Trinidad and Tobago
Many have heard of it as a popular destination for its annual cultural festival of Carnival – a two-day period where people fill the streets and revel in fantastical costumes making a grand parade full of colour, music, and excitement. Although this just scratches the surface of what these islands have to offer. The nation is a special destination in the Caribbean and stands out from other islands due to its unique topography, rich culture and wonderful flora and fauna.
Vietnam, has finally won its last battle, to capture the imagination of the travelling public. Elegant Hanoi now vies with its dynamic sister, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) for the attention of visitors drawn by the eclectic mix of old and new. More modern than other Vietnamese cities, Ho Chi Minh City has also retained its French colonial influences. Its vibrancy is maintained by the ever-entrepreneurial Saigonese and the streets are jam-packed with mopeds and scooters, often carrying whole families. The markets are chaotically busy.
Food and Wine
The Portuguese love their food and even more so, their wine! From north to south the variety is huge, the north prefers their strong meats and stews accompanied by full bodied red wines from some of the 250 native grape varieties, or a salted cod baked in the oven paired with a reserve white. The coast offers such an array of fresh fish and shellfish, grilled on charcoal accompanied by a cool Vinho Verde. The south is the land of garlic, olive oil, and acorn fed black pigs. The Algarve goes Mediterranean with its oranges, figs, almonds that taste so good in the local traditional sweets.
Portugal is surprisingly varied in nature, considering how small the country is. From the craters of the old volcanoes in the Azores, turned into beautiful colourful lagoons, to the ravishing tropical vegetation and breath- taking cliffs of Madeira island, the vineyards of the Douro Valley, or the endless plaines of Alentejo just after the highest mountain in the country with its pure springs of water, until we get to the caves of the Algarve, in between the long white sand beaches and sand islands where the birds build their nests when fleeing from the cold weather of norther Europe.
Trinidad and Tobagos Journeys
Trinidad and Tobagos Top Destinations
La Brea Pitch Lake
South-Western Trinidad is home to the largest naturally occurring asphalt flat on the planet, fondly called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by locals. It is one of only three in known existence and contains an estimated 10 million tons of the black sticky material which spans 100 acres with depths of 250 feet. While on a tour, visitors can walk on the surface might feel as if the lake alive, with its hissing and burping sounds.
Located on the Northeast side of Tobago, this 175 feet tall cascade of cool, crisp water attracts locals and visitors alike. With 3 levels, the thunderous sound of the waterfall is heard long before you see it. The first level is the tallest, but, hides the real splendour of Argyle’s upper levels. Adventurous explorers can hike up to the second level, where they will be rewarded with several natural rock tubs to relax in. Going further upward to the third level, they will be met with the smallest but deepest pool where they can dive, jump or swing into the water using nearby vines.
Formerly called La Vigie, Fort George is situated on the hills to the North of Trinidad overlooking the Gulf of Paria. The fort is the best destination for one of the most spectacular views of Port of Spain and the sea. At this well-preserved structure, one can see the original cannons, dungeons, and a signal station built in 1804 under the direction of then British Governor, Brigadier-General Sir Thomas Hislop. This fort was considered well-nigh impregnable at the time and it was the major defensive position in Trinidad, but it was never to experience military action. In times of rumours of war, the merchants of Port of Spain would store their records, cash and valuables here. Fort George ceased to be a Military establishment in 1846.
L’eau Michel Mud Volcano
A natural phenomenon where mud slowly flows out through active vents spanning approximately an acre. This mud is cool and smooth to the touch and so dense that it keeps visitors afloat. The area is touted as a unique spa experience, and the nearby L’eau Michel Beach allows for a refreshing sea bath. The surrounding scenery is comprised of cane fields and teak forests.
is one of the main centres of Tobagonian entertainment. The gorgeous stretch of beach and clear waters are a refreshing sight for all who visit. Visitors are invited to experience this beauty even closer. This location offers many experiences such as snorkelling at the famous Buccoo Reef to witness the unique underwater flora and fauna first-hand; and glass-bottom boat tours which glide through the waves, giving riders a view of the ocean beneath their feet through a plexiglass screen on the boat’s floor.
Bush Bush Wildlife Sanctuary
The Bush Bush Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the South-Western region of the Nariva Swamp in Eastern Trinidad. It is home to more than 200 species of birds and animals. The Sanctuary sits on Bush Bush Island – an area of high ground that is approximately 3 meters above the swamp that is bordered by palms and covered in hardwood and silk-cotton trees. Here, red howler monkeys are often seen swinging between these trees which also serve as the nesting place for colourful parrots, the red-bellied macaw and an array of beautiful butterflies.
Found on the island of Gaspar Grande, 15-minutes off the coast of North-Western Trinidad – are the Gasparee Caves. This is a natural system of limestone caverns created by millions of years of wave action and slightly acid rain on the island of Gaspar Grande. The largest of these caves is known as the Blue Grotto which holds a mysterious clear tidal pool at its bottom. The cave contains interesting stalagmite and stalactite formations which have been given nicknames such as “The Buddha”, “Virgin Mary” and “The Lovers”.
Along the North-Western Coast of Trinidad is this small and relaxing stretch of beach, hugged on either side by forest. The view of the bay is spectacular and on a clear day, you can see the Venezuelan mainland in the distance. It also contains one of the island’s best eco-adventures. Here, visitors will have the opportunity to traverse pathways created in the forest canopy and zipline from point to point. This experience shows the location from a completely new angle as visitors zip above the beautiful bay and the beachgoers below them.
Caroni Bird Sanctuary
The 12,000-acre Caroni Swamp and Bird Sanctuary is the natural nesting home of the Scarlet Ibis, one of the national birds of Trinidad and Tobago. The major attraction at this mangrove is the opportunity to observe, close to sunset, the ritualistic roosting habits of thousands of these bright red birds. At this location, visitors can take a guided boat tour through the river channels and see first-hand why this location has been called one of the most beautiful mangrove wetlands in the Western Hemisphere.