Written by Jodeci527 on 10 Dec, 2012
There are a few spots in Trinidad which any local will insist that a visitor should go. One of these places is none other than Maracas Bay, the most visited beach on the island. Trinidad itself, is not a beach destination, as many oil rigs…Read More
There are a few spots in Trinidad which any local will insist that a visitor should go. One of these places is none other than Maracas Bay, the most visited beach on the island. Trinidad itself, is not a beach destination, as many oil rigs are scattered about the Western, Eastern and Southern coasts. However, that is not an issue in the North and that's where the famous Maracas Bay steps in.My classmates and I had a day free from studies thanks to one of the many public holidays. Due to the many different resident ethnicities of the country (Caribbean, Indian and Chinese to name a few), Trinidad actually is one of the top 5 countries in the world with the most public holidays. The local students decided to organize a trip so that the foreign students such as myself could pay a visit to this beach which we've been hearing so much ago.We set out from the town of Trincity, which made for a 2 hour drive to Maracas Bay. Maracas Bay is easily accessed by either public transportation (no more than $2 USD) or by using a rental car. The journey could have been shorter on a regular day, but given that most locals had the day off, we weren't the only ones with the same intentions. Traffic was pretty dense in the urban areas of the country, but flowed freely once we were out of the city limits. The drive to Maracas Bay was really lovely. Due to the fact that Trinidad is only a mere 7 miles off the coast of Venezuela, the vegetation was quite similar to what one would expect to find in South America. The many mountains that we passed along the way were blanketed in a sheet of greenery, which starkly contrasted against the deep blue Caribbean sky.Suddenly, we crested a hill and the sea appeared out of seemingly nowhere. You could tell it was the Atlantic ocean, from the deep shade and the white foam caused by crashing waves. The weird thing about this journey, was the fact that although we were heading to the coast, the road was severely elevated to the point that we were driving through mist, before sloping a few metres from the shoreline. We arrived at Maracas Beach where the party had started long before our 2pm arrival. Many booths were littered about the sand fringe, selling all the dishes indigenous to the country such as Doubles, Pholourie and Roti. You'd find most Trinidadians demolishing these meals with the local drink of choice 'Red Solo'. (This is a brand of red soft drink manufactured in Trinidad)My classmates didn't eat any of the afore mentioned dishes. We came to Maracas Bay to sample Bake and Shark. This dish consisted of a large fried dumpling split in two, with a fillet of fried shark meat inside. It was served with lettuce and tomatoes, along with your choice of condiments including ketchup, mustard and the local shado beni sauce (shado beni is a leafy herb found in the West Indies). We found an uncrowded spot on the beach and set up camp. Soca music pumped from the many speaker systems set up at various points on the shore. Children built sand castles, teenagers surfed on the waves which crashed on the beach and others like myself walked along the shoreline. Indeed, this was not the type of beach that I've grown accustomed to from the various Caribbean Isle which I've visited. You won't find bright blue waters and colourful coral reefs. What you will see is a beach lined with palm trees, which is heaven for surfers and other water sport junkies. You can still take a swim in the sea, but I would only recommend this to those who are pretty good swimmers. The main attraction at Maracas Beach is not the beach itself, but the culural explosion of food. Maracas Beach is a great place to hang out in Trinidad, and it's a great addition to any trip to the island.Close
Written by Jalpari on 31 May, 2005
After a couple of days showing me around the island, Nnamdi and CJ were still hanging tough, and my next mission was to get them and me to my very first band launch. Simply describing, a ‘band launch’ is the very beginning stages of pre-Carnival…Read More
After a couple of days showing me around the island, Nnamdi and CJ were still hanging tough, and my next mission was to get them and me to my very first band launch. Simply describing, a ‘band launch’ is the very beginning stages of pre-Carnival events and also another reason to party. (Trinis love to party.) Designers showcase their latest and greatest costumes for the upcoming year's celebration, and people sign up to join a band. The costumes may also be for purchase the night of the launch or a couple days following.
Having done my research well in advance, I mapped out what appeared to be a very exquisite launch to checkout. Islandevents.com, a pretty good website for fetes and concert information around the island, was presenting this particular band launch at the Trinidad & Tobago Country Club. The night was titled "Moulin Rouge," and the show would be a tribute to Josephine Baker. I was elated! Not only would I be experiencing a band launch, I would have the opportunity to see costumes designed in celebration of the first black diva and one of my favorite historical performers of all time.
