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Using two personal days, I took off from my full-time job to spend Memorial Day weekend in Tobago with family. I’ve been to Trinidad a handful of times, but never to Tobago. Back in February, my cousin found a flight deal from New York to Trinidad on Caribbean Airlines and we instantly booked our trip. We didn’t really want to spend time in the Port of Spain, so we called a few family members that lived in Trinidad to join us for a weekend in Tobago. There were good, bad and crazy moments, but I want to go back! Read more about our experience and why I need another weekend in Tobago.
Traveling from Trinidad to Tobago via Ferry
There really isn’t anything special about the ride, but taking the ferry was part of the weekend in Tobago experience. Traveling from Trinidad to Tobago via ferry is about 2-3 hours. To keep passengers entertained, they play music and after a safety video is played, they play a movie. You can bring your own food, but there are also meals and beverages available for purchase. Between the comfy chairs and motion sickness medicine, I had the best naps. There are also daily flights available from Port of Spain, Trinidad to Crown Point, Tobago.
As with most big family trips, we skipped booking a hotel and did a villa rental in Tobago. We stayed in a 4 BR, 4.5 bathroom house called Villa Real. It was very spacious and the pool wasn’t too deep, going from 3-6 ft. As late as it was, the kids were so excited they jumped in once we came in. The beach was pretty close to the villa rental in Tobago, but not within walking distance. Because we saw water from the balcony of our room, my cousin and I went on a “mini-adventure” searching for the beach. We walked through a wooded lot, jumped over a ditch and ran across the road (in flip-flops) only to be blocked by a stream on the other side. We ended up turning back to the house and went to the beach the next day.
View the house tour and some highlights in my video below
On our second night, we decided to check out the nightlife in Tobago. Since my cousins brought their cars aboard the ferry, we went to an outdoor club called The Shade in Bon Accord. The Shade is known as the “champion of nightclubs in Tobago”. The DJs played Hip Hop, Soca and a whole lot of Reggae. I almost forgot I was even in Tobago with the lack of Soca music playing. It really disappointed me to find out that is the norm in Trinidad and Tobago outside of carnival. Music choice aside, it was a fun night to spend away from the kids. I think this was even the first time all of the girls my age (minus one) hung out together.
The Excursions in Tobago
Tobago Glass Bottom Boat Tour
One of the most popular excursions is a Tobago Glass Bottom Boat tour. Unfortunately our trip on Frankie’s Tours’ Island Vibes boat was a nightmare! According to Trip Advisor, they offer the best Tobago Glass bottom boat tour, but everyone had a horrible experience from beginning to end. To make the experience worst, our boat driver was in a fight while we were at “no man’s land”. The children were scared and the adults were totally disappointed.
Turtle Watching in Tobago
I didn’t know, but turtle watching in Tobago is a really big tourist attraction. On our last night, we drove to the Turtle Beach Hotel in hopes to see a turtle lay eggs on the beach. After 2-3 failed attempts and almost leaving, one of the men in the area directed us to an area where he spotted a leather-back sea turtle. It was pretty dark, but we got to see the turtle dig a hole and had a closer look laying eggs. The turtle was HUGE. Although they weren’t sure of the exact age, that specific turtle had been documented for at least 35 years. Leather-back sea turtles can live well up to their 100s and lay up to 110 eggs on average 2-8 times a season.
Relaxing on The Beach
When we finally found Turtle beach, it was well worth it. The cool sand and the warm water was all kinds of amazing. Although there were shops selling souvenirs, we weren’t bombarded with people trying to sell to us like the beach experience in Puerto Plata.
Bonus: Enjoying Family Time
From searching for the doubles man in the airport to promising myself not to eat curry for a long time, being with my family made the weekend in Tobago one to remember. I only hope we are able to do a ‘Bago part two or family reunion sometime soon. For a first timer’s weekend in Tobago, there’s a lot more I wish I could’ve done (visiting the house where my father lived as a tween and having crab and dumpling to name a few), but there’s always next time. 🙂