|As a Visitor here's how you can ....|
Protect our environment:On land
In the Sea
In restaurants and shops or on the beachPlease DON'T BUY black coral or turtle shell products and souvenirs at any time.
Please DON'T EAT wild meat or turtle meat/ eggs at any time
Protect YOURSELF...from the SUN ... Tobago virtually sits ON the Equator - this sun is REAL!
Start suntanning slowly - stay out of direct sun for the first couple days between 11am - 3.30pm and remember the sun's rays reflect off the water (pool, sea etc). And shady spots (under umbrellas and trees) shift as the sun travels - don't fall asleep there!
...from STDs and AIDS ... Like the rest of the world, there is AIDS in paradise. Do NOT get carried away by a holiday romance - behave responsibly and take precautions to make sure your don't go home with a deadly "souvenir"
.... from Illegal drugs ...
ALL narcotic drugs including ganja/marijuana are illegal in Trinidad and Tobago - WITHOUT exception - ANY AMOUNT. The law is strictly enforced and you will be handcuffed and imprisoned. Ignorance is NOT an excuse - and visitors get the same punishment as citizens.
... from Incidents .... Tobago is only a paradise - it is NOT UTOPIA. There is crime - relatively small scale, usually petty theft and hustlers on the beach or other tourist attractions. You can help avoid spoiling your holiday by being sensible and taking simple precautions.
DON'T DO WHAT YOU WOULD NOT DO AT HOME.....
Tobago is a lovely place - go out, leave the hotel, have fun! Tobagonians are conservative but hospitable and like the fact that visitors like the island. Several young persons have been trained and certified as tour guides by the Tourism Division. Please use the certified Tour Guides especially when visiting the waterfalls or entering the Rainforest - there are no help stations and you are on your own.
DRIVING .... UK style, cars drive on the left, the steering wheel is on the right side of the car! Speed limit ANYWHERE is 30 Miles per hour 50 KM per hour! Highway included.
Rental cars available only to drivers over 24 years old WITH 2 years driving experience. Your valid national Drivers permit is OK - no need for International license.
Motor bike riders MUST wear helmets - and must be licensed to ride motor bikes.
Tobago Today ... drive safely!!!Street signs in Tobago greet travellers with "Welcome to .... village. Please drive With Care"
.... on roads which follow the British driving system i.e. drive on the Left side of the road ... and cars have steering mechanisms on the right side .... In general roads are well surfaced, and wide enough for two cars. You will usually find street signs .... but they do fall off. And you may notice markers ( low white concrete posts ) on the side of the main roads showing your distance from Scarborough in Kilometres.
Petrol (called GAS) stations are not plentiful - they carry the NP sign (National Petroleum) and provide Unleaded gas in 2 grades - super and premium. There are no 24 hour service stations (yet) - with one station in Bon Accord near the Airport; one each in Carnbee, Plymouth, Roxborough and Charlotteville villages. And three in Scarborough. Rental vehicles usually require that you return them with a full tank (as you received them) or you may supply the agency with the $$ to re-fill the tank for you. Sundays and Public holidays can be tricky with stations closed or having very long queues of cars.
For the visitor it's especially important to remember - Keep on the LEFT side of the road, especially when driving on hillsides in the country and along winding roads. And it is the law that the driver and front seat passengers MUST keep their seat belts fastened.
It helps that the speed limit is 50 KM PH (which is a mere 30 Miles per hour) everywhere - including the Claude Noel Highway. The slow pace is well liked by visitors who want to see the sights...but local drivers probably won't obey the speed limit. Don't be the one to get caught in the speed trap!
Exercise CAUTION ...
Keep your eyes peeled for local hazards ... chickens, sheep and goats, cows, school children at play ... adults crossing the roads.... politely tap your car horn if you suspect danger - it's better to be safe than sorry.
What was that!??? Cars inevitably drive with their windows rolled down ... and as expressive people while talking we gesticulate constantly, hands outside the drivers car window are not uncommon. Be aware - that hand may (or may not) have been making a signal. Slow down and see what happens next.
AND What was that ??!! Drivers inevitably swerve to avoid bumps, holes, miscellaneous things in the road ... rather than drive their cars into them. Driving at moderate speed limit (30 mph) and driving with caution are normally sufficient to keep you in good stead.
Night Driving has its own dangers -street lighting is patchy in populated areas and may be entirely absent on country roads.
There are a few inconsiderate drivers using their high beam on our narrow roads, there are also "one eyed" cars whose drivers may not even be aware that one headlight is not functioning! and there are trucks/cars with no working brake or tail light.
On wet roads and rainy nights - there may be rather large pools of water on the road surface, sometimes with a pothole lurking beneath it.
Drinking and driving - the breathalyser is not yet in use on the isalnd - but it is coming. In the meanwhile many motorists do unfortunately drink (too much) and drive. Be particularly careful at all the festive days and at weekends and month-ends - when you will encounter reckless driving. The danger increases after dark - with tired eyes and muddled thinking.
In case you have an ACCIDENT .... in the unfortunate and remote possibility .... you MUST report it to the area's police station within a day. Failure to report is a traffic offence. If you have a camera take a photograph before moving your vehicle out of the way of other traffic. Alternatively, get a stone and scratch the position of your car tyres on the road. You need the license number and description of the other car, the name of the driver (ask to see their driver's permit) and he/she must show you their car insurance details. You will give them the same information. Report the accident also to your rental car company.