Introduction to Tobago

The more serene of two islands, Tobago is home to the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere. It really is the last of the unspoilt Caribbean. Once you behold her beauty, you will understand why Tobago was Robinson Crusoe's isle - and why European settlers fought over her ownership more than any other Caribbean island. This strip of elongated land, just 41 by 14 kilometres, abounds with natural allure - palm-lined beaches, lush rain forests and pristine coral reefs teeming with rich marine life.

Contrasts of rolling hills against wave-beaten shores create a stunning backdrop for the island's unequalled beauty. The South (Windward) Coast is washed by the dark green, wave-whipped Atlantic and is lined with vibrant fishing villages, while the North (Leeward) Coast provides Tobago with some of its finest beaches.

In the main, the eastern landscape of the interior rises steeply into tall peaks and rolling hillocks, providing shelter for the oldest protected forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere. A perfect complement to bustling Trinidad, Tobago is a true jewel of the Caribbean Sea, whose sparkle will live in your memory long after you have left her shores.

 The best way to journey to another world is not by space shuttle, but by scuba diving - and Tobago has some of the best dive locations you've ever seen.

Whatever the shape or size of your underwater fantasy, Tobago's waters are teeming with a wide range of marine treasures for an unforgettable dive experience. Come satisfy your desire for crystal clear waters filled with a lush array of underwater flora and fauna. Meander with pleasure among steadfast sea rods and hard and soft coral - including rare species of cup coral, red-polyp octo-coral and the world's largest known brain coral, measuring 12 feet high and 16 feet across.

This is a great underwater wonder that has to be seen to be believed! You'll feel dwarfed by its sheer scope and magnificence.

When you've had your fill of these, explore and uncover the mysteries of an abundance of rocky canyons and deep and shallow caves populated with breathtaking varieties of barracudas, dolphins, whale sharks, turtles, stingrays, orange ball anemones and porpoises. Oh - and for the dance of your life, take a swirl through the waters with an ever-gentle Manta Ray.

 What to Expect in Tobago

 BANKS:

  • Banking hours are generally from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Monday to Thursday.
  • On Fridays, banks open from 8:00 a.m. until noon, then resume at 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
  • Banks located in the malls and shopping plazas are the exception to this rule - they open from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. with no closing time in between. 
  • You can also have money exchanged at the cambios or bureaus de change - Western Union Money Transfer is a good option and also offers the "FX Trader" service, where customers seem happy with the rate of exchange and the level of service.

CURRENCY:

  • The local currency is called the Trinidad and Tobago, or TT, Dollar.
  • It floats against the US Dollar at an average of TT$6.00 to US$1.00 – but may fluctuate slightly.
  • Both travelers' cheques and international credit cards are readily accepted, in addition to US cash.

CLIMATE:

  • The islands have two main seasons - the Dry Season, from January to May and the Wet or Rainy Season, from June to December.
  • In the Rainy Season, mornings are usually sunny, followed by rainy afternoons and fair nights. During this time, the general rainfall pattern is interrupted by days of brilliant sunshine; and offers a warm, invigorating change from dull weather. This mini-break normally happens between mid September to mid October.
  • The Dry Season is mostly sunny, with occasional light showers. This is the weather that makes Trinidad and Tobago the perfect vacation spot.
  • The islands share an average daytime temperature of 82F that is warm but not unpleasantly humid and nights that are pleasantly cool.

DEPARTURE TAX:

  • A Departure Tax of TT$100.00 must be paid by everyone under 60 years of age when leaving the country. 

DRINKING WATER:

  • Tap water is generally safe to drink in the main cities and towns, however bottled water is widely available.
  • Drinking water outside main cities and towns may be contaminated and sterilization, or drnking bottled water only, is advisable.

DRIVING LICENSE: 

  • To drive in the islands, you will need a valid international driver's permit or a permit that is issued in either: The Bahamas, Canada, England, France, Germany or The United States of America
  • This permit can be used for 90 days.
  • Please note that driving is on the left.

ELECTRICITY:

  • Trinidad and Tobago has both 115 or 230-volt AC on 60 cycles.
  • You should find out what voltage your hotel or resort uses before you go because these voltages vary between properties.
  • If your hotel's voltage does not match your appliances, you may need to purchase an adapter or transformer before you go or ask if one will be available to you once you check in.
  • Some hotels often will offer their guests these items as part of their service.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Passport must be valid for 3 months longer than you intend to stay in the country.
  • You must have tickets and documents for return or onward travel.
  • US Citizens or European Union residents may stay up to 3 months without a visa.

TOURISM SEASONS:

  • The high travel season is mid December to mid April, while the low travel season spans the remainder of the year.
  • The Dry Season runs from January to May and the Wet or Rainy Season, from June to December.
  • In the Rainy Season, mornings are usually sunny, followed by rainy afternoons and fair nights.
  • Temperatures average 82F year round.

VACCINATIONS:

  • No vaccinations or preventative medications are required for travel to Trinidad and Tobago. However, we always suggest that you speak to your family physician for a personal recommendation.

WATER TEMPERATURES AND WETSUITS:

  • Water temperatures generally range between 75 – 82°F
  • Most people find wearing a 1mm – 3mm wetsuit keeps them comfortable in the summer. Consider a 5mm in the winter.
© Atomic SCUBA and Travel LLC 2011 WA Seller of Travel # 603 113 523