Know Your Country Better: Check Out These Five Exciting Spots In Trinidad
by Lou-Ann Jordan Mar 20, 2023
Trinidad offers an array of things to do on the weekend. There are the malls in which to shop, the beaches, namely Maracas, to lounge at, and the Chaguaramas boardwalk to relax. But, is that all? No, for our nature lovers and history enthusiasts Trinidad offers a barrage of places to visit.
Now, when we speak of nature sites, we’re talking about more than Asa Wrights Nature Centre and the Caroni Swamp. Though, we know that both of those are incredible places to visit offering beautiful sights and sounds.
As your local go-to for information, we thought it our duty to get this information to you. With that in mind, Yello sought out J’s Tours manager, Louis Jordan. For over 15 years Louis has been planning and executing exciting tours to some of Trinidad’s lesser-known treasures. Passionate about all nooks and crannies of the island, and sharing them with others, the knowledgeable tour guide is known for transferring his zeal to his clients.
So join us on this journey as we highlight for you, five sights that are a ‘must-see’. We won’t stop there though. With our able guide, we will share a few interesting facts and myths. Are you ready? Let’s begin:
Paria Bay and Waterfall
Hidden on the northern coastline of Trinidad, in the rural community of Paria are the gems Paria Bay and Paria waterfall. After an hour’s drive from the Royal Borough of Arima and then a brisk two to three-hour hike you will find nestled within the majestic Northern Range Mountain peaks, the beautiful Paria Bay and the pristine waters of the Paria waterfall. These are two of Trinidad’s secrets. After that challenging hike, you have the option of soaking under the waterfall or taking a dip in one of the country’s best beaches.
Located on Gasper Grand Island, just off the western side and 100 feet underground lies the mysterious Gasperee caves. Formed naturally, the cave’s interior is made of limestone and its best feature is the transparent pool. Over 70’ deep its clear waters allow bathers a chance to view its depths. The minerals in the pool cause bathers to float to the surface, offering an experience similar experience to the Dead Sea. This site offers a historically rich experience, as there are also interesting facts to learn about the island itself. Do note the island is under the guidance of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) and requires permission to visit.
La Brea Pitch Lake
Though, as locals, we proudly refer to it as the eighth wonder of the world, surprisingly many of us have never visited the pitch lake. This is the main reason it has made our list. Situated on the western side of Trinidad, the 100 acres wide and 250 feet deep asphalt pool is the largest of only three lakes found globally.
A visit to the La Brea pitch lake promises to be an invigorating caper. It’s believed that puddles of water found in and around have mystical healing properties. The local myth is that soaking in the warm sulphuric waters heals bodily aches and cleans the jewellery.
There are also several intriguing myths associated with the pond and its thick, black sulphuric substance. For example, it’s believed to have caused the mysterious disappearance of a whole Amerindian tribe.
The Nariva Swamp is the nation’s largest swamp. It is approximately 7000 hectares. Access the wetlands by travelling to the southeastern end of Trinidad. It is the perfect spot for eco-tourists and environmentalists alike.
A walk or boat ride up the swamp and you can catch a glimpse of a vast array of wildlife. Nariva Swamp is a breathing ground for the Red Howler monkey, as well as manatees, ocelots, and anteaters. The area is also home to the Scarlet Ibis and various species of toucans and macaws. This lush marsh awaits your exploration. However, permission is required from Trinidad’s Forestry Division to tour the site.
Mt. Tamana Caves
We’ve saved the best or the most exciting for last. Mount Tamana is housed at the highest point of Trinidad’s central range—just over 1000 feet. Tamana Caves is home to various species of bats and is one of the largest bat colonies in the world.
In addition to bats, the caves are known to house the rare white cockroach. The temperamental howler monkey if not seen, can definitely be heard. More than the bats, birds and other wildlife, the view Mt. Tamana offers is worth the trek. The top of the mountain offers a spectacular view of the south, east and central parts of Trinidad. The landscape encompasses the Atlantic Ocean and Caroni Plains. Hiking to Mt. Tamana is sure to be an unforgettable experience. We recommend you do so with a knowledgeable and reputable hiking group.
There you have it, the sites, and the history behind them. Choose among any to visit this weekend with your family. You’re sure to have a great time getting to know Trinidad better.