Tobago

Tobago, Tobago, Tobago … a total opposite of it’s twin island Trinidad. Tobago is just as beautiful, with relaxing beaches, pristine waters but has more of the touristy feel to it. My friends and I spent three relaxing days soaking up the Caribbean sun in the Crown Point area of Tobago.

For future trips to Tobago, I would like to venture into the tropical rainforest and mountain area. On the plane ride over, a man said there is a popular tree-house restaurant (He didn’t give a name, but he said everyone would know what you are talking about), you can take any cab to drive around the whole island in about a half a day, and to attend Sunday School (not a religious activity, even though my friend thought it was)

Friend: “This guy I was talking to is so religious. He said he is going to Sunday School tomorrow.”

Me: “Girl, that is just one big party everyone goes to!”

But anyways, it takes place on Sunday evenings and is a big liming party.  These are some things you can add to your itinerary if you have a longer time. We did split our time between Trinidad and Tobago, but my only advice is to be in Tobago on a Sunday, since Tobago has Sunday School and Trinidad is a day of rest and not much is open.

Without further ado … Tobago through the eyes of the wanderlusting yogi

We began our trip flying from Fort Lauderdale, Florida into Port of Spain, Trinidad on Jet Blue Airways.  We had booked our next flight to Tobago on Caribbean Airlines.  I would give yourself two and a half to three hours between flights.  Our flight from Florida was delayed, so my group was panicking a little as to whether or not we would make it to Tobago.  Caribbean Airlines has flights all day traveling back and forth between the islands, so if you do miss your flight, you are on stand by for the next one (but seriously, no one wants that when you can be on a beach with a drink).  We luckily have enough time to retrieve our bags, and check in for our next flight.  The transition was actually very smooth and stress-free getting from point A to point B,C,and D.

We begin boarding and we are extremely excited, so my friend gets out her new selfie stick and we take a quick picture …

airport picture

Little did we know, we almost got arrested. We were quickly told that it is AGAINST THE LAW to take pictures in the airports. Word of advice, save your selfies for the beaches!

*Another side note about Trinidad and Tobago laws … You CANNOT WEAR CAMOUFLAGE into the country. It represents the military and is a big NO NO! The only reason we found this out is a man was asked to take his camouflage shorts off before entering customs. We were shocked! I suppose it is a good idea to research laws before traveling into foreign territory.

We arrive safely in Tobago after a short, 20 minute plane ride.  The airport parallels the ocean, which made for a good GoPro video upon landing.

Here is the link to watch the landing … https://youtu.be/hbVJa9Mzg0U

We had decided to stay at Candles in the Wind hostel. Andrew, the owner, was waiting for us right outside the exit! He does airport pick up and drop off for $10 each way (split between 4 people was extremely cheap). Now some people may be skeptical of staying at a hostel, especially after the movie “Hostel” came out (which my friend recently made me watch so I can be aware of my surroundings, or just to freak me out), but it really is okay, as long as you do your research.

Candles in the Wind is like a large house. It had private rooms with en suite bathrooms (which we stayed in) and dorm style housing upstairs in the attic. The private rooms all have air conditioning, but the attic does NOT. I would pay the extra money during the warmer months for air conditioning. Candles also had a newly updated kitchen if you would want to cook any meals, a t.v room with couches, tables to eat at, and an outdoor porch with chairs. Our room was extremely spacious for all of our things, and the bathroom was clean.  We thought the toilet did not work when it initially would not flush, but Andrew kindly came up to our room and demonstrated how you needed to double pump the toilet handle and “put some muscle in to it”. Andrew also would exchange American dollars to TT (Trinidad and Tobago Dollar), which was very convenient.  He was very laid back and helpful, but remember, if you need something, you just have to ask and he will provide. The only down side to Candles is you do have to pay $10US for WiFi. It is a one time charge and covers all occupants for the length of the stay. The real upside to Candles is the location. It is walking distance to the main street with all the restaurants and bars, and close to the two main beaches (Store Bay and Pigeon Point). Candles has an alley way, short cut that puts you directly on the main road! If you are willing to get over the word “hostel,” Candles in the Wind is a great, affordable place to stay in Tobago!

tobago candles in the wind

tobago candles

We got situated in our room and decided to go explore with the remaining daylight. We walk down the short cut to the main road and start strolling along. We stop at Chef’s BBQ for dinner. This is a cafeteria style, pick what you want, buffet. It had many different sides and types of meat to choose from. Be cautious though, every item you pick, whether you get a small or large portion will be charged full price. The food was so-so, nothing special, but the natural fruit punch drink was delicious.

After dinner we look for a place to have an adult beverage. We end up going to Jade Monkey.  It is an outdoor, casual bar (tiki like atmosphere). It was a nice place to relax and have a couple drinks on a Thursday night. They had a live band (which was a mix of reggae and soca … unfortunately, not the best band) and after 8pm they have street food set up in the front of the bar for purchase. We never tried it, but I am assuming it was good from the amount of customers they had (it smelled good too). We called it an early night. Tired from traveling and our ears had enough of the band for one evening.

tobago jade

tobago jade monkey

We wake up and go to find breakfast. We spot a cute French place called J’Adore and decide to try it. I ended up having a love hate relationship with this restaurant (we came twice for breakfast). The service both days was EXTREMELY SLOW, and our second day we had a sightseeing tour to get to, so that was frustrating. Also disappointing was their pancakes and waffles. They looked exactly like they came out of an Eggos freezer box and the pancakes were the size of sand dollars. However, they did have an eggs platter, which included an omelet, turkey bacon, breakfast beans, and an English muffin. If you choose to eat there, I would recommend the platter over anything else made to order. On the positive side, the coffees were exquisite. I had a cafe mocha, and my friends had cappuccinos.  The second morning, we had pastries and breakfast croissants, which were good. Just make sure you have PLENTY of time when going to J’Adore.

We found Paris in Tobago @ J'Adore

We leave and head to Store Bay, one of the main beaches in Crown Point. At the entrance area, there are locals selling all sorts of souvenirs and people asking you if you want to book tours, rent jet skis, chairs, and umbrellas. It was far enough away from the actual beach, so when you got to the beach, it was peaceful. We did decide to rent chairs and umbrellas. Each item was $20TT (around $3US).  Well worth the money to be comfortable. And the person renting the beach furniture to us went and got us drinks too! It was like being at a resort!

tobago store bay group

We were playing in the water, and enjoying relaxing when Sugar Lips approached us about a sightseeing tour. We had talked to a few people on our way to the beach about half day tours to Buccoo Reef for snorkeling and the Nylon Pool (which you should never pay more than $100TT per person .. One person was going to only charge us $80TT). Sugar Lips was offering a FULL day tour to the same locations, but including drinks and lunch, so we figured this would be the best deal and most fun (unlimited drinks, yay!). We book with him and give a small deposit to secure our spots on the boat ($420TT = $70 US).

tobago store bay

Caught taking selfies

Knowing we are doing a full day tour, we decide we need to see Pigeon Point before the end of the day. We look on google maps and realize from Store Bay it would take 30 minutes to walk. After a relaxing afternoon, no one wanted to put forth that much energy, so we took our lazy butts in a cab to Pigeon Point (cabs are right outside the beach area). FYI, it does cost $20TT at the gate of Pigeon Point.

We are dropped off and find the first tiki bar area. We belly up to the bar, ready for a nice cold beverage, to find out the credit card machine was down, and we were all out of cash. Complete Debbie downer.  This is why it is good to always have both cash and credit abroad. Thank goodness the setting was pretty! We walk out onto the jetty to get a better panoramic view of the area. On the jetty we make some local friends and I decide I want to jump off the jetty into the ocean. I try to convince my friend, who was very apprehensive, but she wouldn’t take part in my thrill seeking adventure (first time around). Our new friends say it is fine to jump in, even though there is a sign that says …

tobago no diving

I jump right in and find it exhilarating so I swim around to do it again. Since I did not die, my friend decides it must be safe enough, so we jump together the second time. As we are swimming back to shore, a life guard boat pulls up to the jetty and they sort of yell at us, saying how we should not be jumping off the jetty and there is a sign saying that. I nicely reply, “the sign says no diving, and we just jumped, it is okay!” We dry off, take some more pictures and decide to head back and get ready for the night.

tobago yoga

toabgo pp tobago pp2

Our new friend drove us back to Candles in the Wind and told us the hot spots for the evening, which included Jade Monkey.  As long as the band wasn’t going to be there from the night before, we would be there!

We clean up and put our dancing shoes on! On the way to Jade Monkey, we stop for dinner at Skewers. tobago skewersSkewers is a Middle Eastern restaurant with some seating indoors and outdoors. It was remarkably crowded, which usually means it will be good, and it was.  Good enough we came back the next day for round two! Between the four of us, over two days, we tried the beef and chicken gyros with steak fries, hummus (forgo the pita bread, probably the only thing that wasn’t great), grilled chicken, and garlic potatoes. Everyone enjoyed what they ate both nights.

Now it is time to party! We go to Jade Monkey, and because it is a Friday, there are a lot more people. We luckily find an area where we can sit and people watch until the drinks set in. They had a live band, which was much better than the night before, and a DJ. People were up dancing in the open area and having a great time. After awhile we joined in and did some dancing with our new friends we made. Around 11pm our new friends wanted to go to the nightclub down the street. We were all ready for a change of environment so away we went to Shade Nightclub. We had our friend drive us, but you would definitely want to take a cab because it is not on the main street, roughly a 30 minute walk.

