Saturday, 2 January 2016

Tobago, Winter Sun in the Caribbean

Tobago, Calm Waters on Caribbean Coast ©Solange Hando

Are you looking for a quiet holiday in the sun? Then you'll find Tobago's Caribbean Coast lined with gems, Castara, Parlatuvier, Englishman's Bay and more, perfect places to soak in the winter sun and relax for a while away from it all.

But if these resorts are too secluded for you, you can always head for the sweeping sands of Turtle Beach along the coast where pelicans skim the waves and fishermen haul in their catch in the morning. In season, turtles nest on the beach.

Traditional Bungalow on the Beach ©Solange Hando

 Tobago is definitely the quieter side of paradise, draped in palm and sea grape trees at the southern end of the Caribbean archipelago. Even Scarborough, the capital, looks like a village, a mere sprinkling of  pastel-coloured houses clinging to the slopes, while down by the harbour, the odd cruise ship soon returns to the ocean..

Little Tobago on the Atlantic Coast ©Solange Hando

But unlike the Caribbean coast on the north side of the island, the Atlantic shores to the south are rugged and wild and often battered by foaming breakers.

This more dramatic scenery has a charm all of its own and from the lovely resort of Speyside, framed by lush hills and near-deserted beaches, you can take a boat to Little Tobago island, past coral gardens and Ian Fleming's villa, You may get a little wet when you land but it's worth the effort for a pristine nature reserve greets you with gorgeous views and myriad exotic birds.

The Argyle Waterfall ©Solange Hando

Yet there's more to Tobago than the coast. Claiming the world's oldest rainforest, the Central Mountain Range stretches right across the island, crossed by luxuriant trails where humming birds and parrots splash colour in trees.

There are streams and waterfalls and refreshing pools, just right for a dip. The Argyle is sign-posted from the road so you can't get lost but if you plan to go deep into the jungle, a guide is essential.

 Beach at Pigeon Point ©Solange Hando

Tobago is rarely crowded but if you are looking for a few beach amenities, Pigeon Point is the place to go, fairly close to the airport, though even in season, you can find superb stretches of white sands with no one in sight  and swim alone in warm translucent water.

Just off shore from Pigeon Point is the Buccoo Reef where one can snorkel from a boat and gaze at fire coral, blue parrot fish and other underwater wonders.


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