A bit of history

Amerindians moving north from the South American mainland settled Tobago over 2,500 years ago, and over the centuries that followed was the subject of bitter disputes. From the time Europeans first reached the island in 1498 when Columbus undertook his third transatlantic voyage, through to the early nineteenth century, T&T's lush soils have been fought over by the Dutch, English, French and Latvians, among others and changed hands 33 times, all of them rival colonists! Names of areas like Bloody Bay, Pirates Bay, and Man o' War are proof of this turbulent past. The Treaty of Paris finally ceded the island to Britain in 1814.

Trinidad, on the other hand, was still attached to South America up till 10,000 years ago. In 1962, both islands gained independence from Britain and Trinidad & Tobago became a republic in 1976. The islands are economically dependent on tourism, which continues to flourish thanks to the friendliness of its people, diverse wildlife of its mainland, clear waters and culture that encourages any visitor to chill out and soak up the unique T&T vibe.

As a result of its colourful past, there are lots of historic sites to visit in Tobago. You might choose to explore some or all of the five forts on the island, or the two waterwheels left over from 18th century sugar estates. If you're a nature lover, a visit to the 14,000-acre Forest Reserve, established in 1776, is a must.

See map of Historical Sites