Tobago’s beaches are closed so we can’t take a dip in the ocean, but that shouldn’t stop us from soaking in its beauty – from a distance. I know the thought of visiting the island without being able to access its coastline is disappointing. But that’s no reason to cancel that trip you’ve already booked. Along with a host of exciting land-based activities to keep you occupied, Bago also serves up a host of epic views of the water for you to drink in (pun intended). So, until we’re free to go beach-bumming once again, I’ve mapped out this comprehensive, one-day, road trip itinerary featuring the most beautiful ocean views in Tobago.
NB: This itinerary estimates a start time of 8:30 a.m.
Mt. Dillon Lookout
On a clear day, the view at Mt. Dillon stretches on for miles as brilliant blue water melds into a stunning blue sky. The only interruption to the oceanic vista is the outcropping of greenery that surrounds Castara Bay in the distance. Along with the view, the lookout features beautifully landscaped grounds, making it ideal for a versatile photo shoot. Often overlooked, this detour is usually unoccupied so you’ll able to soak in the scenery and snap pics at your leisure.
Drive time: 45 mins | Estimated time at location: 25 mins
Nameless, but easily identifiable by the sturdy stone barricade that lines the roadway, the bend just before you descend into Castara is a mandatory stop for view-chasers. This spot serves up one of the most idyllic coastal views in Tobago – in my humble opinion. A caramel strip of sand separates Mother Nature’s verdant greens and radiant blues, while a colorful cluster of properties reinforces the cozy seaside community narrative. From this vantage point, it’s easy to see why this coastal village is such a popular destination.
Drive time: 35 mins | Estimated time at location: 25 mins
When it comes to seeking out the most beautiful ocean views in Tobago, it doesn’t get much better than Englishman’s Bay. Once your eyes feast on the sight of the rainforest’s lush flora seemingly kissing the shoreline with emerald green waters lapping ever so gently just a few feet away…you won’t have to ask why this particular scene has been featured in print and online publications across the globe.
Drive time: 10 mins | Estimated time at location: 20 mins
Glasgow’s Bar may not be able to host you, but that shouldn’t stop you from soaking up a stunning birdseye view of Parlatuvier Bay. The black and white wall that stretches along the roadway may not serve drinks, but it still doles out one heck of a vista. The near postcard-perfect scene features a brilliant seascape inclusive of the village’s jetty, pastel-colored boats, kaleidoscopic houses, and water so clear you can often spot schools of fish swimming in its depths.
Drive time: 5 mins | Estimated time at location: 20 mins
Lunch: Jemma’s Treehouse Restaurant
After a morning on the road, a hearty lunch is required. And it doesn’t get much heartier than the local fare being prepped in the kitchen at Jemma’s Treehouse Restaurant in Speyside. The family-style spread includes “Sunday lunch” favorites like breadfruit (or macaroni pie), vegetable rice, and fried plantain, along with your choice of meat. We’re talking everything from baked chicken to lobster. Sadly, there’s no dining in either, but takeaway works just as well when you’ve got the perfect picnic spot just a short drive away!
Drive time: 5o mins | Estimated time at location: 20 minutes
There’s a great two-for-one deal when it comes to ocean views at Indian Bay. You may not be able to venture down to the water but make the climb up to the deck and you’re in for a treat. On one side, you’re faced with dramatic rock formations climbing out of the churning surf, and on the other, it’s abundant greenery and the (usually) still, clear waters of the sheltered bay. Bonus: the compound’s meticulous landscaping makes it the ideal spot for an Insta-worthy picnic with all the goodies you got from Jemma’s!
Drive time: 5 mins | Estimated time at location: 1.5 hours
Any roundup of the most beautiful ocean views in Tobago must include Batteaux Bay. From the small battery at the entrance to Blue Waters Inn the trees appear greener, the water bluer, and the skies so much clearer than anywhere else on the island. The cannons pointing outward provide a tiny dose of history and add another layer to the experience. Keep in mind that it’s a small cul de sac with limited parking, so not ideal for an extended stay. However, you don’t need more than a few minutes to take in the scenery and snap a few photos for the memory bank.
Drive time: 5 mins | Estimated time at location: 15 mins
Fort Campbelton is one of those sites you visit exclusively for the ocean view, not the experience. With just a couple of cannons and not much space to roam, this tiny fort is oftentimes a forgotten historical landmark. It’s easy to miss as it’s accessed by walking along a narrow lane lined by private residences. There’s a small gazebo if you feel inclined to sit, but I generally don’t recommend this spot for an extended stay. Take your time to enjoy the great birdseye view of the village below but feel no inclination to linger as the arrival of another group will certainly make the space feel crowded.
Drive time: 15 mins | Estimated time at location: 25 mins (including walk to and from)
Flagstaff Hill showcases Charlotteville from one of the village’s best angles. From all the way up there, you’re able to take in the pronounced sweetheart contours of the coastline accented by the sprinkling of boats dotting the surface of the ocean. The panoramic vista also includes uninterrupted views of Man O’ War Bay, St. Giles Island, and Fort Cambelton Hermitage, all coming together to create a postcard-perfect visual of the peaceful coastal hamlet.
Drive time: 5 mins | Estimated time at location: 25 mins
Beyond the thick tree canopy covering Fort Grandby is a stunning, panoramic ocean view that’s well worth the detour off Windward Road. As you walk the length of the compound you’ll sneak views of brilliant blues through the trees. However, when you venture onto the rocks beyond the perimeter fence (not too far and with care) that’s where you’ll catch an undisturbed view of the water. To add to the experience, slivers of light and the shadows cast by hundreds of tree trunks make this location hauntingly beautiful. Not to mention to the presence of an actual creates an interesting layer of mystery.
Drive time: 50 mins | Estimated time at location: 25 mins
Fort King George
At Fort King George you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to beautiful ocean views in Tobago. Whether you’re taking in the capital of Scarborough to the west or the long stretch of the old coconut plantation to the east…this historical site has all the gorgeous vistas you could ever need. As your last stop for the day, you should arrive just in time to catch the sunset surrounded by beautifully preserved historical ruins.
Drive time: 20 mins | Estimated time at location: 40 mins
Beachless island vacations are far from ideal but if that’s all we’ve got, let’s make the most of it! While this particular itinerary is quite tight, feel free to skip a few stops along the way to make for a shorter, more relaxing drive. Either way, by the end of the day, your eyes would have the pleasure of feasting on some of the most beautiful ocean views in Tobago.
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