If you'd like a close-up view of Tobago's many rare and exotic tropical birds, as well as a range of other island wildlife and lush tropical flora, naturalist-led field trips are the answer. Each 5-hour trip leads you to forest trails and coconut plantations, along rivers and past waterfalls; one excursion even goes to two nearby islands. Trips cost $8 to $13. For details, contact Newton George, Speyside (tel. 868/660-5463 or 868/754-7881; www.newtongeorge.com).

Tobago's capital, Scarborough, need claim your attention only briefly before you climb up the hill to Fort King George, about 130m (427 ft.) above the town. Built by the English in 1779, it was later captured by the French, then tossed back and forth among various conquerors until a hurricane devastated the city in 1847. You can view the ruins of a military hospital and also see artifacts displayed at the Tobago Museum (tel. 868/639-3970), in the fort's old barracks. Admission is $1, and hours are Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.

From Scarborough you can drive northwest to Plymouth, Tobago's other town. Perched on a point at Plymouth is Fort James, which dates from 1768. Now it's mainly in ruins.

From Speyside in the north, you can make arrangements with a local fisherman to go to Little Tobago, a 180-hectare (445-acre) offshore island whose bird sanctuary attracts ornithologists. The 20-minute crossing is likely to be rough, but the effort is worth it. Threatened with extinction in New Guinea, many birds -- perhaps 50 species -- were brought over to this little island in the early part of last century. The islet is arid and hilly, with a network of marked trails.

Off Pigeon Point in the south is Buccoo Reef, where sea gardens of coral and hundreds of fish can be seen in waist-deep water. This is the natural aquarium of Tobago, offering the island's best snorkeling and scuba diving. Nearly all the major hotels arrange boat trips here.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.