Tobago: Something Special in the Water
There is more to Tobago than beaches, but it can be difficult to summon the will to make that discovery, such is the attraction of the island’s sea and sand. The cluster of hotels and resorts around Tobago’s southern tip reflect the lure of calm, clear water and the lasting pleasure of lying on a soft pillow of sand.
The coastline gets a little more rugged as you head north, but no less beautiful. Whether your preference is for sunning, swimming, surfing, snorkelling, diving, sailing, even dragon boat racing: there’s a beach here for you. Some favourites:
Pigeon Point Heritage Park
Southwest coast. 15 minutes
Very few places (especially in the world of tourism) live up to their hype. Not so Pigeon Point. It’s so good, in fact, they get to charge an entrance fee. Of course there are other soft white-sand beaches where you can find food, drink, good swimming and feel like a bona fide island holidayer, but at Pigeon Point you can do that PLUS pack in a day – or week – of water adventure. It’s not an attraction: this is action. Surf, kite-surf, paddle board, kayak – you can do all of these. If you’ve never done it before, the crew at Radical Sports can give you a not-crash course in any of these, kit you out and have you in the water in an hour. The most unexpectedly exquisite thing you can do here is also brought to you by Radical Sports. It is…
The bioluminesence tour. It starts with stars. They come off the edge of your kayak’s paddle, a trail of pin-point stars lighting up the dark water. Dip your hand in. More stars. Magic. Well, actually it’s cold light that comes off of certain kinds of aquatic life, in the case of the Tobago’s southwest coast, it’s emitted by dinoflagellates. Get into the water to turn yourself into a starry outline of yourself. Be aware of your own skill (or lack) with the craft of your choice. There’s abundant opportunity to fall out or off of your conveyance; to crash wildly into the mangrove; to be conked on the head by an oar (yours or someone else’s). Be guided by your guides. They know the currents and tides better.
Southwest coast. 11 minutes
One of the Tobago’s busiest beaches but in a good way. Presenting an array of local meals (real food, not snacks) from a variety of vendors all deeply committed to offering almost identical menus. The find-the-longest-line rule does not always apply here: follow you nose and instincts. And whoever has just put out a fresh batch of what you’ve decided on. From here you get the glass-bottom boats to the Nylon Pool, Bucco Reef and No Man’s land.
Northwest coast. 50 minutes
Even the approach is beautiful. Close in on the grassy rise that looks a bit like the countryside of colder places and open on to pure Caribbean lush: palest sand and changing shades of blue. The forest is near. Almost at the water’s edge, another pastoral stretch of the Jane Austen variety. All is quiet beauty, so from whence cometh such a savage name? Three theories: a battle circa 1666; a modest slave uprising a hundred years later; red dyewood trees. Pick one.
More Beautiful Beaches
- Castara: Northwest coast. 45 minutes
- Englishman’s Bay: Northwest coast. 45 minutes
- Mt. Irvine: West coast. 20 minutes
- Tyrell’s Bay: East coast.
- Rockley Bay: East coast
- Turtle Beach: West coast. 22 minutes
- Speyside: Northeast coast. 55 minutes
All estimated times from Crown Point, where the keep the airport