Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago 2015

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Advertising Sales Patricia Lewis Marie Gurley Betti Gillezeau Sonja Rudder

The Exclusively Recommended In-Room Guide of The Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants & Tourism Association and the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association.

Design Tao Howard - Miller Publishing

Publisher’s Note

The Ins & Outs of Trinidad and Tobago 2001

Fifteen years ago, we placed the first issue of Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago into the hands of visitors who were eager for a single source of information on everything there is to see, taste, and experience in T&T. Today, Ins & Outs is a must-have item for visitors and locals alike, because of its comprehensive coverage of everything Trinbagonian; a treasured collector’s item because of its interesting content and breath-taking photography. Together with our advertisers, collaborators, artists, writers and photographers, we are proud to continue showcasing and promoting the image of T&T worldwide.

Trinidad Cover Artist

Ann Stapleton Ann Stapleton is a Trinidadian artist who refined her abilities at Pels School of Art, New York, during the 70s. After working fourteen years in the field of advertising, she ventured into painting for the purpose of exhibiting her work in 1999. Her initial exposure was in The Women In Art Annual Exhibition of 2000. Since then, she has participated in three solo and many joint exhibitions. Collectors of her artwork include both private and corporate collectors (local and international), one of which is the National Museum of Trinidad and Tobago. Artist Statement: “I desire my paintings to be a nostalgic reminder of the past, at the same time radiating the energy of the local human spirit and culture.” Email: Tobago Cover Artist

Iain ‘Wabba’ Milne Wabba was born in Trinidad in 1960 and grew up in Maracas Valley, St. Joseph. After being introduced to painting in high school, Wabba developed his talents on his own. He is an avid fisherman, naturalist and environmentalist, whose work reflects his passion for nature and the ocean. Wabba spends his time painting on his self-built yacht, Blu Spartan, moored in the anchorages of Chaguaramas, Trinidad, and Mt. Irvine, Tobago. When Wabba is not painting, he is often working with members of the Institute of Marine Archaeology, supporting their research efforts in Scarborough, Tobago, along with his sons Christian and Mathew. Contact: 1-868-388-9191

2  Credits

Project Co-ordinator Patricia Lewis

Editor Roslyn Carrington Layout Soraya Gonsalves Patricia Lewis Sally Miller

Production Jessica Medina Production Assistants Nichele West-Broome Jennifer Gittens Christine Mings-François Photographers Aujourd’hui Studio Christopher Anderson Edison Boodoosingh Stephen Broadbridge Oswin M Browne Sarah Carter Derek Chung Ronald Daniel Abraham Diaz Sean Drakes Daniel Gomez Inken Janning Patricia Lewis Damian Luk Pat Chris Morvan Maria Nunes OneManOutfit Robert Ramkissoon Christian Ramnarine Navin Ramrattan Ayanna Young Writers Judy Bastyra Roslyn Carrington Derek Chung Sean Drakes Marilyn Duncan-Wiltshire Dawn Glaisher Nasser Khan Aba A. Luke Chris Morvan Feroze Omardeen Desiree Seebaran Bavina Sookdeo Jhodie Skeete Sheldon Waithe Katy Young Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA) Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association (THA)

Published by Caribbean Tourism Publications Ltd. The Film Centre #9 Humphrey Street, St. James Trinidad and Tobago Tel: (868) 622-0738/9 Fax: (868) 622-0426 E-mail: Facebook: Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago Website: While every care has been taken in the compilation of information contained in this guide, such information is subject to change without notice. The publishers accept no responsibility for such changes. Copyright © 2015 Caribbean Tourism Publications. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Printed in Panama.

Feature Calendar Festivals Carnival Indian Festivals

24 30



Art and Craft Health and Beauty

Photo: Maria Nunes


Photo: Edison Boodoosingh


Trinidad 4  Contents

6 12 22

50 54



Beaches Sights Waterfalls

62 68 76

Business Accommodation Entertainment

78 86 98

Special Events






Photo: Stephen Broadbridge



Photo: Stephen Broadbridge


Photo: Derek Chung

Festivals Heritage Festival



Photo: Inken Janning

Photo: Aujourd’hui Studio


Photo: Inken Janning

Photo: Inken Janning



Sights Beaches

138 140

144 146 150

Shopping Property Entertainment

152 156 160

Tobago Jazz Experience Tobago Fashion Week Weddings Sports Diving

162 164 166 168 170

Accommodation Hotels and Guesthouses Restaurants Fast Facts

172 183 186 196


Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  5

Knolly’s Tunnel


n the quiet village of Tabaquite, nestled among the greenery that the agricultural area is known for, is Knolly’s Tunnel. The last train to pass

through the area was on August 30th, 1965. While many took advantage of the railway in Trinidad, the younger generations were not so lucky to ever see a train. Knolly’s Tunnel, which is now 116 years old, is approximately a quarter mile long, reportedly one of the longest in the Caribbean. Construction on Knolly’s tunnel began in 1896. The job was carried out by skilled African and Indian workers – over 200 of them.

Section Must-Reads 10  The death of a giant 12  Calendar 14 Festivals 17 Events

Knolly’s Tunnel Photo: Edison Boodoosingh

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  7

Photo: Ayanna Young

For those who admire architecture, Knolly’s Tunnel is a must-see when visiting Trinidad by Bavina Sookdeo


ne man who sold tickets on the train from 1959 to 1965, Clive Codrington, pointed out that the tracks which passed through Knolly’s tunnel and the area of Tabaquite were not originally intended for passenger trains. “It was really to facilitate the transport of cocoa and coffee,” he said. Tabaquite and the areas that surround it consisted of many agricultural estates, some of which you can see on the way, in Gran Couva and Brasso Seco. A cocoa house and cocoa trees still stand in “Brasso”, as evidence of the area’s rich history. Many people lived very close to the site. Three trains once passed through every day. Construction of the tunnel took two years, and it was opened on August 13th, 1898 by the man it was named after – Sir Clement C. Knolly, Acting Governor of Trinidad and Tobago. It linked the Rio Claro hinterland with Port of Spain. Its architecture is still admired and studied today, and many are amazed that Knolly’s tunnel has withstood the earth’s movement over so many years. Much research is being done on the tunnel. At the top of Knolly’s tunnel are sheds covered with carat leaves, where visitors can sit and enjoy the beauty of nature and the clean breeze of Tabaquite. Taking lunch along with you may be a good idea. Standing at the beginning of Knolly’s tunnel, you can see nothing but the tiny light at the end. The train tracks have been

