About Tobago

Tobago is really the last of the “unspoilt Caribbean.” This strip of elongated land just 41 by 14 kilometres abounds with natural allure: palm-lined beaches, lush rain forests and pristine coral reefs.

Map of TobagoLess than one-tenth the size of Trinidad and inhabited by only forty thousand people, Tobago feels intimate, quiet and friendly with a slower, more rural pace. Scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing sailing, bird watching, walking —these pursuits, more than Carnival or night life, draw visitors to the country's smaller, some say better, half. The island also has two golf courses set in spectacular surroundings.

The contrast of rolling hills against wave-beaten shores makes the island an unequalled beauty. The south (windward) coast is washed by the Atlantic ocean and is lined with vibrant fishing villages while the north (leeward) coast is more sheltered and overlooks the Caribbean Sea. In the main, the eastern landscape of the interior rises steeply into tall peaks, providing shelter for the oldest protected rainforest reserve in the western hemisphere.

Tobago boasts the first protected area in the northern hemisphere – the Main Ridge Forest, a reserve since 1776. Tobago dive-sites compare to any in the Caribbean, and include Buccoo Reef, where even non-swimmers can feast on the beauty. Just off the north-west coast are two of the region’s most significant bird sanctuaries – Little Tobago and the sister isle of St. Giles

Bacolet

In the Fifties, Bacolet served as the ideal winter hideaway for Hollywood movie stars, including Robert Mitchum and Rita Hayworth. Several desert-island type movies have been filmed on Tobago’s archetypal beaches. The perfect, palm fringed crescent of Bacolet beach, five minutes walk from Seabreeze, was the setting for the film of Swiss Family Robinson.

Tobago is a special place, a natural tourist attraction. The early government after Independence did not encourage the development of Tobago. It remained pastoral, a food factory for Trinidad. With the end of the oil boom in 1984 and the country's descent into economic recession, it became obvious that Tobago had to be developed and the most suitable channel was tourism.

Tobago is a gem of the Caribbean. The first foreign visitor to appreciate this was Christopher Columbus who referred to it in his report of the third voyage in 1498 as "Belle Forma". Having been untouched by the rapid rape of the other West Indian islands in the decades after the Second World War, its pristine beauty was preserved. It has everything: mountains covered in lush rain forest laced with clear streams, wonderful beaches and a blue, rich sea.

Having been connected to South America during the last ice age, it is blessed with the amazing variety of natural life found on the most diverse continent on Earth. A tiny sample of the Amazon - tiny Tobago. Lower Mountain Rain Forest is the oldest protected forest on the planet. It is a forest typical of most of the Amazon which was protected as a Crown Reserve in 1764 and by Law in 1776. Scientific American says "...that the protection of Tobago's forest was the first act in the modern environmental movement".

The island boasts have 210 species of some of the most beautiful birds in the world, all easily accessible for bird watchers. This includes the rare and exquisite Red-Billed Tropic Bird, star of two major BBC nature films, "Vampires, Devil birds and Spirits, The Calypso Isles" and Sir David Attenborough's "Trials of Life". There is a third BBC film about the insects of our forest, "Little creatures who run the World" with the famous Harvard author and entomologist, Edward Wilson as commentator.

There is a rare and very beautiful bird in the rain forest of Tobago the White-tailed Sabre-winged Hummingbird. Once thought to be extinct, it is now making a comeback. There are 12 species of mammals although colonial settlers exterminated a high percentage of the original fauna. Five species of marine turtles nest on our beaches including the giant Leatherback, breeding from March to July. One hundred and twenty-three species of butterflies such as the breathtaking Blue Emperor. Sixteen species of Lizard. Fourteen species of frog. Seventeen species of bat, including one that catches fish. Twenty four species of snake, none poisonous. Streams are full of life including an alligator and the world famous Guppy fish. The sea too is brimming over with fish and coral reefs. There are many game fish and it is the most accessible place to see the incredible Manta Ray.

One of the last unspoiled islands in the Caribbean, Tobago is long revered among divers and snorkellers for its crystal waters and spectacular reefs.

For general visitor information about Tobago, we recommend www.myTobago.info.

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