Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Back Bay – desolate cove where beach often empty.
Bacolet Bay – Swiss Family Robinson filmed here.
Castara Bay – laid-back beach for young Europeans.
Pigeon Point – state park for picnickers and vendors; island’s clearest blue water.
Pirate’s Bay – great snorkeling; half-mile hike from Charlottesville.
Store Bay Beach – crowded, popular.

Bookends – twin, wave-smashed rocks; tarpon hang in surf.
Coral Gardens – lovely.
Devil’s Thirst – amphitheater-shaped formation in coral reef; mantas & whale sharks.
Dutchmen’s Reef – batfish.
Flying Reef.
Japanese Gardens – near Goat Island (off Speyside);; underrated.
Kelleston Drain – world’s largest brain coral; have guide show you human skull embedded in barrel coral.
London Bridge – off north end; 100' long arch passable 1 diver at time.
MV Maverick – island freighter, scuttled in 1997 at 100'.
Sisters – hammerhead shark mating and trolling grounds.

Arnos Vale – Arnos Vale Road (Scarborough); 011-868-639-2881;; island’s oldest hotel shows its age; beach and Jurassic jungle setting, however, unmatched.
Bacolet Beach Club – 72 Bacolet Street (Bacolet Bay); 011-868-639-2357;; modern hotel overlooking semi-private beach.
Blue Haven Hotel – Bacolet Bay; 011-868-660-7400;; classic but faded; 1940s Caribbean hideaway.
Blue Waters Inn – Batteaux Bay (Speyside); 011-868-660-4341;; beachfront resort tucked in own secluded bay; 46 acres lush tropical grounds; 38 rooms, all of which face ocean; dive resort.
Coco Reef – Coconut Bay (Crown Point); 011-868-639-8571;; full-service resort and spa; European clientele.
Half Moon Blue Hotel – on Bacolet Street, at Donkey Cart House (Bacolet Bay); 011-868-639-3551;; charmingly rustic.
Magdalena Grand Beach Resort – Tobago Plantations Estate (Lowlands); 011-868-660-8800;; beach area, breakfast spread, pool.
Villas at Stonehaven – Grafton Road, Stonehaven Bay (Black Rock); 011-868-639-0361;; hilltop houses for rent.

Café Havana – on Bacolet Street, at Donkey Cart House (Bacolet Bay, at Half Moon Blue Hotel); 011-868-639-3551;; charmingly rustic.
Ciao Café – 20 Burnett Street (Scarborough); 011-868-639-3001; Italian sandwiches and gelato.
Jabba’s – Waterfront (Charlotteville, last place on left); for roti.
Jemma’s Sea View Kitchen – Speyside; 011-868-660-4066; Creole food, like chicken curry, tania fritters, and breadfruit pie,
Man O’ War Bay – beach stall (Charlotteville); fish, chips, and beer.
Shirvan Watermill – Shirvan Road (Mount Pleasant); 011-868-639-0000; formal dining in open-air pavilion.
Shore Things – Old Milford Road (Lambeau); 011-868-635-1072; excellent pies and smoothies.
Store Bay – beach stalls on Store Bay Local Road (Crown Point); all manner homemade delicacies.
Dive Tobago – Pigeon Point or Rex Turtle Beach Hotel (Plymouth); 011-868-660-7767;
Frankie Tours & Rental – Mt. Irvine Beach Facilities Car Park; 011-868-631-0369;
Harris Jungle Tours – Store Bay (Crown Point); 011-868-639-0513;
Paria Springs – Courtenay Rooks, 20 La Seiva Road (Maraval); 011-868-622-8826;; adventure tour company; book trip to bat caves on Mount Tamana’s top.
World of Watersports – Vanguard Tobago Golf & Spa Resort (Lowlands, Scarborough); 011-868-660-7234;

Shore Things – Old Milford Road (Lambeau); 011-868-635-1072; crafts.

