Tobago Island Attractions
Tobago, the smaller island of Trinidad & Tobago, lies about 35 km North-East of the island of Trinidad. It is characterized by the Main Ridge, a mountainous range that runs from the South-West to the North-East.
The highest peak is 576 meters above sea level. In contrast to the more active main island, Tobago is essentially a tropical paradise without industry.Topographically, Tobago distinguishes itself strongly from its sibling island. The reason may be found in the fact that Tobago separated itself from the main island during earlier geological eras, even as Trinidad was separating itself from the South America (by continental drift). While Trinidad is an active island, Tobago, only 40 km long by 12 km wide, provides a more restful stay. Virtually the whole of the island's surface is covered by tropical vegetation or agriculture. The locals, overwhelmingly of African origin, enjoy a livelihood based on plantation-farming (coconuts and cocoa) plus fishing. Tourism also plays a big role.Tobago claims to be the setting of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe island-novel - though Chileans can substantiate a claim that their country's San Fernandez island, in the Pacific Ocean, is the site. Defoe (1660-1731) moved the locale of the adventures of the Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk to the island of Tobago, since this island suited him better for development of his story. However, the purported Robinson-cave on the North-West coast has nothing to do with the Scottish sailor.History:In the time before Columbus, this island was a significant stop-off-point for the Arawaks, who set up numerous communities. When Columbus sailed southward from Grenada to Trinidad, in 1498, he must have spotted the island, but there is no entry in his log-book.Later colonizers gave it the name 'Tabago' - derived from the Y-shaped tube used by ancient aborigines as a tobacco-pipe - called 'tabaco'.In the 17th century, Dutch settlers brought sugar cane as a commercial crop, which, in the 18th century, became a major agricultural product, and helped the cultivators become quite rich. Subsequently, sugar production suffered severe setbacks and great tracts were then replanted with trees.After multiple changes of ownership, severe pirate incursions and invasions, Tobago finally became governed by Great Britain in 1803 - even though it was to have gone to the French as part of the Treaty of Amiens (1802). In 1889, Tobago, together with its island-neighbor, was established as a British colony, and, in 1962, achieved independence simultaneously with Trinidad.
Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago
Scarborough is the capital of Tobago, but is not a prime tourist city. Wrapped around a bay, it has constructed a little used cruise docking facilities. Just opposite the docks is a market area which is busiest on Friday and Saturdays, but aside from one or two poorly stocked crafts shops, little is sold but a standard selection of vegetables and fish.Scarborough is scenic when seen from the overlook of Fort King George, a spot of tranquility.
Fort King George
Built in the 1780s overlooking Scarborough Bay, the site offers both a good view of the town and a park-like tranquility with some magnificent trees. Some of the original brick and stone walls, an early prison, the officers' mess, several cannon, and a later lighthouse still survive. It is the best preserved fort on Tobago.The Tobago Museum is located on the grounds.
Run by the Tobago Trust in the Barrack Guard House of Fort King George the Tobago Museum has a varied collection. Perhaps its most well-displayed collection are the antique maps on the second floor. There is also an emphasis on African Art reflecting the slave history of Tobago's citizens. Amerindian artifacts, military buttons, coins, shells and minerals are some of the other collections.
The Botanic Garden in Scarborough comprises ten acres of tropical trees and shrubs which are clearly labeled and create some interesting views. Open lawns surround the tree specimens.
Tobago Heritage Festival
The Tobago Heritage Festival takes place each year from mid July to early August and is celebrated throughout Tobago. The event, one of the most important on the island, showcases dance, music, and food as it celebrates the history and heritage of the people.
Tobago - Scuba & Snorkeling
There are several areas appropriate for scuba diving and or snorkeling and several companies which serve tourists wishing to partake of these sports. Most of the areas are off the north coast or Tyrrel's Bay. Some of the reef areas are protected.
Touted as a "mini Carnival", Tobago Fest is held in September. Like Carnival, which is a huge event on Trinidad, Tobago Fest celebrates with music, parades, competitions, and calypso shows while adding its own distinct Tobagonian flare.
Tobago Island Pictures
Map of Tobago Island Attractions