You’ve heard about Tobago’s great beaches but you only have one day to visit the island…so what do you do? Sure, you can fly in and walk over from the airport to one of the more popular beaches such as Store Bay, but why limit yourself? There are other great beaches to see on the island, too. Here is how you can see not one, not two, but four beaches in a single afternoon!
Grab Some Wheels
When you step out of the airport, the first thing you’ll see is a crowd of taxi drivers clamouring for your business. Walk through them and across the street you will find a tourist office. Duck in there for a map. When you go back outside, to your right is the parking lot and at the other end, there is a trailer for internationally known car rental companies. Go grab some wheels.
Grab Some Fuel
Assuming you arrive in Tobago around lunch time like I did, you’ll want to make a stop for lunch first. On the main road (Milford Road), there is an inexpensive restaurant called Chef’s & BBQ. They have a great selection of local food served cafeteria style. Feel free to take your food as a picnic or eat your lunch there. Go early as things like plantain and callaloo go quickly! Afterwards, a minute or two further down the road is a gas station. Fill up if required (if you’re just doing the trip outlined here, you’ll only need half a tank, if even).
Beach #1: Englishman’s Bay
The drive to Englishman’s Bay takes about 45 minutes. Sometimes things are a little bit confusing as street signs are not always evident. But keep to what feels like a “main” road and you’ll be fine. When in doubt, ask anyone that you see walking around or liming (aka hanging out) in front of a shop. You may also get a friendly marriage proposal, though. Passing through villages and lush forests really makes this a lovely drive. Just be careful on the windy narrow roads and take your time.
You’ll see the sign for Englishman’s Bay on your right and the beach will be hidden by bamboo and trees on your left. It’s pretty quiet here but there is a gift shop and a little restaurant. I have been to this beach twice now, and both times we had it practically to ourselves. It’s fantastic and quite photogenic. The water is beautifully blue and the beach is lined with swaying palms. The parking lot is enclosed by tall bamboo so the whole place is just really pretty.
Beach #2: Parlatuvier or Castara Bay
Here you have an option for your second beach. The first option is to continue down the road and you’ll come across Parlatuvier Bay. The second option is to turn back now and check out a beach that you drove past earlier, one called Castara Bay. Both are lovely fishing beaches but the latter is busier than the former. There is definitely more activity at both beaches than Englishman’s Bay, though. Parlatuvier has a jetty to go along with the small fishing boats that generally belong to those living in the area. Castara is a fun place to do some people and boat watching. You can’t go wrong picking either beach to check out.
Beach #3: Store Bay
For Store Bay, head towards the airport. Here you’ll find a pretty beach from where people take boat rides out to Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool. If snorkeling is your thing, then an option for you would be to skip the first half of this trip and focus on Store Bay. If not, you can stroll on the beach as well as check out its facilities. There is some shopping (clothes, arts, crafts, jewelry) here as well as various local food stalls. It is a busy place so you can indulge in some people watching as well.
Beach #4: Pigeon Point
Drive to nearby Pigeon Point – arguably Tobago’s best beach. Pale sand, tall palms, fairly calm waters, and for those who want them, bars. Since we went in the evening, it was pretty quiet with only a few others watching the setting sun. Most of the bars on the beach were closed by the time we arrived except for a fairly large one near the famous jetty with the thatched-roofed hut. After wandering up and down the beach, we grabbed a Carib shandy and watched the beautiful sunset. Pigeon Point is a great place to end a beach tour of Tobago.
Tip: The goal here is to arrive about 4:55pm. This way, you won’t have to pay to enter the site which technically closes at 5pm. But if you do go during the day, there is an entrance fee. There are also various facilities, bars (drinks and food), equipment rental (kayak, scuba, snorkel, chairs, umbrellas).
Wrap Up a Great Day
Depending on your flight, you may have enough time for dinner before heading back to the airport. If you do, check out La Cantina on the main road (Milford Road). You can even return the car to the rental place at the airport (they close at 9pm) and just walk the 10 minutes back to the restaurant. La Cantina makes fantastic thin-crust pizza in a wood burning oven. Warning: they are huge so unless you eat a lot generally, one will do for two people. Or just get one each – they’re so good you’ll definitely give a valiant try to eat the whole thing!
And voila! You have now seen four of Tobago’s beautiful beaches. Pretty easy, eh. So, go on – check out as many beaches in Tobago as you can!