Trinidad and Tobago travel guide
Tobago has several waterfalls, where Argyle Waterfall is the biggest with a 54 m drop in total. It cascade down four steps, each with a chilled rock pool below where you can take a dip. The setting is equal spectacular, in a protected rainforest. The only way to reach the waterfall is by a 15 minutes walk from the parking lot at the ticket office - and some scrambling, if you want to reach the higher levels.
Take a shark filet, put some batter around it, deep fry it and put it in fried bread (the bake). Then go to a self-service salad bar with lots of vegetables, sauces and other condiments and you end up with a delicious sandwich that is too big to eat and you spend a few minutes wondering how to get started.
People come to Maracas Bay especially to eat a Bake 'n' Shark, and there are several stands selling them. Richard is the self-acclaimed original and first stand and definitely the most popular one. If you don't want to eat shark, you could go for the alternative option: Bake 'n' Kingfish or, for vegetarians, Bake 'n' Veggie, but that is kind of missing the point. Afterwards, you can digest on the large pretty beach of Maracas Bay.
The northwestern side of Tobago is studded with beautiful bays with long sandy beaches. Some beaches are developed and have facilities – as they call it here – i.e. snack bars and toilets, while others are pretty close to deserted. Rent a car or scooter and take a trip along the coast and just pick the beach you like most.
The photo gallery will show you all the beaches: Pigeon Point Beach, Buccoo Bay Beach, Grange Beach, Stonehaven Bay Beach, Turtle Beach, Englishman's Bay Beach, Parlatuvier Bay Beach, Bloody Bay Beach.
The tourist epicenter on Tobago is Crown Point at the airport. However, if you are looking for somewhere more chilled with a true local flavour head to Buccoo Bay. Sure, the beach here isn't as nice as the ones at Crown Point (like Store Bay and Pigeon Point), but you can have it for yourself – and the pretty Mt Irvine Beach isn't too far anyway. Every Sunday the village turns into street party with BBQ food stalls, open air bars, and pumping reggae music where tourist and locals alike grab a few drinks.
The fishing village of Charlotteville spreads out at the bottom of the horseshoe-shaped Man of War Bay. The palm fringed beach is long with brown sand. Yacht people have already discovred this charming village, so yachts are often anchored in the aquamarine bay – a beautiful sight that is best taken in up from the rim of the surrounding lush mountains. Though Charlotteville is bigger than Speyside, it only has a small tourist industry, so it has kept its authentic vibe with friendly folks.
The Caribbean islands have changed hands multiple times during the colonial period. Latvians, Dutch, Germans, British, French, and Swedish have all ruled over Tobago. Every time a new nation came to power, new forts were built or old ones were enforced. Fort James on Tobago dates back to the 1650s, though the current coral construction was built by the British in the early 1800s after recapturing the island from the French for the final time. It's beautiful perched on a cliff with a couple of cannons and a ruin, but the view over Great Courland Bay might be the most impressive about Fort James.
By being only 45 minutes drive away from the capital, Maracas Bay is where people from Port of Spain go if they want to the beach. The long and sandy beach lies beautiful on a backdrop of green mountains. It's lined with palms and almost as many snack huts, who serve up the famous shark and bake sandwish. There are sweeping views over the bay when comning in from Port of Spain.
With a height of 91.5 m Maracas Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Trinidad (and Tobago). The drop is straight down and it's hard to grasp the height just by standing at the rocky base. You can take a dip in the pool below or a shower under the cascade, though it might only be a spray during dry season (winter). Maracas Waterfall can only be reached by hiking. There is a car park and a seating area at the beginning of the trail, from where it will take no more than 20 minutes hiking one-way. After 5 minutes there is a side trail to the right, which leads to tree-tiers cascade with larger pools.
Trinidad is not Tobago when it comes to beaches. Tobago is blessed with bounty beaches with white sand and aquamarine waters. On Trinidad you can expect beaches with brown sand, murky choppy waters, and trash as they are mostly used by fishermen. And the long wide beach at Mayaro is no different. There are a couple of resorts on the south side of Mayaro town, but none will impress architecturally.
Trinidad and Tobago is one of the few countries in the world with mud volcanoes. One is near Erin Bay in the southeastern corner of Trinidad. The mud volcano isn't actually shaped like a volcano cone, but rather just a mud pond with bubbling mud. There are no signs or anything indicating that this is a natural wonder. You just drive there, park the car next to a farmers field, and walk 50 m through the woods to the mud volcano. You can walk on the dry mud, but the wet sections seem bottomless, so be careful.