Things To Do In Trinidad
The wonderful city of Trinidad is famous for its traditional music like the Calypso and Soca, however there's likewise a flourishing underground music scene that is now fast emerging (a fusion of rock, reggae mixed with the Afro-Caribbean calypso rhythm) from popular local bars and pubs. The festive carnival season is the most-awaited occasion that numerous travelers come to Trinidad to see. It is composed of weeks of music and celebration everyday that progress to a grand street party on Carnival Monday and Tuesday and culminates with a parade of the performing groups through the busy avenues of Port of Spain.
For some locals, the highlight of the festival is the “J’ouvert Street Party” which involves participants to spread themselves with mud, paint, oil, and move around the city to join this traditional celebration. There are numerous approaches to end an incredible day on the island of Trinidad, however here's an especially romantic one: watch the dusk over the Maracas Bay, the city’s famous cove.
When To Go:
The finest time to visit Trinidad is from January to May when the weather is perfect and it is the right time to enjoy the lively street carnival. Luckily, its location is not situated along the hurricane or typhoon belt, but a substantial amount of rain can be experienced during the months of June to December. Hotels and other accommodations usually bring down their rates to compensate for this rainy season.
Trinidad can be visited anytime of the year because the climate stays favorable all year-round and there's little dampness; normal temperatures drift in the low 80s. To guarantee you get a convenient hotel arrangement, reserve your spot no less than three months ahead of time.
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Here are the top things to do and attractions to explore in the city of Trinidad:
To reach the Maracas Bay, take a 45-minute drive from the Port of Spain and discover a journey into the rainforest that leads to a beautiful beach with an amazing breeze, clean water, rough waves, and smooth sand. This bay has the complete beach infrastructure to make your stay a convenient one. It is equipped with excellent seafood restaurants and relaxation services (spa, private resorts, etc.). Try the typical fried fish at the Bake and Shark and if you like spice, dip it in their homemade hot sauce -- it is jaw-dropping, but delicious.
The beach is beautiful and there are great waves, however, swimming is not advisable for children because of the strong current. There are clean showers and toilets within the premises of the island and not difficult to locate. It is always crowded and gets livelier especially at night when there are live concerts and dance shows offered by the dining establishments that line its coast. The road in the mountains gives panoramic views of the bay along the way. Maracas Beach or bay is the most popular and most frequented beach that has a long stretch of fine golden sand lined with palm trees and various stalls or kiosks with their traditional delicacies.
Royal Botanical Gardens
When in the Caribbean city, a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens is a must. From here you can also take a walk to the nearby Queen's Park Savannah and the Emperor Valley Zoo. It is a short walk but the grounds are spectacular and very colorful. This famous garden in Trinidad offers a wide place full of tropical plants and a beautiful place to take photos. Go and bring your camera, your umbrella (in case of rain), and plenty of water to enjoy a journey that connects you with the idyllic nature of Trinidad.
This place is very peaceful and filled with many trees, some are very large but unfortunately very few are identified. You can join package tours with other travelers to learn more about this pleasant garden in the city. Interestingly, in the middle of it there is a mini cemetery where the graves are of some of the important and famous characters in the history of Port of Spain. The variety of plants and flowers are actually rather a show. It is a nice place and well maintained, perfect for enjoying nature or having a picnic with friends and family. The presidential mansion can also be found within the park.
Fort George is an old fortress built in Trinidad by Great Britain in 1804. While it is not entirely built to fight wars it has a legendary historical significance. It is unlike the usual fort located within a castle that is filled with cannons, bastions, and ramparts; however, it is interesting to visit because it is concentrated in one part of the island that has beautiful views of Trinidad. From its peak, you can see the entire city, the beautiful bay, elegant homes, and feel a sense of peace and harmony due to its quiet and calm atmosphere. There are not many crowds that go up here, but on weekends, locals bring along their families and gather at the picnic area that is complete with tables and chairs to enjoy a relaxing day. Bring binoculars to watch the nearby islands, ships, city, etc.
Queen’s Park Savannah (Port of Spain)
The Port of Spain is the capital of the country located on the island of Trinidad, the largest and most mountainous part of the island. There are several places to visit around here: parks with monuments, churches, squares, palaces and heritage areas. Port of Spain is considered the entertainment center of the country. In this city you can find lots of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, theaters, parks and cinemas. Public transportation basically does not exist. Informal solutions have become the official way to get around the island -- cars, taxis and privately owned vans and mini-buses.
You can go around by riding in vehicles called the “maxi-taxis”; it is the most popular form of transportation in the islands.
One of the important points to visit in this area is the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA), built for the Commonwealth meeting -- the community formed by countries that were a colony of England. It is a large theater with several rooms for conventions and presentations and with a super-modern structure. The Queen's Park Savanna is a famous meeting place for various cultural manifestations; nearby is the Magnificent Seven, a series of buildings constructed during the past century. Across the park you can check out the Queen's Royal College, and the palace of the Bishop. Right next door are the Royal Botanical Gardens, a huge tropical park where the official residences of the President and the Prime Minister are currently located.
Independence Square is located in the central part of the city that is full of all kinds of shops and famous landmarks. It is right in the middle of the Port of Spain where you can buy food, gifts, and miscellaneous items at good prices. It is always guarded by the police, which makes tourists and the locals feel safe.
If you walk towards the harbor side, it becomes a quiet, pleasant place to walk and admire, but if you go in the opposite direction, you can see and feel the busy urban life, full of people, houses, and traffic making this part of the square a typical downtown alley.
Asa Wright Nature Center
The Asa Wright Nature Center is a serene and relaxing paradise located in the heart of the city. The tour is best done with a guide who knows where the hidden birds stay and what species they belong to. It is guaranteed that you will enjoy the show because the birds are really just next to you and it is like being in paradise. It is best to reach this place in a taxi to avoid getting lost because there are no indications or markers on the road that leads to this attraction.
In addition, the road is up a steep mountain road and very narrow. The center itself is a large green area where you may travel on certain routes and there are several paths with different lengths and degrees of difficulty.
If you love birds and want to see a beautiful and isolated place, go ahead, you will not be disappointed. The center also offers a restaurant where you can have the chance to eat on the veranda while enjoying the beautiful birds and magnificent views. In the parking lot there is a large covered terrace from which one gets a good view of the nature center. If you go a few steps further, there is a souvenir shop and the entrance to get to the ground floor area.
National Museum and Art Gallery
If you want to learn the beautiful story of Trinidad and the culture of the people visit the National Museum and Art Gallery. It is filled with all the necessary information about the country with exhibits ranging from its geological formation, natural resources, and minerals, to oil reserves and art. This place connects you with the culture and traditions of Trinidad in a simple but informative way. However, it is not allowed to take pictures inside; cameras and other image-capturing devices must be deposited at the entrance.
There is a complimentary drinking water given at the entrance plus a guide map that contains information on every section and items displayed. Do not miss a visit to the courtyard of this beautiful mansion. It displays in detail the colorful images of the carnivals and festivities that are celebrated in Trinidad. This museum is hard to miss because it stands right across from the Memorial Park.
Caroni Lagoon National Park
The Caroni Lagoon National Park is one of the main natural attractions of Trinidad. The best time to visit this park is an hour and a half before sunset because that is the perfect time when the whole coastal jungle gets covered with scarlet ibises flying and returning to their nests. It is such a beautiful sight that everyone around the place anticipates the occurrence on a daily basis. Additionally ibises and many other wildlife animals are not just the main stars around here -- you can also watch many reptiles from afar. You can take the rented boat ride that drives into the swamp, and have the chance to see snakes, 4-eyed fish, turtles, anteaters, and still more species of birds.
The trek to Paria Falls will take you to a wonderful sunny shore. The stroll through the forest is a nature lover’s fantasy. What's more the waterfall is truly dazzling, and ends in a blue pool of water that is ideal for swimming. The trail is a bit challenging and takes around 7 hours to climb in and out, excluding the time spent at the falls. Along the way, you will see some fascinating vegetation and meet some bird species that are endemic to the island like Macaws, colorful Parrots, rare butterflies and a few creepy crawlies that are harmless.
If you get thirsty, you can drink refreshing mountain water. Keep in mind to collect it from streams that are gushing and not directly from the pool itself. When you are at the falls you can have a truly chilly and reviving shower. If you have an adventurous streak you can climb up to the rocky part and jump off straight to the water. There is also a ZIP line for the extremely adventurous types. Do not miss the fun and a visit to this secluded natural falls; it is worth all the effort.
Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust
The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust is a pleasant bird sanctuary that is located right next to an oil refinery plant. The tour takes place around an artificial lake that was created to enable the reproduction of some protected and conserved species, which are then released into the wild. It is quite surprising that before arriving at the Trust, you must pass various oil installations of a significant magnitude.
Once the educational tour begins, the guides are aware of the threat to the environment and emphasize to their audience complete attentiveness for the protection of nature. They also rescue birds that encounter accidents on the road and shelter them in the center until they fully recover. The ducks here are numerous and the lake is surrounded by lots of beautiful flowers and trees to balance the wild fowl conservation center’s rich biodiversity.