LOOKING for some sun, sea and sand in Crown Point? More than likely, you may be thinking about relaxing at Store Bay or Pigeon Point. However, Swallow’s Beach is giving the two heavyweights some competition with a number of attractions.
One can enjoy a sea bath or water adventure, grab a cocktail at the corner bar, sip on a naturally-blended smoothie, or delight your taste buds with some of Tobago’s indigenous confectioneries.
The long stretch of beach along Pigeon Point Road is now an exploding hub for tourists and residents.
Bago’s Bar is one of the business enterprises that has transformed Swallow’s beach.
A trek into Bago’s Beach Bar, with its re-designed interior, provides a signature tropical ambiance, and even if the temperature is above 30 degrees, its iconic location on the beach front, provides a cooling effect from the sea-breeze and a panoramic view of the ocean.
One of the patrons at Bago’s Beach Bar last Wednesday, who is from the area and popularly known as Jada the Mayor, was very complimentary of the food and drinks served at the restaurant.
“You can get the best lobster meals and cocktail blends in Tobago right here,” she said. “I work nearby and when I am on a break, I always come here. I love the cool vibes and natural ambiance.
“The workers are very professional and friendly with the customers, and the beach is popular with foreigners, especially on weekends,” she added.
Another regular at the bar, who goes by the alias Blessah, said Swallow’s is holding its own compared to the other popular Crown Point beaches.
“Since the restaurant open, I always coming here. Here is just freeness. You don’t have to pay to enter like Pigeon Point, and the beach at Store Bay does be rough sometimes. Here more private and the location closer to the main road.
“The vibes, ocean and ambiance go together for me. I always meeting nice people here, and it have everything like Store Bay and Pigeon Point.”
One of the exciting attractions at Swallow’s is kayaking.
Clear Kayak TT offers a water adventure experience with clients able to see the ocean floor as they paddle. Clear Kayak TT, which is an associate company of On the Go Global (OTG), provides the only clear water kayaking thrills in Tobago.
Michael Bristol, the owner of Clear Kayak TT, said, “The clear water kayaks are eco-friendly. They do not use gasoline, they are solar-powered and are great for maintaining the eco-nature of the environment.”
Bristol described Swallow’s as the perfect location for his business. “The water is always calm and crystal clear,” he said, “when our customers use the equipment, they are always excited by the quantity of small fishes and flora they see in the area.”
Bristol said he started his business three years ago but has seen a boost in customers since Easter.
“Our customers are a mixture of tourists, Trinis and local patronage,” he said, “and since the water is always calm, the elderly, children and pregnant woman also utilise our equipment.”
Kayaking is not the only service offered by Bristol. “Snorkelling, power boat and private plane tours, also night kayaking are among our extended packages. Our prices are also very affordable,” he said.
Another signature of Swallow’s beach is the hum of blenders and the smell of fresh fruits, as customers are served their favourite smoothies at Soula Organics.
Musician and activist Xavier Edwards, who is the proprietor of Soula Organics, in partnership with Hannah Rose, gave his philosophy behind the establishment. “Our business which started in February was conceptualised as a desire to provide a healthier, more convenient food option for consumers, in the Crown Point area.
“The focus was holistic, factoring in healthy food while supporting local farmers, as well as providing a beach front location, where people can relax and de-stress,” he said.
“Swallow’s was the ideal environment, in terms of healing in and of itself, and our customers can enjoy a smoothie while taking in the healing sound of the waves and the magnificent beauty of the sunset, as the sun goes down.
“Our business has enhanced the Swallow’s experience, and the vibes is ‘up-full’ in the area.”
A walk along the pristine white sand, one can be awed by the well-kept environment and clear waters from the Caribbean Sea.
Kezia Grant of Moriah, an avid beach goer, was relaxing on a beach chair, in a shaded area under the midday sun. “I usually go to Castara beach, but when I am on this side of Tobago, I come here. It is calm, quiet and peaceful,” she said.
Swallow’s also attracts its fair share of celebrities. Soca star Machel Mantano was seen enjoying a dip in the clear waters, and expressed his love for the island. “What’s not to love? This is Tobago, it is home,” he said.
Avery Thomas, who provides beach chairs at Swallow’s, thinks it is time that the authorities consider building a washroom facility at the area.
Thomas said, “Plenty people does come here to bathe, especially on a weekend where you have approximately 500 people coming and going throughout the day, and the business people toilet facilities does be under pressure.
“If the authorities consider a washroom facility, they can charge a fee to use the washrooms, and it will create employment for people in the village.”
One individual with knowledge of the area, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “The first business in the area was the craft and souvenir shop, where persons going to and from Pigeon Point beach resort, could have stopped and purchase items.
“The second business was a confectionery outlet, which sold locally-made sugar cakes, lime balls and bene balls, for example, and it have three of them now.
“Bago Bar came and brighten up the area, so now it has different businesses around like the burger cart, and you even have fellas selling reef boat tickets here now.”
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