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Tobago Beaches
Tobago is 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:
bulletStore Bay
bulletCable Beach
bulletKilgwyn Bay
bulletBacolet Beach
bulletBuccoo Bay
bulletBack Bay
bulletTurtle Beach
bulletCastara Beach
bulletEnglishman's Bay
bullet Parliatuvier Bay
bullet Charlotteville Beach
bulletPirates Bay

  

To learn about the Trinidad beaches featured in this video, visit the Trinidad beaches page of the Outdoors Trinidad web site.

Store Bay

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.

 

Cable Beach

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 views.
 

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 road.

 

Kilgwyn Bay

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 of Assembly.

 

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 watching.

 

 

Bacolet - The forgotten Beach of Tobago

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 Bay

Buccoo Beach is a long narrow white sand beach at the end of Buccoo Village which is the home of the world famous Sunday School and equally world famous goat racing 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.

 

 

The 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.

 

 

 

Back Bay

A 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

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 the water. 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 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 Little Bay.

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.

 

As beautiful as the beach at Castara is that is not the only attraction of this small village. There is the freshly baked bread from a dirt oven and the also a refreshing small waterfall that is a short hike away from the village.

 

Englishman’s Bay

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 Beach

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 Beach

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 water.

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.


 

Pirates Bay

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 good idea.

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.

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To learn more about Tobago, visit our other Tobago Pages:

bulletAn Introduction to Tobago
bulletTobago Birdwatching
bulletTobago Places of Interest
bulletTobago Other Attractions
bulletTobago Snorkelling
bulletTobago Kayaking
bulletTobago Camping
bulletTurtle watching in Tobago
bulletTobago Surfing

To learn about the other islands in the Caribbean, visit our Island Adventures Page


 


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Last modified: April 15, 2009