If location is everything in creating a perfect Caribbean holiday, then Castara Retreats is close to perfection- perched upon the hillside, on the edge of Castara village, with views along the spectacular coastline and down to Castara Bay.
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. It runs along the length of Castara Bay with a coral reef, and beautiful water, Castara faces west so the sunsets over the ocean present a daily light show of ever-changing colours and textures. The village is backed by the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere.
Local shops and eateries
Castara village is a 4-5 minute walk from Castara Retreats. The shops are simple, and the people delightful. There are a number of local restaurants and eateries which serve breakfast, lunch and supper, along with a few bars. For food shopping, you can buy a range of basics (including fresh fruit and vegetables) but it’s best to shop on your way from the airport to make sure you get everything you want.
The Village Bakery
The Village Bakery – a traditional clay oven - is run by local ladies who make wonderful range of breads and cakes, including pumpkin bread, coconut bread, and coconut cakes twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. They ladies can be a bit standoffish until they get to know you. They also put most of their attention on their baking rather than on western style customer service. It is a privilege to be able to witness them in this traditional village role.
Sounds of the Caribbean – A note of caution
We are told time and time again by our guests what a relaxing experience they have at Castara Retreats – it’s a magical spot which enchants the vast majority of visitors. However, this does not mean you will relax to the sound of silence – on the idyllic end of the spectrum you’ll hear the crashing of the waves and will be awoken to the sound birdsong. One the less idyllic end, you’ll sometimes hear a lorry drive tooting its horn (we are set above the road, but the sound can sometimes carry up), and on occasion when a party comes to town, you will hear the music on the beach. Occasionally there is a village wide party and the music goes on into the early hours or even all night. The Fisherman’s Festival in late August, and the Carnival month in February are a couple of examples. Parties and music will occur wherever you are on Tobago – so loud music is certainly not unique to Castara.
Such events happen five or six times per year and usually we have little advance notice of the actual date. It’s therefore almost impossible for us to let you know at point of booking whether there will be loud music played in the village during your time of visit. Parties are a part of Caribbean culture, and all we can do is to ensure Porridge alerts people when he knows of a planned event. It’s never a bad idea to pack a set of earplugs in case of this eventuality. While the vast majority of our guests are not bothered by the sounds they hear (we have over 200 five star review on Trip Advisor and few reviews mention noise disturbance) if you are noise sensitive or are a particularly light sleeper, we do encourage you to consider whether a village-side location is the right choice for you.
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 wonderful waterfall that cascades into a rock pool surrounded by hanging lianas.
Boat Trips from Castara
Porridge offers wonderful boat trips on his boat Sun Arise which include snorkelling in secluded bays, fishing, and a beach BBQ.