Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020 | Issue 31 | Travel & Destination Guide

meppublishers

Discover Trinidad & Tobago is the islands' longest-running and most trusted destination guide, with all the info you need to plan your holiday, vacation, or exploration of the islands. DTT has published 31 issues since 1991, and helps readers discover where to stay, dine, lime, party, and shop; and what to see (including the islands’ best sites) and experience (festivals, arts and culture, sports, and eco escapes), in both islands. There’s also a national calendar of events; info on getting here and getting around; tips for safe and sustainable travel; T&T history and society in a nutshell, maps; and more. For the fifth edition in the row, the magazine features a distinctive dual-cover design, with one cover for each island — a Phagwa or Holi celebrant in Trinidad (photo by Chris Anderson), and dancers at the Tobago Heritage Festival (photo by Alva Viarruel). For more: https://www.discovertnt.com

2020


Editor

Caroline Taylor

Consulting editor

Jeremy Taylor

General manager

Halcyon Salazar

Designer

Kriston Chen

Consulting designer

Kevon Webster

Advertising

Evelyn Chung, Tracy Farrag,

Joanne Pennie, Indra Ramcharan

Editorial & design assistants

Shelly-Ann Inniss, Kristine de Abreu

Production manager

Jacqueline Smith

Finance director

Joanne Mendes

Executive director

Mary Joanna Marsden

A publication of Media & Editorial

Projects Ltd (MEP)

6 Prospect Avenue, Maraval,

Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

T: (868) 622-3821

F: (868) 628-0639

E: discovertnt@meppublishers.com

W: discovertnt.com

Connect with us online:

ISSN 1680-6166

© 2019 Media & Editorial Projects (MEP) Ltd. All

rights reserved. No part of this publication may be

reproduced in any form without the prior written

consent of the publisher.

cover trinidad:

A boy enjoys Phagwa (or Holi)

celebrations. photo: chr i s ander son

cover tobago:

Dancers at the finale of the Tobago

Heritage Festival. photo: alva viarruel


Contents

T&T at a glance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 02

travel basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 03

sustainable tourism tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 03

Getting around t&T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 04

a year in the life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06

trinidad section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 08

maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Tobago section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

maps.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

A digital treasure chest

For even more info, make sure to check out our

website (discovertnt.com), with news and lots more

info from 30 previous issues of Discover Trinidad

& Tobago! You can also download this and past

issues to your favourite mobile device. Just search for

us in your device’s App Store, or on Magzter.com.

discovertnt.com 1


T&T at a glance

116

sq miles

48km

(30mi)

ethnicities

Indian descent 35%

African descent 34%

Mixed 23%

religions

Christian 55%

(22% Roman Catholic)

Hindu 18%

Muslim 5%

urban populations

Port of Spain 37,000

East-West Corridor

(Chaguaramas

to Arima) 600,000

Chaguanas 83,000

San Fernando 34,000

Scarborough 17,000

16km

(10mi)

33km

(21mi)

61k

population

in Tobago

Venezuela

10km

(7mi)

1.4 mil

population

in Trinidad

80km

(50mi)

105km (65mi)

1,864

sq miles

major resources

Oil and natural gas

major services

& industries

Petroleum, natural gas,

petrochemicals, light

manufacturing and assembly,

agriculture, agriprocessing,

tourism, conference and

convention facilities, financial

services, maritime

key indicators (2018)

• GDP per capita approx

US$15,600

• Unemployment rate 4%

• The economy contracted

by 0.2% in 2018, and was

expected to grow by 0.9%

for 2019

2

Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


T ravel basics

Maps and essentials

taxes+tipping

• 10% room tax +

10% service at hotels

• 12.5% value added tax on

most goods and services

• 10% service charge at most restaurants.

Tipping optional but encouraged

driving

Driving is on the left, with seatbelts required

by law. Speed limits vary by areas

(50kph/31mph to 100kph/62mph) —

be attentive to road signs. Visitors can

drive for up to 90 days on a valid foreign

licence.

safety

Take practical precautions when travelling:

note emergency numbers; always

lock your room/house/vehicle (including

windows); don’t wear expensive

jewellery, and conceal/secure valuables;

move in groups where possible; avoid

deserted locations, and be aware of your

surroundings. If driving, buckle up, and

drive defensively.

emergency contacts

• Ambulance

(public hospitals): 811

• Fire Services: 990

• Police Service:

in Trinidad, 999 or 555

in Tobago, 639-2520 or

639-5590

Sustainable tourism tips

• Buy local goods and souvenirs

• Recycle plastic, glass, cans, paper, cardboard,

and e-waste through bins at various locations

• Reduce: turn off electrical devices when you

don’t need them; avoid plastic bags, single-use

plastics, and styrofoam; buy and consume only

what you need; reuse when you can; conserve

water.

[TOP and bOTTOM] courtesy tobAGO tourism AGEnCY

[MIDDle] courtesy magdalena grand

discovertnt.com 3


Getting around in T&T

airport transfers

Authorised taxis operate with a set fares

(displayed in the arrivals area)

taxis

NB: Authorised public taxis have licence plates

beginning with “H” (for “Hire”) and are not

metered, so confirm the fare in advance

private taxis

Available at the airports, through hotels, and apps like DROP

“route taxis” (cars

registered as taxis) and

maxi-taxis (mini-buses

painted with brightly coloured

bands) work specific routes,

picking up and dropping off

passengers along the way

They have designated stands

in Port of Spain, San Fernando,

Chaguanas, Scarborough,

and other main towns

PORT OF SPAIN (POS): POS to Petit Valley

EAST: POS to Sangre Grande

SOUTH: POS to San Fernando

SOUTHWEST: San Fernando into SW

SOUTH: San Fernando to Princes Town

TOBAGO

Port of Spain at dawn

4

Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Maps and essentials

buses

Buses operate from Port of Spain to most

towns, sometimes on an “express” basis,

and from hubs in Arima, Chaguanas, San

Fernando, and Scarborough

ptsc.co.tt

($2–$12) or travel cards must be bought before

boarding. Travel cards are available.

ferries

Inter-island ferry service (Port of Spain–Scarborough): the fastest sailing takes 2.5 hours,

and the longest roughly 5 hours

ttitferry.com

$100 return (adults); $50 (children under 12); free for children

under three and senior citizens (65+); $200 one way/$350 return for adults traveling with a

vehicle

trinidad water taxi

West coast service. Single journeys: 30–45 minutes

nidco.co.tt

$15 (adults). Infants under one and senior citizens (65+) travel free

on off-peak sailings

air bridge

Caribbean Airlines operates

several flights daily

US$48 round trip (roughly 20

minutes each way)

Port of Spain at dusk

[OPPOSITE page; and abOVE] zIAD joseph

discovertnt.com 5


A year in the life

For more on many of

these celebrations, see

our Festivals coverage in

both the Trinidad and

Tobago sections of the

magazine!

January

• 1: New Year's Day

• Carnival season begins

• 24: T&T International

Marathon (Trinidad)

• 25: Chinese New Year

— Year of the Rat

February

• 24–25: J'ouvert; Carnival

Monday; Carnival Tuesday

• Tobago Carnival Regatta

NEW FIRE Festival

March

• 15: Phagwa (Holi)

• Jazz Artists on the Greens

(Trinidad)

• Rally Trinidad

• 30: Spiritual Baptist

Liberation Day —

commemorating the 1951

repeal of the colonial-era

Shouters Prohibition

Ordinance (1917), which

had effectively banned this

Christian/Orisha syncretic

religion

• Turtle nesting season begins

(through September)

April

• 10–13: Easter Weekend

(public holidays Friday and

Monday) — hot cross buns,

horse racing, and Tobago’s

goat and crab races (Mt

Pleasant on Monday and

Buccoo on Tuesday) are

highlights. Look out for the

beating of the Good Friday

Bobolee — an effigy of

Judas Iscariot, representing

politicians, nefarious

characters, and occasionally some

particularly bad ex-boyfriends…

• NEW FIRE Festival (Trinidad)

• Tobago Jazz Experience

• Tobago Fashion Coda

• Jazz Under the Stars (Trinidad)

May

• Bocas Lit Fest —

The Trinidad & Tobago

Literary Festival

• Pt Fortin Borough Day (Trinidad) —

full week of J’ouvert, mas, pan, and

parties leading up the big street

party

• La Divina Pastora (Trinidad)

• Tobago International Game Fishing

Tournament

• Tobago Sea to Sea Marathon

• Ganga Dashara (Trinidad) —

Hindu river festival honouring

the descent of India’s sacred River

Ganges

• European Film Festival (Trinidad)

• May MTB Madness —

Tobago mountain biking event

• North Coast Jazz Festival (Trinidad)

• Africa Film Festival (Trinidad)

• TBC: Eid-ul-Fitr —

marking the end of the holy Muslim

6 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020

Public holiday


Maps and essentials

month of Ramadan, and

celebrated in homes and

mosques

30: Indian Arrival Day

June

• 11: Corpus Christi

• 19: Labour Day —

marked by trade union

marches and gatherings

in Fyzabad, Trinidad

• WeBeat Festival (Trinidad)

• Rainbow Cup International

Triathlon (Tobago)

July

• Tobago Heritage Festival

(Tobago)

• Lidj Yasu Omowale

Emancipation Village opens

(Trinidad)

• Opera Festival (Trinidad)

• Carnival band launch

season begins

• Great Fete weekend (Tobago)

September

• 24: Republic Day —

marks the adoption in 1976 of

a new republican constitution

(in which a President replaced

the Queen of England as the

head of state, and the islands

became a republic within the

Commonwealth), and the first

meeting of the republican

parliament

• trinidad+tobago

film festival (ttff) —

the Caribbean’s second

largest festival devoted to

film, showcasing short and

feature length productions

from the region and its

diaspora, plus industry

workshops and training

sessions

• Trinidad & Tobago

Restaurant Week

• Maracas Open Water Swim

(Trinidad)

December

• 25: Christmas Day

• 26: Boxing Day

• Paramin Parang

Festival (Trinidad)

• Tobago Flying Colours —

annual kite flying festival in

Plymouth

August

• 1: Emancipation Day

• Arima Borough Day (Trinidad)

• Oshun River Festival (Trinidad)

Marked by Orisha devotees

celebrating the goddess of

love, fertility, and inland waters

• Pan on d'Avenue (Trinidad)

• Moruga Heritage Day Festival

(Trinidad)

• Great Race (from Trinidad to

Tobago)

• 31: Independence Day —

commemorates the islands’

independence from Britain in

1962

October

• Tobago International Cycling

Classic

• Ramleela Festival (Trinidad)

• Blue Food Festival (Tobago)

• COCO Dance Festival (Trinidad)

• Steelpan & Jazz Festival

(Trinidad)

• Chinese Arrival Dragon Boat

Festival (Trinidad)

November

• Green Screen: The

Environmental Film Festival

(Trinidad)

• Sailing and surfing seasons

begins (through April)

• TBC: Divali

[OPPOSITE page top] kRISTIne de abREU; [OPPOSITE page middle top and bOTTOM] courtesy tobAGO tourism AGEnCY; [OPPOSITE page middle bOTTOM;

TOP] rapso imaging; [OPPOSITE page bOTTOM] chris anDERSOn; [MIDDle top] courtesy tha; [MIDDle bOTTOM] courtesy coco danCE festival

discovertnt.com 7





Contents

A message from Trinidad Tourism Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Accommodation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Food & dining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Leisure & entertainment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Shopping. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Festivals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Carnival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Tour & explore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Beaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Trinidad's history at a glance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Turtle-watching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Birding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Hiking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Family favourites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Architecture & heritage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 - 69

*Also see National calendar of events; info on getting here and getting around; tips for safe and

sustainable trave, and more: pages 2-6

A digital treasure chest

For even more info, make sure to check out our

website (discovertnt.com), with news and lots more

info from 30 previous issues of Discover Trinidad

& Tobago! You can also download this and past

issues to your favourite mobile device. Just search for

us in your device’s App Store, or on Magzter.com.




14 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Welcome

The Port of Spain skyline peeps through

jhandis at the Temple in the Sea (Waterloo)

So, you’ve made us your

destination of choice and

we couldn’t be happier

Trinidad and Tobago

— one country, two

islands, each offering

a unique and distinctive tourism

experience.

As the energy and financial capital

of the Caribbean, Trinidad has

fast become a vibrant business

hub for meetings, conferences,

sporting and other international

events. This is attributed to an

increase in global demand for

premier meeting and conference

facilities for the hosting of global

interests and sporting events

such as the Commonwealth Youth

Games.

Our conference rooms and

meeting facilities are the largest

in the English-speaking Caribbean,

with international brands like

the Hyatt Regency and the Hilton

Hotel & Conference Centre, which

offer prime meeting real estate

for large scale conferences.

Trinidad is also home to the best

sporting facilities in the Caribbean.

With an international aquatic

centre and cycling velodrome at

the Ato Boldon Stadium (a multisport

facility) and the Brian Lara

Cricket Academy in Tarouba, we

are fast becoming a training

ground for champions and the

sporting mecca of the Caribbean.

Beyond business, the island

offers vibrant nightlife; a yearround

mix of eclectic cultural

events and festivals for your

enjoyment; invigorating eco

adventures; mouth-watering local

cuisine that’s appealing to every

kind of visitor; and of course

Trinidad’s Carnival, the biggest

street party in the world. These

are just some of the unique and

diverse experiences that make us

so distinctive and irresistible.

So, whether you are here for

business, sports, adventure or

pleasure, we promise you an experience

like no other!

— Howard Chin Lee

Chairman, Tourism Trinidad Limited

[ABOVE] chris anDERSOn

discovertnt.com 15


Hacienda Jacana

accommodat ion

Rest and recharge

k

You’ll find something lovely to suit nearly every budget and

preference in Trinidad. All the high-end hotels feature soughtafter

amenities, like top-class restaurants and excellent pool,

gym, business and conference facilities. Hotel rooms average

US$110–$260 a night (considerably higher over Carnival), and

guesthouses $75–$125.

International brands

Several international brands

take pride of place in and around

Port of Spain, and near the

airport. Shimmering against

the waterfront downtown, the

recently upgraded Hyatt Regency

Trinidad offers views of the Gulf of

Paria, a range of dining options,

a roof-top pool, and luxurious onsite

spa. There is a Radisson across

the road, while the Courtyard by

Marriott — situated a little further

west along the coast — is a draw

for business travellers who can

pop into MovieTowne next door.

Further uptown, the also recently

upgraded Hilton Trinidad &

Conference Centre offers its own

stunning views from its perch

above the Queen’s Park Savannah.

Five minutes from the airport,

Trincity Mall, and a world-class

golf course, you’ll find the Holiday

Inn Express & Suites.

16 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020

[abOVE] joanne husain

[OPPOSITE page] COURTESY hyatt regenCY trinidad


Accommodation

Local gems

Hotels

Out west in Chaguaramas, the

Crews Inn Hotel & Yachting Centre

brings you close to nature while

still in striking distance of the

capital. “Down south” in San Fernando,

Tradewinds has both nightly

hotel and monthly residency

options, while the charming

Royal Hotel is located near to San

Fernando Hill, and the Cara Suites

Hotel & Conference Centre overlooks

Claxton Bay. Back up north,

the recently upgraded Normandie

Hotel (St Ann’s) is a boutique hotel

with extensive entertainment

and business facilities. The Kapok

boutique hotel (St Clair, close to

the Savannah) has also benefited

The rooftop pool at the Hyatt Regency

Trinidad overlooks the Gulf of Paria

All rooms and suites are air conditioned and outfitted with modern facilities for your every comfort

including internet access and direct dial telephone. Enjoy a meal at our restaurant which specialises

in a variety of tasty Caribbean and International cuisine, or just sit back and relax at our bar and

lounge or around our swimming pool.

Our new building includes conference facilities as well as an ideal settingfor wedding receptions,

cocktail parties and other special functions. Other facilities include our complimentary gym and

business centre with email and internet access, ideally suited for business or vacation.

We also offer special group and long term rates.

discovertnt.com 17


The Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre

from a recent upgrade and offers a

range of amenities.

Guesthouses & more

If you’re in the market for B&Bs

and self-catering options, visitors

sing the praises of The Allamanda

(Woodbrook); Travel Suites, and

The Inn at 87 (Newtown); Royal

Palm Suite Hotel (Maraval);

Forty Winks Inn (Port of Spain);

Thanna’s Place and Savannah

Maison Guest House (Belmont);

Kiskadee Korner (St Clair);

Culture Crossroads Inn (St James);

Crosswinds Villa Bed & Breakfast

(Santa Cruz); Willard's Bed and

Breakfast (El Dorado); and the

Coblentz Inn, Heritage Inn, and

L’Orchidée Guesthouse (Cascade).

