Great Courland Bay
One of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets is a treasure trove of local charm, wondrous wildlife and island beats
“Get your cameras ready,” says Ean Mackay, proprietor of Adventure Farm and Nature Reserve, nestled in the lush hills of Tobago.
I hold my breath as Mackay rings a bell and a sea of hummingbirds flit to a line of feeders in front of my tour group. With the low buzz of their beating wings, which display a riot of colours, it’s hard to tell how many different species I’m looking at (Mackay later says six species were present). It’s a truly mesmerizing sight.
Tobago is a birder’s paradise—and a trailblazer in ecotourism. The island, half of a dual-nation republic along with Trinidad, is home to the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve: the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere, first designated as a reserve in 1776.
With a coastline stretching 362 kilometres, a permanent human population of just 61,000—plus thousands of bird, mammal and fish species—Tobago makes for the perfect non-touristy island getaway.