I’ve never really had an urge to go to the Caribbean. I mean, I wouldn’t say no, but when there are places like Patagonia and Sri Lanka and Nepal to explore, the thought of lying on a beach surrounded by English people for two weeks seems a little too sedate.
However, the little two-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago has been calling me for years. The unspoilt beaches, the complete lack of tourism, the raucous Carnival, almost untouched diving, rainforest and a flourishing wildlife population. It blows my mind that so much diversity can survive on such a small place of this planet.
There are mountains and there is great food, and did I mention Carnival? A party that puts Rio to shame in full-blown, technicoloured, uncensored joy. Out of control, vibrant, pulsing and loud. It’s exactly what you want out of a carnival and more.
T&T conjures up dreams of calypso on the beach, rum cocktail in hand. Of hiking through rainforest covered mountains without seeing another tourist for days. Trinidad and Tobago, raw and fresh, alive and free. These little islands offer everything you’d expect from a holiday to the Caribbean, but with a little extra punch.
But Tobago holds a few quieter secrets to oil-rich Trinidad, and with the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere, is said to have been the inspiration behind Robinson Crusoe. Think hummingbirds and turtles, monkeys and lizards. Sleepy, stuffed with surprises and fringed with paradise beaches, Tobago is an absolute must-go for the weary traveller in need of a break, but can’t quite stop.
Look at it! Seriously swoonworthy.
So much so that a trip West to these little islands is slowly but surely creeping up my list of places to go to escape winter this year. At time of writing, flights to Tobago came in at just over £300. It would be rude not to, right?