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Tobago Travel Tips

Tobago travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.
How to deal best with animals and insects
Submitted by M20487
In Tobago there are no dangerous animals and only one poisonous type of snake, the coral snake but you will hardly meet it in public and the coloring is a warning in itself (orange and black rings). Insects and other ... view more animals live in the rain forest unless you keep garbage in your room. Put everything in the fridge (besides spices and tins). Throw your garbage away immediately and rinse out your bottles. In this way your room will normally stay free of insects. An excellent tip: keep your "wet garbage" in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Just be aware that everything is bigger than you think - butterflies, flowers or bees.
The whistling from sunset to sunrise is not from birds but tree frogs; you will get used to it and maybe even miss it.

Dogs: Keep away from stray dogs, most of them belong to fishermen or have various diseases like mange, fleas and tics. Do abstain from feeding them: if you do feed them on your porch for example, you will never get rid of them again. You will enjoy permanent dog fights in front of your window and any guests who come after you (maybe with small kids) will experience a hell of a time.

Hustlers and harassment at the beach
Submitted by M20487
Beach harassment mostly consists of somebody wants to sell you something at a ridiculous price, for example a coconut - which the seller himself might have stolen from some tree. Ask for the price before you start any ... view more negotiations or say "Not today" which is a polite Tobagonian form of rejection in all situations.

Some guys might settle down comfortably by your side and start to tell you an endless story. The "normal" hints like staring in your book or closing your eyes will not work. Direct confrontation with direct statements is much better. Examples: "I would like to have some privacy" or "Leave me/us alone" can be quite effective. In serious cases get serious as well and threaten to call "999", the emergency number for the police. This normally helps as those guys don't expect a tourist to know this number.

You can also approach a dozing security guard on some of the beaches. This action is called for in rare cases if somebody wants to sell you drugs on the beach, which is highly illegal.

Drinking water
Submitted by M20487
Drinking water in Tobago is not so clean and safe anymore and has a high concentration of chlorine. Better buy cheap gallon bottles in the supermarket; the cheap brands are just as good as expensive ones.
Driver's license and rental car
Submitted by M20487
Driver's license: You can use your national license for up to 6 weeks, after that you need an international license which is then valid for 3 months driving in Tobago. The international license alone is not enough - ... view more you have to prove by showing your national license that you are not disqualified from driving.

Faxes and copies of licenses are not accepted by the local authorities. So make sure you bring the original. Please note: you have to be over 25 years and under 65 years and driving for at least 2 years to rent a car in Tobago.

Submitted by M20487
Drugs: Keep away from all drugs at all times - they are illegal and the "scene" in Tobago is small but intense. Somebody might have a grudge against your dealer and you never know who is watching you. There are ... view more also some people who might have a cousin in the police force.
Environment and pollution
Submitted by M20487
Environment: The consciousness in regard of pollution is, unfortunately, still underdeveloped. Garbage is dumped at Studley Park, you will find a few recycling plants in Trinidad, but not in Tobago. There are some recent ... view more attempts to collect plastic and bottles. Nothing is done yet about aluminium or paper.

It's difficult to escape the flood of plastic bags from the supermarkets. Attempts are made recently to encourage the public to bring own bags. Try it out but don't be frustrated if you are unsuccessful.

Be a good example, don't leave your garbage at the beach, and avoid stepping on reefs and picking coral; the deterioration of the reefs accelerates with expansion of tourism.

Food and safety
Submitted by M20487
The 'cuisine' is multicultural and tasty; you can normally eat everything without problems.
Avoid fish and meat from places where it is not refrigerated. Fresh fish directly from the fishermen is excellent and ... view more recommended. Best places are all villages at the ocean right after the catch comes in, as well as Pigeon Point and Mt. Irvine. Your landlord or we also can recommend restaurants and bars, just ask.
Internet connection
Submitted by M20487
Internet: there are a few cheap Internet shops in Tobago if you wish to check your e-mail. Some are in Scarborough, or around the airport. Hotels provide Internet service as well. The hourly fee varies. You could also ... view more buy a monthly card which provides you with unlimited Internet access. Avoid overpriced Internet shops. Internet access can be rather slow and impossible at times - that's Tobago, just take it easy.
Malaria and dengue fever
Submitted by M20487
No Malaria protection is needed in Tobago but a good mosquito repellent and a net can be helpful if mosquitoes love you. Dengue fever cases have been reported, mainly from Trinidad and from low laying areas with standing ... view more water, lots of bush and/or waste disposal.
Getting married in Tobago
Submitted by M20487
If you want to get married in Tobago you have to be in the country for at least 3 days. You will need a valid passport, your birth certificate and two witnesses. If you are divorced or widowed take the relevant papers ... view more with you as well (in the multilingual version unless it's in English anyway).