8  Feature

removed and replaced with gravel. Visitors can drive through the tunnel or walk through, but should do so in groups for safety. In the old days, there were no lights, but now there are street lights on the way to the tunnel – though not inside. Walk with a flashlight, and look out for bats. On your way in, you may notice some manholes on the walls of the tunnel. These were there for individuals to step into for safety as the train passed. Knolly’s tunnel can be accessed through Tabaquite and through Mitchell Gap in “Brasso”. The road was recently improved, but is better when you enter from Tabaquite, and there are signs on the road directing you to the site. On the drive to the tunnel there are two other sheds where visitors can sit and just enjoy nature. At the site itself, there is nothing to purchase to eat or drink, but in Tabaquite there are several bars, a restaurant, and food outlets. A gas station and a health centre are also close by. The Navet Dam is located in Tabaquite, and many persons who worked on the Dam also came to Tabaquite via train. For those who admire architecture, Knolly’s Tunnel is a must-see when visiting Trinidad. For the nature lover, there is no better place for you to be, and for the historian, walk or drive through Knolly’s Tunnel knowing that many of our ancestors toiled on its structure. Know that Knolly’s Tunnel and the area of Tabaquite are both rich in history.

The death of a giant by Feroze Omardeen

Hurry. A giant is dying. For over fifty years it has stood silently as the citizens of our country scurried about at its feet unaware.


t probably observed T&T’s independence in 1962, and witnessed many a premier horse racing event before racing was relocated eastward in the 1990s. This giant has lived its entire life for one moment, and that moment is now. It stands in the garden of the President’s House, near the Queen’s Park Savannah. This giant is a talipot palm, Corypha umbraculifera, one of the largest palms in the world. The flowering of a talipot palm is rarely seen, a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Imagine a tree, towering 25 metres high, that has lived quietly for at least 50 years, but never flowered. One day, in response to some mysterious signal, it begins to raise a vast stalk of flowers above it — the largest inflorescence in the plant kingdom at some six to eight metres in length. They may reach 30 metres high, and each fan-shaped leaf may measure up to 6.5 metres across. What it displays is not a single flower, but several million individual flowers clustered together, so large that it is easily visible from the other side of the Savannah. This palm is a native of southern India and Sri Lanka (where it happens to be the national tree). Because of its utility, it has been widely planted and cultivated in other regions of the world, often following the footsteps of colonial rule. In Asia, the leaves were used for thatching roofs. One leaf could probably shelter ten men from the rain in the forest.

Almost all parts of the plant are useful. The timber can be used for construction, and buttons made from the seeds. The heart of the palm, and a starchy extract from the trunk, are also edible. There is even a wine than can be made from the emerging flower stalk. There are few specimens of talipot palm in T&T; most are either in or associated with the Botanic Gardens, and on the grounds of the University of West Indies, St Augustine. These trees are likely descendants of trees brought in by the English colonial effort. It is possible that bats have spread some seeds, as occasionally talipots turn up elsewhere. But what makes the talipot so special is the manner in which it flowers. Throughout its lifespan of 30 to 80 years, the palm saves and stores its energy to produce these flowers — an entire life for one flowering. It will bloom at no other time in its life. After flowering, the fruits develop in their millions, taking up to a year to develop. What this means, of course, is that the blooming specimen at President’s House will soon be dead. Perhaps even in its death we can gain something from the talipot. That providing for the next generation entails sacrifice and work. The environment is our legacy for our children. Let us preserve and foster that legacy, protect our flora and fauna, and plant some more amazing trees for future generations.

Courtesy the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club. For more information on our natural environment, or the many activities you can participate in during your stay, contact or visit Photo: Christopher Anderson

10  Feature

­January 2015 1

New Year’s Day Public Holiday


Entertainers All Inclusive Event Welfare Fundraiser

1 First Citizens New Year’s at the Races 4

Soka in Moka – All Inclusive (Trinity College, Maraval) 1-868-629-2078; 1-868-755-1637 15

Tobago Region National Single Pan Preliminaries (Buccoo Integrated Facility, Buccoo, Tobago) 16

Calypso Tents Grand Opening -

17-18 St. Andrew’s Golf Club Tatil Open - www.golftrinidad. com


25 St. Andrew’s Golf Club T&T Energy Golf Challenge

12  Calendar


Launch of Carnival Village (Queen’s Park Savannah, POS) -

26-27 Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference 31

Central Bank The Ultimate Experience XV All Inclusive (Eric Williams Plaza, POS)


Chutney Soca Monarch Finals (Skinner’s Park, San Fernando) -


National Calypso Monarch Preliminary

February 2015 1

National Calypso Monarch Preliminary 2

National Extempo Preliminary (Queen’s Park Savannah, POS) 4

“Live at the Hyatt” (Hyatt Regency, POS)

Photo: Maria Nunes


St. Andrew’s Golf Club Corona Stableford 5

Queens and Kings Preliminary (Seniors) (Queen’s Park Savannah, POS) -


Red Cross Kiddies’ Carnival (Queen’s Park Savannah, POS)


“Calypso Fieste” National Calypso Monarch Semi-Final (Skinner Park, San Fernando) 7

Gulf All Inclusive (Coral Drive, Gulf View, San Fernando)


