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.

Services

Get information on the island, medical facilities & other services

Transport

Hire a car, jeep, bicycle or scooter to travel around the island

Events

Annual events

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

Events in Feburary

8-Feb-2016 to 9-Feb-2016
Carnival (Tobago)

Events in January

TBA
Tobago Carnival Regatta (Tobago)

Events in April

16-Apr-2016 to 24-Apr-2016
Tobago Jazz Experience (Tobago)

International superstars

23-Apr-2016 to 24-Apr-2016
Jazz on the beach (Tobago)

Unique setting

Events in July

15-Jul-2016 to 1-Aug-2016
Tobago Heritage Festival (Tobago)

Celebration with cultural displays

Events in August

15-Jul-2016 to 1-Aug-2016
Tobago Heritage Festival (Tobago)

Celebration with cultural displays

20-Aug-2016 to 20-Aug-2016
Reggae On The Beach (Tobago)

Events in August

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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’.