If location is everything in creating a perfect Caribbean holiday, then Castara Retreats is close to perfection. There are two beaches, a coral reef, good quality water, and stunning views down the Caribbean coast where the sun sets.
Castara is a small fishing village of 500 inhabitants on the Caribbean coast of the island, just 50 minutes drive from the airport at Crown Point. Many consider Castara to have the best Tobago beach which runs along the length of Castara Bay. Backed by the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere, the village residents support themselves with a combination of fishing, tourism and environmental work. The beach below Castara Retreats is literally a three minute walk down a winding footpath and down some steps onto the sand. Chat with Dorn or her teenage son, Taharka, and see if they can rent you a sunbed or make you a smoothie. The beach at Castara is ideal for swimming, body surfing, sunbathing, wandering along the sand to buy a drink, choosing freshly caught fish for dinner, or a friendly chat with the locals. The sea in the bay offers excellent swimming and snorkeling, and is much less susceptible to the currents that can cause problems on the Atlantic coast and there are lifeguards in daily attendance to help ensure no mishaps to spoil your vacation in Tobago.
The village is a four-minute walk down the road from Castara Retreats. Pick up home made bread on Wednesdays and Saturdays, reserve a table for the evening at Marguarite's excellent restaurant, or order a take away, or collect provisions from the stores. The shops are simple, the people are delightful, and mangoes plentiful.
Take a longer stroll to Little Bay (10 minutes) to snorkel over the world class coral reef that begins a few feet away from the shore; parrot fish, angel fish and sting rays are a few of the everyday sights on the reef among the fan and brain coral. Then have a drink or eat at the beach restaurant or in the village before strolling back to Castara Retreats for a shower and to take your ease looking at the wonderful views of Castara Beach from your accommodation in Tobago.
Or turn inland just before the village by the side of the stream and head into the rainforest and spot tree frogs and Cocrico birds hiding in the foliage, before reaching the waterfall that cascades into a rock pool surrounded by hanging lianas.
Fishing is practised by the boats in the bay, and by the Seine fishermen who pull in the nets onto the beach. This is an activity for all the community, and whoever on the beach wishes to lend a hand. All in all, Castara offers a pre-eminent Tobago beach with long stretches of sand, wonderful swimming, shady spots, and bars from which to observe the daily fishing routines.