OverviewDepending on the source, Pigeon Peak is either the 1st, 2nd, or 4th highest mountain in Tobago. Most people living on the island seem to think Pigeon Peak is the highest, but not all maps agree. Various maps list the summit as 518, 525, or 576 meters high. Perhaps the thick rainforest makes surveying these peaks difficult, thus the various elevations. The Google Maps program is definitely off on distinguishing the Pigeon Peak elevation and its distinction from Man of War.
Regardless of its elevation, Pigeon Peak is probably the most attractive peak climb on the island of Tobago. The climb is exciting and beautiful, but the peak is rarely trodden. There is much bird and wildlife as well. If you only have time to climb one peak on Tobago, try this one.
The climb is very steep and there is no discernible trail for the last 1/3 of the climb, but the forest is open enough that there is only minor bushwhacking. Slippery mud and navigating through the rainforest are the biggest obstacles.
Views are limited in places, but there are some open areas where there are fine views of the ocean and surrounding country.
The neighboring peak to the west is Man of War and both can be climbed on the same trip.
Getting ThereTobago is served by both plane and ferry from Trinidad.
The most popular way is to fly. Caribbean Airlines has 24 flights daily from Trinidad to Tobago.
Several flights access Tobago directly from Europe, but strangely there doesn’t seem to be any direct flights from North America. You will probably have to connect in Trinidad.
Inter Island Ferry Service has three trips a day from Trinidad to Tobago.
Getting to the trailhead is fairly easy. From the Tobago Airport, take a bus, maxi taxi, or car to Charlotteville or Speyside (on the opposite side of the island as the airport). If taking a bus or maxi taxi, you will probably transfer at Scarborough. (If doing several hikes in the Charlotteville or Speyside area, taking a taxi is still cheaper than renting a car).
From Speyside, take the road to Chalotteville over the pass between the two towns. The trailhead is just west of the pass and turnoff for Flagstaff Hill. It is right across from the 39.5 km post and on the west side of the main road. The trail was not marked as of December 2013, but is an old road cut heading up the hillside. The trailhead is within reasonable walking distance of Charlotteville or Speyside, but you may want to take a taxi up and walk all the way down. If driving, there isn’t much room to park at the trailhead, but you can park along the Flagstaff Hill road and walk to the trailhead.
Routes OverviewThe standard route to Pigeon Peak follows an old road cut (overgrown in places) through an old plantation (which the jungle has mostly reclaimed) to its end at a gully. Just before the gully and extremely steep and slippery trail heads south to a saddle. From there the trail is mostly nonexistent, but it’s a mostly open jungle walk to the summit, sometimes marked with ribbons on trees.
This is a half day climb, but you may want to make it a full day if you plan on climbing Man or War or walk all the way from the coast and back.
See the Route Page for details.
There is supposedly a route up Pigeon Peak from the southeast as well. I am completely unfamiliar with it.
Red TapeNo permits are required and there is no red tape. Because there is no red tape make sure to be respectful of nature and the plant and animal life.
When to ClimbJanuary through May is the “dry” season, with February through April being the driest. December is an in between season. June through November are very wet and especially July and August. Even in the so called dry season, prepare for possibly heavy rains.
Although prices in Trindad aren’t as effected except during Carnival, if you are visiting Tobago, prices sky rocket between mid-December and mid-April.
Even though a bit wetter, early to mid December and May can be good months to climb since it’s not tourist season and prices for accommodation is much lower.
Camping and AccommodationYou could likely camp near the saddle between Man or War and Pigeon Peak, though there isn't any running water and the ground is probably permanently wet. You could also probably camp near the gully where the trail steepens.
There are plenty of places to stay in Speyside and Charlotteville. Charlotteville is said to be more attractive due to the beach, but Blue Waters Inn in Speyside is also very nice, has a nice beach, and offers good access to places like Little Tobago. We stayed at the Blue Waters Inn, but bear in mind that prices are almost double in the mid December to mid April season (we were there before the prices rise).
Mountain ConditionsWeather averages for Brasso Seco (on Trinidad) are below, but the mountains near Pigeon Peak will be much wetter and a bit cooler than Brasso Seco.
CLICK FOR SPEYSIDE WEATHER FORECAST
|Month||High (° F )||High (° C)||Low (° F )||Low (° C)||in. Rain||mm Rain||Rain Days|
GuidebookIt isn't cheap, but if you plan on doing much hiking in Trinidad and Tobago, The Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists' Club Trail Guide is a very valuable resource.
The Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists' Club Trail Guide
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