Prominent in view when entering Speyside, just behind the smaller islet of Goat Island, Little Tobago is lush and almost entirely covered by a Tropical dry-forest comprising short semi-evergreen trees, shrubs, terrestrial bromeliads and cacti - all suited to the island’s xerophytic environment. The extreme dry conditions on this isle, just about 1 square kilometre in area (100 hectares/ 247 acres), are ideal for the specialized species of tropical plants and diverse pelagic birds which call the island home.
The entire island is designated a sanctuary, strictly protected by the Forestry Department of the Tobago House of Assembly so that only authorized access is allowed. Guided tours via glass-bottomed boats are available daily through bona fide guides; departing from both the government and privately-owned jetties in Speyside.
After an approximate ten-minute ride, the boats dock at a small cove. Guides lead walking tours along the narrow winding trail overlooking the beach. At the top, further hiking trails lead off in different directions including to the island’s summit. The feature wildlife exists on the island’s windward side where hundreds of seabirds nest and forage in open view.
Mixed flocks of Red-billed Tropicbirds, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Brown Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, and seasonal migratory Terns are a few of the many “Sea Bird” species which can easily be seen in flight over the steep cliffs, along with many other resident perching-birds found throughout the island’s interior. Nesting birds are also a common sight ahead of the lookout where chicks are often seen mere feet away.
This magical island is well worth the trip. You may also want to include a tour of the reef nearby which boasts a magnificent brain coral.