Archive for the ‘Trips’ Category

Hacking Trinidad in 3 Days

by admin

Maracas Beach

Trinidad is not your normal travel destination like its sister island Tobago, where all the tourists flock to the beaches and resorts.  It’s a gritty, melting pot mostly known for its high energy Carnival with soca music, calypso, and non-stop parties.   Trinidad is covered in undeveloped beaches, waterfalls, nature watching, and many other outdoor activities.  But with the high rate of violent crime and safety concerns, many tourists choose to skip over this destination.  Even with this in mind, the culture, people, party atmosphere, food, and nature scenery makes it a destination you can’t pass up.
Here’s the 3 day whirlwind tour you can complete over a long weekend in Trinidad:
Day 1
  • Maracas Beach – The best beach in Trinidad.  Located approximately 20 minutes drive from Port of Spain.  Rent a beach chair, grab some Carib beers, and Bake and Shark and you’re in paradise.
  • Richard’s Bake and Shark – Located on Maracas Beach.  There are a plethora of other Bake and Shark copycats on the beach, but Richards is the only one with a long line and locals recommend.  The shark meat sandwich with homemade bread and amazing sauces and toppings keep this place serving over 2500 sandwiches a day.
  • Las Cuevas Beach – 10 minutes east of Maracas is Las Cuevas.  Another beautiful place to enjoy a Carib beer and watch the locals play soccer on the beach.
  • Blanchisseuse Beach – 15 minutes east of Las Cuevas you will arrive at the fishing village Blanchisseuse.  Supposedly there is not much of a fishing atmosphere left as the majority of the villagers now live off their government checks (according to the locals) and choose not to fish any more.  The beach is still pristine and beautiful and a can’t miss.
  • Queen’s Park Savannah Market – Queens Park is a large Savannah surrounded by architectural gems (magnificent seven) of years past.  After a long day of beach trekking, nothing is better than a local smorgasbord filled with everything from roti, jerk chicken, homemade ice cream, fresh tropical juices, and doubles.  I tried the yard fowl roti, cow heel stew, tamarind juice, and coconut ice cream and would return every night if I had the chance.
  • St James – With your adrenaline pumping from the anticipation of first night in Trinidad, it’s time to check out the local ‘rum shop’ experience in Trinidad.  The neighborhood St James is most well known for the local rum joint Smokey and Bunty, which was closed due to a recent fire, but there are plenty other rum shops to choose from.
  • Ariapita Avenue – After sampling local rums and beers in St James, head over to Ariapita Avenue, which is loaded with local dance clubs and bars.  All of the locals go ‘liming’, which is the term used to go hang out and socialize.  All of the locals and soca music carry a high energy and keep you from crashing from a long day of exploring.
Day 2
  • Paria Beach and Falls – Get some coffee in you to push away your hangover and start on an early trek to this amazing hike.  The trail head is located on the other side of Blanchisseuse (about 50 minute drive from Port of Spain).  You definitely need a local to show you the way as it’s 4 miles each way of winding trails before you come across a secret cove, the untouched Paria beach full of turtle egg mounds, and then onto Paria falls at the end of a trail off of the beach.
  • Bake and Shark – On the way back from the falls, stop at Maracas beach again to sample one of the other amazing bake and shark shacks (unless you can’t pass on Richard’s for a second time).
  • Fort George – This vintage fort is the perfect place to watch sunset with the breathtaking view overlooking the entire city of Port of Spain and ocean.
  • Paprika – For a higher end, local party atmosphere, check out this eclectic restaurant turned nightclub for top 40 and soca mix to early morning hours.
Day 3
  • San Antonio Green Market – Located 15 minutes from Port of Spain in Santa Cruz.  Open from 6am-1pm Saturdays and 8am-1pm Sundays every week of the year.  Come eat a local, healthy breakfast from many different food and produce vendors.  Don’t miss the authentic Venezuelan food here.
  • Macqueripe Bay – Head west to Chaguaramas for a beautiful beach with crystal clear waters.  The view from above the beach is amazing.
  • Angostura Rum Factory – One of the Caribbean’s leading rum producers and the world’s market leader for bitters.  Tours are held during the weekdays in which the highlight is being able to sample most of the rums they produce.
  • Femmes du Chalet “Breakfast Shed” – Great local food for a cheap price.  No frills attached atmosphere.
Local Food to Try
  • Roti
  • Doubles
  • Pelau
  • Black pudding (blood sausage)
  • Phoulourie
  • Souse
  • Black eye peas and rice
  • Pastelles
  • Oil down
  • Callaloo
  • January-May dry season is best time to go for weather
  • Rent a car.  Taxis are harder to come by and motorbike options are limited
  • Violent crime is high every year.  Be careful of the areas you traverse to
  • Visas not required for stays of 90 days or less
  • Carnival is the most famous time of year to go
  • English is the official language
  • The currency is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar, also known as the TT (pronounced teetee)
  • Tap water is safe to drink
  • Purchase a prepaid SIM card and GSM phone from Digicel or bmobile stores for as little as TT$100