St. Andrew’s Golf Club Svelty Ladies’ Open 8

Junior Individual Categories/Age Group, Queens and Kings Preliminaries (Juniors) (Adam Smith Square)


National Junior Panorama Finals (Queen’s Park Savannah, POS) 9

National Junior Calypso Monarch Finals (Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, POS) 9

National Junior Calypso Monarch Final – (Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, POS) 9

Machel Monday


Arima Panorama (Princess Royal Basketball Court, Arima) -


Queens and Kings Semi-Finals (Seniors) (Queen’s Park Savannah) Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Pan Champs Finals

Photo: Christopher Anderson

Traditional Individuals (Victoria Square)


Blue Range Cooler Fete or



Valentine’s Day


Junior Parade of the Bands (Start at Adam Smith Square to Queen’s Park Savannah)



LIME All Inclusive (Hyatt Regency Trinidad) or 1-868-821-6443 12

Beach House All Inclusive


National Panorama Finals - Medium & Large (Queen’s Park Savannah, POS) -


Shades Breakfast Experience (La Soledad Estate, Maracas, St. Joseph)


Conventional Individuals (Victoria Square) 12

“Terrific Thursday” {KAISORAMA} (Lord Kitchener Auditorium, NAPA, POS) 13



10 Rapso Explosion

National Stickfighting Finals -


Re-enactment of Camboulay Riots (Piccadilly Greens, POS) Big Friday – Finals Kings and Queens (Juniors and Seniors) (Queen’s Park Savannah, POS)

International Soca Monarch Finals (Hasely Crawford Stadium)


Nostalgia Parade Groups, Bands (Seniors)


River Raid X Mountain Bike Race & Trail Run

16 J’Ouvert Bands 16 Carnival Monday Parade of Bands 17 Carnival Tuesday Parade of Bands 18

Ash Wednesday


2nd Annual Celebrating Coco Innovation: A Tasting Event (Café Mariposa, Lopinot) 21

Champs of Steel Plus (Queen’s Park Savannah, POS) -


TTGFA Annual “WAHOO” Game Fishing Tournament; or 1-868-632-6608


St. Andrew’s Golf Club Moka Sunday 15

Dimanche Gras {National Calypso Monarch Final} (Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, POS)

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  13

Photo: Maria Nunes

Festivals NGC Bocas Lit Fest April

NGC Sanfest September – October

Held each April, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest is a reader’s delight. Local authors, poets, and spoken-word performers converge to meet and mingle with bookworms, host readings and panel discussions, and talk shop. Even the kids have their own special events.

The NGC Sanfest, hosted by the San Fernando Arts Council, is a month-long feast of dance, song, drama, poetry, and written and visual arts. Run from September to October, it brings students from primary and secondary schools throughout the country onstage to perform, compete, and mingle.

The trinidad+tobago film festival

September Photo: OneManOutfit

Each September, the trinidad+tobago film festival celebrates films from and about T&T, the Caribbean, and its Diaspora. It also screens films from contemporary world cinema, and facilitates growth in the Caribbean film industry through workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities.

Photo: Maria Nunes

14  Calendar

T&T Steelpan and Jazz Festival October Pan isn’t only for Carnival! Produced by Queen’s Royal College, a premier boy’s high school, the one-night October event brings together some of the nation’s major pan stars, jazz artistes, and vocalists. The Festival raises funds for the school, one of the Magnificent Seven architectural wonders located around the Queen’s Park Savannah.

Photo: Maria Nunes



1-31 Beginning of Leatherback Aug Turtle Watching Season


Good Friday Public Holiday


TTGFA Annual “WAHOO” Game Fishing Tournament; or 1-868-632-6608


Easter Monday Public Holiday


Easter Goat Races (Mt. Pleasant and Buccoo, Tobago)

12-15 St. Andrew’s Golf Club 108th T+T Open


NLCB Easter Guineas


Jazz Artists on the Greens (The Greens at Farm Road, St. Joseph) or 1-868-620-6920 28

Humour Monarch Competition Final 29

Excellent Stores Interschool Dragon Boat Regatta

30 Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day Public Holiday

18-19 St. Andrew’s Golf Club Sagicor SAGC Invitational 18-22 Annual International “MARLIN MADNESS” Game Fishing Tournament; or 1-868-632-6608 18-26 The Tobago Jazz Experience 2015 25

St. Andrew’s Golf Club SAGC Corporate 26

16  Calendar

St. Andrew’s Golf Club Rotary Club Charity Golf

May 3

Point Fortin Borough Celebrations Dragon Boat Regatta (Guapo Beach/ Clifton Hill, Point Fortin) 8

St. Andrew’s Golf Club Scotiabank Against Breast Cancer 17

St. Andrew’s Golf Club Maple Leaf Golf & Fun Day


Mother’s Day

29-31 Salsa Fiesta 2015 Caribbean Salsa Congress or 1-868-471-5898 30

Indian Arrival Day Public Holiday

TBA San Fernando Fashion Week - www.sanfernando or 1-868-722-6059; 1-868-335-4155 TBA Tobago Fashion Weekend

Photo: Edison Boodoosingh

Events Fashion Shows

Craft and Farmers’ Markets

The style aesthetic in T&T goes way beyond the stereotype of Bermuda shorts and sundresses! Our local designers specialise in trendy resort wear that will help you get noticed while here, and set you apart when you get home. There are fashion events year-round, as any search engine will show you.

Browse handmade jewellery, knick-knacks and sweet-smelling soaps at the many weekend markets, where artisans gather to delight shoppers. The best known are the Green Market in Santa Cruz, open Saturdays and Sundays, and UpMarket, usually held in Woodbrook the first Saturday of the month.


5K Runs for Everyone

Trinis love attention. Maybe that’s why we enjoy the theatre so much. No matter when you visit, you can treat yourself to a stage performance, whether comedy, tragedy, or musical theatre. Favourite venues include the Central Bank Auditorium 623-0845, The Little Carib Theatre 622-2742, and Queen’s Hall 624-1284 www.

