In association with: Tobago Tourism Agency
Nature takes centre stage on a winter-sun escape to this Caribbean island
Winter-sun getaways take a different form in Tobago. While pristine beaches and crystalline waters are ideal for soaking up the Caribbean sun, what sets this unspoilt island apart is the vibrant culture, rich history and love of its natural surroundings.
Ancient sites promise a look back into the island’s fascinating past, while the verdant rainforest is the ideal backdrop for birdwatching and hiking. However your clients choose to spend their time in Tobago, they’re guaranteed a warm welcome from the locals and the chance to help support the island’s conservation.
Beaches and bays
Beautiful beaches will likely be top of the agenda for many clients seeking a winter-sun break. Whether it’s the secluded shores of Pirate’s Bay in the north or the palm-fringed beaches of Pigeon Point in the south, there’s a strip of sand perfect for watching the sun set, taking on adrenaline-pumping watersports and everything in between.
If your clients are keen to explore beyond the shoreline, recommend they take a boat trip – catamarans, fishing boats and chartered yachts offer a whole new perspective of the island.
Alternatively, take to the gentle waters in a clear-bottom kayak to get a glimpse of the rainbow of marine life native to the Caribbean. This experience is even more magical after nightfall, when bioluminescence tours showcase the spectacular shimmering plankton in all its glory.
To get even closer to the action, there are plenty of opportunities for diving and snorkelling in the crystal-clear seas of Batteaux Bay and Castara Bay, where it’s possible to get up close and personal with the seahorses, eels and turtles that call these waters home.
If peace and quiet is desired, recommend a visit to Stonehaven Bay, where almond trees line the secluded sands, and No Man’s Land, an uninhabited stretch of sand accessible only by boat.
The appeal of Tobago’s untouched beaches goes beyond their beauty – they’re also symbolic of the island’s sustainability efforts. King’s Bay and Mt Irvine Bay have been awarded Blue Flag Pilot Status because of their cleanliness, safety and environmental responsibility, making Tobago the only island in the Lesser Antilles to receive such approval.
There’s more for sustainability-minded travellers to explore beyond the beach, too – Tobago’s northeastern region has been awarded the Unesco Man and the Biosphere designation.
As the largest Unesco site in the English-speaking Caribbean, the region works to improve livelihoods in local communities and safeguard ecosystems, cementing Tobago’s status as a destination that’s both environmentally and culturally conscious.
An itinerary for families
Family fun isn’t in short supply in Tobago. Whether it’s adventure, nature or history that’s the priority, this sample itinerary encompasses the best of Tobago for all the family.
After arriving and settling in, the first full day should be spent relaxing on the beautiful, family-friendly beach of Mt Irvine and cooling off in the ocean, before sampling some local delicacies at dinner time.
The following day, recommend clients take a hike through the Main Ridge Forest Reserve, stopping for a dip in Argyle Falls along the way. Children and adults alike will love the Adventure Farm and Nature Reserve, or Corbin Local Wildlife Park, where they can learn more about the island’s wildlife and conservation efforts.
If a history day is on the cards, they can tick off the island’s many old defences including Fort Bennet, Fort Granby and Fort King George, home to Tobago’s Historical Museum. These well-preserved historical sites are also great clifftop lookout points.
Of course, along the way there’ll be plenty of opportunities to soak up the culture, enjoy breathtaking vistas and experience the Tobagonian way of life.
Travel with ease
Embarking on a winter-sun escape to this undiscovered Caribbean gem has never been easier. British Airways flies direct from Gatwick twice a week, with a journey time of about 11 hours, including a short stop in Saint Lucia. The frequency is reduced to weekly during June and September.
PICTURES: Natalie Kriwy