The twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago are definitely not identical. The much larger Trinidad is primarily a hurricane-season retreat for yachts, there is not a great deal of cruising, but there are good hikes and opportunities for wildlife watching ashore. By contrast, small Tobago is rich with bays and reefs waiting to be explored, and with some only accessible by sea, a yacht is the perfect way to discover the island.
Both islands lie broadly outside of the hurricane belt, making this year-round destination, however, Tobago is unusual in the Caribbean in that it’s axis runs northeast-southwest – meaning in the wrong conditions it can feel as if it has two windward coasts and no leeward. But by carefully choosing the time of year you visit (and a yacht with stabilisers) any swell can be mitigated or avoided.
Tobago is a low-key destination, ideal for those seeking peace and golden beaches backed by lush vegetation. What it lacks in high-end resorts, shopping and eateries, it makes up for with stunning wildlife, quiet beaches and secluded coves.
Back on Trinidad, the carnival is a big tourist draw, lying just 7 miles off the coast of Venezuela, this is the place where South America meets the Caribbean in an explosion of colour, all spiced up with a large Asian population, giving a truly global flavour to its culture, cuisine and celebrations.
In contrast with Tobago, there are many places to dine in Trinidad, especially in and around Port of Spain, where you’ll also find arcade shopping malls stocking luxury goods as well as local crafts. And there are natural riches too: the active can hike, cycle and kayak to their hearts content in the lush interior; there is good deep sea and inshore fishing, and six golf courses.