Trinis have gone 5-K-Krazy. On two or three weekends every month, we gather by the hundreds for 5K Walks and Fun Runs for various charities, usually at the Queen’s Park Savannah. Sweat a little for a good cause, then enjoy a cold coconut. All finishers get medals! See for schedule.

Photo: Abraham Diaz

Photo: Abraham Diaz

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  17

Horse Racing at Sana Rosa Park Photo: Abraham Diaz

June 4

Corpus Christi Public Holiday

5-13 WeBeat Festival (St. James) - www.webeat. org or 1-868-622-7622 6-7

Kingfish Fishing Tournament - www.ttgfa. com; or 1-868-632-6608


11th Annual Massy Rainbow Cup 14

Father’s Day


Labour Day Public Holiday


Arima Race Club Labour Day Races 21

Tobago Dragon Boat Festival (Pigeon Point, Tobago)

Eid-ul-Fitr (End of Ramadan) Public Holiday

26-28 Charlotteville Fisherman Festival



29-31 Great Fete Weekend www.sandbox

St. Andrew’s Golf Club Laughlin & de Gannes Lucas Bowl


Carib Brewery MidSummer Classic



Great Fete Weekend www.sandbox


Annual Junior Angler Fishing Tournament; or 1-868-632-6608




St. Andrew’s Golf Club TTMCO Sponsored Tournament 16-31 Tobago Heritage Festival www.tobagoheritage

18  Calendar


Tobago Heritage Festival www.tobagoheritage


Carib Power Boat Great Race or 1-868-684-0459


The Woodbrook/St. James Community Association’s Pan on The Avenue IV (Ariapita Avenue) 31

Independence Day Public Holiday


San Fernando Dragon Boat Independence Regatta

31 Massy Independence Race Day 1 Toyota Day at the Races


Emancipation Day Public Holiday

Annual International “TARPON THUNDER” Game Fishing Tournament; or 1-868-632-6608

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  19


Photo: Edison Boodoosingh





19-20 St. Andrew’s Golf Club AIB Ladies’ Open Tournament


Tobago International Cycling Classic 2015 jeffreycharles57@hotmail. com or 1-868-680-1214



St. Andrew’s Golf Club Junior Christmas Hamper


Republic Day Public Holiday


Chinese Arrival Dragon Boat Festival

St. Andrew’s Golf Club Caddy Christmas Hamper


St. Andrew’s Golf Club Men’s Christmas Hamper


St. Andrew’s Golf Club Ladies Christmas Hamper


Christmas Day Public Holiday


Boxing Day Public Holiday


24 NGC CNG Derby Stakes 28

World Tourism Day

29-30 Tobago International Cycling Classic 2015 jeffreycharles57@hotmail. com or 1-868-680-1214


St. Andrew’s Golf Club Living Waters Charity Tournament 16

World Food Day


St. Andrew’s Golf Club Immortelle Children Centre Charity Golf

TBA Annual Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival

TBA Tobago Blue Food Festival

The Woodbrook/St. James Community Association’s Remembering our Fallen Heroes and Loved Ones (Siegert Square, Rosalino Street, Woodbrook)


The Woodbrook/St. James Community Association’s Divali Celebrations at Roxy Roundabout, Woodbrook on Divali night 11

Divali (Festival of Lights) Public Holiday


RWTC Ultimate Tag Team Triathlon events.php TBA Lopinot Fiesta hosted by the Village Council

20  Calendar

Bago Sports Beach Football Invitational


Republic Bank Boxing Day Races 31

Old Year’s Festivities

TBA Tobago International Rugby Seven’s Tournament



he first thing you’re bound to notice about Trinidad is the unlimited variety of ethnicities that make up our society.

The average Trini can lay claim to an ancestry comprising more hues than a tie-dyed sarong. And our ancestors, who poured in over the centuries from every corner of the Earth, brought with them their customs, practices and festivals. Let your soul resonate to the deep booming of Shango drums paying homage to African deities, or the throbbing Tassa drums at Hosay. Capture the fluttering of flower petals at the feet of a Hindu murti, or the rainbow dust of coloured abeer being carried on the wind. You won’t just see or hear it; you’ll feel it. Ask around, click around, and discover when and where our next major festival is being held. Then hit the road and prepare yourself for an experience you’ll never forget. Section Must-Reads 24  Carnival 28  Meet a Trini 30 Festivals 34 The Chinese in Trinidad

‘Ole time Sailor Mas’ Photo: Maria Nunes

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  23

Carnival A Personal Experience of “The Greatest Show on Earth” — Carnival by Sheldon Waithe


he moment we flew over Trinidad’s northern range, bathed in sunshine and covered in lush greenery, there was an unexplainable vibe in the air, even at that altitude. Even before we landed, fellow passengers began twitching in their seats with excitement. What did they know that we didn’t? Certainly, this Carnival thing was shaping up to be unlike anything else on the planet. The costumes draped on mannequins in the airport were spectacular, all sparkle and colour. If they looked this good standing still, what would they be like when flaunted by masqueraders in the streets?

Photo: Aujourd’hui Studio

Photo: Aujourd’hui Studio

es, we were in T&T for the Greatest Show on Earth, determined to soak up every aspect of this multi-faceted annual event. Giving ourselves a week to lead up to the main event — the Parade of Bands — we were playing catch-up with a population that has been building momentum since January 1st! However, this final week is the business end of the Caribbean’s ultimate festival. Immediately, we were bombarded by the movement of a nation; be it to the melodic tunes of the steel pan, the fast rhythm of soca, the harmonic overtones of calypso, or the fusion melody of chutney music. This place is truly alive, as all the sounds vie for your attention. But it is to the panyard that we ventured first, sipping an ice cold beer while listening to various bands practice their tune of choice for the granddaddy of pan competitions, Panorama, held on Carnival Saturday. The crowds in these panyards were filled with the friendly banter between their own supporters and those of rival steelbands, while my mind was still baffled that such sounds could come from an oil drum. ( After the panyard, there is a difficult decision to be made, as to which fête to go to on any given night. Gatherings of rave standards, they are long-established mega-parties, such as Machel Monday, Iwer Wednesday, Army Fete, Wicked in White; the list, like the parties, goes on and on. (



Finger Foods >


you must try during Carnival! Toss the knives and forks to enjoy these down-home Trini delicacies!