Shade Nightclub was a blast with lots of drinking and dancing! The DJ went back and forth between soca and hip hop.  You can go upstairs to request songs, which I did a few times, and the DJ played everything I asked for. It was an entertaining spot if you are in a hype, party mood.

The next morning was rough, especially for some of us (not going to say who). We got breakfast to go at J’Adore and we were picked up at Candles for our sightseeing tour with Sugar Lips. The driver brought us to Store Bay where we boarded a glass bottom boat, of coarse named, Sugar Lips.

View from inside the boat

Our first stop on the tour was over part of the Buccoo reef.  Here we floated over the reef and the guide explained some of the coral.  I was glad I was paying attention because there is one type that is poisonous if you rub against it.  No one has time for hospital visits in the middle of the ocean.

Fish through the glass bottom

The second stop was at a different location on the reef for snorkeling. I was the only one from the group to go out, so me and Rudy (my GoPro) jump right in. The tour does give snorkeling masks, but I may buy my own for future trips. My mask didn’t fit great so I had to stop and adjust a few times. Who knows what I could have been missing swimming under me. Anyways, I hop right in and start swimming around like Ariel (the mermaid). I happen to look up and realize the boat was far away. At this point I get a little nervous because the current was strong. I start swimming towards the boat and hear one of the guides yelling at everyone to hold onto the rope that was attached to the end of the boat.  They probably should have told us this information before jumping in, but hey, we all survived. I love snorkeling and being one with the underwater community. Definitely a recommended activity in Tobago, but really anywhere you can snorkel!

Here is a link to my first underwater video clip .. the end fish is pretty cool looking … and please don’t mind the mid-clip pause (you get a view of Sugar Lip’s boat), I had to get the water out of my mask before I started to drown.

https://youtu.be/I1W6NPh0PTI

After snorkeling, the next destination was Nylon Pool.  This is a shallow “pool” in the middle of the ocean. It is said if you swim in the pool, it will restore you to ten years younger. Also, the sand is an exfoliater, which I believe because it was rough and shelly, unlike smooth sand you would imagine being there. At this point, everyone was off the boat bringing fresh life into their souls, but drinking away their livers. There was music playing from the boat, and it reminded me of a MTV Spring Break show, but in the good type of way. There were singles, couples, and families all having a fabulous time.

tobago pool 2

tobago pool exfoliate

tobago pool group

Becoming ten years younger makes a person hungry (even though it could have been the rum punch and beer), so they load everyone back into the boat and off to No Man’s Land for lunch.

Pulling up to No Man's Land

This was a little piece of land where different tours would dock and cook their food. There was a DJ right in the middle of everything keeping the party going. There are no chairs, so be prepared to lay your towel down for a picnic lunch, or an afternoon siesta. They passed out plastic plates, that they may have brought from home, seeing as they all were different. We ate soon after arriving and the meal was good. There was chicken, fish, hot dogs, and sides to choose from. It felt like we were in Sugar Lip’s backyard having a friendly cookout.

tobago food 3

While our food was digesting, they started getting ready for the LIMBO. Yes, they had a limbo line and I must say, Trinidadians are very bendable and know how to get low! One man went under the limbo with a cup on his forehead. Truly a talented man. After the limbo, the DJ started a conga line. It was very random, but amusing beach activities.

tobago conga line

It was a LONG, but FUN filled day. The tour actually lasted almost an hour longer than expected. We get back to Store Bay and our driver is waiting for us. We kindly ask him if he can wait so we can buy souvenirs from the little shops set up, as mentioned above. We head home and are exhausted. We told our Tobago friends we would see them out at Jade Monkey and Shade Nightclub for round two, but our round two turned into bringing Skewers back to the room and having dinner in bed. We were craving sweets, and on the way home from Skewers we stopped at Scoops ice cream shop. I asked which ice cream was most popular and he said pistachio coconut.  It was SO delicious. I wish I could have brought a gallon of that home with me as my souvenir. A must try when in Tobago!

Three days went by way too fast and we were off to the airport to head to Trinidad. We all had a great time, and we genuinely felt like we were leaving friends in Tobago. Our group left a mark on Tobago, as they did for us. Even as we were walking to our terminal, Sugar Lips was there and said goodbye to us (even though he was really there to “see what is getting off the planes” so he can book more people for tours), he made it seem like he was there to send us off! Tobago is the perfect place for a relaxing and enjoyable getaway!

Namaste,

Jenn

We sure loved it

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