CAROLINE TAYLOR: What makes the island special as a destination for eco and adventure lovers?
DUANE KENNY: Uncrowded locations that cater to almost every type of eco adventure lover — coral reefs, the oldest protected rainforest in the western hemisphere, waterfalls… All you need is an adventurous spirit and a good guide.
CT: For those who love nature and the outdoors what are the sites you think locals and visitors should absolutely visit or experiences they absolutely should have?
DK: There are so many amazing places to visit it’s tough to mention them all. We offer a night tour — our Bioluminescence Tour — where we kayak or stand up paddle into a lagoon with glowing plankton. It’s like the aurora borealis in the sea. It requires a little fitness but it is one of those experiences you will remember for the rest of your life. Best time of year is the rainy season, but we get good bio all year round.
If rainforest and birds are your thing, definitely check out the rainforest with a guide. If you like hidden beaches, hire a fisherman in Charlotteville to take you out to see Pirate’s Bay, and Lovers Bay. The guide is the key to really unlock the secrets of these locations.
CT: What are your favourite watersports activities in Tobago, and why? How can visitors get involved?
DK: Surfing, stand up paddle, and snorkelling. Surfing is my passion and it trumps everything I have ever done. The feeling you get from riding a wave, the connection with nature, and the friends you make along the way are why I love it. Anybody can surf, they just have to want to get wet and have fun. There are a few instructors in the island, and I’m happy to teach visitors as well.
CT: What are your favourite beaches, coast to coast, and why?
DK: Mt Irvine for waves, Pirate’s Bay for beauty and secret snorkelling spots.
CT: Do you have any favourite dining spots, and places to hang out after hours?
DK: These days fresh fish cooked with friends on a beach is my favourite, but small restaurants like Intriguing Ideas in Crown Point, Shore Things in Lambeau, Caribbean Kitchen in Castara, or Suckhole in Charlotteville are my favourites. You can’t miss Tobago Chocolate Delights situated at Shore Things restaurant, if you are a chocolate fan. Sunsets beers at Surfers Restaurant & Bar in Mt Irvine, and later that night Revs Seakhouse & Bar is my go to.
CT: Any tips and advice for eco adventurers as far as health and safety?
DK: All activities are relatively safe but the key is to know your limits and know what tour you are going to do. Don’t go surfing on the low tide over a shallow reef having never surfed before. You will need some type of bug repellent if you are going hiking in the rainforest. Ask your guide and they will advise you.
About Duane Kenny
I’m the owner of Zoe Snorkelling Charters (snorkeltobago.com), Stand Up Paddle Tobago (standuppaddletobago.com), and villa rentals at Blue Falls Investments (bluefallsinvestments.com). I’m a life-long lover of the ocean, surfing, diving, guitar, adventure and most of all living in Tobago.