Heaven above and Paradise below. The twisty, undulating turns of Windward Road fill your senses with wonder on the journey along the Tobago coastline. The scenery switches with great regularity from rugged rock rising through the surf, to serene patches of beach that make you want to get out, plant a flag and claim it. A turn inland and you'll enjoy a drive uphill to a yellow house perched upon the hilltop, with stunning wrap-around views of dense green hills and valleys. But it’s not just the view; it’s the cocoa that’s calling. Fear not, you’re soon given a thorough history of the island’s cocoa at Tobago Cocoa Estate, as well as the refining process that makes it some of the most sought after in the world. This isn’t a job for your guides, it’s a passion, as they take you from planting to harvest and the drying of the beans. All the while there are opportunities to taste the various cocoa seeds and then sample the rich, dark chocolate that is the end product.
After this, a quick drive takes you into the wide open space of the Roxborough Fire Station and the entrance to Argyle Waterfalls. An idyllic setting, there are hammocks under the trees, so kick-back and relax before you decide to begin the magical hike. Guides are available, but with it being a one way journey in and out, some visitors decide to take it at their own pace. Wide, flat, open trails make this hike accessible to most.
The cocoa legacy is evident with the rusting, sturdy relics along the way, with trees equally aged, their shady branches both beautiful and haunting. Past the interspersed rock stairs and bamboo arches, comes the first sounds of water, around every corner it seems so near yet hidden. Small pools are crossed over with ease, but still no falls in sight, then around a sweeping right-hander it appears. The real kick is that as you walk nearer the thunderous cascade, more falls appear higher and higher up the mountainside.
There are further pools above the seemingly-bottomless main one, which is 17metres deep, accessible by a rope climb for the more agile, refreshingly cool – although you soon warm up – the waters of the largest, lowest pool are more than enough for most. You’ll want to stay forever. But once you pull yourself away, you’ll return with, according to Whitman, only “melodious thoughts”.