Pelau Corn Soup “Roast” Corn Roti Doubles

“Roast” Corn Photo: Aujourd’hui Studio

Ins & Outs   Ins of&Trinidad Outs of Barbados  & Tobago  25


Photo Stephen Broadbridge

Ins & Outs Tip No need to go “liming” with too much cash; there are ATMs everywhere, so you’re always good to go.

The fêtes that we attended were legendary, and each had its own characteristic, from the humble cooler fête in shorts and t-shirts to glitzy affairs that wouldn’t look out of place in Hollywood. Regardless of the dress code, the mood was the same: non-stop partying that made us wonder if Trinis have batteries to keep them going ... until we attended a few and also fell prey to the energy-regenerating atmosphere. By Carnival weekend, the place was ready to explode. The streets of Port of Spain gave way to “Ole Mas” that both thrilled and frightened us (well, just a little bit). Blue Devils, moko jumbie stilt walkers, and fire eaters acted as if they had just been unleashed from the netherworld. It was the ultimate in street theatre, and a nod to Carnival’s beginnings. It ties in with Viey La Cou, a heritage fair featuring folklore characters, and when you see the players all made up, you will believe that they really exist in the forest. (details via On Fantastic Friday, the International Soca Monarch is crowned, and we joined the 20,000-plus crowd in their euphoria as each artiste put on a magnificent show to accompany the songs that have had people

26  Festivals

jumping for the past couple of months. ( This is Carnival’s Oscars, Emmys and Grammys all wrapped up in one package, but be warned that the winner is not crowned until the wee hours of Saturday morning. All that activity gave us the perfect excuse to soak our weary bones in the healing waters of Maracas Bay, then get back to Port of Spain for Kiddies’ Carnival. ( They start young in T&T, and the revelry of these kids is infectious, the colours a kaleidoscope wave that is the perfect forerunner to what is going to take place in two days time. Saturday night we headed to the “Big Yard”, the Queens Park Savannah, which hosts most Carnival competitions. It’s the world’s largest roundabout, and, as we soon found out, probably the most festive park on the planet! Panorama was a blast; the performances were all so exquisite that we had no way of telling who was better than whom — although every Trini around us had an opinion on that! Glamour and satire followed the next night on the Savannah’s hallowed stage at Dimanche Gras. This show combines the Calypso Monarch competition — which left us in stitches at the witty lyrics — and the

jaw-dropping living works of art that are the Kings and Queens of the Carnival bands. These moving sculptures had us snapping away at their sequined splendour. We returned briefly to our hotel, buoyed by the tradition and grandeur of Dimanche Gras, but sleep was brief, for just a few hours later we were up again for J’ouvert, the “opening of the day”, which signals the official start of Carnival. Carnival is all-encompassing, but it certainly has its contrasts, proving that there is something for everyone. Sandwiched between the beauty of Sunday night’s show and the Parade of Bands on Monday is the sweet freedom of J’ouvert. It is basic, it is dirty, and it is the most fun one can have. People cover themselves in paint, cocoa, mud or clay, and take to the streets from 4:00 a.m. The characters from Friday’s Ole Mas returned with a few more macabre friends, while we joined them in the wild abandon of revelry. Welcoming the sunrise in such a fashion was probably worth the trip alone. It was energy time again as a wash-off and quick turnaround took us into our band for the main event. Our Carnival band was huge, about 3,000 people taking over the city, dancing behind music and drink trucks, their costumes moving in unison to sweet soca with superb organisation, leaving us free to party. As if this ultimate street party was not enough, the excitement went into the stratosphere when the band reached the day’s highlight, the Savannah stage. Everyone seemed determined to test the stage to its limits, prancing and trampling on it, with expressions of joy that reflected a single communal thought: this is Carnival; it’s an ingrained part of the culture, one that is so unique and prevalent in the society that it sucks you in when you visit the island. Tuesday was another early start, playing “pretty Mas” — gorgeous fancy costumes covered with feathers and beads, no mud here! — through the day, culminating in the euphoric “Las Lap” (wind-down) at dusk. If there is such a thing as a perfect day, this is it. When it was all over, we felt the inevitable sadness that is described as “Carnival tabanca”, a reluctance to admit that such a wonderful experience had come to an end. In that moment, we knew we would be back for more, beginning next year!

Photo Christopher Anderson

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  27

meet a Trini

Photo Maria Nunes

Roger Holder

Master of Devils and Demons

Roger Holder’s dimly lit Nelson Street Mas camp looks like an out-take from a horror movie. by Roslyn Carrington


rotesque skulls hang from walls, demonic bat wings hover menacingly, and red bloodstains dribble over everything. A shudder-inducing doll’s head, embedded with nails, makes your hair stand on end. In the doorway, a band of young boys bash out a rhythm on bottles, sticks, empty biscuit tins, and anything they can scrounge up that makes noise. These are his protégés, his devils-in-training, and Masman Holder is the Bookman, Satan himself personified. Holder is one of Traditional Mas’ few remaining hold-outs, stemming the tide of “bikini and bead” pretty Mas with their old-school portrayals, harkening back to the Carnival of our grandfathers. His favourite character is the Bookman, a regally-robed advocate of evil who roams the street on Carnival days with a gigantic papier-mâché Devil’s head, its red lips pulled back in a grin, its eyes accusing. Bookman holds a giant book in one hand and a pen in the other, accosting the unwary in the streets to reel off a list of their sins before damning them to Hell ... unless, of course, you have a few dollar bills to bribe him with. He and his band of players spend the weeks leading up to Carnival fashioning your worst nightmares out of anything they can beg, borrow, or unearth from rubbish heaps. Old pieces of metal, cardboard, rags, nothing is unworthy of his attention; where you see an