Perched over Port of Spain is

the Paradise Villa (Paramin),

while near the airport are the

18 A beach Discover house Trinidad Blanchisseuse & Tobago 2020

[TOP] courtesy HilTOn TRInidad & ConFEREnCE CenTRE

[BOTTOM] tarique eastman


discovertnt.com 19


Acajou Hotel

Grand Diamond Trinidad, Monte

Cristo Inn, and Piarco Village

Suites. A bit further north is the

Xanadu Tropical Resort (Arouca).

Academic visitors and researchers

will also appreciate the University

Inn at the University of the West

Indies’ campus (St Augustine).

Escapes into nature

Several properties make it their

business to help you see the stars

at night and disconnect from

it all. Head to the stylish Acajou

Hotel eco-retreat in Grande

Rivière to watch giant leatherback

turtles nest (March–September).

Nearby in the northeast are Le

Grand Almandier and Mt Plaisir,

and Anise Resort & Spa (Sans

Souci). Birdwatchers will want

to head to the Asa Wright Nature

Centre (Arima-Blanchisseusse

Road); Petrea Place (Pointeà-Pierre

Wildfowl Trust); and

Hacienda Jacana (Talparo).

Yachts anchored off Chaguaramas

20 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020

[TOP] courtesy acajou hotel

[BOTTOM] RAPSO IMAGIng


Located in one of the most convenient

districts in Port of Spain. Self-contained

rooms and fully equipped studio apts.

Swimming pool. Everything on your on

your doorstep, carnival, cricket, embassies,

a variety of restaurants, stadium, churches.

Quick transportation.

Tel: (868) 622-1480, 628-0050

email: theallamanda@yahoo.com

www.theallamanda.com

61 Carlos Street, Woodbrook,

Port of Spain, Trinidad, W.I.

Welcome to Paradise

ACAJOU is a small, eco-friendly, family-run

hotel situated on the beautiful and dramatic

northern coast of Trinidad. The hotel is built

as a group of traditional cottages nestled in

between the beach, a crystal clear river,

and lush rainforest-covered mountains.

209 Paria Main Road, Grande Riviere, Toco

www.acajoutrinidad.com • info@acajoutrinidad.com

(1-868) 670-3771 or (1-868) 270-8465

Facebook: acajou hotel • Instagram: acajoutrinidad

* Always the right choice *

* Daily & Mthly rates

* Food Court

* Laundromat

* Pool & Jacuzzi

* Doctors’ offices

CLOSE TO:

* QUEENS PARK SAVANNAH

* Banks; supermarket

* Shopping malls

* Beauty salon

* Casino

* Pharmacy

* Spa

7A Saddle Road, Maraval,

Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies

Tel/fax: 1 868 628-5086/9

Email: admin@royalpalm.co.tt

Website: www.royalpalm.co.tt

discovertnt.com 21


food and dining

Blessed and highly flavoured

k

There’s a reason that food tourism is considered a

niche with tremendous growth potential. You won’t

find anything in the region quite like the melting

pot of culinary offerings in Trinidad. The diversity of

influences (Indian, African, Chinese, Syrian-Lebanese,

French, Spanish, Italian, American, and more), together

with the ingenuity and creativity of local chefs to

combine these flavours in unique ways, make for an

irresistible array of richly seasoned dishes and fusions

to explore. Here’s the low-down on Trinidad’s “blessed

and highly flavoured” food scene!

22 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Food and dining

Dining out

At Trinidad’s top restaurants, renowned

chefs serve up delectable

dishes — sometimes traditional,

sometimes daring fusions — in

stylish settings, which range from

sleek and modern new builds, to

architectural gems steeped in

history. Here are some well-loved

places to try.

Creole, international & more

Adam’s (restaurant, bakery and

gourmet shop in Maraval); Chaud

(international fusion, St Ann’s)

and Chaud Café (Woodbrook);

Jaffa at the Oval (international,

Woodbrook); Joseph’s (Lebanese,

Maraval); Kava (international,

St Clair); Lola’s Food Company

(international, Woodbrook); More

Vino (international, Woodbrook);

Paprika Bistro (international, Cocorite);

Prime (steakhouse, Port of

Spain); The Waterfront Restaurant

at the Hyatt (Caribbean/international,

Port of Spain); Trotter’s

(international, St Clair); Town

(international, Woodbrook); Veni

Mangé (Caribbean creole, Woodbrook);

Zanzibar (international,

MovieTowne, Port of Spain).

Mediterranean & European

Aioli (Mediterranean, Maraval);

Angelo’s (Italian, Woodbrook);

Bacco (Italian, San Fernando);

Buzo (Italian, Woodbrook); Krave

(Mediterranean, Marabella); La

Cantina (Italian, Port of Spain);

Rizzoni’s (Italian, Port of Spain);

Taste (tapas, Maraval); and Zazou

(French, Woodbrook).

Asian

Apsara (Indian, Queen’s Park

Savannah); House of Chan (Asian,

Curepe); Himchuli (Asian, El

Socorro); Hakka (Asian fusion,

Woodbrook); Kaizan Sushi (Asian,

MovieTowne, Port of Spain);

Rasam (Indian, Valsayn); Samurai

(Japanese, Woodbrook); Svaada

(Indian, Woodbrook); Tiki Village

(Asian, St Clair); The Meena House

(Indian, St Clair).

Street food, beach food,

& more

These are best served up at more

low-key spots on the roadside, by

the beach, and at creole eateries

in hotspots like St James, Woodbrook,

Curepe, Eddie Hart Grounds

(Tacarigua), Debe (especially for

Indian food), the Queen’s Park

Savannah food court and D’Cross

in San Fernando (both at night),

and Maracas Bay (particularly for

bake-and-fish).

[OPPOSITE page] courtesy T&T RESTAURAnt WEEk (TTRW)

[TOP] courtesy CoconUT growers association (CGA)

discovertnt.com 23


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04 05 06

07 08 09

Here are some favourites you

should try:

1. Buljol: shredded saltfish mixed

with onions, tomatoes and olive oil,

often served with coconut bake

(Courtesy caribbeanpot.com)

2. Bake-and-fish: the tradition

is shark but, for environmental

sustainability, we strongly suggest

substituting flying fish, mahi mahi,

squid/calamari, carite, tilapia, wahoo,

lionfish — or a vegetarian option —

to go with the fried leavened bread

(bake). We promise it will taste just

as good, and be much better for our

ecology! (Courtesy Cooking with Ria)

3. Callaloo: soup made from dasheen

leaves, coconut milk, ochroes, pumpkin,

and sometimes salted meat or crab

(Courtesy Cooking with Ria)

4. Chow: fruit (like mango, pineapple or

plums) pickled in vinegar, salt, and pepper

(Photo: Ariann Thompson/MEP Publishers)

5. Corn soup: a split peas-based soup

with corn and dumplings (Courtesy Foodie Nation)

6. Doubles: soft, fried, flour-and-splitpea

shell (barra) filled with curried chick

peas (Courtesy TDC)

7. Pastelle: seasoned meat, lentils or

soya with olives, capers, and raisins in a

cornmeal casing and steamed in banana

leaves — a Christmas staple

(Photo: Ariann Thompson/MEP Publishers)

8. Pelau: a one-pot dish of browned

rice, pigeon peas, and meat, often

cooked in coconut milk (Courtesy Cooking with Ria)

15A Saddle Rd, Maraval, Trinidad

T: 1 868 62 BAGEL (622 2435) | F: 1 868 622 3487

E: adam@adamsbagels.com

9. Roti: a hefty flour wrap (often with

ground split peas) filled with your choice

of curried vegetables and/or meat.

(Courtesy Cooking with Ria)

24 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


discovertnt.com 25


le isure and enterta inment

De vibes cyah done

k

People come from all over the region not just for Carnival,

but to experience the range of liming, partying, and cultural

offerings you can find across Trinidad — especially around Port

of Spain. Whatever your speed, you’ll find something to feed

your soul or help you set the night on fire.

Liming & partying

To lime is to simply pass time and

enjoy yourself, with your tribe,

in whatever way you like! Trinis

have made this into an art, and

a science — so much so that the

word even appears in the New

Oxford American Dictionary! Each

community has its favourite bars

and haunts, but there are certain

epicentres that inspire pub

crawls and club-hopping for those

with the monetary and energetic

resources: Woodbrook (especially

Ariapita Avenue, or “De Avenue”);

Western Main Road (St James); St

Clair; MovieTowne (Port of Spain,

Chaguanas, and San Fernando);

Trincity Mall; and Grand Bazaar

(Valsayn).

Clubs and lounges

Around Port of Spain: 51° Lounge;

Drink! Lounge & Bistro; HAZE;

Katalyst; Luce; More Vino; Old Havana

Lounge; Paprika Bistro; Oval;

Sails Restaurant & Pub (Chaguaramas);

Siam Nightclub; Smokey &

Bunty’s; Studio Lounge; Trotters;

Tzar; and Vas Lounge

26 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020

[abOVE] COURTESY T&T RESTAURAnt Week (TTRW)


discovertnt.com 27


28 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Leisure and entertainment

Heading east and central: Island

Club Casino (Valsayn); Sandbaggers

(Trincity); Woodford Café

(Chaguanas); and Trevor’s Edge (St

Augustine)

Around San Fernando: Club Next; Hi

RPM; Privé; Royal Princess Casino

(also with branches in Port of

Spain and Chaguanas); and Space

La Nouba.

Liming parlance

“Sex on a pogo stick”. That’s how one

international news outlet infamously

described the Trini accent, listed

by Cnn, MSN Travel and others as

among the world’s sexiest. If you

feel like carrying some of that sex

appeal back home, try out some of

these Trini-isms:

Bacchanal: multi-purpose word

covering any conflict, chaos and

confusion

Bazodee: state of (mostly loveinduced)

disorientation

Doh hu’t yuh head/

doh study it: relax

Ent: “not so?” Used especially for

emphasis … ent?

Maco: noun and verb — to be nosy,

or the person who is!

Steups: a sucking of the teeth — the

equivalent of rolling one’s eyes

Tabanca: acute withdrawal,

especially after a break-up

(or a vacation, or a fete, etc)

Wuz de scene: what’s up? How

are you?

Wine: the national dance, some

might say, which involves moving

mainly the waist and hips.

Vaughnette Bigford

performs at Eat Drink Jazz

Feteing like a boss

From July to Ash Wednesday, the

social calendar is taken over by

literally hundreds of all-inclusive

band launches, parties, and

concerts at stadia, public parks,

and virtually any venue that can

be converted into a festive space

with lots of vibes! There are also

boat cruises like the Harbour

Master that let you fete to your

heart’s content out to sea…

Gillian

Lovelace

17+ years of experience

(868) 793-8032

DMT, LMT

Professional integrated

massages and r e fl e x o l o g y for

relaxation, stress relief and

rejuvenation

• Businesspersons

• Athletes

• Vacationers

• Locals

St. James, POS

Deep Tissue / Sports / Hot Stone / Thai / Medical Cupping / Prenatal, etc.

[abOVE] TRIniscene.COM

discovertnt.com 29


The COCO Dance Festival at Queen's Hall

Creative juices

Performing artists and production

companies, schools, and community

organisations present plays,

musicals, dance shows, and

music performances showcasing

classic and contemporary local

and foreign work. Look for shows

at Queen’s Hall, the National Academy

for Performing Arts (NAPA),

Central Bank Auditorium, Little

Carib Theatre, Trinidad Theatre

Workshop (Port of Spain); the CLR

James Auditorium and University

of the West Indies (UWI) in the

east; and Naparima Bowl and SAPA

(the southern campus of the NAPA)

in San Fernando.

Winding back down

Achy feet? Sore muscles? Need to

recover from working and playing

too hard? Soothe your body and

your spirit with spa and beauty

treatments. Head to havens like

the Hyatt Regency Trinidad’s

Spa Esencia (Port of Spain);

Gillian Lovelace; and The

Face & Body Clinic’s four conveniently

located branches (Port of

Spain, San Fernando, Chaguanas,

and in Tobago).

Gerelle Forbes and Helon Francis perform at

Queen's Hall for Brazil's Independence Day

For something a little different,

look into what might be going

on at the Big Black Box or Alice

Yard (Woodbrook), Rootsyardd (St

Ann’s), Granderson Lab (Belmont),

and the Kaiso Blues Café (Port of

Spain); or gather friends and head

to the CSpot Sip n Paint Studio (St

Clair) or Uncorked (Woodbrook).

Art lovers will also want to see if

there are any shows on (see information

about galleries and artists

on page 26).

30 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020

[TOP] Karen JohnSTOne courtesy the COCO DanCE Festival

[BOTTOM] RAPSO IMAGIng



Limbo soul

Originally performed at wakes, the limbo

dance was popularised by our own Julia

Edwards, a dance pioneer who appeared

in several films (Fire Down Below, 1957) and

toured the world in the 1960s. Another one

of our dance legends, Beryl McBurnie,

founder of the Little Carib Theatre, taught the

legendary American dancer, choreographer

and educator Katherine Dunham ritual

Yoruba chants from Trinidad and dances

such as the bele, the bongo (a dance also

performed at wakes), and kalinda, where

stickfighting opponents dance (carre) in

between exchanging blows.

32 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Leisure and entertainment

Artist Nailah Blackman has been following in the

footsteps of her legendary grandfather — Garfield

"Ras Shorty I" Blackman, the creator of soca music

[abOVE] COURTESY tdc

[OPPOSITE page] courtesy nailah blACkMAn

discovertnt.com 33


shopping

Shopping for

pieces of paradise

k

Whether you’re a local wanting to

support local companies and artisans,

or a visitor wanting to take something

distinctly Trini back home, we’ve got

you covered.

Alcohol and beverages

Think award-winning local rums

(like Angostura 1919); the worldfamous

Angostura Bitters; local

beers like Carib and Stag; and

unusual flavours like 11 Degrees

North sorrel wine.

Art

Look out for work by Edward

Bowen, Leroy Clarke, Chris Cozier,

Ken Crichlow, Jackie Hinkson,

Llanos & Maingot figurines,

Che Lovelace, Shastri Maharaj,

Brianna McCarthy, Wendy Nanan,

Lisa O’Connor, Halcian Pierre,

Ashraph Ramsaran, Shalini

Seereeram, Peter Sheppard,

Irénée Shaw, Sundiata, and

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, to name

but a few; as well as classic work

by the late MP Alladin, Sybil

Atteck, Ralph and Vera Baney, Pat

Bishop, Isaiah Boodhoo, Carlisle

Chang, Boscoe Holder, Dermot

Louison, Noel Vaucrosson, and

19th-century painter Michel-

Jean Cazabon. Art galleries in

Trinidad exhibit both new work

and collections of historical

importance. See: Soft Box Gallery,

the seven galleries of the National

Museum, and spaces like 101

Art Gallery, Alice Yard, Fine Art,

Horizons, Medulla, Studio 66,

among others.

The Art Society of T&T: 622-9827

34 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Shopping

Cocoa & chocolate

Indulge that sweet (or bitter!)

tooth with some of the awardwinning

cocoa and chocolate

the islands produce. Trinitario,

the variety of cocoa developed

in Trinidad, is used by French

luxury chocolate manufacturer

Valrhona, and many others. Try

products from Brasso Seco, Biche,

Cacique, Cocobel, Cush Machel

Montano, Gran Couva, Ortinola

Great House, Sun Eaters, and the

Trinidad & Tobago Fine Cocoa

Company.

Fashion

Check out the work of The Cloth,

Bene Caribe, Christian Boucaud,

CLD, Ecliff Elie, Adrian Foster,

House of Jaipur, Heather Jones,

K2K, Lisa Faye, Loud by Afiya,

the Lush Kingdom, Meiling,

Millhouse, Claudia Pegus, Rebel,

Shop Shari, Tropix, and the

Wadada Movement.

Foodie favourites

If you’ve fallen in love with our

food, then pastelles, roti skins,

seasonings, spices, pepper sauces,

and chutneys are things that you

might want to load up on. For the

brave, try the Trinidad Moruga

Scorpion Pepper (once ranked

as the world’s hottest pepper by

the Guinness Book of Records). And

for pepper and pimento sauces,

Bertie’s is considered among

the best. Also look out for Twigs

Natural teas; CGA flavoured

coconut oils; and Karibbean

Flavours’ many offerings.

pieces from Chris Anderson,

Gillian Bishop, Cocoa Vintage,

Janice Derrick, Akilah Jaramogi,

Rachel Rochford, Rachel Ross,

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, and

others who create breath-taking,

hand-crafted jewellery in

precious metals and stones.

