Do a Google search for the 10 best places in the Caribbean and odds are that Trinidad and Tobago won’t appear on any of the top search results—but, Google doesn’t know everything.
This twin island nation, way down by Venezuela, has a variety of coastlines and beaches to suit every style and preference. Tranquil, aquamarine water (the hallmark of the Caribbean) is here in spades, but you can also find waves big enough to satisfy the surfer’s soul. Here are our recommendations for some of the best places to hang out if you’re planning a beach vacation to Trinidad and Tobago.
The east coast of the island gets the brunt of the Atlantic, meaning bigger waves and strong currents make swimming a bit more dangerous, and industrial pollution makes south coast beaches unswimmable. Head to the popular north coast beaches and the west coast beaches on the Gulf of Paria, where the water is calm and tranquil.
Maracas Bay has the most popular north coast beach, where surfing is often possible and the mile of white sand makes it a perennial favorite. This beach has lifeguards, red flags marking the rip currents and plenty of vendors selling beers and delicious eats.
Another north coast beach, Blanchisseuse is popular among locals. Guesthouses are available if you’d like to stay a few days and several hiking trails take will you through the lush rainforest to a nearby waterfall. Kayaking is popular on the Marianne River, and you can often spot sea turtles and colorful parrots. Swimming is possible, but the water can be rough at certain times of the day.
The Grand Rivière flows into the sea here, so you can swim in both the river and the ocean. Hotels and cottages are available, as well as guided tours into the rainforest. Grand Rivière is the world’s second-largest nesting ground for giant leatherback turtles with season falling March-August, but April-July is the peak. Tours and guides are readily available.
Most Trinidadians would agree that Tobago, Trinidad’s little brother to the east, has the claim to fame when it comes to beaches. The classic images of idyllic, tranquil blue water, palm trees and endless expanses of white sand are here in abundance.
Pigeon Point Beach
Many agree that Pigeon Point has the most picturesque beach on the island. The only interruptions to the miles of white sand are fishing huts, quaint restaurants and vendor stalls where locals sell trinkets and souvenirs. It’s a guarded beach, and it’s hard to resist taking a dip in the peaceful, warm water.
The clear, emerald-colored water and almond trees make Englishman’s Bay a beach to be savored and enjoyed and you won’t find masses of tourists fighting for a few square feet of sand. In fact, you may have it mostly to yourself. Mosey up to Eula’s restaurant for a bite to eat, and head back to the water for a bit of swimming or snorkeling along the rocks that extend out into the water.
It’s hard to find a more charming place than Parlatuvier Bay. Small fishing boats bob up and down in the water while others rest lazily on the beach, and local fishermen come in all morning with their catches. A jetty extends out into the bay, which gets deep quickly, so it’s possible to dive into the warm water with local children. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular, but the beach doesn’t feel like a tourist destination—just a work-a-day village in the glorious Caribbean.