Beaches in Tobago range from long stretches of golden sand to tiny, windswept coves. But whether they’re surrounded by jungle, or easily accessible, most of the island’s beaches are unspoiled. These are eight of Tobago’s best beaches for swimming and chilling:
1. Pigeon Point
At Pigeon Point, a long stretch of palm-fringed white sand rolls into the turquoise water. Families gather in the shade of wooden cabanas, while others splash in a roped-off section of the silky Caribbean Sea. At the Main Beach, Pigeon Point’s famous thatch-roof jetty dominates what’s already an idyllic scene.
Given all of this beauty, it’s not surprising that Pigeon Point is one of the most popular beaches in Tobago. At weekends, jet skis zoom outside the swimming area and bright beach towels blanket the sand. There’s an entry fee of TT$20 (about €2.50) to Pigeon Point, but it’s easy to spend an entire day here. And the beach facility with bars, restaurants, and a watersports school, means that everything is just a lazy stroll away.
2. Englishman’s Bay
Englishman’s Bay is a gorgeous, crescent-shaped beach with golden sand. Surrounded by lush forest, this beach looks postcard-worthy from almost every angle. But unlike Pigeon Point, Englishman’s Bay rarely gets busy. Sitting on the sand under an almond tree, it’s easy to daydream and leave the rest of the world behind.
The waters of Englishman’s Bay are deep and clear, so it’s great for snorkelling but not so great for children. And although the bay is mostly undeveloped, Eula’s Restaurant offers lunch and a local man regularly sells homemade ice cream.
3. Bacolet Bay
Gentle waves break and foam on the golden sands of Bacolet Bay – a secluded little beach near Fort King George. Shaded by palms and almond trees, Bacolet Bay is all about taking it easy. Non-guests can rent sun loungers from the nearby hotel and the warm water is perfect for paddling. But although small, Bacolet Bay is one of the best-known beaches in Tobago. The Blue Haven Hotel, a former haunt of 1950s Hollywood stars, overlooks the beach from its cliff top perch.
Most of the beaches along the Windward Coast of Tobago are wilder and less than ideal for swimming. This is where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean and the resulting waves can be rough. But unlike other beaches along this coast, Speyside is protected by coral reefs and the rugged islands of Little Tobago and Goat Island. Some of Tobago’s best dive sites are in this area.
Even for non-divers, the village of Speyside is worth a visit for its authentic Caribbean vibes. Music seeps from the windows of brightly painted houses and dogs sleep in the shade of laid up fishing boats. Don’t miss out on a meal in Jemma’s, where lunch is a feast of home-cooked style Caribbean food.
5. Store Bay
Coming into second place behind Pigeon Point, Store Bay is one of the busiest beaches in Tobago. Close to hotels and to the airport, Store Bay has lots of facilities and a buzz that some people will enjoy. The food stalls, shops, and changing rooms make this a convenient beach for families. But it lacks the solitude and deserted island feel of other beaches in Tobago.
Of course, Store Bay’s popularity isn’t purely based on location – it also has clean, golden sands and warm, clear waters. It’s a great place to splash around in the sea and glass-bottom boats regularly leave from the beach to tour Bucco Reef.
6. Mt. Irvine
There are two beaches to choose from at Mt. Irvine. The sandy stretch of the main beach has palm trees to retreat under and a bar for afternoon cocktails. Mt Irvine Back Bay, a short walk away via a dirt track, is more secluded but carefully maintained. For a more active afternoon, this is the one to go for – the fascinating coral and reef fish species make it a great bay for snorkelling.
7. Castara Bay
Golden, green, and turquoise – Castara Bay is a lush palette of colours. This beach is a small, but perfectly formed, scoop out of the Leeward coast of Tobago. Overlooked by the fishing village of Castara and bumpy, forest-covered hills, it’s a place where marine life thrives. Manta rays, turtles, and tropical fish swim among bright coral and snorkelling here is really special.
8. Parlatuvier Bay
Almost entirely enclosed by rocks and palms, Parlatuvier Bay looks like a huge lagoon. A jetty stretches out across the blue-green water and fishing boats bob in the gentle waves. The protection from the sea makes the bay great for swimming and snorkelling, but the water gets deep quickly. Often deserted, the golden sands of Parlatuvier Bay are ideal for watching fiery Caribbean sunsets or for forgetting all about time.
Many thanks to Visit Tobago for hosting me. All opinions and photos are my own.