Editor: Anu Lakhan
Consulting Editor:
Jeremy Taylor
Online Editor: Caroline
Taylor
Editorial & Design
Assistant: Marissa R...
Canada: rkieda@aviareps.com • Germany: trinidadandtobago@aviareps.com • India: huzan.fraser@gmail.com
Scandinavia: Info@sp...
Ayanna Young

We are Trinidad
and Tobago
W

elcome to Trinidad and Tobago, two wonderful islands where contrast and contra...
What you need to
know about T&T
Getting here
Major international gateways Arriving by sea
Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York...
While you are here
Money matters
Money: ABMs (ATMs) and credit/debit cards are routinely used
Currency: Trinidad & Tobago ...
Stephen Jay Photography

Getting around

There are basically five ways of getting around in Trini- Port of Spain to Chagua...
Getting around
Buses
Buses operate from Port of Spain (City Gate) to most towns, sometimes on an “express” basis,
and from...
Contacts
Emergencies	
Ambulance (public hospitals)	 		

811

EMS (emergency medical services) 		

624-4343 (north Trinidad...
Our country
Capital

Population

National capital: Port of Spain

1.3 million, descended from Africa, India, Europe,

Toba...
January
Monday

6

13

20

27

21

28

New Year’s Day

Tuesday

Friends old and new; par-

7

ties great and small. The

1...
Monday

3

Tuesday

February
10

4
11
Tobago Carnival

17

24

18

25

19

26

Regatta
Held at Pigeon Point,

Wednesday

i...
Monday

Trinidad

4

& Tobago

Carnival

Golf Open

Tuesday

3

10

Carnival

17

24

Phagwa

Monday

Tobago

5

11

12

1...
April
Monday

21
Easter

Tuesday

Monday *

Easter Weekend 29
22
The long Easter weekend
brings horse racing at the Santa
...
May

Thursday

Maypole

6

Festival

Rainbow

Ariann Thompson

Wednesday

Tuesday

Monday

5

7

Cup International

La Div...
Monday

June
30

Labour Day9
2

16

23

June 19, 1937 was a landmark day for the trade union movement,
when police tried t...
Monday

1

7

Tobago Heri-

Tuesday

July
14

21

28

15

22

29

tage Festival
(date TBA)

Mango

5

Tobago Heritage
Fest...
Arima

Osun River Festival

Borough

Osun is the Orisha goddess of the river. She is

Day

also associated with love, beau...
Monday

1

Tuesday

2

Wednesday

3

Thursday

September

4

8

Republic Day

15

22

29

The day in 1976 when T&T became ...
Monday

October
Amer-

6

13

20

27

indian
Heritage

Ramleela

Tuesday

Day

7

This nine-day Hindu festival precedes
14...
November
10

17

24

Hosay
(date TBA)

Trinidad &
Tobago:
Pan is
Beautiful

Hosay

in October

Friday

XIII (starts

Hosay...
Tuesday

30

31

Edison Boodoosingh

Monday

29

Wednesday

December

Paramin Parang Festival

Thursday

The Venezuelan in...
ADVERTORIAL

Five Tips for Planning
your International
Meeting in Trinidad
and Tobago
Arguably one of the most business fr...
Trinidad &Tobago

World Meets

where the

• Two Islands,
Two Unique Experiences
• World Class Facilities
• Spectacular sit...
Aaron Richards

We are limers

I

t’s strange that the word “lime”, as it is used in Trinidad & Tobago, up the islands and...
Not five minutes away, the Western Main Road in

Important: If you’ve rented

St James offers a less shnazz but even more ...
Top ten things to do
for free

Hit the beach
Most beaches in Trinidad and Tobago are public.

Carnival spirit
If you’re he...
Discover the artists
Port of Spain has some good private, commercial
art galleries, often showing work by leading painters...
Yachts at anchor

William Barrow

Check the calendar
for celebrations
and festivals
It’s a rare week when there’s
nothing ...
Maria Nunes

We are Carnival
C

arnival is excessive, expressive, and full of glorious abandon. Like those in Brazil and
V...
F

etes are just huge parties by another name, but they provide the training you need to make
the most of the big days to ...
Chris Anderson

www.discovertnt.com 33
Ryan Kong

www.trinidadcarnivaldiary.com

34 Trinidad
Thinking about it?

I

f you plan on playing mas, that is, getting a costume and being part of one of the parade
bands, yo...
Glossary of terms
Dimanche Gras

Tuesday. They follow a set route (more or less).

Carnival Sunday night’s big show tradi-...
Ryan Kong

www.discovertnt.com 37
ER - IS
INT
L

ER - I S
INT
L

LTD

TR

.

AN

SP
O
OR
TATION C

Quality Service

Family

Vacation
38 Trinidad

.

SP
O
OR...
We Celebrate
Panorama
Finals (February)
The climax of the steelband
year: the cream of the crop
battle it out in furious
c...
Phagwa (March)
The Hindu spring festival, also
known as Holi. Participants
douse one another in colourful vegetable dyes k...
las La
ughlin

NGC Bocas Lit Fest:
The Trinidad & Tobago
Literary Festival (April)
This annual literary festival at the en...
We Beat Festival (June)
Centered around the Western Main Road in St James, featuring vintage kaiso (calypso), talent
shows...
Divali (October –
public holiday)
The simplest things can create the most arresting sights. Small clay bowls known as
and ...
44 Trinidad

William Barrow
We’d like to show
you ...
Around Port of Spain
Uptown
The Queen’s Park Savannah is the city’s green heart, the haunt of ev...
Downtown
The Brian Lara Promenade runs
east-west down the middle of
Independence Square, the focal
point of downtown Port ...
Faraaz Abdul

www.discovertnt.com

www.discovertnt.com 47
Chaguaramas National Heritage Park
Chaguaramas is a playground for nature-lovers and eco-adventurers: hiking trails, histo...
Banwari Trace

Chaguanas

The oldest pre-Columbian site in the West In-

Home of traditional Indian pottery, and the

dies...
Divali Nagar Centre

Galera Point, Toco

The Divali Nagar site just north of Chaguanas

A magnificent headland marks the n...
Mount St Benedict Church
& Monastery

Point Lisas

Perched 240m (800ft) up in the Northern Range

sprawls along the west c...
Temple in the Sea,
Waterloo
A Hindu temple built literally in the sea
a short way offshore, accessible by a
causeway. Indi...
We are hikers
O

f all the out-doorsy things you can do in Trinidad & Tobago, hiking is one of the best.
Much like the cou...
William Barrow

Maracas Waterfalls (Maracas/St Joseph Valley, north Trinidad)
The trail leads through rich forest scene to...
Marianne Hosein

We’re at the beach

From Port of Spain
Maracas Bay

Other choices

The top choice for those in Port of Ma...
Mayaro
The longest beach in the
island stretches for miles

Other choices

along the Atlantic coast,

Manzanilla: the nort...
The northeast coast
Grande Rivière

Other choices

Small, friendly north-coast fishing village, two

Sans Souci: between T...
We are contenders
A

part from games which require a temperate climate, we dabble in just about anything
involving a ball,...
WICB Media/www.windiescricket.com

www.ttcb.co.tt

Cricket

Enormously popular here and throughout the West
Indies, with a...
Golf
Trinidad has three 18-hole courses, at
St Andrew’s Golf Club in Moka, Millen-

Horse racing

nium Lakes in Trincity, ...
Photos courtesy Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation

www.ttffonline.com

Football

“Soccer” is a universal language that...
Mountain biking
Chaguaramas is ideal for beginners, but
the Santa Cruz valley and Matura-Matelot
are popular stretches.

P...
Mixed martial arts (MMA)
A few MMA gyms have opened in Port of Spain, and
their events have been flooded with fans. Trinid...
Sport fishing
Onshore fishing is popular in
Chaguaramas, Las Cuevas, Galera
Point and the mouth of the Nariva
River, while...
Ernie Matthews

Heart & Soul: Yoga
T

here are dozens of yoga studios across the country – Akasha Studio, Bliss Yoga and
T...
We are artists of all
kinds
D

espite our famous “fete culture”, we don’t actually spend all our time jumping and
prancing...
Edison Boodoosingh

www.discovertnt.com 67
Music
The music that was invented and developed in Trinidad & Tobago – calypso, soca, steelpan – is
best heard at Carnival...
Marissa Rodriguez
William Barrow

www.triniscene.com

www.discovertnt.com 69
We are shoppers
N

o, a ceramic coconut made in China is
probably not how you want to remember

your trip. Fair enough. Bu...
Shopping malls
There are five major shopping malls in Trinidad: The Falls at West Mall (Westmoorings)
and Long Circular Ma...
India? Here?
Travelling trade fairs from India have become a regular event. Don’t
be surprised to find some great buys in ...
www.jasminethomasgirvan.com

www.janicederrick.com

Rachel Ross Jewellery on facebook

www.discovertnt.com 73
18 carat gold long leaf-cell chain by
Janice Derrick

Be Jewelled
Jewellery for any budget, preference or
occasion. From t...
www.discovertnt.com 75
We are food lovers
P

retty much everything we do revolves around food. Out for drinks? Yes but we’ll stop
for doubles/rot...
Courtesy www.trinichow.com

www.trinichow.com

www.discovertnt.com 77
this, like the Western Main Road in St James, or the southeast
corner of the Queen’s Park Savannah.
In Tobago, Store Bay s...
P.S. About green seasoning ... Wonder
what that flavour is that seems to make its
way into all local dishes? Referred to s...
Sno-cone
Shaved ice drenched in a variety of
syrups and, for a little extra decadence,

Marsha Edwards

condensed milk

80...
Street food
Barbecue: in our version,

Curried crab and dump-

Roti: soft Indian flatbread

the sauce is thinner and

ling...
Courtesy the Hilton Trinidad
& Conference Centre

We have just the
place for you

For the business traveller
Trinidad offe...
www.discovertnt.com 83
Some popular choices among business travellers:

Port of Spain
Hyatt Regency Trinidad on the city waterfront
Hilton Trinid...
www.discovertnt.com 85
Conference facilities
The idea of Port of Spain being the next great conference city is not
far-fetched.
One promising new...
www.discovertnt.com 87
88 Trinidad
For the vacationer
Many good reasons to visit Trinidad, many different kinds
of places to stay. Charming boutique inns, no...
For the eco-enthusiast
Birds, butterflies, turtles – yes, we have them
all. And gorgeous forests and hiking trails.
Many o...
www.discovertnt.com 91
Escape the ordinary. Discover
Hyatt Regency Trinidad.
With a prime location in the heart of downtown Port of Spain, Hyatt ...
www.discovertnt.com 93

Courtesy Hyatt Trinidad & Tobago
94 Tobago

Laura Narayansingh
Welcome to Tobago
H
ere are two things to remember:

Tobago is small
Auchenskeoch, in the south of the island, is pronounc...
If you’re in a position to do some self-catering, avail yourself of the fresh seafood and vegetables, homemade sauces, eve...
We are saving
the turtles
S

ave Our Sea Turtles (SOS) is a community-based organisation
that’s been working since 2000 to...
What makes someone stalk beaches for hours on end, losing sleep and
weight, to check on them? 
In many respects, our lives...
We’re sunning,
surfing, swimming …
A

s clichéd as it sounds, yes, this tiny island is full of hidden gems. But we don’t a...
Crown Point & the Caribbean coast
Back Bay: secluded small bay between Mt Irvine and Grafton, reached via a cliffside trai...
Great Courland Bay (also called Turtle Beach): this long, sandy stretch is a nesting place for
leatherback turtles during ...
102 Tobago

Martin Farinha
The Atlantic (windward) coast
Bacolet: close to Scarborough, this dark-sand beach is popular with surfers
Bellevue: access...
Forts: the British built a series of defensive forts around the coast in the
late 18th century, terrified (with good reaso...
We are more than
just beaches
Y

ou’ve finally seen more gorgeous magical beaches than you thought could exist in one
tiny...
Grafton Caledonia Wildlife Sanctuary: a former cocoa estate which evolved into a bird
sanctuary after 1963’s Hurricane Flo...
Waterfalls: experienced guides will
take you to the three-tiered Argyle
Falls near Roxborough (there is an
entrance fee). ...
We are divers
T

ake a deep breath, breathe out slowly, look around. Fish everywhere: silver, black, yellow, blue. Big one...
Curt Whitney

www.tobagoscubadiving.com

www.discovertnt.com 109
Diving in Tobago is a sensory trip. There is

troductory courses; there is a decompression

so much going on, vistas of be...
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014
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Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014

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Published annually by MEP (Media & Editorial Projects) and supported by the country's major tourism stakeholders, Discover is published each November in a handy, portable and easy-to-carry format. Targeting foreign visitors and locals alike, its pages are packed with concise and comprehensive information, easy to follow and designed to enhance any exploration of T&T. For those wanting to dive deeper into Trinidad & Tobago's history, culture and lifestyle, the Discover website adds a treasure trove of complementary information.

