an island that is ringed with beautiful beaches. Many of the beaches have
very few persons on beach during the week and even on weekends most of
Tobago's beaches have few persons except on a holiday weekend. This page
will feature several of Tobago's beaches:
Store Bay is probably the most popular beach in Tobago. Its popularity stems
from several reasons; close to airport, literally within walking distance
and numerous hotels are clustered in the vicinity of the beach but probably
the most important reason is the crystal clear blue green water and the
golden sand. That crystal clear water provides a good opportunity for the
novice snorkeler as Store Bay is a small bay with very low cliffs on either
side. The cliffs on either side are an easy swim from the beach and provide
a good view of the marine life. On the northern side of the bay one can
begin seeing the underwater life almost from the sand and it is fairly
sheltered water. Life guards are always on duty during the day.
Behind the beach is a flat plateau that has several amenities which make
Store Bay even more popular with both visitors and locals. There are several
small restaurants serving a variety of local dishes with the most popular
dish being curried crab and dumplings. A small eating area with tables and
benches makes it easy to purchase your meal from any of the food vendors and
then sit in comfort to enjoy it. There are also benches scattered around the
area, with some facing the ocean and others facing in various directions
where you can relax and enjoy the general ambiance of the area. There are
also small kiosks with all types of souvenirs and beach accessories. On that
plateau area there are changing rooms, toilets and showers that are
regularly cleaned plus a well laid out parking lot.
Store Bay is the starting point for boat tours to Buccou Reef where one can
see the marine life through glass bottom boats or get out of the boat and
snorkel, tickets for the tours can be purchased at the beach facility.
The Storebay area can be very crowded at certain times of the year when
large numbers of persons from the neighboring island of Trinidad come
across; Easter, August and the last week of December. Sun lovers worship
Store Bay but those who like their beach with a little shade will not find
it at Store Bay, as there are no trees on the beach. Umbrella rental and
beach chair rental are however available directly on the beach, as are the
rental of snorkeling equipment.
The South-Western coast of Tobago has numerous beaches and almost everyone
has a favorite beach in this area. Many of the beaches in this section of
Tobago have been featured in international magazines. One of the lesser
known but lovely beaches in this area is known as Cable Beach, so called
because the electricity cables from Trinidad come ashore at this beach. This
small yellow sand beach is popular with Tobagonians who live in the vicinity
so during the early mornings and evenings older men and women come to take a
dip in the sea in the belief that a daily sea bath aids in longer life. This
particular beach is good for children as it is relatively shallow and the
reefs that lie offshore ensure that for most of the year it has gentle
waves. As you move further out into the water there are several rocky areas
but the water is usually so clear that you can easily see these rocks as you
wade or swim.
The views from the shore at this beach are picture postcard beautiful with
yachts riding at anchor further out and waves breaking on the edges of the
Buccou Reef. In the evenings this western facing beach gives stunning sunset
Cable Beach is located on the way to Pigeon Point, just where the road bends
there is a small beach Bar called Bago's Beach Bar and at the side of the
bar is a narrow footpath that leads to the Beach. The beach borders a
private home and on the fence line of the home are several almond and downs
trees that overhang the fence providing shade on the beach. The beach bar at
the corner provides a convenient location for obtaining light refreshments
and a short walk away are several other eating establishments on the main
Kilgwyn Bay lies at the end of the Crown Point airport runway and offers the
attraction of while you are relaxing on the beach you can see the airplanes
ascending into the sky.
Kilgwyn is a long sandy beach with very shallow warm water. Offshore is a
reef known as Flying Reef, which keeps the water in the bay very calm, thus
making it good for children. The shoreline is a combination of sand and
crushed coral. The beach is backed by a combination of sea grape and
machineel trees so finding a shady spot is very easy. Scattered among the
trees are several beach huts that have been constructed by the Tobago House
The road to Kilgwyn Bay lies at the eastern end of Store Bay Local Road
which can be accessed from its western end at the intersection just outside
the Crown Point Airport or by heading south on any of the roads leading off
from Milford Road up to Real Valu Supermarket. The road to Kilgwyn Bay
passes through Kilgwyn Swamp which is a good location for bird
During the 1950's to the 1970's Scarborough was the main center for
tourist activities in Tobago. The Beaches surrounding Scarborough such as Bacolet, Rockly
and Little Rockly were some of the main attractions for persons visiting Tobago. Indeed
Bacolet held pride of place among all beaches in Trinidad and Tobago. Bacolet was the
scene for the 1957 movie, Fire Down
Below starring Robert Mitchum, Edric Connor, Jack Lemmon and Rita Hayworth. Bacolet Beach was also
used for filming the 1957 Hollywood movie, Heaven Knows
Mr Allison, with Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr. In 1960, Bacolet Beach was used for
filming the Walt Disney movie, Swiss
Family Robinson. It has also been reported that the Queen of England and Mitch Jagger
slept at the hotel overlooking Bacolet Beach (although separately of course).
