When it comes to wildlife, Tobago’s prefers the sea and air: the big draws here are birding and diving. However, the few creatures that do stray onto land – hauling themselves out of the ocean and onto Tobago’s starlit beaches – are some of the most impressive
. The endangered leatherback sea turtle measures 2m in length and weighs a hefty 450kg. These gentle giants of the ocean nest along Tobago’s Caribbean shores, around Courland Bay (known as Turtle Beach), Grafton Beach and Mt Irvine Back Bay from March to September, with nesting peaking in April to June. Hawksbill turtles also nest during this time, as well as the occasional green turtle – although these are more likely to be sighted offshore.
To view nesting turtles in Tobago, you’ll need a permit and a guide; SOS Tobago can recommend responsible guides
. Alternatively, visitors with their own transport can, for a small donation, be put on a call out list, and will receive a call when a turtle is sighted during a patrol. Later in the season, hatchlings emerge. Heading towards the lightest point, they scramble down to the sea, where they will remain for many years until they have grown large enough to survive the predators of the coastal areas.