The Ultimate Guide to Tobago Carnival

2023 Late Planning Guide

The History of Tobago Carnival

In its second year, and separate from its sister island Trinidad, Tobago Carnival includes three centralized events: J’ouvert, De Masquerade and Parade of the Bands, and offers a traditional carnival experience while accepting the evolution of carnival as it adopts new trends.

Carnival Season & Parade Dates

Tobago Carnival is scheduled for the last weekend in October. The official j’ouvert is Saturday, October 28, 2023 and parade is Sunday, October 29, 2023. The full Tobago Carnival calendar can be found here.

Arrivals & Departures

To arrive in Tobago, revelers have the option of flying into the A. N. R. Robinson International Airport (TAB) directly from New York or Bridgetown, Barbados by way of Caribbean Airlines, or flying into Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport (POS) and traveling to Tobago via flight or ferry. Make sure to book flight and ferry service before they sell out.


There are a number of accommodations in Tobago with options to match every budget. The best areas to stay during Tobago Carnival are Crown Point or Scarborough as most events take place in these areas. Solo travelers can look for Aribnb, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses or apartments in the area as well. If you are traveling with a large group, consider renting a villa. Our hotel and villa recommendations in Tobago are:

Local Currency

The currency used in Tobago is the Trinidad & Tobago Dollar (TTD). The current conversion can be found here. Most international credit and debit cards are accepted.

Getting Around

Getting around Tobago can be done via car rental, using a taxi service, or hiring a private driver. If you take the ferry from Trinidad, you can bring your car onboard the ferry for an additional cost. There is also public transport throughout the island with prices ranging from TT$3-TT$8.  

Active Bands

The active bands for the 2023 carnival season are:

Can’t Miss Events

There are several events during Tobago Carnival outside of j’ouvert, night mas and the official parade including Waddap Wednesday, #Duckit, Floats and Bikinis, Soirée, Vibes with Voicey, Hush and more.

The Road March Experience

The parade of the bands for Tobago Carnival is in Scarborough. During costume pickup, distributors share the time and meet up point before the parade starts. In addition to providing snacks, drinks and bathroom trucks along the parade route, premium bands offer a rest stop for lunch.

The J’ouvert Experience

J’ouvert in Tobago occurs the day before the Parade of the Bands. Revelers meet up between 2 AM to 4 AM and parade in the streets, throwing paint, powder and sometimes mud. In order to get the all-inclusive j’ouvert experience—which includes breakfast, lunch, unlimited drinks and security—you need to register with a j’ouvert band. 

Additionally, Tobago Carnival 2023 has De Masquerade, a light up night mas parade. Registration is also required for participation

The active j’ouvert bands for 2023 are:

The active Night Mas bands are:

The Soundtrack of Carnival

Masqueraders should expect to hear a mix of 2023 soca music from artists throughout the Caribbean region and a few new releases as DJs prepare for the upcoming 2024 carnival season. You will also hear calypso music and the sounds of Trinidad and Tobago’s national instrument, the steelpan, from local bands.

Beyond Mas

We all know carnival is not a vacation, but there are many things to do in Tobago outside of the carnival and fetes. In addition to checking out the beautiful beaches, Tobago is known for its ecotourism, history, and rich heritage.

Things to do in Tobago include a full island tour, historical tour, hiking, bird watching, diving, and other water sports. Below are popular attractions to visit in Tobago.

If you’re someone looking for a carnival experience that blends traditional and modern aspects of the music, history, and culture of Trinidad & Tobago, give Tobago Carnival a try. 

If you’re interested in diving into Tobago’s gastronomy, a variety of cuisines are available in Tobago from street food to fine dining. Get a taste of Tobago by eating its national dish of crab and dumplings, enjoy fine dining at Blue Crab restaurant, have fresh homemade ice cream at Zibs and enjoy the nightlife at Bar Code or Jade Monkey Bar.

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