I was so excited to get the opportunity to travel to Trinidad & Tobago in the West Indies so on the 7th October we flew from Gatwick to Tobago via Grenada. After the 10 hour flight we were met on arrival by glorious sunshine and temperatures of 32 degrees. We transferred to the Turtle Beach by Rex Resort were we spent our first two nights.
Our first day was a trip to Buccoo Reef, the largest coral reef in Tobago which was designated a marine park in 1973. We travelled on a glass bottom boat trip over the coral gardens followed by a swim in the “Nylon Pool”; legend says “a swim here can make you ten years younger!” After a long day we dined at a new restaurant “The Fish Pot” the food and drink ware superb and excellent value.
As this was a working trip our next day was organised by the Department of Tourism. We were based at Muscovados at Tobago Plantations where we were joined by the Department of Tourism, the Hotel Association, the Tour Operators Association and the Dive Association. The workshop gave us an opportunity to mingle and meet with hoteliers and suppliers from the island. In the afternoon we visited Kariwak, Toucan Inn and Stonehaven Villas some three and four star properties. That evening we checked into the Le Grand Courlan where we spent the following three nights.
We had an early start the next day for our day trip to Trinidad – Tobago’s big sister island. We flew with Caribbean Airlines at 07.40am a mere 20 minute flight to the Capitol Port of Spain. We began our journey through the Arima Valley in the Northern Range Mountains to our first stop at the Asa Wright Nature Centre. This was established in 1967 by a group of naturalists and bird-watchers, an absolute paradise for Bird Watchers. From the nature centre we made our way to Trinidad’s Capitol Port of Spain where we visited one of the newest and smartest hotels only opened in May 2009, the 5 star Carlton Savannah where lunch was also hosted. That afternoon we had a boat trip on the Caroni Swamp – within which is the Caroni Bird Sanctuary. This large wetland is an important aspect of the Trinidad ecosystem acting as a break-water, a breeding ground and a place of wonder. One of the national birds can be found here, the Scarlet Ibis, which return to roost at sunset in a spectacular blaze of colour, what an amazing sight this was.
After our long day in Trinidad we had a relaxing Sunday at Pigeon Point Beach Tobago’s most idyllic beach, with lunch at Renmar’s where we were entertained by local Steely Pan players.
Our next day’s trip was to the North of the island to Speyside, famous for its diving, along the Atlantic coast road. We had an exhilarating guided tour into Tobago’s main ridge forest reserve, the oldest reserve in the western hemisphere being established in the 1760’s. There are over 200 species of birds on the island which many can be seen here. From this rain forest we headed to Roxborough and the Argyle Waterfall where we had the opportunity to swim in the rock pool which I definitely availed of, it was a fantastic experience. Lunch was provided in the popular local tree-house restaurant- Jemma’s Seaview Kitchen in Speyside and there were amazing views from here. Heading back towards our Hotel we visited the Blue Haven Hotel a famous haunt of the Hollywood stars in the 40’s and 50’s where stars like Robert Mitchum and Rita Hayworth stayed during filming. Also next door was Tobago’s newest property the Bacelot Beach Club which was very trendy and contemporary. Our last two nights were spent in Coco Reef an absolutely beautiful property.
As this was our last full day what better way to spend it then to explore the scenic Caribbean coastline on board the “Island Girl” Catamaran. The day included sailing with an amazing crew, some fantastic snorkelling and buffet lunch. That evening we attended the Itsy Bitsy Cultural Playhouse and Folk theatre which is open every Tuesday night and gives you an opportunity to learn more about the locals and their culture, some of our group even got to play the drums on stage... including me.
Our flight home the next day was direct from Tobago to Gatwick. I highly recommend Trinidad & Tobago and I will definitely be back.