Pressed into the leeward side of Tobago between the sea and the steep rise up to the island’s mountainous Main Ridge spine, the tiny village of Castara offers intrepid travelers the essential aspects of the uncommon Caribbean.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating:
the best travel experiences, be they in the Caribbean or beyond, are not attained through extensive planning.
So when, on our last visit to Tobago, Steve and I set out from our dad‘s house in the southern neighborhood of Signal Hill in a quest to reach Bloody Bay far in the north, I think we both knew that plan was only “directional.”
Who knew what would catch our eye or pique our curiosity. Magical Mount Irvine Bay? Stunning Stonehaven Bay?
Turns out we were being a bit ambitious. Carting three kids around curvy seaside roads barely clinging to sheer cliffs, there was no way we were going to make it all the way to Bloody Bay. So as we rounded a bend and caught a glimpse of idyllic little Castara Bay, we knew we’d gone far enough.
Every Thursday and Saturday visitors to Castara are in for a special treat: bread, cakes, tarts, and sweet bread made to order in a traditional clay oven steps from the beach!
You simply can’t get much more authentically Caribbean than this. Just watch the video below to get an idea of the scene:
The uncommon Caribbean comes in all shapes and sizes, but regardless of the details the result is always awe inspiring beauty. In this too, Castara is a quintessential example.
On the day we visited, the mountains at our back were lush and green, the small rivers that encircle the small village giving it its name (Castara means “falling water”) were sparkling in the sun. Not a cloud was in the sky, sea birds circled overhead, and majestic palms swayed in the trade winds.
No, it’s not a manicured beach with an army of workers that descend upon it at dawn to primp it for a day of tourists. Instead Castara is an unexpected, authentic, natural beauty the likes of which you’d be hard pressed to find almost anywhere else.
Click below to download it now.