Sights & Sites
Argyle Falls – Windward Coast Main Road; descending falls; fee required depending on how high you go (higher is prettier).
Fort King George – 84 Fort Street (Scarborough, on Mt. St. George); 011-868-639-3970; island’s best-preserved historic monument; clings to cliff high above ocean; built in 1770s and operated until 1854; includes prison, officers' mess, and several stabilized cannons; just left of tall wooden figures dancing traditional Tobagonian jig is former barrack guardhouse, now housing small Tobago Museum; exhibits include weapons and other pre-Columbian artifacts found in area; fertility figures are especially interesting; upstairs are maps and photographs from island’s past; be sure to check out gift display cases for jewelry made from embalmed and painted lizards and sea creatures; Fine Arts Centre at complex’ foot shows local artists’ work.
Main Ridge Forest Reserve – Roxborough (southeast of Parlatuvier);; 10K acres tropical rainforest; provides habitats for 12-16 mammal species, 24 non-poisonous snakes, 16 lizards, and 210 bird species, most outstanding being Campylopterus ensipennis, white-tailed Sabrewing Hummingbird, and ocellated gecko (not found elsewhere in world); established on April 13, 1776 (considered by many to be 1st act in modern environmental movement); hike “Gilpin Trace Trail,” in particular.
Mount Tamana – highest point in Trinidad’s Central Range; 30-minute hike that rewards with more than just stunning views – Tamana Cave’s 1st chamber provides intimate look into bat life.
Store Bay Food Stalls – Store Bay Beach; go to Food Stalls at beach’s back edge; try Miss Trim’s or Miss Jean’s stalls, where can order crab dumplings in curried coconut milk sauce; other foods worth sampling include fora roti (sort of curried burrito filled with potatoes, yam, and protein), coocoo, callaloo, and/or pelau (stew).
Tobago Cocoa Estate – Roxborough (across from Main Ridge Forest Reserve); 011-868-390-2021 or 011-868-788-3971;; can arrange tours; on-site gift shop.

Bars & Nightclubs

Club Zen – 1 Wrightson Road (Port of Spain, at Hyatt Regency Trinidad); 011-868-623-2222;; live “soca” music in cavernous space.
Drink! Wine Bar – 63 Rosalino Street (Port of Spain, Woodbrook); 011-868-622-2895;; “tripster” (Trinidadian hipster) hangout.
51 Degrees – 51 Cipriani Boulevaard (Port of Spain); 011-868-627-0051;; hard to get into; “Soca” music and live performances by Caribbean stars.
Smokey & Bunty – at corner of 97 Western Main Road & Dengue Street, St. James (Port of Spain).
Stumblin – 42 Ariapita Avenue (Port of Spain); 011-868-223-5017;; indoor-outdoor bar.

Blanchisseuse Beach – Blanchisseuse; oft-deserted, stunning beach.
Maracas Bay Beach – among island’s most popular beaches.

Carlton Savannah – 2-4 Coblentz Avenue (Port of Spain, Cascade); 011-868-621-5000;; minimalist, 155-rooms.
Coblentz Inn – 44 Coblentz Avenue (Port of Spain, Cascade); 011-868-621-0541;; 17 rooms, all with kitchenettes.
Hyatt Regency Trinidad – 1 Wrightson Road (Port of Spain); 011-868-623-2222;; island’s biggest hotel; infinity pool has stunning Paria Gulf views.

Breakfast Shed – Wrightson Road (Port of Spain, adjacent to Hyatt); Creole breakfasts; waterfront setting and fantastic harbor views; essentially glorified food hall sheltered under single pavilion, comprised of open-air stalls featuring quintessential Trinidadian dishes, from rich cowheel stew to shark-and-bake sandwiches; also open for lunch.
Chaud Creole – 6 Nook Avenue, St. Ann’s (Port of Spain); 011-868-621-2002;; contemporary dining fused with traditional Trinidadian-Tobagan cuisine.
Ipanema – 12 Victoria Avenue (Port of Spain, Woodbrook); 011-868-625-0711; churrasco-style dining in classic Creole house.
Ken’s Doubles (also known as Doubles Factory) – El Socorro Road Extention (Curepe, opposite Knowles Street); open at 4 am; for breakfast; “doubles” (breakfast street staple, consisting of fried Indian-style bara filled with curried chickpea and spicy pepper sauce).
More Sushi – 23 O’Connor Street (Port of Spain); 011-868-622-8466;

