Trinidad / Special Interests / Hiking & Walking
Trinidad has great potential for developing this aspect of its tourism, with a wide array of places and things of interest and different terrain the main ingredients of any worthwhile walking trip. There’s the added bonus too of a staggering variety of fauna, flora and birdlife and it’s very easy on some trails to get distracted by some new apparition and forget about the walking. Hiking can easily descend into mere observation, so always stick to a time and distance. As the philosopher/wanderer Laurens Van der Post noted “exploring the physical unknown on foot became more and more the examination of an immense unknown in myself”. Immersing oneself in the sights and sounds of a diverse ecosystem can reward in itself, and Trinis have come to appreciate it more.
Prime areas for hiking are the Blanchisseuse coast and forests of the Northern Range, specifically around Brasso Seco and Paria, remote Spanish-Amerindian settlements with mountain, coast, waterfall and river treks aplenty and cottages or old cocoa houses to rent for overnights. The North Coast Beach Hike along a rough bench trail is only for the seriously fit and hardy with the Chaguaramas Hills on the western peninsular, Trinity Hills in the far south and the Matura Forest Reserve and the Rio Seco waterfall are far more negotiable tracts. Wildlife and birdwatching estates like Asa Wright, Pax Guest House and Mt Plaisir are all hiker friendly, with first class guides and route networks around their hinterland.
Experienced guides are essential partners on all trips, for safety and information. There are several sources:
The Travel Centre, Port of Spain - conduct nature/soft adventure trips nationwide with experienced guides and a professional attitude.
Brasso Seco - the sage of the woods, Carl ‘Wang’ Fitzjames.
Caribbean Discovery Tours - led by Stephen Broadbridge, well informed with a wildlife bent.
Trinidad & Tobago Hike Seekers, Diego Martin - operated by Lawrence ‘Snake’ Pierre, reaches those parts of Trinidad others don’t reach, waterfalls, caving and Guanapo Gorge a speciality.
Paria Springs Tours, Maravel - high quality informative trips with naturalist Courtenay Rooks.
Clothing and Caveats
Walking boots or sturdy trainers are usually sufficient, cotton trousers a good idea, bottled water and commonsense an imperative, some mountain streams could be crystal clear but not potable. Stick to the track at all times and leave no litter - only footprint. Avoid loud speech, respect the atmosphere of the forest and minimise any disturbance to wildlife unseen. There are venomous snakes in the northern forest and elsewhere, which you are very unlikely to encounter. Snakes avoid man unless by accidental chance, but if bitten never employ a tourniquet, simply identify the snake (do not kill it), and proceed to hospital where antidotes can be administered.
Non-profit organisations and Government links:
The Trinidad &Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club, just republished their magnum opus, Trail Guide, the bible for anyone contemplating a stroll around these parts. P O Box 642, Port of Spain, t 687 0514 | firstname.lastname@example.org | http://ttfnc.org
Chaguaramas Development Authority Guided Tours, t 634 4227/4349/4364 | www.chagdev.com
The Forestry Division, Long Circular Road, Port of Spain, t 622 4521
Recommended accommodation view more
Asa Wright Nature Centre Boutique/Small Hotels & Inns
One of the world’s finest birding lodges, set in a classic 24-room Caribbean plantation house. Read more
Mt Plaisir Estate Hotel Boutique/Small Hotels & Inns
A classic, cool beach hideaway in the far north east of Trinidad. Just 13 stylish suites on a natural beach at Grande Riviere. Read more
Fondes Amandes House, 9b Fondes Amandes Road, St Ann's, Trinidad, WI
20 Sinanan Gardens, Diego Martin, Trinidad, WI
Courtenay Rooks, 20 La Seiva Road, Maraval, Trinidad, WI
Long Circular Road, Trinidad, WI
16 Damian Street, Woodbrook, Trinidad, WI
Pierre-Felix Drive, Diego Martin, Trinidad, WI
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