28  Meet a Trini

old piece of rope discarded by the wayside, he sees the tail or whip of a fearsome demon. Born in Paramin, a cradle of Parang music, and one of the few villages in Trinidad where they still speak French Patois, he has a deep respect for tradition and heritage. His family has occupied his small shoe factory in the belly of Port of Spain for generations, and by day he makes shoes, belts and scabbards for cutlasses. By night, however, there is Mas to make. Holder is something of an animal whisperer; he loves rambling in the forest and communing with the wild. Ask him, and he’ll tell you stories of his many exotic pets. He sees no paradox, however, in being an avid hunter as well. Some of his favourite menus are not for the squeamish, and include wild boars and caimans. Not a man to waste any part of an animal, he has incorporated the skulls, fangs and skins of his game into his portrayals. His love of Mas is secondary to his love for family, and the young boys still raising a ruckus outside. Most of his band members are relatives, and he foots the bill for their costumes, or pleads for corporate sponsorship. Even strangers who walk into his Mas camp — including me — are offered free costumes. The youngsters are encouraged to learn the craft, ensuring that the amazing legacy of Traditional Mas will never fade.

Photo Maria Nunes

Johann Chuckaree

Meet a young Trini steelpan star

Trinidad and Tobago’s steelpan is widely regarded as the only major musical instrument to be invented in the 20th Century.


by Nasser Khan

here have been many renowned exponents of the art form over the years since its rudimentary beginnings in the 1930s. Among these exponents today is the young and talented Johann Chuckaree. Chuckaree has been playing the steelpan since the age of four. Apart from his distinctive certifications in steelpan and piano, he has placed first in Trinidad and Tobago’s 2006 Music Festival in the open pan solo category. As a student at his high school, Fatima College, he copped the Fatima College Music Award in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Coming from a musically inclined family — his two sisters are also musicians — Chuckaree got his big break at the age of 13, when he was asked to perform the National Anthem by an event coordinator and, according to him, “The rest is history”! Such is his recognition as a talented steelpan player that he was the recipient of the 2014 National Youth Award for Arts and Culture. “Definitely a privilege! My special thanks to all those who made it possible, especially my family and friends.” As the senior front line tenor pan player with the Phase II Pan Groove Steelband, he has helped his band to five national titles at Panorama (the premier steelpan competition at T&T’s famous annual pre-Lenten Carnival celebrations) in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013 and 2014. Chuckaree has released two CDs to date: “A Sweet Touch of Christmas” and, more recently, “In De Yard”.

He accompanied the Phase II Steelband on cultural tours to Germany for the World Cup 2006, and to Barbados; has been to Indiana, Boston, New York, Texas, and California. He performed twice in London in 2012, to entertain at the T&T Olympic Cultural Village and as a cultural representative at the World Travel Market. He performed alongside Trinidad-born Grammy Award winning recording artiste, Heather Headley, during her first ever local concert in December 2011. In 2013 he appeared at the ITB Tourism Conference in Berlin, Germany. 2014 was a busy year, with participation in the St. Lucia Jazz on the Square festival; travelling to Argentina to perform as part of a cultural mission; and performing in France with the French Steelband Calypso Association. Chuckaree’s goal is to help bring the steelpan into the 21st Century by educating his and the younger generation about the treasure that is T&T’s national instrument. He credits his energetic and enthusiastic musical styling to the legendary pannist, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, who has been an unequivocal source of knowledge, inspiration and direction. As for his motivation, he says, “Seeing an audience that’s ‘into’ your performance is a huge plus at any event. My inspiration to create and compose; however, comes from the expression of my emotions; the joys, sorrows and ups and downs of my life are expressed as music.” Facebook Page

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  29

Festivals Festivals of a Rainbow Country by Bavina Sookdeo


rainbow country� is how Archbishop Desmond Tutu described Trinidad and Tobago, and indeed it is such. The people live together harmoniously, regardless of race, religion and creed. As a result, many festivals and religious holidays are observed in one way or the other by all religions. Here are some of the more popular festivals . . .

Phagwa Festival Photo: Christopher Anderson


This is the reenactment of time spent by Lord Rama, the Hindu God of the Universe, on Earth. Hindus believe that he came to earth to restore righteous living, and taught many lessons to humans. Ramleela is celebrated with much pomp, with acting, singing and dancing in many communities. A National Ramleela Council has been set up, with 35 registered groups. This festival is celebrated during the Hindu period known as “Nowraatam”, in the month of Ashwin (September–October). It lasts 10 days and normally begins on the first Friday in Nowraatam. The festivities culminate with the burning of a huge effigy of Raavan, a defeated villain.

Divali (or Diwali) Divali, also known as the festival of lights, represents good overcoming evil, and light overcoming darkness. Mother Lakshmi (The Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity) is worshipped around this time. This day also marks the beginning of the New Year for Hindus. It is celebrated on the 15th day of Kartika (October–November). Divali is actually a five-day celebration, but many in Trinidad and Tobago celebrate on just one day. Puja (Hindu prayer ceremony) is done at 6 pm on Divali day. Thousands of deyas (clay lamps filled with oil and a wick made of cotton) are lit, and homes are beautifully decorated with the lights. Divali is also referred to as ”Deepavali”, which means “rows of light”. Family and friends of Hindus all visit each other, sharing food and meethai (Indian sweets) and lighting deyas.



Finger Foods >


Photo: Edison Boodoosingh

you must try while at Indian Festivals in Trinidad! Go ahead, lick your fingers. We don’t mind!