Literature

You’ll find both classic and

contemporary local and regional

books at shops like Paper Based

(St Ann’s) and the Nigel R Khan

and RIK Trinidad Book World

chains. Look out for works

(spanning fiction, plays, poetry,

local history, culture, and the

Jewellery

You can’t go wrong with beautiful

[OPPOSITE page] kRISTIne de abREU; [abOVE] RAPSO IMAGIng

discovertnt.com 35


environment) by Nobel laureates

VS Naipaul and Derek Walcott,

plus Claire Adam, Andre Alexis,

Michael Anthony, Gerard Besson,

Lloyd Best, Angelo Bissessarsingh,

Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, Dionne

Brand, Aarti Gosein, Kevin

Jared Hosein, Barbara Jenkins,

CLR James, Oonya Kempadoo,

Julian Kenny, John La Rose, Earl

Lovelace, Ian MacDonald, Sharon

Millar, Maria Nunes, Elizabeth

Nunez, Shivanee Ramlochan,

Judy Raymond, Monique Roffey,

Sam Selvon, Amanda Smyth,

and former prime minister Eric

Williams. A handful of companies

produce books and magazines,

including Paria Publishing and

MEP (our publishers, who also

produce magazines like Caribbean

Beat, Parkite Sports, and books of

Caribbean interest under book

imprint Prospect Press).

Music & steelpans

Steelpans are a popular takeaway,

from the miniatures

available at souvenir shops to a

full-fledged tenor pan (contact

Pan Trinbago, pantrinbago.co.tt).

So are albums by local musicians.

There are countless recordings

by calypso and soca greats;

celebrated steelbands; as well

as from fusion bands 12theband,

Canada-based Kobo Town,

Freetown Collective, and jointpop;

the Indo-Caribbean music of

Mungal Patasar & Pantar; the

Orisha songs of Ella Andall; the

rapso of 3canal and Ataklan; the

jazz stylings of Etienne Charles,

Vaughnette Bigford and Candice

Alcantara; the folk music of Signal

36 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Shopping

Hill Alumni Choir, and the seasonal

choral music, both local and

international, by the Marionettes

Chorale . . . just to name a few.

The Shopping Hubs

The Malls

Enjoy the air-conditioned

comfort of one of the major malls

— The Falls at West Mall, and Long

Circular Mall (Port of Spain);

Trincity Mall; C3 Centre, South

Park and Gulf City malls (San

Fernando), or Centre Pointe and

Centre City malls (Chaguanas).

Or visit the many plazas like

Ellerslie Plaza (Maraval), Price

Plaza (Chaguanas), MovieTowne

Mall (Port of Spain); the sprawling

City of Grand Bazaar (Valsayn); or

a variety of specialty shops and

markets.

Specialty shops & markets

The Market Shops at the

Normandie (St Ann’s) have a

wonderful selection, and host

outfits like the beloved Paper

Based Bookshop. The Green Market

Santa Cruz offers fresh local

produce, meals, artisanal items

and more each Saturday morning.

And if this is your speed, you’ll

also want to visit Rootsyardd in St

Ann’s, and pop-up markets like

those organised by Upmarket,

Bits & Pieces, and Planting

Seeds. For the best locally grown

produce, check out where the

NAMDEVCO markets will be each

week (National Agricultural

Marketing & Development

Corporation, namdevco.com).

Seasonally, around Carnival and

Emancipation Day, the Queen’s

Park Savannah hosts a number

of vendors selling local and

international art, craft, and

fashion.

Downtown

Bargain-hunters make a beeline

for Frederick and Charlotte

streets (Port of Spain); High St

(San Fernando); and Main St

(Chaguanas).

The Falls at West Mall

Green Market Santa Cruz

[TOP] kRISTIne de abREU

[bOTTOM] chris anDERSOn

discovertnt.com 37


Community cricket in the Queen's Park Savannah

sports

The agony and the ecstasy

k

Athletics

The island has a long history of

excelling at athletics. Local and

international stars meet in action

at the annual Hampton Games.

National Association of Athletics

Administrations: 679-3276

hometown athletic heroes

Ato Boldon: four-time Olympic medallist (2

silver, 2 bronze for 100m and 200m, 1996 and

2000), and 200m World Championship gold

medallist (1997). Now a commentator with NBC

in the US

Hasely Crawford: nation’s first Olympic gold

medallist, winning men’s 100m (1976)

Keshorn Walcott: two-time Olympic

medallist (gold in 2012, bronze in 2016). He’s

the youngest male athlete (and the first black

one) to win a gold medal in javelin; the first

individual track and field athlete ever to win

World Junior and Olympic titles in the same

year; and he holds the North, Central American

and Caribbean junior record.

Cricket

The Queen’s Park Oval (Port of

Spain) and Brian Lara Cricket

Academy (Tarouba) are the focal

points for Twenty20, one-day, and

Test matches — including West

Indies and Caribbean Premier

League series.

T&T Cricket Board: ttcb.co.tt

Brian Lara is former cricket star

and is the world record holder for

the highest test match score (400

not out, 2004) and highest first

class score (501 not out, 1994).

Cycling &

Mountain Biking

The Easter International Grand

Prix and National Championships

are highlights of the racing

calendar. A world-class National

Cycling Velodrome (Couva)

opened in 2016; the Arima


Sports

Velodrome is another focal

point. Mountain bikers head to

Chaguaramas, Santa Cruz, and the

northern range.

T&T Cycling Federation: 679-8823

Football (soccer)

T&T was the smallest nation to

qualify for the World Cup finals

(2006) — until Iceland in 2017. The

Hasely Crawford (Port of Spain),

Manny Ramjohn (Marabella),

Larry Gomes (Arima), Ato Boldon

(Couva), and Marvin Lee stadia

are the main venues. T&T Football

Federation (TTFF): 623-9500

Swimming & Aquatics

A world-class National Aquatics

Centre opened in 2016, intended

to be a hub for water polo,

swimming, and diving. Public

swimming pools are also located

in Port of Spain (Flying Fish),

Olympic gold medallist

Keshorn Walcott

Tunapuna (Centre of

Excellence), St Joseph

(La Joya), Diego Martin,

San Fernando (Cocoyea),

Couva, and Siparia.

Amateur Swimming

Association: 643-2813

Tennis

The National Tennis

Centre (Tacarigua)

opened in 2016, while

there are public courts

at Nelson Mandela Park

(St Clair), and courts for

hourly rental at the Country Club

(Maraval) and some hotels.

T&T Tennis Association: 625-3030

George Bovell

III is the nation’s

first Olympic

medallist in

swimming

(2004 bronze in

200m individual

medley), and won

several other

international

medals.

learn more

For additional info on Trinidad’s sporting

scene — basketball, bodybuilding,

hashing, hockey, horse racing, kayaking,

martial arts, netball, sport fishing,

sailing, surfing, yoga, and more —

visit our website at discovertnt.com;

the Sporting Company of T&T

(sportt-tt.com); and the T&T Olympic

Committee (ttoc.org).

[OPPOSITE PAGE] zIAD joseph

[TOP and middle] RAPSO IMAGIng

[bOTTOM] CHRIS anDERSOn

discovertnt.com 39


Hosay

We remember.

fest i vals

And we celebrate

k

Bocas Lit Fest

The five-day Trinidad & Tobago

Literary Festival brings together

readers, writers, poets, and

publishers from the Caribbean

diaspora each April/May for book

launches, discussions, performances,

readings, workshops, and

the presentation of annual prizes

for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

Outreach events continue through

the year, both at home and at

overseas book festivals, as do nonaffiliated

book launches, readings

and lectures.

bocaslitfest.com

Emancipation

The public holiday is celebrated

on 1 August to commemorate the

honouring the ancestors

During the course of the year, several

smaller festivals honour African traditions

in Trinidad: the Obatala Festival

(Woodbrook in January); Ancestral

Egungun Festival (Febeau Village,

San Juan in February); Yoruba

Village Drum Festival (Port of

Spain in June); and the Oshun River

Festival (Salybia in August).

end of slavery in the British colonies

(1838). Enjoy art exhibitions,

lectures, performances, religious

observances, and trade shows. The

Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation

Village at the Queen’s Park Savannah

is the centre of the activities.

40 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020

[TOP; opposite page bOTTOM] lISA fernanDEz

[OPPOSITE page top] courtesy emanCIPATIOn support committee

[OPPOSITE page middle] Ariann THOMPSOn/MEP publISHERS


Festivals

There are two significant street

parades: the Emancipation Day

Parade on 1 August, and the

Emancipation Steelband Street

Parade on the first Saturday in August

(Laventille Steelband Festival

Foundation, Eastern Main Road).

Emancipation Support Committee:

628-5008

Hosay

This Trinidadian incarnation of

Islamic Muharram observances

takes place over three nights (Flag

Night, Small Hosay, Big Hosay). The

Flambeux at Emancipation celebrations

La Divina Pastora

The Hindu Ganga Dhara Festival

festival commemorates the martyrdom

of Hussain (the Prophet

Muhammad’s grandson, from

whom the festival’s name comes),

and the later murder of his brother

Hassan. In a lively procession

on the final day, ornate tadjahs

(replicas of Hussain’s tomb) are

first carried through the street,

then cast into the sea. St James is

perhaps the most popular venue

for observances,

but festivities also

take place in Cedros,

Couva, Curepe, and

Tunapuna. The date

varies each year

according to the

moon.

Indian Arrival

Day

This national public

holiday (30 May)

commemorates the

arrival of the first

indentured labourers

from India on

the Fatel Razack

in 1845. More than

140,000 Indians

were recruited over

the next 70 years to

tassa+chutney

Tassa is a drum-driven

music central to the

Muslim festival of Hosay,

but the drums are fused

with other musical forms

and celebrations yearround.

Chutney is born of

Hindi folk songs and

instrumentation (like

the sitar and dholak

drums). There’s also a

hybrid with soca (called,

you guessed it, chutney

soca!).

work Trinidad’s plantations after

Emancipation (1838). Communities

re-enact the arrival of this

first group on beaches around the

country. There are also awards ceremonies;

cultural shows and performances;

religious services; and

more. The Divali Nagar site just

outside Chaguanas hosts many of

the key celebrations.

National Council of Indian Culture:

671-6242

discovertnt.com 41


Phagwa (Holi)

The Santa Rosa First Peoples

perform a special smoke ceremony

La Divina Pastora

& Siparee Mai

In a church of the same name

in Siparia stands a dark-skinned

statue of the Virgin Mary as La

Divina Pastora (the Divine Shepherdess).

Many miracles have been

attributed to her by ardent devotees.

For her feast day (the third

Sunday after Easter), the “Miracle

Mother” is decorated by Catholics

with flowers, dressed in white, and

processed through the streets, followed

by celebrations open to all.

On the Thursday night and Friday

before Easter, Hindu pilgrims visit

the church with acts of devotion

— recognising her as Siparee Mai

(mother of Siparia), Durga, and

Lakshmi. Most of all, she is just

“mother”. The church welcomes all

wishing to pay their respects.

Phagwa (Holi)

Each March, the Hindu community

recognises the beginning of

the Indian spring and the Hindu

New Year in a joyful explosion of

colour. Participants — Hindus and

non-Hindus alike — spray each

other with different shades of the

vegetable dye, abir. The Aranguez

Savannah is a popular venue

for this celebration of birth and

renewal.

Ramleela and Divali

Ramleela is a nine-day, outdoor festival

dramatising the life of Rama,

with colourful costumes … and an

explosive finale! The best-known

productions are held in Couva and

Felicity. Soon after, Hindus honour

Mother Lakshmi — goddess of

light, beauty, riches, and love —

and commemorate the return of

Lord Rama from exile. The beautiful

flickering deyas, which are

lit across the country by Hindus

and non-Hindus alike for Divali

(a public holiday), illuminate his

path. Dates are set according to the

moon. Many events are held at the

Divali Nagar site near Chaguanas.

Santa Rosa Festival and First

People’s Heritage Week

With origins in both Trinidad’s

First Peoples and Catholic traditions,

the Santa Rosa Festival in

Arima commemorates the death

of Santa Rosa de Lima, the Roman

Catholic patron saint of the “New

World”. It begins with the firing of

a cannon on 1 August from Calvary

Hill, and ends with a procession on

the Sunday following the feast day

of Santa Rosa (23 August). A statue

of the saint is carried through the

42 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020

[TOP] zIAD joseph; [bOTTOM] maria nunES


Festivals

streets by members of the island’s

Santa Rosa First Peoples Community

(led by the Carib Queen),

alongside Roman Catholics. Other

observances include sharing traditional

Amerindian foods, cultural

and spiritual rituals and commemorations,

as well as church

services. In October, the Community

celebrates First Peoples Heritage

Week across the country, which

includes academic conferences,

ritual smoke and water ceremonies,

street processions, and other

events recognising and celebrating

the island’s First Peoples. 664-1897

trinidad & tobago film

festival (ttff)

Now the second largest of its kind

in the region, the ttff showcases a

range of dramatic, documentary,

short, and animated films from

or about Trinidad & Tobago, the

Caribbean, and the diaspora. It

also hosts educational initiatives

and development programmes,

plus community film screenings

all year long. ttfilmfestival.com

Deyas at Divali

Los Alumnos de San Juan singing parang

Film buffs will want to keep their

eyes peeled for the Africa Film

Festival and European Film

Festival, which typically happen

in May.

The Marionettes perform

at Queen's Hall

the sounds of christmas

Parang is Trinidad’s Christmas music, with

origins in Venezuela, and featuring instruments

like the cuatro, box bass, and maracas, and lyrics

usually sung in Spanish. Head to Paramin for the

Parang Festival each December. Choral and

singing groups — the Marionettes Chorale, QED,

the Lydians, the Love Movement, Southernaires,

and more — take centre stage at this time

of year, offering up Christmas shows that are

traditions for many; while calypsonians and soca

parang stalwarts Scrunter, Crazy, Kenny J, and

Relator also sing the strains of the season.

[TOP] Ariann THOMPSOn/MEP publISHERS

[MIDDle] courtesy triniscene.COM

[bOTTOM] courtesy bUTCH & allan lIMCHOY

discovertnt.com 43


Carnival

Though Carnival culminates on the

Monday and Tuesday before Lent,

it would be a mistake to think of it

as anything but a season . . . the limits

of which are increasingly up for

debate! You could think of it like a

large, multi-course buffet, where

you could try to enjoy every dish

and every course (and possibly

burst), or put together the perfect

plate for your palate. So there’s no

right or wrong way to experience

Trinidad Carnival. To think of it

that way would be to defy its very

origins — an impulse to throw off

all ideas about propriety, moderation,

conformity or regimentation

in favour a of a sublime catharsis

that you can only know when you

feel it. It is your time. To do what

Canboulay Riots Re-Enactment

you want. At your pace. With your

agenda. And with your stage to

“play yuhself”!

Fete after fete

Long before the traditional cultural

components of Carnival take

prominence, there are fetes. Lots

and lots of fetes. From the band

launches that begin in July to the

fetes that take you into J’ouvert.

Exodus at the Panorama Finals

After Christmas, things get serious.

And you are faced with some serious

decisions. What sort of vibe do

you want? Day-into-night fetes?

Night-into-morning breakfast

fetes? Upscale, all-inclusive fetes?

Or lower-key, budget friendly

cooler fetes (where you can bring/

buy your food and drinks)? Which

acts do you want to see? All these

questions will determine your fete

calendar. You’ll want to look out

for some of the most popular ones:

Hyatt Lime, Soaka, Army, Tribe,

Fete with the Saints, Beach House,

Soca Brainwash, Kairi People’s

Different, AM Bush, Fatima All-

Inclusive, PREStige, Black to Blue,

Jam Nation, Breakfast Is, Vale Vibe,

Bacchanal Road, Soca in Moka,

Veni Mangé, Bayview . . . to name

just a handful among hundreds!

The best in show

There are a handful of vintage

calypso tents where you can see

calypsonians sharpening their

44 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Festivals

barbs, but also a range of calypso

competitions highlighting the

range of the artform. Stars like

Machel Montano, KES, and Nadia

Batson headline their own shows.

And there’s Carnival theatre like

3canal’s annual Carnival show and

the Canboulay Riots Re-enactment

(staged the Friday morning before

Carnival on the streets at the Piccadilly

Greens, commemorating

the 1881 Carnival-time uprising

against British colonial authorities).