Preparing for the evening was no easy task, but I figured I was on an island, and the attire should be fairly casual, maybe a tad dressy. I took out what I felt was most appropriate, placed my flip-flops with sequins on, and waited for my ride to show. When CJ arrived, he informed me that the flip-flops could be a problem, as this was the TnT Country Club, and seeing that I hadn’t packed any heels, we’d just have to see if they’d work.
When we arrived, he dropped me off at the front and waited to see if I would make it in with my selected footwear. As a woman, I wasn’t too concerned about this, but I also wished I had packed some heels. He had to take off and freshen up but promised he would return with Nnamdi to enjoy the rest of the evening. This gave me the opportunity to meet new Trinis or people-watch at the least.
Upon entering the country club, I knew I had underestimated the kind of event I was attending. The atmosphere had been transformed into a luxurious Parisian island event. Soft French music mixed between light Soca sets by the DJ drifted throughout the building. Models posed still as statues, batting only an eye to wink at a photographer stealing a shot. Every beautiful man and woman residing in the country had to have been there that night. Everywhere I turned, I encountered another strikingly gorgeous face, unique with added island exoticness.
Another thing to note about the people and the island is the amount of diversity. Compared to many other islands in the Caribbean, you’ll find several different cultures in Trinidad. Influences can even be seen in music from Venezuela, as they are geographically only a hop away from each other.
In any case the show was about to start and CJ and Nnamdi still hadn’t made it to the club. I decided to park myself up front, where all the press was placed. I had just purchased a Digital Rebel and wanted to bring back a nice photo journal of my trip. But before I could think anymore on capturing great shots, the stage began to transform its way into a 1920s Moulin Rouge. Models paraded the stage, twirled, danced, laughed, and strutted every inch of the glittery, beaded and sequined constructed costumes. Confetti exploded from the ceiling, covering the catwalk and gaping audience alike. With the finale, they lined the stage wall-to-wall and gave one last glimpse at the band's costumes for Carnival 2005.
After the models left the stage, the audience readied themselves for performances by Destra Garcia and Dawg E Slaughter, local Soca stars. Men were ignited by the sounds of Destra voice, not to mention all the winin’ she was doing with her waist. Women were hypnotized as Slaughter sang out lyrics to "Carnival, I Love You." The fete was only beginning to get started, and I had finally found CJ and Nnamdi. They missed a large portion of the event but still made up for lost time on the dance floor.
And we danced and danced as the DJ spun more and more calypso, soca, and reggae favorites. We danced and danced and danced until the lights came on and they started kicking us out. This normally doesn’t happen in TnT, as people like to party 'til the cows come home, but it was the Country Club rules. Go figure. Time to plan for Carnival.
If you go, band launches typically start happening between October and November. You will find them all over the island, but you’ll have to keep an eye out for flyers or an open ear for the buzz on the streets. If the country club in particular interests you, it can be found easily by asking anyone. They’ll point you in the right direction.
Written by gerbear69 on 19 Feb, 2005
The most popular beach destination in Trinidad is Maracas Beach. The road to get to the beach curves through the mountains, with nice views of Port of Spain, the country's capital, lush green landscape, and the blue Caribbean. Be sure to stop at the lookout…Read More
The most popular beach destination in Trinidad is Maracas Beach. The road to get to the beach curves through the mountains, with nice views of Port of Spain, the country's capital, lush green landscape, and the blue Caribbean. Be sure to stop at the lookout along the way for some good photographs and a visit to the shacks that have been set up there.
Trinidad's charm is the social gathering. Visits to the beach generally involve several carloads of participants, along with a picnic lunch. At Maracas, bake and shark shops dot the landscape. Be sure to enjoy a cold Carib beer. The prices are inexpensive if you do the conversion from $6TT to $1.
The beach itself is attractive, stretching along a cove, populated with coconut trees, and kissing the warm coastal waters. Be careful while walking on the sand. I recommend sandals. With the beach being a popular destination, debris such as glass can pose a hidden danger beneath the white sands.