You can get married at the registry office in Scarborough. Alas, Mr. Jordan has retired, who has been there for so long that nobody remembers any more who was there before him. Jordan was an senior professional with a tendency to heartbreaking long speeches, with poetic flourishes. He loved attend wedding parties...

There is a fee of a few hundred TT$ depending on where and how you want to get married.
Of course you can also get married by a priest at a location of your choice, even under water. After the ceremony your embassy in Trinidad should have your wedding papers validated and forwarded to your home address.

Opening hours
Submitted by M20487
Opening Hours:
Supermarkets: Monday to Saturday open any time between 8 am to 9 am and close between 7 pm and 9 pm. Sundays and public holidays from about 9 am to midday.

Banks: Monday to Thursday 8 am to 2 pm or 3 ... view more pm (according to the bank), Friday 8 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 5 pm., Sundays and public holidays closed.

Authorities: Monday to Friday open between 8 am or 9 am and close between 3 pm and 4 pm, Sundays and public holidays closed.

Drugstores: Monday to Friday (some also Saturdays) open between 8 am to 9 am and close at 4 pm. Drugstores are also pharmacies; the pharmaceutical section is usually located in the back part of the store.

Doctors: normally open Monday to Friday between 9 am and 10 am, some also make house calls, ask "Sunbird" or your host. Car mechanics: Monday to Saturday from 8 am until…
Gas stations: (2 in Scarborough, 1 in Crown Point, 1 in Plymouth, 1 in Carnbee, 1 in Roxborough, 1 in Charlotteville) Monday to Saturday open from 6 am to 9 pm, the big one in Scarbrough also longer; Sundays and public holidays: 1 in Scarborough, Carnbee and Plymouth from 6 am to 2 pm.

Submitted by M20487
The emergency number is "999" and is sometimes used for all types of complaints including small misdemeanors. The "999" squad are patrolling police cars, which drive along the highway, checking ... view more residential areas and beaches.

Police stations are located in Scarborough, Crown Point, Carnbee, Moriah, Roxborough and Charlotteville. Now and then you will experience traffic controls or road blocks, especially on busy weekends. If you are driving a rental car always carry your driver's license, your rental contract and the car insurance papers. Speed controls exist (a rather senseless action but nice to help the police fund): the police often hide about half a mile before the entrance to the Hilton Hotel when approaching on the highway from Scarborough.

They are lurking behind the bushes to the left and right of the highway and burst out if a car approaches too fast (they measure it by instinct, not with instruments). Beware if oncoming traffic is driving suspiciously slow, if you allow some fool to overtake will see what happens. Alcohol - in general "don't drink and drive"! Follow that rule as you are probably lacking any relatives in the police force. An alcohol level of 1 or 2 beers is okay. We DO have a breathalyzer now!

Post office and mail service
Submitted by M20487
The Post office is located in the wharf building in Scarborough and normally opens Monday to Friday from 8 am. As the mail is exceedingly slow, don't be surprised if your friends tell you they have never received ... view more your postcard. The postcards for sale in the post office are quite nice compared to those in some other shops.

I recently experienced a personal record of a postcard, sent to me from Egypt. I received it on the 5 September. My friend was in Egypt in January. On the other hand: we don't know about the Egyptian mail system now, do we?

Service and standard
Submitted by M20487
Service in relation to price paid sometimes leaves to be desired, not because you are a tourist but as a general rule. If you are not satisfied say so and don't go there again. When dealing with authorities stay ... view more polite, keep your calm and don't throw a wobbly. Just keep in mind that we residents have to deal daily with some of those grumpy individuals.
We DO throw a wobbly sometimes.

Religion and churches
Submitted by M20487
There is an abundant variety of religious groups in Tobago. To name just a few: Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentecostals, Latter Day ... view more Saints and many more. Tobago is also a favorite outlet for all kind of American churches to send their missionaries, in suit and tie complete with leather briefcases, (the loudspeakers are on the house) to yell at the gullible population.

Tobagonians love to go to church and the longer and bloodier the sermon the better. Many just love to sing gospels, meet neighbors and friends, exchange gossip and in general socialize. If you want to visit a church feel free to do so, you are always welcome and you can leave at any time (the meetings in general last between 3 to 4 hours).

Please note: some churches welcome visitors in front of the congregation e.g. the Pentecostals.

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