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Getting about by Car, Taxi and Bus In Tobago


Car Rentals In Tobago

Driving: Visitors in possession of valid licenses issued in U.S., Canada, France, U.K., Germany and the Bahamas may drive for up to three months. International licenses are also accepted.
Drive on the Left: Thanks to our British heritage, we are supposed to drive on the left. Most of us observe this rule, but there are a few local drivers who prefer the middle of the road approach, even on blind corners. You will find that most local drivers sound their horns when coming to a bend, or just to greet each other. They do not have the same impatience that I have when driving in England, and the horn is normally used in a friendly rather than a hostile sound.

 

Driving around the Tobago
You can hire a jeep like our above for around £30-£45 (US$45-$65) per day, or £185-£275 (US$270-£400) per week, including collision damage waiver. Petrol to the English is very cheap, less than 30p per gallon, but there aren't many petrol stations (currently 6) so donít run out - I nearly did, and don't forget the speed limit island-wide is 30 mph (50 kph). If you don't want to hire a car, there are buses, but you have to purchase a ticket in advance from local stores

Taxis: You can use official taxis ( you can tell they are official because they have a registration with "H" on it, or you can use the unofficial or "maxi taxi". The regulated taxi service costs about the same as in the UK , but there is a network of unofficial taxis that operate undisturbed by the authorities and itís a bit like thumbing a lift. A short Ďhopí will cost you no more than 2 dollars - 20p(30cents) - and you can take the opportunity of meeting local people, who have the best information about where to go and what to do. 

Watch out for animals: In rural areas, you may run into (literally) sheep or cows in the middle of the road. Chickens are everywhere, and rural areas are closer to the city centre than you may believe.

What to do in case of an accident: Remain calm. Photograph the scene if possible. Otherwise, mark the position of the tires on the ground (scrape with a stone or chalk). Make sure that the other driver has done the same. Then you can move your vehicle to the side of the road. Call your rental agency, and report the accident to the nearest police station, even if the onlookers assure you that this is not necessary. Be sure to get the other driver's license plate number, and his insurance information.

Watch out for pedestrians: In many areas there are no sidewalks. Keep an eye out for pedestrians walking in the road, as well as for children playing - they may dart out suddenly.
 

Car Hire
Visitors in possession of valid licenses issued in U.S., Canada, France, U.K., Germany and the Bahamas may drive for up to three months. International licenses are also accepted.

The roads in the north of the island are often extremely narrow, twisty and hilly so many visitors may prefer to tour by taxi. Signposts are virtually non-existent, a theme we found common in a lot of Islands, but the Tobago is only 26 miles long and 7 miles wide, itís almost impossible to get  lost for long.

Jeeps are fun, but open-top vehicles are not secure and if you hire one you should remove your camera equipment and other valuables every time you park.

There are several rental car agencies on the island -- including:

Auto Rentals, Crown Point Airport; tel. 639-0644, tel./fax 639-0305

Carlton James Car Rental, Crown Point; tel. 639-8084, fax 639-8084

Econo-Car Rentals, c/o A.J.M. Tours, Crown Point Airport; tel. 639- 0610, fax 639-8918
e-mail: econocar@trinidad.net

Hill Crest Car Rental Service Ltd., 47 Mt Pelier Trace, Scarborough; tel./fax 639-5208

Paradise Rentals Ltd., Blue Waters Inn, Speyside; tel. 660-4341/4077, fax 660-5195

Peter Gremli Car Rentals Ltd., Crown Point; tel./fax 639-8400

Rattan's Car Rentals Ltd., Crown Point; tel. 639-8271, fax 639-9940

Sherman's Auto Rentals, Lambeau Village; tel.639-2292, fax 639-3084, email shermans@trinidad.net

Singh's Auto Rentals, Grafton Beach Resort; tel. 639-0191/0624, fax 639-0030
e-mail: singhs@trinidad.net

Thrifty Car Rental, Turtle Beach Hotel, 8-11 a.m. tel. 639-2851 (639-8507 anytime), fax 639-0357. Also at Crown Point Airport; tel. 639-8507/639-8062

Tobago Travel, Store Bay Rd., Crown Point; tel. 639-8778/8105, fax 639-8786

Taxis
Taxis and maxi-taxis (colour coded mini-buses) run on fixed routes and generally operate from designated stands. Fares range from TT$2 - TT$10 on average. Off route transfers usually cost more


Bike Rentals

Modern Bike Rentals and Adventure Tours P.O. Box 122, Scarborough; tel. 639-3275, fax 639-9592

Airport

 

Tobago's Crown Point International airport (TAB) is 8 miles (13km) from the capital, Scarborough, and close to all the main hotels.
A departure tax of TT$100 (£11.30, US$16) per person is levied on international departures from Tobago. Transit passengers and children under five years of age are exempt. You must purchase your departure tax tickets, from a kiosk at the front of the airport building, before entering the departure gate.

