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About Tobago

Tobago, of volcanic origins with coral limestone in the south, lies 11°15'N, 60°40'W, slightly north of Trinidad and covers 116mi²/300km². The highest point in Tobago is Pigeon Peak at 1,804ft/550m. Tobago is the smaller of the two main islands that make up the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Columbus first sighted Tobago in 1498, but did not stop. He named it Bella Forma (Beautiful Shape). Its present name is corrupted from the word Tobacco which the then native Carib Indians grew.

Fun things to do: request a government appointed guide to explore the rainforests and protected species of birds, check out nesting leatherback turtles (April – July), enjoy diving, follow the story of the location of Walt Disney’s highest engrossing film of 1959 – Swiss Family Robinson. The script required imported animals - including eight dogs, two giant tortoises, forty monkeys, two elephants, six ostriches, four zebras, one hundred flamingos, six hyenas, two anacondas, and a tiger! The small neighbouring islands of Little Tobago and St. Giles Island support some of the best remaining dry forests which are important seabird nesting colonies.

Local businesses

Visiting Tobago and wondering where to stay, what to do, where to eat and how to get around? We’ve got you covered with our list of hotels, restaurants, activities, car hire, shopping & more. Browse through for more details.

Events

Annual events

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Events in Feburary

24-Feb-20 to 24-Feb-20
Carnival Monday (Tobago)

Public Holiday

25-Feb-20 to 25-Feb-20
Carnival Tuesday (Tobago)

Public Holiday

Events in April

10-Apr-20 to 10-Apr-20
Good Friday (Tobago)

Public Holiday  A day of church services for all denominations throughout the island

13-Apr-20 to 13-Apr-20
Easter Monday (Tobago)

Public Holiday 

14-Apr-20 to 14-Apr-20
Buccoo Goat and Crab Race Fetival (Tobago)

22-Apr-20 to 26-Apr-20
Tobago Jazz Experience (Tobago)

A truly pan-Caribbean Jazz event with artists from Haiti, US Virgin Islands, Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago, aims to be one to remember.
More information

Events in May

13-May-20 to 16-May-20
Tobago International Game Fishing Tournament (Tobago)

Open to amateurs & professionals and held in Charlotteville

16-May-20 to 17-May-20
Tobago International Sea to Sea Marathon (Tobago)

Events in June

13-Jun-20 to 13-Jun-20
Masy Rainbow Cup International Triathlon (Tobago)

Competitors from around the world compete in this 1 day event

19-Jun-20 to 19-Jun-20
Labour Monday (Tobago)

Public Holiday

20-Jun-20 to 21-Jun-20
Dragon Boat Festival (Tobago)

Each year on a weekend in mid-June at Pigeon Point, senior and junior teams from both islands compete for dragon-boating supremacy.

Events in July

10-Jul-20 to 1-Aug-20
Tobago Heritage Festival (Tobago)

Created to preserve the cultural traditions of Tobago

Events in August

10-Jul-20 to 1-Aug-20
Tobago Heritage Festival (Tobago)

Created to preserve the cultural traditions of Tobago

1-Aug-20 to 1-Aug-20
Emancipation Day (Tobago)

Public Holiday

22-Aug-20 to 22-Aug-20
Trinidad and Tobago Great Race (Tobago)

This annual race starts in Trinidad and ends in Tobago

31-Aug-20 to 31-Aug-20
Independence Day (Tobago)

Public Holiday

Events in September

24-Sep-20 to 24-Sep-20
Republic Day (Tobago)

Public Holiday

29-Sep-20 to 4-Oct-20
Tobago International Cycling Classic (Tobago)

Events in October

29-Sep-20 to 4-Oct-20
Tobago International Cycling Classic (Tobago)

17-Oct-20 to 18-Oct-20
Tobago Blue Food Festival (Tobago)

Dasheen, a commonly used local ground provision is the main ingredient in every dish at this festival

Events in December

4-Dec-20 to 4-Dec-20
Tobago Day (Tobago)

25-Dec-20 to 25-Dec-20
Christmas Day (Tobago)

Public Holiday

26-Dec-20 to 26-Dec-20
Boxing Day (Tobago)

Public Holiday

History and Culture

Tobago was settled over 2,500 years ago by Amerindians. Tobago was soon seen as a valuable strategic harbour with excellent agricultural assets by its recent European arrivals. Walt Disney’s scouts found Tobago exciting for another reason – the best location for the film The Swiss Family Robinson (a book written by Johann David Wyss). This is a story of a marooned family and their adventures. Their film tree house was destroyed in a hurricane but the proud 200 foot saman tree in the Goldsborough Bay area still remains standing.

A new era

Not surprisingly, as was customary during this period by nations seeking to cash in, Tobago was “discovered” by the English in 1508 and was then fought over by the Dutch, Spanish, English, French and was also settled by Latvians and buccaneers (and some others too) well into the 18th Century. To be precise, the island changed hands 33 times! The place names bear witness to its bellicose and politically colourful past. It was ceded to the English in 1814 in the Treaty of Paris. In 1888 it was officially amalgamated with its larger island neighbour, Trinidad, in order to achieve greater financial stability for the island. In 1962 both Trinidad and Tobago gained independence from Britain and finally became a republic in 1976.

Tobago is now almost wholly dependent on tourism. The straightforward, genuine, unaffected friendliness of its people, its unique unspoiled beauty, rain forests, diverse & exotic birdlife has gained the reputation for being the archetypal tropical island as portrayed in Daniel Dafoe’s 1791 novel, ‘Robinson Crusoe’.