Dive TnT – Arena Road (Freeport); 011-868-475-2404;; offers “down island” tours (meaning to “5 Islands,” Bocas, Chacachacare, Gaspar Grande, Monos, and Nelson.
Gail’s Exclusive Tour Service Ltd. – 7 Gordon Street (Mount Lambert); 011-868-638-5085 or 011-868-762-5495 (m);; wide range Trinidad tours; can arrange tour to Brasso Seco.

Alice Yard – 80 Roberts Street (Port of Spain); 011-868-723-0060;; historic house turned creative hub and gallery.
Medulla Art Gallery – 37 Fitt Street (Port of Spain, Woodbrook); 868- 740-7597 (m) or 868-622-1198;
Satchel’s House – 6 Carlos Street (Port of Spain); 011-868-627-8640;; Caribbean and Carnival boutique with clothes designed by local talent, Meiling.
Violetta Fine Chocolates – San Fernando; 011-868-778-5558;; chocolate.

Sights & Sites
Bocas Island – accessible by tour boat from Trinidad.
Carapichaima – 13 miles from Port of Spain; village in which 85' statue of Indian god, Hanuman, stands.
Chacachacare Island – accessible by tour boat from Trinidad; large lighthouse, WWII base, former leper colony, and former cotton plantation.
Chagaunas – 11 miles south of Port of Spain; predominantly East Indian community; worth visiting to spice shop.
Delft Cocoa Plantations – Brasso Venado (Montserrat Hills); 011-868-657-3803;; plantation tours.
Gaspar Grande Island – accessible by tour boat from Trinidad; lime stone caves and lounging on beach at Bombshell Bay.
Lion House (Anand Bhavan) – Main Road (Chaguanas);; Capildeo (V.S. Naipaul’s maternal line) family’s ancestral home; trapezoid-shaped house immortalized in House for Mr. Biswas.
Magnificent Seven – Maraval Road (Port of Spain, alongside northwest corner Queen’s Park Savannah); 7 ornate, Victorian-style houses; from north to south, mansions are: Killarney; Whitehall; Archbishop’s House; Roomor; Mille Fleurs; Hayes Court; and Queen’s Royal College.
Marianne River & Avocat Falls Hike – Blanchisseuse-Arima Road (Blanchisseuse); river runs down to beach, falls are distance inland; birdwatching and interesting flora, such as Peace lilies; can swim at falls.
Monos Island – accessible by tour boat from Trinidad; red howler monkeys.
National Academy for Performing Arts – Frederick Street and Queen’s Park East (Port of Spain); 011-868-625-8519;; 500-seat performance hall with “steel pan” (among few instruments invented in 20th Century and born here) performances.
Nelson Island – accessible by tour boat from Trinidad; Caribbean’s former “Ellis Island” for Chinese and Indian indentured labor.
Queens Park Savannah – Queen’s Park (Port of Spain); 011-868-675-7034; 400 acre former sugar estate; many city’s largest buildings have savannah as backdrop; in particular, "Magnificent 7," line of century-old colonial houses, including Queen’s Royal College, Hayes Court, Mille Fleurs, Rumoor, Roman Catholic Archbishop’s House, Whitehall, and Stollmeyer’s Castle.
Rancho Quemado Agro-Eco Tourism Park – 1¾ Rancho Quemado Road; 011-868-389-8385;; part nature park and part zoo.
Temple in Sea – Waterloo (13 miles from Port of Spain); built offshore (to avoid building on cane land); reached by pedestrian causeway; Ganesh, Siddartha, and other Hindu entities’ images; make sure in advance caretaker is on grounds so can gain entrance inside temple; mudflats surrounding causeway can be unsightly at low tide when discarded trash and other debris visible.

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