Weekend Pass: Tobago

July 25, 2014


T&T being a twin island republic, Tobago is accessible from Trinidad via both air and sea. If you’re already in Trinidad and just want to switch it up a little with another trip, the inter-island ferries (US$20 for a return trip) sets sail several times a day from the seaport in the capital, Port of Spain. If you don’t have the sea legs for this 2 1/2 hour trip, it’s a 25-minute flight from Piarco to the newly renamed ANR Robinson International Airport (formerly Crown Point International) on the sister isle. Flights leave regularly and generally cost TT$300, or $48 US.

If you haven’t arranged pick up, taxis are easily accessible from the airport and there are many car rental agencies to choose from. We personally recommend Tobago United Auto Rentals, which is located literally across the street from the airport.

Get Wet

You would think we would tell you to go to your room first right? Wrong! Store Bay, one of the most popular beaches on the island is a two-minute drive/15-minute walk from the airport. Now, why would it be there if it wasn’t meant to be your first stop? This beach is a great place to jet ski or get a glass-bottomed boat tour of the famous Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool. Ask to be taken deeper into the reef to the Coral Gardens, where you can enjoy snorkeling and observing marine life, without damaging the ecosystem.

Get Fed
Photo Courtesy: Steve Bennett, UncommonCaribbean.com

Store Bay is also a perfect opportunity to get lunch and sample the national dish of Tobago— crab stewed in a coconut milk curry and served with dumplings—from any of the vendors in the food court situated at the top of the beach. Grab some food and head down to the sand, ask for Lynx Beach Chair Rentals (he has our seal of approval and can also hook you up with a reliable glass-bottom boat captain), grab a seat and relax.

If you see a man in a tent on the sand serving up drinks, you may have just met “The Man on The Rock.” His cocktails (US$7-$10) and hilarious personality will have you literally rolling in the sand. Tell him LargeUp sent you so he’ll fix you up nice.

Get a Room
Castara Retreats

Now that you’ve enjoyed a real Tobago welcome, head to your room. Whether you want a vacation that’s “turned up” or low key, there are spaces to facilitate you, from high-end hotels and villas to low-budget rooms with that authentic Bago vibe. Prices can range from US$50 to US$800 per night. We recommend going to the MyTobago website for a listing of amazing properties complete with reviews from past guests. LargeUp has plenty love for Johnston Apartments and Kariwak Holistic Haven and Hotel, both located in the midst of the active Store Bay scene.

But if you’re looking for some serious peace and quiet, Castara Retreats and the rustic seaside village of Castara wins hands down. Make sure to stop for all the supplies you will need as there aren’t any major stores or markets near to the village.

*If you are staying in Castara, lunch at Marguerite’s Local Cuisine is a must! And Kariwak has live jazz performances on Friday and Saturday night if you want a different flavor before you head to the club.

Get Pumpin
Photo Courtesy: The Jade Monkey

Grab dinner at the Watermill Restaurant on Shirvan Road, Mt. Pleasant, which is easily accessible from the main Tobago road and then head to The Jade Monkey Casino Bar and Grill located in Bon Accord. This is the place to party it up on a Friday night. Dress code is casual party wear and the music is a Dancehall/Reggae/Soca/Hip Hop mix but pace yourself, you just arrived and the weekend is still young.