Tobago & Castara
The Beach House is situated on the Little Bay of the small fishing village of Castara, which is on the north (Leeward) shore of the island of Tobago.
INFORMATION ABOUT CASTARA:
Castara is an idyllic small fishing village located on the north (Leeward) coast of the beautiful Caribbean island of Tobago. Its two beaches offer a wealth of activities including swimming, snorkelling, fishing or boat trips, "pulling in the seine" with the local fishermen as they bring in their catch, bird watching, or simply sitting and admiring the stunning views.
There are a few small restaurants in the village, mainly serving local Caribbean cuisine. Several of these restaurants also have a small bar and some serve breakfast as well as lunch and dinner.
During low season, these restaurants may not be open or their opening times may be sporadic. To be on the safe side, you should let them know in advance that you are coming that day. The menu depends on what is available and you should also check the prices in advance.
The small local shops and stalls sell basic groceries and a small selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. We advise guests to stop off at the supermarket en route to Castara when you arrive (Porridge stops here as part of his pick up service) to stock up on a wider choice of groceries, as the selection in Castara can be limited. You can buy fresh fish direct from the fishermen when they bring in their catch on the big bay. The local ladies bake fresh bread and homemade bakery treats, such as the delicious local coconut drops, which you can buy every Wednesday and Saturday morning at the village school.
Being a Caribbean island, rum is the local drink which you can buy readily in Castara. The local beer is Carib or Stag, which you can buy in crates or just by the bottle. You pay a deposit on crates which is refunded when you return it with the empty bottles. If you prefer to drink wine, you are best advised to buy this in the supermarket that Porridge stops off at on the way back from the airport, as you may not be able to be able to buy this in Castara.
- Snorkeling/swimming: There is good swimming right in front of The Beach House, on the small bay of Castara. There is a coral reef right off the shore with an abundance of fish, rays and other fascinating marine life, so if you enjoy snorkeling, remember to bring your gear with you.
- Bird watching: You will most likely be visited in your apartment by tanagers, bananaquits, brightly coloured mot-mots and many others, especially if you fill the bird feeders provided in each apartment. If you are a keen bird watcher and would like to see more, you may want to go on a guided bird watching tour. Please ask Porridge for details.
- Local Attractions: Castara is surrounded by beautiful rainforest. Castara Waterfall is a short walk away, across the football field by Marguarite’s restaurant and along a path through the rainforest. The freshwater pool provides a refreshing change to a swim in the sea. It is an easy walk, but you will probably need to wear walking sandals or sneakers/trainers.
- Guided Tours: Please ask Porridge regarding boat trips, fishing trips or guided rainforest tours. There are plenty of options and he will be happy to advise you. Prices vary and we recommend you verify the price in advance and ensure you know what is included.
- Nightlife: There are number of small bars and restaurants in Castara (see General Information for more details). Please ask Porridge if you are interested in sampling the local nightlife further afield, as he sometimes takes guests for evening trips in his mini-van, eg to Sunday School.
- Scuba Diving: Tobago is a popular diving location with some of the best dive sites in the Caribbean. There is advanced diving close to Castara (Sisters Rocks) where it is possible to see Great Hammerhead sharks. Further afield, the world’s largest brain coral can be found off Speyside on the north east tip of the island. There are no dive shops in Castara, but plenty in Charlotteville, Speyside and in and around Crown Point – a 40-45 minute drive away.
- Further Afield: Castara is within easy travelling distance of many other activities and attractions, such as:
- Golf: The Mount Irvine Bay Golf Course is an award-winning, championship quality 18-hole course, carved out from the grounds of an old coconut plantation with spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea.
- Rainforest Nature Reserve: The Tobago Forest Reserve (or the Main Ridge Reserve) claims to be the oldest protected forests in the Western world. It has great biodiversity and is easily accessible due to its relatively small size and availability of knowledgeable guides.
- Little Tobago Island: this small uninhabited island off the north east tip of Tobago is accessible by boat from Speyside and is home to one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the Caribbean. The Red-Billed Tropic birds are spectacular from October to June. It is possible to arrange guided boat tours from Speyside.
- Sailing: There are several sailing excursion operators, based in the Crown Point/Mount Irvine area.
- Water Sports: windsurfing, waterskiing, jet skiing, wake-boarding, parasailing and surfing are mainly concentrated in and around the main tourist areas of Crown Point and Pigeon Point.
INFORMATION ABOUT TOBAGO :
Tobago is the sleepy sister island of Trinidad and is described as being “the true undiscovered jewel of the Caribbean Sea”. It is located north east of Trinidad, which is just 11 miles away from the coast of Venezuela. Tobago is a relatively small island – just 42 kilometres (26 miles) long and 10 kilometres (6 miles) wide – and is blessed with small-scale tourism, abundant coral reefs, many beautiful beaches and acres of unspoilt ancient rainforest. It offers a wealth of activities, such as swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, rainforest hiking, boat tours, fishing tours (including sport fishing), sea kayaking and bird watching. Water sports such as windsurfing, waterskiing, jet skiing, wake-boarding, parasailing and surfing are to be found in and around the main tourist areas of Crown Point and Pigeon Point, located at the south western tip of the island. Tobago boasts an award-winning, championship quality 18-hole golf course at Mount Irvine which has spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea.
The capital of Tobago is Scarborough, situated in the middle of the south (Windward) coast. It is about a 35 minute drive from Castara and has a daily fruit and vegetable market, as well as banks, restaurants, shops and a ferry port servicing the route to Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad.
There are daily international flights from North America and Europe into Tobago’s airport, Crown Point International Airport (TAB), and also regular daily inter-island flights from Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport (POS).
The currency is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar, or TT dollar. English is the official language.
Climate and Weather: Tobago sits just north of the equator and enjoys a tropical island climate with year round sunshine. The average daytime temperature is 29°C (83°F) with maximums in the low to mid 30s. Tobago has two seasons: the Dry Season between December and May, and the Wet Season between June and November. During Dry Season, the weather is typically dry and sunny, with cooler evenings. Although rain falls at its heaviest during the Rainy Season, when the temperatures are generally higher, it is quite possible to get rain at any other time. Tobago is outside the main hurricane belt and has fewer storms than many of the more northerly Caribbean islands.