Visitors to the tiny Caribbean island of Tobago enjoy the gentle kind of tourism that exists there. While some visitors are happy to market the island for the pleasures they have enjoyed there, some say that they plan to keep Tobago as their own special little secret.
It is true that Tobago is still unknown to many. It is also true that in some countries it is known more than its bigger sister Trinidad. Both islands lie just north-east of the South American continent. Trinidad lies at an opening next to Venezuela, and looks like a piece to be fitted into a jigsaw puzzle, as the land most obviously moved away with erosion during the course of time. Both islands became the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 1976, after gaining independence in 1962.
Tobago is the island that has been marketed more as a tourist destination. Trinidad is the industrial counterpart, famous for its carnival. When you think of carnival in that part of the world, you immediately think of Trinidad, and Rio in Brazil.
Tobago is the quiet, laid back, serene island with the beautiful blue water of its white sandy beaches; and the best of water sports like scuba diving, water skiing and windsurfing. The Germans have been the major tourists to enjoy these pleasures, and many of them have made Tobago their home.
For many years in the past, Europeans have fought over this island which has been described in promotional brochures as clean, green and serene.’ Today, there is no more bloodshed, but Europeans, mainly Germans and visitors from the U.K. continue to flock to Tobago to enjoy its unspoiled beauty. American visitors are few. Eco-tourism is among the major attractions, seasonal diving is another. This laid back sleepy island is home to one of the oldest rain protected forests in the region
Rare whale sharks and mantas, mainly in the north western area of the island, continue to delight many a diver. Some say they have been diving for over twenty years in diving resorts in other countries, and have never encountered a whale shark or come so close to a manta.
While glittery destinations like Las Vegas have an allure of their own and their own type of tourists; for the tourist who wants an unhurried pace and genuine island warmth and hospitality, there is no need to look any further than Tobago. While the pace in its bigger twin sister, Trinidad is a bit more exciting, conservation of wildlife in these islands has received high praise worldwide. The birds of these twin islands have been described as “not only beautiful and extremely colorful, but the majority are so trusting of the human form.” Eco-tourists usually experience the joy of the Mot Most which fly to their hands to be fed.
Other birds of interest among the hundreds of species are the red-billed tropic birds, brown boobies and the humming birds. The bird lover can also find the Gull Billed Tern and the Audubon Shearwater, as well as the Cocrico, or Chacalaca as it is called in England.
The Scarlet Ibis of the Caroni Swamp and the oil birds of the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad are a major attraction. The Asa Wright Centre is the oldest one in the West Indies, and it has one of the few accessible caves where visitors can be taken to see oil birds. The centre provides expertly guided bird watching and natural history tours throughout the year.
Trinidad and Tobago are among the beneficiaries in the Caribbean islands of an eco-tourism boom, brought on by tourists who are seeking natural originality, virginity and relaxation.
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