Charlotteville’s main street veers away from the coast at the eastern end of the village, but a dirt track continues along the shoreline to the town’s – and, for many, Tobago’s – most attractive beach, Pirate’s Bay. After walking for about fifteen minutes along the steep track you’ll come to a long concrete stairway, at the bottom of which you’re rewarded with a stunning horseshoe of calm emerald-green water and fine yellow sand, with a backdrop of trees, ferns and foliage. A tumbledown fisherman’s hut is the only building in sight, and there’s even a freshwater rinse, courtesy of a stream trickling down from the hills. The bay’s translucent waters offer fantastic snorkelling, especially on the left-hand side. The seventeenth-century buccaneers after whom it was named may have gone, but the bay still has its freebooters, a large colony of frigate birds, which feed by snatching recently caught fish from the beaks of smaller sea birds. These, and other birds such as terns and pelicans can be found at St Giles Island a few kilometres to the north, but strong currents make it difficult for small boats – and thus birdwatchers – to get there. If the walk (or the stairs) are too much for you, you can usually arrange for one of the village’s fishermen to drop you at the beach and pick you up. Though the track is partially driveable, it’s best to leave your car in town – the only place to park is also the only turning spot, so leaving your vehicle there means anyone else will have to reverse back down the hill.

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