From the late 1970's however the center of tourist activity shifted to the Crown Point
area and Bacolet Beach became the forgotten beach of Tobago. However as discerning Tobago
beach goers know, being a forgotten beach means less crowds and therefore more room on the
beach to enjoy oneself.
Bacolet Beach is a small bay bounded by two headlands and at low tide these headlands are
perfect for beachcombing among the rocks. During the low tide, the flat nature of the
beach is seen. The grey brown sand provides a perfect complement to the blue green water
of the Atlantic ocean. The overall appearance of Bacolet Beach is that of a tropical
paradise. The green leaves of the coconut palms swaying in the breeze stand out against
the blue sky and there is the interplay of the water with its flecks of white foam on the
sand. Backing the shore is a mixture of coconut and almond trees and nestled within the
grove of trees is a small beach bar and restaurant. The wide wooden verandah of the bar
beckons you to come in and have a drink or something to eat with a choice of sitting in
the shade or enjoying the sun on the wooden deck. Among the trees you can rent a lounge
chair or spread a towel and snooze the afternoon away in the solitude of this beach.
Getting to Bacolet Beach is fairly easy. You simply go up Main Street and turn onto
Baclolet Road (the former Windward Road). You proceed along Bacolet Road, going past Gun
Bridge until you see the sign for Bacolet Beach at the side of the road. The drive along
Bacolet Road shows the prominence that Bacolet formerly had as there are numerous
buildings that reflect the style of old homes of the wealthy.
If you want to enjoy this pocket sized piece of Tobago beach heaven, there are 118
concrete steps from the road to the beach.
Buccoo Beach is a long narrow white sand beach at the end of Buccoo Village
which is the home of the world famous
School and equally world famous
complex. The beach characterizes what many think of when envisioning a
Caribbean beach; calm clear water, white sand and a shoreline of natural
vegetation with no visible buildings. The off-shore Buccoo Reef protects the
bay making it good for swimming.
beach stretches away from the village to form a long curving bay. That long
curving bay is a magnet for those who want to enjoy time on the beach away
from everyone and most times the beach is deserted. Unfortunately vegetation
backing the further end of the beach provides a hiding place for some
persons who seek to steal from individuals who leave their possessions on
the beach to enter the water. It is therefore advisable when visiting Buccoo
Beach to restrict the swimming to the end of the beach where the fishing
boats are located.
beach that is not known by many visitors because it cannot be seen from the
road but is definitely one of the most beautiful in Tobago is Back Bay. This
is a picturesque pocket shaped bay with striking black rocks on
the south-eastern end of the bay. Back Bay is approximately one kilometre
after the Mount Irvine Bay Beach Facilities opposite Glen Eagles Drive.
There are two entrances to the beach. The main one is a dirt track that can
be driven down by cars in the dry season, in the rainy season it is a dirt
track and so can be muddy. If you park outside on Grafton Road, it is a
brisk 5 minute walk from the road to the beach and tall six foot grass
surrounds the track. The second entrance is shortly after the first; here
you drive off the road and park and there are some rough hewn steps that are
mainly tree roots and a few boards that allow you to descend to the beach.
As you walk onto the beach there is a nice flat area with trees providing
shade on the back area of the beach. The vegetation is a mixture of coconut,
almond and machineel trees and care should be taken to ensure that the sap
from the machineel tree does not drip on to the skin as it can cause
blisters. When you enter the water there is a drop in depth and rip currents
sometimes occur at this beach; the right hand side of the beach is more
suitable for bathing. The beach has high energy waves of the plunging type
that makes them good for body surfing. The striking black rocks at the
southern end are good for snorkeling and scuba. Back Bay is also a turtle
nesting site. There are no life guards of facilities at this beach.
Part of the attraction of Back Bay is its seclusion and that seclusion can
be a problem as there have been incidents of robbery at this beach.
Turtle Beach in Tobago is synonymous with the nesting of leatherback turtles
and derives its name from this activity. The beach is along the Shirvan
Grafton Road after the village of Black Rock and is part of Great Courland
Bay. Turtle Beach is a mile-long sandy, sloping beach which is famous as a
nesting site for giant leatherback turtles during the months of March
to August. This area is also the site of the first European settlement in
Tobago, when in 1642, James, Duke of Courland (now Latvia), sent an expedition
to settle in Tobago.
Turtle Beach is truly scenic with its coconut palms, sea grape and almond
trees, the beach with its golden sands, the magnificent view with the
village of Plymouth on an escarpment on the north east and yachts anchored
at the eastern end of the bay.
The water has the azure color that people in northern climates dream about.
The beach is backed by a grove of trees and among the trees at the back end of the beach
are picnic tables and benches. You can just pull off the road, park
among the trees and set up your picnic site or simply relax among the trees
and enjoy a quite moment with nature. Whenever you feel for a dip in the
sea, you simply stroll out from among the trees, cross the sand and enter
As you enter the sea there is a slope of about 3 feet. There are no
lifeguards on this beach.
The northern end of the beach is a good location for
bird watching. In the center of the beach is the Turtle Beach hotel which
has beach chairs and umbrellas for rental. Souvenir and handicraft vendors
ply their trade along the beach.
Castara is the home of the only person who has ever been both the Prime
Minister and President of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr Arthur Napoleon Raymond
Robinson. This tiny fishing village on the North West coast of Tobago with
its laid back lifestyle has several small guesthouses and always seems to
have foreign tourists. One of the attractions of Castara is its beaches; yes
Castara has more than one beach. On driving to Castara it seems as if there
is one perfect crescent shaped curve of golden sand with azure water at its
edge but in fact there are two beaches and they are aptly named Big Bay and
Big Bay is beautiful. Golden sands backed by the green of the hills, with
two small restaurants directly on the beach. Coconut and almond trees
provide shade for those who want it and a flat beach top for those who want
to soak up rays. If you are lucky you can be on the beach when the fisherman
are pulling a seine and witness this time honored tradition of catching fish
and even participate in pulling the seine. Just off the beach are bathroom
and changing facilities, while on the main road there is an ATM. Further
away from the beach but within walking distance are other small restaurants.
Little Bay is the smaller of Castara's two beaches and some consider it the
lovelier of the two, in fact some people call it Heavenly Bay. Little Bay is
blocked from Big Bay by two rock outcrops and although it is possible to
walk from Big Bay to Little Bay at low tide, most persons take another
route. Northside Road which is the main road through the village climbs up a
hill as it winds its way to Parliatuvier and off of this road is
Depot Road which descends to Little Bay. This small bay is good for
swimming and great for snorkeling.
Englishman’s Bay on the west coast of Tobago has been voted one of the ten
best beaches in the Caribbean by Conde Nast Travel Magazine. This idyllic
stretch of golden sand is located after the village of Castara and before
the village of Parliatuvier.
One of the premier attractions of this beach is the fact that there is
almost nothing there except the beach; no hotels, no bars pumping out loud
music, no boats with roaring engines, just the beach. This pocket sized bay
is ringed with coconut trees, almond trees and bamboo and when on the beach
all you see is the natural surroundings and the water. The golden sand of
the beach slopes downward to crystal clear water that rthymically rolls onto
the shore. There is a drop as you enter the water and there is an offshore
coral reef that provides opportunities for
snorkeling. When on Englishman’s
Bay you feel as though you are on a beach before men discovered Tobago.
Just before you reach the bay there is a small parking area on the left of
the road that provides a beautiful view of the bay from above, then then as
you proceed along the road the entrance to Englishman’s Bay is a small dirt
track on the left side of the road. At the beach there is a small local
restaurant almost hidden among the trees, which operates during daylight
hours only. It is possible to rent chairs, umbrellas and snorkeling
equipment at the restaurant.
The seclusion that makes Englishman’s Bay so attractive also means that some
care must be exercised when visiting this beach as there are no lifeguards
and for security reasons it is recommended that visits to this beach be done
only during the day time.
Parliatuvier is a small fishing village on the eastern coast of Tobago and
pictures of this village have been showcased around the world. Indeed on any
around the island tour of Tobago, Parliatuvier is an almost mandatory stop
for tourists. The main attraction to Parliatuvier is the curving bay with a
long jetty in the center splitting the Bay into two almost equal halves and
the low green hills climbing up from the bay, it is indeed a beautiful sight
from above on the roadway leading to the village. Most individuals stop on
the roadway, take the obligatory picture and then move on, missing out on
one of the wonderful sea bathing experiences in Tobago.
