Tobago has, for a significant time, remained the underdog island, being shadowed by its more popular neighbour Trinidad, not because it doesn’t have ample resources to woo the tourists but because the island simply was discovered later. The long crystalline beaches, the beautiful bays, the lush forests hosting an array of bird and animal life, and the local traditions and customs steeped in ancient influences are just a few of the things that make this island a perfect getaway for those seeking an encounter with all that is natural and historical.
We bring you top five experiences that you can have in Tobago if you love to delve over the past, and the good old times:
Kimme Museum, Bethel
Named after the artist Luise Kimme whose passionate affair with the Tobagonian way of life benefited the art scene in the country, the museum is a great place to begin your journey into knowing one of the many secrets of Tobago. Kimme’s development of human figures based on her interpretation of their form remains one of the major attractions of this museum that was once her home. Among her other collections that find a place here are wooden figures and sculptures made of oak, cedar, lime, cypress and bronze. Popularly known as ‘the Castle’, the museum overlooks the Caribbean Sea, making it a wonderful place to spend a few hours in Tobago.
Crusoe’s Cave, Crown Point
Believed to be the cave where Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe lived during his adventures in the Caribbean, the Crusoe’s Cave is a major centre of attraction for tourists to Tobago. Located nearby the airport, the Crusoe’s Cave can be visited easily only during the low tide, a fact that fuels that speculation that this is indeed the place where the castaway Crusoe hid with his Man Friday during the time he spent here.
Fort James, Plymouth
An 18th century British Fort, Fort James is located in the quaint town of Plymouth. Standing over the Great Courland Bay, the fort is named after James, the Duke of Courland. A visit to this fort, located in one of the oldest towns in Tobago, is like travelling back in history to the time when the British had their post here in 1770 before the French occupied it in 1777, which was followed by the British occupation again in 1781. One of the major points for all sightseeing tours in Tobago, the Fort is excellent to spend some hours in peace, having a tryst with history.
Spring Garden Moravian Church
Not just a church, the Spring Garden Moravian Church is a reminiscent of Tobago’s history, its battle against slavery, and its attempt to provide a better world to the future generations through learning. Believed to be one of the first places in Tobago where the Moravian missionaries ministered Tobago’s slave families in a revolutionary act, the Spring Garden Moravian Church continues to be a learning centre that the Moravian missionaries fashioned it to be. The slave communities learned music, singing, writing, sewing and other form of home science arts here, an initiative that resulted in their uplifting in the society. Moreover, the church stands as an exemplary piece of architecture from an era gone by.
Another pearl from Tobago’s past, the Speyside Waterwheel is a reflection on Tobago’s illustrious sugar industry during the time when sugar cultivation was the main source of income for the residents. Although obsolete now, the village of Speyside has many rustic pieces of machinery used for production and cultivation of sugar in the olden times. The big iron waterwheel is a major attraction among these, standing as a testament to the sweet times in the island of Tobago.