Trinidad and Tobago is home to carnival, steel drums, amazing beaches, and also the quiet town of Charlotteville, Tobago. Tobago is a short 20 minute flight from Port of Spain. Another hour and fifteen minute drive and you are on the other side of the island- away from it all.
Charlotteville, Tobago is a small fishing village on the North end of Tobago. The main drag is only a few hundred yards long and only home to a few bars, restaurants, small fish market, and an ice cream shack. You will likely only see a handful of tourist throughout the duration of your stay. The town is small and wonderful in every way but more about that in my guide to Charlotteville (on the way soon).
The Trek to Pirate’s Bay Beach
Charlotteville isn’t a bustling tourist town (which is one of it’s best qualities) but it does have one of the best beaches I have been to in the Caribbean. I have traveled to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Virgin Islands, Panama, Costa Rica, the Colombian coast and more in search of a Caribbean beach as perfect as the one I found at Pirate’s Bay.
Pirate’s Bay is named for the buccaneers that used it as a shelter centuries ago. Some say there is still buried treasure to be found inland at the bay. No matter the case it is certainly one of the best beaches and most rewarding I have come across.
Pirate’s Bay Beach is only accessible on foot or by boat
Pirate’s Bay Beach is only accessible on foot or by boat, which means it does not receive a lot of daily visitors. Only the most adventurous make it all the way to Charlotteville, Tobago and onwards to Pirate’s Bay. The walk from the center of town will lead you along the waters edge and onto a road used by some off-road motorists. Follow the trail past the grazing goats and pause at every turn to look back at the breathtaking views of Charlotteville.
When you reach the end of the wide trail along the coast you will come to a fork. To the right you will find eco-guesthouses and to the left you will find the downward path to Pirate’s Bay. Roughly 155 steps await you but that is nothing until the return on the way back up those stairs.
Pirate’s Bay Beach
The hike from the center of town is only 20 minutes but on a hot day climbing up and down through the trees you will surely be relieved when your feet touch the cool sand.
The distance of Charlotteville from the main towns on the island of Tobago combined with the extra effort of walking to the beach over rough terrain is what really makes this beach wonderful. There are never more than a handful of people on the beach and if you are lucky you will have it all to yourself.
What to Bring to Pirate’s Bay
The hike can be done in sandals if that is all you have but when it rains in Tobago, and it can rain hard, and it will leave a muddy and slippery path to the beach. Shoes are recommend for this beach trek.
At one time there may have been a vendor or two selling cold drinks but all that is left is a couple of weather-battered shacks. Be sure to bring plenty of water to hydrate after the walk and down at the beach.
There is some good snorkeling to be had around the rocks if you are interested. There are plenty of fish and interesting sites below the surface. Don’t expect the best snorkeling in the Caribbean but it is an added bonus to a perfect beach.
There is a very nice woman selling chairs for rent as well. There are only eight chairs and they can be rented for the day for 20 TT or about 3 USD. I didn’t confirm but I think she may also run one of the local guesthouses since she is always around town with her son.
What I Love About Pirate’s Bay
Simply being called Pirate’s Bay was enough to get me to go there but I had no idea how nice this beach would be. The trek to the beach makes it rewarding and the views along the way make the effort even better.
There may be a few boats anchored offshore but that is likely all of the tourists you will see. The clear waters, beautiful surroundings, and perfect beach are exactly what I picture when I dream of a Caribbean paradise. If you are planning a trip to Trinidad and Tobago be sure to make your way to Charlotteville and Pirate’s Bay.