Doubles Phulourie Channa Saheena Alloo pie Doubles Photo: Patricia Lewis

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  31

to protect and defend the sister’s honour. Upon tying the rakhi, the sister performs “aarti” for the brother by placing a lit deya in a brass plate (taria) and moving it in a circular motion in front of him. A piece of Indian sweet is then fed to him. Brothers usually present the sisters with a gift.

Ganga Dashahara Ganga Dashahara celebrates the descent of the Ganga to earth. It is held over the first 10 days of the month of Jyeshtha (in June). The Ganga (Ganges River) is sacred to Hindus. In Trinidad, this festival takes place at the Marianne River in Blanchisseuse, Arima, which was consecrated by water and dust from over 2,000 holy rivers and places in India. Devotees in Trinidad and Tobago have gathered at this river for the past 20 years. They wear white and yellow and perform pujas, offerings and other rituals along the river’s course before immersing the Ganga murti, or statuette.


Ganesh Utsav Ganesh Utsav is Lord Ganesha’s birthday, which is celebrated in the Hindu month of Bhado — usually between the months of August and September (depending on the moon). Ganesha is the Hindu God commonly known as the remover of obstacles. He is also the Lord of success and destroyer of evils. This powerful and auspicious period is celebrated by those who yearn for success in all their undertakings. Approximately two weeks before, dirt is removed from the river and is used to make a murti (a clay model) of the Hindu god. After it is painted, the murti is then covered until it is ready to make its journey to a temple. It is brought out on the “chowth”, or the fourth day of the new moon, and on that day, the Ganesh Utsav begins. A large procession follows the Ganesh murti to the temple, where puja is performed three times a day, and scriptural readings are done every night. Devotees are invited to make offerings daily during this time. On the final day of Ganesh Utsav, the murti is taken to the river, followed by a jubilant procession, where it is re-immersed.

Raksha Bandhan Raksha Bandhan is a festival which celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. On this day, usually in August, a “rakhi” or sacred thread is tied around the right wrist of the brother by the sister, to remind him and inspire him to show love and care for her. It symbolises the promise by the brother

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This festival, referred to as Holi in India, was brought to Trinidad and Tobago by Hindus from Bihar, India, who came to work as indentured labourers around 1845. Celebrated in the latter part of the month of Phalgun and early Chaitra (around March– April), Phagwa is one of the most colourful festivals in Hinduism. One story of Phagwa speaks of Prahalad, the son of the evil King Hiranyakashipu. The king instructed his sister Holika (who was unaffected by fire due to her powers) to destroy his son by taking him into a large fire. Their plan turned fatal as Holika’s powers weakened, and she was burnt, while Prahalad remained untouched because of his strong faith. During Phagwa, colourful liquids and powders called “abeer”, are thrown at participants in open fields. A type of singing known as chowtal singing is done, and there is much merriment. For all Hindu festivals, devotees fast by staying away from meat and alcohol while cleansing their minds and bodies (thereby controlling their senses).

ISLAMIC FESTIVALS Ramadan and Eid Ul Fitr Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is a period during which Muslims fast (they eat or drink nothing, including water, while the sun shines), give charity, and pray while they focus on self sacrifice. It is believed that the first verses of the Qur’an (holy book) were revealed to Muhammad (who Muslims refer to as a Prophet) around this time in the holy place of Mecca. Eid Ul Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan. On this day, Muslims join in on prayers at mosques throughout the country. They visit each other, and non-Muslims visit Muslim friends and relatives. Food and Muslim sweets such as sawine (made from vermicelli mixed with milk, spices, fruits and almonds) and Malida (made out of wheat flour, semolina, butter and milk) are distributed. Alms are also given to the poor.

Hosay Celebrated in the Muhurram month of the Muslim calendar, 10 days after the appearance of the new moon, Hosay was originally a ceremony performed only by the Shiites (a Muslim sect). Today, however, many Trinidadians join in the celebration, which many Muslims do not celebrate due to several nonMuslim practices which have become part of the event. It is therefore no longer considered a religious festival, but more of a cultural one. The festival is geared towards honouring brothers Hosein and Hassan (the grandsons of Propher Muhammad) who were murdered. For the festival which takes place in areas such as St. James, Cedros and Tunapuna, there is much music and colour. Flag Night, which is the first night, is marked by loud Tassa drumming and floats with colourful flags (symbolising banners of war) being pushed to the deep. Small Tadjah Night is marked by devotees pushing models of a tadjah (mosque-like or tomblike in structure). The most climatic event is Big Tadjah Night, when massive versions of the tadjahs are carried. The tadjahs are sometimes 10 to 15 feet high. Two men (one with a green crescent moon on his shoulders and one with a red crescent), dance toward each other in time with the tassa drumming. The red is said to represent Hussain’s shed blood and the green represents the poison that killed Hassan. The moons meet briefly, where they “kiss.” The day after, the tadjahs are cast into the sea or river while prayers are recited.

Eid-Ul-Adha On Eid-ul-Adha (may also be seen as Eid-al-Adha), Muslims commemorate trials and the sacrifice made by Father Abraham (or Ibrahim), who was commanded by Allah to kill his son, Ishmael (or Isma’il). Being obedient to Allah, Abraham was ready to make the sacrifice, but Allah revealed to him that by showing his love for his Lord by being willing to submit to Allah’s will, the sacrifice was already made. Muslims commemorate this by slaughtering animals such as sheep and goats. The animal’s meat is shared with the poor and with family and friends.

INTER-RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL La Divina Pastora (Soparee K Mai) La Divina Pastora (The Holy Shepherdess) is the statue of a dark-skinned woman, which stands in the La Divina Pastora Roman Catholic Church in Siparia. To Christians, she is a representation of the Virgin Mary; to Hindus, she is a representation of Mother Kali (the one who removes the ego and liberates the soul from the cycle of birth and death). This statue brings both Christians and Hindus together. Many believe that the Holy Shepherdess grants wishes and performs miracles. On Good Friday, devotees take offerings of money, jewellery, olive oil, and other items in gratitude to the mother, with a prayer in their hearts. Lining the way to the church are the less fortunate, who receive alms from visitors. Many foreigners come just in time for Good Friday to witness and join with the thousands who visit La Divina Pastora. A few weeks later, the Holy Shepherdess is beautifully dressed and paraded through the streets, followed by a procession — this is known as the feast of La Divina Pastora.