On the Friday night before

Carnival, the Soca Monarch final

is a combination of party and

competition, featuring some of

the best soca artists in the region.

And Champs in Concert features all

the winners in a show just after

Carnival.

Those after the traditional aspects

of Carnival won’t want to

miss events like the Traditional

Mas Competition (the Wednesday

before Carnival); The Old Yard

(UWI Creative Arts, St Augustine,

two Sundays before Carnival);

Stickfighting Finals (typically

Wednesday before Carnival down

south); the Dragon Festival (Port of

K2K Alliance & Partners

A moko jumbie from the band Krick Krack

Spain, Carnival Friday); the Moko

Somōkōw band launch (Granderson

Lab); and the Carnival Kings

and Queens costume competition.

The Junior Carnival Parade (Port of

Spain, Carnival Saturday) features

some of the best designs of the

season.

And of course, there is Paramin. As

the sun sets on Carnival Monday

evening, the annual blue devil

competition pits fearsome devils

against each other at Fatima Junction.

They swarm the streets and

the hillsides dancing, chanting,

beating their biscuit tins, blowing

their whistles, and demanding

payment from spectators: “pay

de devil!” Just remember, this is a

performance . . .

[OPPOSITE page TOP] marcus anTOIne

[OPPOSITE page BOTTOM; top] RAPSO IMAGIng

[bOTTOM] courtesy K2k AllIAnCE & PARTnERS

discovertnt.com 45


Kiddies Carnival

46 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Festivals

Music to make you feel better

For some, Carnival is pan. Full stop.

Steelpan aficionados hit the panyards

of their favourite steelbands

for weeks as they practise for the

Panorama semi-finals (two Sundays

before Carnival) and Panorama

finals (Carnival Saturday). Those

successfully adjudicated on site

early in the season advance to the

semi-finals at the Queen’s Park

Savannah two weeks before Carnival.

The panyard crawl to visit each

band as it’s being adjudicated at the

preliminary round is a special kind

of vigil for the pan faithful. Real

pan lovers will be in the Grand

Stand for semis and finals, or on

the drag/track that leads to the

Savannah stage — bands practise

and fine-tune as they go.

J’ouvert mornin’ come

For some, it’s pan. For others, it’s

J’ouvert that is the centrepiece of

their Carnival. At 4am on Carnival

Monday, the “reign of the Merry

Monarch” begins as thousands of

people gyrate through the streets,

disguised in the trappings of

“dutty mas” — oil, grease, paint,

mud, cocoa, clay, old clothes, or

provocative costumes delivering

stinging socio-political commentary.

Traditional bands feature

characters like jab jabs, blue devils,

bats, and more.

J'ouvert on the Savannah stage

Blue Devil mas

Carnival Tuesday

Let nobody stop us as we dance this dance

Celebrating this spirit of our existence

As each footstep makes music every voice must chant, with love:

Awake, warriors awake—J’ouvert morning come

— Ella Andall

[OPPOSITE page] jason audain

[THIS page] RAPSO IMAGIng

discovertnt.com 47


A masquerader with K2K Alliance & Partners — overall Band of

the Year for 2019, and multiple Medium Band of the Year winners

48 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Festivals

Taking over the streets

Chances are, you know how this

all ends on Carnival Monday and

Tuesday: thousands have filled

the streets of Port of Spain (and

other towns across the country)

from as early as 7am, en route to

the Queen’s Park Savannah or Socadrome

stages. Many are dressed

in full costume — some in flashy

BBF (bikinis, beads, and feathers)

bands, some as traditional characters,

some in inspired fusions

of the traditional and the fashionforward.

Others are out to spectate,

and “take a jump” with a passing

band. The most tireless will go till

after the sun goes down . . . then

hobble to work (or the beach) come

Ash Wednesday. Though neither

day is an official public holiday (the

islands have 14 official ones), as

famed calypsonian Lord Kitchener

once sang: “de road make to walk

on Carnival day…”

learn more

Check out our website at discovertnt.

com for a range of Carnival information

— its origins and history, how a

steel pan is made, and a calendar

of events. For schedules and info,

visit the websites of the National

Carnival Commission (ncctt.org),

Pan Trinbago (pantrinbago.co.tt),

and the National Carnival Bands

Association (ncbatt.com).

[abOVE] RAPSO IMAGIng

discovertnt.com 49


tour and explore

Many worlds in one:

an island like no other

k

Mountains. Beaches. Waterfalls. Historical sites. Rivers.

This is an island with range. To say that nowhere else

in the Caribbean is like Trinidad is not hyperbole — the

island’s unique environment combines a South American

continental legacy with Caribbean island features.

Tropical rainforest cloaks the north, central, and

southern mountain ranges, from which waterfalls and

rivers cascade. There are brackish mangrove swamps;

sprawling savannahs; and coasts that meet four distinct

bodies of water. Coral reefs are found off the northwest

and northeast coasts, and have produced the arid islands

off Chaguaramas.

The distinctive road through Paramin at sunset

50 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Tour and explore

[bACkGROUnd image] ADRIAN BERNARD

discovertnt.com 51


The river meets the Caribbean sea at magical Grande Rivière

Beach break

Distinct from the prototypical

Caribbean beaches, Trinidad’s

are more rugged and dramatic,

but still beloved by locals and

nature-loving visitors. Turtles

nest on the north and east coasts

in season (March–September), so

please don’t drive, party, or light

fires on these beaches. Here are

some of our most popular bays, in

alphabetical order by coast. NB:

Swim with caution on both the

north and eastern coasts.

The north coast

Blanchisseuse: the waters are

rough along this long stretch of

beach, but there are hiking trails,

and good kayaking in the nearby

Marianne River. Surfing is good

November–April

Grande Rivière: the second largest

leatherback turtle nesting

ground in the world. Good for

river bathing and kayaking, as

well as hikes into the forest.

Perfect for a weekend eco escape.

Accessed via Toco

52 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Las Cuevas: this long, sheltered,

looping beach is calmer and

better for swimming than most

on the north coast, especially

at the eastern end. There are

caves and the convenience of an

on-site snack bar, bathroom and

changing facilities, parking, and

lifeguards on duty

Macqueripe Bay: a small and calm

bay in Chaguaramas, great for

swimming and snorkelling, with a

car park — and a zip-lining course

overhead! Entrance fee

Maracas Bay: Trinidad’s most

popular beach — great food, good

stretch of sand, lifeguards, and

gas station nearby

Paria Bay: pristine spot, accessible

only by boat or via hiking trail

from Blanchisseusse

Tyrico Bay: close to Maracas’

amenities, but a calmer, smaller,

quieter alternative.

[banner] michaela arjoon

discovertnt.com 53


The east coast

Balandra Bay: sheltered and good

for swimming

Manzanilla: bordered by the

distinctive “Cocal” (coconut forest).

Facilities and lifeguards in specific

areas

Mayaro: glorious stretch of beach

— the longest in the island. Shells

of “chip chip”, like clam shells,

protect small oceanic organisms.

A popular weekend getaway spot

Salybia Bay: popular for surfing

(November–April). There’s a fringing

reef offshore.

The south & southwest coasts

Columbus & Cedros Bays: stunning

and pristine bays in quiet

fishing villages on the southwestern

coast, with views of Venezuela

on a clear day. Cedros has the widest

beach on the island at low tide

Mayaro

Quinam Beach: probably the most

popular beach on the south coast,

good for swimming (though the

beach disappears at high tide).

There are amenities, lifeguards,

and trails into the woods.

Trinidad history

at a glance

c 15,000–1,000 BC: : island part

of South America; settled by First

Peoples (Source: Parish Beat, by Sister

Marie Therese)

54 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Tour and explore

Icacos

1498: Christopher Columbus

lands in Trinidad on 31 July,

claims island for Spanish and

names it after Catholic Holy

Trinity (Source: Everett Historical/

Shutterstock.com)

1699: First Peoples rebel against

Capuchin missionaries (Arena

Uprising)

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1757: Spanish governor moves

capital to Port of Spain from St

Joseph (Source: Stark's Guidebook and

History, by James Stark)

[OPPOSITE page] adrian bernard

[above] courtesy coconUT growers association (CGA)

discovertnt.com 55


Turtle-watching

A leatherback turtle returns to the sea at Grande Rivière

Each year between March and

September (sometimes longer),

you can see turtles nesting across

the region. Nesting females return

to the shores on which they were

born each year, assiduously digging

their nests before laying their

eggs, camouflaging the area, and

returning to the open sea.

Six to eight weeks later, the

hatchlings emerge and scamper

through the sand to the shoreline.

Peak season for seeing hatchlings

is June–August. The females that

survive to maturity will make the

long trek back, to begin the cycle

anew. Though they come ashore

in greatest numbers late at night

— and especially during the full

moon — they also come ashore in

the day.

Witnessing these rituals is a profoundly

moving experience.

A baby hawksbill turtle near Grand Tacarib

Beaches of global importance

As the second largest leatherback

nesting site in the world,

Trinidad receives more than 6,000

leatherback turtles (each up to

1783: Spanish governor Chacón’s

Cedula de Población entices

Catholic white and free coloured

settlers to Trinidad with land

incentives; rapid capitalisation

begin (Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1797: Trinidad captured by Sir

Ralph Abercromby’s British fleet

(Source: Morphart Creations/

Shutterstock.com)

1806: first Chinese workers arrive

(Source: Charles Kingsley)

56 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Tour and explore

2,000lb) annually. The best places

to see them are at Matura and

Grande Rivière (where you can see

up to 50 a night, and even be lucky

enough to spot the endangered

blue-throated piping-guan or pawi

bird).

T&T is home to five of the seven

species of sea turtles found globally

— the vulnerable leatherback

and olive ridley; the endangered

green and loggerhead; and the critically

endangered hawksbill. The

leatherback, hawksbill, and green

turtle nest on beaches, while the

loggerhead and olive ridley are

occasionally sighted at sea. The

turtles, their eggs, and their hatchlings

are all vulnerable and legally

protected.

plan your trip

Conservation efforts in Matura

and Grande Rivière require that

permits be acquired to visit nesting

sites. These can be arranged

through authorised tour guides

(Nature Seekers: natureseekers.

org, 668-7337; and Grande

Rivière Nature Tour Guide

Association: 670-4257/469-1288),

local accommodation, or directly at

Forestry Division offices.

Make sure to:

• keep disturbances to a minimum

(including noise and movement)

— do not touch nesting turtles or

hatchlings

• use only infrared lights, and no

flash photography

• refrain from driving, setting fires,

or littering on nesting beaches.

Green turtle

1816: six companies of free

blacks from the United States

(mainly Baptist) settle in

southern Trinidad

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1834–8: slavery abolished in

the British Empire, leading

to apprenticeship (1834) then

emancipation (1838)

(CourtesyT&T National Archive)

1834–1917: indentured labour

brought to Trinidad from other

islands, China, Portugal, Syria,

Lebanon, and India

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

[OPPOSITE page TOP] bREnDAn delzin/SHUTTERSTOCk.COM

[OPPOSITE page BOTTOM] CHRIS ANDERSON; [abOVE] RAPSO IMAGIng

discovertnt.com 57


Especially for

birders . . .

A hepatic tanager

Orange-bellied trogons

Asa Wright Nature Centre

Arima Valley

This 1,500-acre sanctuary is

among the oldest in the Caribbean.

The main centre and guesthouse

are located on a former cocoacoffee-citrus

plantation. Open

9am–5pm for day visits, with

guided walks (1.5hrs) at 10:30am

and 1:30pm. There are numerous

waterfalls and caves nearby, and

an overnight stay gives you the

chance to see rare oilbirds.

Reservations required:

asawright.org, 667-4655. Entrance fee

Winston Nanan

Caroni Bird Sanctuary

A must on every birder’s list,

these are the protected breeding

grounds of the national bird, the

scarlet ibis. Most boat tours leave

at 4pm. Mangrove channels create

a dramatic backdrop for the 100

species of birds that make their

home here alongside snakes (boas)

in trees, crabs, snails, and more. At

dusk, the sky is filled with streaks

of red as hundreds of scarlet ibis

return to roost in trees on an

1881: Canboulay Riots

(Photo: RAPSO Imaging)

1884: Hosay Riots

(Courtesy Angelo Bissessarsingh)

1889-98: Tobago annexed to

Trinidad

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

58 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Tour and explore

A yellow-hooded blackbird

island in the middle of the swamp.

caronibirdsanctuary.com, 755-7826

Yerette, Home of

the Hummingbird

Maracas, St Joseph

Here, you’ll spend an intimate

couple of hours at the home of

Theo and Gloria Ferguson. Dozens

of hummingbirds — up to 15 species

— flit by, some a few inches

away, as they sip from feeders and

flowers. Theo is a knowledgeable

host, with a slide show about the

tiny acrobats, and a beautiful collection

of photos for sale.

yerettett.com, 663-2623

Nariva Swamp &

Bush Bush Sanctuary

Bush Bush is a protected island

within Nariva Swamp, the

largest freshwater wetland in

the Caribbean. Here you’ll find

capuchin and red howler monkeys,

blue and gold macaws, and toucans.

Boating and kayaking are only

possible in the rainy season. It’s

imperative to go with a tour guide

who will arrange permits from the

Forestry Division.

Pointe-à-Pierre

Wildfowl Trust

An oasis of ponds surrounded by

green forest, set within the sprawling

grounds of an oil refinery

complex, this magical Trust works

to reintroduce endangered wetland

birds to their natural habitat. It’s

home to rare ducks, scarlet ibis, blue

and gold macaws, and many more.

An on-site learning centre houses

a small First Peoples museum, and

there is a full-service guesthouse.

Advance bookings required:

papwildfowltrust.org,

658-4200 ext 2512

birding boon

Trinidad is blessed with over 400

recorded bird species — among the

top 10 countries in the world for species

per square mile, most of which are

easily accessible. Peak birding season is

November–May.

1903: Water Riots in Port of Spain

(Courtesy Angelo Bissessarsingh)

1908: commercial oil production

begins in southern Trinidad

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1914: first calypso recorded

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

[OPPOSITE page TOP] courtesy tDC

[OPPOSITE page BOTTOM; Top] RAPSO IMAGIng

discovertnt.com 59


Three Pools

For hikers &

eco-adventurers

These are some of the island’s

most popular hikes, listed alphabetically.

Those marked “intense”

should be tackled by advanced

hikers only. Go with a reputable

guide, and remember that old

saying: take nothing but pictures,

leave nothing but footprints.

Edith Falls

Chaguaramas

A 30–40 minute hike to a

76m/250ft waterfall. Gentle

El Tucuche

Northern Range

Trinidad’s second tallest mountain.

A gruelling hike to the summit

(in fact, there are two peaks!)

takes 2–4 hours via Hobal Trace in

Maracas Valley.

Very Intense

Fondes Amandes

St Ann's

The Community Reforestation

Project provides forest tours that

range from quick and gentle to

more intermediate

Guanapo Gorge

Northern Range

Roughly 2.5–3 hours of forest,

river, and gorge trekking.

Intermediate

Madamas Bay

North Coast

It’ll take you roughly 3 hours from

Matelot or 5 hours from Blanchisseuse.

A beach, river, waterfall,

and turtles (in season) await.

Intense

Maracas Falls

Northern Range

30–45 minute trek; Trinidad’s tallest

waterfall (91m/299ft). Gentle

Mt Tamana Bat Caves

Central Range

A roughly 90-minute hike to the

limestone cave systems that massive

colonies of bats — thousands

from 12 different species — call

home. Each evening before dusk,

they depart the caverns en masse.

Intermediate

1925: first national elections

(limited franchise)

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1935-41: first steelpans emerge

in Laventille

(Source: VP Photography/Worthing/

Shutterstock.com)

1937: labour strikes led in

southern Trinidad by Tubal

Uriah “Buzz” Butler

(Courtesy T&T Ministry of Communications)

60 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Polka-dot tree frog

Tour and explore

Paria Bay

North Coast

It’ll take you roughly 2 hours from

Blanchisseuse to Turtle Rock then

Cathedral Rock/Paria Arch. A

pristine white sand beach, turtles

(in season), and nearby waterfall

are your reward. Also accessible

via Brasso Seco. Intermediate

Saut d’Eau

North Coast

A 3-hour, downhill trek from

Paramin brings you to the secluded

beachfront. Gather your

strength, because the ascent back

up will test your mettle! Intense

Rio Seco Falls

Salybia

Part of the Matura National Park,

a 45–60 minute hike brings you to

the falls, and a natural swimming

pool. Gentle

Turure Water Steps

Cumaca

After about 60 minutes, you’ll

be bathing in the pools at these

unique natural limestone “steps”.

Intermediate

bioblitz!

With a dizzying degree of biodiversity per

square mile, thousands of species call these

habitats home.

• Amphibians: 30+ species

• Birds: 400+ species (more than any other

Caribbean island)

• Butterflies: 600+ species

• Fish: 400+ marine species and 40+

freshwater species

• Flowers: 2,100+ flowering plant species

(almost 200 orchids)

• Mammals: 100+ recorded species (over

60 of them bats)

• Reptiles: 90+ species (including 40+

species of snake and 5 marine turtle

species, among them the endangered giant

leatherback)

• Trees: 370 species of trees (including native

purpleheart, mora, and crappo).

1940: national airline British

West Indies Airways (BWIA)

commences operations

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1941: Chaguaramas peninsula

leased to United States for 99

years (Courtesy Bridget Brereton)

1945: public emergence of

steelbands (V Day celebrations);

universal suffrage implemented

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

[OPPOSITE PAGE] kEVIn sammy

[bACkGROUnd IMAGE] chris anDERSOn

discovertnt.com 61


Perfect for families

Angostura Museum &

Barcant Butterfly Collection

Port of Spain

The Barcant Butterfly Collection,

the only one of its kind in the region,

comprises more than 5,000

specimens (700 species, including

the blue emperor) in a re-created

tropical forest. Children will love

it. Angostura acquired the collection

in 1974, and it has been at

the company’s compound since.

You can book a tram tour of the

Angostura factory, introducing

you to the company’s history and

making of their world-famous bitters

and celebrated rums.

Tours (two hours) are 9:30am &

1:30pm, Monday–Friday; advance

booking required: 623-1841

Chaguaramas National

Heritage Park

Just 20 minutes from Port of

Spain, hikers, bikers, explorers,

bird watchers, hashers, archers,

and golfers all have their place in

“Chag”.

chaguaramas.com, 225-4232

In lush Tucker Valley, some favourite

treks include the Covigne

River trail, which passes through

nutmeg groves and along a

tributary of the Cuesa River uphill

through a gorge before ending at a

waterfall with a plunge pool. Edith

Falls is located in an abandoned

cocoa estate nestled against the

eastern side of Morne Catherine

and overlooking the golf course.

A fairly gentle hike, you will hear

red howler monkeys in the forest

canopy along the trail.

Going Down-the-islands (or DDI)

means enjoying a getaway at one

of several offshore islands, either

at a holiday home or by mooring in

one of the bays. There are the Five

Islands (including Nelson Island,

where Indian immigrants were

once quarantined when they arrived

by boat); the Diego Islands;

Gaspar Grande; Gasparillo Island

(aka Centipede); Monos; Huevos;

and Chacachacare (which was once

a leper colony, and has saltwater

ponds, ruins, and a still-functioning

lighthouse). These islands

were originally the ceremonial

grounds of the First Peoples. On

1951: repeal of ordinance

prohibiting activities of Spiritual

“Shouter” Baptist faith

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1956: islands become selfgoverning

parliamentary

democracy

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1958: islands join Federation of

West Indies

(Courtesy: T&T National Archive)

62 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Tour and explore

Gaspar Grande, the jetty at

Point Baleine was once a whaling

station. This is the home of

the underground Gasparee caves’

stalagmites and Blue Grotto, with

its “sunroof”.

More recent additions to the

Chaguaramas landscape, all

popular with families, include

the ZIP-ITT’s seven zip-lines in

Tucker Valley (one passes over

Macqueripe Bay) and five canopy

walks or net bridges; the Boardwalk

along the beachfront; the

Five Islands Waterpark; and the

Safari Eco Park.

Fort George

Port of Spain

Built in 1804, this “virgin fort”

(which never saw military action)

offers a magnificent panoramic

view from 335m/1,100ft; its

original cannon and part of the

dungeon remain. On a clear day,

you can see to south Trinidad, and

west to Venezuela.

Open 10am–6pm

Lopinot Historical Complex

Lopinot (near Arouca) was

Fort George

originally developed as a cocoa

estate by a French count who

arrived in Trinidad in 1800 after

fleeing the Haitian Revolution. It

still maintains its distinctive mix

of European, African, East Indian,

and First Peoples heritage, and at

Christmas time the area comes

alive with parang and pastelles.

Year-round, visitors come for river

limes, bird-watching, hiking to

the nearby caves, dining at Café

Mariposa, and weekend retreats

(there’s a guesthouse on site). A

museum comprises the former

tapia estate house, prison, and

slave quarters. Legend has it that

on stormy nights under the full

moon, the Compte de Lopinot

appears, galloping across the

savannah on a black horse. Just

a ghost story, right? Well, Ghost

Hunters International reported

in 2011 that they’d found more

1960: Trinidad campus of

University of the West Indies

(UWI) established

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1962: islands leave Federation,

gain independence from Britain;

Dr Eric Williams, leading People’s

National Movement (PNM)

becomes first prime minister

(Courtesy T&T Ministry of Communications)

1963: Chaguaramas returned to

Trinidadian control

(Courtesy Bridget Brereton)

[abOVE] adrian bernard

discovertnt.com 63


evidence of paranormal activity

here than anywhere else in the

world . . .

Mount St Benedict

Peace and rejuvenation await at

the Caribbean’s oldest Benedictine

monastery. Its 600 acres are

perched 245m (800ft) above the

Central plains in Tunapuna,

offering stunning views, walking

and hiking trails, bird-watching

from the terraces, a tea house,

delicious yoghurt made by the

monks, and holy masses. There is

a guesthouse on site.

Pitch Lake

La Brea

One of the three largest natural

deposits of asphalt in the world,

it’s deceptively boring to look at.

Estimated to contain 10 million

tonnes of asphalt, and spanning

109 acres, pools which form on the

surface after rain showers contain

high levels of sulphur, which

are good for the skin and joints.

Artefacts from the First Peoples,

for whom the lake was sacred, have

been unearthed here; some can

be viewed at the museum in the

visitor centre. 651-1232

Queen’s Park Savannah

Port of Spain

This 260-acre park holds a very

special place in the Trini heart.

Originally part of the Peschier

family’s Paradise Estate, the

Caribbean’s oldest recreation

ground — and reported to be the

world’s largest roundabout at

approximately 3.5km/2.2 miles

— was converted into a city park

in 1817, and is popular for sports,

recreation, and picnics.

On its northern side, you will find

the Emperor Valley Zoo, founded

in 1947 (zstt.org, 622-5344) and the

Botanical Gardens (established

1820), which has one of the

oldest collections in the western

hemisphere. On the southeastern

side is Memorial Park and the iconic

National Academy for the Performing

Arts (NAPA). Next door is the

National Museum & Art Gallery.

And on its northwestern side are

the “Magnificent Seven” (see the

“For history & architecture buffs”

section on page 58).

1970: “Black Power” uprising

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1974: Garfield Blackman (Ras

Shorty I) releases first soca

album

1976: islands become a republic

in the Commonwealth

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

64 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Tour and explore

Pitch Lake

San Fernando Hill

Once a sacred site for the First

Peoples, the hill rises above the

hubbub of industry below, offering

views of the city, the southwest

peninsula and — on a clear day —

up the west coast to Port of Spain,

and the mountains of eastern

Venezuela. It was saved from

further scarring from quarrying

by being declared a National Park

in 1980. Open daily, 9am–6pm

Valencia eco-resort

This is a 10-acre estate with

hundreds of fruit trees and flocks

of birds and butterflies. Enjoy

several sports, fish for tilapia in

the pond, cook in an outdoor carat

shed, or take a cool dip in the river

(or the large swimming pool).

Also in the mix: peacocks, geese,

parrots, guinea fowls, ducks,

tortoises, rabbits, and monkeys.

valenciaecoresort.com

1981: George Chambers (PNM)

becomes prime minister (Courtesy

T&T Ministry of Communications)

1983: low oil prices cripple local

economy

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1986: National Alliance for

Reconstruction (NAR) unseats

PNM in national elections;

Tobagonian ANR Robinson

becomes prime minister

(Courtesy T&T Ministry of Communications)

[bACkGROUnd image; and top] RAPSO IMAGIng

discovertnt.com 65


Especially for

history and

architecture buffs . . .

Cathedral of the

Immaculate Conception

Port of Spain

Recently refurbished and standing

at the eastern end of the Brian

Lara Promenade downtown, this

Catholic cathedral was built between

1816 and 1832. Designated as

a minor basilica, one of its most

distinctive features is its stainedglass

windows, which depict

Trinidad’s history.

Hanuman Murti &

Dattatreya Yoga Centre

Carapachaima

Donated by an Indian swami, this

26m/85ft statue of Hanuman (the

Hindu monkey god of strength)

is reputed to be the tallest of

its kind outside India. It towers

above the adjoining yoga centre.

Holy Rosary Church

Port of Spain

Also undergoing restoration

works, this Gothic revival Catholic

church near the eastern end

of Park Street dates back to 1866.

Like the Cathedral downtown, its

stained glass is absolutely stunning.

The “Magnificent Seven”

Port of Spain

These colonial-era homes along

the northwestern side of the

Queen’s Park Savannah are in

varying degrees of repair and

use, with diverse histories and

ownership. From south to north:

Queen’s Royal College (1904, boys’

secondary school); Hayes Court

(1910, Anglican Bishop’s residence);

Milles Fleurs (1904); Roomor

(private home); the Roman Catholic

Archbishop’s residence (1903);

Whitehall (1907); and Killarney or

Stollmeyer’s Castle (1904), which

have both benefitted from recent

and beautiful restoration work.

Temple in the Sea

Waterloo

Forbidden by colonial officials

to build a Hindu temple on land,

Siewdass Sadhu tirelessly built

his “floating mandir” some

150m (500ft) out into the Gulf of

Paria instead. He laboured for 25

years, but sea erosion prevented

1990: attempted coup by Jamaat

al Muslimeen

(Courtesy T&T Express Newspaper)

1995: coalition government — the

United National Congress (UNC)

and NAR — unseats the PNM;

Basdeo Panday becomes first

prime minister of East Indian

descent (Courtesy Parliament of T&T)

2007: Caribbean Airlines

replaces BWIA as national

carrier; record oil prices fuel

economic boom

(Courtesy Caribbean Airlines)

66 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Tour and explore

Killarney (also known as Stollmeyer's Castle)

2010: UNC-led coalition ousts

PNM at national elections under

first female prime minister,

Kamla Persad-Bissessar

(Courtesy Parliament of T&T)

2015: oil prices crash, causing

economic slowdown; PNM,

under Tobagonian Dr Keith

Rowley, wins general elections

(Courtesy Parliament of T&T)

2018: Paula-Mae Weeks becomes

the country’s first female

president; country inches back

toward economic growth

(Courtesy Parliament of T&T)

[abOVE] zIAD joseph

discovertnt.com 67


him from completing it before

his death. In 1994, the government

completed it for the 150th

anniversary of the arrival of the

island’s first Indian indentured

immigrants. The temple itself at

the caretaker’s discretion.

Woodford Square

Port of Spain

Several distinct buildings overlook

historic Woodford Square.

Completed in 1818 in the Gothic

revival style, with its hammerbeam

roof made of local wood, is

the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy

Trinity. The Hall of Justice lies to

the north; the Old Fire Station and

National Library (originally built

in 1897, then refurbished and integrated

into the new Library) to

the west, across the road from the

Red House (originally built in 1844,

formerly the seat of Parliament,

but currently being restored —

work has been slowed by the discovery

of First Peoples remains

and artefacts dating to 430–1400

AD); and the remains of the razed

Greyfriars Church to the east.

Zoology Museum

Port of Spain

Based at the University of the

West Indies, the zoological

specimens here include the

Banwari Man — the human

skeleton found lying in a

crouched burial position in

1969, and the oldest evidence of

human activity on Caribbean

soil. Banwari Trace, where it

was found, has yielded artefacts

belonging to the Ortoiroid people,

dating back to 5,000 BC.

662-2002 x 82231

68 Hayes Discover Court Trinidad & Tobago 2020

[lEFT] RAPSO IMAGIng


discovertnt.com 69


Map of

Trinidad

MAP KEY

Maracas

Bay

Tyrico Bay

Gas station

Airport

Highway

Bird watching

Swamp

Major roadway

Huevos

Monos

Chacachacare

Scotland

Bay

Gaspar

Grande

Macqueripe

Bay

Chaguaramas

Diego Martin

PORT OF SPAIN

Paramin

Santa Cruz

Morvant

St.

Joseph

Barataria

San Juan

El Socorro

Curepe

Tunapu

Caroni Bird

Sanctuary

Jerningham

Junction

P

C

Chaguanas

Longde

g u l f

of paria

Waterloo

Carapichaima

Freeport

Pt Lisas

Couva

California

Gran

Couva

Pitch

Lake

La

Brea

SAN FERNANDO

St Mary’s

Claxton

Bay

Pointe-à-

Pierre

Vistabella

Gasparillo

Tortu

Ste Madeleine

Princes

Town

Vessigny

Mon Desir

Oropuche

Lagoon

Debe

Barrackpore

Granville

Pt Fortin

Cap De

Ville

Fyzabad

Siparia

Penal

Cedros

San Francique

Palo Seco

Los

Bajos

Icacos Pt

Icacos

Erin Bay

Quinam

Bay

70 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


caribbean sea

Grande Riviere

Las Cuevas

Matelot

Blanchisseuse

Toco

Salybia

Bay

Redhead

Galera Pt

Maps and essentials

Brasso Seco

Rampanalgas

Lopinot

Asa Wright

Nature Centre

Hollis Reservoir

Salybia

Balandra Bay

Saline (Sally) Bay

na

Tacarigua

Arouca

Arima

Valencia

Matura

Matura Bay

iarco

San Rafael

Cumuto

Guaico

Sangre

Grande

unupia

Cunaripa

nville

ga

Todds

Road

Brasso

Piparo

Talparo

Tabaquite

Caroni-Arena

Reservoir

Navet

Dam

Coryal

Biche

Nariva Swamp

and Bush-Bush

Sanctuary

Manzanilla

Manzanilla Bay

a t l a n t i c

ocean

Busy Corner

New Grant

Tableland

Indian

Walk

Devil’s

Woodyard

Poole

Rio Claro

St Joseph

Mayaro

Mayaro Bay

Basse Terre

Guayaguayare

Rushville

Galeota Point

Moruga

columbus channel

discovertnt.com 71


Licensing Office

Ellerslie Park

Link

St James

Medical

Complex

Coronation

Mathura

Carlton Ave

Audrey Jeffers Highway

Luckput St

Romeo St

George Cabral

Ranjit Kumar St

Angelina

Quamina

Church St

Salazar St

Lazare St

Bay Rd

Pujadas St

MovieTowne

Patna St

Kathleen St Delhi St

Bournes Rd

Brunton Rd

western main rd

Finland

Dengue St

Anderson St

Vidale St

Mooneram St

Bombay St

Kandahar St

Calcutta St

Fatima Sports

Grounds

Long Circular

Mall

Madras St

Panka St Hyderabad

Clarence St

Weekes St

Woodbrook

Cemetery

mucurapo rd

Nizam St

Henry

Hasely Crawford

Stadium

Nepaul St

Pierre St

Jean Pierre

Complex

Arga St

Bengal St

Cawnpore St

Gaston

Johnston St

Benares St

Belle Smythe

Barbados Rd

St James

Police Barracks

Lucknow St

Taylor St

Hamilton Holder St

One

Woodbrook

Place

Digicel

IMAX

Hamilton St

St Lucia St

Hunter St

Brabant St

Kelly Kenny St

Damian St

De Verteuil

St

O’Connor

Dennis Mahabir St

Petra St

Trinidad Crescent

Petra St

Antigua

Drive

Grenada

Dominica

Nevis Ave

Jamaica

Blvd

St Mary’s

Sports Grounds

Ana St

Gallus St

Pole Carew St

Serpentine Rd

Rapsey St

St Kitts Ave

St Vincent

Nelson

Mandela Park

Broome St

Gallus St

Havelock St

ariapita avenue

Ana St

Alberto St

Alberto St

Rosalino St

Siegert

Sq

Rosalino St

Luis St

Luis St

Adam

Smith

Sq

Carlos St

John S Donaldson

Technical Institute

Scott St

Queen’s

Park Oval

Alfredo St

wrightson rd

Roberts St

Alfredo St

Murray St

Ellerslie

Plaza

Scott St

Flood St

St Clair

Medical

Carlos St

Fitt St

Valot St

Serpentine Rd

Jackson

Sq

Hayes St

Sweet Briar Rd

tragarete rd

Murray St

Cornelio St

William St

Pr

Queen

Royal Co

Alcazar S

Rust St

Herbert

Baden Powell St

French St

Methu

Mc Donald

Cruise Ship

Complex

72

Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Cascade

Maps and essentials

Cotton

Hill

ada St

Magnificent Seven

Maraval Rd

Lady Chancellor Rd

Botanical

• Gardens

Emperor

Valley Zoo

Prime Minister’s

Residence &

Diplomatic Centre

President’s

House

Nook Ave

La Fantasie

Queen’s

Hall

Coblentz Ave

Hilton Hotel

Lady Young Rd

Belmont Circular

Palmiste St

Map of

Portof

Spain

MAP KEY

Police Station

Medical Facility

Shopping

Major roadway

Gas Station

• Places of interest

Main roads

Secondary roads

’s

llege

Queen’s Park

Savannah

queen’s park east

Cadiz Rd

Archer St

Erthig Rd

TAXI STANDS

Ariapita Avenue/Chaguaramas/Carenage

Cascade

Maraval

t

St

Maraval Rd

Kitchener

en St

St

Marli St

Warner St

Picton St

Gatacre St

Buller St

Woodford St

Fire Station

International

Waterfront

Centre

Albion St

Stanmore Ave

Lapeyrouse

Cemetery

Sackville St

Flament St

Stone St

Cipriani Blvd

Scott Bushe St

Victoria

Ave

Phillips St

Victoria

Sq

Shine St

Charles St

Sackville St

Dere St

Melville

London St

Borde St

Fraser St

Park St

Melbourne St

Government

Campus Plaza

Water Taxi

queen’s park west

Dundonald St

Richmond St

Edward St

Chancery Lane

• • Memorial

NAPA National Park

Museum

St Vincent

Keate St

Gordon St

New St

Oxford St

Abercromby St

• •

Hall of Justice City Hall

• Woodford

Red House Sq

Pembroke St

Duke St

Hart St

National

Library

Knox St

Chacon St

Frederick St

Henry St

Queen St

Jerningham Ave

Port of Spain

General Hospital

Norfolk St

Prince St

Charlotte St

Observatory

Piccadilly

independence sq/brian lara promenade

Cocorite

St Anns/St James/Queens Park Savannah

Belmont

Diego Martin/Petit Valley

Wrightson Rd/Long Circular

Chaguanas/San Fernando

Curepe-Tunapuna/Arima/Sangre Grande

San Juan

Chaguaramas

POS General Hospital

South Quay

Terminus/City

Gate

discovertnt.com 73


Maracas

Bay

Tyrico

Bay

Las Cuevas

Bay

Chupara Pt

Las Cuevas

La Fillete Pt

La Fillete

north Coast Rd

Yarra Bay

Blanchisseuse

caribbean sea

Blanchisseuse

Bay

Paria Bay

Grand

Grand Madamas Bay

Tacaribe Bay

Paria

Matelot Pt

north Coast Rd

Madamas

Santa Cruz

Rincon

El Tucuche (936m)

Maracas Falls

Asa Wright

Nature Centre

Sombasson

Brasso Seco

El Cerro del Aripo

(941m)

n o r t h e r n r

Cumaca

maracas royal rd

Barataria

saddle rd

El Socorro

San

Juan

St Joseph

eastern main rd

University of

the West Indies

Valsayn

St Augustine

Tunapuna

Curepe

La Veronica

Mt St Benedict

Monastery

caura royal rd

La Pastora

Caura

Lopinot

Trinicity

Mall

lopinot rd

Tacarigua

Arouca

Dunston

Cave

Cleaver

Woods

NGC National

Science Centre

arima-blanchisseuse rd

D’Abadie

La Laja

heights of guanapo rd

ARIMA

Santa Rosa Race Tracks

Guanapo

Gorge

Aripo

aripo rd

Hollis Reservoir

Turure

Water

Steps

Valencia

Wallerfield

Cumaca

San Fernando Sangre Grande

74 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Maps and essentials

north

west

Matelot Bay

Matelot

paria main rd

Grande

Riviere Bay

Grande

Riviere

Sans Souci

Toco

Salybia Bay

Galera

Pt

north

east

Cumana

Cumana Bay

a n g e

Rampanalgas

Matura

Rio Seco

Salybia

toco main rd

Matura

Bay

Saline Bay

Balandra

a t l a n t i c

ocean

MAP KEY (applies to both maps)

Police Station Gas Station

Turtle Nesting Bird Watching

Shopping Centre Golf Course

Lighthouse Scuba Diving

Surfing

Swamp

Fort

Waterfall

Caves • Places of interest

Highway

Major roadway

Sangre Grande & East

Coast

discovertnt.com 75


Port of Spain

saddle rd

lady

young rd

San Juan

maracas

valley rd

Hollis Reservoir

caura rd

Tunapuna

Valencia

El Socorro

Grand

Bazaar

Valsayn

Curepe

Valpark Shopping

Plaza

Trincity

Mall

Arouca

Caroni

Piarco

lopinot rd

Churchill-Roosevelt Highway

toco

eastern main rd

Caroni Swamp and

Bird Sanctuary

St Helena

Piarco

International

Airport

San Rafael

Cumuto

Cunaripa

sangre

grande

Uriah Butler Highway

Divali

Nagar

Cunupia

caroni

Caroni-Arena Dam

& Reservoir

32

Temple in

the Sea

California

Pt Lisas

Industrial

Estate

Claxton Bay

Waterloo

Couva

Pointe-à-Pierre

Hanuman

Murti

St. Mary’s

southern main rd

Chase Village

Potteries

Carapichaima

southern main rd

Brechin

Castle

Pointe-à-Pierre

Wildfowl Trust

Chaguanas

Friendship Hall

Freeport

Tortuga

Chicklands

couva main rd

Mayo

Gran

Couva

Longdenville

La Vega

Garden Centre

Pepper Village

Monsterrat Hills

tabaquite rd

Todd’s Rd

Piparo

Flanagin

Town

Brasso

Tabaquite

Mundo Nuevo

Brasso

Venado

Tabaquite

Tunnel

Talparo

talparo rd

Brickfield

c e n t r a l r a n g e

Navet Dam

& Reservoir

Tamana

Bat Caves

cunapo southern rd

Cuche

Navet

Killdeer

River

Biche

Navet

River

plum

san fernando

Marabella

Williamsville

San Fernando

Reform

St Madeleine

Bargain

Indian Walk

moruga rd

New Grant

New

Grant

Rio Claro

rio claro

guayaguyare rd

naparima m

Princes

Town

Devil’s Woodyard

south

gulf of paria

Vessigny

Pitch Lake

Mon Desir

Granville

Chatham

North

Pt Fortin

southern trunk rd

Columbus

Bay

Fullarton

Icacos

Cedros Bay

Bonasse

Chatham

South

erin rd

Erin Pt

Erin (San

Francique)

Los Iros

Palo

76 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


central

Maps and essentials

main rd

Upper Manzanilla

Manzanilla Pt

Plum Mitan

Lower Manzanilla

mitan

rd

Brigand Hill

Lighthouse

Nariva

River

the cocol

manzanilla-mayaro rd

Nariva Swamp &

Bush Bush Wildlife

MAP KEY (applies to both maps)

Pt. Radix

Police station

Gas station

Airport

Bird watching

ayaro rd

Mayaro

Shopping centre Caves

Lighthouse

Food available

Lifeguard

Swamp

Fort • Place of interest

Highway

Major roadway

solomon

hochoy

highway

rio claro

tabaquite

cunapo rd

Nariva

Swamp

Fyzabad

Seco

Pointe-à-Pierre

SAN FERNANDO

La Romaine

Oropouche Lagoon

san fernandosiparia-erin

rd

Quinam

Banwari Trace

Siparia

St Madeleine

Debe

Penal

Wild Fowl Trust

Naparima Rd

Barrackpore

Morne

Diablo

Princes

Town

rock rd

La Lune

Indian Walk

Sixth Company

Basse Terre

Third Company

Tableland

Devil’s Woodyard

Mud Volcano

Moruga

Rio Claro

naparima-mayaro rd

Ortoire

River

Trinity Hills Wildlife

Sanctuary & Reserve

Trinity Hills

Guayaguayare

Mayaro

mayaro-guayaguayare rd

Mayaro

Bay

Galeota Pt

Guayaguayare Bay


beyond ordinary...

...Explore the extraordinary Caribbean island.

Unspoilt, untouched, undiscovered Tobago

TobagoBeyond.com | #101ReasonsTobago




Contents

Welcome message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

Where to stay, rest & relax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

Food & dining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

Leisure & entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

Bars & clubs

Live shows

Shopping

Culture, history & festivals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

tobago's history at a glance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

Historical sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

The mountains & the sea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

For birders & naturalists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Waterfall treks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

Our favourite beaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

Turtle-watching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118

Diving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

More ocean adventures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

Maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

*Also see National calendar of events; info on getting here and getting around; tips for safe and

sustainable trave, and more: pages 2-6

A digital treasure chest

For even more info, make sure to check out our

website (discovertnt.com), with news and lots

more info from 30 previous issues of Discover

Trinidad & Tobago! You can also download

this and past issues to your favourite mobile

device. Just search for us in your device’s App

Store, or on Magzter.com.

[bACkGROUnd IMAGE] COURTESY tobAGO tourism AGEncy


82 Lorem Discover ipsum dolor sit Trinidad amet, consectetur & Tobago adipiscing elit, 2020 sed do


Welcome

Destination Tobago —

unspoilt, untouched &

undiscovered!

Welcome to Destination Tobago

— an island treasure with more

than 101 amazing reasons to

enjoy this ideal vacation escape.

Voted among the top 50 islands

in the world and the number one

eco-destination at the 2019 Caribbean

Travel Awards, no travel bucket list

can be complete without a visit to

our tropical paradise. If you’re here

already, you've definitely made the

right choice.

We invite you to blissfully detach

from the hustle and bustle of life

as you enter our world, endowed

with spectacular natural wonders,

breathtaking landscapes, alluring

cultural attractions and festivities,

historic relics, delectable cuisine, and

the warmth and friendliness of our

people.

For the eco-enthusiasts, Tobago

features rich biodiversity. Spend

some time identifying various species

of flora and fauna in the Tobago

Main Ridge Forest Reserve that has

been named the Caribbean Nature

Park of the Year in the Caribbean

Journal’s Green Caribbean Awards

2019. You can also journey to Little

Tobago to witness phenomenal sea

bird colonies, or have a thrilling

encounter swimming with

bioluminescent plankton in the Bon

Accord Lagoon. If you are up to the

challenge, we dare you to visit our

more than 25 beaches, which feature

wide expanses of pristine waters and

an array of marine life.

Tobago’s social diversity is on

display throughout the year. From

community Harvest celebrations

and Buccoo’s Sunday School Street

Lime, to the Tobago Jazz Experience,

Tobago Carnival, Tobago Heritage

Festival, Blue Food Festival, Dragon

Boat Festival, Tobago Masters

Football Tournament, International

Sea to Sea Marathon, and the Tobago

International Cycling Classic. There

are endless activities for every

appetite.

And, should you simply wish to

immerse yourself in the island’s

history, take a trip to the picturesque

Fort King George Heritage Park and

visit our recently launched Icons of

Tobago Museum, the Tobago Historic

Museum, or witness Tobago’s

historical legacy come alive with

dramatic re-enactments at the

monthly Interactive Museum.

So, whether your interest is in

seas and beaches; eco adventure and

nature; culture, heritage and people;

or romance and weddings, come and

enjoy an experience of a lifetime in

Tobago . . . the Caribbean destination

that is beyond ordinary.

— Councillor Nadine Stewart-Phillips

Secretary of Tourism, Culture & Transportation,

The Tobago House of Assembly

[bACkGROUnd IMAGE] COURTESY tobAGO tourism AGEncy

discovertnt.com 83


accommodat ion

Rest and recharge

k

With lovely options on offer, where you stay in

Tobago depends on what you’re looking for in your

Tobago escape. Luxury or budget? Ocean or mountain

view? Beach or infinity pool? Villa or hotel room?

Room service or self-catering? Retreat or resort?

Guesthouses average US$60–$80, and hotels and

resorts US$125–$275. If you happen to be looking to

buy your own piece of paradise, check out premier

agents like Caribbean Estates, Lands & Villas and

Island Investments.

Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort

84 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


The Villas at Stonehaven

Accommodation

The hub: Tobago’s southwest

Around Crown Point

If you base yourself near Crown

Point, most everything is close by.

Check out the lovely Kariwak

Holistic Haven (for yoga, natural

living, and absolutely delicious

food); the rejuvenating Silk Cotton

Holiday Home & Wellness Centre;

the luxurious Tomas Villa (perfect

for large groups); the all-inclusive

Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort; the

intimate Sunspree Resort (with

pool, restaurant, and bar); the

self-catering Bananaquit Apartments

and Belleviste Apartments;

and the Coco Reef Resort & Spa

(all-inclusive). East of Crown Point,

the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf

Resort offers all-inclusive options

with extensive amenities.

Along the Caribbean coast

Within striking distance of Crown

Point, but far enough away that

you begin to feel you’re escaping

the hustle and bustle, are some

[OPPOSITE page] courtesy magdalena grand

[TOP] chris anDERSOn

discovertnt.com 85


Trying for the catch of the day in a bay

beyond the Coco Reef Resort & Spa

gems along the Caribbean coast,

where leatherback turtles come

ashore each March–August. You’ll

find great options around Black

Rock — the beautiful and luxurious

Plantation Beach Villas, with direct

access to Stonehaven Bay; the

Seahorse Inn; the all-inclusive

Starfish Tobago by Rex Resorts (formerly

Turtle Beach Resort, right

on Great Courland Bay); Birdie’s

Nest, and Hibiscus Heights; while

the opulent, full-service Villas at

Stonehaven are perched on a hill

with magnificent ocean views and

lovely landscaped grounds. Miller’s

Guest House (Buccoo) and the Mt

Irvine Bay Resort are also popular

options.

Even closer to nature

Nature lovers escape to properties

like Castara Retreats, and

Naturalist Beach Resort (Castara);

86 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020

[TOP] CHRIS anDERSOn


R ESORT

L T D

R ESORT

L T D

discovertnt.com 87


Quiet, cosy rooms

just minutes from the beach.

Delicious breakfast, lunch, and

dinner served with love every day.

Live jazz on Friday & Saturday nights.

Massages available by appointment.

Daily drop-in yoga classes.

Relax... Rejuvenate... Reconnect.

Come home to yourself...

Comehome to Kariwak.

www.kariwak.com

info@kariwak.com

868 639 8442

@kariwakvillage

pampering

If you’re having a fairly active

vacation, or just really need to

melt away the stress, don’t miss

the opportunity to indulge in spa

and beauty treatments. Head to

the French Secrets Spa (Mt

Irvine Bay Hotel), The Face &

Body Clinic (Magdalena Grand),

and Kariwak (Crown Point).

Cuffie River Nature Resort (Runnemede);

Adventure Eco Villas, Villa

Being, and Top o’ Tobago (Arnos

Vale); and Footprints Eco Resort

(Culloden). Speyside, in the northeast,

is ideal for divers and birders,

who’ll have easy access to Little

Tobago. Popular spots include

Blue Waters Inn and Top Rankin

Guesthouse.

88 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Accommodation

A walk along the dramatic Atlantic coastline

at the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort

[abOVE] courtesy magdalena grand

discovertnt.com 89


90 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do


Accommodation

the sunset strip

Properties facing Tobago's

Caribbean coast — like Plantation

Beach Villas, the Starfish, and

the Villas at Stonehaven — enjoy

absolutely breathtaking sunsets.

You can watch the sun slowly dip

under the horizon — evening

cocktail optional!

[AbOVE] alVA VIARRUEl

discovertnt.com 91


food and dining

Delectable dining

k

Tobago’s best fine dining restaurants pair delectable

food — local, international, and fusion — with

ambience and charm. Many are set in locations

steeped in history (shells of colonial water-wheels,

sugar mills, and plantation houses), or take advantage

of spectacular mountainside views or refreshing

seaside perches. There’s also great eating at bars,

beaches, roadsides, and hotel developments.

Make sure to try distinctive local favourites like craband-dumpling;

“blue food” (ground provisions);

fresh fish (mahi mahi is among the most sustainably

caught); oil down (breadfruit and salted meat are the

main ingredients); coconut bake (often served with

saltfish buljol); and a multitude of sweets (benne

balls, toolom, paw-paw balls, tamarind balls,

sugar cake, cashew cake, and cassava pone). Try

condiments like chows and chutneys, and wash it all

down with freshly squeezed local juices.

