Think of the Caribbean island of Tobago as the little sister to Trinidad, the larger part of this two-part nation and home to the capital, Port-of-Spain. Only 30 kilometers (19 miles) of open water separate the two islands, and Trinbagonians (as they're sometimes called) often fly between them for day trips. But in many ways Tobago feels like a separate country. Its population is more Afrocentric than the ethnically mixed Trinidad, and its dialect is its own. The two islands do share many of the same foods, like the Indian-style roti, a flatbread that's eaten with everything. Curried crab and dumplings, however, is particular to Tobago—the popular (and very messy) dish is something that all visitors must sample and can be found at the island's ubiquitous food shacks. And music played on a tambrin is a sound you will hear nowhere else. The goatskin drum is similar to a tambourine and was invented in Tobago by slaves using the materials they had at hand.
Tobago is far less developed than Trinidad, which makes it a prime destination for nature fans. Rare species of birds make their home on the thickly vegetated volcanic ridge that runs the length of the island. Those who crave water sports show up for the extensive dive scene around Tobago's fine beaches, bays and offshore isles. Fans of popular music who arrive in April for the Tobago Jazz Experience have opportunities to hear favorite performers (2016 brought J. Cole and Lauryn Hill to the stage). And many come simply to get away from it all on this very laid-back island.