Justine Shapiro on a remote Tobago beach
Where: Trinidad & Tobago, Eastern Caribbean Islands
When: The Caribbean is a year round, warm playground for sun and nature – March is Carnival season and August for yacht racing
Happenings: Everything from fishing, yachting, surfing to unspoilt remote sunbathing
Trinidad’s main attraction is its magnificent leather back turtles which can weigh up to a quarter of a ton. They reside on Blanchisseuse beach during the mating season, in the sweet water lagoon where the river runs into the sea.They are the largest turtles in the world and as one of the oldest species of animal they once rubbed shoulders with the dinosaurs. These “ancient mariners” as they are nicknamed don’t appear until well in to the night so stay up late for a sighting.
Trinidad’s a top spot for fishing – barracuda, tuna, merlin, mackerel and snapper fish all inhabit the mangroves and flats. The nicest thing to do is take your catch and freshly grill on the beach barbie, or cut out the hard work and buy a cheap and tasty slice of another man’s catch!
Yachting has recently become a big business, and August is the Yachting Power Race andCarnival races across the oceans.
– The best beaches are in the north and Maracas Beach, fringed with coconut palms, is the most popular of all. With 3ft high waves it’s perfect for surfing. There you can try the local speciality “shark-and-bake’, shark meat in a heavy fried dough, a Maracas speciality or a shark bread roll.
– Las Cuevas is the Spanish for “caves” and there are many on this calm beach, perfect for swimming.
At only 7 by 26 miles, Tobago is a tiny oasis with scores of undeveloped beaches and with its strict building codes it is considered to be one of the last unspoilt Caribbean islands. Some say Daniel Defoe used Tobago as the setting for his novel “Robinson Crusoe“, a deserted tropical paradise.
Carnival on the Beach
Trinidad and Tobago is an artistic region and Carnival is at the root of the culture. The spirit of the caribbean carnival is best experienced on the beach, and the Annual Beach Festival in March is a delight of calypso, limbo and steelband not to be missed.
– In the Castara region experience unspoilt waterfalls and invigorating hikes.
– Englishman’s Bay is teaming with parrots and exotic wildlife and dramatic cliffs and coves to explore.
– Three Sisters is the destination for water lovers, the fishing tournaments are held here and naturalist trips are a must in the forests.
– At Little Tobago you can go bird-watching, snorkelling, and it’s a great place to take a glass bottom boat and study the fantastic marine life.
Caribbean Turtle Conversation
Learn all about sea turtles, their conversation and you can even adopt a rare turtle!
By Susi O’Neill