Caribbean Tourism

Tourist Information

Culture

The most exciting introduction to the vivid, cosmopolitan culture of this Republic is, of course, Carnival, or ‘De Mas‘, as locals refer to the annual ‘celebration of the senses’. Background reading is a help for a visit at any time of the year. Some authors to investigate are CLR James, Samuel Selvon, Shiva Naipaul, all now deceased, as well as Shiva’s...

Excursions

Trinidad There are pleasant drives in the hills around with attractive views of city, sea, and mountains. Go up Lady Young Rd, about two miles from Savannah, to a lookout 563ft above sea level (not on a taxi route, but some cars take this route from the airport), by Lady Chancellor Rd to a look-out 600ft above sea level (not always safe, even by car) and to...

Trinidad

TRINIDAD the most southern of the Caribbean islands, lying only seven miles off the Venezuelan coast, is one of the most colourful of the West Indian islands. It is an island of 1,864 square miles, traversed by ranges of hills, the northern and southern ranges, running roughly east and west, and the central range, running diagonally across the island. Apart...

Tobago

Tobago is not as bustling as Trinidad but tourism is booming. Nevertheless, it is ideal for those in search of relaxation. The tourist area is concentrated on the southwest end and about six miles from the capital, Scarborough. There are small hotels and guest houses scattered all around the island, however, offering peace and quiet in beautiful...

South of the Capital

Driving south from Port of Spain you see rice fields, herds of water buffalo, buffalypso (bigger animals, selectively bred for meat), Hindu temples and Moslem mosques. There are boat trips to the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, the home of scarlet ibis, whose numbers are dwindling as the swamp in which they live is encroached upon. The boats leave around 1600 so as...

The South Coast

The South Coast On the coast is the fishing village of Moruga, which is reached by a fascinating drive through the Trinidad countryside. Every year around the middle of July they have an unusual celebration of Columbus’ 1498 landing on the beach. Fishing boats are decked out as caravels, complete with the red Maltese cross. Columbus, a priest and soldiers are met by...

Scarborough

The town is pleasant but perhaps not worth an extended visit. In Scarborough itself the Botanic Gardens on the hill behind the Mall are worth a visit. There are also some interesting buildings, such as the House of Assembly on James Park (built in 1825), and Gun bridge, with its rifle-barrel railings. New development has included a new deep water harbour...

San Fernando

San Fernando on the southwest coast is a busy, hot city, as yet not spoilt by tourism but spoilt by just about everything else and not especially attractive. An expressway connects Port of Spain with San Fernando, making it a 30-minute drive (one hour by taxi). In its neighbourhood are the principal industrial-development area of Point Lisas and the Pointe-...

Port of Spain

Sights You can see most of the sights of Port of Spain by walking around the town centre. For further afield, however, there are taxis, buses, route taxis and maxi taxis, see Essentials section at the beginning of the chapter for an explanation of how they work and appropriate fares. Port of Spain lies on a gently sloping plain between the Gulf of Paria and...

The North Coast

North of Port of Spain is Maraval, just beyond which is the 18-hole St Andrews golf course at Moka (there is also a swimming pool, US$3 for non- members). The North Coast Rd branches left off Saddle Rd (which runs through Maraval back over the hills to meet the Eastern Main Rd at San Juan), leading to Maracas Bay, Las Cuevas and Blanchisseuse (see Beaches...

Chaguaramas

Midway along the Western Main Rd to Chaguaramas a road runs off to the north, through the residential area of Diego Martin. The Blue Basin waterfall and natural landmark, on the Diego Martin river, is off this road, about a five-minute walk along a path from the town. (If you do leave your car to visit the fall, leave nothing of value in it. You are also...

Buccoo: Goat-racing Centre of the World

Think of famous sports arenas around the world: Lords and cricket, Twickenham and rugby, Henley and rowing and the name of Buccoo doesn’t loom large. But Buccoo is the goat-racing centre of the world. The Buccoo Goat Race Festival was started in 1925 by Samuel Callendar and has had several venues around the village before the current purpose built track...

Arima

Arima is the third largest city, 25 km east of Port of Spain, reached by bus or route taxi. It has a small but interesting Amerindian museum at the Cleaver Woods Recreation Centre, on the west side of town housed in a reproduction Amerindian long house, entrance free but donations welcome. In Arima there is a group of people who regard themselves as...

Tourist Information

Embassies and Consulates (Port of Spain), Canadian High Commission, 3-3A Sweet Briar Rd, St Clair (T6226232); US Embassy, 15 Queen’s Park West (T6226371/6, F6285462), 0700-1700. British High Commission, 19 St Clair Av, St Clair, T6222748, F6224555, a very smart, modern building, its upper floors have an excellent view over Queen’s Park Oval. Dutch Embassy,...