Discover is available free, both in print locally and internationally, and online. To get your free copy, visit:
http://www.discovertnt.com/order-your-copy

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Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2014

  1. 1. Editor: Anu Lakhan Consulting Editor: Jeremy Taylor Online Editor: Caroline Taylor Editorial & Design Assistant: Marissa Rodriguez Research Assistant: Shivanee Ramlochan Design & Layout: Bridget van Dongen, Kevon Webster Sales: Denise Chin Production: Jacqueline Smith General Manager: Halcyon Salazar On the cover: (Top) Port of Spain Waterfront by Chris Anderson L to R: Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Port of Spain International Waterfront Centre, Government Campus Plaza (Below) 2013 Soca Monarch, Super Blue (Austin Lyons) in concert by Aaron Richards Printers: Caribbean Print Technologies A publication of Media & Editorial Projects Ltd. (MEP) 6 Prospect Avenue, Maraval, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago T: (868) 622-3821 / 5813 / 6138 F: (868) 628-0639 E: info@discovertnt.com W: www.discovertnt.com Connect with us online on: /discovertnt /meppublishers © 2013 Media & Editorial Projects (MEP) Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the prior written consent of the publisher Contents We are Trinidad & Tobago – Welcome 3 What you need to know about T&T 5 Calendar of events 12 We are limers 26 Top 10 things to do for free 28 We are Carnival 31 We celebrate 39 We’d like to show you … 45 We are hikers 53 We’re at the beach 55 We are contenders 58 We are artists of all kinds 66 We are shoppers 70 We are food lovers 76 We have just the place for you 82 Welcome to Tobago 95 We are saving the turtles 97 We’re sunning, surfing, swimming … 99 We are more than just beaches 105 We are divers 108 Things to find out about 112 Moving to Tobago 114 Where to stay 115 Getting married? 119 Maps 122 Index 132 www.discovertnt.com 1
  2. 2. Canada: rkieda@aviareps.com • Germany: trinidadandtobago@aviareps.com • India: huzan.fraser@gmail.com Scandinavia: Info@spirit-company.dk • United Kingdom: Info@amgltd.biz • United States : Info@cam-pr.com 2 Trinidad
  3. 3. Ayanna Young We are Trinidad and Tobago W elcome to Trinidad and Tobago, two wonderful islands where contrast and contradiction is the norm rather than the exception – and for the most part, that works for us. Trinidad is nothing like what you think of when you imagine a tropical paradise, but Tobago might deliver on that front. Tobago is nothing like the frenzied party island you imagine when you think of our Carnival; that is what Trinidad is for. We are naturally friendly and easy-going and quick to laugh (at ourselves, the world, the person standing next to us). We’re not turning on the tourist charm, it’s the national personality. Some might think us frivolous: we just think we have a lively sense of humour. As light-hearted as we can be, we can be equally serious. Cricket, football and steelbands are some of the things we can be surprisingly solemn about. We were once Indian, African, Chinese, Syran, French, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Amerindian. It used to be a commonplace to refer to us as a melting pot, but that is a bit of a disservice to the real triumph of our all living together. While some things blend and fuse, there are festivals, foods and all manner of artistic expressions that show real influence from these old ancestors. And therein lies the magic. We share. Anu Lakhan We are individuals and we are a people. And in this country that means everything. www.discovertnt.com 3
  4. 4. What you need to know about T&T Getting here Major international gateways Arriving by sea Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York, Toronto, London (yachts & sailing boats) • Arriving yachts should have a You will need: clearance certificate from the last • A passport valid for three months beyond your intend- port of call, and the vessel’s regis- ed stay • Documentation for return or onward travel and a local address (non-residents) tration certificate (or authorisation for use) • In Trinidad, check in with Cus- • To double-check visa requirements with your airline toms & Immigration at CrewsInn or travel agent (for many nationalities, visas are gener- in Chaguaramas; in Tobago, check ally not required for visits up to 30 days) in with Customs & Immigration in Scarborough or Charlotteville Airports • Chaguaramas in Trinidad is the hub Trinidad: Piarco International Airport (27km/17 miles of yachting activity, with sheltered from Port of Spain) anchorage maintained by the Tobago: ANR Robinson International Airport (10km/7 Yachting Association and strings miles from Scarborough) of maintenance and repair yards, marinas and essential services Transport from the airport • There are no official anchorage Authorised private taxis are available at the airport: con- sites in Tobago, but Mt Irvine Bay, firm the fare in advance (a list of fares is displayed in Grafton Beach, Store Bay and Eng- the arrivals area). If in doubt, check the taxi dispatcher. lishman’s Bay are popular. On the Authorised private taxis have licence plates beginning southeast coast, Anse Bateau is a with “H” (for “Hire”), and are not metered. good anchorage and fuelling point www.discovertnt.com 5
  5. 5. While you are here Money matters Money: ABMs (ATMs) and credit/debit cards are routinely used Currency: Trinidad & Tobago dollar (TT$); US$1= approximately TT$6.4 (floating exchange rate) Taxes: 10% room tax + 10% service at hotels; 15% VAT (value added tax) on most goods and services Driving Which side? We drive on the left. Seatbelts are required by law Speed limits (private cars): Trinidad, 50kph (30mph) in built-up areas, otherwise 80kph (50mph); Tobago 50kph (30mph) Driving permits: Visitors can drive for up to 90 days on a valid foreign or international licence Utilities Electricity: 115v/230v, 60Hz Water: Tap water is safe to drink (boil it if you want to be doubly sure); bottled water is widely available Mail: TTPost operates the national mail service; FedEx, DHL, UPS and others provide courier service Telecommunications Country phone code: 868 (regional code: 1) Landline telephones: Provided by Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT) and FLOW. Prepaid international phone cards are available Mobile telephones: Bmobile (TSTT) and Digicel operate on GSM networks and have introduced 4G broadband mobile service; prepaid SIM cards are available for unlocked phones Public wi-fi • FLOW’s FSpots are available free at Rituals, Pizza Boys, Church’s Chicken, Mario’s and Boomer’s restaurants. Bmobile and blink broadband customers can register for free wi-fi at over 50 locations nationwide, including Piarco International Airport, Chaguaramas Boardwalk, Maracas Bay, the Trinidad Ferry Terminal, Ariapita Avenue, the Cruise Ship Complex, West Mall, Grand Bazaar, Long Circular Mall, Trincity Mall and Gulf City Mall • In Tobago, bzone offers wi-fi at the Ferry Terminal, Store Bay, Pigeon Point and Gulf City Mall (Lowlands) 6
  6. 6. Stephen Jay Photography Getting around There are basically five ways of getting around in Trini- Port of Spain to Chaguaramas, dad & Tobago: private taxis; public taxis and maxi-taxis Diego Martin, Petit Valley, Maraval, (plying specific routes); buses; a rented car; or with a St Ann’s, Cascade). These “maxis” tour operator. carry brightly-coloured bands ac- Bicycles are hardly ever used except for sports: roads are cording to their area: generally unsafe for cyclists Black: San Fernando-Princes Town, connecting to Mayaro Private taxis Blue: Tobago Available at the airports and the larger hotels; otherwise Brown: San Fernando-La Romainesummoned by phone Siparia-Point Fortin Green: Port of Spain (City Gate)- Public taxis Curepe-Chaguanas-San Fernando Route taxis are cars registered as taxis, bearing “H” plates. (King’s Wharf) They work specific routes, picking up and dropping off Red: Port of Spain-Arima, connectpassengers anywhere along the way ing to Blanchisseuse, and to Matelot Maxi-taxis (12- to 25-seat mini-buses) operate in the via Sangre Grande same way, mostly connecting urban centres (e.g. Port Yellow: Port of Spain-Diego Martinof Spain to San Fernando) or servicing suburbs (e.g. Petit Valley-Chaguaramas www.discovertnt.com 7
  7. 7. Getting around Buses Buses operate from Port of Spain (City Gate) to most towns, sometimes on an “express” basis, and from hubs in Chaguanas, San Fernando (King’s Wharf) and Scarborough (Sangster’s Hill). Check the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) at www.ptsc.co.tt for current schedules and fares. Tickets must be purchased from the hub before boarding Car rentals & tour operators Local and international rental companies operate in both islands and at both airports. Check the Yellow Pages Ferries Trinidad-Tobago Port of Spain-San Fernando Daily inter-island car and passenger ferry ser- The water taxi service between Trinidad’s two vice between Port of Spain and Scarborough cities is operated by the National Infrastructure is operated by the Port Authority of Trinidad Development Company (www.nidco.co.tt). & Tobago (www.patnt.com). All passengers • The trip takes about 45 minutes each way must provid ID. • Fares: TT$15 one way. Infants under the • The T&T Express and T&T Spirit do the trip in about two and a half hours each way age of one travel free; senior citizens (65 and over) travel free on off-peak sailings • Fares: TT$100 return; children 3-11 years half price; children under three and senior Trinidad-Venezuela citizens (65 and over) travel free; passenger Pier 1 in Chaguaramas operates a weekly ferry vehicle charge: TT$150; tickets available on Wednesdays to Venezuela for TT$1,380 from the ferry terminals, and from some round-trip plus departure tax. Call 634-4426 post offices and travel agencies for information • You can find the ferry schedule at www.ttitferry.com Airbridge Caribbean Airlines operates several flights a POS-Chaguaramas day between Trinidad & Tobago (625-7200, • The POS-Chaguaramas ferry was intro- www.caribbean-airlines.com). Both airports duced in 2013. It takes about 30 minutes have separate departure and arrival areas for air- and costs TT$20 bridge passengers. Flight time is about 20 minutes. 8
  8. 8. Contacts Emergencies Ambulance (public hospitals) 811 EMS (emergency medical services) 624-4343 (north Trinidad) 653-4343 (south/central Trinidad) 639-4444 (Tobago) Hyperbaric medical facility (decompression chamber, Roxborough, Tobago) 660-4369 Fire 990 Office of Disaster Preparedness 640-1285 (Trinidad) 660-7489 (Tobago) 511 in emergencies Police: in Trinidad 999 or 555 in Tobago 639-2520 or 639-5590 Visitor information Division of Tourism, Tobago 639-2125, www.visittobago.gov.tt Immigration Division 625-3571/2 (Trinidad), 639-2681 (Tobago) www.immigration.gov.tt Tobago House of Assembly 639-3421, www.tha.gov.tt Tourism Development Company 675-7034, www.tdc.co.tt, www.gotrinidadandtobago.com Tourist information offices 639-0509 (ANR Robinson Airport, Tobago) 635-0934 (Cruise Ship Complex, Tobago) 669-5196 (Piarco Airport, Trinidad) Trinidad & Tobago government online www.ttconnect.gov.tt www.discovertnt.com 9
  9. 9. Our country Capital Population National capital: Port of Spain 1.3 million, descended from Africa, India, Europe, Tobago capital: Scarborough China, the Mediterranean and the Middle East Climate History Tropical, with a dry(ish) season from Janu- Pre-Columbian: the islands have been settled ary to May and a wetter season from June to since around 5,000 BC, originally by Amer- December. The islands are just south of the indians travelling up the island chain from main hurricane belt, though they have been South America hit by hurricanes in the past (most recently by Colonial: Columbus claimed Trinidad for Flora in 1963, which passed over Tobago). The Spain in 1498, but it remained a neglected daily temperature range is 72-95°F (22-35°C), backwater until the late 18th century, the ar- with an average of 83°F (29°C) rival of French Catholic settlers, and seizure by Location & coordinates the British in 1797. Tobago was fought over by 11°N, 61°W. Tobago and Trinidad are 33km (21 miles) apart; Trinidad is 10km (7 miles) from Venezuela at the nearest point several European powers before becoming a British colony. It joined Trinidad at the end of the 19th century Modern: Trinidad & Tobago became inde- Size pendent in 1962, and a republic within the Trinidad: 4,828km2 (1,864 sq miles); 105 x Commonwealth in 1976. It is a parliamentary 80km (65 x 50 miles) democracy holding regular free elections. To- 2 Tobago: 300km (116 sq miles); 48 x 16km bago has a separate House of Assembly (30 x 10 miles) Economy Time zone Major resources: oil and natural gas Atlantic Standard Time year-round (GMT/UTC Major industries: LNG, steel, methanol, am- -4, EST +1) monia, urea, light manufacturing and assembly Official language English Major services: tourism, conference and convention facilities, financial services, construction Indicators: GDP per capita US$20,400 (2012), unemployment 5.3% (2012), est. GDP growth in 2014: 2.5% (IMF) 10
  10. 10. January Monday 6 13 20 27 21 28 New Year’s Day Tuesday Friends old and new; par- 7 ties great and small. The 14 good-luck dish for bringing Wednesday 1 Thursday in the new year is our pelau with black-eyed peas. 2 8 15 22 29 9 16 23 30 New Year’s Day * Chinese New Year It’s the Year of the Horse. Friday Celebrations last 15 days 31 and culminate in the Chinese Lantern Festival. Saturday Carnival Sunday New Year Sailing season Damien Luk Pat begins 12 Calendar season begins * Public Holiday
