Sand, sea and fun in the sun take on new meaning at Maracas Beach, located about 45 minutes from the country's capital, Port of Spain. The beach offers something for everyone. The rolling waves of the Caribbean Sea are so captivating; they almost seem to woo you into their embrace. Coconut trees bend in welcome to those just seeking shady solace. And of course, the famous local delicacy called fried bake and shark, washed down with cool coconut water, also help to make Maracas Beach the ultimate relaxation destination. The waters here are not always the tamest.
The park covers an area of 400 acres and was formerly a large sugar estate. It was later purchased by Governer Ralph Woodford in the early 1800s. He later donated the land to the city. The savannah is one of the island's foremost centres of activity. Many of the city's largest buildings have the savannah as a backdrop. The pitch walk that encircles it is a haven for fitness enthusiasts and those out for a leisurely stroll. The Queen's Park Savannah is also the location for many of the country's most exciting events, including Carnival and other cultural and international concerts.
The most amazing and memorable collections are housed at the National Museum. Some include depictions of Trinidad and Tobago's national festival, Carnival, life during World War II, and artifacts from the country's earliest settlers, the Amer-Indians. There are also displays by leading local and international artists as well as thought-provoking exhibitions put on by the museum itself.
Situated north of the Queen's Park Savannah and adjacent to President's House, the Botanic Gardens covers an area of 38 hectares. It was laid out in 1818 by Governor Ralph Woodford, and is home to several varieties of tropical and sub-tropical trees, along with trees from India, Burma and South America. A section of the grounds houses a cemetery known as "God's Acre," where the remains of several national figures are interred. The gardens pose as the backdrop for wedding photos and family gatherings, and are a favourite spot of nature enthusiasts.
Established in 1912, Mount St. Benedict is the oldest Benedictine monastery in the Caribbean. Located 800 feet above the plains, the building can be seen clearly from the Eastern Main Road, The Priority Bus Route and the Churchill Roosevelt Highway. The grounds of the monastary are picturesque and offer visitors a serene atmosphere with some good nature trails. There is also a guesthouse on the grounds that serves as the ideal retreat from the everyday.
Dense mangroves arch over corridors of estuarine channels, the sun filtering through in an interplay of shadow and light at Caroni Bird Sanctuary. It's amidst these 5,611 hectares (13,865 acres) of wetlands that a protected space has been carved out for Trinidad and Tobago's national bird, the Scarlet Ibis. These scarlet birds are a dramatic sight as they swoop to and from the Venezuelan border, just a few miles away, returning at sundown to roost amidst the mangroves. Boats carrying visitors traverse the sleepy waterways of this sanctuary, providing opportunities to spot this incredible phenomenon first hand. Over 100 species of birds call Caroni Sanctuary their home, inviting bird-watchers and nature enthusiasts to explore the natural wonder of this region.
A day trip to this part of the island will ensure that you come across the highest mountains in Trinidad, El Cerro Del Aripo and El Tucuche. A hike to the summit could provide the opportunity for sighting a variety of wildlife species, including agouti, manicou (opossum), deer, quenk (wild pig) and anteaters, as well as interesting vegetation, especially above 600 metres (2,000 ft.). You can also make a trip to the Aripo Caves, which go 90 metres (300 ft.) into the ground. Nature Seekers Limited can organise this day-trip. Pax Guest House is also a great Northern Range vantage point.
The Arima Dial is one of the best known landmarks in Trinidad. Located in the area of the eastern borough known as Broadway, the Dial can be categorized as a beacon to all "Arimians" (residents of Arima). In it's heyday, the majestic clock's shrill chimes were said to be heard for miles. The monument was purchased in Nice, Italy by one-time Mayor John Wallen. He dedicated it to the borough in 1898. However, the clock, which stands on a majestic silver steel pole and base, has suffered its fair share of misfortune. Finally, it has been repaired, much to the relief and joy of Arima residents.
Explore the breathtaking natural landscape and fauna of Trinidad at Asa Wright Nature Centre in Arima. Established to protect the stellar natural features of the region, the center aims not only to introduce visitors to the varied animal species of the region, but also conducts research on conservation. With a stunning array of native animal and plant species, the center is haven for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Guided tours of the facility are available. Check website for more.
Arima is located to the North of the island and East of the capital, Port of Spain. It is a town with much history and endless cultural diversity. The name "Arima" was given to the town by its original decendents, the Amerindians. The name "Arima" itself is Amerindian, meaning water. One of the earliest settlements in the country, Arima was founded by Capuchin priests, who came to establish a mission and convert the Amerindians. They built a church that was dedicated to a young girl from Lima, Peru named Rosa who had been canonized. By the 1800s, Arima grew in size and importance. On August 1, 1888 Arima became a Royal Borough, becoming the first and only town in the colonies that Queen Victoria had honoured by naming so.
A rare natural environment, the Aripo Savanna is a habitat that sustains a complex network of savannah ecosystems within its 1800-hectare (4,447.89-acre) expanse. The reserve is home to a wide range of 457 endemic and critically-endangered floral species that thrive despite the harsh climate. The savanna is also home to palm marshes and forestlands as well, making it a diverse environment. The reserve's endeavors in conserving and protecting threatened flora earned it the title of an Environmentally Sensitive Area or ESA in the year 2007.
The Larry Gomes Stadium is named after one of Trinidad & Tobago’s famed cricketers. It is located in the east of Trinidad, less than an hours' drive from the capital city of Port of Spain. It was built in 2001, and includes a running track, small seating area and is used as a multifunctional arena. Schools host their sports day here, car shows have been held here and it has been the venue for football games by local teams such as Jabloteh and the Soca Warriors. - Nadia Ali