Think small and you’ve got an idea of the island of Tobago, which along with Trinidad make up a country in the Caribbean. Outside the hurricane belt, Tobago sports some of the most spectacular beaches, mainly in the southwest region where this former volcano is flatter. Prime areas of delight are Crown Point, Store Bay, Pigeon Point and Buccoo Reef. The coast here is sandy and full of resorts but we came to concentrate on three wonderful Tobago beaches: Castara and Englishman’s Bay.
Let’s venture off to Castara village which is right on the sea on the northwest side of Tobago. This small fishing community has been slowly coming alive with tourism as people find the beauty of the Tobagan mountains rolling down into the Caribbean Sea. Castara Beach covers two small crescents and is dotted with little fishing boats. Homes and small bed and breakfasts, and restaurants are found clinging to the slope that forms the nearby mountain range.
On the fringe of Castara beach, where the sand ends, you can find some nice snorkeling as the shore turns rocky and there is a good deal of coral growth fairly close to shore – but be advised the surf can be choppy making it hard to snorkel. Pack the camera and some lunch; stroll down for a day at the beach and watch the fishermen come and go. Swimming here is nice and safe and the surf is generally soft. And who knows… you may just see Castara’s most famous resident, former Prime Minister and President of Trinidad and Tobago, A.N.R. Robinson, the Castara Kid, who is from this town.
Englishman’s Bay is recommended by Three Best Beaches. This is the best beach on Tobago located on the north central shore and you’ll easily find a nice spot along this beach. It’s a typical crescent; a long one at that, and long enough for you and the whole family to hike out with the suntan lotion and take in the Caribbean. Snorkeling here is downright good and many claim to have seen stingray swimming just offshore. Remember to shuffle your feet along the bottom to scurry them up because you don’t want to step on them!
As far as the beach at Englishman’s Bay in Tobago, you’ll find that it slopes a tad more than gentle and heads into some deep water. Waves break over the shoals close in and if you can make it out just past the breakers along the northwest part of the beach then you’ll be awarded with some of the best snorkeling on the island. There is some great coral here. In comparison to Pigeon Point, the waves here are bigger. There are some reported rip currents. Use common sense. No lifeguards.
Please remember that on all of these beaches we’ve listed there are very limited facilities so bring as much as you need. There are bathrooms close to Eula’s.
Finally, let’s round out our trip to Tobago Beaches with a trip over to Pigeon Point. This is another picturesque beach on Tobago but with full facilities. More populated than our other two picks, Pigeon Point has a long, beautiful beach with tan sand and many different hues of blue water. The waves here are minimal and make it perfect for bringing the family with little ones.
We have to mention the thatched-roofed jetty which is synonymous with Tobago. And while the beach is awesome here, know that you pay to get in. This is all part of a fee to keep the place up and to help pay for the park itself. There’s been some controversy on this but leave that on the island and enjoy Pigeon Point Beach.
This is our third choice and because it is the beach where the cruise ships bring their passengers. It can become overcrowded during these times and when the vendors aren’t trying to sell something along the beach, the watercraft can make swimming and enjoying the beach a challenge.
For people with small kids, Pigeon Point is the choice. The shallows and beautiful facilities make it fun and enjoyable.
Tobago Beaches – Beach Index:
All beaches are medium tan sand.
Top pick: Englishman’s Bay – limited facilities.
Second place: Castara Beach – limited facilities.
Third place: Pigeon Point Beach – well used but full facilities.
Sports at Pigeon Point.
Snorkeling at all three, windsurfing at Pigeon Point.