Travel & Places
Go sea kayaking or snorkeling. The area is a real treat for the eyes, boasting stunning natural beauty and mountainous landscapes. And the waters here provide easy sailing conditions, so if you're not particularly experienced on the water there's no need to be worried. In this section you will find brief description of Caribbean Islands tourism when planning a vacation with family and friends.
The Caribbean Sea of the Atlantic Ocean situated in the tropics of the Western hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and southwest, to the north by the Greater Antilles, and to the east by the Lesser Antilles. The Caribbean, long referred to as the West Indies, includes more than 7,000 islands; of those, 13 are independent island countries (shown in red) on the map, and some are dependencies or overseas territories of other nations.
The entire area of the Caribbean Sea, the numerous islands of the West Indies, and adjacent coasts, are collectively known as the Caribbean. The Caribbean Sea is one of the largest salt water seas and has an area of about 2,754,000 km² (1,063,000 sq. mi.). In addition, that large number includes islets (very small rocky islands); cay's (small, low islands composed largely of coral or sand) and a few inhabited reefs. Of the 249 places in the world in which human beings live and work, the small Caribbean island of Dominica (751 sq km) ranks at 187 in size. Even so, it is bigger than well-known Caribbean tourism destinations such as St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Cayman Islands, St Kitts-Nevis, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and St Maarten.
A growing number of scuba divers are doing the unthinkable. They go in search of sharks- and take them on, eyeball to eyeball, without any special protection.
It was a few days before I passed through Bloody Bay again. This time I decided to stop for awhile at the CURTIS SHOP. Parrotman took me across the road to show me his herb garden.
"When the boy get lazy, I boil this bush down and drink," he confided, chuckling. Tobago seemed a garden of aphrodisiacs. He pointed out the stack of bricks that would house his new toilet, then disappeared behind a curtain of colored strips. A deafening screech of music erupted from all over the emporium. Hidden speakers lurked everywhere. I noticed wires draped over the bushes, crossing the lawn.
Ease and prosperity have been a long time coming. Slavery on Tobago was followed by long economic hardship, and one place where you can still feel that heritage of suffering is in the local Baptist Church. Spiritual Baptists endured a ban earlier this century, imposed on grounds of the noise nuisance they constituted to a neighborhood. I could understand why: Charlotteville's congregation was small, but I heard the din of singing, clapping, drums, and bass long before I found the church.
The riverside restaurant, Parlatuvier, lunchtime... My girlfriend, Clare, and I are sitting with Gloria, the proprietress and part-time chef, Bryner's wife, who is sipping a pink drink.
"Mmm," she says, with a glint in her eye. "They call this a flag-up. Help the old men to harass the ladies in the night. You want?" she asks us.
Clare laughs. "I'm not so sure."
Gloria nods in my direction. "He don't need?"
Tobago has had a long, hard history since the white man came. Declared "unoccupied" by 16th-century British sailors because only Carib and Arawak Indians dwelt on the island, it was some time before a permanent European settlement was established. First the Dutch arrived, then the English, followed by the Latvians, of all people, in 1634. Courlanders, as the Latvians were then known, struggled to establish a permanent foothold throughout much of the 17th century, battling off the Caribs, the Dutch, and the French.
Dawn in Parlatuvier... Fishing is the chief activity here. Bryner, the man with the bronzed belly, has invited me along on his daily fishing trip. He steps down the soft beach, immerses his body in the water, and swims out to his boat. A moment later I see his silhouette tugging at the outboard. Fuel spits out the back, smoke drifts over the surface of the bay. The smell of two-stroke reaches me.
Tobago falls conveniently into two parts: hilly rustic northeast and flat developed southwest. The airport, the main settlements, the golf course and most of the hotels, as well as tourist attractions such as Buccoo Reef and Pigeon Point's white beach, are all in the southwestern end of the island. But even here village life goes on, as it were, between the ankles of tourism. Traditional fishing boats bob among the glass-bottom tourist launches, and occasionally locals line up among the sun-worshipers on the beaches to "pull seine," that is, haul in one of their huge nets from the bay.
A Tobago moment: a tranquil beach, a gentle breeze, and the warmth of the Caribbean sun.
Tobago is adamant that it and no other island is Robinson Crusoe's true isle. In the Tobago Museum, an old barrack guardhouse at Fort King George, located high above the main town of Scarborough, I bought a little book titled Crusoe's Only Isle. It was written by a one-time director of the museum.
You couldn't drive far in Tobago without picking up extra passengers. First there was the man in the leopard-skin hat and multicolor waistcoat who was waiting at the roadside, seated on a gleaming white toilet. The bowl, freestanding and clearly not being used for its proper purpose but as a perch, rocked as he waved at us.
"Bloody Bay? Bloody Bay?" he called out.
A Whisper from the Caribbean past, tiny Tobago is stepping out of the shadow of its sister isle.
They weigh in at 1 ton, feature gaping mouths and have long whips for tails. At first blush, a sane person could easily be thought crazy for swimming with Manta Rays...but not in Tobago! In the rich, warm waters off this relaxed Caribbean island, lucky divers call encounters and meet Tobago's Manta Rays - the essential wildness of this unique corner of the Caribbean.
Depth: 80 feet
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Charge your strobes for one of Tobago’s prettiest reefs. From 40 to 80 feet, this sloping bank of coral is covered with waving fields of soft corals and sponges.
Depth: 90 feet
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced