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Monday, September 20, 2010

Sooo. What is the TOURISM like in Trinidad aside from Trinidad Carnival? Get the most vacation for your money!

I've been working on this blog post on and off the last few days that's why I haven't had as many blogs up!

The Nylon Pool (which I thought was just a section in TRIBE the year they came out with their absolutely AMAZING theme, What Lies Beneath).  Check out how far dude is from land and still not even waist deep in water!


The Caroni Bird Sanctuary

plus waterfalls, beaches, and more, read below!  And remember you can always check out where to find a tour company, pictures from other tourists, and reviews of many attractions on TripAdvisor's Trinidad page and find more information on this Trinidad and Tobago tourism site.  Nice detailed reviews of some of the major attractions plus beautiful pictures of each (which I'm borrowing for some of the pics in this blog) can be found here.

From Trinidad's Ministry of Tourism:

(NATURAL WONDERS: TRINIDAD)

Aripo Caves
Aripo is a place of extremes.  It is home to the Aripo caves - T&T’s largest cave system as well as home to the country’s highest mountain peak, El Cerro del Aripo, which soars for some 3,000 feet. The Caves offer fabulous stalagmites and stalactites with oilbirds near their entrance. It takes a lengthy hike and a good guide to make your way there but the Caves are well worth the effort. 
Aripo Savannahs
The Aripo Savannahs was deemed an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) in 2007. It is one of the largest remaining natural savannah eco-systems with endemic flora in Trinidad and Tobago. It provides a habitat for a number of the country’s rare and threatened species, including the White-tailed Golden Throat Hummingbird, Red Brocket Deer and Red-Bellied Macaws. Surely an eco-lover’s paradise.
El Tucuche
El Tucuche is the second highest mountain in Trinidad at a height of 3072 ft. As you wend your way up, the temperature changes around you as does the flora and fauna. On reaching the top, fantastic views surround you as Trinidad is visible at its glorious best from the summit.
Gasparee Caves
It is as pleasureable getting to the Caves as it is exploring them.  That’s because Gasparee Island, (also known as Gaspar Grande) is one of a chain of five islands situated just off the Western Peninsula of Trinidad (better known as "Down the Islands") that’s a popular vacation site for Trinidadians. On this island there exists a labyrinth of natural caves, filled with stalactites and stalagmites. A delight for the explorer in each of us!
Devil’s WoodyardRomantic myths surround the formation of this popular attraction: The Devil's Woodyard. The site actually contains an active mud volcano emitting through surface cracks warm, bubbling mud that forms into a cone as it cools. The Devil's Woodyard first erupted in 1852 and until the discovery of another mud volcano in 1964 at Moruga, it was thought to be the only one on the island. Since 1964, eighteen other mud volcanoes have also been located, usually in places where oil is produced.
La Brea Pitch Lake
While Sir Walter Raleigh’s claim of discovering the Pitch Lake in 1595 is disputed, everyone agrees that the Lake is an amazing site.  95-acres in size, the Lake is actually the world’s largest natural deposit of emulsified asphalt. Tar from the Lake has been used to provide high grade road surfaces not only in Trinidad, but it has also paved streets in over 50 countries.

Tobago
Buccoo Reef
You can visit this underwater wonderland without getting wet – in a glass-bottomed boat – or you can go snorkelling. The 12 km-long Buccoo Reef stretches from Pigeon Point to Bon Accord Lagoon and is a protected area. It features many species of coral and other marvellous marine life, from tiny Jewel Fish to toothy reef sharks and barracudas.
Nylon Pool
This shallow surprise lies adjacent to the Buccoo Reef. Stand, swim or simply soak in the clear, still waters and marvel that just beyond its edges are the deeper waters of the reef. The Nylon Pool is said to rejuvenate those fortunate to bathe in it.
Main Ridge Forest Reserve
Discover the many reasons why this is the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere. These include the hundred-year-old trees, rare birds and diverse flora and fauna you will see along the visitor trails – all of which helped the Main Ridge Forest Reserve win the World Travel Award for Best Eco-Destination in 2003.

ECO SITES TRINIDAD (Notice you can catch that last one during Trinidad Carnival 2011 because it's in March!)
Trinidad
Botanical GardensThis serene beauty offers an international selection of plant and bird life, shady trees under which to picnic, and pathways that allow you and your thoughts to wander freely. The Gardens adjoin the official residences of the President and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
Emperor Valley ZooBordering the Botanical Gardens, the Zoo contains a diversity of animal exhibits. While the focus is on neo-tropical species, there are some exotic species too.
Asa Wright Nature Centre
Nestled on a slope of the Northern Range, Asa Wright’s 720 acres are home to a variety of birds, animals and plants. On the verandah of the main lodge alone, a visitor is likely to see 25 to 30 species of birds.
La Vega Garden CentreThose with ‘green thumbs’ will love La Vega with its huge collection of tropical fruits and plants both on the grounds and in the plant shop. Located on the Gran Couva Estate, it also offers picnic possibilities among its bamboo groves.
Tucker Valley
Nature trails dissect this evergreen valley which is home to Red Howler and Capuchin monkeys, wild hogs, caimans and the elusive ocelot, but also hosts gentler creatures like hummingbirds and the blue Emperor butterfly. Visitors can trek to Edith Falls, stroll through the “Bamboo Cathedral” or play a round on the Chaguaramas Golf Course.
The Caroni Bird Sanctuary
This is a bird-watching boat ride, with lots of plant life to view as well. But the most memorable sight can be viewed around sunset when the Scarlet Ibis, one of Trinidad and Tobago’s national birds, returns in a blanket of red to roost in the Caroni River mangrove.
Nariva Swamp/Bush BushThe Nariva Swamp/Bush Bush Wildlife Sanctuary has been declared a wetland of international importance. Among the many creatures which find safe haven there is the endangered West Indian Manatee.
Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust
The Wildfowl Trust is a research and conservation centre on 26 hectares of the Petrotrin Oil Refinery. In addition to trails, there is a learning centre dedicated to protecting endangered waterfowl and other birds and reintroducing them into the natural environment.
Maracas Waterfall
The Maracas Waterfall provides a refreshing reward after the 2.4 kilometre hike to get there. Standing at 91 metres, it is the country’s highest waterfall, but it is at the bottom of the falls that the most fun is had.
Matura BeachThe endangered Leatherback Turtle comes ashore to nest here annually from March to August, as many as 100 each night, making Matura Beach the ideal spot in Trinidad to go turtle-watching. With the required permit in hand, visitors can watch the giant female turtles emerge from the ocean, trek up the beach to dig a hole, deposit her eggs and cover the nest with sand, before heading back out to sea.

Tobago
Adventure Farm Nature Reserve
A 12-acre nature reserve and organic farm located on the Arnos Vale Road on the outskirts of Plymouth. The reserve is noted for its birds, butterflies, iguanas, mangoes and citrus orchards.
Botanical GardensThe bustling market and talkative city easily give way to the lush peace of the Scarborough Botanical Gardens. Seventeen acres of well-groomed tropical gardens, trees and shrubs in the heart of the city. Exotic plants - like the African Tulip can be found here. Noteworthy: The Botanical Gardens celebrated its centenary in 1998.
Flagstaff HillTred slowly along a track on the crest of the hill behind Charlotteville and you’ll experience Flagstaff Hill.  Formerly an American military lookout and radio tower during World War II, the lookout continues to offer up awe-inspiring views of Charlotteville, Man O' War Bay and the St Giles and Melville' Islands. 
Little Tobago Island
Although tiny in size, Little Tobago Island has a big reputation as a bird watchers paradise. Located off the village of Speyside, it is home to one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the Caribbean.  The Red-Billed Tropic birds are spectacular from October to June. Tours to the 450-acre sanctuary depart daily from Speyside village or the Blue Waters Inn.
Rainbow Nature Resort, Rainbow Falls
The 50-acre Lure Estate lies off the beaten track beside a pretty river in Goldsborough. On the estate is the Rainbow Nature Resort, a converted cocoa house that is now a guest house and nature resort. On the estate you’ll find growing citrus, cocoa, coffee, mangoes and avocadoes.  A lovely waterfall completes the picture. 
Grafton Caledonia Bird Sanctuary 
The accidental bird sanctuary: this former cocoa estate evolved into a bird sanctuary after the owner started feeding the wild birds whose forest habitat had been destroyed by Hurricane Flora in 1963. Located near Black Rock village, the sanctuary has nature trails and scenic hiking and the wild birds are fed at the Copra House around 4pm.  Admission is free but be sure to go with a nature guide to make the most of this memorable sanctuary.

BEACHES IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Trinidad

Maracas Bay
This is Trinidad’s most popular beach. A fringe of coconut trees separates a lively surf and sandy expanse from vendors of Trinidad’s famous bake and shark. Everywhere in between can be found beach lovers from around the world.


 Tobago

Englishman’s BayForget the name: it’s not for Englishmen only. However, it is definitely for swimmers as it’s a deep bay with active water and fairly loose, powdery sand. It’s a quiet, cozy setting.
Pigeon PointArguably Tobago’s most famous beach, it remains the perfect scene for a picture postcard. Its well known jetty, white sand, calm and shallow waters, thatched huts and other amenities continue to make it popular with locals and.foreigners, even with the small user fee.
Store Bay
This is a lively little beach, partly because of its proximity to so many hotels and guesthouses. It is a major departure point for tours to Buccoo Reef, a popular beach party venue, and a marketplace for local art and craft vendors. Store Bay also offers a delicious selection of local cuisine, including the tasty Tobago favourite of curried crab and dumplings. All this – plus sun, sea and sand.

OTHER

Trinidad
National Museum and Art Gallery
This living museum houses a permanent collection of some 10,000 items as well as functioning as host to exhibitions. Among the many items on display in seven major galleries are petroleum and geological exhibits, the permanent national art collection which includes a collection of paintings by Michel-Jean Cazabon, and a small gallery on Trinidad's Carnival arts. Originally the Royal Victoria Institute, it was named in honour of Queen Victoria in 1892.

Indian Caribbean Museum
Trinidad and Tobago’s first Indian indentured laborers, numbering 217, arrived on 30th May 1845 aboard the ship, Fatel Rozack. The annual holiday - Arrival Day -  is celebrated in their honour. This Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of these labourers. Exhibits include photographs of the indentured, musical instruments, agricultural tools, cooking utensils, clothing and books. The museum also has an art gallery, reference library and genealogical database.
Lopinot
Say ‘Lopinot’ to a Trinidadian and you’ll see a big smile appear and hear them humming a melody.  That’s because Lopinot is so closely identified with the music genre called parang. Lopinot is one of the few places in T&T where the old-time traditions of carolling and paranging from house to house at Christmas time is still alive, though in a somewhat modified version. Lopinot is also home to a small museum and park dedicated to the memory of Charles Joseph Count de Lopinot.
Nelson Island
Nelson Island, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the Five Islands that lie west of Port of Spain in the Gulf of Paria. Initially, Nelson Island was the disembarkation point and quarantine station for indentured immigrants to Trinidad and Tobago in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Over the years it has served as a detention centre and hosted a gun emplacement for the Americans during World War II.
River Estate WaterwheelIt’s hard to determine the star here: the water wheel or the museum? The water wheel is a singular monument to the island's colonial past, when sugar cane estates ran the country and colossal water wheels supplied the energy to plantations. Equally inspiring is the museum that traces the history of the river and as a consequence the history of the valley.
Knolly’s TunnelThere was a time when Trinidad and Tobago was home to the Caribbean’s longest tunnel: Knolly’s Tunnel.  Named after the then acting Colonial Governor of Trinidad and Tobago, Courtney Knolly; the tunnel was part of the Trinidad Government Railways train network that linked urban and rural towns.  Today the tunnel conveys a strong sense of history and is fast on its way to becoming Central Trinidad’s premier tourism destination
San Fernando HillDrivers on the Solomon Hochoy Highway heading south, know they’re close when they sight the San Fernando Hill. Visible from miles away it is set on 65 acres of land and reaches the height of 639 feet offering a beautiful panoramic view of the southern city and coastline. Flora and fauna abound and there is a visitor’s centre with photographic documents about the history of the city. Recently, jazz performers have made it their favourite performance venue.

TOBAGO
Arnos Vale Water Wheel & Nature Park
This magnificent Water Wheel powered the operations of the sugar factory which once stood on the site. Remnants of the factory and other machinery are still visible in the restored site, which co-exists seamlessly with more modern attractions – a restaurant, dinner theatre, gift shop, museum and nature park.
 BuccooThis picturesque village borders a bay from which visitors can get a glass-bottomed boat tour to the famous Buccoo Reef. The village is popular for its Sunday School Party, at which local food, music and craft are available weekly. At Easter, place a bet at the thrilling Goat and Crab Races.
Genesis Nature Park & Art Gallery                                                                                                                           Inspired by the biblical Garden of Eden, local artist Michael Spencer has created a mini art gallery and zoo at his Goodwood home. The art gallery contains his paintings and carvings, while the zoo holds a curious collection of creatures.
Kimme Museum In the Mt Irvine museum/workshop of German sculptress Luise Kimme, you will find larger than life but life-like wooden sculptures that reflect the essence of the people, culture (especially dance) and folklore of Tobago. Bronze works are also on display.
Tobago MuseumYour Tobago history lesson will include Amerindian artifacts, military exhibits, relics of plantation life, historical documents, and a collection of stamps and coins housed at the museum in the island’s capital.


2 comments:

phoenix145 said...

this was a gr8 feature michelle.carnival is such a major event,it overshadows all our other festivals during the year.it's good to highlight our many natural attractions.

Eloquence, Inc. said...

Thanks phoenix! It's kind of long but it's good info for all us TNT newbies!

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