Why this secret spot should be at the top of your Tobago bucket list.
My husband is from Charlotteville.
A tranquil, but most appealing fishing village that is at the very tippy top of Tobago.
Charlotteville is one of those villages that is by Tobago standards… “far”. But. When you arrive. She opens her arms. Cloaks you in her allure. And makes it almost impossible to leave.
Last weekend our family took the opportunity to head up to Charlotteville to visit my mother-in-law.
For weeks I had been pleading with my husband for a trip to a secluded beach tucked just off the fringes of Charlotteville’s famous Man of War Bay (a sight in and of itself).
The villagers call this beach Lovers Bay but it is more commonly called Sand Bay.
On the one hand (pun intended), the beach’s multi coloured sand grains give it the moniker Sand Bay.However, the bay’s privacy has endeared Charlottevillians to its more amorous inducing qualities. Hence the name… Lovers Bay.
Whatever you call it, there is no denying that this beach is certainly a “Top 5 Must See” when you’re in Tobago.
As a child, I was first taken to Sand Bay as part of a large extended family trip.
On that occasion, the seas around this hidden gem were too choppy to navigate. Needless to say, we were not allowed off the small pirogue that had taken us there.
But the surrounding clear turquoise water, view of the beach from the boat. It all remained etched in my memory for years to come.
It was not until years later, while on a Spring break trip with some friends, that I again ventured to Lovers Bay.
This time, I made it to the beach! YAAAY ME!
My 3 friends and I, weary from the harsh Connecticut cold that had battered us all winter, had an incredible time at this private hideaway.
Naturally, I was yearning to go again. This time, with my growing family.One conversation with my mother in law’s neighbour, Len Solomon, started our family adventure.
We met Len on the sands of Man of War Bay.
He brought his boat into shore and the four of us hopped in.
The calm waters of Man of War Bay tricked us all into believing that this was to be a simple boat trip.Boy were we wrong.
You see, there is a reef that protects Sand Bay. This means that the waters leading up to the reef to access the beach are choppy (read: rough) at best.
It also means that not every and any seaman can take you there.
At this point, permit me to suggest a few criteria for choosing a boatman to take you to Sand Bay.Questions you MUST ask anyone offering to take you to Sand Bay:
- Are you from Charlotteville?
- Have you lived in Charlotteville all your life?
- Are you significantly older than 30?
- Are you a fisherman?
- Do you have life-long fishing experience on the waters in and around Charlotteville?
- Have you been to Sand Bay on at least 20 occasions prior to today?
(Note: The answer to all of these questions MUST be an unqualified YES!)
Back to our story. So, as we approach, the water gets a bit turbulent. We all begin watching each other a little nervously.
My thoughts: Did we flirt with danger here?
My husband then looks me dead in the eyes (as if reading my mind) and says: Len Solomon is the ONLY man I would ever trust to take my family to Sand Bay.
Talk about the right thing to say in a slightly tense situation.
And that is exactly what Len did.
He steadied his hand.
Steadied the motor of his small pirogue.
And navigated us right through that reef unto the shores of what was about to be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made as a family.
Did I mention that the picturesque approach into Sand Bay alone is worth its weight in rough waters? Well it is very much so.
Just as you are about to scream: LET ME OFF THIS RIDE! You notice the lucidity of the water. You notice the mauve border where the rock meets the water. You notice a little cave.And most importantly you notice that you’ve arrived at Lovers Bay. We got off and Len told us he would be back in about 45 minutes. The seas were getting worse and he didn’t want to chance us being there too long at that time in the evening. It was just coming up on 5pm. We wasted no time.
Kwasi and Kwehan took to the water.Meanwhile, Karrie and I explored the beach.
There were so many perfect picture spots that we didn’t even know where to begin.Being on Sand Bay is an assault on your visual senses.
It’s a small area but there is so much to take in.
Your eyes keep darting to and fro because you’re afraid you’ll miss something.
Facing land and looking up:
There are hanging vines.There are fascinating flora (some of which I have not seen anywhere else on Tobago).
There’s also eye catching rock formations, striking wild flowers in shades of red and white and even cacti.
One word: Enchanting.
Then you turn to the beach. There, you find transparent water revealing a small but active reef. Unspoiled.
Beyond the reef, a single solitary isle with brush that makes you think it’s the top of a person’s head peaking out from the water.Then, you look down at your feet.
This is no normal sand. Its larger than the sand varieties that are typically found around Tobago.
And… its colourful. Hues of pink. No, no. Fuchsia leap out at you.And with each passing lap of the water, a noticeable wave pattern remains. Speaking of sand, check this little sand dweller out. He came out of the water to do some exploring of his own. He left few sand grains unturned.
We saw him on the horizon.
It broke our hearts to have to leave.
The peace we all found there was almost spiritual.
None of us hardly spoke a word on the way back. All lost in our thoughts of Sand Bay.
Back on dry land. As if planned. We were greeted with the most beguiling sunset over Man of War Bay waters.One trip to Lovers Bay with a lover or a few or even by your lonesome and you will understand the draw of this Tobago Bucket List destination.
Solo Traveller looking for the perfect meditation spot? Consider Sand Bay.
A couple looking to reconnect? Only one answer… Sand Bay.
Posse up for a beach lime? You guessed it… Sand Bay!
Would you like to visit SandBay?
Let me know in the comments below.