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Tobago

Little sister to Trinidad, Tobago is the smaller island of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, 27 miles long by 9 miles at its widest, lying just south of Barbados and almost within sight of the coast of Venezuela. This glorious, unspoilt island is a relaxed and peaceful paradise where both simplicity and luxury can be found, adored by everybody who has ever stayed there. The food is excellent; the beaches are fantastic and the scenery very beautiful. This is a very safe island, and its people are laid back and charming with rare old world manners.

Landscape
The southern end of the island is flat, then rises to nearly 2,000 feet to the stunning rain and deciduous forest, the oldest national park in the world, which was recognized by the British Parliament at the end of the 18th century. Today you can visit this fascinating and beautiful rainforest with guides who run tours along its trails.

Wildlife
There is spectacular wildlife, flora and fauna, giving great opportunities for bird-watching. Between April and June the great leather-backed turtles return to Grafton and Turtle beaches to lay their eggs - a sight definitely worth seeing.

Activities
Tobago is great for walking, trekking, diving and sailing. It has two major coral reefs. The Buccoo Reef at the southern tip of the island can be viewed from glass-bottomed boats from the famous Pigeon Point beach. Speyside, at the northern end, is a scuba diving centre, and is considered one of the best diving reefs in the Caribbean. Mountain bike tours will take you through some of Tobago’s beautiful scenery.

Things to see
The Tobago Cocoa Estate, near the village of Roxborough on the west side of the island, offers tours of a working chocolate plantation, showing the interesting history of this very local delicacy and of course tasting sessions. “The Castle” is a fabulous museum run by Luise Kimme and dedicated to her larger-than-life sculptures on Caribbean themes, hewn from entire tree trunks. The Argyle Waterfall is the tallest of many beautiful waterfalls on the island, and registered guides will take you up the slippery slopes to the breathtaking views from the top.

Beaches
Tobago's great attractions are its wonderful white sandy beaches and clear blue tropical waters which provide fantastic swimming, diving, snorkelling, fishing and sailing.

When to go
Even between December and April, which is the height of the season in the Caribbean, Tobago is never crowded and glorious empty beaches can always be found.

Climate
The climate is beautifully tropical and gentle breezes usually blow with temperatures fluctuating between the high 70s and the high 80s (25 to 32 centigrade). This gives a wonderfully hot but pleasant climate most of the year around.

Entertainment
Evening entertainment can be found at several of the hotels and there are some excellent restaurants. There are also a few bars with steel bands and other music where locals and tourists meet. And no-one must miss out on 'Sunday School' at Pigeon Point every Sunday - not quite what it sounds - this is actually one huge 'lime' (party) which lasts all day and most of the island comes to party to the riotous steel pans of the “Buccooneers”.

How to get there
Flights from the UK all fly from Gatwick to Tobago’s only airport, recently renamed Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson airport. BA and Virgin offer scheduled flights, and chartered flights operated by Monarch via Grenada (on the outward leg) tend to be slightly cheaper.

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Villas in Tobago

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