  11. 11. Monday 3 Tuesday February 10 4 11 Tobago Carnival 17 24 18 25 19 26 Regatta Held at Pigeon Point, Wednesday it’s also known as the 5 12 “festival of wind”. It is a combination of four sailing categories: Opti- Thursday Carnival Friday Tobago Saturday 1 Sunday mists and Bum Boat sail- 2 season dynamic windsurf and continues 27 ing, as well as the more kite surfing classes. 28 Carnival Caravan Soca Monarch * Public Holiday Radical Sports Tobago Finals discovertnt.com 13
  12. 12. Monday Trinidad 4 & Tobago Carnival Golf Open Tuesday 3 10 Carnival 17 24 Phagwa Monday Tobago 5 11 12 18 25 Carnival Monday and Tuesday 19 26 Lap and all the music and mas Game in between, the biggest party of the year is on. Thursday national Fishing Friday From J’ouvert morning to Las Turtle nest- Saturday Inter- 1 Sunday Wednesday 31 Tuesday March 2 Tournament ing season Chris Anderson begins Panorama Finals 9 16 23 30 Spiritual Dimanche Shouter Baptist Gras Liberation Day * 14 Calendar * Public Holiday
  13. 13. April Monday 21 Easter Tuesday Monday * Easter Weekend 29 22 The long Easter weekend brings horse racing at the Santa Wednesday Rosa track in Arima in Trinidad, 23 30 and goat and crab races in Mt Pleasant in Tobago, on Monday and Buccoo on Tuesday. Edison Boodoosingh Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday 28 4 11 18 24 Tobago Jazz Experience 25 Jazz on the Beach Good Friday * 5 Jazz 12 19 26 Artists on Point Fortin Borough Day the Green 6 13 20 27 Easter Sunday * Public Holiday discovertnt.com 15
  14. 14. May Thursday Maypole 6 Festival Rainbow Ariann Thompson Wednesday Tuesday Monday 5 7 Cup International La Divina Pastora Triathlon Pilgrims from all over the country wor- 8 La Divina prayers, gifts, and a street procession. Pastora 1 15 La Divina Pastora in Siparia 29 22 ship with Catholics recognise her as the Divine 2 9 16 pride ourselves on how well30 23 We different cultures co-exist, and here it shows Saturday in a simple, moving ritual. 3 Sunday Friday Shepherdess, Hindus as Soparee Mai. 4 10 17 24 31 Indian Arrival Day * 16 Calendar 11 18 25 * Public Holiday
  15. 15. Monday June 30 Labour Day9 2 16 23 June 19, 1937 was a landmark day for the trade union movement, when police tried to arrest the firebrand labour leader Uriah “Buzz” Thursday Wednesday Tuesday Butler in Fyzabad in the face of huge grassroots defiance. That’s We Beat 3 Labour Day 10 17 why in Trinidad & Tobago is on June 1924 than rather Festival the conventional May 1. (St James) 4 11 St Peter’s Day The sainted fisherman is celebrated in fishing villages across the 5 12 country with church services and festivals. One of the biggest ones is held in Carenage where there’s 18 25 19 Labour 26 Day & Corpus Christi * 27 28 29 Edison Boodoosingh Saturday more secular than religious. Sunday Friday a full day of festivities, some * Public Holiday St Peter’s Day discovertnt.com 17
  16. 16. Monday 1 7 Tobago Heri- Tuesday July 14 21 28 15 22 29 tage Festival (date TBA) Mango 5 Tobago Heritage Festival 12 19 Café Moka Wednesday Thursday 31 Saturday 30 Friday 8 26 Festival Tobago Tobago’s premier festival Great Fete celebrates island folk Weekend Sunday traditions in different 6 13 especially in food, 20 villages, 27 Eid-ul- folklore, song, dance, craft and storytelling. 18 Calendar Fitr * (date TBA) * Public Holiday
  17. 17. Arima Osun River Festival Borough Osun is the Orisha goddess of the river. She is Day also associated with love, beauty and courage. Edison Boodoosingh Wednesday Tuesday Monday August Saturday Friday Thursday The Orisha community is not large (slavery was Castara 7 conducive to the maintaining of traditions) 28 14 21 not Fisher- but worship in the African religions is becoming man’s Fete more visible. 1 8 15 22 29 23 30 Emancipation Day * 2 Tobago Underwater 9 16 Carnival A week-long dive festival: daily Sunday north and south reef-diving 3 10 17 24 expeditions, seminars and presen- 31 tations on best diving practice. Independence Day * * Public Holiday discovertnt.com 19
  18. 18. Monday 1 Tuesday 2 Wednesday 3 Thursday September 4 8 Republic Day 15 22 29 The day in 1976 when T&T became a republic within the Commonwealth, replacing the British monarch as head of state with a president of its own choice. Public 9 16 23 parades, a presidential address, and one of Trinidad & 30 Tobago’s most significant horse racing events. 10 17 trinidad + tobago film festival The Caribbean’s second 11 18 largest film festival show- cases shorts and full-length 24 Republic Day * 25 Maracas Open Water Classic productions from the plus workshops and training sessions, storytelling. Sunday Marlon James (courtesy ttff) Saturday Friday region and the diaspora, 20 Calendar * Public Holiday
  19. 19. Monday October Amer- 6 13 20 27 indian Heritage Ramleela Tuesday Day 7 This nine-day Hindu festival precedes 14 21 28 Divali, and re-enacts scenes from the life of Lord Rama, the main figure of the epic Wednesday Ramayan. Large-scale Ramleela productions take place in Couva and Felicity in 29 Thursday Central Trinidad. 30 Saturday 4 Sunday Café Moka Friday 31 5 11 18 25 Divali * (date TBA) * Public Holiday 12 19 26 discovertnt.com 21
  20. 20. November 10 17 24 Hosay (date TBA) Trinidad & Tobago: Pan is Beautiful Hosay in October Friday XIII (starts Hosay is of Islamic origin and con- 7 14 Nicholas Laughlin Thursday Wednesday Tuesday Monday 3 21 28 (and controversial in some tinues into sections of the Muslim November community). It com- Saturday 1 Sunday memorates the martyrdom 2 8 15 22 of Hassan and Hussein, 29 grandsons of the Prophet Mohammed. 9 Pan, 16 23 30 Parang & Pork 22 Calendar * Public Holiday
  21. 21. Tuesday 30 31 Edison Boodoosingh Monday 29 Wednesday December Paramin Parang Festival Thursday The Venezuelan influenced music of Old Year’s Night 4 Christmas is played everywhere 11 18 T&T 25 from as early as October. The village of Christmas Day * Paramin, high in the hills of the Northern 5 producing some of the finest paren12 19 for 26 deros - the singers, cuatro players and Boxing Day * Sat drummers who make the music. 6 Sun Friday Range, has a long-established reputation 7 13 20 27 Parang music 14 21 28 everywhere In many cases, firm dates are only announced close to the event. For up to date information, visit the Discover Trinidad & Tobago or Tourism Development Company websites: (www.discovertnt.com, www.gotrinidadandtobago.com) * Public Holiday discovertnt.com 23
  22. 22. ADVERTORIAL Five Tips for Planning your International Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago Arguably one of the most business friendly destinations in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago is the perfect location for international meetings. The destination’s expanding portfolio of hotels and meeting facilities are amply complemented by an attractive capital city with historic buildings, a modern waterfront and a diverse leisure product, including health spas, golfing, bird watching, spectacular reefs, glorious rainforests, majestic mangroves, friendly people and enough festivals and excitement to make any visit unforgettable. Perfectly facilitating this buzzing destination is the Trinidad and Tobago Convention Bureau, which provides international meeting planners with all the expertise and local knowledge required for the execution of flawless events. A one-stop-shop for meeting planners, the Convention Bureau provides unbiased and professional advice and support, along with offering customised solutions that meet the specific needs of an event or group. • Top 5 Destination Tips for Meeting Planners • Be Informed Contact the Trinidad and Tobago Convention Bureau to start familiarising yourself with Trinidad and Tobago as a meeting and event location. The Convention Bureau can provide comprehensive information about meeting space and conference facilities in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as flights, transportation and tour options. Get an Insider’s View To get a feel for the available venues and experience the tour offerings as well as sites and attractions, it is advisable to plan a site visit. The Convention Bureau can coordinate and arrange site visits for meeting planners. We can also arrange tailor-made tours by working closely with the Trinidad and Tobago Incoming Tour Operators Association and assist in finding local speakers and other resources. Get Connected While email is quick, interpersonal communication via telephone is often a more effective way to get the ball rolling. The dedicated people at the Convention Bureau are ready to chat with you and are always responsive to enquires. We can also provide contacts, introductions and comprehensive destination information, in addition to assisting with marketing and advertising. Think about Accommodation After you have determined the venue which best suits your meeting or event, the Convention Bureau can assist in sourcing a wide range of accommodation options, from internationally branded chains to intimate boutique hotels, and bed and breakfast properties. We can also facilitate the RFP process and act as a liaison between meeting planners and hotels. Get Ready for a Great Time Pre and post event, Trinidad and Tobago has amazing entertainment and attractions, from thrilling ecoexperiences to sumptuous exotic culinary fare and the Caribbean’s biggest Carnival. The Convention Bureau can help meeting planners and groups enjoy the destination’s best experiences. To learn more about hosting your event in this exciting Caribbean destination, contact the Trinidad & Tobago Convention Bureau at: conventionbureau@tdc.co.tt or visit www.gotrinidadandtobago.com/trinidad/meetings Plan Trinidad & Tobago – your clients will love you for it. 24 Trinidad
  23. 23. Trinidad &Tobago World Meets where the • Two Islands, Two Unique Experiences • World Class Facilities • Spectacular sites and attractions • Idyllic Tobago www.tdc.co.tt Contact Info: (868) 675-7034/7 E-mail: conventionbureau@tdc.co.tt Website: gotrinidadandtobago.com/trinidad/meetings www.discovertnt.com 25
  24. 24. Aaron Richards We are limers I t’s strange that the word “lime”, as it is used in Trinidad & Tobago, up the islands and through the diaspora, is absent from most of the world’s leading dictionaries (New Oxford American excepted). “Liming” is doing anything at all in company. Its closest English-language equivalent is the American “hanging out”. You can lime with one person on a trip downtown to buy new shoes. You can lime with a group of friends at a party (where you will meet new people with whom to lime). You can lime cosily over coffee at a café. The main thing to keep in mind is the spirit of the thing: an unquestioned acceptance that things are more fun when done with some congenial others, with room for spontaneity. It is not, as some have suggested, the art of doing nothing. Far from it. It is how to turn any and everything you do into an opportunity for a good time. Night liming Ariapita Avenue runs through the middle of Woodbrook, a once genteel sort of residential area west of Port of Spain. On the Avenue at least, all pretence of quiet family life has been quite lost. The entire strip is lined with bars, restaurants, street food and very, very trendy crowds out for a night of partying and liming. Once it’s not raining, chances are there’ll be as much going on on the sidewalk as in the bar. 26 Trinidad
  25. 25. Not five minutes away, the Western Main Road in Important: If you’ve rented St James offers a less shnazz but even more populous a car, be sure to obey park- liming area. Here the bars are more functional than fancy: ing guidelines or risk being you want a drink, they sell drinks. St James if our official- towed by the police. unofficial city-that-never-sleeps. The music is loud, the carousing is of the gritty variety, the street food is the best in the country. And. Everyone. Goes. There. You’ll run into everyone from the person you bought fruit from that morning to ministers of state. Out of Port of Spain, it’s harder to find dedicated liming zones. In San Fernando and Chaguanas, for instance, in south and central Trinidad respectively, there are clubs and restaurants aplenty but not concentrated in one area. So too in St Augustine and Trincity in the east. Over the past few years, the night clubs of those areas have been upping their game, achieving a tough feat: they’re getting Port of Spain partiers to head out of town for their entertainment. Think about: live entertainment. Almost anywhere you go, you’ll find good music and lots of variety. But a live band, local, and one that plays originals and not only cov- Triniwaves ers, is definitely a treat to look out for. www.discovertnt.com 27
  26. 26. Top ten things to do for free Hit the beach Most beaches in Trinidad and Tobago are public. Carnival spirit If you’re here for Carnival, listen to If you’re in Tobago, you should be able to walk to one. In Trinidad, you’ll need to work out transport. the steelbands rehearsing in the panyards, watch the costumed bands on Browsing Monday and Tuesday; catch tradition- Frederick Street runs through the heart of Port of Spain al Carnival characters appearing in and gives a fair idea of what you’ll find all over the island in the week before Carnival. All for free. shopping areas and malls. Plenty of local craft and handmade goods. Birds and butterflies Visit a Hindu temple Trinidad has a staggering number Those in central Trinidad have become quite grand. The of birds and butterflies. Drive up to one on Ethel Street in St James was the first in the counMount St Benedict in Tunapuna and try to be built with actual architectural plans. For some walk the grounds or the butterfly fine colonial architecture, look out for Anglican and trail. 28 Trinidad Catholic cathedrals and churches.
  27. 27. Discover the artists Port of Spain has some good private, commercial art galleries, often showing work by leading painters, sculptors and jewellers. The National Museum and Art Gallery has some treasures too, but the space itself is not in excellent condition. Weavers of the Dust. One of artist LeRoy Clarke’s most famous paintings. More work from the Master Artist can be seen at DE LEGACY... HOUSE OF EL TUCUCHE.  It’s in Wellsprings, Cascade, just outside of Port of Spain. Clarke himself often shows you around while discussing all things art. Queen’s Park Savannah Walk, ride, or run around the Queen’s Alice Yard Park Savannah in Port of Spain. On Roberts Street in Woodbrook, this is a contemporary Nearby, the Botanical Gardens and arts/performance space and network, and there’s usu- the row of eclectic, eccentric buildally something interesting going on there. ings called the Magnificent Seven. www.aliceyard.blogspot.com or Hot work maybe – have a coconut or www.facebook.com/aliceyard sno-cone for recovery. Or both. www.discovertnt.com 29
  28. 28. Yachts at anchor William Barrow Check the calendar for celebrations and festivals It’s a rare week when there’s nothing happening, secular or religious, day or night. Carnival, Chaguaramas Divali, Hosay, Emancipation Day, The Chaguaramas peninsula, west of Port of Spain, has various Borough Days, Indepen- a new waterside boardwalk. Find out what the “bamboo dence and Republic Days. You cathedral” is, or walk to Edith Falls from the car park of the can often catch live music at golf course; check out the marinas and enjoy the breeze various clubs and bars (check the off the sea and the boats at anchor. daily papers). 30 Trinidad
  29. 29. Maria Nunes We are Carnival C arnival is excessive, expressive, and full of glorious abandon. Like those in Brazil and Venice, it’s premised on the idea of a grand romp before the austerity of the Christian season of Lent. Once we’ve finished our Christmas feasting, our Carnival feting begins in earnest. In 2014, Carnival Monday and Tuesday fall on March 3-4; that gives us just over two months to obsess over the season’s new calypso and soca tunes and fit in as many fetes as possible before the two-day street parade. www.discovertnt.com 31
  30. 30. F etes are just huge parties by another name, but they provide the training you need to make the most of the big days to come. You need to jump, wave and dance with thousands of strangers in the comparative safety of the party zone before you can really lose your inhibitions (and most of your clothes). From the mud, paint and cocoa of J’ouvert in the darkness of early Monday morning, through the two days of street parades, to the frazzled, exhausted frenzy of Las Lap on Tuesday night, you want to have as few inhibitions as possible. While the glamorous tiny, sequined costumes rule the streets, there are still some “traditional” characters and events – swaggering Dames Lorraines, oratorical Midnight Robbers, prancing fire-eating Blue Devils, Pierrots, Jab-Jabs. They’re worth Below Kees Diffenthaler of Kes the Band. Opposite page J’ouvert in full swing. Triniwaves looking out for. 32 Trinidad
  31. 31. Chris Anderson www.discovertnt.com 33
  32. 32. Ryan Kong www.trinidadcarnivaldiary.com 34 Trinidad
  33. 33. Thinking about it? I f you plan on playing mas, that is, getting a costume and being part of one of the parade bands, you’ll find it’s simple. Most of the bigger and more popular masquerade bands now have websites where you can view and buy costumes online. That goes for J’ouvert bands too. Important note: While the main website photographs may be of the most va-va-voom, Brazilian-style costumes, there are usually different versions on offer for each design. If you’re not ready for too much self-exposure, look for the one-piece suits, the more demure two-piece ensembles and other options. Carnival safety I f you’re going to take part in the festivities, recall all the things you know and practise as a safety-conscious traveller and ramp them up a bit. It’s easy to get lost or lose something in a hedonistic atmosphere involving large crowds. So stick with friends, pre-arrange meeting points in case you become separated, don’t carry wads of money or wear easily detachable valuables at parties or on the road. Take care of that expensive camera, and don’t forget about your surroundings completely, or the people nearby. Helpful checklists appear in the daily papers on Triniwaves how to have a safe Carnival without sacrificing the fun. www.discovertnt.com 35
  34. 34. Glossary of terms Dimanche Gras Tuesday. They follow a set route (more or less). Carnival Sunday night’s big show tradi- Monday starts late and is basically a warm-up; tionally sees the crowning of the Calypso Tuesday starts early, and that’s when the full Monarch and the King and Queen of the Band costumes come out (but new formats are being tried out) Pretty mas J’ouvert Bands with costumes of bikini-and-beads and The official start of Carnival. Covered in mud, strategically placed feathers. The term distin- paint, oil or cocoa, the masses take to the guishes them from other types of mas (“sailor streets from as early as 4am on Carnival Mon- mas”, traditional mas”, “mud mas”) day morning Soca Monarch Las Lap This competition has overshadowed the long- Carnival officially ends at midnight on Tues- established Calypso Monarch contest. The day. Once the day’s formal parade and faster rhythms of today’s dance music draw competition are over, bands can roam fanatical audiences as the singers pull out all where they want, for the sheer joy of it, the stops for this highlight of the season until the clocks strike 12 Traditional mas Mas A cast of familiar costumed characters (stock Short for “masquerade” figures as in commedia dell’arte). Long before the arrival of the pretty mas bands, the Mid- Panorama night Robber, Dame Lorraine and Pierrot Gre- Steelbands of all sizes, from all over the coun- nade provided the theatre of the streets try, compete here for the most coveted title on the pannist’s calendar Wining To “wine” is to dance, but deploying hips and Parade of the Bands waist more than feet. It is a mild gyration at its The procession of large and small costumed tamest, blatantly sexual at the other end of the bands on the streets on Carnival Monday and spectrum 36 Trinidad
  35. 35. Ryan Kong www.discovertnt.com 37
  36. 36. ER - IS INT L ER - I S INT L LTD TR . AN SP O OR TATION C Quality Service Family Vacation 38 Trinidad . SP O OR TATION C ND A T N T& T RA Ferry Service L T& Trinidad & Tobago Inter-Island AN T
  37. 37. We Celebrate Panorama Finals (February) The climax of the steelband year: the cream of the crop battle it out in furious competition for the title of Courtesy CAL Invaders Steel Orchestra Panorama Champions. Soca Monarch Finals (February) This annual double-header takes place on Carnival Friday (“Fantastic Friday”) and showcases soca artists from around the region vying for two different titles: Power Soca Monarch and Groovy Soca Monarch.  www.discovertnt.com 39
  38. 38. Phagwa (March) The Hindu spring festival, also known as Holi. Participants douse one another in colourful vegetable dyes known as abir. Traditional folksongs called chowtals are sung to the pulsating rhythms of dholak Nicholas Laughlin drums. Spiritual Shouter Baptist Liberation Day (March – public holiday) A celebration of religious freedom. On this day in 1951, the colonial Shouters Prohibition Ordinance of 1917 was repealed: it had outlawed the activities of the Shouter or Spiritual Baptists. Tobago Jazz Experience (April) Tobago’s biggest annual music event; a musical odyssey across the island, from Speyside to Signal Hill, Scarborough to Castara, ending at the Pigeon Point Heritage Park. Though billed as a jazz concert, it is a truly eclectic blend, embracing calypso, soca, chutney, latin and contemporary as well as jazz. Usually held during the last week of April. Past headliners include Sting, Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, India.Arie, Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick. 40 Trinidad
  39. 39. las La ughlin NGC Bocas Lit Fest: The Trinidad & Tobago Literary Festival (April) This annual literary festival at the end of the month Nicho brings together readers, writers and publishers for a four-day celebration of books and writing, with readings, performers, workshops and discussions. Indian Arrival Day (May – public holiday) Until the 1830s, agricultural estates were worked by imported African slaves. After emancipation, colonial Britain solved the labour crisis by importing over 140,000 labourers from India between 1845 and 1917. This holiday marks their first landing in and Indian descendants each account for about 35% of the population. Arianne Thompson Trinidad. Nearly 170 years later, African Ganga Dhaara Festival (June) The main observances happen at the Marianne River, but the trek starts in the Blanchisseuse forest in the pre-dawn darkness. Lit deyas in prayer boats made of coconut fibre are floated along the mountain river. Devotees, mostly dressed in yellow, stand in the water or line the banks or stony hillocks. www.discovertnt.com 41
  40. 40. We Beat Festival (June) Centered around the Western Main Road in St James, featuring vintage kaiso (calypso), talent shows and a steelband parade at the end. Most of these events take place at the St James Amphitheatre. Corpus Christi (June – public holiday) The feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for “body of Christ”) is celebrated by Catholics in honour of the sacramental Eucharist, with a procession in downtown Port of Spain. Santa Rosa Festival (July) The Amerindian (First Peoples) community in Arima remembers its long (and not always happy) relationship with the Roman Catholic church; the event is named after Santa Rosa de Lima, the first Catholic saint in the “new world”. There’s a church procession, highlighting the Carib Queen, with music and entertainment including parang competitions and traditional preparation of cassava bread. Eid-ul-Fitr (July – public holiday) This Islamic holiday signals the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Muslim families gather for prayer in mosques and large, open air spaces, followed by the greeting and exchange of gifts and good wishes between worshippers. The date may vary slightly according to circumstances. About Edison Boodoosingh 5% of the national population is Muslim. 42 Trinidad
  41. 41. Divali (October – public holiday) The simplest things can create the most arresting sights. Small clay bowls known as and displayed in their thousands in homes, mandirs and public spaces for the Hindu “festival of lights”. The tiny flames symbolise the victory of righteous forces over evil. Hindus, representing over 18% of the population, perform religious ceremonies in worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of light and prosperity. Hosay (November) Hosay is of Islamic origin, though its religiosity is heavily debated within the Muslim community. It commemorates the martyrdom of Hassan and Hussein, grandsons of the Prophet Mohammed, and is principally observed in St James, though processions can also be seen in Cedros and Curepe. Tadjahs, ornamented replicas of Hussein’s tomb, are carried through the streets to the rhythmic accompaniment of tassa drumming. www.discovertnt.com 43 Ariann Thompson deyas are filled with oil, lit by cotton wicks,
  42. 42. 44 Trinidad William Barrow
  43. 43. We’d like to show you ... Around Port of Spain Uptown The Queen’s Park Savannah is the city’s green heart, the haunt of everyone from cricketers and footballers to joggers and kite-flyers. On the northern side are the Emperor Valley Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, and the President’s House, now being renovated. On the western side are “the Magnificent Seven”, a quirky mix of historic buildings, several in dire need of restoration. From south to north they are, Queen’s Royal College; Hayes Court (home to the Anglican bishop); Milles Fleurs; Roomor (privately owned); the Roman Catholic archbishop’s house; Whitehall (formerly the Prime Minister’s office); and Killarney or Stollmeyer’s Castle. The National Academy of Performing Arts, with its multiple stages and performance spaces lies just to the south of the Savannah. The much older (but beautifully renovated) Stollmeyer’s Castle Martin Farinha Queen’s Hall is at the Savannah’s northeast corner. www.discovertnt.com 45
  44. 44. Downtown The Brian Lara Promenade runs east-west down the middle of Independence Square, the focal point of downtown Port of Spain. At the western end, it borders the waterfront and ferry terminal; at the eastern end is the (Roman Catholic) Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, where our many ethnicities are depicted in the stained Ryan Kong glass. A few blocks to the north is Woodford Square, laid out by a British colonial governor nearly 200 years ago. Traditionally used for political rallies, it is bordered by the Red House (the customary seat of parliament, now being renovated), the Hall of Justice (law courts), the National Library and the (Anglican) Holy Trinity Cathedral. Beyond the capital Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge Nestled in the hills at the head of the Arima valley, this 193-acre eco-centre and former estate house is a world-renowned study centre and guesthouse where visitors can see a huge variety of bird life. Originally a cocoa and coffee plantation, it was bought by an Englishman, Dr Newcombe Wright, and his Icelandic wife Asa in 1947, and acquired two years later by the New York Zoological Society as a research station. After her husband’s death, Mrs Wright sold the land on condition that it remained a conservation area; a non-profit trust was set up in 1967. The Centre provides guided tours, nature trails, bird watching, a plunge pool, restaurant, and gift shop. The veranda has fantastic views down the Armia Valley, and is a great place for bird photography. The restaurant serves good local cuisine (reservations recommended). Visit www.asawright.org for more information. 46 Trinidad Top Fountain in Woodford Square. Opposite page, clockwise from top Red-rumped agouti; green honeycreeper; blue-backed manakin; spectacled caiman, southern tamandua, tufted cocquette.
  45. 45. Faraaz Abdul www.discovertnt.com www.discovertnt.com 47
  46. 46. Chaguaramas National Heritage Park Chaguaramas is a playground for nature-lovers and eco-adventurers: hiking trails, historic landmarks, a military museum, golf course, restaurants, marinas, waterfalls, beaches (including the popular Macqueripe), land sports (cycling, hashing, mountain biking), water sports (kayaking, sailing, yachting, power boating, dragon-boat racing), and boats to the offshore islands. A recently constructed boardwalk starts at Williams Bay, and there are bike trails, gazebos for cooking, liming spots, rest areas, roller-blading and fishing. Zip lining is a new experience for Trinidad – the lines overlook the peninsula, both coast and forest – and it’s catching on fast. Offshore, the 30m (98ft) deep limestone Gasparee Caves on Gaspar Grande island are breathtakingly beautiful. Tours are arranged with registered tour guides, or the ChaguaraChaguaramas was a US military base during World War II, a signal station in the hills and several buildings survive from that time. 48 Trinidad This page This abandoned house on the island of Chacachacare was the living quarters for the doctor caring for patients at the leprosarium on the island. Rumoured to be haunted. William Barrow mas Development Authority.
  47. 47. Banwari Trace Chaguanas The oldest pre-Columbian site in the West In- Home of traditional Indian pottery, and the dies, on the southern shore of the Oropouche site of Nobel laureate VS Naipaul’s childhood Lagoon south of San Fernando, dating to home, Lion House. about 5,000 BC. Excavations have unearthed far recovered anywhere in the Caribbean. The Devil’s Woodyard Mud Volcano site probably represents one of the first settle- Near Princes Town, and not as terrifying as ments established by the Caribbean’s First its name suggests (European settlers weren’t People as they emigrated northwards from sure how to explain the bubbling and rum- South America into the Caribbean islands. bling), this is one of many small mud vol- stone tools and the earliest human skeleton so canoes in the southland. Mud volcanoes Fort George Driving west out of Port of Spain, you’ll see this colonial-era signal station on the crest of a ridge 335m (1,100ft) above the city (access from St James). Can- emit hot mud through a vent or fissure, propelled by methane or other gases below the surface. Though usually quiet, the Devil’s Woodyard can occasionally produce large muddy eruptions. nons, a small museum, and magnificent William Barrow panoramic views of the west coast. www.discovertnt.com 49
  48. 48. Divali Nagar Centre Galera Point, Toco The Divali Nagar site just north of Chaguanas A magnificent headland marks the northeast- is the venue for many Hindu activities and ern tip of Trinidad, where the navy-blue Atlan- performances – lectures, Indian trade fairs, tic meets the electric-blue Caribbean Sea. cultural shows, Divali celebrations. A 12m (39ft) statue of Swami Vivekananda keeps a watchful eye over the area. Hanuman Temple & Dattatreya Yoga Centre The distinctive 26m (85ft) statue of the Hindu Lopinot god Hanuman near Carapichaima is the tall- In the Northern Range foothills, Lopinot est of its kind outside India, and towers over was once a cocoa estate. Now there is the Yoga Centre and mandir. a small museum in the former estate house, near the old slave quarters and La Vega Garden Centre prison. The estate was developed by This estate in Gran Couva, home to a range of the Compte de Lopinot, who fled Haiti plants and trees, is popular for picnics, kayak- for Trinidad after the 1791 Haitian revo- ing, and outdoor activities. lution (and is said to appear on stormy nights astride a white horse – Lopinot was featured on the popular US television show Ghost Hunters International). The area is now popular for sports, river bathing, cave exploration, and parang William Barrow music around Christmas time. 50 Trinidad
  49. 49. Mount St Benedict Church & Monastery Point Lisas Perched 240m (800ft) up in the Northern Range sprawls along the west coast near Couva, above St Augustine and Tunapuna, the oldest housing an international port and a range Benedictine monastery in the Caribbean offers of plants fuelled by the country’s own panoramic views of the Caroni plains and be- natural gas; it produces steel and petro- yond. Built in 1912, its 600 acres support nature chemicals (methanol, ammonia, urea) and trails, an art gallery and studio, a gift shop, and a range of downstream products. Guided a guesthouse and café, as well as the central tours available. Trinidad’s first major industrial complex church. The monks produce excellent yoghurt and honey. Pointe-à-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust National Science Centre A magnificent 25-hectare (62-acre) sanc- On the southern side of the highway to Arima, tuary and breeding centre for endangered hands-on science exhibitions for both adults waterfowl, with a learning centre and and children. eco-lodge. It is actually hidden away on the grounds of the oil refinery at Pointe-à- Northern Range Pierre, so you need to make reservations. This range is a continuation of one branch of Visit www.papwildfowltrust.org. the great South American cordilleras, rising to over 914m (3,000ft) into elfin woodland San Fernando Hill at El Tucuche and Cerro del Aripo. Well worth In the middle of Trinidad’s second city, San exploring, but you’ll need a good guide. The Fernando, this hill is a national park, despite Heights of Guanapo, the Guanapo Gorge, and being badly scarred by quarrying. It has the Sombasson and La Laja waterfalls are big magnificent views of the city, the Gulf of attractions. Large colonies of bats and oil birds Paria, the Caroni Plains and Northern Range. inhabit the Aripo Caves. Picnic huts and a children’s play area. Pitch Lake A slowly-churning lake of natural bitumen, covering about half a square kilometre, at La Brea. Natural springs, said to have healing properties, appear at its centre during the rainy season. Most of the surface is hard enough to walk on. A small museum houses some (sometimes bizarre) artefacts that have been recovered from the pitch. www.discovertnt.com 51
  50. 50. Temple in the Sea, Waterloo A Hindu temple built literally in the sea a short way offshore, accessible by a causeway. Indian indentured labourer Siewdass Sadhu toiled for decades to build it after being forbidden to build on colonial land. Turtle watching Trinidad’s northeast coast (like southwest Tobago’s) is among the world’s most important turtle nest- William Barrow ing grounds. During nesting months (March-August), from mid-evening through early morning, female turtles – endangered leatherbacks as well as hawksbill, green and occa- Swamplands sional loggerheads and olive ridleys – heave The Caroni Bird Sanctuary is an extensive themselves out of the ocean and crawl up area of lagoon, marshland and swamp on the the beach. Laboriously, they dig nests in the northwest coast. The highlight: flocks of rare sand and deposit their eggs, carefully camou- scarlet ibis flying home to roost each evening flaging the spot. Two months later, the eggs at dusk – an unforgettable sight. Boat tours hatch, and the baby turtles make a dash for last a couple of hours from late afternoon to the sea; few survive the predators and make dusk (though T&T Sightseeing Tours operates it to maturity. Grande Rivière and Matura are tours all day). On the opposite side, the east both popular and protected beaches. coast, the Nariva Swamp & Bush-Bush Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest swamp in either island. You’ll need a guide and permit to explore it by kayak for a glimpse of manatees in their natural habitat, anacondas, caimans, and bird life. 52 Trinidad Note: permits are required, and can be arranged by tour operators and hotels. Go with a guide, and give nesting turtles lots of space, especially during the digging and covering process. Do not touch or in any way disturb them – lights and activity can disorient turtles and hatchlings. Don’t pick up hatchlings or impede their progress to the sea, and don’t drive on nesting beaches, as vehicles can crush whole clutches of eggs hidden in the sand.
  51. 51. We are hikers O f all the out-doorsy things you can do in Trinidad & Tobago, hiking is one of the best. Much like the country, hikes can accommodate almost everyone, from the gentle soul who’s looking for equally gentle terrain to the most intrepid, bring-it-on types. Comfortable rambles for beginners Edith Falls (Chaguaramas, northwestern peninsula) The trail is well marked by the Chaguaramas Development Authority. Ideal for novice hikers, it reveals a broad range of local flora and fauna, culminating in a breath-taking view of the 250foot (76-metre) falls. Estimated completion time: 30 minutes at a leisurely pace. Rio Seco (Salybia, northeast coast) Complete with a fine natural swimming pool, these falls are part of Matura National Park. The trail paths are largely shaded by mora rainforest canopy. Estimated completion time: 45-60 min- William Barrow utes, trekking casually. www.discovertnt.com 53
  52. 52. William Barrow Maracas Waterfalls (Maracas/St Joseph Valley, north Trinidad) The trail leads through rich forest scene to Trinidad’s tallest waterfall, towering 299 feet (91 metres) high. Estimated completion time: 30-45 minutes, meandering peaceably. For the intermediate hiker Turure Water Steps (Cumaca, northeast Trinidad) Natural limestone provides safe paths for exploration. The hike ends in bathing pools beside the Water Steps themselves: the unique rock face delights budding geologists. Estimated completion time: an hour, at a steady pace. For seasoned hikers only! Saut d’Eau (Paramin, northwest Trinidad) Veterans love the challenge of this gruelling trek: a high-altitude start leads steeply down to an expanse of secluded beachfront. The uphill return is truly not for the faint of heart. Estimated completion time: three blood-pumping hours, there and back again. 54 Trinidad
  53. 53. Marianne Hosein We’re at the beach From Port of Spain Maracas Bay Other choices The top choice for those in Port of Macqueripe: small and secluded, on the north coast Spain. A beautiful semi-enclosed of the Chaguaramas peninsula, 20 minutes from town; bay, 40 minutes from town along some of the best swimming and snorkelling in Trinidad. the scenic North Coast Road. The Parking and changing room facilities, small entrance fee water can generate strong currents. Tyrico: right next door to Maracas (at the eastern end), Parking, basic facilities, hotel and and usually quieter gas station nearby. Vendors sell local Las Cuevas: a short drive beyond Maracas, with good food, including the signature dish, bathing, calmer water, and small caves at the far end. bake and shark. However, with the Snack bar, car park, tables, benches, lifeguards, changshark population on the decline, you ing rooms with showers and toilets might consider trying some of the Blanchisseuse: a popular weekend getaway at the other offerings like catfish, kingfish, end of the north coast road, about an hour from Port cheese or shrimp. Have a sandwich, of Spain. Hiking trails, guesthouses and holiday homes, save a shark! kayaking on the Marianne River that flows into the bay www.discovertnt.com 55
  54. 54. Mayaro The longest beach in the island stretches for miles Other choices along the Atlantic coast, Manzanilla: the northern extension of Mayaro: the road great for walks; noted for its wanders through coconut plantation (the Cocal) along “chip chip” (small, suppos- the shore. A few guesthouses and holiday homes for edly aphrodisiac molluscs rent nearby; some facilities at the northern end, and life- buried in the sand), and guards in some areas fishermen bringing in their Balandra: sheltered, good for swimming, even body- catch, called “pulling seine”, surfing at the rougher end of the bay in the evening. Popular for Matura: rough water, but between March and August this long weekends (it’s 90- is a popular and important leatherback turtle nesting site 120 minutes from Port of Paria: turtles also come ashore in season at this pristine Spain) and public holidays; bay, accessible only by hiking or by boat; waterfalls and vacation homes and guest- rocky pools nearby. houses. The currents and Saline (“Sally”) Bay: not to be confused with Salybia undertow can be surpris- Bay further north: good for swimming, with clear water ingly strong, so take serious and facilities on site care in the water. Salybia: a popular bay for surfing (November-April); good Above Easter holidayers camping on the beach swimming between June and September. Fringing reef off 56 Trinidad the eastern end, unusual for Trinidad; beach facilities Nicholas Bhajan The east coast
  55. 55. The northeast coast Grande Rivière Other choices Small, friendly north-coast fishing village, two Sans Souci: between Toco and Grande hours or more from Port of Spain, perfect for Rivière, a slightly sloping bay with choppy a weekend getaway. Its placid main beach is a waves, a favourite with surfers major leatherback turtle nesting ground. Good bird watching, river bathing, hiking and kayaking; hotels, guesthouses and cottages for rent. The south & southwest Vessigny Beach Granville Beach: a lengthy stretch of sand, Quiet during the week (usually), and a week- shallow water at low tide. Popular at weekends end venue for beach parties and excursions. and for post-Carnival cool-down parties. The Changing rooms, picnic tables. road to the beach is an adventure in itself – but have faith, keep following the signs Other choices Columbus & Cedros Bays: on the southwestern peninsula, a longish drive from Port of Spain, but both are irresistible in good weather. Cedros has the widest beach on the island at low tide. Good views of the southwest coast and, on clear days, neighbouring Venezuela. No facilities but, this being Trinidad, there are food and drink establishments nearby Aisha Provoteaux Quinam: the most popular south coast beach, about a mile long. Calm water good for swimming, and the sand is fine and Lifeguards are typically on duty 9am-5pm or 10am-6pm, but not at all beaches. Red flags indicate unsafe bathing areas. Sunscreen and insect repellent are essential – tropical sun can quickly give a bad burn, even through cloud, and mosquito-born illnesses like dengue fever are still health threats. brown, though it disappears at high tide. A favourite for family weekend outings; trails into the woods www.discovertnt.com 57
  56. 56. We are contenders A part from games which require a temperate climate, we dabble in just about anything involving a ball, net or finish line. Here are some of our favourites. Athletics courts can attest. The Jean Pierre Complex (Port The big local events are the annual Hamp- of Spain) and the Sport & Physical Education ton Games at the Hasely Crawford Stadium Centre (St Augustine) are the main venues, with in Port of Spain and the Southern Games others in Maloney, Point Fortin and Pleasantville. at Guaracara Park, Pointe-à-Pierre. There Cycling are 45 athletics clubs across the country; the presiding body is the National Amateur Athletics Association. We’ve been avid cycling fans for a long time, and the Easter International Grand Prix is one of the most eagerly anticipated Basketball events on the sport calendar. Other ma- Over the years we have supplied several play- jor events are the Tobago Cycling Clas- ers to professional NBA teams. It’s popular with sic, the Rainbow Cup Triathlon, West youngsters at high school level and with ama- Indies vs. the World, and the National Champi- teurs of all ages, as constantly crowded public onships. The Queen’s Park Savannah and the Arima Velodrome are prime venues. Dragon boat racing This 2,000-year-old sport is catching on in both islands, with several clubs following rigorous regimes to compete internationally. Competitions are held at local beaches in both Trinidad & Tobago, where thousands Edison Boodoosingh of athletes and supporters enjoy the 58 Trinidad weather and the competition. Trinidad & Tobago Dragon Boat Federation: www.ttdbf.webs.com
  57. 57. WICB Media/www.windiescricket.com www.ttcb.co.tt Cricket Enormously popular here and throughout the West Indies, with an intense rivalry between islands. The relatively recent T20 format and the Caribbean Premier League have pumped new life and excitement into the sport. The Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain is a beautiful venue for international Tests and One-Day Internationals, and has been the home of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club since 1891. www.discovertnt.com 59
  58. 58. Golf Trinidad has three 18-hole courses, at St Andrew’s Golf Club in Moka, Millen- Horse racing nium Lakes in Trincity, and the Pointe-à- Every weekend hundreds gather at the Santa Pierre Golf Club at the Petrotrin refinery Rosa Park near Arima to gamble, frolic and near San Fernando. There are nine-hole generally have a great time – a pretty good courses at Brechin Castle, Usine St Mad- reflection of our culture on the whole. Thor- eleine and Chaguaramas. oughbreds pound the dirt most Saturdays and public holidays, totalling about 40 race days a year. Prestige events include New Year Gyms & health clubs races, Derby Day, Diamond Stakes, Midsum- Gyms are everywhere, not least at larger mer Classic, President’s Cup and the Santa hotels and malls; many offer weekly, monthly Rosa Classic. and daily passes which allow visitors access Trinidad & Tobago Racing Authority: to group exercise classes, aerobics, spin, etc. www.ttra.net Yoga and pilates are popular ways of pursuing Horse riding health and wellness. In Trinidad, dressage and show jumping in- Hiking & hashing struction can be found at stables in Santa Hiking is popular, especially guided weekend Cruz and St Ann’s. For trail riding, contact hikes to some of the island’s most dramatic Hidden Valley (Chaguaramas) or Bonanza caves and waterfalls. The Port of Spain Hash Stud Farm (Arima). House Harriers host a 100-strong bi-weekly Kayaking event, with healthy attention to the social side of things. River kayaking is best in the wet season when rivers are full. The Yara and Marianne Rivers Hockey on the north coast are popular; so is the Nari- The hockey year is split in two: an indoor va Swamp where the Godineau River takes season (September-January) and an outdoor you through saltwater mangrove swamps season (March-August), on Tacarigua’s Astro- and freshwater marshland. The Kayak Centre turf in Trinidad and at the Dwight Yorke Sta- in Chaguaramas offers the sheltered waters dium in Tobago. of Williams Bay and provides equipment. 60 Trinidad
  59. 59. Photos courtesy Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation www.ttffonline.com Football “Soccer” is a universal language that speaks to us. Everywhere you turn you can see a ball zealot scuffling across any blade of grass, concrete, or gravel he can find. In 2006, Trinidad & Tobago became the smallest country ever to reach the finals of the World Cup. It is likely the most popular sport in the country, from the school leagues to our national team, the Soca Warriors, to the local players who represent us in famous clubs around the world. Soca Warriors: www.socawarriors.net www.discovertnt.com 61
  60. 60. Mountain biking Chaguaramas is ideal for beginners, but the Santa Cruz valley and Matura-Matelot are popular stretches. Power boats In late August, powerboats vie for supremacy on an 84-mile route from Trinidad to Tobago in the Carib Great Race. Rugby Lyden Thomas Not the most popular sport, but we’ve Motor sports Rally Trinidad and Rally Tobago are the big events. Drag racing is popular, though lacking a permanent base. Locations in south and central Trinidad include the pop- done very well internationally. Our teams have done us proud and are showing more and more promise as players get the chance to join top regional clubs. Trinidad & Tobago Rugby Football Union: www.ttrfu.com Sailing ular Zig Zag and Indian Trail tracks in Couva. American Trinidad has one of the largest racautocross defensive driving competitions and karting ing fleets in the Caribbean, and events are held in the car park of the Santa Rosa race Chaguaramas is a major sailing hub. track. The racing season begins around Netball November-December and contin- At the international level, netball has been Trinidad & Tobago’s most successful team sport. We won the World Netball Championship in 1979 and our women have excelled ever since. Trinidad & Tobago Netball Association: tntnetball@yahoo.com 62 Trinidad ues till May-June. The Sailing Association hosts over a dozen races, including general handicap races where any boat can take part. The Trinidad & Tobago Sailing Association: www.ttsailing.org
  61. 61. Mixed martial arts (MMA) A few MMA gyms have opened in Port of Spain, and their events have been flooded with fans. Trinidadian Dwayne Hinds has dominated the sport regionally Lyden Thomas and is set to take the world by storm. www.discovertnt.com 63
  62. 62. Sport fishing Onshore fishing is popular in Chaguaramas, Las Cuevas, Galera Point and the mouth of the Nariva River, while popular boat-fishing spots include the Chaguaramas islands, where fishermen troll for carite, kingfish and cavalli, and bank for redfish, salmon and croakers (or grunt). The key offshore seasons are October-April for marlin, sailfish, wahoo, tuna and dorado, and MayWilliam Barrow September for barracuda, kingfish, bonito, and snapper. Surfing Trinidad’s north coast beaches pro- Swimming vide satisfactory swells from Novem- Competitive swimming always had its fans, but the glory ber to March, though the wet sea- of local hero George Bovell III (four-time Olympian) has son (and the occasional hurricane increased its popularity. Swimming Association of Trinipassing further north) can generate dad & Tobago: www.swimtt.com strong waves as well. But even in peak season, surfing isn’t possible Tennis every day. Sans Souci, Las Cuevas, There are public courts at King George V Park in St L’Anse Mitan, Grande Rivière, Rough- Clair, and courts can be rented by the hour at the side and Salybia are favourite surfing Trinidad Country Club and some hotels. Courts spots. In March, the Surfing Associa- at Tranquillity and Westmoorings require yearly tion stages the CSN Sans Souci, the membership. Tennis Association of Trinidad & Tobago: first event in the cross-Caribbean www.tennistt.info The Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee website, www.ttoc.org, documents all sports in which Trinidad & Tobago participates. 64 Trinidad
  63. 63. Ernie Matthews Heart & Soul: Yoga T here are dozens of yoga studios across the country – Akasha Studio, Bliss Yoga and The Sangha among them – offering classes in various traditions such as Kundalini, Ashtanga and Hatha. Most studios are open-air, though some are quiet air-conditioned rooms. Classes are generally very affordable, and some are even donation-based. There are classes for kids and teenagers too. In Tobago, Elspeth Duncan teaches group classes at the Kariwak Hotel. Her company, Thou Art Yoga, offers one-on-one Kundalini yoga weekend retreats known as WOW – Wonderful One Weekend. She also does workshops and Kundalini yoga and creativity retreats for small groups. www.discovertnt.com 65
  64. 64. We are artists of all kinds D espite our famous “fete culture”, we don’t actually spend all our time jumping and prancing. There’s a rich and varied arts scene, for example, with enough theatre groups, fashion designers, writers, musicians, filmmakers, dance companies and visual artists to keep you busy and engaged every night of the week. Dance Film & cinema Caribbean people are natural dancers, and a The trinidad+tobago film festival in late dance performance might mean folk, ballet, September/early October screens local jazz, modern, Indian, African, Latin, Chinese … and diaspora features and shorts. The European Film Festival (October) screens new Fashion & jewellery and classic European movies. Multiplexes There’s a confident and fast-developing fash- (MovieTowne in Port of Spain, Chaguanas ion industry with some highly gifted design- and Tobago; Caribbean Cinemas 8 in Trincity) ers; lovely handcrafted jewellery is produced have all but replaced single-screen cinemas. by, among others, Barbara Jardine, Rachel Ross, Jasmine Thomas Girvan. Literature The big names include VS Naipaul, Earl Lovelace, Michael Anthony, and the late Sam Selvon among the veterans. Look for titles by Lawrence Scott, Elizabeth Nunez, Shani Mootoo, Robert Antoni, Elizabeth WalcottHardy. Monique Roffey won the 2013 Bocas Prize. For beautiful memoir-esque writing, get your hands on Wayne Brown’s work. Vahni Capildeo’s poetry manages to be timeless and other-worldly at the same time. Paper Based bookshop in St Ann’s is one of the best places to find local and West Indian reading. 66 Trinidad
  65. 65. Edison Boodoosingh www.discovertnt.com 67
  66. 66. Music The music that was invented and developed in Trinidad & Tobago – calypso, soca, steelpan – is best heard at Carnival time, though there are shows of one sort or another most months of the year. The music has been evolving from local roots into various kinds of world music: look out for Mungal Patasar and Pantar, Ella Andall, David Rudder, Orange Sky, 12theband, jointpop, 3canal, H20 Phlo and recordings by the late André Tanker. Theatre Localised farce and musicals dominate the scene but there are occasional productions of classic Caribbean plays, experimental theatre, and intimate solo shows and dramas. Visual arts Distinguished work is displayed at the National Museum and city art galleries, and a significant art market has developed. Key names include sculptors Ralph and the late Vera Baney, Edward Bowen, LeRoy Clarke, Chris Cozier, Jackie Hinkson, Dermot Louison, Shastri Maharaj, Wendy Nanan, Lisa O’Connor, Irénée Shaw, Peter Sheppard and Sundiata. Work by earlier generations is highly valued (MP Alladin, Sybil Atteck, Pat Bishop, Isaiah Boodhoo, Jean-Michel Cazabon, Carlisle Chang, Boscoe Holder, Noel Vaucrosson). Daily papers carry information on current performances and Opposite page Pantar, Gary Hector from the band jointpop This page H2O Phlo Marissa Rodriguez exhibitions 68 Trinidad
  67. 67. Marissa Rodriguez William Barrow www.triniscene.com www.discovertnt.com 69
  68. 68. We are shoppers N o, a ceramic coconut made in China is probably not how you want to remember your trip. Fair enough. But there are exceptionally talented local craftsmen in Trinidad working in leather, clay, fabric, copper and other raw materials like seeds, shells and gourds. And you can find just about anything mainstream, from clothes, houseware and aromatherapy candles to fancy local foods, fashion and jewellery. Considering the size of Trinidad (it’s less of a problem in Tobago), there’s an almost alarming number of shopping malls. In downtown Port of Spain, Frederick Street is a hectic shopping stretch which keeps a finger on the pulse of our culture even as older buildings and shops are replaced by bigger and trendier ones. Marissa Rodriguez Downtown Non-mall shopping is focused on a few key streets in each urban centre: Frederick and Charlotte Streets (Port of Spain); High Street (San Fernando); Main Street (Chaguanas); Milford Road Esplanade and the Market at Carrington Street in Scarborough, Tobago. Online Though relatively new, online shopping is gaining traction. So far, food, shoes, clothing, lingerie and accessories are the main items that can be bought from local sites. 70 Trinidad
  69. 69. Shopping malls There are five major shopping malls in Trinidad: The Falls at West Mall (Westmoorings) and Long Circular Mall (St James) in the western suburbs of Port of Spain; Trincity Mall near Piarco airport; Grand Bazaar (Valsayn); and Gulf City (San Fernando). They house branches of popular downtown stores, but also high-end stores you won’t find anywhere else. There are several smaller shopping plazas and mini-malls as well (e.g. Valsayn and Ellerslie Plazas, and Excellent City Centre in the heart of Port of Spain). Unexpected gifts Artisan chocolates Some of the world’s best cocoa comes from Trinidad, but it usually goes straight out of the country for others to do wonderful things with. Now, chocolatiers are offering exquisite handHandmade and decorated chocolates by Cocobel www.cocobel.com Courtesy Cocobel made truffles and other rich delights to local buyers. www.discovertnt.com 71
  70. 70. India? Here? Travelling trade fairs from India have become a regular event. Don’t be surprised to find some great buys in Indian apparel, textiles, jewellery, ornaments, even furniture. There’s something for every budget, and the savings start with not having to buy an actual ticket to India. Find Art On both islands you’ll find galleries selling the work of some of the country’s top artists and photographers, and there are often several exhibitions in progress. Expect a broad range in terms of quality and price, but the best work is world-class. Wild Ride at the Savannah; sculpture,bronze and nautilus shell by Jasmine Thomas Girvan 72 Trinidad
  71. 71. www.jasminethomasgirvan.com www.janicederrick.com Rachel Ross Jewellery on facebook www.discovertnt.com 73
  72. 72. 18 carat gold long leaf-cell chain by Janice Derrick Be Jewelled Jewellery for any budget, preference or occasion. From the slightly expected shelland-seed type of handicraft, to haute couture gold- and silversmith designs. And you can’t discover Trinidad & Tobago without running into insanely low-priced fashion jewellery. Local chain Wonderful World is an extravaganza of affordable and trendy accessories. Another well-kept secret: Gemstones in Maraval and West Mall. Surprise! Not Just Soca! Apart from pan, calypso and soca, Trinidad & Tobago is a music-lover’s dream. Jazz, Indian, gospel, parang (a Spanish-flavoured music popular around Christmas), fusion, chutney. We have a long, longstanding love affair with rock (from mildalternative to semi-hardcore). And we have some excellent choirs with classical and contemporary repertoires. Most successful performers have produced their own albums. Have a listen to some other very Trinidadian kinds of music from names like Mungal Patasar and Pantar, 3 Canal, Theron Shaw, jointpop, Ataklan, the Marionettes Chorale and the Lydian Singers. 74 Trinidad
  73. 73. www.discovertnt.com 75
  74. 74. We are food lovers P retty much everything we do revolves around food. Out for drinks? Yes but we’ll stop for doubles/roti/gyros after. It’s Christmas! Midnight mass, love to your fellow man, wrap presents. The reward: pastelles, ham, ponche de crème, black cake. Beach! Where’s the shark and bake? Cricket! Who’s bringing the pelau? Trinidad & Tobago can be complicated. But our united, delighted appreciation of food is our society at its simplest and most artless. Where there be food, there we go. Restaurants are plentiful, from the internationally noted to the dives known only to those living nearby. Fine dining restaurants with celebrity chefs are often located in converted traditional city houses, drawing ambience from memories of old Port of Spain. If you like Chinese food, you’ve come to the right place, oddly enough. The number of Chinese restaurants, mostly Cantonese, is in insane disproportion to the actual Chinese population. Not that we’re complaining. And there are some divine Indian, Thai, Italian, and Creole restaurants too. But Trinidad is, above all, the land of Ariann Thompson street food. There are areas famous for Opposite page Clockwise from top: assorted hot peppers; swizzle sticks; all spice; pumpkin; aluminium graters. 76 Trinidad
  75. 75. Courtesy www.trinichow.com www.trinichow.com www.discovertnt.com 77
  76. 76. this, like the Western Main Road in St James, or the southeast corner of the Queen’s Park Savannah. In Tobago, Store Bay stands in the winner’s circle for having so much good food in one place. Here’s the challenge: eat your way across the sheds, tents, carts, mobile units, out into the world and try to match the experience. 78 Trinidad an sin g of this country and then go h stalls and basketed bicycles ay Nar Emily
  77. 77. P.S. About green seasoning ... Wonder what that flavour is that seems to make its way into all local dishes? Referred to simply as “green seasoning”, it’s a minced mix of chives, thyme, onions, garlic and celery. Many home and professional cooks keep their special variations fiercely guarded. Two great sites for descriptions, definitions and desires: www.Trinichow.com, www.CaribbeanPot.com. www.discovertnt.com 79
  78. 78. Sno-cone Shaved ice drenched in a variety of syrups and, for a little extra decadence, Marsha Edwards condensed milk 80 Trinidad
  79. 79. Street food Barbecue: in our version, Curried crab and dump- Roti: soft Indian flatbread the sauce is thinner and lings: a Tobago speciality, filled with meat or vege- more heavily seasoned than, in which the steamed flour tables and wrapped over say, its sweet and tangy dumpling offsets the dense itself to keep everything in American cousin curry of the crab place Chow: fruit, especially Doubles: a pair of fried Shark and bake: the bake young ones, pickled in Indian flatbread pieces with a is the mellow, fried round vinegar, salt and pepper. Add curried chickpea filling of dough that houses the as much hot pepper as you Gyros: the traditional Arabic sandwich. Add deep-fried can stand. Favourites include wrap of grilled meat and slices of shark or other fish. mango, pineapple, West unleavened bread has been Fresh vegetables, pineapple, Indian plums gaining popularity outside and an array of condiments Coconut water: straight clubs, bars and parties complete it from the nut Oyster cocktails: fresh oys- Souse: the brined feet of Corn: boiled, roasted or in ters served in a tomato-based pigs or chickens served with soup sauce, sold by the glass lots of hot pepper www.discovertnt.com 81
  80. 80. Courtesy the Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre We have just the place for you For the business traveller Trinidad offers accommodation options for business travellers of all kinds – whether your needs are basic or fairly complicated. There are local as well as international hotel brands in and around the capital and industrial centres. In a place with a growing reputation for its conference-hosting facilities, our business hotels can provide the services needed to make a professional visit efficient. 82 Trinidad
  81. 81. www.discovertnt.com 83
  82. 82. Some popular choices among business travellers: Port of Spain Hyatt Regency Trinidad on the city waterfront Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre overlooking the Savannah Courtyard by Marriott less than ten minutes from downtown Port of Spain Kapok Hotel in Maraval Near the airport Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites San Fernando Royal Hotel Courtesy Kapok Hotel Tradewinds Hotel 84 Trinidad
  83. 83. www.discovertnt.com 85
  84. 84. Conference facilities The idea of Port of Spain being the next great conference city is not far-fetched. One promising new area is our ability to facilitate conferences, seminars, tradeshows, conventions and any other conceivable type of meeting. We have well-equipped spaces for all sizes of gatherings, good infrastructural support services (technical and otherwise), and professional organisers Courtesy the Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre to pull everything together. 86 Trinidad
  85. 85. www.discovertnt.com 87
  86. 86. 88 Trinidad
  87. 87. For the vacationer Many good reasons to visit Trinidad, many different kinds of places to stay. Charming boutique inns, no-frills selfcatering and nature retreats. Some of the hotels listed in the business travel section cater to those with a little luxury in mind. Guesthouses and B&Bs The Allamanda (Woodbrook) and Par-May-La’s Sharon Millar (Newtown) are handy for Port of Spain. www.discovertnt.com 89
  88. 88. For the eco-enthusiast Birds, butterflies, turtles – yes, we have them all. And gorgeous forests and hiking trails. Many of our visitors who keep coming back are nature lovers and each encounter with the landscape is special. There are some wonderful nature-oriented havens in remote parts of Trinidad – some William Barrow William Barrow Anu Lakhan on the beach, some in the mountains. Bargain hunting Discounted rates and packages are often available. The peak visitor season is December-April (expect higher rates); prices also increase around Carnival time. Last-minute rooms are often available, but it’s best to book ahead for any international events and conferences, and for traditionally popular periods like Easter, Carnival, Christmas and New Year. Visit www.gotrinidadandtobago.com for current information. 90 Trinidad
  89. 89. www.discovertnt.com 91
  90. 90. Escape the ordinary. Discover Hyatt Regency Trinidad. With a prime location in the heart of downtown Port of Spain, Hyatt Regency Trinidad is the premiere hotel for any type of getaway. Spacious suites offer spectacular gulf views, flat-screen televisions and our signature Hyatt Grand Bed, while our 9,000 square-foot locally inspired spa and rooftop infinity pool overlooking the gulf provide a luxurious retreat. World-class cuisine and deluxe facilities designed to accommodate weddings, events and parties of all sizes ensure guests will get the most out of their stay. For reservations, call 868 623 2222 or visit trinidad.hyatt.com. HYATT REGENCY TRINIDAD 1 Wrghtson Road, Port of Spain 868 623 2222 HYATT name, design and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. ©2013 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved. 92 Trinidad
  91. 91. www.discovertnt.com 93 Courtesy Hyatt Trinidad & Tobago
  92. 92. 94 Tobago Laura Narayansingh
  93. 93. Welcome to Tobago H ere are two things to remember: Tobago is small Auchenskeoch, in the south of the island, is pronounced or-kin-skew. While Tobago is certainly a more postcard Caribbean island than Trinidad, as we so often point out, it really isn’t the most touristy place you can find. It can be surprisingly real. In its smallness, everything is a shorter distance than it appears on the map. If you get off the coastal roads and drive through the densely forested middle (where “forest” includes rainforest, bamboo, deciduous and evergreens), the hills are low and close. Intimate. These narrow ribbons of road wrap tightly around bends. Drive slowly: depending on the season, the way may be treacherous with over-ripe mangoes spilling wantonly into the street. The dogs and chickens are all suicidal. Tobago is very hilly, but gently so. Auchenskeoch and its unlikely pronunciation is a good reminder that Tobago is full of surprises. We’re eating out … and in T obago’s restaurant scene might not be as diverse as Trinidad’s but there’s a fair range from the fine to the fast. It’s a great island for an outdoor lifestyle and that includes eating. Establishments great and small offer al fresco dining and gorgeous views. Whether your table is on a veranda overlooking the north coast or at the poolside of a luxury hotel, the ambiance can be as good as the food. The Magdalena Grand does wonderful buffet dinners – a different theme every night. Tobago’s own specialities are fresh seafood, including lobster and crab: its signature dish is curried crab and dumplings. The stalls at Store Bay are famous for this must-taste meal. www.discovertnt.com 95
  94. 94. If you’re in a position to do some self-catering, avail yourself of the fresh seafood and vegetables, homemade sauces, even yoghurt and cheese (look for the Orange Hill brand). Penny Savers is a chain of small supermarkets in Canaan (Milford Road), Scarborough (Wilson Road) and Carnbee village. If you need a few not-so-basic extras, Morshead Gourmet Foods at Mt Pleasant, just off the Shirvan Road, carries some very fancy imports and exotic ingredients. Etcetera For other things you might need to pick up: Gulf City Mall (Lowlands), on the north side of the Claude Noel Highway opposite Tobago Plantations estate, is the island’s main shopping centre. It also has Tobago’s only cineplex. Scarborough Mall, in lower Scarborough, is a plaza with the essentials: banks, post office, library, pharmacies, bus station, etc. The Scarborough Market, next to the Mall, is the place for fish, fruit, vegetables and local foods, especially on Friday and Saturday mornings. 96 Tobago
  95. 95. We are saving the turtles S ave Our Sea Turtles (SOS) is a community-based organisation that’s been working since 2000 to understand, monitor and protect the vulnerable leatherbacks, hawksbills and green turtles that come to shore in the Courland area of Tobago. This year, instead of just telling you how great turtles are, Discover asked SOS member, Giancarlo Lalsingh, to tell us more about what the guardians of the turtles are thinking. Why is keeping turtles safe so important?  Sea turtles are incredible creatures that have survived for millions of years. They play an integral part in the marine and coastal environment they inhabit. They provide many beneficial ecological services, Courtesy Giancarlo Lalsingh and as a natural living resource, contribute to building sustainable communities, not only in Trinidad and Tobago but around the world. discovertnt.com 97
