Wet and wild in Tobago

Your guide to enjoying the best of Tobago’s beaches, rivers, waterfalls, and watersports

Electric boogaloo: Bon Accord bioluminscence

Skip the light fantastic by moving around in Bon Accord Lagoon and watch the water come to life — in electric blue! This amazing natural wonder (known as bioluminescence) occurs around the time of the new moon when millions of phytoplankton emit flashes of light to startle predators. A definite buzz… Radical Sports: 631-5150.

Pigeon Point

Beautiful turquoise waters and lots of fish to see around the jetty, where you can take a glass-bottomed boat to Buccoo Reef and the Nylon Pool, rent jet skis, windsurf, or parasail. Calm waters and lots of beach to explore. Good facilities — changing rooms, restaurant, bar, shops with inflatables, snacks and swimwear. Huts with tables are available for free and you can rent a sun lounger (TT$30). Entrance fee: TT$20

Nylon Pool (near Buccoo Reef)

This world-famous spot was so named by Princess Margaret who said the water was as clear as her nylon stockings. A wallow in its shallow waters is also said to rejuvenate both the skin…and relationships. If you’re lucky, you will be joined in this reputed fountain of youth by baby stingrays. The nearby No Man’s Land is also a must-stop and a great spot to cook a freshly caught snapper or lobster, and the popular Buccoo Reef is nearby.

Englishman’s Bay (near Castara)

This is a lovely, secluded beach with a river at one end and lots of coconut and palm trees. Usually there are only a few visitors so the place is quiet and peaceful. It’s best to stay in the shallows because the waves can be powerful due to the sharp drop-off of the shoreline very close to the beach.

Englishman's Bay, Tobago. Photo by Chris Anderson

Englishman’s Bay, Tobago. Photo by Chris Anderson

Castara (Caribbean coast)

This delightful and quiet little bay has a lagniappe (added benefit) — bread yummy enough to eat just by itself. The delicious goodness of the piping hot bread baked in the traditional outdoor dirt oven behind the local primary school on Wednesday and Saturday mornings has become legendary. Women from the village make bread, cakes and pastries. Be sure to get there early in the morning to put in your order – everything sells like, well, hot cakes! Even locals from as far away as Scarborough line up for the best thing since sliced bread. Castara is also a beautiful unspoiled village with comfy guesthouses. A waterfall in the rainforest is an easy walk from the bay. The water is quite calm with a nice reef quite close to the shore. The small beach bar serves a generous lunch. For totally getting away and chillaxing in serenity, this is the place.

Castara Bay, Tobago. Photo by Chris Anderson

Castara Bay, Tobago. Photo by Chris Anderson

Bloody Bay (near Parlatuvier)

Majestically surrounded by mountains, this crescent of a beach is spectacular and dramatic, the water breathtaking. Very NatGeo. Watch stingrays in the water from the jetty, and fishermen hauling in their nets as pelicans pilfer from the catch and frigatebirds swoop to catch fish jumping out of the water. A river flows into the sea at one end. There’s a newly built changing facility. Stop at the Glasgow Bar and take in the great view overlooking the bay from the hillside. As for the name, a sign on site gives an explanation, but there are three working theories: a battle circa 1666; a slave uprising 100 years later; and pigment from red dyewood trees …

Pirate’s Bay (Charlotteville)

Secluded and serene, this beach has been rated one of the best in Bago. You can get there by boat, or take a short hike from Charlotteville. There are about a hundred steps to walk down, but the stunning views make it worthwhile. Calm waters, excellent for getting some Vitamin S – sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. The rainforest comes right down to the beach so you can sit with binoculars and watch birds feeding in the water, and crabs and snails on the rocks.

Pirate's Bay, Tobago. Photo: Stephen Jay Photography

Pirate’s Bay, Tobago. Photo: Stephen Jay Photography

Argyle Waterfall

Tobago’s highest waterfall (54m/175ft), Argyle tumbles over three tiers into a deep pool. Located on the northeast side of Tobago, just outside Roxborough on the Scarborough road, the Roxborough Visitor Service Co-op office is the entrance. Butterflies, birds and bromeliads can be seen along the trail that leads to the falls. You can hire a guide, if you like. The thunder of the waterfall can be heard long before you see it. The gush of the first cascade hides the real splendour of its upper levels. If you are adventurous, climb up the steep path on the right to the second level. Bathe in the natural ‘rock tubs’. At the highest level, the pool is deep with vines overhead that are perfect for swinging (carefully). There’s a changing area, and gumboots for hire. Wear comfy, good-gripping shoes, sunscreen, and bring bug spray and a towel. The shop sells bamboo carvings at a good price. Admission $60 adults, $30 children • 660-4152

Argyle Falls, Tobago. Photo by Chris Anderson

Argyle Falls, Tobago. Photo by Chris Anderson

Watersports

Kite-surfing, kite-boarding, kayaking, stand-up-paddling, surfing, sailing … If these are your thing, head to Pigeon Point, Mt Irvine, Charlotteville, and Little Rockly Bay. Or check Radical Sports (631-5150); the Tobago Kite-boarding Organisation (331-3775); the Tobago Sea Kayak Experience (660-6186); and Stand Up Paddle (681-4741).

Parasailing off Pigeon Point with Radical Sports Tobago

Parasailing off Pigeon Point with Radical Sports Tobago

Being with horses (Buccoo)

If you love animals, the sea, and have a soft spot for rescued horses with moving back-stories, then you’ll want to check out Being With Horses. Run by German-born Veronika La Fortune and her husband Lennon, they offer sunset swim-ride sessions, trail rides, picnic rides, and horseback weddings. 639-0953, being-with-horses.com

Healing and Being With Horses (Tobago)

Healing and Being With Horses (Tobago). Photo courtesy www.Healing-with-horses.com

Tips

  • At least three swimsuits or shorts because you will be spending lots of time in water swimming, diving, snorkelling, or just wallowing — in the sea, a river, under a waterfall, or in a pool
  • One of the most amazing experiences is bathing in the rain, especially during a thunderstorm. Pure exhilaration! Try it.

Posted by Nazma Muller

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