There's no denying it, Tobago is one Caribbean island where life's quite simply, all about the beach. But if you want to know the best way to explore, here are 13 brilliant ways to enjoy the island...
1. Go on a diving safari
From three different turtle species to giant sand eels, sea horses and shipwrecks, snorkelling here is an enchanting experience. There are a variety of diving companies across the island which offer PADI, NAUI, and BSAC certification courses and some even offer an over-night stay on a remote beach. Home to one of the most spectacular coral reefs in the world, Tobago is exactly the right place to do this.
2. Explore Buccoo Reef
Speaking of reefs, the protected marine park Buccoo Reef is where you need to be for the most incredible underwater sights. Hop onboard a glass bottomed boat and you'll be treated to unbeatable views of the reef that's been 350 years in the making. If you're diving or snorkeling, you'll be up close to hundreds of fantastical reef fish species, turtles and giant manta rays. It's breathtaking.
3. Powers of the lagoon
The waters of Nylon Pool are said to have rejuvenating powers. Whether that's true or not, one thing's for sure, it certainly feels like a magical experience when you're there. Located just behind Buccoo Reef, this still lagoon forms a natural metre-deep swimming pool in the middle of the sea. With the deep ocean on one side and palm-fringed beaches on the other, it's totally idyllic.
4. Explore the wildlife at Little Tobago
Rainforests, nature reserves, and spectacular beaches, Mother Nature did well in Tobago. Just off the northeast coast of Tobago is Little Tobago, otherwise known as Bird of Paradise Island, where a day excursion will allow you to snorkel around the Angel Reef, not far from the uninhabited Goat Island. Home to an important seabird sanctuary, this tiny corner of the West Indies is home to more than 50 species of tropical birds.
Above the water there are plenty of opportunities in Tobago to get active. With kayaking, windsurfing and kitesurfing, they're all guaranteed to get your pulse going.
6. Enjoy the biggest Carnival in the Caribbean
As the founders of calypso and soca, Trinidad and Tobago carnival has been hailed the largest in the Caribbean. Behind the likes of the huge Rio Carnival, it's also been named one of the best in the world. In contrast to more low-key celebrations in Tobago, a 40km hop over to its livelier sister island of Trinidad will unveil outlandish costumes and pulsating calypso beats across the Port of Spain. While it's advised you go with an organised tour rather than visit alone, any visit during this legendary event will guarantee a lively and colourful time.
7. Soak up the village vibe
There are many beautiful villages scattered around Tobago which invite you to enjoy a much more relaxed carnival vibe. In the island's capital of Scarborough, you'll find small festival events during Carnival season. Or visit 'Sunday School' in the village of Buccoo where there'll be steel pan bands and locals 'wining and liming' under the stars. Year-round, fishing villages like Castara and Charlottesville are well worth a visit for their unspoilt West Indian charm.
8. Sample local flavours
With distinctive Creole and Caribbean influences, the Tobagonian cuisine is sure to satisfy your appetite. Try their signature dish, curried crab or curried conch and dumplings. Or chow down on macaroni pie, callaloo and chicken and other hearty fare. From the barefoot beach cafés to the Euro-Caribbean restaurants, freshly grilled lobster and meat-filled rotis should be on every foodie's checklist.
9. See the Sailing Carnival Regatta
Yachting World Regatta is one of the most celebrated events in Tobago. Visit during spring (usually March) and it's a privilege to watch a host of race yachts, indigenous sailing boats, windsurfers and kite boarders fill the sparkling sea. With beach games and all-round festivities and of course a gorgeous setting, you don't have to be a sailing enthusiast to enjoy this exciting day out.
10. Crab racing
Like some other Caribbean islands, Tobago is home to the unusual sport of crab racing. Head to the small village of Buccoo at certain times of the year and you might witness goats and crabs sprinting to the finish line (not together of course). It might appear strange at first, but it can be surprisingly entertaining.
11. Visit great falls
As Tobago's highest, a day at Argyle falls is set to inspire awe. Terraced like giant natural stairs, a steep but rewarding hike will take you through several stepped cascades. Hear about the area's history through a local guide and spot beautiful birdlife in the lush vegetation. The best bit? Plunging into the refreshing pools along the way.
12. Explore hidden bays
No other Caribbean island boasts quite as many deserted beaches as Tobago. On the Caribbean side, beaches boast pristine white coral sands, and Englishman's Bay, perched just at the edge of the rainforest, is a real gem. On the Atlantic side you'll find dark, volcanic beaches. Mostly deserted, these too are perfect for sunbathing and seasonal surfing.
13. Visit Pigeon Point
A scenic drive to the southerly peninsula of the island will take you past the stunning Pigeon Peak – the island's highest mountain – and on to to Pigeon Point, a beautiful palm-tree fringed bay that stretches for miles. With restaurants, lovely coconut filled gardens and aquamarine water that stretch out to Buccoo Reef, this is definitely one of the best beaches in Tobago.