Tobago North Coast Attractions
One highlight of Tobago is the drive along the scenic and mostly unsettled road between Mt Irvine Bay and Bloody Bay where the road turns southward over the mountains of the Tobago Forest Reserve. The coast presents one postcard perfect bay after the next.Most of the specific human-built attractions are to be found at the western end of the road. While some people may try to do the whole road in one day, some of these specific sites can be split into a second day.
Plymouth - Fort James
The point of land above the village of Plymouth was used for defense purposes between 1650 to 1811. Currently one coral-stone building and four cannons remain of Fort James, among the low walls in a park-like setting with good views of the sea.British army pickets were attacked here in 1770 by revolting slaves. The battery was destroyed during the French invasion of 1781 who then occupied the site until 1793 when the British recaptured the island. The present fort was built in the early 1800s.Near the fort are two other minor attractions. The Couronian Monument (1976) honors local settlers from Courland (now Latvia). The Mystery Tombstone of the 18th century carries the puzzling inscription "Betty Stevens was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it, except by her kind indulgence to him."
Riverside Restaurant, Parlatuvier, Trinidad and Tobago
Parlatuvier, a scenic village on the Bay of the same name, is near the halfway point on the day-long circle drive which runs up the north coast and then turns away from the sea at Parlatuvier to cross over the Tobago Rain Forest Reserve to meet the windward coast road back to Scarborough.It is also the location of the only restaurant of note on the north coast - the Riverside Restaurant. Seating is on a second-floor veranda overlooking the hills of the rain forest on one side and the village on the other. The restaurant specializes in native dishes. For example, Kalaloo is a mixture of coconut juice, pumpkin and dasheen leaves. Other offerings include shrimp, chicken, vegetable rices, steamed vegetables, noodle cakes and beans all in the local style. The taste and quality are good.
Fort Bennett, Black Rock, Trinidad and Tobago
Little remains of this hilltop fort except some foundations and two cannons from the 1770s.The first use of this site as a fort was in 1680 when Lieutenant Rob Bennet, an English Mercenary set up the post. However, his group was driven out by natives in less than a year.The main military use was in 1778 when it protected sugar loading operations in the adjacent bay from American Privateers harassing the British during the American Revolution.The fort fell to the French, as did all others on the island during the invasion of 1781.The main visit value is the view of the bay and the black rocks below.
Grafton Caledonia Wildlife Sanctuary
The Grafton Caledonia Wildlife Sanctuary occupies the lands of a cocoa plantation destroyed by the 1963 hurricane. Near the parking lot is the open air Copra House Restaurant where bird feeders operate round the clock. The feeders are not as varied as in other nature sites and therefore the range of bird life is narrower.There are three walking trails, though they look like logging roads and the agricultural building ruins have little aesthetic appeal.The site is a good alternative for those wanting to avoid the fees of some of the more attractive nature sites.
Mt Irvine Bay Hotel and Golf Club
While this highly-rated 18-hole course is primarily for guests at the Mt Irvine Bay Hotel, other hotels can arrange for use of this facility.Of note in this upscale hotel overlooking scenic Mount Irvine Bay is a restaurant built around an old stone sugar windmill base. The mill structure can be seen from the road. The mill was in use from the last quarter of the 18th c until the collapse of the sugar industry in 1887.
Arnos Vale Resort
The veranda of the Arnos Vale Hotel is one of the best spots to view birds who are attracted by the wide-range of feeders maintained by the staff.While the grounds and private beach of this hotel are reserved for guests, the hotel serves tea each afternoon which presents non-guests with the opportunity to see the many hummingbirds and other colorful species.
Address: Box 208, Trinidad and Tobago
Useful tips: Purchasing the afternoon tea and cakes gains admission to the grounds. Tea starts about 3 p.m. but you may arrive earlier. Minor climbing is required to reach the hotel.
Facilities: Beach, Gift shop, On-site accomodations, Restaurant or food service
Steel Band Concerts, Buccoo, Trinidad and Tobago
While the village and bay are typical of those of Tobago, Buccoo's claim to fame is the weekly live steel band concert held Sundays at 8:30 p.m.At Easter the town holds goat and crab races.Buccoo is also a departure point for glass bottom boat tours of its offshore reef. Snorkerling is also popular here.
Arnos Vale Water Wheel and Nature Park
This well-preserved 18th-c. waterwheel once powered a sugar mill. Much of the mill's machinery is on view. The site, now the Arnos Vale Water Wheel and Nature Park, has been enhanced and now has an outdoor theater, restaurant and walking trails.
Tobago Rain Forest Reserve - Parlatuvier to Roxborough Road
The road through the Rain Forest Reserve from north to south near the eastern end of Tobago is one of the more scenic ways to see the forest. At the top of the ridge hiking trails and freelance guides are found.