  96. 96. What makes someone stalk beaches for hours on end, losing sleep and weight, to check on them?  In many respects, our lives are not that different from the long journey that sea turtles undertake. From a tiny hatchling with a 1-in-1,000 chance of survival to a giant of the seas, travelling thousands of miles through the ocean and finally returning after many decades to the beaches of their birth to lay their eggs and begin the process all over again ... It would be a shame, after all that effort, to have their eggs poached or worse, be killed. This is something we can all relate to. What’s the hardest part?  Most people in T&T, even if they’ve never seen a turtle, know about them and the threats that they face. Yet we still continue to engage in damaging activities that are leading these magnificent creatures down the path toward extinction. Do more people want to help now? Why? People feel a deep connection to sea turtles and are helping in many different ways. Either through volunteering for beach patrols, helping with education and Stephen Jay Photography awareness, or simply by supporting those who do. This page Trinidad & Tobago has the third largest leatherback turtle nesting population. Matura and Grand Riviere, are the most important landing sites in Trinidad – they’re on the northeast coast. In Tobago, Turtle Beach on the southwest coast is the main spot. Previous page SOS’s Giancarlo Lalsingh says the most beautiful part of what he does is seeing the hatchlings head off into the sea. “Those are the fruits of many sleepless nights on the beach,” he says. 98 Tobago
  97. 97. We’re sunning, surfing, swimming … A s clichéd as it sounds, yes, this tiny island is full of hidden gems. But we don’t all treasure the same things. Drive. Drive. Drive. Take it all in. It’s not impossible to plan an itinerary in Tobago (and you should try it that way at least once), but sometimes you find the best things on Martin Superville courtesy Surfing Association of T&T the way to somewhere else. www.discovertnt.com 99
  98. 98. Crown Point & the Caribbean coast Back Bay: secluded small bay between Mt Irvine and Grafton, reached via a cliffside trail. Good for body surfing, tanning and snorkelling. It’s isolated, so go in a group Bloody Bay: nothing at all like its unfortunate name, this is one of Tobago’s most peaceful and unspoilt beaches. There are changing rooms, picnic tables, bathroom facilities and lifeguards on duty Buccoo: home of the Easter time goat and crab racing. There’s a small bar on site Canoe Bay: calm, shallow waters, great for kids and less enthusiastic swimmers. Just a fiveminute drive down a dirt road off the Milford Road. It’s rarely crowded, and the excellent facilities include a bar and beachfront cabanas; there is a small entrance fee Castara: a quiet beach in a friendly west-coast fishing village. Watch the fishermen hauling in their nets, or buy bread baked in old-fashioned dirt ovens. Facilities include a restaurant, stores and craft stalls, and there’s accommodation nearby Englishman’s Bay: with its distinctive blue-green-gold water surrounded by rich forest, there should be a colour named after this bay. One of Tobago’s popularly photographed beaches. Great snorkelling 100 Tobago
  99. 99. Great Courland Bay (also called Turtle Beach): this long, sandy stretch is a nesting place for leatherback turtles during the season (March-August), as is Stonehaven Bay next door King Peter’s Bay: quiet and calm, with dark sand. Good snorkelling Mt Irvine: a pair of beaches with excellent facilities, snorkelling and surfing. The hotel side offers refreshments and beach amenities (a bar, restaurant, lifeguards, watersports and tour operations). Equipment for various watersports can be hired on site Parlatuvier: fishing village with a tranquil beach and a few snackettes Pigeon Point: near Crown Point and close to Buccoo Reef and the Nylon Pool, this is probably Tobago’s most popular and most photographed beach. There’s an entrance fee at the end of the road into the Heritage Park. Food and drink, amenities and bathroom facilities, watersports equipment, glass-bottom boat trips to Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool Stonehaven Bay: a magnificent, rugged dark-sand beach. The area is home to some of Tobago’s more luxurious resorts and villas Store Bay: extremely popular beach with some of the best food in Tobago. The swimming is good and the craft and souvenirs are better than you’d usually expect from beach stalls. Glass-bottom boat tours leave twice a day for Buccoo Reef and the Nylon Pool. Can get a bit Radical Sports Tobago crowded Lifeguards are typically on duty 9am-5pm or 10am-6pm, but not at all beaches. Red flags indicate unsafe bathing areas. Sunscreen and insect repellent are essential – tropical sun can quickly give a bad burn, even through cloud, and mosquito-born illnesses like dengue fever are still health threats. www.discovertnt.com 101
  100. 100. 102 Tobago Martin Farinha
  101. 101. The Atlantic (windward) coast Bacolet: close to Scarborough, this dark-sand beach is popular with surfers Bellevue: accessed from the Belle Garden Bay Road junction, the waters here are calm by windward-side standards Granby Point: a windswept, dark-sand beach with the remains of a colonial fort King’s Bay: a long, picturesque stretch with calm water and good facilities, including showers, lifeguards and shaded cabanas. A good place to buy fresh fish, sometimes just hauled in Little Rockly Bay: a scenic stretch running along the old coast road south of Scarborough, with Atlantic Ocean views. Accommodation, restaurants and hangouts in the area Man-o’-War Bay: in Charlotteville, at the northern tip of Tobago, you’ll find cottages, guesthouses and eateries. The village is the main venue for the Fishermen’s Festival in June Pirate’s Bay: a stunning beach with crystal-clear water and a fabulous view; accessed via dirt track from the end of the Charlotteville seafront, or by sea Richmond Beach: a quiet, pretty beach near a river mouth Speyside & Blue Waters/Batteaux Bay: sandy beaches within swimming distance of the reef. Speyside and Blue Waters offer tranquillity and great snorkelling. Glass-bottom boat trips to Angel Reef, Goat Island and Little Tobago start here. Speyside itself, Tobago’s dive capital, has a tourist Martin Farinha office, watersports facilities, varied accommodation, and restaurants www.discovertnt.com 103
  102. 102. Forts: the British built a series of defensive forts around the coast in the late 18th century, terrified (with good reason) that they were going to be attacked by the French. By far the most important is Fort King George, named after George III, standing high above Scarborough and commanding the town and the sea approaches. Several original buildings and cannon survive. The Fort now houses the Tobago Museum (early Amerindian and colonial collections), and provides a spectacular view Point is a good place to watch the sun go down, Fort Bennett (1778) surveys part of the Caribbean coast near Mt Irvine, and Fort James commands the headland at Plymouth, overlooking Courland Bay. 104 Tobago Ariann Thompson of the windward coast and the Atlantic. Fort Milford (1777) at Crown
  103. 103. We are more than just beaches Y ou’ve finally seen more gorgeous magical beaches than you thought could exist in one tiny space. No? Even so, Tobago has more to recommend it than the soothing sand, the luxurious water, the plentiful racing goats. Sometimes, something delightful (like a fruit punch slushy) or fascinating (like a bizarre grave) is just around the corner. Don’t be surprised if you find your favourite experience somewhere unexpected. Here are some of our favourites. Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve: just beyond Plymouth – tropical fruit, birdlife, a butterfly garden, shelter for endangered species Arnos Vale: the 1857 waterwheel that once powered the mill at the old Arnos Vale sugar estate is still there; so is an old Amerindian site, and the remains of a slave village Botanical Gardens: sloping grounds with majestic trees, a quiet escape from the bustle of Scarborough among brilliant flamboyants, silk cotton trees and royal palms Buccoo Reef/Bon Accord Lagoon is the island’s first Ramsar Site (i.e. recognised as a wetland of international importance); the system includes the inshore coral reefs and the Bon Accord mangrove swamps and seagrass beds, where the rare green sea turtle is sometimes sighted Charlotteville is peaceful and beautiful, snug on the shore of Tobago’s finest natural harbour, Man-o’-War Bay. Like Speyside, it is an excellent dive centre with its own dive shops. The beach is great for swimming, with beach facilities at the southern end Cuffie River Nature Retreat: hidden away inland and dedicated to nature and tranquillity. Great bird watching, nature tours, and an easily accessible river Flagstaff Hill: almost the northernmost tip of Tobago, reached via an unpaved road from the crest of the hill before descending into Charlotteville. It was the site of an American military lookout and radio tower during World War II. The view is panoramic, encompassing St Giles Islands and the village of Charlotteville www.discovertnt.com 105
  104. 104. Grafton Caledonia Wildlife Sanctuary: a former cocoa estate which evolved into a bird sanctuary after 1963’s Hurricane Flora; the birds are fed at the Copra House around 4pm Kimme Museum, Bethel: the workshop and gallery of the late German sculptor Luise Kimme, best known for her larger-than-life Tobago dancers and folklore characters hand-carved from wood. Kimme died in 2013 and a large part of the collection was lent to the Duesseldorf Kunstakademie. Call the gallery for up-to-date information (639-0257) King’s Bay was once a large Carib settlement. The water is calm and warm, and there are beach facilities. King’s Bay Waterfall can be reached via a trail on the opposite side of the road; the falls may be dry if there’s been little rain Main Ridge & Forest Reserve: the Main Ridge runs down two-thirds of the island like a spine. Designated in 1776, it is the western hemisphere’s oldest protected reserve – protected specifically for reasons of conservation. A good scenic road runs across the Ridge from Bloody Bay to Roxborough, giving access to forest trails like Gilpin Trace, an easy 45-minute walk to a small waterfall Richmond Great House: this quiet and charming Great House (1776) has been attractively restored to function as a guesthouse/hotel and African art Speyside is Tobago’s diving centre, and the Ariann T ho m pson restaurant. It houses an extensive collection of departure point for Little Tobago, the island bird sanctuary off the northeast coast. Stop and enjoy the magnificent view from the Speyside Lookout just before the descent into the town. Tourist office, good dive shops and watersports operators 106 Tobago
  105. 105. Waterfalls: experienced guides will take you to the three-tiered Argyle Falls near Roxborough (there is an entrance fee). Rainbow Waterfall is another beautiful spot Ariann Thompson Giancarlo Lalsingh Right Laughing gulls are everywhere in Tobago Below Argyle Falls, Tobago’s highest waterfall, cascades down a series of steps. There are refreshing pools along the hike to the falls Opposite page Tobago-based artist Luise Kimme’s larger-than-life dancers www.discovertnt.com 107
  106. 106. We are divers T ake a deep breath, breathe out slowly, look around. Fish everywhere: silver, black, yellow, blue. Big ones, tiny ones, listen to the crackling of the rock shrimp. Turtle! Look, a hawksbill! So majestic! Check under that rock, it’s a nurse shark. Amazing! Wait, there’s a lobster, its massive feelers waving in the current. Is that a stingray covering itself with sand? It’s huge! Katy Stickland There’s another one. Turtle! This one is a green turtle, you can tell from the mouth. 108 Tobago
  107. 107. Curt Whitney www.tobagoscubadiving.com www.discovertnt.com 109
  108. 108. Diving in Tobago is a sensory trip. There is troductory courses; there is a decompression so much going on, vistas of beautiful fish and chamber at Roxborough Medical Facility, coral, usually excellent visibility; manta, eagle 20 minutes’ drive from Speyside. and sting rays are perennial attractions, as well Licensed operators offer PADI or NAUI as hammerhead, nurse and black-tipped dive training for the inexperienced, as well reef sharks; hawksbill, green and leather- as equipment rental and sale for those who back turtles; moray eels; barracuda; dol- don’t have their own. Most dives are drift phin; and pelagic species such as marlin. With dives and the current can be fairly strong but really friendly and helpful dive operators like your dive operator will know the best sites Marcus from Extra Divers in Crown Point for the conditions and the divers’ relative (extradivers@tstt.net.tt), you are sure to enjoy experience. The best part is that there is usu- your dives. ally a maximum of ten people on any dive, There is good diving to be had everywhere including the dive-master, which makes for a around the coasts, with over 60 established much more personal experience. dive sites (mainly around the northern tip) We strongly recommend using a PADI — shallow reef dives, deep diving, wreck div- (Professional Association of Diving In- ing, drift diving. Most dive operators offer in- structors) registered guide. 110 Tobago

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