A Tobago staple: curried crab and dumpling

92 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Food and dining

Roasted pork

Red snapper

Popular places to dine

Look out for the restaurants at

Anchor Bar & Grill (Mt Irvine);

Kariwak (local, Crown Point); the

Magdalena Grand (international,

Lowlands); the Pavilion Restaurant

(international cuisine, Black

Rock); Scoops Dessert Café

(Crown Point); the Seahorse

Inn, Restaurant & Bar (local &

international, Black Rock); Oasis

Salad Bar & Café (Scarborough);

Z’s Grill Shack (international,

Black Rock); Caribbean Kitchen

(Caribbean, Castara); Ciao Café

(Italian, Scarborough); Edge of

the Reef (international, Black

Rock); the Fish Pot (Caribbean/

international, Pleasant Prospect);

Jemma’s Seaview Kitchen

(Caribbean creole, Speyside);

Coo-coo and callaloo

T HE S EAHORSE I NN

Restaurant & Bar

BEACH SIDE DINING AT ITS BEST

Dasheen san couche

Grafton Beach Road, Black Rock, Tobago

Tel: (868) 639-0686

seahorseinntobago@gmail.com

www.seahorsetobago.com

Lobster

[all images] courtesy tobAGO tourism AGEnCY

discovertnt.com 93


Z’s Grill Shack

Experience the Caribbean

love & taste in the kitchen

Z's Grill Shack brings New and old

traditional Caribbean cuisine with fresh

herbs and spices mixed with love in the

kitchen.

Call/WhatsApp: 1 868 362 2605

For Reservations or Orders

for Pick Up’s

Pleasant Prospect

Black Rock, Tobago.

94 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Food and dining

La Tartaruga (Italian, Buccoo);

the Salsa Kitchen (tapas,

Scarborough); Mesoreen Café

Bistro (Caribbean, Bon Accord);

Shore Things Café (Caribbean

& international, Lambeau);

and Suckhole (Caribbean &

international, Charlotteville). For

catering (and those with a sweet

tooth), contact Kerry’s Nice &

Sweet Treats!

[above] visionsi/SHUTTERSTOCk.COM

discovertnt.com 95


leisure and entertainment

Whether wining up,

or winding down ..

k

Despite its reputation as an idyllic place to escape

and unwind, you won’t be too short of options if you

want to head to the most popular bars and clubs to

shake a leg or “buss a wine”. And of course, if lowkey

leisure is more on the menu — like immersing

yourself in some arts and culture, or shopping for a

distinctive piece of paradise to take home with you

— we’ve got you covered too.

The Shade nightclub

96 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Leisure and entertainment

Bars & clubs

Head to the Anchor Bar & Grill (Mt

Irvine), BarCode (Scarborough),

Jade Monkey Casino Bar & Grill

(Crown Point), The OverHang

(Crown Point), Time to Wine

(Shirvan Plaza, near Scarborough),

Glasgow’s Bar (Parlatuvier),

Renmar’s Restaurant & Bar

(Pigeon Point), Rev’s Steakhouse

& Bar (Buccoo), and the bars and

restaurants at popular hotels for

classic and exotic drinks, yummy

food, and good times. Year-round,

The Shade nightclub (Bon Accord)

is always the place to be.

Shopping

Check out the new and vibrant

Port Mall (Scarborough), and head

to Gulf City Lowlands Mall, or

the plazas in Crown Point like

Shirvan Town Plaza, Milford Bay

Plaza, Buccoo Town Centre, and

Shoppes@Westcity. There are craft

stalls at many beaches, including

Store Bay and Pigeon Point. The

Scarborough Market; Batiki Point

(Buccoo); Shore Things (Lambeau);

Planet Ceramics (Pigeon Point);

the Scarborough Esplanade;

the airport; and many resorts

and hotels are good places to

find souvenirs. Please don’t buy

anything made from endangered

or environmentally sensitive

species (eg coral, sea turtles, conch,

some snakes, some birds).

Art and fashion

You might want to take in or take

home artwork by Tobago-born or

-based visual artists. Look out for

names like Jim Armstrong, Kevin

Ayoung-Julien, Marcia Des Vignes,

Edward Hernandez, David Knott,

more liming options

The Shaw Park Complex is a location

of choice for shows and performances

(shaw-park.org), so keep your eye out for

what’s happening there. Don’t miss the

infamous Sunday School street party,

every Sunday night in Buccoo from 9pm,

while the Island Crashers Festival in

Pigeon Point has become a major draw for

younger crowds.

“We put the Island in your days to

keep Tobago in your hearts”

Located at:

Magdalena Grand

Beach & Golf Resort

631-0960

Coco Reef Resort & Spa

631-5244

[OPPOSITE page] courtesy the shade

[THIS page] courtesy artist james armstrong

discovertnt.com 97


98 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Leisure and entertainment

Earl Manswell, Jason Nedd,

Michael Spencer, Rachael and

Martin Superville (of The Art

Gallery in Lowlands), and the

late Luise Kimme (whose work is

displayed at the Kimme Museum

aka The Castle in Bethel). If you’re

in the market for local fashion,

check out Cee Wee Designs, Ashley

Christmas, Movement Bago,

Tobago Gyul, and Yesa Designs.

Chocolate and sweets

Seek out products from the

award-winning Tobago Cocoa

Estate (in Roxborough, and at

some local retailers), and Tobago

Chocolate Delights, next door to

Shore Things in Lambeau. For

traditional Tobagonian treats, the

vendors at the airport can supply

you with packages that travel well.

Tobago Fashion Coda

CATEGORIES

Retail:

Tobago's Newest Shopping

Experience Is Here

“Come discover your new favorite place”

Clothing Accessories, Shoes,

Swimwear, Locally made products,

Jewelry, Intimate apparel, Books,

Children/Babies items, Tech,

Activewear

Dining:

Fast Food, Creole Food, Vegan,

Vegetarian, Bakery, Salad bar,

Juices/Smoothies, Burgers,

Cakes, Dessert, Icecream

Entertainment:

Laser Tag Arena, Games Zone, Wine

Bar, Friday After Work Karaoke

Beauty/Self Care Services:

Hair and Nail Salons, Natural Hair

Salon, Barbers

Corner Sangster's Hill + Milford Road, Scarborough, Tobago

Opening Hours: Monday–Friday 7am–10pm, Saturday + Sunday 10am–10pm

[ABOVE] welMOET photography

discovertnt.com 99


Heritage Festival Finale

Carnival

February

The Carnival pre-season kicks

off early before Christmas, with

a launch in Scarborough featuring

traditional mas characters

(including speech bands — a

cast of costumed characters who

speechify in rhyme). Parties like

Soca Spree and Soca Under the

Samaan Tree are ever popular, as

Our roots,

fest i vals

our culture,

our history

k

are calypso shows and competitions.

Make sure to visit the panyards

of Tobago’s top steelbands,

like Dixieland, Redemption Sound

Setters, and Katzenjammers. Come

J’ouvert (very early Carnival

Monday morning) in Scarborough,

mud mas is the focal point. Later

in the day and on Tuesday, “ole

mas” and costumed bands take

100 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Festivals

Goat racing

over the streets of Scarborough

and Roxborough. If the legendary,

trailblazing daughter of the soil,

Calypso Rose, is giving a show at

home over the season, don’t make

the mistake of missing it!

Goat & Crab Racing Festival

April

Each Easter, Buccoo hosts the

Family Day and Goat & Crab

Races. The animals hurtle down

a special 110m (360ft) track to the

finish line, hustled on by barefoot

"jockeys" who sprint behind their

charges, holding the colourfully

attired goats on long ropes, and

the crabs on short strings. Beforehand,

the goats are given special

diets and training regimens

(including swimming) to build

stamina. The showdown happens

at Mt Pleasant and Buccoo (the

main location) Easter Monday and

Tuesday. There’s a repeat at the

Heritage Festival (July).

Tobago Jazz Experience

April

Each April jazz takes over with

events (some free) in Speyside,

Signal Hill, Scarborough, Castara,

and Pigeon Point. The event

showcases some of the best in local

and regional music alongside

international stars. John Legend,

Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson, Kool

& the Gang, Angie Stone, Janelle

Monae, Chaka Khan, Elton John,

Sean Paul, Shakira, Stevie Wonder,

Tobago history

at a glance

c 15,000–1,000 BC: island part of

South America; settled by First

Peoples (Source: The Indigenous Peoples

of Trinidad and Tobago, by Arie Boomert)

[OPPOSITE page] alVA VIARRUEl

[abOVE] welMOET photography

discovertnt.com 101


Great Race

Mary J Blige, Sting, Diana Ross,

Erykah Badu, India.Arie, George

Benson, Heather Headley, Lauryn

Hill, Maxwell, Fantasia Barrino,

Ne-Yo, and others have headlined

past editions.

Great Fete and Great Race

July and August

The five-day Great Fete beach

party takes over each July at Store

Bay, Pigeon Point, and Mt Irvine.

The Great Race (about 185km/115

miles) sees speedboats take off

each August from the Port of

Spain waterfront early in the

morning and arriving in Scarborough

two to three hours later.

Naturally, a rollicking beach party

ensues.

Heritage Festival

July to August

From mid-July to Emancipation

Day (1 August), this major event on

the cultural calendar preserves

and celebrates Tobago’s folk traditions

and culture. The festival

takes you from village to village

each evening, with communities

showcasing dance, drama, music,

and culinary traditions.

Signature presentations include:

• Folk Tales & Superstitions

— learn about the Les Coteaux

1596: Tobago claimed by British

(Courtesy Matt Briney/Shutterstock)

1627–1650: Courlanders settle

west coast near Plymouth, and

Dutch the east (Courtesy THA)

1768–9: first Tobago Assembly

established; Scarborough

becomes island’s capital

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

102 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Festivals

jumbie, and about Gang Gang

Sara and the Witch’s Grave in

Golden Lane

The washerwomen at the river

for Tobago Heritage Festival

• the Ole Time Tobago Wedding

in Moriah, featuring groom in

stovepipe hat and tailcoat and

bride with trousseau on head,

processing slowly with the

distinctive three-step “brush

back”

• the Pembroke Salaka Feast,

which also features Africanderived

sacred dances (like the

reel, jig, and salaka) that are

indigenous to the area

• the Plymouth Ole Time

Carnival, featuring African

stick-fighting and a cast of

masquerade characters, Ju Ju

warriors, Jab Jabs, and devils.

Blue Food Festival

October

Each October in Bloody Bay,

L’Anse Fourmi, and Parlatuvier,

communities pay homage to the

versatility and utility of root crops

or “blue food”. Some varieties of

dasheen can turn blue or indigo

when cooked, hence the term —

which now is used to describe all

similar crops, including sweet

potato, cassava, and yam. For the

festival, all of the dasheen plant

is used to prepare bread, cookies

and sweets, ice-cream, and even

lasagne! A culinary competition

1776: oldest forest reserve in

western hemisphere designated

(Courtesy Tobago Tourism Agency)

1781: French seize Tobago,

convert it to sugar colony

(Courtesy Tobago Tourism Agency)

1801: slave uprising quelled

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

[bAnner] courtesy tobAGO tourism AGEnCY

[TOP] courtesy THA

discovertnt.com 103


and cultural shows are also

highlights.

Fisherman’s Festivals

Year-round

Fisherman’s festivals take place

in the coastal villages during the

year, with the most significant

on St Peter’s Day (29 June) — the

patron saint of fishermen. After

morning church services, the

festivities begin: eating, drinking,

and partying into the night. The

biggest celebration takes place in

Charlotteville, with smaller festivities

up and down the coast.

Harvest festivals

Year-round

These vibrant celebrations are

a fixture of community life. One

or more villages host a Harvest

Festival one Sunday each month.

Days begin with church services,

followed by preparing and feasting

on delicious local dishes.

Heritage Festival

1814: Tobago ceded to British

under Treaty of Paris

(Courtesy US National Archives)

1816: one company of free

blacks from the Uni ted States

(mainly Baptist) settle

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1834–8: slavery abolished in the

British Empire

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

104 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Festivals

1884: sugar industry collapses

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1889–98: Tobago annexed

to Trinidad

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1962: islands gain independence

from Britain

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

[AbOVE] courtesy tha

discovertnt.com 105


histor ical si tes

Breathing in history . . .

k

Here are some of our favourite historical

sites in Tobago, all perfect for families.

Flagstaff Hill

Near Charlotteville

This site in northwestern Tobago

was an American military lookout

and radio tower during World War

II. The key here is the view — it is

panoramic, encompassing the St

Giles Islands and Charlotteville.

Fort King George

Scarborough

Formerly a critical point of

defence, the fort offers a stunning

view of the harbour, capital, and

Windward coast from 140m

(460ft) above sea level. The site

includes a military cemetery, the

old chapel and cellblock, and the

Tobago Museum, which displays

Amerindian artefacts, colonial

relics, military memorabilia, and

fossils from Tobago’s distant past.

Open M–F, 9am–4pm, 639-3970

Botanical Gardens

Scarborough

Relax among brilliant flamboyants,

silk cotton trees, and avenues of

royal palms while enjoying extensive

grounds and captivating views.

Plymouth

Take in the Courlander

Monument, a striking sculpture

commemorating 17th-century settlers

from Courland, Latvia; Fort

James; and the Mystery Tombstone

with its cryptic inscription: “She

was a mother without knowing it, and

a wife without letting her husband

know it, except by her kind indulgences

to him.”

1963: Hurricane Flora devastates

Tobago (Source: Siednji Leon/Unsplash)

1976: islands become a republic

in the Commonwealth

(Courtesy T&T National Archive)

1986: ANR Robinson becomes

first Tobagonian prime minister,

leading the National Alliance for

Reconstruction (NAR)

(Courtesy T&T Ministry of Communications)

106 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Historical sites

more fortitude

Fort Milford (Crown Point): built

in 1777, a perfect spot for watching

the sun dip below the horizon

on the Caribbean coast.

Fort Bennett (Black Rock): look

out over Stonehaven Bay from a

little pavilion.

Arnos Vale Waterwheel

1995: coalition government —

the United National Congress

(UNC) and NAR — unseats the

PNM (Courtesy Parliament of T&T)

2015: oil prices crash, causing

economic slowdown; PNM,

under Tobagonian Dr Keith

Rowley, wins general elections

(Courtesy Parliament of T&T)

2018: Paula-Mae Weeks becomes

the country’s first female

president; country inches back

toward economic growth

(Courtesy Parliament of T&T)

[abOVE] courtesy tobAGO tourism AGEnCY

discovertnt.com 107


tour and explore

The mountains + the sea

k

Tobago’s southwest is flat, undulating, and coralbased,

with limestone cliffs and white-sand beaches.

The northeast features coral-crusted rock formations,

while the rainforest reserve of the mountainous

Main Ridge is full of waterfalls, rivers, and streams.

Rising to 876m (1,890ft), it encompasses 14,000 acres

of protected rainforest — the oldest in the western

hemisphere. There’s also swampland and mangrove,

and a variety of reefs offshore.

Tobago has twice won the World Travel Award as

the world’s leading eco-tourism destination. Small

enough for much of it to be seen in a day, especially if

you start out early, tour operators offer a range of fullday

and half-day tours, plus specialised itineraries

based on your interests. For eco tours and adventures,

make sure to book with a registered tour operator or

guide (see gotrinidadandtobago.com and visittobago.

gov.tt). For easy day trips and sightseeing — if you feel

confident on the road — you could rent a vehicle, pick

up a Discover T&T map, and go exploring on your own!

108 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Tour and explore

mountain biking

Easy coastal tracks; tours taking

in historical sites, waterfalls, and

beaches (some not accessible by

car); and intense treks into the

mountainous Main Ridge . . .

Mountain Bike Magazine called the

island a “mountain biker’s island

paradise”. Make sure to ride with a

guide, and you won’t want to miss the

MTB Mountain Madness event

each May!

Tobago Mountain Bike Tours: 332-5872

Mountain Biking Tobago: 639-9709

Riding the Top of the World trail near Arnos Vale

[bACkGROUnd image] daniel knECHT courtesy mounTAIn biking tobAGO

discovertnt.com109


s s

[caption]

For birders

and naturalists

A cocrico: Tobago's national bird

A Trinidad motmot

Adventure Farm

& Nature Reserve

Arnos Vale

Dozens of hummingbirds,

tanagers, and bananaquits swoop

in to feed on fruits and sugared

water when owner Ean MacKay

rings a bell. A trained guide dog

can take you on a tour among the

trails of this 12-acre property.

