Bohemian Beaches: Tobago

Photos from the Road: Playing Chinese Chess under Chaoyang Gate
February 2, 2012
Kowloon at Night Stop Motion Video
February 7, 2012

Bohemian Beaches: Tobago

Boats on Castara’s beach

Tobago has got some seriously chilled-out and naturally beautiful beaches. I few years back I explored the northwest coast of the island, impressed with the lack of tourists and relaxed vibe of the seaside villages. Here were my favorite stops:


Castara and Englishman’s Bay

What’s cool about Castara is that it’s a real fishing village. Tourism has really only picked up in the last couple of years. After hanging out in the sun all day you can grab a bottle of Stag beer and watch the fishermen haul in the day’s catch. They might even let you help out. Then they’ll descale the fish and fillet them right there where the edge of the meets the street of the village. There’re chicken and dogs running around. Kid’s playing. You get the idea.
The snorkeling around Castara is good too, and even better if your head a few miles north to Englishman’s Bay, an undeveloped beach of outstanding beauty. Cresant shaped shoreline, nice sand, very few people.

Englishman’s Bay on Tobago

Charlotteville: Pirate’s Bay and Man O War Bay

Furthest to the north on the island of Tobago lies Charlotteville, another fishing town surrounded by some great beaches which are walkable from town. Most notable is Pirate’s bay, about a 20-minute walk along a track. There you’ll find a few people enjoying the beach, some Rastafarians selling coconuts, and fisherman out in their boats.
Charlotteville lacks big hotels of any sort while family-run guesthouses at reasonable prices can be found throughout town. There is a small mountain behind the town that affords an excellent view of the surrounding turquoise waters and palm-fringed beaches. Walk in either direction along the coast from Charlotteville and you are bound to find an empty beach backed by a jungle-clad hillside. Definitely worth exploring.


Trinidad and Tobago

Tobago, along with Trinidad are the two islands that make up Trinidad and Tobago, a nation of the Caribbean with lies just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela. Trinidad and Tobago is known for its Carnival and is the birthplace of steelpan, calypso, soca.
Trinidad and Tobago are great places to visit if you want to experience real Caribbean culture. If you’re going for the package deals or all-inclusive resorts, you’ll find plenty of cheap holidays to Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Trinidad has a well-developed energy sector and consequently the country had little incentive to promote and cultivate tourism. The official language of Trinidad and Tobago is English.

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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