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Castara - The Lowdown

Lake Zurich, IL
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7 posts
4 reviews
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Castara - The Lowdown

After spending weeks examining blogs in anticipation of my holiday in Castara I found all of my worries for naught.

ATM in Castara: It is a First Citizens Bank ATM. Our cards did not work in the machine. They only worked in the RBC machines across the island. We were caught short in TT money and had to ration until we could find a working ATM.

Crime: We had no problems, but be aware as you would anywhere else you travel.

Rain: Please note I traveled at the end of November-tail of wet season. After checking the weather and finding the forecasts for 70% chance of rain every single day with some indicating 4-5 hours of rain, just as some posts noted, it rains mainly at night. There is a welcoming 15 minute shower or two during the day with the return of the sun afterwards. I experienced "liquid sunshine". The skies were blue with light wisps of white and the sun blazing - I was showered with glinting liquid diamonds as I was in the torquoise Caribbean waters. I love the rain there.

Restaurants: Again as other blogs and posts indicate, restaurants do not have regular hours. We figured it might be because it was wet season and tourism is down. We found Marguerite's and the Boat House to be the consistently open restaurants during our stay. Both served fantastic meals. Sharon at the Boat House is a wonderful hostess and provided the best service. No menus in Castara, they serve what is available, which I found to be cool.

Flashlight: Bring one if you intend to stroll at night. Plus we experienced some power outages. I don't know if this is normal and don't let this alarm you. The outages did not last more than an hour or so.

Transportation: Thankfully, the gentleman in the unit next to me let me know you have to be ticketed an hour prior to your flight off the island or you will be charged for another flight (Caribbean Airlines). Give yourself enough time to get to the airport if you are leaving on a weekday morning as the traffic is a little heavier and slower due to kids being walking to school and people traveling to work. Also, for people traveling on American Airlines out of Port of Spain, time your flight from Tobago to POS so you can arrive at POS at least 3 hours prior to your AA flight out of Trinidad. A woman and her husband got stuck in traffic in Trinidad and arrived 1.5 hours prior to their flight and was refused boarding. She had to return the day I was flying out and was quite upset AA wouldn't let her on the flight the day before.

Pictures: Please be courteous and ask first before taking pictures of the residents.

Bakery: Wednesdays and Saturdays local ladies bake breads and pastries in a clay oven located at the end of the footbridge. We didn't realize you needed to place an order a head of time, but they did provide us with a couple extra pastries and a loaf of bread. Try and place your order by 9:30 am.

I loved my stay in Castara. It was one of my most relaxing vacations and hope to return. Hope this helps all of those who are fortunate enough to visit Castara, Tobago.

Edited: 05 December 2011, 03:36
Surrey
Destination Expert
for Tobago
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523 posts
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1. Re: Castara - The Lowdown

Regarding the ATM. Did you advise your bank that you were travelling to Tobago? It is usually your card issuer being protective! A call to them may have sorted this out.

Did you go to Cheno's for breakfast? The saltfish with coconut bake and scrambled eggs is great.

It is always best to check out any restaurant during the day as if it is really quiet the owner may go home. The Boathouse is closed on Saturdays but you can still sit out on the veranda.

There are irregular 'power outs' as they call them in Tobago. They are usually caused by falling trees and branches as all the power lines are overground and are more frequent in the wet season. The power company are really good at getting broken poles and cables fixed quickly though after a storm they are hard pressed ! A torch is essential as after sunset it can be really dark until the moon comes up. The one advantage of having no electricity is that there are no streetlights and so you can see the stars more clearly,

P.S. Don't open the fridge too often and the beers will stay cold for ages!

Just a thought........

Lake Zurich, IL
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7 posts
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2. Re: Castara - The Lowdown

Yes, I did call my bank prior to leaving regarding my use of the card in Trinidad and Tobago. That is important to point out, however.

My brother searched for a working ATM around the island with the help of a tour guide and found that his card did not work in any First Citizens Bank machines.

Oh yes, the Coffee house was consistently open too! Sorry about that. We made breakfast in the apartment. There was cafe on the beach that was open for lunch on the day we arrived. If I hadn't seen the owner sitting in the kitchen, we wouldn't have known it.

The power outages were resolved quickly and were no bother at all. It's funny you mentioned the advantage of less street lights is you see more stars, I had that in my paragraph originally and then deleted it. I love adventure and strolling in the village and on the beach with my torch made it that much more fun.

It's a fishing village and that is the charm. I loved the simplicity. It made for a really relaxing week.

Castara is now officially "my happy place" when things get harried.

Edited: 05 December 2011, 19:11
New York City, New...
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79 posts
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3. Re: Castara - The Lowdown

*Taking notes*

Any advice on how to get to the bakery from Crown Point, Tobago?

Surrey
Destination Expert
for Tobago
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523 posts
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4. Re: Castara - The Lowdown

From Crown Point take the highway towards Scarborough. Just past the Botanic Gardens ( on your right ) you turn left at the traffic lights onto Northside Road. This is the main road up the NW coast of the island all the way to Charlotteville. After the villages of Moriah, Runnymeade etc you come down into Castara. If you have time take the right turn up to Mt.Dillon for a great view of the coastline and even across to Trinindad.

As you come into Castara on your right you pass Chenos ( great saltfish and coconut bake for breakfast with scrambled eggs plus wi-fi!) ) and Marguerites restaurant on your left..

100 yards further on there is a left turn taking you to the beach passing D'Lime bar, also recommended.

Opposite King David's gift shop( blue) and before the yellow building, Max's L&H's general store, you turn left across the metal bridge over the Castara river. On your left in the grounds of the primary school you will find the large clay oven tended by the ladies of Castara. Go in the morning, put in your order. Spend time on the beach whilst you are waiting for the bread to bake.

Before you go home buy fish from the fishermen's Coop straight from the sea and cheaper than in the south. Not a bad day out really!

Please note: They only bake Wednesday and Saturday!

Trinidad
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5. Re: Castara - The Lowdown

Thank you for being so courteous to my country!

I'm organising groups to visit would you like to recommend anyone?

ccars0205@gmail.com

carlos cadiz

1-868-312-5469

Steubenville, OH
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5 posts
37 reviews
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6. Re: Castara - The Lowdown

Castara is a great place. It's a quaint, quiet little village. Everyone knows everyone. It's really best suited for heterosexual couples or families to visit. The locals seem a bit skeptical of solo travelers or two men traveling together. My partner and were chided by one of the locals for having our towels too close together on the beach. (We were behaving properly and there was no touching or affection of any kind!) That incident and just the cold reception by some other locals gave us pause while visiting. Nonetheless, it is safe and quiet and is well worth seeing.

7. Re: Castara - The Lowdown

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