There is a magnetic phenomenon that occurs on the road to the beach. You can experience rolling up a hill! With the car in neutral on a hill, one would expect to roll backwards, but because of the proximity to the equator and other magnetic forces at work, the car miraculously starts rolling up the hill.
A visit to Trinidad would not be complete without a visit to Maracas Beach.
Written by smilingtraveller on 07 Dec, 2004
Trinidad is beautiful. This statement is packed with meaning, so I'll try to explain myself as best as I can. It is a country that has such a mix of culture and ethnicity that no doubt, in 30 to 40 years, our society in North…Read More
Trinidad is beautiful. This statement is packed with meaning, so I'll try to explain myself as best as I can. It is a country that has such a mix of culture and ethnicity that no doubt, in 30 to 40 years, our society in North America will begin the resemble its ethnic mix. Within the beauty there are flaws--(isn't everything beautiful flawed?) the government and the gap between the rich and poor causes overall turmoil. It wasn't until I lived there that I realized the importance of a good government, and everything that I had read in papers about social welfare came to life.
The culture beckons those who are willing to see each other as equals. The culture, in my opinion, is quite dominated by religion and certainly Carnival is not a proponent of that!
In the end, you must read the newspapers, understand the history (very rich), and deal with and meet the local people. I wasn't a big fan of places like TGIF and ex-pat places since they weren’t places that captured the essence of Trinidad's citizens. Can you believe that there isn't a McDonald’s in the country? Hmmm . . . why? Do your research!
Written by Jodeci527 on 07 Jan, 2013
Advertisements for the event were everywhere. They were on the radio stations, on local websites and in the newspapers, so naturally my curiosity got the better of me and I decided that I should go to the Angostura Rum Festival. This festival is held by…Read More
Advertisements for the event were everywhere. They were on the radio stations, on local websites and in the newspapers, so naturally my curiosity got the better of me and I decided that I should go to the Angostura Rum Festival. This festival is held by the House of Angostura Rum, a brewery/factory located in Laventille, Trinidad, a short distance from Port of Spain.We arrived at the event quite early, so the large crowds hadn't arrived as yet. We took advantage and signed up for one of the tours that they offered for the guests. The tour we chose was of the brewery where the rum was manufactured, and it was quite informative. Aside from the tour, there was a lot to learn about at the festival. A bartender showed the guests how to create a few cocktails and other drinks, using the Angostura Bitters. We were able to taste a few of the cocktails, and they were absolutely wonderful! Other events were taking place, such as a cooking demonstration.The price of admission for the festival was $50 TT, or approximately $9 USD. This provided you with 4 chits for drinks from any of the many bars and booths which were set up inside of the grounds. Some booths housed a bar which served drinks made with one of the rums manufactured by the House of Angostura. I cashed in my chits at these booths at various points during my visit and two of the drinks I received particularly made a large impression.At the 'Rumcocktails' booth, I chose an iced cocktail with two fruit flavours, strawberry and pineapple. It had just the right amount of sugar and alcohol to pack a punch, and the fruity flavours were quite distinctive. The second drink consisted of LLB (a Lemon, Lime and Bitters drink, manufactured by House of Angostura) and Angostura 1919 rum, and the combination was fantastic. There was a live band at the event playing some of the best soca songs for the year 2012. People were dancing, drinking and having a great time all together. A few food items were available, to give persons something to munch on while they consumed the alcoholc beverages. Trinidad Doubles and Corn Soup were the main meals, and ice cream was also being served. The cost of these were included in the admission fee. This festival takes place every year in the month of in September, and the event is always well attended. Tasty beverages, good local food and Trini Soca makes a sweet combo, and I hope to experience it again in the not too distant future!Close
Written by nalini28 on 02 Jul, 2007
There is the famous Maracus Beach...just relaxing. The Ecacus point where you can see Venezula on a clear day. The markets in Chaguanas. The local food, fruits, drinks, and spices. The traditional sarees and clothing...I bought too much! The Hindu temples...The pitch lake...and I can…Read More
There is the famous Maracus Beach...just relaxing. The Ecacus point where you can see Venezula on a clear day. The markets in Chaguanas. The local food, fruits, drinks, and spices. The traditional sarees and clothing...I bought too much! The Hindu temples...The pitch lake...and I can go on.Close