Charlotteville - General Info

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ALERT: Shark attack Tobago April 27th, 2024 – beaches and coastal areas from Plymouth to Store Bay closed.

Catastrophic oil spill off Tobago February 7th, 2024.

Where is Charlotteville?

Charlotteville is a quiet, fishing village on the NE tip of Tobago. It’s reported to be a very beautiful and peaceful anchorage.

Charlotteville has jurisdiction over the northern part of Tobago, so here you can get a permit to cruise from Castara Bay to Prince’s Bay. If you wish to visit elsewhere, you must clear out and sail to Scarborough, clear in there and get a permit for the bays in their jurisdiction (i.e. the rest of Tobago).

Cruiser Highlights for Charlotteville:

Relaxed and friendly; good swimming and snorkeling; fish market.  A new mooring field containing 15 buoys has been installed in the Pirates Bay area of Man-o-War bay which is protected from the prevailing wind and sea conditions.

Entrance Notes and Cautions for Charlotteville:

  • Dinghy anchor required due to surge.
  • You must not discharge black water into the bay or any swimming areas.
  • It is advisable to try and arrive here with some local currency as the ATM is only filled up once a week.
  • Remember to close your hatches when you go ashore as it’s common to get several small rain showers daily.

Position:

11° 19.43’N, 60° 33.00’W (approx. anchorage)

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Charlotteville was last updated 3 months ago.

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  1. September 9, 2023 at 11:36 AM
    profile photo
    Sailors for Sustainability says:

    Update September 2023:
    After you arrive, you must first visit Port Health, which is usually at the Tourist Information by the pier, but during renovations of that building it is in the same building as immigration and customs. Then immigration, where you will need to present a departure paper from your last port (which Suriname does not issue, so ask the marina there to give you something). Fill out lots of forms. Then customs, where you pay TTD 50 if you arrived in the bay on weekdays between 8:00 and 16:00h or TTD 235 if outside those hours. What matters is your time of arrival in the bay, not when you went to the office (which you can do the next day). No agent or prior sending of documents needed!

    Bay hopping: note that Tobago is divided in two parts: Charlotteville has jurisdiction over the northern part (Castara Bay to Prince’s Bay) and Scarborough over the rest. Charlotteville will issue a permit for the anchorages in their jurisdiction only. If you would like to go elsewhere (eg Plymouth), you must clear out of Charlotteville and sail strait to Scarborough. Clear in there and get a permit.

    Sim cards are available from La Roche Boutique (second floor of the micro-business centre next to the fishing coop).

  2. February 8, 2023 at 4:34 PM
    segelferien says:

    Beware of scam!
    This Ted from Ted Sunshine Tours is doing a foul business when it comes to checking in!
    There is no law that forces sailors to use his “services”! In January, a number of sailors found out that the customs officers both in Charlotteville and Scarborough are unlawfully pushing Ted as “the indispensable agent”, and you can only guess what is in for them doing so…
    Fact is that it took a very firm stand by some sailors in Charlotteville (threatening with an official complaint at high level in the customs and immigration organization) and the falsely charged excessive fee for immigration of 560 TT$ (US$ 80) got reimbursed. Only the TT$ 50 charge is legal. Some are further charged TT$ 25 per crew member, some didn’t have to pay that.
    Ted is very eager to get into the picture and emails you gladly the clearing forms in advance, even calls you, to make sure he gets some ground for his overcharging. You must know: You can go to the immigration in Charlotteville WITHOUT prior notice. I have done it myself and others did so, too. No issue at all. All forms (quite some!) will be given to you right there, customs staff is very friendly and would help you fulfilling all check-in requirements.

    I would like to urge Noonsite: STOP PROMOTING Ted!! This is a unlawful scam business, no agent is required for private yachts.

  3. February 14, 2020 at 3:40 AM
    kobbe says:

    We are on anchor in Charlotteville now and the situation has improved greatly compared to previous comments. The only hazard for the dinghy is the tide and getting stuck under the concrete jetty as we tied it up at low tide. One of the locals Son Son from the bar at Pirates Bay rescued it. Since than we use a small anchor or pull it up the beach next to the jetty. It is perfectly safe to leave your dinghy. The community around the water is watching it. Son Son also bought us a bread when the ATM was empty and the very easy going customs officer on red flip flops allowed us to come and pay the 50 TT$ fee as soon as we had money. The machine was filled the next day (Tuesday) so we were lucky.
    We feel so secure we leave our boat unlocked when we go to Pirates Bay or to Charlotteville. Hatches should be closed when you go ashore. There is a chance you get small showers day and night. Some swell comes in.
    We anchored in sand in front of Pirates Bay the depth is about 11 meters. There are 12 yachts now and still plenty of room. Allow for swinging room because of strange currents once and a while.
    Great place to swim and snorkel. Local shops are small but have all the basics and great fishing gear. Free Fresh water with considerable amount of chloride from two taps: one on the jetty and one at the fishery. Good food in town and the locals like to talk to you in the streets and bars. Great fishmarket. At the library you can become member and they put the wifi code in your phone. Very good signal also outside the building. ATM is opposite the library. Customs
    and Immigration is on the backside of the health centre. The only place to buy a local sim card is at Lowlands Mall past the capitol Scarborough, near the airport. The taxi took us there.

