In Tobago the best free beach is a controversial one.
Check out this poll in a Facebook group called “I Love Tobago” asking a simple question:Pigeon Point was Numer Uno.
No surprise at the Number 1 position.
Pigeon Point Beach has long been a favourite of tourist and some locals alike.
There you can find white sand beaches, a plethora of water activities, great eating places and clean safe facilities to bathe and get changed.
With all that, what’s not to love? Right? Well…
It all comes at a price.
It’s a whopping $3USD ($20TT) for access to all of those amenities.
A paid beach?
In Tobago? Say it ain’t so!
Don’t be discouraged my friend.
Fortunately for you, Tobago has many beach offerings.
More than even I have experienced.
So where else can you soak up the Caribbean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean for NONE of the cost?
I asked six experienced Tobago photographers to share their absolute favourite and free beaches in Tobago (with pics of course).
The answers may surprise you.
- A good eye – To be a reputable photographer you have to have an eye for beauty where ever you find it.
- Intimately familiar with the Tobago landscape (especially beaches) – Tobago photographers get to shoot in some of the most exotic and interesting locations on the island.
- They’re also Tobagonians who go to the beach (duh!) – No brainer here.
Let’s dive in shall we (yes this is a pun).
These are in no particular order.Where is Swallows located?
Swallows is one of Tobago’s most westerly beaches (the other is the perennially popular Store Bay).Swallows has historically been loved by villagers of the Bon Accord, Canaan and Crown Point area.
It is often seen as a more economical alternative to Pigeon Point (which is only a stones throw away).
What is Swallows like?
The more bathe-able area of the beach has become a little cove.
It has been enclosed by the Coco Reef Hotel which has claimed some of the beach for its hotel guests.
The beach extends much further out but can be quite rocky.
If you have a fear of water or have challenges with mobility, this beach has the tranquil waters you’ve been seeking.
Swallows through Richard’s LensIn Richard’s own words:
I took this picture of Swallows in my early days of photography. I love Swallows because it is nice and calm, relaxing.
Want to hire Richard?
Richard’s specialties are aviation, landscapes and people.
Where is Castara Bay located?
You can find this beach on the north side of Tobago.Castara Bay is fast becoming one of Tobago’s most well loved beaches (named 3rd best beach in Tobago in the facebook poll).
What is Castara Bay like?
Castara Bay is one of those beaches that with lots of activity.
The bay itself has beach bars, restaurants and shops.
You can also find fishermen bringing in the day’s catch.
And on the odd occasion a manta ray or even a dolphin sighting.
And what’s more? A dirt oven!
Castara Bay Through Leeandro’s LensIn Leandro’s Own Words
This view (of Castara Beach) is the best representation of what people see when they think paradise.
It looks like it can be in a magazine and has an instant appeal that makes you want to go there, that island getaway appeal.
Want to hire Leeandro?
Leeandro is an all-rounder and whether you require him for a wedding, nature or maternity shoot or everything in between he pushes his limits to ensure your pictures stand out.
Where is Bloody Bay located?
Another nod to Tobago’s north side, this beach is deep in the country-side but according to Kyle, it’s worth the trek.What Is Bloody Bay like?
You probably won’t find many tourists at this beach but Kyle thoroughly enjoyed his swim there.
Bloody Bay is flanked by the village of L’anse Formi to the west and the village of Parlatuvier to its east.
Local folklore tells of an epic battle that occurred at this bay in 1666. It is said that there was “such great slaughter that the sea ran red in the golden sunset, the cannon booming into the night.”
Today, blooming immortelle trees are the only red that can be found on Bloody Bay.
Devonne Adanna Confession: I have never been to this beach.
Bloody Bay Through Kyle’s LensIn Kyle’s own words:
There is the nearby river mouth that allows for you to explore up inland if you so desire.
And if you’re lucky the fishermen might be pulling in seine (catching fish by large net from the beach).
Want to hire Kyle?
Kyle is available for weddings, maternity, birthdays, events and portraits.
Where Is Great Courland Bay located?
This beach is a fairly long stretch framing not one but two entire villages.
Black Rock to its west to Plymouth to its east.
It is located on the north side of the island.What Is Great Courland Bay like?
There are also two forts protecting this pristine bay at both ends.
Fort Bennet in Black Rock and Fort James in Plymouth.
Clearly a pearl that had to be guarded at all costs.
Part of this beach is called Turtle Beach because many female turtles make the pilgrimage every year to lay their eggs.
Great Courland Bay Through Maurice’s LensIn Maurice’s Own Words
I love this particular beach. It is where I grew up and had all the fun I could imagine from fishing to long swims.
Want To Hire Maurice?
Maurice’s main focus is weddings but he can do all manner of photography.
Where Is Stone Haven Bay located? Yet another north side on the list.
Stone Haven is located at the back door of a small village called Pleasant Prospect and at the door of the village of Black Rock.
What Is Stone Haven Bay like?
Speaking of black rocks, Stone Haven beach is covered in them.
They can be found dispersed across the beach.
Some creating nature made pools, others serving as wave breakers.
As far as free Tobago beaches are concerned this beach has a lot to offer in terms of eats and is actually quite popular with the tourists.
On some days, you might even be lucky to see the black sand for which the beach is known.
Stone Haven Bay Through Glenroy’s LensIn Glenroy’s Own Words
I love how the sea meets a patch of rocks, it should be a violent greet yet its more like a dance.
To me nature speaks in it.
Want To Hire Glenroy?
By Dronn Photography specializes in portrait photography.
Find Glenroy @ByDronn on Facebook and Instagram.
Where Is Mt. Irvine Bay located?
More synonymous with the village of Bethel than the area of Mt. Irvine, this beach is actually well known by both locals and tourists.What Is Mt. Irvine Bay like?
A hop, skip and a drop from Tobago’s infamous Mt. Irvine Bay Hotel, this beach is interrupted by rock formations.
It gives the impression of 3 different beaches.
However, it is still all Mt. Irvine Bay.
The largest area (the middle area) is quite calm but can be a bit pebbly and rocky. Here you can also find paid facilities like toilet, showers and changing areas.
On the area to the west of this large areas stand the Mt. Irvine Bay Hotel Beach Bar which of course is a favourite of hotel guests and visitors (especially at Jazz Festival time).
The area to the east is a surfer’s paradise, offering just the type of waves a surfer’s dreams are made of.
Mt. Irvine Bay Through Arlene’s LensIn Arlene’s Own Words
I love bathing at Mt. Irvine beach because most times it affords me privacy.
I enjoy the quietness of the surroundings by the rocks, get time to meditate and become one with nature.
The water is lovely most times and looking out at the boats and listening to the seagulls as they sing, is an added attraction.
Want To Hire Arlene?
Wedding, family and maternity shoots are Arlene’s strength.
Find Arlene at www.arlenemassiah.com
Do you have a favourite free Tobago beach?
Send us a picture at DevonneAdanna@gmail.com.