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Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

Pittsburgh, Pa
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Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

Planning a trip for mid-Aug for our family of 5. Our kids are older teens and hope to explore a little on their own. Have looked at Villas in Bon Accord and dive ops there also. Any thoughts on the area? Recommendations for food, dive ops, rental cars, tour ops? Open to other towns and places to stay, we will be renting a car but like the luxery of walking to dive shop for daily dives. Thanks as always TA!

Tobago
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1. Re: Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

The Bon Accord area sounds best suited to your family - there's probably more there to keep the kids amused and within walking distance. Your closest dive shop would be Extra Divers (located in the Surfside Hotel) which has a pretty good reputation, and you have Undersea Tobago in Coco Reef Hotel. Both of these are in walking distance, but remember that most of the dive shops will also pick you up from your accomodation.

Check out www.mytobago.info for reviews of the dive operations (including ones that may best be avoided!).

Also a nice activity for the older teens is a jeep safari - Tobago Now tours is a reliable company.

Pittsburgh, Pa
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2. Re: Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

Thanks for your response! I have been on My Tobago site and have found it to be an awesome for information. I love TA as well but have not had much luck with private response about Tobago so I put this one out on the Forum!

Would love to hear about favorite restuarants all over the island and not to miss places! Even more helpful, how long it takes to get to some places so we can plan when to go. We will have most afternoons open, we plan to dive most mornings. We really want to explore the island food, fun and people. Please pass on any more thoughts.

Brandon, Florida
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3. Re: Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

For a restaurant in the "fine dining" category try Me Shells on Shirvan Rd. Here's a page with a review of it and other restaurants:

http://www.mytobago.info/restaurants02.php

Tobago
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4. Re: Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

Apart from the Jeep Safaris, there are also mountain biking tours (check Mountain Biking Tobago).

Your teens would probably enjoy a trip up to Charlotteville and Pirate's Bay (about one and half hr drive from Bon Accord - not allowing for stops), also the Speyside area, where you can take a local boat to snorkel off Little Tobago. (Also about one hour drive). Also recommended: Englishman's Bay, and an easy hike to waterfalls (Argyle or Rainbow are good)

Eating in other areas of the island - lunch is really the easiest option to find outside of the south end of the island... dinner is more difficult to find (especially a good one!) If you are in Speyside then Jemma's is the best known place, although I personally think it's over rated and over priced... BirdWatchers cafe just alon the road is also very good for a much more reasonable price.

Also on route to Speyside is King's Bay Cafe - great simple lunch options with a good view.

In the Bon Accord area, Kariwak is great for dinner. Bamboo Mile also good but more pricey. For a dinner with lots of atmosphere and good hosts drive to Salsa Kitchen in Scarborough (about 20 mins drive, I think you may need to make reservations), also El Pescador in Buccoo (about 15-20 min drive) for good seafood right on the water's edge.

Sunday School on sunday nights in Buccoo is probably something that everyone should do once - earlyier on you will get steel pan bands and later DJ's. Good local food served by stalls around the road sides.

Hope that helps - enjoy whatever you do!

Tobago
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5. Re: Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

Should also have mentioned La Cantina in Crown Point - very good authentic italian pizza - good for when you just want something fairly quick, simple and cheaper.

Pittsburgh, Pa
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6. Re: Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

Thanks Tobago4real for that great post! I finally got flights, that was a nightmare! So now to plan the rest of the trip. Trying to get a "transfer" of money for the villa we are interested in. Will be asking more questions as we get closer to our packing and departure. I guess I do have one question: How far in advance should we plan Jeep Safaris and the boat ride to Little Tobago?

trinidad
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7. Re: Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

When you arrive at the airport there is a tourism booth opposite by the restaurant and you can get maps of the island and other tourist information including the boat trips and other things.

Tobago
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8. Re: Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

Since your time is going to be a little limited because of the diving, I would suggest contacting prospective tours by email a bit in advance (couple of weeks should be fine), just to check their availability and timings etc before you arrive. Often things can be booked after you arrive but you take more of a chance on things fitting in with your schedule. Most good operators will be happy to give info by email and even take provisional bookings.

Just a note about your diving operator choices - be wary of anyone who asks you to prepay for a dive package... It leaves you little leaway when you get here if you are not entirely happy, and most reputable operators wouldn't ask you to do so anyway ;)

Tobago
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9. Re: Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

Sorry - just realised you asked about the boat ride to Little Tobago - that can be arranged when you get here (often when you drive up to Speyside!)

If you want someone who will guide you both on Little Tobago and to the waterfalls, you could organise a tour with someone such as Peter Cox, Newton George, or Harris McDonald

Denbigh, United...
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10. Re: Late Aug 2011 Trip for first timers....would love advice

Hi 5Burgh

I'd recommend you check with your villa owner. I have a villa in Bon Accord and we get loads of recommendations in our guest book - it is a goldmine of useful information...so ask your villa owner if they have a similar book as it will usually have really good recommendations in it.

Otherwise, I'd second the La Cantina recommendation. The food there is really good. I also like Mr Jerk and Skewers - on the approach to Crown Point, but definitely walkable distance from Bon Accord. Mr Jerk is meat and fish done on a grill with great seasoning. Skewers is arabic/middle eastern food and also very good.

For local food, Store Bay has a couple of good stalls for lunch and you can get roti, bake etc. Doubles are a speciality for breakfast - last time I was there in Nov/Dec 10 there was a good stall near the ATM at the airport.

If your villa has a BBQ, you might want to hunt out 'Sisters' in Golden Grove for really good meat and if you go to Mount Irvine or Lambeau along the waterside you will often get fishermen landing their catches for fresh seafood and fish - and they can gut/scale fish for you too.

For drinks and light meals Bago's Bar on the pigeon point road is pretty good. Always had good callaloo here. It's a lovely spot for sundowners too. Shore Things in Lambeau is fantastic for brunch/lunch/afternoon tea. I always make a beeline for the place when we go back - the lime cheesecake is worth the trip alone!!

Enjoy your stay!!

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