Telephone: (868) 639-0509
Website: www.crownpointairport.com

Pilot's view as we land

   

Taxis are available and prices for standard journeys are published inside the airport arrival lounge (currently US$8 to Scarborough, US$36 to Speyside). Airport facilities include a bank, various shops and boutiques, a restaurant and snack bar and car-hire agencies. There is an hourly bus service between Crown Point and Scarborough costing TT$2 one way.

Air Travel

 

There are very few direct international flights to Tobago. However the island is only a 20 minute flight from Trinidad and 45 minutes from Barbados, opening Tobago to a far wider market. BWIA (the national airline) and LIAT operate flights from Trinidad and Barbados. The BWIA transfer from Trinidad costs TT$300 (US$33, £23) return or TT$200 round trip when booked 7 days or more in advance.
Tobago Express (owned by BWIA) operate a reliable service, operating two Dash-8 aircraft between Piarco (Port-of-Spain) and Crown Point daily from 6am to 10pm, at a cost of around TT$150 each way.

The inaugural flight of the new BWIA direct service from Washington to Tobago took place on 31st October 2002. This 5-hour weekly flights leaves Dulles on Thursdays and continues to Trinidad after stopping at Tobago. This is currently the only direct flight from the US although they do offer a flight from Miami via Trinidad.

BWIA operate flights from London Heathrow to Trinidad. 'Throughfare' tickets to Tobago can be purchased. Your luggage will be checked straight through to Tobago, but you will have to change aircraft in Port of Spain. BWIA also recently announced the start of twice weekly flights from Manchester to Trinidad via Heathrow and Barbados.Condor offers Sunday flights from Frankfurt in Germany between November and the end of April.

 
 

Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will operate a weekly service to Tobago from Monday 6th May 2003. Originating from London Gatwick, the 747-200 will continue on to Grenada from Tobago. I think we can assume that the aircraft will be refuelled and turned-around at that point, returning to Tobago in the early evening for the direct flight home. If this assumption is correct, the Virgin flights will therefore offer the quickest flight times to and from Tobago. Flight-only tickets will be available from around mid-December, directly from Virgin Atlantic or travel agents. Naturally, Virgin Holidays will be featuring holidays to Tobago utilising the new flight.

British Airways operate flights from London Gatwick to Tobago on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, with a 1-1Ĺ hour stop-over in Antigua on both legs. It has been announced (Jan 2003) that this will increase to seven flights per week. The routing via Antigua creates a total flight time of around 11ľ hours outbound and 10ĺ hours on the return. The new World Traveller Plus super-economy seating is not yet available on BA flights to Tobago; neither are the 70" flat-bed Club World seats.

Monarch Airlines offer Thursday and Saturday flights to Tobago via Grenada. These Monarch charter flights are normally only available as part of various package holidays. However, flight-only tickets can be obtained via your travel agent or directly from Golden Caribbean of Crawley, West Sussex (Tel: 01342-316900). 

Domestic Ferry Service:
The Domestic Ferry Service is operated by the T&T Port Authority, providing transport for passengers, vehicles and cargo. Services include dining (on the Panorama) and bars.

Sailing Times:
Monday to Friday
Leave Port-of-Spain, Trinidad at 2:00 pm
Leave Scarborough, Tobago at 11:00 pm.

Sundays
Leave Port-of-Spain at 11:00 am.
Leave Scarborough at 11:00 pm.

Special Sailings are scheduled during peak periods and Public Holidays. There is no sailing on Saturdays. The duration of the voyage to/from Tobago is approximately 5Ĺ hours.

For further information call:
Port of Spain (868) 625-4906/3055
Tobago (868) 639-2417 (passengers)
(868) 639-2181 (cargo)


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