If you descend the hill and enter the village you discover that just as the
bay is bisected by the jetty, the land is bisected by a river, so if you are
driving you either go to the western or eastern side of the river. The
eastern side of Parliatuvier Bay is the main village and on the beach there
are almond trees that provide shade. In the village are several small shops
and a bar, while directly next to the beach is a school and if you are lucky
you can sometimes see fishermen pulling a seine to catch fish. On the
western side of the Bay coconut, almond and sea grape trees provide shade.
If you are visiting the village of Parliatuvier between Monday to Friday, it
is better bathe and hang out on the western side of the bay to avoid
disturbing the children in the school.
The beach front at Parliatuvier is sloping and as you enter the water there
is a drop. The water is crystal clear with just some gentle rolling waves.
From the water on the western side of the bay you have beautiful views of
the hills above the village with small houses perched on the hillsides
scattered among the greenery. On the beach front are other small buildings
and because this is not one of the more widely known bathing beaches you are
likely to have the beach almost to yourself. If you are lucky, while you are
bathing, you can see the fishing boats coming to the jetty and be able to
purchase fresh fish.
Charlotteville is a picturesque
village at the northern end of Tobago and well worth the drive to get there
even if it is simply because in driving to Charlotteville you get to see the
entire length of Tobago and the beautiful countryside. The entry to the
village of Charlotteville is at the top of a hill and as you descend to the
village you get glimpses of the bay and its blue green water reflecting the
blue of the sky and the green of the rich tropical rainforest that surrounds
the village plus sights of the fishing boats and yachts bobbing on the
The beach at Charlotteville is really a relatively large bay that is more
appropriately called Man o War Bay, which name was derived from the fact
that this bay provided sheltered anchorage for the sailing ships of the 17th
and 18th century. The entire stretch of this beach is suitable for bathing
but the best section is on the western end of the bay as in that area there
is a life guard station, bathrooms, change rooms, a small restaurant and
space for car parking along the roadside.
Almost the entire bay is ringed with a variety of trees such as coconut,
almond and mango trees, providing shade for those who want the beauty of the
beach but not the strength of the sun. There is a slight drop as one enters
the water and the currents in this bay are relatively weak. There are
several fringing near shore reefs that make this bay a
good location for
snorkeling, especially for children. Man o War Bay is also very good for
kayaking and kayak rentals are available.
While there is the restaurant at the western end of the beach, all along
this bay there are small bars and restaurants set back from the beach along
the village road that follows the contours of the bay. There are also booths
selling souvenirs and of course as is common with most Tobago seaside
villages there are fishermen landing their catch and offering the fish for
sale. The village also has a small gas station and an ATM.
The name Pirates Bay evokes images of 17th and 18th century pirates sailing
the Caribbean and hiding their treasures on deserted island beaches. There
may in fact be good historical reason why this bay is called Pirates Bay.
According to Steve Salfield in his History of Charlotteville, "For most of
the 17th and 18th Centuries Tobago was a haven for pirates and Pirates’ Bay
was a favorite harbor for Henry Morgan, Captain Finn and Black Beard as a
base for their raids on Spanish shipping. In 1721 there was a battle between
the British navy and Captain Finn and his pirates, between Pirates’ Bay and
Tyrrell Bay at Speyside and the British captured Captain Finn and his men".
Certainly Pirates Bay is a beautiful beach and presents the vista that many
dream about when thinking of Caribbean beaches, so lovely is it that in 1952
it was used extensively in the filming of the movie "Robinson Crusoe".
Pirates Bay is a small cove in the village of Charlotteville and part of the
larger Man of War Bay on the north eastern side of the bay. There are no
roads leading onto Pirates Bay and so once you have driven to Charlotteville
it is a 15 to 20 minute walk to the bay. The walk involves an uphill portion
and then down to the bay. In Charlotteville you go past the gas station and
jetty to the junction of Pirates Bay Road and Belle Aire Road and continue
on the left on Pirates Bay Road to the top. Once at the top there is a
lookout with some benches and concrete steps descending the hill through a
landscaped garden. There are over 100 steps to the beach but once you get
there it is spectacular with golden sands and emerald green water. You can
also arrange with one of the fishermen in Charlotteville for a small fee to
take you across to the cove in their boat. This is the Caribbean as it
originally was so facilities are minimal with one vendor renting chairs and
selling handicraft. There are reefs off of Pirates Bay making it one of the
excellent snorkeling spots in Tobago, so carrying your mask and snorkel is a
Regarding the buried treasure, you can always visit this beach and try
digging for it.
You can find more information on the beaches of Tobago on our
Tobago Snorkeling Page.
To learn more about Tobago, visit our other Tobago Pages: