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Trinidad & Tobago (North) Day 15


INFO ABOUT THIS ITINERARY

The island-country of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean Sea offers a lot of sights and activities, and although you can spend weeks raveling through this beautiful country, in one of our recent trips we visited Trinidad island only for two days.

We did not visit the island of Tobago in this trip.

 

Here are some tips and notes about this trip:

Trinidad & Tobago Tips

  • Driving – Vehicles drive on the left side of the road, similar to UK. Although the highways are well-paved, most local roads will have bumps and small potholes. Highways are mostly two lanes (one on each side) and narrow. Overall it’s very easy to drive in Trinidad.
  • Petrol Stations – Located every few kilometers along the highway mostly, you can find petrol stations in small towns as well. Most stations do not accept credit cards and cash is best payment option.
  • Money – There are exchange counters in most big cities (read Port of Spain), but not small towns. Make sure to keep enough cash while driving around the island. Lot of grocery stores and hotels will accept USD as well, but are hesitant to accept EUR, CAD or GBP!
  • SIM Card – Easily available at Trinidad airport (opening hours may vary).
  • Hotels – With a base in Port of Spain, we stayed at one hotel for the trip – Inn at 87.
  • – Rented a car from Port of Spain airport with Alamo rentals.

 

This day focuses on all the highlights in the north of the island of Trinidad. Here’s the route for day 1:

Day 1 route for two days in Trinidad & Tobago

The main administrative hub and capital city, Port of Spain is a bustling city with lots of sights to see. The main shopping area is between Frederick Street and Charlotte Street, running south to Independence Square (Brian Lara Promenade). We spent the morning walking around the Maraval Road where most of the administrative and colonial buildings, known as ‘Magnificent Seven’, are located.

Queen's Royal College, Port of Spain
[Queen’s Royal College, Port of Spain]

Hayes Court, Port of Spain
[Hayes Court, Port of Spain (under renovation). Now its the official residence of the Bishop of Anglican Church of Trinidad and Tobago.]

Mille Fleurs, Port of Spain
[Mille Fleurs, Port of Spain. Also the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago.]

Roomor, Port of Spain
[Roomor, Port of Spain. Built in 1904, Ambard’s House has some lovely decorative features, such as colorful carvings, marble ornaments and cast iron elements. Now home of Timothy Roodal’s granddaughter, Dr. Yvonne Morgan. The combination of the resident’s two family names, Roodal and Morgan, has given its popular nickname, Roomor.]

Stollmeyer’s Castle, Port of Spain
[Stollmeyer’s Castle, Port of Spain. Built in 1904, this is now the office of Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts.]

Whitehall, Port of Spain
[Whitehall, Port of Spain. Built in 1910, this building served the first Prime Minister’s Office from 1963 to 2009. Now used to host dignitaries.]

Archbishop's House, Port of Spain
[Archbishop’s House, Port of Spain. The official residence of the Roman Catholic Archbishop.]

After walking around, it was a drive north-west to the next place to visit:

Fort George

Previously known as La Vigie, this colonial fortress built on a hilltop overlooking the Gulf of Paria is one of the two best destinations for spectacular views of Port of Spain and the sea (other being Lady Chancellor Lookout). The main purpose of Fort George was to expand the defense of the main island of Trinidad against any potential attacks that might occur. You can see the original cannons, dungeons, artefacts of the day and a signal station which was established in 1802.

Fort George, Trinidad & Tobago

Fort George, Trinidad & Tobago

Fort George, Trinidad & Tobago

Fort George, Trinidad & Tobago

From here, another quick drive with a stop at…

Chaguaramas Boardwalk

We strolled along the 1,400-foot beachfront walkway to enjoy the cool Caribbean breeze that blows in off of the waters of Williams Bay. This is a perfect place to grab some breakfast!

Chaguaramas Boardwalk

Chaguaramas Boardwalk

Chaguaramas Boardwalk

Next up was a drive north from the boardwalk over to…

Tracking Station

During the Second World War the entire Chaguaramas Peninsula on the island of Trinidad was used as a United States Armed Forces Base. And this is the remnant of the Cold War – an abandoned military Radar / Missile Tracking Base – developed by the US as a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System to immediately identify any missile attacks from the Soviet Union.

Get there:
There’s a clear sign on the Macqueripe Mail Road (10.73287, -61.61534) indicating the parking area for the car. From here, the Radio Tower Road is the start of the trail. The trail passes through Cazabon Park, then Bamboo Cathedral, and ventures along Radio Tower Road up to the old Tracking Station taking about 45-60 minutes. It is an extremely easy hike and best done early morning or late evening.

The road forks at 10.74274, -61.61026, proceed straight on. Signs on the road, along with some quirky messages will lead you to the old Tracking Station complex located at 10.74209, -61.60755. Be aware of the volume of wasps that now populate the interior of the structures.

Parking area & beginning of trail to Tracking Station
[Parking area on Macqueripe Mail Road & beginning of trail to Tracking Station]

Bamboo Cathedral
[Beautiful trail along the Bamboo Cathedral]

Tracking Station, Trinidad & Tobago
[This sign indicates the start of the ‘numbers’, and kind-of the trail.]


[View from half-way point along the trail.]


[Numbers indicating how much you’ve walked along the trail. When you reach 27, you know you’ve made it!]


[Quirky messages along the trail to the Tracking Station.]


[End point aka administrative building. Climb here to reach the Radio Tower satellite.]


[Radio Satellite at the Tracking Station, Trinidad & Tobago]


[Quirky message along the trail. If you’re unfit, then take a rest on the log-bench!]

[Inspirational messages along the trail.]

 


[Amazing graffiti inside the administrative building]

[Amazing graffiti inside the administrative building]

 

From here, it was a bit of long drive along the coast to…

Maracas Beach

Off-white sand, palm trees and blue-green waters attracts beach lovers to this crescent coast line which stretches for 2 km (1.25 miles). The drive is about 16 km (10 miles) from the capital city. Maracas Bay has also garnered the reputation for being the lunch spot with an idyllic view. Known as the home of bake and shark, this destination is host to a variety of vendors who prepare the tasty offering. The secret, they say, is in the sauce. Really, the sauce – the tamarind sauce, the pepper sauce, garlic sauce – as these give the edge in deciding the best bake and shark among the huts that sell them.

On the way, stop over at the hilltop Maracas Lookout point for incredible views of the ocean and surroundings.

Maracas Beach, Trinidad & Tobago
[Maracas Beach, Trinidad & Tobago]

Maracas Beach, Trinidad & Tobago
[Maracas Beach, Trinidad & Tobago]

Maracas Lookout, Trinidad & Tobago
[View from Maracas Lookout, Trinidad & Tobago]

Maracas Lookout, Trinidad & Tobago
[View from Maracas Lookout, Trinidad & Tobago]

After lunch at the beach-side restaurant, we headed further east to Three Pools, but it was closed during our visit, so we headed back west to…

Maracas Waterfalls

One of the more popular destinations in Trinidad and being one of the tallest waterfalls with a very scenic atmosphere, the waterfalls are a short 25 to 35 minute hike to this natural beauty.

Access to this waterfall isn’t as easy as the others. The trail starts at the WASA pump on Waterfall Road in Maracas Valley in St. Joseph. Begin with a five-minute decent but after crossing the river it is all uphill for the next hour. About 25 minutes of gradual hill until the real fun starts when the hill will then start testing your fitness level! The next thirty minutes will be a bit challenging where the incline of the hill and the leaves on the ground will have you winded.

Eventually, the hill tappers off and you end up on a ridge, from where you can see the hunters camp by the river. To which you will have a steep slippery descent, onto the river to reach the camp. To the right is the possibly 20-feet waterfall in the distance. On the way up to the river, caution must be taken as the rocks are extremely slippery.

From here, we drove back on the main road to…

Mount St. Benedict Abbey

The drive to the monastery displays fine hilltop views over the plains, the coast and the Northern Range. Just over a century old, the enormous yellow monastery (also known as The Abbey of Our Lady of Exile) follows the Order of Saint Benedict, and sits on a large swath of land whose hikeable woods are filled with birds.

The monks offer afternoon tea to visitors, but this was discontinued after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mount St. Benedict Abbey
[Mount St. Benedict Abbey from the drive]

Mount St. Benedict Abbey
[Mount St. Benedict Abbey]

Mount St. Benedict Abbey
[Mount St. Benedict Abbey]

Mount St. Benedict Abbey
[Inside the church of Mount St. Benedict Abbey]

It was late afternoon when we headed back to Port of Spain, for the last stop of the day…

Lady Chancellor Lookout

Locals hike the road up leading to this lookout-point to workout, and for spectacular views of the capital city. We hoped to see the sunset from here, but it was a cloudy evening preventing us from the beautiful views of sun setting out!

Lady Chancellor Lookout

Lady Chancellor Lookout

After “sunset”, we drove back to the city for dinner and a quiet evening at the hotel!

 

Costs

Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult. The exchange rate at the time of publishing is assumed to be USD 1 = TTD 6.75.
 

What Cost Notes
Rental Car $118.35 Ace Rent-a-car from POS airport. Economy car incl. full insurance, for two days.
Maracas Waterfall $2.96 TTD 20 entrance fee.
Lunch at Maracas beach $5.93 Richard’s Bake and Shark. TTD 40
Groceries $1.77 Snacks, water for TTD 12.
Dinner in Port of Spain $4.44 Roti at Hott Shoppe for TTD 30.
Gas $31.85 Full tank. TTD 215.
Total Costs $165.30 Per person
Overall Costs $2,652.59 Per person

 

Planning

Planning & Information

Tips, information and planning for the sixteen days around the Caribbean island nations.

Days 15 & 16

Trinidad & Tobago (South)

Eighth country in the trip.

 

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