1. Visit the Open Food Court in de Savannah – Sample local cuisine and enjoy the sound of pan on Carnival Saturday night from the Panorama Finals
You can’t visit Trinidad and Tobago without sampling the diverse cuisines the islands have to offer. When you are not fetin’, take a break from the fast food restaurants and send your taste buds on the ride of its life. Situated in the south-east corner of the Queens Park Savannah is one of our favorite spots – a small outdoor food court lined with vendors. Here you will be able to sample a variety of local foods including all types of meat (oxtail, cowheel, pigtail, pork, goat, fish and chicken) prepared as bbq, jerk, curry or fried. Other foods available are Bake n’ Shark, soups (corn, oxtail, cowheel, pigtail…), chicken foot souce, doubles, phoulorie, pastels, fried fish, wings, sugarcane, coconut water and snow cones (don’t forget to get it with milk). Make a lime out of it by walking with beers and a few chairs, especially on Carnival Saturday night when the exciting sound of the Panorama Finals will fill the air more than the aroma from the food vendors.
Photo credit: Meridith Kohut
2. Hit de Beach – The ultimate cool down
With the non-stop partying and drinking, you may want to use your downtime to get some quick rest, but don’t stay in bed too long because the ultimate relaxation is on a bed of sand followed by a cool dip in one of the 3 oceans washing the shores of Trinidad. The top beach destination in Trinidad is usually Maracas Bay. The beach area has chairs, umbrellas, a bar, restaurant, food vendors selling Bake n’ Shark and much more. If Maracas is too crowded for you, continue driving east and you’ll be able to drive onto the sands of the peaceful Tyrico beach (2 mins past Maracas) or walk down onto the blue-flagged, calm, Las Cuevas beach (10 mins past Maracas).
An alternative to the North Coast beaches is Macqueripe beach in Chaguaramas. Tucked away at the foot of a hill covered with tropical forest, this beach features activities such as ziplining and net bridge walks. Hidden Easter eggs known to most locals are the steps to the right of the bay that can be used for jumping into the ocean and a massive rock that you can stand on, head above water, during low tide which lay on the seabed almost inline with the end of the steps, but closer to the center of the bay. Be careful though, this beach was used as a submarine station during World War 2 so it gets deep fast.
3. Lime on de Ave – Popular strip to hangout and have a casual drink
There is probably nothing that Trinbagonians love more than limin’. We enjoy a good fete, but before the fete there is often a pre-fete lime and after, there will most likely be another lime. A lime is a casual gathering or hangout. It can happen anywhere and usually involves drinks, finger foods (cutters) and music, but it differs from a fete because there is a lot more conversations, story-telling and laughing than there is dancing. The most popular place to lime in Trinidad is Ariapita Avenue. “De Avenue” is home to different types of nightlife and entertainment: bars, lounges, clubs, restaurants and street food. Stand on the street outside Frankies bar, sit and relax outdoors at Shakers Cocktail Bar or enjoy a more upbeat vibes at Stublin’ On the Ave. Other popular spots include Coco lounge, #63 Lounge, the new Smokey & Bunty Sports bar and Brooklyn Bar (a few blocks from the avenue).
4. Visit the sites – Breathtaking views, amazing nature and a bit of history
Scheduling tours may not be to the top of your list of things to do during the Carnival weekend, but there are sites just outside the capital that you would not regret experiencing. Lookouts such as the top of Lady Chancellor Hill, the Lady Young road lookout and Fort George all provide remarkable views of Port-of-Spain, St James and the Gulf of Paria, with Fort George having the extra historical bonus of being built in 1804 and continuing to house its original structures such as the wooden station, canons and dungeons. Another beautiful place to visit is the Yerette hummingbird sanctuary, home to Trinidad and Tobago’s 17 species of hummingbirds. Nestled in Maracas St. Joseph (not to be confused with the Maracas bay area), it is also not a far drive from the Maracas Waterfall, another well known natural wonder.
5. DDI – Down De Islands
This may need some pre-planning but it is definitely worth the trip. Down De Islands refer to a group of small islands off the Chaguaramas coast. These islands include Chacachacare, Gasparee/Gaspar Grande (home of the Gasparee caves), Nelson islands, Diego Islands, Monos islands and Gasparilo islands. Either book through Chaguaramas Development Authority or a tour operator such as Caribbean Discovery Tours or T&T Sightseeing Tours. Its a tucked away peaceful adventure that would surely rejuvenate you.
Bonus: Our sister isle Tobgao has some of the most beautiful hidden gems. You can look forward to hearing about these in an upcoming article.