This is what Paradise looks like!

pigeon point, tobago

Close your eyes and picture yourself on a beach in paradise.

The sand is such a brilliant white that you can’t look at it directly; the water so clean and clear that you have to touch it to make sure it’s real. Half a mile out, a reef keeps the dark blue Atlantic Sea at bay, forming a shallow lagoon that is as calm as a hotel pool.

(We’ve all done this before, in the middle of a cold, grey winter, when you’re tired of being stuck behind a desk, fed up of responding to emails, and you can feel the vitamin D draining away from your body!)

The waves lap gently at the shore, playing a soothing rhythm that relaxes even the busiest of minds. Overhead the coconut trees sway slowly, letting through just enough light to allow your skin to slowly tan. Birds sing in the trees and the delicious smell of grilled fish wafts over to you whenever the wind changes direction.

Now wake up! That’s not just a dream – this paradise is real and it’s in Tobago!

Pigeon Point is not the only place in the Caribbean to boast of beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, palm trees or a lagoon, but there can be few other places in the world that combine these quintessential elements of paradise in such a breath-taking manner!

The beach is part of the 125-acre Pigeon Point Heritage Park, located near the southern tip of Tobago and only a few minutes’ drive from the airport. The jetty, with its thatched roof hut, is perhaps the most iconic image of Tobago.

It’s one of my favourite places in the whole world, for the reasons described above, but also because of the great memories I have from previous trips: windsurfing on the lagoon, snorkelling with my kids and that one crazy afternoon when I took part in a goat race (top tip: the goat has to finish in front of the runner, or you will be disqualified!).

Yet it has changed a lot since I first visited in 1999 – most notably with the introduction of an entrance fee (currently TT$20 per day or TT$100 per week at the time of writing). There was public outcry when the levy was introduced, but there is no doubt that the facilities of the Park have improved greatly in the past decade. In this case, development has been a good thing: there are changing rooms, beach huts, chairs and umbrellas for rent, and a lifeguard on duty.

So it’s perfectly easy to spend the whole day lying on the beach…maybe even the whole week! But if you feel the need to stretch your legs, then glass-bottomed boat tours depart frequently from the jetty, offering close-up views of Buccoo Reef and the Nylon Pool.

The shallow lagoon is also in a perfect position to catch the strong trade winds, and it is no coincidence that Pigeon Point is a popular location for windsurfing and kitesurfing, as well as paddle boarding. You can rent the necessary equipment right on the beach, and lessons are also available, if you’re a bit rusty.

With many other attractions on the island, I highly recommend a trip to Tobago for your next holiday!

For more information visit www.pigeonpoint.tt.

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