A bustling city seeped in history, Tobago’s capital offers up a snapshot of days gone by. Sprawled over the hillside, it’s overlooked by the Fort King George, a 17th-century hideout that sits proudly at the summit. Wander through the town to Upper Scarborough and take a look at the House of Assembly – it’s one of the best examples of Georgian architecture in the Caribbean. Head down by the port, and you’ll find colourful houses lining the harbour and lively markets dominating the streets. Here, you can pick up island favourites like fresh coconut milk and syrup-coated ice-cream, as well as arts and crafts.
• Hike up the hillside to Fort King George. You’ll find a museum in the Barrack Guard House, filled with Amerindian artefacts and military relics. The view of the harbour from up here is well worth the legwork, too.
• Lose yourself in the Scarborough Botanical Gardens. Spread over 17 acres and filled with exotic plants and shrubs, it’s definitely worth a look. Make sure you pay a visit to the native orchid house, as well.
• Spend some time relaxing at Pigeon Point. With its white sands, nodding palms and turquoise waters, it’s arguably the most beautiful beach on the island. Plus, it boasts a restaurant, a cocktail bar and all sorts of watersports.
• More than 200 species of mammals and birds call Tobago Forest Reserve home. Hummingbirds, armadillos, and tiny tree frogs camouflage themselves among the streams, waterfalls and waxy plants.
SHORE EXCURSIONS► View all EXCURSIONS
This tour offers up Tobago’s natural beauty and history rolled into one. After travelling through Scarborough, you’ll arrive at the Mysterious Tombstone, the burial place of an 18th-century woman called Betty Stivens. Her gravestone bears an enigmatic epitaph, which has puzzled people for over 230 years. You’ll also see nearby Fort James, built by the Latvians in the 1600s to guard Great Courland Bay. Next comes a drive along Mount Irvine Road, following the scenic northwest coast to the famous Mount Irvine Bay Hotel and Golf Club. Its undulating fairways are carved from an old sugar plantation and serve up wonderful panoramas over the Caribbean Sea. From here, it’s on to Store Bay, one of Tobago’s most beautiful beaches, where white sands mingle with glossy palms, crab-n-dumpling stalls and light blue seas. We'll also call in at Fort King George. Built by the British in the 1770s, its old buildings and cannons sit in manicured lawns high above Scarborough, giving you breathtaking views over the coastline and capital.
Glass Bottom Buccoo Reef►
Basking off Tobago’s west coast, Buccoo Reef is probably the most spectacular of its kind in the Caribbean – it’s even warranted a visit from Jacques Cousteau. It’s also a snorkelling hotspot, which is what this trip is all about. After leaving Scarborough, we’ll drive you to Pigeon Point beach, a long ribbon of palm-fringed sands. Here, you'll step off the Pigeon Point where you’ll board your glass bottom boat. Gaze at the tropical aquarium below as your captain points out the best of the underwater life during your short journey. Then, once you reach the reef, it’s up to you what you do – you can relax on board or explore with a snorkel. Waft through the technicolor corals and crowds of reef fish – it’s an extraordinary undersea world. You might even be joined by a giant turtle or two. Next, it’s on to the Nylon Pool, a coral sandbank washed by electric blue shallows. You’ll have some time to swim in the waist-deep waters here before your boat returns you to Pigeon Point and your coach. Your snorkelling equipment is provided, so all you need is your swimsuit, sun cream and towel.
Roxborough Rainforest Adventure►
Tobago has more than its fair share of scenic beauty and exotic wildlife, and on this tour you’ll witness both. Your destination is the Tobago Forest Reserve, which has been protected since 1776, making it one of the world’s oldest nature reserves. Enveloping the island’s mountainous spine, it’s a wonderland of towering trees, hanging vines and thick tropical vegetation, all making up a delicate eco-system. Sit back and relax as you drive along the island’s rugged windward coast, passing wave-swept headlands and pastel-painted villages en-route to Roxborough. It’s here that your real adventure begins, as an expert guide leads you down trails through the jungle. As you go, you’ll pass hidden streams and waterfalls, and hear intriguing facts about the plants and trees around you as your guide explains how they’re used as food and medicines. You’ll also be introduced to some of the 200 species of birds and other creatures that call this Garden of Eden home – parakeets, hummingbirds, leaf-cutter ants, armadillos and squirrels are among them. Bring binoculars if you can and wear comfortable walking shoes. The trek lasts around two hours, so you’ll need to be relatively fit.