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Discover Trinidad & Tobago Guide 2011


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Discover is a travel guide aimed both at international tourists and visitors planning a trip or vacation to the islands – whether for an eco adventure, business trip, or beach holiday – and at local Trinidadians and Tobagonians looking to know and explore more about their native islands.

With our 2011 edition, we celebrate 20 years of producing Discover Trinidad & Tobago, the only local guide that has published year in, year out, for so long. In that time we’ve produced 22 editions, become the most sustainably produced local guide, and worked with some of the finest national and international writers, photographers, editors, and designers.

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Discover Trinidad & Tobago Guide 2011

  2. 2. ER - IS INT L T Trinidad & Tobago Inter-Island CONTENTS AN T& Ferry Service T RA ER - I S INT L T L SP Welcome 5 A T& ND O N OR TATION C . LTD TR SP Your T&T directory 118 AN OR O TATION C . Calendar 2011 16 T&T in brief 7 History 15 Travel tips 11 Discover Trinidad 20 Accommodation 22 Environment 53 Arts & entertainment 31 Festivals 59 Beaches 36 Nightlife 63 Business 40 Shopping 67 Carnival 44 Sightseeing 71 Production team Eating out 49 Sports 78 Editors Caroline Taylor, Jeremy Taylor Design and *photography Aisha Provoteaux, Ariann Thompson * except where otherwise credited Discover Tobago 82 Sales Denise Chin, Jacqueline Smith Writers Jason Arthur, Laura Dowrich- Phillips, Judy Raymond, Caroline Taylor, Ariann Thompson Editorial assistant Mirissa De Four Production Joanne Mendes, Quality Service Jacqueline Smith Cover photo by Ariann Thompson Printed by The Office AuthorityFamily A publication of Media & Editorial Projects Ltd. (MEP), 6 Prospect Accommodation 86 Festivals 102 Avenue, Maraval, Port of Spain, Arts & entertainment 89 Shopping 106 Trinidad & Tobago Beaches 92 Sightseeing 109 T: (868) 622-3821 • F: (868) 628-0639 • E: Eating out 96 Sports 114 • W: Eco-adventure 98 And connect with us online on: • Facebook Reference 118 • Twitter Discover the other 136 San Fernando 130 • Blog: Maps Scarborough 133 Central Trinidad 128 South Trinidad 132 © 2011 Media & Editorial Projects (MEP) Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this Northeast Trinidad 127 Tobago 134 Vacation publication may be reproduced in any Northwest Trinidad 126 Trinidad 122 form whatsoever without the prior written consent of the publisher. Port of Spain 124 Service directory 118 ABOVE LEFT: Clear-water pool, Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad ABOVE RIGHT: Barbados Bay, Tobago, where a fresh fish market operates Monday – Saturday 1
  3. 3. WELCOME! Thank you for choosing Trinidad & Tobago. And thank you for choosing Discover Trinidad & Tobago to show you around.We will cover as much as we can in these few national and international writers, photographers,short pages, and share some of our favourite editors, and designers.places and pastimes. They are so different,these two small Caribbean islands near the Discover onlinecoast of South America. Trinidad has the cultural We have also amassed an archive of invaluableenergy, the buzz, the instinct for satire and material on T&T from these outstandingcelebration; it is resource-rich with oil and gas, contributors, who know this country and careand environmentally rich too, as any naturalist about getting things right. You can see all ofwill tell you. Tobago meanwhile is legendary for it on our new website,,its peace and calm, its glorious beaches, its where we hope you will find everything you needaffection for the old-time ways. to explore every aspect of T&T life and culture.Four sectionsTo help you explore these two contrastingislands, we have divided this book into four Trinidad &sections. The first (pages 1 – 19) provides Tobago’s tourism sTAndArdsbasic practical information common to authorities run an & fEEdbAckboth Tobago and Trinidad — money matters, annual inspectiontransport, headline events. The second programme(pages 20 – 78) explores Trinidad, the larger called Trinidad &island, with different areas of interest arranged Tobago Tourism Industryalphabetically, from Accommodation to Sports. Certification (TTTIC). A special logo is used to indicate approval. CurrentThe third section (pages 79 – 123) does the information can be found at www.same for Tobago. The final section (pages 114– 132) contains maps of both islands and their Advertising in Discover is openbiggest cities and towns. Here you will also to anybody, but publication offind a Service Directory, listing our advertising an advertisement does not implypartners, who are more than ready to help editorial or official endorsement,you with any aspect of your visit; and finally a quality assurance, or participation inpage encouraging you not to leave Trinidad & the TTTIC programme.Tobago without seeing both islands. Every effort has been made to ensure that information is correct at press time.our 20th anniversary But things in T&T change swiftly,With this edition, Discover Trinidad & Tobago and we make no guarantees aboutcelebrates 20 years of publication. It is the only information presented. If you havelocal guide to have published for so long, year any suggestions or queries, we wouldin, year out. In that time we’ve produced 22 be delighted to hear from you: we takeeditions, become the most sustainably produced all feedback seriously.local guide, and worked with some of the finest 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E wElcomE 5
  4. 4. T&T IN BRIEFQuick factsairports: Crown Point International Airport, (1,864 sq miles) or 105x80km (65x50 miles)Tobago (10km/7 miles from Scarborough);Piarco International Airport, Trinidad (27km/17 time zone: GMT -4, EST +1miles from Port of Spain) Government:climate: tropical. Dry season January – May, • system: parliamentary democracywet June – December (islands just south of the • ruling party: the People’s Partnershipnormal hurricane belt). Temperature range 72 – • prime minister: Kamla Persad-Bissessar95°F (22 – 35°C); average 83°F (29°C) • president: George Maxwell Richards • opposition party: People’s Nationalhighest point: Trinidad’s El Cerro del Aripo Movement(940m/3,085ft); Tobago’s Main Ridge(549m/1,860ft) language: English (official)location: 11°N, 61°W. Trinidad and Tobago Population: 1.2 million (July 2010):33km (21 miles) apart, 10km (7 miles) from 40% Indian, 37.5% African, 21.7% mixed.Venezuelan coast 50,000 (primarily African descent) in Tobagosize: Tobago 300km2 (116 sq miles) or religion: Roman Catholic 26%, other Christian48x16km (30x10 miles). Trinidad 4,828km2 31.6%, Hindu 22.5%, Muslim 5.8%A yellow poui tree in the Queen’s Park Savannah (Nisha Kong)capital: the national capital is Port of Spain, above (pop 45,000, 270,000 metropolitan).Tobago’s capital is Scarborough (pop 17,000) 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E T&T In brIEf 7
  5. 5. PUblIc wI-fI ArEAs Media and communications Piarco country phone code: +868 Press: three daily national Airport; newspapers (Express, Rituals coffee shops mail: TTPost (national mail Guardian, Newsday), seven (nationwide); Sweet service); plus FedEx, DHL, weeklies (including Tobago Lime Restaurant UPS and others News), one tri-weekly (Woodbrook); Trincity Mall (food court); and landline telephone: radio: 37 FM stations; two a growing number of Telecommunications Services AM stations other locations of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT) and FLOW. Prepaid Television: 12 local stations, international phone cards five free-to-air (NCC-4, CCN available TV6, Gayelle, CNC3 and C-TV), seven available only mobile telephone: bmobile via cable (ACTS, IBN, ieTV, (TSTT) and Digicel operate on Parliament Channel, Synergy, Practicalities GSM networks; prepaid SIM Tobago Channel 5, Win-TV); cards available for unlocked some only available on one currency: Trinidad and phones island Tobago dollar (TT$); US$1=TT$6.30 driving: on the left. Trinidad speed limits 80kph (50mph) on highways and 55kph (34mph) in settled areas; 50kph (32mph) in Tobago. Seatbelts required. Visitors can drive up to 90 days on valid foreign/ international licenceCaribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica offer the best valueand the best travel experience. Come... fly with us. Electricity: 115v/230v, 60HzCaribbean AirlinesAntigua • Barbados • Caracas • Guyana • Jamaica • New York/JFK money: ABMs (ATMs), credit/South Florida • St. Maarten • Suriname • Toronto • Trinidad & TobagoAir Jamaica debit cards and travellers’Fort Lauderdale • Grenada • Kingston • Montego Bay cheques in general useNassau • New York/JFK • Philadelphia • Toronto Taxes: 10% room tax + 10% service at hotels; VAT 15% on goods and services water: tap water safe to drink (boil to be extra safe) Scarlet ibis among the mangrove at Caroni Swamp (Maria Huggins) 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E T&T In 9 brIEf
  6. 6. TRAvEL TIPS how to reach Trinidad & Tobago how to move around in T&T by air: scheduled flights are operated by Aeropostal, American Airlines, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Condor, Continental, To and from the airports: Copa, LIAT, Monarch, Spirit, Suriname Airways, and Virgin authorised taxis operate Atlantic. Others offer charter flights outside arrivals halls at Piarco and Crown Point airports; by sea: the peak cruise ship season is November – April, check the approved rates (on with visits from Fred Olsen, Holland America, Ocean Village, display at the taxi stands) Princess, Saga Travel, Seabourn, and Windstar lines Private taxis: have to be on arrival: you need a passport valid for three months beyond summoned by phone (check your intended stay. Non-residents need documentation of Yellow Pages) return or onward travel and a valid local address. Visas are generally not required for visits up to 30 days. For yacht arrivals, car rental: local and clearance certificate from the last port of call and the vessel’s international companies have registration certificate (or authorisation for use) are required offices at the airports water taxi: a regular water taxi service (above) links Port of Spain with San Fernando. The journey time is around 45 minutes and the one-way fare TT$15. The service is operated by the National Infrastructure Development Company (623-0310, At press time, four new vessels had joined the operation; there was discussion about adding new stops (Chaguanas, Point Fortin) and new routes (to Venezuela and nearby islands), and the need to increase the fare to TT$20 — check for updated information.10 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E T r AV E l T I P s 11
  7. 7. Tour operators: see directory Fleets of privately operated, PUblIc TAXIs on pages 118 – 21 unscheduled maxi-taxis (12 – buses: operate from hubs in 25 seat small vans or mini- Port of Spain (City Gate, on buses) and route taxis (ordinary South Quay), Chaguanas, and cars) operate specific routes, picking King’s Wharf, San Fernando up passengers and dropping them off by request. to most of Trinidad; and from Maxi-taxis have coloured stripes to indicate the area Sangster’s Hill, Scarborough, they serve. Legal, registered taxis have licence plates to most parts of Tobago. beginning with h and are unmetered, so confirm the Many are new, articulated, fare in advance. air-conditioned vehicles. Fares are low; schedules can be Public taxis operate from different stands depending checked at on the route they take: Inter-island ferries: see Port of Spain to: Route taxi stand: page 136 Cascade Charlotte and Prince Streets Chaguanas Broadway and Independence Square Curepe – Sangre Grande lower Henry Street republic bank Diego Martin/Petit Valley South Quay and Abercromby Street how to contact... Maraval Duke and Charlotte Streets San Fernando Broadway and Independence division of Tourism, Square Tobago: 639-2125, San Juan lower Charlotte Street St Ann’s/St James Hart Street Immigration division: 625- Wrightson Road lower Chacon Street 3571 (Trinidad), 639-2681 Long Circular Road lower Chacon Street (Tobago), Chaguaramas Park and St Vincent Streets Tobago House of Assembly: 639-3421, Chaguanas to: Tourism development Couva & nearby towns higher Southern Main Road company: 675-7034, tdc. Curepe Chaguanas Main Road, gotrinidadandtobago. Port of Spain lower Southern Main Road com Tourist information offices: San Fernando to: 639-0509 (Crown Point All areas see map, page 130 Airport); 635-0934 (Cruise Ship Complex, Tobago); 669- Scarborough to: 5196 (Piarco Airport) All areas Carrington Street Trinidad & Tobago government online: 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E T r AV E l T I P s 13
  8. 8. hISTORYmaxi-taxis: depart from City Gate on South Quay, or from thecorner of South Quay and Wrightson Road, in Port of Spain; PrEcAUTIonsin San Fernando from Queen Street or St James Street; and inTobago from lower Scarborough opposite the port.Colour Route like much of the world, Pre-Columbian timesBlack San Fernando – Princes Town, connections to Mayaro the islands are affected Both islands settled by Amerindian tribes migrating northwards from the South American mainland fromBlue Tobago by crime, particularly around 5,000 BCBrown San Fernando – La Romaine – Siparia – Point Fortin Trinidad.Green Port of Spain – Chaguanas – San FernandoRed Port of Spain – Arima, connections to Always: drive with Separate colonies Blanchisseuse/Matelot extreme care ... leave tobago trinidadYellow Port of Spain – Diego Martin – Chaguaramas valuables at home 1498 On his third voyage, Columbus 1498 Columbus lands in Trinidad, naming or well concealed ... sights Tobago and calls it Magdalena it after the Trinity walk in company ... 1627 – 1650 Various attempts at European 1498 – 1797 Neglected Spanish colony;Emergency numbers lock your vehicle ... settlement Amerindians decimated lock your room/house 1768 Tobago Assembly established late 18c French Catholic planters arrive;Ambulance (public fire: 990 door ... close windows 1672 – 1781 British, Dutch, French jostling for Africans imported as slaveshospitals): 811 Hyperbaric medical facility: at night or if you are control 1797 British colonycrime stoppers: 800-TIPS, 660-4369 (Roxborough, going out ... be aware 1781 French sugar colony 1838 End of Tobago) of your surroundings 1814 British sugar colony 1845 – 1917 144,000 indentured labourersEms (emergency medical Office of Disaster ... raise an alarm and 1838 End of slavery imported from Indiaservices): 624-4343 (north Preparedness: 640-1285 head to the nearest 1889 Under Trinidad control; 1858 British start trying to suppressTrinidad), 653-4343 (south/ (Trinidad), 660-7489 (Tobago) police station if you Assembly disbanded Carnivalcentral Trinidad), 639-4444 Police: 999 or 555 (Trinidad); suspect you are being(Tobago) 639-2520/5590 (Tobago) followed never: venture A single nation into deserted orSustainable travel unfamiliar areas alone under British rule 1898 Tobago fully merged with TrinidadBoth climate change and globalisation can hit developing island ... wear extravagant 1903 “Water Riots” in Port of Spain, Red House burned downnations particularly hard. Here’s what you can do to safeguard the jewellery ... leave 1925 First national elections, with limited franchiseislands’ natural and cultural treasures: handbags or wallets 1937 Oilfield and labour strikes lying around ... use 1945 Universal adult suffragebuy local: buy local CDs, books and DVDs from authorised an ABM if you sense 1945 Public emergence of steelbandsretailers (not pirated copies); and purchase locally produced food someone suspicious 1956 Internal self-governmentand souvenirs (not made from endangered species) nearby (if your card gets stuck, call thefly carbon neutral: most airlines allow you to offset carbon bank immediately) Independencedioxide emissions from your flight ... leave valuables in 1962 Independence from Britain your car ... leave car 1970 “Black Power” uprisingmind your gas: choose the smallest vehicle to suit your needs windows down when 1976 Republic within the Commonwealthwhen renting (or buying) a car; drive within the speed limit; don’t stopping, especially 1980 Tobago House of Assembly restoredlet your car idle; keep your tyres inflated; try to carpool; and when at night ... engage in 1990 Unsuccessful coup attempt by Afro-Islamist Jamaat al-Muslimeenyou can, walk or cycle any altercations with 2010 Most recent general election strangers14 T r A V E l T I P s D I S C O v E R T N T. C O M 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E HIsTorY 15
  9. 9. CALENDAR 2011 APRIL A month for music: Pan Jazz in de Yard (Trinidad) • Trinidad) • Maypole Festival (Tobago) • Rapsofest: the Power of the Oral Traditions • 29th, in honour of St Peter, patron saint of fishermen • and trade unionists rally Jazz Artists on the Greens Harvest festivals in Tobago their members in Fyzabad, (Pigeon Point, Tobago) • (Whim, Delaford, Belle south Trinidad, on Labour Tobago Jazz Experience Garden and Mason Hall) Day (public holiday, 19th) in and Jazz on the Beach memory of past battles (Tobago) • Pan in the 21st JUNE Century (Trinidad) A heavy emphasis on Also: WeBeat Festival (St commemoration this James, Trinidad) • Harvest Also: the long Easter month: young Tobagonians festivals in Tobago (Lambeau, weekend, with public celebrate island traditions Bloody Bay and Roxborough holidays on Friday 22 and with the Junior Tobago Monday 25: horse-racing Heritage Festival • Hindus JULY at the Santa Rosa track in remember India’s sacred Tobago’s month: Tobago Arima (Trinidad), goat and River Ganges with the Heritage Festival • Great crab races in Mt Pleasant Ganga Dhaara River Fête Weekend • Prime (Monday) and Buccoo Festival (Blanchisseuse, Minister’s Charity Golf (Tuesday) • Point Fortin Trinidad) • Christians Classic • Charlotteville Borough Day: a week of mark Corpus Christi (3rd, Fisherman’s Fest • South J’Ouvert, mas, pan and a public holiday) and the Caribbean Open Golf parties • Trade & Investment Fishermen’s Fest on the Tournament • Tobago Convention (Trinidad) • Goodwood harvest festival JANUARY MARCH (Tobago) • T&T LiteraryThe Carnival season begins. During Carnival reaches its climax on Monday 7 Festivalthe month, the parties and panyards, the and Tuesday 8, after a week of big showsentertainers and mas camps get under way (Soca Monarch, Panorama, Dimanche Gras), MAYin earnest and is followed by cool-downs at beaches A month of food and and at Argyle Falls, Tobago fashion: Taste TrinidadAlso: New Year’s Day (public holiday) • & Tobago celebrates theSailing and cricket seasons begin • Tobago In sport: Trinidad & Tobago Golf Open • islands’ culinary skills •Carnival Caravan • Harvest festivals in Tobago International Game Fishing Tournament Tobago stages its CulinaryTobago (Pembroke, Parlatuvier, Spring Festival • Trinidad &Garden, Plymouth, Mt Pleasant) Also: Chinese New Year on the 3rd (the Tobago Fashion Week year of the Rabbit) • Jazz Artists on the FEBRUARY Greens • Hindu spring festival of Phagwa Also: a public holiday forThe Carnival season – a long one this year (Holi) • Turtle nesting season begins • Indian Arrival Day on the– is in top gear Public holiday on the 30th for Spiritual 30th, celebrating the arrival “Shouter” Baptist Liberation Day, of the first Indians in 1845Also: Tobago Carnival Caravan • Tobago commemorating the end of the colonial ban • Beacon Cycling Series •Carnival Regatta (Tobago) • Harvest on the “Shouter” Baptist faith • Harvest Rainbow Cup International OPPOSITE PAGE: Soca celebrity Machel Montano charms the kids at the children’s concert “Boyfestivals in Tobago (Hope, Adelphi, Buccoo, festivals in Tobago (Mt St George, Mason Triathlon (Tobago) • La Boy and the Magic Drum” ABOVE: Black Rock Performers folk dancer representing “A Queen ofFranklyn, Bon Accord) Hall, Roxborough, Bon Accord) Divina Pastora (Siparia, Spirit” (CaféMoka)16 C A L E N D A R D I S C O V E R T N T. C O M 2 0 T H a n n i v e r s a ry i s s u e CALENDAR 17
  10. 10. The Hindu festival of Ganga Dharaa honours the environment and Mother Ganga (Martin Farinha) in Castara and Black Rock the start of the season (Trinidad) • National Tourism for parang, Spanish- Week • Harvest festival in Also: Jazz on the Hill flavoured music, which will Patience Hill, Tobago (Trinidad) • Soca for run straight through till Summer and other big Christmas noVEmbEr concerts featuring local Pan is Beautiful in and international stars • Also: the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday Trinidad, the Scarborough Steelband Music Festival marking the end of the Muslim Cup Golf Tournament (Trinidad) • Tourism fasting month of Ramadan • and Christmas Caravan in Adventure Park/T&T Road Republic Day (24th, public Tobago Trip: displays, tours, and live holiday) marks the country’s entertainment transition into a republic in Also: Best Village 1976 • International Open competition finals • Harvest AUGUsT Water Swim • Horse-racing festivals in Plymouth, Black A month of nationalist classics in Arima: Royal Oak Rock, Les Coteaux, Moriah, feeling: Emancipation Day Derby, Santa Rosa Oaks Scarborough, Montgomery (1st, a public holiday) marks and Caribbean Champion (Tobago) the end of slavery in 1838; Stakes (Trinidad) • Panyard Independence Day (31st, Sensations • San Fernando dEcEmbEr a public holiday) marks Jazz Festival (Trinidad) Christmas (public holiday, independence from Britain • Tobago Fest: parties, 25th) dominates everything, street parade and J’Ouvert followed immediately by Also: the Carib Great • Tobago International Boxing Day (public holiday, Race for powerboats, from Gospel Festival • Turtle- 26th) with its horse-racing Trinidad to Tobago) • Arima watching season ends and parties, as minds turn to Borough Day: J’Ouvert, next year’s Carnival steelpan, calypso and parties ocTobEr • Best Village Competition Staging of the hindu Also: Paramin Parang begins, and runs through epic Ramleela prepares Festival (Trinidad) • the November • Muhtadi the way for the festival of Muslim festival of Hosay International Drumming Divali (public holiday, late (Trinidad) • on Assembly Festival in Tobago • Osun October/early November) Day, the Tobago House River Festival • Castara and its thousands of of Assembly celebrates Fisherman’s Fête (Tobago) flickering deyas and rewards Tobagonians’ • Santa Rosa Festival achievements, with (Arima) • Harvest festival in Also: Steelpan & Jazz exhibitions, sports and Speyside, Tobago Festival (Trinidad) • Coast- recreation • Tobago Flying 2-Coast Adventure Race Colours (kite-flying festival in sEPTEmbEr (Trinidad) • Amerindian Plymouth). Towards the end of the Heritage Day, Arima • Blue month come the ambitious Food Festival (Tobago) • Many dates are set shortly before T&T Film Festival and European Film Festival the event, and are always subject to change or cancellation. For more, see our Festivals sections under each island, and visit us online at 19
  11. 11. Cruise ships docked in Port of Spain for a CommonwealthHeads of Government Meeting (Keown Thomas) TRINIDAD20 21
  12. 12. ACCOMMODATION The business traveller A weekend conference, a Carnival adventure, a search for the blue- Business hotels in Trinidad can crowned motmot... Trinidad’s visitors have their needs and budgets, be grand or simply practical, and the island’s accommodation stock can cater for them all. but they provide what the businessman needs and expects. Several of the major brands have properties in and around Port of Spain (Crowne The eco-adventurer Plaza, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Hyatt, Marriott), and there are The eco-visitors and nature enthusiasts, both scientific and some popular independent amateur, on the other hand, get out of town quickly and head properties like the Kapok. There for the hills and the forests. A few properties cater especially is plenty of flexible conference for those interested in the island’s flora and fauna, its wetlands, and meeting space in the city, its nesting turtles, and above all its magnificent variety of birds. and a recently established Accommodation is usually close by, but is in limited supply: it conference bureau. Excellent includes the world-famous Asa Wright Nature Centre in the hills hotels and facilities are part above Arima. of the reason why Trinidad continues to be the business For more information, see the Service Directory at the back of this book, and visit centre of the region. us online at AVAIlAbIlITY & PrIcEs The vacationer hotel rooms average City, coast or mountain? Port of Spain is not uS$125 a night, the best base for a sun-and-sand holiday (the guesthouses $65; famous Maracas Bay is more than half an hour’s but discounted rates and packages drive); its visitors are after the excitement of are often available. however, peak its music, partying, bars and nightspots, its season is December – April, and flamboyance and its general “buzz”. Luxury rates increase dramatically around seekers gravitate to the large hotels with Carnival time when droves of their world-class spas and entertainment; expatriates and tourists flock to adventurers and budget travellers stay at the Trinidad. Book as far in advance as smaller hotels, guesthouses, and bed-and- you can. breakfast properties. Beyond the city, the north and northeast coasts supply most of the beachABOVE: Anise Resort & Spa, Sans Souci properties, smart or rustic.22 A c c o m m o d A T I o n D I S C O v E R T N T. C O M 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E A c c o m m o d AT I o n 23
  13. 13. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT The small size of the local arts scene means that many artists are part-time semi-professionals. But there’s certainly no shortage of vibrancy or creativity. T RINIDAD artists draw on the classical and folk traditions of Europe, Africa and India, combining them in original ways or addingEmail: info@aliciashouse.comwebsite: a creole touch to create new forms that are distinctly Trinidadian. With limited audiences, events often have short runs, so if you blink you’ll miss them. Keep a close eye on ads and announcements in the local media and especially online. Facebook has become one of the most reliable sources for information about current arts and cultural events. Most of the work not directly related to the Carnival arts closes down after Christmas, when Carnival shows and parties take over, and resumes by Easter. Around September, Signal Hill Alumni Choir performing at their 25th anniversary concert at Queen’s Hall (Keown Thomas) 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E A r T s & E n T E r TA I n m E n T 31
  14. 14. look out for performances on THEof Ramleela, an epic Books frInGE Alice Yard ( Filmadaptation of the Ramayana in Woodbrook is the backyard of aenacted by villagers at Monique Roffey and Amanda Smyth are among local writers house that once belonged to architect The two-week annual Trinidadopen-air venues, mostly in who have published internationally successful books recently: Sean Leonard’s great-grandmother. & Tobago Film Festival incentral Trinidad. Roffey’s novel White Woman on a Green Bicycle was shortlisted Now it hosts performances and installations September screens local, for the 2010 Orange Prize. Both visited Port of Spain to launch by local and visiting artists who work in the visual regional and internationalActivity is typically their books. media, dance, music, and literature. Recently it’s been films at MovieTowne andconcentrated in or near the site of a pop-up store selling clothes and bags other venues. TrinidadianPort of Spain, with music Book launches, readings and lectures take place at the National designed by Robert Young of The Cloth. filmmakers Horace Ové, Yaoand theatre taking place in Library, UWI, the University of Trinidad & Tobago, the National Ramesar, and Frances-Annevenues from Chaguaramas, Museum, and at bookstores. The biggest names in local Erotic Art Week, in mid-year, features painting, Solomon have had notablewest of the capital, to literature are Nobel laureates VS Naipaul and Derek Walcott, but drawing, photography, readings and cellphone films, releases in the last few years.the university of the there are many more. among other things. The organisers say it’s “open toWest Indies (uWI) in the any contemporary artistic exploration of our erotic Most Thursday nights there areeast. But San Fernando Look for fiction and plays from Lisa Allen-Agostini, Tony Hall, ethos”. It’s staged simultaneously at venues that free showings of art films athas its own arts scene, Earl Lovelace, Ian McDonald, VS Naipaul, Elizabeth Nunez, Sam include a rumshop, a wine bar, and the offices of an Studio Film Club, run by artistsa long-established Selvon, and Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw. For writing on local advertising agency. Peter Doig and Che tradition, and history, culture and environment, see Michael Anthony, Lloyda new Academy for the Best, Anthony de Verteuil, Bridget Brereton, Gérard Besson, The local version of the Red Earth Festival trinidadandtobagofilmfestival.Performing Arts in the CLR James, Kim Johnson, John La Rose, Julian Kenny, Eric (, presented in June to com, Williams, and Discover’s sister organisation Prospect Press. coincide with World Environmental Day and of com which Discover is a media sponsor, offers poetry,Government-sponsored music, and clay sculpture workshops as well asevents include the annual environment-related activities.production of Best village, Dance BELOW: National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port of Spaina festival of the folk arts.The new National Academy Dance companies put on short annual seasons, usually atfor the Performing Arts in Queen’s Hall. The work runs the gamut from the experimentalPort of Spain has staged modern style of Dave Williams to the classical/European dance ofspecially commissioned the Cascade Festival Ballet, and Indian dance from the Nrityanjalishows that include Theatre. Other notable names: Noble Douglas, Astor Johnson,steelband concerts and Metamorphosis, Carol La Chapelle, Elle Inc, and regional folkmusicals. performing groups.Fashion and jewelleryLeading designers take part in Fashion Week T&T in mid-year, and present their own shows, often atyear-end. Leaders in the field are Heather Jones, Claudia Pegus and Meiling.Local jewellery ranges from the shells and seeds strung together by Akilah Jaramogi (sold, alongwith other local craft, at the Hotel Normandie), to the works of art wrought from gems and preciousmetals by Chris Anderson, Gillian Bishop, Barbara Jardine, and Jasmine Thomas-Girvan.32 A r T s & E n T E r T A I n m E n T D I S C O v E R T N T. C O M 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E A r T s & E n T E r TA I n m E n T 33
  15. 15. 3Canal performing at Queen’s Hall (Stephen Broadbridge) visual arts The National Museum (623-5941) has a small representative collection of local art which is on show for most of the year, and a collection of watercolours by the country’s leading 19th-century painter, Michel Jean Cazabon. The Art Society (, 622-9827) has an annual show in November of new work that includes paintings, drawings, and sculpture. The society also organises plein-air painting sessions in picturesque venues, mostly in the dry season, of course. Art exhibitions can be found, primarily between Easter and Christmas, at several established galleries and other venues that might include an artist’s home, a restaurant, or the lobby of aMusic corporate headquarters.Trinidad’s most popular musical exports are Choral groups such as the Marionettes and Landscape features very prominently in local painting, but there’s also abstract and avant-gardeprobably the steelpan (created in Port of Spain the Lydian Singers perform local and western work to be seen. Names to look for: MP Alladin, Sybil Atteck, sculptors Ralph and Vera Baney,in the 1930s) and soca. Classic old-time classical music, sometimes accompanied Pat Bishop, Isaiah Boodhoo, Edward Bowen, Carlisle Chang, Leroy Clarke, Chris Cozier, Kencalypso is still a staple on the menu at the by steelbands, which also stage occasional Crichlow, Jackie Hinkson, Dermot Louison, Che Lovelace, Shastri Maharaj, Wendy Nanan, LisaNu Pub (formerly the Mas Camp) on Ariapita concerts of their own. Budding and established O’Connor, Peter Sheppard, Sundiata, and Noel Vaucrosson.Avenue in Woodbrook, and steelpan players solo vocalists host their own recitals. For more information, visit us online at audiences at competitions, festivalsand events year-round (but especially at If you’re in the mood to party, look for showsCarnival time). by Machel Montano; Kes the Band; Destra Garcia and Atlantik; Shurwayne WinchesterHome-grown indie music, local rock, jazz and and YOU; Faye-Ann Lyons, Bunji Garlin and thechutney can often be heard live at bars and Asylum Band; and countless other soca stars.restaurants. Among the most popular: sitarist Very popular gospel concerts are staged atMungal Patasar and his Indian-creole fusion larger venues such as the Jean Pierre; Orisha chantuelle Ella Andall; the rapso Coming up to Christmas, parang groupsof 3Canal and Maximus Dan; and local fusion take centre stage, playing Spanish-influencedbands 12theband, jointpop, and Orange Sky. seasonal folk songs.TheatreTheatre groups mostly stage local adaptations of metropolitan comedies, and sometimes originallocal work. The Centre for Creative and Festival Arts at UWI, St Augustine stages productions thathave included local and regional classics, calypso musicals, and plays based on local history. Popularvenues for plays include Queen’s Hall in Port of Spain, the CLR James Auditorium at the CiprianiLabour College in Valsayn, Naparima Bowl in San Fernando, and the Central Bank Auditorium andLittle Carib Theatre (both under renovation). There are occasional performances and readings at theTrinidad Theatre Workshop, founded by Nobel laureate Derek Walcott in 1959. For stand-up comedywith a strong local flavour, sample shows by Rachel Price and Learie Joseph.34 A r T s & E n T E r T A I n m E n T D I S C O v E R T N T. C O M 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E A r T s & E n T E r TA I n m E n T 35
  16. 16. BEAChES THIS PAGE: Maracas Bay with Tyrico Bay in the background (Martin Farinha) OPPOSITE PAGE: Maracas Bay is the most popular beach in Trinidad (MF) The beaches along Trinidad’s four distinct coastlines may not rival those in Tobago, but they have everything you need for a beach excursion.North coast and Chaguaramas Northeast coastmaracas: the most popular and into the rainforest. The Grande rivière: perfectbeach in the north, with great Marianne River flows into the for nature-lovers. It’s thefood and facilities. A favourite bay, and is great for kayaking. second largest leatherbackfor camping at Easter time. Rental accommodation turtle nesting ground in theHotel nearby available world (March – August). Also good river bathing,Tyrico: if you like the idea of scotland bay: a sheltered kayaking, rainforest hikes.Maracas’ amenities but don’t and secluded bay in Accommodation and facilitieslike crowds, this is a smaller, Chaguaramas only accessible on the beachquieter choice nearby by boat. Calm clear water good for snorkelling and saline (“sally”) bay: clearlas cuevas: good bathing swimming water with good swimming.with small caves at the far end Facilities availableof the beach. Facilities onsite macqueripe bay: small secluded bay at the end balandra bay: goodblanchisseuse: a popular of the Tucker Valley Road for swimming, and evenweekend getaway, with hiking in Chaguaramas. Recently bodysurfing at the roughertrails to the nearby waterfall renovated, good for swimming end36 b E A c H E s D I S C O v E R T N T. C O M 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E bEAcHEs 37
  17. 17. Pulling seine on the beach at Mayaro (Martin Farinha) Lifeguards are TIPS typically on duty & TRICKS 9am – 5pm or 10am – 6pm where available, but not at all beaches. Red flags indicate unsafe bathing areas Permits are required both for camping and for turtle-watching on the nation’s beaches. Contact a reputable tour guide, your hotel, or the Forestry Division to make arrangements However inviting they may look, it’s best to avoid the beaches in Chaguaramas, Galeota and between Point Lisas and Point Fortin owing to local industrialisationSalybia: popular for surfing (November – April)and for swimming (especially June – September).Fringing reef off eastern end. New beach facilitiesMatura: Rough waters make it inadvisable forswimming, but in March – August it is a popularand important leatherback turtle nesting siteEast coast South & southwestern coastsManzanilla: bordered by distinctive coconut forest (“the Cocal”). Facilities and lifeguards available Quinam: popular south coast beach. Calm wonderful views of southwestern coast and, onat the northern end. Large estuary and lookout where the Nariva River meets the sea. Rental waters, good for swimming. Fine brown sand clear days, neighbouring Venezuelaaccommodation available disappears at high tide. A favourite for family outings on the weekend. Facilities and hiking trails Granville: getting there is half the adventure.Mayaro: glorious stretch of beach, the longest on the island. Popular for long weekends and public Popular on weekends and for Ash Wednesdayholidays. Sands dotted with distinctive “chip chip” shells, which protect small oceanic organisms and Columbus and Cedros bays: both stunning Carnival cool-down partiesare a local delicacy. Late-afternoon fishing ritual of “pulling seine”, bringing in the day’s catch in huge in good weather. Cedros is the widest beach onfishing nets. Rental accommodation available the island at low tide. Quiet fishing villages with For more information, visit us online at b e a C h e S D I S C O V E R T N T. C O M 2 0 T H a N N I V E R S a Ry I S S u E beaCheS 39
  18. 18. BuSINESS A meeting-place for the Americas. dTT:Tell us about the origins of the TTCB, and why it was created. the country offers as a business and leisure destination to a captive, influential and diverse audience. crf: The meetings and conference market What facilities are available to has always been a significant niche market for Trinidad. In 2008 there were approximately business travellers and conference 84,000 business and convention stopover organisers in Trinidad (and visitors, accounting for 19 per cent of all Tobago), and how does this make stopovers. Globally, the meetings, incentives, the islands a preferred destination conventions and exhibitions industry or for these people? “business tourism” is one of the highest- yielding inbound-tourism segments due to its Trinidad has the largest and newest conference high per-delegate spend. infrastructure in the English-speaking Caribbean. Many hotels offer conference facilities, including international brands like the Hyatt Regency What exactly is the role the and the Hilton. We have a wide array of TTCB plays in the business and accommodation options and events venues tourism sectors in Trinidad & on offer, including the luxurious new Carlton Tobago? Savannah, the new Hyatt, and the newly X The main focus of the bureau is increasing the number of events, conferences and meetings held in T&T. It is a veritable “one-stop shop” for meeting planners. Ultimately, the goal is boosting business-tourism revenue by ? increasing business travellers’ length of stay, T We have the and the diversity of pre- and post-conference highest buy rates Firstline FX RINIDAD IS activities available. for your foreign already a financial currency! Order and information in advance so it’s In 2009, Trinidad hosted the waiting for you hub of the Y 5th Summit of the Americas when you land! T BU Caribbean and a BES TES gateway to Latin America, with a (SOTA) and the Commonwealth R A high influx of business travellers. heads of Government Meeting The Tourism Development (ChOGM). What were these Call Us Visit Company (TDC) has set up the experiences like? Corner Agra St. Trinidad & Tobago Convention 628-1554 628-1175 & Delhi St. Bureau (TTCB). We spoke to the T&T really has demonstrated its ability to St. James head of the bureau, Canadian-born successfully host large meetings, conferences Mon- Fri Chantel Ross Francois. and conventions. SOTA and CHOGM Email Us 9 am to 5 pm provided a valuable platform to promote what ORDER WWW.FIRSTLINEMONEY.COM OPPOSITE PAGE: Eric Williams Financial Complex, Port of Spain40 b U s I n E s s D I S C O v E R T N T. C O M 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E bUsInEss 41
  19. 19. renovated Hilton, with several What sort of Hyatt, in conjunction with thenew hotel properties on the University of the West Indies. events andway. In Tobago, award-winning We also partnered with theresorts like Coco Reef are ideal conferences is the Local Organising Committeefor corporate meetings and TTCB looking to for the FIFA Under-17 Women’steam-building retreats. attract? World Cup last September. This came after a hectic firstWe have excellent and We’ve embarked on a diverse half of 2010, when the bureaureliable access from major programme of promotional provided support to severalinternational hubs; sound activities aimed at attracting conferences and events. Wephysical infrastructure; state- a range of events, from believe Trinidad & Tobago isof-the-art telecommunications; sporting events to religious perfectly positioned to be theattractive leisure activities; an conferences and literary meetings and conventionsexciting and diverse culture; seminars. In November 2010, centre for not just thefestivals throughout the for example, we hosted the Caribbean, but for North,year; and warm, welcoming, International Conference on South and Central Americatalented people! Caribbean Literature at the as well.42 b U s I n E s s D I S C O v E R T N T. C O M
  20. 20. OPPOSITE PAGE: LaToya Woods, Miss Universe Trinidad & Tobago 2010, enjoys mas on the road in Tribe’s Carnival band (Keown Thomas) BELOW: Roland St George’s costume “Fantasma”, Dimanche Gras 2010 (Atiba Williams) CARNIvAL You can party non-stop for weeks, dance in the streets for two whole days, meet a monster three storeys high having a rest by the side of the road. At Carnival time, anything can happen.T RINIDAD is the source. From On your marks… Carnival in Trinidad After Christmas, soca artists start churning out their “power soca”sprang the carnivals in tunes in earnest. Calypso tents, though a dying breed, startNotting hill, Brooklyn, showcasing local bards’ latest barbs, panyards across the countryWashington, DC, Atlanta, come alive with musicians learning their notes for the PanoramaToronto, Miami, and competition, and the mas camps are abuzz with wirebenders,dozens of other cities bead- and feather-stickers, costume designers, and hordes ofwhere West Indians gather. would-be masqueraders registering for their sections (in betweenThey may be larger, but running to the gym to get in shape). By the week before Carnival,their roots are Trinidadian. the “fete jumbies” have attended almost every party for months.44 c A r n I V A l D I S C O v E R T N T. C O M 2 0 T h A N N I v E R S A RY I S S u E c A r n I VA l 45