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driving in tobago

ireland
Level Contributor
25 posts
1 review
driving in tobago

Hi,

Can anyone tell me what its like to drive in Tobago? It will be my first tmie driving abroad and I'm a bit apprehensive. What condition are the roads in? Do they stick to the traffic laws or is it a free for all?

We drive on the left here so is it the right in Tobago?

Can anyone recommend a place to hire a car and roughly how much does it cost?

Plus, any recommendations for restaurants/bars would help.

Thanks for your help,

frank

Montreal
Level Contributor
5 posts
9 reviews
1. Re: driving in tobago

We have just returned from a week of driving around Tobago. My husband did the driving and found it heartstopping on many occasions but that was because we are from Canada and we drive on the right and they drive on the left in Tobago. You should be better prepared as you also drive on the left. The roads are very twisty and Tobagonian drivers go at breakneck speed but they seem to know the dimensions of their cars and roads down to the millimetre. The key is to slow down, even stop, at the worst curves and you should be fine. We rented our car from Sheppy's, close to the airport and couldn't be happier with his firm. We had a car for a week at $300US. You can find him at http://tobagocarrental.com/

If you plan to go off the main roads, rent a jeep rather than a car. The main roads are in very good condition for the most part, but some of the side roads are a bit rough. We stopped for many locals and gave them lifts, which is a good way to get to know the people. We found them to be absolutely lovely, perhaps a bit shy at first, but very warm and friendly. Just watch out for the young men who will flag you down so as to convince you to take a tour with them. We actually did pick one of these fellows up, and I must admit he took us on a tour of the areas around Pembroke and Glamorgan that we could never have found on our own, and it was quite enjoyable, but it did cost a bit. We were staying at the farm of a former Secretary of Agriculture, and he considers the fellows who do such tours as riff-raff, but we had quite a nice time with our guide. I think it depends upon how easygoing and comfortable you are with the locals.

As for recommendations for restaurants and bars, Marguerite's in Castara was wonderful. It is a small yellow building beside the road. They don't sell beer, but the food is terrific. We also had a nice lunch at the Blue Waters Inn in Speyside while waiting to take Frank's Glassbottom boat tour to Little Tobago. This is something that I would highly recommend - a wonderful two-hour guided tour of the island and snorkeling for only $20US.

I do hope you have a good time, everything was just fantastic for us.

uk
4 posts
2. Re: driving in tobago

The drivers are mad!

No-one keeps to the speed limit.

Its a free for all.

orlando,fl
Level Contributor
502 posts
1 review
3. Re: driving in tobago

Driving in Tobago is not too bad once you go out of the Store bay area,just be very careful around blind corners and blow you horn.I would never drive in Trinidad,thats suicidal.Golden Star on a wednesday and Pelican Inn are my favorite bars.Dillions for seafood.

Minneapolis, MN
2 posts
4. Re: driving in tobago

Another thing to remember is that there are only a few gas stations on the island, so make sure you fill up before you drive out to the end of the island. People speed, and if you don't want to go fast, go at your own speed, the other drivers will just pass you by.

Dorset, United...
Level Contributor
1,810 posts
16 reviews
5. Re: driving in tobago

Hullo Frank, me old Toilet Duck!

The driving can be a bit hairy around the towns, especially at rush hour; and I wouldn't recommend driving anywhere after dark as it can be dangerous; but during the day time, to tour the island and see places off the beaten track, it's fine. The main roads are generally good but off them, the smaller roads can be a bit lumpy, especially in the north. Just don't drive too fast, get to know the local habits (a toot isn't always a reprimand, it just lets drivers know you're there) and leave plenty of room and you'll be OK.

What we did was hire a driver for a day the first year we went, and toured the north of the island with him (one of the Ali Baba people - seemed to know everyone on the island). It gave us an idea of what to look for and where to go, so the next year, we hired a car and did our own thing. I'd recommend it ... it's a beautiful island with a lot to see.

All the best

orlando,fl
Level Contributor
502 posts
1 review
6. Re: driving in tobago

The potholes are another problem,the locals memorise where they are and are prepared to dodge them,but once you drive a safe speed you should be ok,areas with no street lights should be avoided,never drove at night but i think it's ok in the Store bay or Scarborough area.

London, UK
Level Contributor
5 posts
16 reviews
7. Re: driving in tobago

I live in the southwest of London, UK. After the nightmare of driving here I found Tobago bliss!

The roads are generally pretty empty, though obviously busier around Scarborough and Crown Point. The roads have lots of potholes, and drivers swerve round them. Some drivers simply keep to the middle of the road to avoid them - which I found myself doing by the end of my holiday. Also, drivers regularly pull up suddenly to chat to a friend or give someone a lift. Goats, chickens and dogs will happily cross the road without looking. Some drivers travel well above the speed limit, others keep to it - same as anywhere.

Keep your distance from the car in front, stay alert (it's hard to watch the road when there's so much beautiful scenery!), go slow around sharp bends - but this is all pretty much basic driving practice for anywhere in the world.

The only real Tobagan habit was use of the horn. In the UK this is generally a sign of annoyance or aggression; in Tobago it's common practice when overtaking stationary vehicles or groups of pedestrians to honk as a courtesy warning to them not to suddenly step out.

But after London traffic, Tobago was easy.

Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
1 post
6 reviews
8. Re: driving in tobago

Hi,

My parents just got from a great holiday in Tobago. They said the drivers are crazy but they rented a car and found it ok driving themselves.

The only downer was that the tyres on their car were slashed which was a bit unpleasant and the hire company were really bad about it, blaming them for upsetting people etc and then charging them a fortune for the damage! - don't choose Lady in Red car hire.

My parents found people pretty reserved but that once you start talking to them etc they were really friendly.

Hope you have a great trip.

9. Re: driving in tobago

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