — your tropical destination. Villas Are Us We are a small full-service rental agency, offering effortless vacations and villas which are among the most beautifully appointed and ideally situated on the island. Our caring staff is committed to seeing that your every need is met.