Tobago



Dozens of people relax at Swallow’s Beach, Crown Point. – Photo by David Reid

LOOKING for sun, sea and sand in Crown Point? More than likely, you might be thinking of relaxing in Store Bay or Pigeon Point. However, Swallow’s Beach gives the two heavyweights some competition with a number of attractions.

One can enjoy a swim in the sea or an aquatic adventure, grab a cocktail at the local bar, sip on a natural blend smoothie or tantalize your taste buds with some of Tobago’s native sweets.

The long stretch of beach along Pigeon Point Road is now a thriving hub for tourists and residents alike.

One of the many cocktails available at Bago’s Beach Bar. PHOTO COURTESY OF BAGO’S BEACH BAR FACEBOOK –

Bago’s Bar is one of the business ventures that transformed Swallow Beach.

A hike to Bago’s Beach Bar, with its redesigned interior, offers a signature tropical ambience, and even if the temperature is above 30 degrees, its iconic location on the beachfront, offers a cooling effect of sea breezes and a view panoramic ocean view.

Last Wednesday, one of Bago’s Beach Bar patrons, a local native and popularly known as Jada the Mayor, raved about the food and drink served at the restaurant.

“You can get the best lobster dishes and cocktail mixes in Tobago here,” she said. “I work nearby and when I’m on break I always come here. I love the cool vibes and the natural vibe.

“The workers are very professional and friendly to customers, and the beach is popular with foreigners, especially on weekends,” she added.

Another regular at the bar, who goes by the name Blessah, said Swallow’s is holding up well against other popular Crown Point beaches.

“Since the restaurant opened, I always come here. Here, it’s just freedom. You don’t have to pay to enter like Pigeon Point, and Store Bay beach can get choppy at times. Here more private and the location closer to the main road.

“The vibes, the ocean, and the vibe go hand in hand for me. I always meet nice people here, and it’s got everything like Store Bay and Pigeon Point.”

One of Swallow’s exciting attractions is kayaking.

Michael Bristol, left, owner of Clear Kayak TT, takes photos of a family visiting from Trinidad who have rented a pair of clear kayaks at Swallow’s Beach, Crown Point. – Photo by David Reid

Clear Kayak TT offers an aquatic adventure experience with guests able to see the ocean floor as they paddle. Clear Kayak TT, which is an associate company of On the Go Global (OTG), offers the only clear water kayaking thrills in Tobago.

Michael Bristol, owner of Clear Kayak TT, said: “Clear water kayaks are environmentally friendly. They do not use gasoline, they are solar powered and are great for maintaining the green nature of the environment.

Bristol described Swallow’s as the perfect location for his business. “The water is always calm and clear,” he said, “when our customers use the equipment, they are always excited about the amount of small fish and flora they see in the area.”

Bristol said he started his business three years ago but has seen an increase in customers since Easter.

“Our customers are a mix of tourists, Trinis and locals,” he said, “and since the water is always calm, the elderly, children and pregnant women also use our gear.”

Kayaking isn’t the only service offered by Bristol. “Snorkeling, motorboat and private plane tours, and night kayaking are part of our extended packages. Our prices are also very affordable,” he said.

Another signature of Swallow Beach is the hum of blenders and the smell of fresh fruit as customers are served their favorite smoothies at Soula Organics.

Xavier Edwardz prepares a smoothie for a customer at his smoothie bar near Swallow’s Beach, Crown Point. – Photo by David Reid

Musician and activist Xavier Edwards, owner of Soula Organics, in partnership with Hannah Rose, gave his philosophy behind the establishment. “Our business, which began in February, was conceptualized as a desire to provide a healthier and more convenient food option to consumers in the Crown Point area.

“The goal was holistic, considering healthy eating while supporting local farmers, as well as a beachfront location, where people can relax and unwind,” he said.

“Swallow’s was the perfect environment, in terms of self-healing, and our guests can enjoy a smoothie while enjoying the soothing sound of the waves and the magnificent beauty of the sunset as the sun sets.

“Our business has enhanced the Hirondelle experience, and the vibe is ‘full’ in the area.”

A walk along the pristine white sand, one can be impressed by the well maintained environment and the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Kezia Grant of Moriah, a beachgoer, was relaxing in a beach chair, in a shaded area in the midday sun. “I usually go to Castara Beach, but when I’m on this side of Tobago, I come here. It’s calm, quiet and peaceful,” she said.

Swallow’s also attracts its fair share of celebrities. Soca star Machel Mantano was seen bathing in the clear waters and expressed his love for the island. “What’s not to like? This is Tobago, this is my home,” he said.

A girl jumps into the water on Swallow Beach. – Photo by David Reid

Avery Thomas, who supplies beach chairs at Swallow’s, thinks it’s time authorities consider building toilets in the area.

Thomas said: ‘Lots of people come here to bathe, especially at weekends when around 500 people come and go throughout the day, and the business toilets are under pressure.

“If the authorities plan to install toilets, they can charge a fee to use the toilets, and it will create jobs for the people of the village.”

A person familiar with the area, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘The first business in the area was the craft and souvenir shop, where people coming and going from the resort town of Pigeon Point might have stopped and buy items.

Four friends from Trinidad chat while sipping drinks in the waters of Swallow’s Beach, Crown Point. – Photo by David Reid

“The second business was a confectionery outlet, which sold locally made sugar cakes, lime balls and bene balls, for example, and he has three now.

“Bago Bar came to brighten up the area, so now there are different businesses like the burger cart, and you even have guys selling reef boat tickets here now.”