  4. December 1, 2015 at 12:53 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    A report posted on CSSN: 28 November 2015
    Dinghy Vandalism in Charlotteville
    There are a bunch of young adults here who are damaging dinghies on purpose. When you leave your dinghy at the dinghy dock they jump from the dock onto your dinghy breaking the underside and then into the sea.

    They broke my oars and took the drain plugs out of the transom. 28 November – they trashed my dinghy and broke my Tohatsu motor. 29 November – they broke the oar of another dinghy and stole the seat from a French dinghy. They also stole the stern anchors from a Brazilian dinghy a few days ago just leaving the rope behind.

    If you are going to come here, beware that it’s not safe to leave your dinghy at the dock.

  5. September 23, 2015 at 8:51 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Charlotteville 2015:

    Had a great time here! We enjoyed it so much we decided to use this as our base for hurricane season. Good snorkelling/diving/fishing. Friendly locals, sleepy town.
    Customs and Immigration were very friendly, and “bay hopping” permits are easy to acquire at the customs office. Plus Roxanne John from the tourism office is a wealth of local info and a great welcome committee for the visiting yachts. She is in the same offices as Customs and Immigration, behind the health clinic.

    There is a petrol station with easy access to the beach, but sometimes they run out of diesel. Always had it again within a few days.

    The ATM also runs out of money too but is restocked once a week.
    Several small markets and veggie stalls, but not the place to do major re-provisioning.
    Fresh water taps on the town jetty, safe for drinking. Also, there is a fresh water spring on the Pirates Bay beach where you can fill your jerry cans.
    Laundry can be left with “Workshop Tours” by the bus stop.

    Bus transport to the city is unreliable, but local transport is easy. Just hang out by the bus stop, ask the locals there which car/van you should take into the city. It should cost around 14-16TT/person and takes 1-1 1/2 hrs to get in depending on traffic and road conditions. If you are lucky enough to catch the rare bus, tickets are 4TT and can be bought at the “red” market nearby.

    Anchoring is good but deep. If you go in too close to shore (less than 40′ of water) you will be in coral. 45′-60′ has you on a nice sandy ledge with good holding with proper scope. It is a little shallower if you go by the town beach, but more exposed to any swell. Also, if you try to anchor in the cove at Pirates Bay, the fishermen will ask you to move.

    **Dinghys** while we did not experience any problems, many cruisers there with us did. It is best to drag it up on the beach on the inside of the town jetty. If you tie to the lower dock, and it does not get damaged by getting pulled under the pier, then you run the risk of it becoming a new play toy for the dozens of children swimming off the dock. The police are now patrolling the dock in the afternoons to chase the kids away.

    One or two dinghies tied by the steps for a short time is ok, but any more than that overcrowds the dock and blocks it for use by the local fishing boats, which is why it is there in the first place. Dragging it up on the beach is the best practice.

    We had no problems with crime, theft in town or at anchor while we were there. Really nice community of cruisers in this bay.

    Travis and Joanne
    s/v Calico Jack

  6. September 15, 2014 at 4:49 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    We contacted Garth, who is listed as a guide, for a trip to Little Tobago whilst we were in Charlotteville. He is very polite and seemingly friendly, but he is deceptive.

    The price on the phone was the beginning…in the car, it went up, then at the destination, he said he made a mistake with the price…etc….so we had to pay more as we were sort of “hostage” to him. He didn’t even do the tour but passed us on to someone else.

    I don’t know what his business is but he is just an opportunist. We didn’t try the other one. The best thing is to enjoy the glorious bay and explore the surrounds.

    Also, immigration doesn’t work every day. In the 2 weeks, we were there, there has been someone there for only 2 days. Customs is always there. It’s fine if you are not in a hurry, but if you are, one would need to go back to Scarborough.

    There has been no petrol here since we arrived…they can’t say when it will be… A couple we met before said when they were here there was no money in the ATM for 2 weeks, but so far, so good, on that one!

    Anyway, it seems Charlotteville “belongs ” to the French. We have been the only non-French boat here so far. I asked immigration and they said 95% of boats here are French. They obviously know how to choose a beautiful place.
    Linda Hufnagel