639-2839

Concordia Estate

Near Scarborough

Covering some 50 acres a

few miles above and beyond

Scarborough, and brimming with

both natural and built history,

this magnificent estate boasts

a range of unique attractions:

you can tour its many nature

trails or butterfly garden, its

historic waterwheel and cocoa

house (where accommodation

is also offered), bird watch,

and enjoy unique wagon rides

or exhilarating ATV rides.

They even offer destination

weddings against the estate’s

many stunning backdrops.

concordiaestate.com, 235-8794

Corbin Local Wildlife Park

Mason Hall

These 20 acres overlook Hope

Bay. A flagship project of the

International Natural Forestry

Foundation (INFF), it opened in

2015 and combines forest hiking

trails, a lily pond, enclosures and

captive breeding areas (housing

rescued animals and threatened

species for release back into the

110 A green Discover heronTrinidad

& Tobago 2020


Tour and explore

wild). Nature lovers will enjoy

the park’s array of native trees,

shrubs, birds, reptiles, mammals,

and more.

tobagowildlife.com

Grafton Caledonia Bird

& Wildlife Sanctuary

This former cocoa plantation

became a wildlife sanctuary after

1963’s Hurricane Flora. There’s a

small visitors’ centre and winding

trails frequented by the “king of

the woods”, or motmot.

Little Tobago

Northeast Coast

Once a haven for imported birds

of paradise from New Guinea —

which were later wiped out by

hurricanes — the island is now a

bird sanctuary. Glass-bottom boat

tours depart from Blue Waters

Inn.

Main Ridge Forest Reserve

Tours typically start at Gilpin

Trace, ranging from a gentle

45-minute hike (to a small

waterfall), to a day excursion into

the interior. Other popular treks

are the Atlantic, Blue Copper, and

Niplig trails.

A blue-chinned sapphire hummingbird

look out for . . .

• Birds: 200+ recorded species

• Butterflies: 130+ species (including

the impressive blue emperor)

• Coral: 300+ species

• Fish: 80+ species of tropical reef fish

• Mammals: 12 kinds of mammals,

including 17 bat species

• Reptiles & amphibians: 5 marine

turtle species; 25 snake species (none

of them poisonous); 14 frog species;

and 6 lizard species.

Tobago Cocoa Estate

Roxborough

In the hills above Roxborough,

owner Duane Dove makes

premium chocolate from cocoa

grown on his estate. He also twins

it with aged rums. A falconer with

trained hawks helps to police the

cocoa fields. There’s free chocolate

at the end of the guided tour, and

a chance to buy more.

[OPPOSITE page top] RAPSO imaging

[OTHER IMAGES] courtesy tobAGO tourism AGEnCY

A woodcreeper

discovertnt.com 111


Waterfall treks

Argyle Falls

Roxborough

At 137m (450ft) above sea level,

these are Tobago’s highest falls,

with three refreshing pools,

which come into view after a

gentle, roughly 20-minute hike.

How high you climb is up to you!

Certified guides offer special tours.

Admission fee

Castara Waterfall

A very short and easy but refreshing

forest walk

Highland Waterfall

Moriah

A moderately challenging roughly

30-minute trek to one of the island’s

most breathtaking falls

Parlatuvier Waterfall

A short hike gets you to these falls’

two beautiful pools

Twin Rivers Waterfall

Belle Garden

A gentle roughly 40-minute trek

through thick brush.

We always recommend going with an

authorised and reputable guide

112Parlatuvier Discover waterfall Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Tobago’s Premier Eco-Tourism Destination

A new brand of Experiential Tourism

St. Cecilia Road Concordia, Scarborough, Tobago • Tel: 1-868-394-1940

bookings@concordiaestate.com • www.concordiaestate.com

Lady

in

Red

CAR RENTAL

Our services include:

Water Wheel Complex

Tractor-Pulled Wagon Rides

ATVs/Mountain Bikes Tours

Rustic Cocoa House Accommodation

Souvenir Shop, River Beach

Play Park Activities

Store Bay Local Road,

Crown Point, Tobago.

(Walking distance from

the airport)

Exclusive & Reliable

24 Hours Service

Tel/Fax: 868-631-8261 (Office)

After Hours: 868-639-6380

Mobile: 868-678-1047

Email: carmendladyinred@gmail.com

Coco Reef Resort • Magdalena Grand Beach Resort

• Mt Irvine Resort

Tel: 868.631.2626 • E: dive@underseatobago.com

www.underseatobago.com

[OPPOSITE page] adrian bernard

discovertnt.com 113


Our favourite

beaches

Bloody Bay

Leeward coast, near Parlatuvier

Everything about this near-unspoilt,

sheltered, and peaceful bay

— from the approach to its golden

sand, clear turquoise waters, and

the lush green forest nearby — is

sheer beauty. Amenities and lifeguards

are on site.

Englishman’s Bay

Leeward coast, past Castara

We hesitate to write about how

wonderful this beach is, lest its

distinctive charm, seclusion, and

peace be disturbed . . . Largely

obscured from the road by vegetation,

its crescent-shaped bay features

about a half mile of powdery

golden sand and calm turquoise

waters (but note that it shelves off

and becomes deep very quickly).

There is craft shopping and an onsite

restaurant.

Pigeon Point

Crown Point

People flock to Pigeon Point for

its white coral sand; calm, warm,

and shallow water — protected by

Buccoo Reef (glass-bottom boat

tours leave from here); and many

on-site conveniences, including

thatch huts with picnic tables,

eateries, water-sports businesses

(surfing, kite-surfing, windsurfing,

paddle-boarding, kayaking),

souvenir shops, restrooms,

changing facilities, and parking.

Pigeon Point

114 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Tour and explore

And of course, there’s the iconic

jetty with its thatched cabana that

has graced many a postcard (and

selfie!). Though consequently one

of the island’s busiest beaches,

there’s a fair amount of real estate

and breathing room, as the beach

area extends around the headland

to the lagoon. Admission fee

Speyside and Batteaux Bay

Speyside, Windward coast

These are two great beaches in

Tobago’s dive capital, both sheltered

by the nearby islands and

coral reef systems. Glass-bottom

boat tours to the beautiful Angel

Reef, Goat Island, and Little

Tobago depart Batteaux Bay at

Blue Waters Inn. Speyside has

water-sports facilities (many

geared to diving), accommodation

options, and several good

restaurants (including the iconic

Jemma’s Seaview Kitchen).

Store Bay

Crown Point

Its accessibility, small size, calm

and clear waters, and robust

range of amenities are among the

reasons that it’s so often packed.

The bay is great for swimming and

snorkelling — especially under

the coral cliffs at the southern

end. On-site bars and eateries

serve up local creole favourites,

fast-food staples, and something

beastly cold with which to wash it

all down. Glass-bottom boat tours

depart here for Buccoo Reef, the

Nylon Pool, and No Man’s Land.

Bloody Bay

Englishman's Bay

[TOP and bOTTOM] courtesy tobAGO tourism AGEnCY

[MIDDle] chris anDERSOn

Batteaux Bay

discovertnt.com 115


More of our

favourites

Back Bay

Secluded small bay with golden

sand and a little pool (during

high tide) that nature seemed to

make just for two. NB: take extra

care due to the isolation of this

beach

Canoe Bay

Arguably Tobago’s calmest

and shallowest beach. Rarely

crowded, with good facilities,

including bar and cabanas.

Admission fee

Castara Bay

A stunning, quiet, and unspoilt

beach with calm water and fine

golden sand in a thriving fishing

community. Twice a week, enjoy

bread baked in old-fashioned

dirt ovens. A restaurant and

craft stalls are on site

Cotton Bay

Halfway up the Caribbean coast,

this quiet and idyllic bay is a

popular stop for boat tours up

the coast, though it can be accessed

by a hiking trail

Grange Beach (“The Wall”)

A long, thin, and generally calm

beach

Parlatuvier

Lovers’ Bay

You’ll need a tour guide or to

hire a trustworthy fisherman to

get to this intimate and romantic

spot near Charlotteville

116 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Tour and explore

Pirate's Bay

Mt Irvine

Two beaches divided in the centre

by a headland — Old Grange and

“Little Irvine”. There are excellent

facilities, water-sports, surfing in

season

Parlatuvier

A placid beach in a seine fishing

village, with a few snackettes and

a fish market

Grange Bay

Pirate’s Bay

A stunning pink sand beach with

crystal-clear water, accessed via

dirt track and 150-odd steps from

the end of the Charlotteville seafront,

or by sea

Stonehaven Bay

A lovely, long, dark-sand beach

with dramatic rocky outcrops,

and facilities (including several

hotel/villa developments) nearby.

[bOTTOM right] nICHOlAS bHAJAn

[All other images] courtesy tobAGO tourism AGEnCY

Stonehaven Bay (aka Grafton Beach) discovertnt.com 117


Turtle-watching

If you’re in Tobago between

March and September, this is

something you must add to

your itinerary. It is magical

and humbling to witness this

ancient sea ritual.

THINGS TO REMEMBer

Do not touch or disturb nesting

turtles or hatchlings. Try to be

quiet and unobtrusive, and do not

use flashlights or flash photography.

Lights, noise and activity

can disorient both turtles and

hatchlings

Do not drive on nesting beaches;

the weight of the vehicle can crush

eggs buried in the sand.

Each season, five species of

marine turtles come ashore to

nest. Their adorable offspring

hatch six to eight weeks later,

and make a mad dash for the

open sea. The most common

here are the giant leatherback,

hawksbill, and green. All (and

their eggs) are legally protected.

While many of Tobago’s beaches

see nesting turtles each year,

leatherbacks come ashore

primarily on the southwestern

coast, and hawksbills on the

southeast.

For tours and information, contact SOS

Tobago (Save Our Sea Turtles Tobago,

328-7351), or a reputable tour guide.

Many resorts on nesting beaches can

also arrange for guides, or notify you

either when nesting turtles have been

sighted, or when clutches of baby turtles

are being prepared for release into the

ocean.

A leatherback turtle nests on Stonehaven beach

118 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


The bow of the Maverick

Tour and explore

Diving

What you’ll see

Tobago boasts a wide variety

of marine life, especially in

the offshore reef systems

which are sustained by

Tobago’s plankton-rich waters

— coral; reef fish; rays;

moray eels; invertebrates;

sharks (and their favourite

prey like jacks, barracuda,

wahoo, tarpon, and tuna). Between

December and May, if

you’re really lucky, you might

just catch sight of magnificent

whale sharks — especially

off Speyside.

What you’ll need

Hire one of the PADI/SSIcertified

Association of

Tobago Dive Operators (ATDO,

tobagoscubadiving.com)

vendors. They will arrange

for training, as needed, and

plan the most appropriate

dives for your level of

experience.

Popular dives in the south

include Flying Reef, Mt

Irvine Wall, Arnos Vale,

Englishman’s Bay, Diver’s

Dream and Diver’s Thirst,

and — for experts — the

Maverick wreck (sunk in 1997),

off Mt Irvine, or drift diving

the Columbus Passage.

In the north, Speyside and

Charlotteville attract more

experienced divers; the

visibility is greater, the water

deeper, and the marine

landscape richest. Popular

dives include Keleston Drain

(where you can see what’s

reported to be the world’s

largest living big brain coral),

Japanese Gardens, London

Bridge, Bookends, the Sisters

rocks, St Giles Island, and

— popular with beginners —

Black Jack Hole and King’s Bay.

[OPPOSITE page] courtesy tobAGO tourism AGEnCY

[abOVE] courtesy unDERSEA tobAGO

discovertnt.com 119


More ocean

adventures

Bioluminescence

Bon Accord

In the Bon Accord Lagoon, the

water lights up with blue-green

light under the right conditions

(around the new moon). It’s

caused by millions of phytoplankton,

which emit flashes of light to

startle predators. Radical Sports:

631-5150

Buccoo Reef & the Nylon Pool

Crown Point

The Buccoo Reef/Bon Accord Lagoon

Complex is the island’s first Ramsar

Site, recognised as a wetland of

international importance. Plans

were announced in 2015 for

an underwater sculpture park.

Though one of the island’s most

popular tours and the largest of

the island’s reefs, it is not in peak

condition. The smaller Angel Reef,

near Speyside, is perhaps the best

reef in Tobago. Glass-bottom boat

tours depart Pigeon Point and

Store Bay for Buccoo Reef and also

head to the Nylon Pool. A stop at

this warm, metre-deep sandbar is

often paired with a trip to Buccoo

Reef and No Man’s Land. Its name

is said to have come from Princess

Margaret, who claimed the water

was as clear as her nylon stockings.

Kite-surfing at Pigeon Point

Horse riding

Buccoo

If you love animals, the sea, and

have a soft spot for rescued horses

with moving back-stories, then

you’ll want to check out Being With

Horses. They offer sunset swimride

sessions, trail rides, picnic

rides, and horseback weddings.

The team also operates Healing

with Horses, which offers therapeutic

riding to differently-abled

children. Book early, as they’re

often full up!

639-0953

being-with-horses.com

healing-with-horses.org

Water-sports

Kite-surfing, kite-boarding, kayaking,

sport fishing, stand-up-paddling,

surfing, sailing . . . If these are

your thing, head to Pigeon Point,

Mt Irvine, Charlotteville, Bacolet,

and Little Rockly Bay, particularly

from November through April.

Or check out:

Tobago Kite-boarding

Organisation 331-3775

Radical Sports 631-5150

Stand Up Paddle 681-4741

Tobago Sea Kayak Experience 660-6186

T&T Game Fishing Association 632-6608

T&T Sailing Association 634-4519

T&T Surfing Association surftt.org

120 Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020

[abOVE] courtesy tobAGO tourism AGEnCY

[OPPOSITE page] chris anDERSOn


Tour and explore

Being With Horses

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SEASON

Watersporting enthusiasts will enjoy

the Carnival Regatta (February), also

known as the “festival of wind”, held at

Pigeon Point near to Carnival. Dragon

boat aficionados will be on site, also at

Pigeon Point, for the annual Dragon

Boat Festival in June. There are triathlete

events year-round, with the popular

Rainbow Cup taking centre stage

(also in June), while runners flock to the

Sea to Sea Marathon each March.

discovertnt.com 121


Map of

Tobago

MAP KEY

Police Station

Turtle Nesting

Shopping Centre

Lighthouse

Surfing

Fort

Airport

Highway

Gas Station

Bird Watching

Golf Course

Scuba Diving

Swamp

Waterfall

Sailing & boat tours

Major roadway

caribbean sea

Englishman’s

Bay

Culloden

Bay

King Peter’s Bay

Culloden

Runnemede

Mt

Dillon

Castara

Bay

Moriah

Castara

Cuffie River

Nature Retreat

Pigeon Point

Store Bay

Ft Milford

Crown

Point

Buccoo Reef

& Nylon Pool

Bon Accord

Lagoon

Ft Bennett

Stonehaven Bay

Mt Irvine Bay

Buccoo

Bay

milford rd

ANR Robinson

Intl Airport

Great Courland Bay

Canoe

Bay

Turtle Beach

Mt

Irvine

Buccoo

shirvan rd

Gulf City

Lowlands

Arnos Vale

Bay

Plymouth

Black Rock

Grafton Sanctuary

Bethel

Patience Hill

Signal Hill

Claude Noel Highway

Arnos

Vale

plymouth rd

Lambeau

Little

Rockly Bay

Les Coteaux

Adventure Farm

& Nature Reserve

Rockly

Bay

Northside Rd

Fort King

George

Mason

Hall

Craig Hall

Mt St

George

Barbados Ba

Scarborough

Mall

SCARBORO

Bacolet

Point

Bacolet

Bay

122

Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2020


Maps and essentials

St Giles Islands

Sister’s

Rocks

Man-o’-

War Bay

Pirate’s

Bay

Charlotteville

Flagstaff

Hill

y

UGH

Parlatuvier

Bay

Parrot

Hill

Hillsborough

Dam

Granby

Point

Bloody

Bay

Pembroke

Parlatuvier

Rainbow

Waterfall

Pinfold Bay

Main Ridge

Forest Reserve

Glamorgan

Richmond

Windward Rd

Goldsborough

Goodwood

L’Anse Fourmi

Argyle Falls

Belle

Garden

Richmond

Great House

Delaford

Roxborough

Bellevue

Prince’s Bay

Richmond

Island

Carapuse

Bay

King’s Bay

Speyside

King’s

Tobago

Bay

Cocoa Estate

atlantic ocean

Delaford

Bay

Blue

Waters

Tyrrel’s

Bay

Goat

Island

Little

Tobago

discovertnt.com 123


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