At the beginning of November I had my first experience of Tobago (and the Caribbean). I was lucky enough to be invited to stay in the Rainforest apartment at Castara Retreats for a week, and what a lovely surprise it was. Pictures and videos only go so far when trying to get a "feel" for a place - when you are actually there, feeling the heat, humidity, hearing the sounds (both man-made and nature's finest) and inhaling the scents/smells....think of a picture of a bottle of very fine wine, then imagine actually savouring the smell and flavour of it from a glass. A big difference.
Being woken every day by the sounds of Parrots and Mot-Mots, Agoutis nervously foraging in the garden and the cheeky little Bananaquits squabbling with various types of Tanagers over the sugar and bread in the bird feeders.
Looking out from the living area over Castara bay itself you see moored fishing boats and always the background sound of breaking waves on the beach.
A walk into the rainforest to take a swim under the local waterfall, then lunch (or breakfast) at one of the local cafes. Some Snorkelling in the crystal clear waters around the bay. A boat trip, fishing for lunch, swimming with wild Dolphins! Oh look, a Turtle...
Drinks and a Barbeque on the Pagoda whilst watching the spectacular sunset.
This is all made even more special by the people running Castara Retreats (The effervescent Porridge and his lovely wife Jeanelle, inscrutable Seon, the ever smiling and laughing Sherwin - to name but a few) and not to forget the locals who are welcoming and friendly. As a single female I did not once feel unsafe walking about on my own, which just made the experience all the more memorable (Although for me, the definite highlight of the trip was the swimming with Dolphins bit).
I'm now back in a thoroughly wet, cold and miserable UK, and I'm already thinking about when I can go back.
Missing you already, Castara.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Castara Retreats is a small Tobago eco resort superbly located overlooking the Bay of Castara, with stunning views of the Caribbean and mountains. For those seeking holidays in Tobago the seven tropical hardwood accommodations are built to the highest standards and are set right above Castara beach in lush tropical gardens. Backed by the deep green of the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere and framed by mango trees and bamboo, Castara Retreats offers Caribbean vacations in a lush tropical paradise where guests can relax and live in the landscape around them. The lodge accommodation offers 15 separately available areas, each with wonderful privacy and exclusive terraces, which can be rented individually by couples, or together for larger groups and families. The accommodation is specially designed to create open, spacious living areas that allow uninterrupted views of the beach and rainforest, cool sea breezes and the natural sights and sounds of the ocean, rainforest and village. Each lodge or apartment is constructed of red cedar, a local hardwood, and is from sustainable sources. The bedrooms, each with en suite showers and either queen size or twin beds all have full size mosquito nets on suspended wooden frames. The spacious living areas have panoramic views of the two beaches looking north-west and also to the coastline looking south-west, and stunning sunsets over the Caribbean. Each accommodation has the advantage of free Wi-Fi internet access. There is comfortable and stylish seating with both indoor and outdoor dining and all three areas are equipped to a very high standard for self-catering. We have recently completed open-decked Pavilion Bar and Restaurant - already receiving excellent ratings - perfect for a romantic dinner for two or for family groups and events. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Castara Retreats Hotel Tobago
- Castara Retreats Tobago