Trinidad

The intensely urban atmosphere of Port of Spain belies the tropical beauty of the countryside surrounding it. You'll need a car and three to eight hours to see all there is to see. Begin by circling the Queen's Park Savannah to Saddle Road, in the residential district of Maraval. After a few miles the road begins to narrow and curve sharply as it climbs into the Northern Range and its undulating hills of dense foliage. Stop at the lookout on North Coast Road; a camera is a must-have here, and be sure to try some of the sweet or savory snacks sold under the tents. You pass a series of lovely beaches, starting with Maracas. From the town of Blanchisseuse there's a winding route to the Asa Wright Nature Centre that takes you through canyons of towering palms, mossy grottoes, and imposing bamboo. In this rain forest keep an eye out for vultures, parakeets, hummingbirds, toucans, and, if you're lucky, maybe red-bellied, yellow-and-blue macaws. Trinidad also has more than 600 native species of butterflies and far more than 1,000 varieties of orchids.

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  • 1. Asa Wright Nature Centre

    Forest

    Nearly 200 acres are covered with plants, trees, and multihued flowers, and the surrounding acreage is atwitter with more than 200 species of...Read More

  • 2. Maracas Bay

    Beach

    This stretch of peach-colored sand has a cove and a fishing village at one end. It's the local favorite, so it can get crowded on weekends....Read More

  • 3. Winston Nanan Caroni Bird Sanctuary

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    This large swamp with mazelike waterways is bordered by mangrove trees, some plumed with huge termite nests. If you're lucky, you may see lazy...Read More

  • 4. Balandra Bay

    Beach

    On the northeast coast, this beige-sand beach—popular with locals on weekends—is sheltered by a rocky outcropping and is a favorite of bodysurfers...Read More

  • 5. Blanchisseuse Bay

    Beach

    The facilities are nonexistent at this narrow, palm-fringed beach, but it's an ideal spot for a romantic picnic. A lagoon and river at the east...Read More

  • 6. Chaguaramas Military History & Aerospace Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    Although this museum covers everything from Amerindian history to the Cold War, the emphasis is on the two World Wars, and it's a must-see for...Read More

  • 7. Emperor Valley Zoo & Botanical Gardens

    Garden

    The cultivated expanse of parkland north of the Savannah is the site of the president's and prime minister's official residences and also the...Read More

  • 8. Galera Point Lighthouse

    Historic District/Site

    This essential stop when touring the northeast was constructed in 1897 on a stunning cliff. It's still used to warn ships about the rough waters...Read More

  • 9. Grande Riviere

    Beach

    On Trinidad's rugged northeast coast, Grande Riviere is well worth the drive. Swimming is good, and there are several guesthouses nearby for...Read More

  • 10. Kay's Pot

    Restaurant

    On the long drive to Point Galera, be sure to stop at Kay's Pot for a great meal en route. Many consider it worth the drive all by itself. In...Read More

  • 11. Las Cuevas Bay

    Beach

    This narrow, picturesque strip on North Coast Road is named for the series of partially submerged and explorable caves that ring the beach....Read More

  • 12. Lopinot Complex

    Museum/Gallery

    It's said that the ghost of the French count Charles Joseph de Lopinot prowls his former home on stormy nights. Lopinot came to Trinidad in...Read More

  • 13. Manzanilla Beach

    Beach

    You can find picnic facilities and a pretty view of the Atlantic here, though the water is occasionally muddied by Venezuela's Orinoco River...Read More

  • 14. National Museum & Art Gallery

    Museum/Gallery

    Be sure to see the National Museum & Art Gallery, especially its Carnival exhibitions, the Amerindian collection and historical re-creations...Read More

  • 15. Salybia Bay

    Beach

    This gentle beach has shallows and plenty of shade—perfect for swimming. Snack vendors abound in the vicinity. Like many of the beaches on the...Read More

  • 16. Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This impressive temple site was constructed by artisans brought in from India. It is well worth a visit to admire the intricate architectural...Read More

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