08/06/2015 08:41 BST | Updated 05/06/2016 06:59 BST

Tobago; A Tranquil, Idyllic Utopia

My work in the music and media industry often takes me to far-flung places and amongst those locations the Caribbean has seen me visit many of its islands; including Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, the BVI Islands and more.

views from the top

Tranquil Tobago.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

Even though they are all clustered quite closely together, each Caribbean island really does have a very unique personality and presence of its own, although it's tranquil Tobago that has captured my heart more than the rest in recent years.


Tobago's Castara Beach.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

It's a tiny island, just 24miles wide. It's very colourful, hilly landscape reminds me of an Italian island. Like Capri in the Caribbean! It is quiet, calm and quaint. The people are a mixture from all across the world, so whether black, white, brown or yellow, no-one bats an eyelid at tourists and it all feels very inclusive and unthreatening.

pigeon point PALM WALK

Pigeon Point.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

With its white powder sand beaches, backed by almond trees and coconut palms, it boasts the world's most photographed jetty; on the most picturesque postcard beach I've ever been to, called Pigeon Point. Strangely named, as it's very un-pigeon-like, there are no pigeons, anywhere.

I arrived at ANR Robinson International Airport on a pleasant British Airways flight, on a Monday afternoon and was picked up and taken straight to my first location for the trip; Bacolet Beach Club.

bacolet beach

Bacolet Beach Club.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

This is a small very chic boutique hotel based on a cliffside overlooking the ocean. Its rooms are enormous, and prettily decorated in rich, jewel-colours and big modern fittings. Especially in its new wing, which overlooks a number of, tranquil pools, which in turn spill and cascade into the ocean.

Next, we had Lunch at Blue Crab Restaurant where yet another high-spirited, frolicsome lady (Alison Sardhina) entertained us with stories about Olde world cooking methods and local customs. The crab and dumpling dish she and her husband cooked for us was out of this world!


Crab and dumpin''

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

After lunch we went stand-up paddle boarding at Pigeon Point beach. An instructor spent 15 minutes talking us through the technique whilst on dry sand, and then hurried us onto the ocean to catch the sunset to try it out properly.

pad sea2

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

Whilst the swimmers on the beach shouted encouragement "go on stand up it's easy!'' I gritted my teeth determined not to swear back at them to ease off the pressure. I would try standing when I was good and ready.

padd sea

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

On Wednesday morning we were able to tour the local rainforest. A long drive planted us at the top of a huge mountain range, lush green and moist. Our guide Hans, who excitedly pointed out birds with regal names and exotic titles, guided us through the rainforest. Soaring majestic bamboo tribes and lofty ferns shielded us from the sun.

rainforest roast breadfruit

Rainforest Trekking, Waterfall Swimming and Roasted Breadfruit, all in a days work.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

As we walked in silence we heard trickling streams as well as gushing waterfalls. At random moments colourful birds would swoop and sing at us. At one point just as we were leaving a humming bird dropped straight in front of our faces and danced a hummingbird-ballet for us for a stunning 30 seconds as we froze in the delight of the moment!


(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).


(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

After trekking the rainforest for a short while we walked to Castara Waterfall, where our guides Hans and Kathryn picked a huge breadfruit from a tree. Whilst we stripped to our swimsuits and swam in the waterfall, they made an oven from rocks and wood, and roasted the breadfruit, until the aroma permeated the forest, and was ready to be broken up and eaten. Scrumptious!


Huge plates of food are the norm here!

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

Later that afternoon we had a homemade lunch at Castara Beach, and then chilled out watching the sea and listening to the loud soca blasting from the nearby stage. Imagining we would just be chilling, doing nothing much, imagine our utter delight when all around us, locals jumped up and started tugging on what appeared to be a tug-of-war rope leading out to the sea? Not even considering why and how, we jumped up to join in tugging rhythmically alongside the soca track that sang 'pull it, pull it...!''.


Dragging the fish in by Pulling Seine.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

It wasn't until well into breaking a sweat and making our hands raw from the rope pulling, did we realise there was another pulling line up parallel to us just yards down the beach, and between us both we were helping the local fishermen to pull in their humongous wide net and drag the flipping, frantic fish in! Apparently what we were doing is a local fishing tradition referred to as ''pulling seine'' (look it up!).


Pulling Seine.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

The next morning we left our hotel on one side of the island for another called Blue Waters Inn; which sits on pretty Batteaux Bay, just 1km from the main road. It's a spectacular huge hotel right slap-bang on the ocean water so the sound of the waves here is constant. It's one of the most upscale places to stay and geared to divers; the rooms all have patios and great views.

bluwaters rooms

Rooms at BlueWaters Inn.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

Tobago fulfils all your holiday fantasies yet is so much more. We returned back to the UK with perfect vacation memories, like humming birds fluttering everywhere, sounds of 6am cockerels, healthy weathered ladies full of jokes, children jumping in and out of the ocean all day, paddle boarding on one of the world's prettiest shores and exploring lush rainforests.


Blue Waters Inn Coastline.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

If you're not sure what time of year to visit, check out the annual calendar and see what takes your fancy.

There's something for everyone whether music, arts, culture, eco tours, history and more. From rum festivals, to motor rally's, to jazz weeks, and Maypole festivals (yes, really), it's pretty diverse.


Pigeon Point.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

I would recommend coinciding it with a quick trip to Trinidad carnival first in February , then after dancing your heart out you can take a quick flight to Tobago for a truly restful week in paradise.

pier at pp:waterfall

Pigeon Point.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).

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Paddle boarding at Pigeon Point.

(Pic Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala).