HIKING, DIVING, MOUNTAINBIKING: ACTIVE HOLIDAYS IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Trinidad & Tobago is more than a Caribbean holiday paradise. Both islands also have a lot to offer in the way of active holidays: biking and hiking tours in the rainforest, sailing a kayak through the mangroves, diving to the underwater reefs and much more against a stunningly beautiful natural backdrop.

WIND IN THE SAILS AND WAVES TO SURF

Sailors find ideal conditions in the numerous yacht harbours on the Chaguaramas peninsula. Charter a yacht for a day or a week and sail “Down the Islands” or around Tobago’s Caribbean coast. You can also get a berth for your own boat.

On your sailing adventure, friendly dolphins may join your vessel for part of the ride. You’ll also discover secret coves and beaches only accessible by boat.

The most important moorings in Tobago are Charlotteville, Scarborough, Store Bay and Pigeon Point.

SURFER DREAMS

The huge swells on Trinidad’s northern coasts are a surfer’s dream. The most popular among surfers are Blanchisseuse, Grande Rivière and Sans Souci in Trinidad. In Tobago, Mt. Irvine Bay has plenty of waves for surfers to enjoy. The best place for wind and kite surfers is Pigeon Point. The best surfing waves can be found from December to May. Interested in learning to surf? Beginners can learn how to handle the board at a surfing school on the islands.

THROUGH THE MANGROVES IN A BOAT, KAYAK OR STAND UP PADDLE BOAT

Glide through red and black mangroves on a kayak, passing howler monkeys and metre-long anacondas in their natural habitat at the Nariva Swamp & Bush Bush Wildlife Sanctuary in south Trinidad.

Take an evening trip through the Caroni Bird Sanctuary swamp by boat, kayak or paddle board, just in time to see thousands of ibises colour the heavens scarlet during their evening return to roost.

In Tobago, stand-up paddling in the Bon Accord Lagoon is a special treat as the evening rolls in with a magical lighting show courtesy the bioluminescent plankton that live in the lagoon.

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DIVE INTO SHIMMERING UNDERWATER WORLDS

Tobago boasts more than 40 spectacular diving sites, giving beginner and advanced divers lots of options to satisfy their underwater curiosity. Diving is possible thanks to year-round warm waters averaging between 24-29℃ (75-84℉). Tobago’s undersea world is home to 300 types of coral, including the world’s largest known brain coral, numerous tropical species like parrot fish, barracudas, manta rays, nurse sharks and turtles.

It’s little wonder why Tobago is called the diving mecca of the Caribbean.

Internationally-certified and professionally-led diving centres provide diving certification training and organise excursions for beginners and advanced divers. Some of the most popular ones are off Parlatuvier, St. Giles Island, Crown Point, Speyside and the island of Little Tobago.

Those who prefer to remain at the surface of the water can still catch a glimpse of the beautiful undersea world. Daily trips are made by glass-bottomed boats from Pigeon Point and Store Bay to Tobago’s protected Buccoo Reef. Visitors are able to view the reef through the glass-bottom boats or by snorkelling. Trips to Buccoo Reef also include a visit to Nylon Pool, a shallow pool out in the sea that is believed to have magical rejuvenating properties. On the way back, many tours also include a stop at a curious sandbank known as No Man’s Land for drinks and a little bit of exploration, volleyball or partying. 

 For more information, visit www.tobagoscubadiving.com

DYNAMIC BIKE TOURS AND HIKES IN THE RAIN FOREST

Trinidad and Tobago’s topography is ideal for mountain bike tours. Travel through the lush rainforests with knowledgeable local guides. Advanced mountain bikers can enjoy the rapid downhill paths and adventurous routes with names such as 'Sky Loops' and 'Chocolate Cake'. In some places, the short, steep paths give racing bike riders a challenge. At the end of September, cyclists from across the world meet here for the Tobago International Cycling Classic.

Hikers also have a wide variety of options, particularly in northern Trinidad. You can comfortably hike through the old cocoa and citrus plantations or to any of the dozens of cool waterfalls tucked into the northern range. The demanding climb to the second highest peak on the island, El Tucuche, is rewarded with outstanding panoramic views.

Trinidad is in the process of developing a new series of trails spanning 1000km along the northern range. The first nine kilometres of this eco-trail project were opened between Grande Rivière and Sans Souci in 2015. 

Some of the Trinidad’s most beautiful flora and fauna can be seen at the renowned eco-lodge, Asa Wright Nature Centre. For the adventure enthusiasts, the western peninsula of Chaguaramas will not disappoint, with its many nature and hiking trails leading to gorges and waterfalls. One must-do in Chaguaramas is a visit to Gasparee Caves, a limestone cave system under the island of Gaspar Grande, located just off Chaguaramas.

Two-thirds of Tobago is made up of protected forest – Main Ridge Forest Reserve. There’s lot to explore and discover on foot in the oldest protect forest in the western hemisphere. 

TRAVELING FUN AND ZIP LINE ACTION: JEEP SAFARI, ATV AND ZIPLINING

Prefer to explore on motor? Tour Tobago by Jeep safari or ATVs (All Terrain Vehicle) in Tobago for an exhilarating experience off the beaten track. Your experienced tour guide will show you the hidden mountain villages and waterfalls, as you plough through rivers and dirt roads to get to your destination.

Over in Trinidad, zip lining gives you a pure adrenaline rush as you speed across the rainforest with views of Macqueripe Bay in Chaguaramas. Enjoy the thrill of zipping through the trees up to 30 meters high.

CARIBBEAN RIDING – A HOLIDAY DISCIPLINE

Want to explore the islands on horseback? Both islands have a number of stables that offer horseback riding for visitors from novices to advanced riders. Explore the island’s old trails through tropical rainforest in Arima, St. Ann’s and Santa Cruz. The experience is made even more special in Tobago, where the Being with Horses stable offers beachside rides followed by swimming along the bay on horseback!

A detailed listing of the tours is available at hotel receptions in the country. Local tour operators can arrange tours. 

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More information at: tripadvisor 


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