Top seven most beautiful places in Tobago

From viewpoints to waterfalls to secluded coves, the topography of this tiny Caribbean island will take your breath away.

Argyle Waterfall is the the highest in Tobago and tumbles into one of the largest and deepest pools on the island — perfect for swimming.

Photograph by Jad Davenport
By Amelia Duggan
Published 6 Jan 2020, 11:21 GMT

The beauty of Tobago is apparent in every direction. On this landscaped promontory overlooking the deep-blue Caribbean, looking out on a clear day, Grenada appears on the horizon and, in the other direction, over the island's narrow crest, the wilder Atlantic sea.

1. Mount Dillon Point
Jungle-swathed Mount Dillon looms large on this little island; and far below is the yellow cove of Castara. It’s possible to see dolphins following fishing boats; rainbows after a shower; and migratory birds flying past. Stop by to take a few photos or have a picnic. It’s a good place to spot the national bird, the chachalaca (or cocrico in local parlance), whose distinctive cry can be heard throughout the island.

2. Argyle Waterfall
Named by British planters after the beautiful southwestern coastal region of Scotland, Tobago’s highest falls lie at the end of a rustic track that weaves through the ruined out-buildings of an old sugar estate. The path is straightforward enough, although those interested in learning more about the site and the local flora may wish to pick up a guide at the entrance. The pool here is one of the largest and deepest on the island — perfect for swimming.

Looking out, on a clear day in Tobago, Grenada appears on the horizon and, in the ...
Looking out, on a clear day in Tobago, Grenada appears on the horizon and, in the other direction, over Tobago’s narrow crest, the darker, wilder Atlanic sea.
Photograph by Tobago Tourism

3. Tree of Spirits
A revered kapok tree stands, as it has for centuries, in the village of Moriah. Its towering, thorny buttress roots and lofty umbrella canopy are home to flowering orchids and other tropical epiphytes. It’s silk cotton seed puffs coat the passing road in a whitish snow that can be collected to stuff pillows. It’s proportions are such that the tree has taken on mythical qualities. In Tobagonian folklore, Gang Gang Sarah was an African witch who drew her power of flight from the tree. Today, it’s thought that bad comes to people who speak ill of the tree, and it’s said that it can grant wishes.

4. Flagstaff Viewpoint
Drive out to the rugged, northerly tip of the island for expansive ocean vistas on three sides. The American army used Flagstaff for a radio tower and lookout during the Second World War, signalling to their colleagues in the bay below using mirrors if ships were spotted. It’s a peaceful spot, and undeveloped but for a few benches. Watch a sunset, spot the birds circling off St Giles island, or take pictures of the curious rock archway out in the ocean nicknamed London Bridge.

Tobago: watch the island come to life
Surrounded by ocean, ringed with beaches and with a thick forested interior, Tobago is a little slice of Caribbean paradise. But from party-loving people to white-tailed hummingbirds, it’s the life bursting from every corner that makes it unforgettable.

5. Top River Falls
An inconspicuous kiosk and a gassy parking area mark the short trail to Top River Falls, behind the village of Parlatuvier. It’s a magical spot to be alone with nature. Here, the broad lower pool is brushed by vines trailing from the forest canopy, and a scramble up rocks and roots brings you the top falls, framed by thick jungle dotted with fiery heliconias. Afterwards, stop in at Glasgow Bar for views down across Parlatuvier’s pretty bay, filled with fishing boats and framed by a smattering of houses painted bright shades —  turquoise, sky blue, mauve, tangerine.

6. Petit Trou Lagoon Boardwalk
This network of wooden walkways weaves through the spindly, knotted forest of mangrove trees, hidden away in a corner of the Tobago Plantations Estate,  home to the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort. It makes for an eerie stroll: roots have crept from the brackish water and fastened onto the walkway, the distinct sound of the sea breaking onto the lagoon broken only by beating wings of yellow crowned night herons hunting for crabs in the shallows.

Tobago has tropical temperatures year-round, ranging from 23C-32C.
Tobago has tropical temperatures year-round, ranging from 23C-32C.
Photograph by Amelia Duggan

7. Englishman’s Bay
It’s possible to fall in love with a different beach every day in Tobago. But a perennial favourite with locals is Englishman’s Bay. This long, isolated crescent of powdery sand is framed by bamboo and palm forests and, with the exception of one small restaurant and craft shack, appears as wild and unspoilt as the shore of a desert island. Break up a day of snorkeling and sunbathing with a plate of Eula’s curried shrimp, and catch aerial views of the bay at sunset from the main road as it snakes back up the hills.

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In conversation with Alison Sardinha, local legend and owner of Tobago’s Blue Crab Restaurant


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