Photo: Edison Boodoosingh

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  33

The Chinese in Trinidad and Tobago – a People of Fortitude by Roslyn Carrington


015 is the Chinese Year of The Sheep, characterised by loyalty, forgiveness, and a profound belief in the goodness of humanity. What a wonderful way to symbolise a people who came here from across the seas with hearts full of promise, hope, and renewal! Much has been said about the arrival and influence of African and Indian peoples in these islands, but there are other groups who left their distant homes, arriving after long and arduous journeys across treacherous seas, to put down roots in this splendid multicultural garden. At the turn of the 19th Century, ships with names like Fortitude began arriving from the East, laden not with silks and spices, but with human cargo; Chinese men from regions such as Guangdong (Canton), Macau, and Hong Kong. In response to promises of a better life, they left their families to work in the fields of the New World. Dirt poor, but willing to work with a diligence characteristic of the East, they thrived. Though many returned to China at the end of their tenure, others remained. Women and children followed, and soon a vibrant Chinese community blossomed like a lotus flower out of humble earth. The descendants of those brave few can perhaps be grateful

34  Festivals

for the poverty and struggles endured by their forefathers, because these dire circumstances fed their determination to ensure that each successive generation should do better. Furthermore, the experience of having nothing, and relying on concepts such as self-help, sharing, and mutual support, resulted in a strong sense of identity, and the resolve not just to give back to the country, but to pay it forward so that others may succeed, too. This gave rise to the establishment of ethnic associations and fraternities which served as meeting places, recreation rooms, and venues for formal events. Many of them, such as The Chinese Association, are active today. Furthermore, T&T and China enjoy strong diplomatic, cultural, and business relationships. Refusing to remain labourers in the employ of others forever, the early Chinese set up businesses, mainly small shops, restaurants, and trading companies. Today, their prosperity and influence has spread into every sphere, including business, politics, art, literature, academics, fashion, Carnival...the list is inexhaustible. There is no doubt that these people from the Land of the Dragon have forever changed the face of these islands...for the better.

Emancipation Celebrations by Roslyn Carrington


nslaved they came; bought, sold, and branded. The first African arrivals tilled the fields, planted and reaped — for the benefit of others. And yet, they refused to be broken. On August 1, 1834, the Emancipation Bill was enacted, setting in train a series of events that resulted in the freeing of the slaves a few years later. Today, Emancipation Day is not only about mourning for the millions who never knew freedom. It is also about celebrating a people who have endured, overcome, and risen again.

And that triumph is reflected in the brilliant colours of the African wear that many don for the festival. It echoes in the thunder of drums, the chanting of songs and pounding of feet as the parade snakes its way through Port of Spain. Look closely, and you will see that the parade consists not just of those who are dark of skin; almost everyone joins in. Because freedom for one people means freedom for all. Emancipation Day celebrations

Photo: Abraham Diaz

Ins & Outs   Ins of&Trinidad Outs of Barbados  & Tobago  35



rinidad’s economically diverse and well-travelled society has resulted in a sophisticated and discerning population

that knows what’s good, and doesn’t mind shopping around to acquire it. Sure, we enjoy simple, colourful cotton dresses, and we won’t say no to a necklace of jumbie beads, but when the occasion demands it, you couldn’t out-dress us if you tried. And there are an array of merchants who know just how to fulfil our sophisticated tastes…and yours, too. Couture, fine jewellery, and shoes that will make you fall in love like it’s the first time? Yeah, you can find them here. And much, much more.

Section Must-Reads 50  Art and Craft 53  Meet a Trini 54 Health and Beauty

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  37


Diary of a Shopaholic Getting ready for my shopping spree by Roslyn Carrington

My first full day in Trinidad, and you know me: even before I head to the beach, I just have to hit the shops! They say Trinidad has some of the most varied and eclectic shopping experiences in the Caribbean ... and if there’s anyone able to put that claim to the test, it’s me. Most stores accept major credit cards or US cash, but ATMs are available almost everywhere, just in case I run short. I can also visit an exchange trader to get some local currency for more “rustic” shopping. Trinis love a bargain, and their many cultural, religious and historical events are perfect excuses to hold sales year-round. The mood of these occasions, particularly the busy Christmas season, is amped up by bright

decorations and a medley of foreign and local music. I just can’t wait.

Day 1 Downtown Port of Spain

Today, I’m heading straight “downtown”; yep, I’m plunging in at the deep end. I left my rental car at the Parkade car park on the western end and I was off on my adventure. The first thing that strikes me is how busy it is. Where is everyone going at such a pace? I’m surrounded by music, laughter, and colour. I ambled along some of Trinidad’s oldest urban roads, admiring 100-year-old architecture like the columns and balustrades on Frederick Street. I noticed the modern National Library on Abercromby Street; I’ll be sure to have a browse one day.


started off by indulging my taste for luxury items: linens, china, crystal, perfumes, watches, cameras.... Somebody, hold me back! I inhaled the scents of handmade soaps and lotions (and bought a few to take home as gifts). You couldn’t drag me out of the jewellery stores: the selections are exquisite. Prices may be a little higher, but so are their quality and variety. There’s also a lot of cheaper imported items to help me stick to my budget. I enjoyed “liming” along the arcade malls from Frederick Street to Henry and Charlotte Streets, browsing through jewellery outlets, bookstores, clothing and shoe shops, and textile stores. Brilliant batiks and exotic sari silks, upholstery and drapery fabrics, bridal and evening fabrics, men’s suiting and linens, all at excellent prices.I haggled with sidewalk vendors as they jostled on the pavement — a sure way to get a good price. In the lovely morning sunshine, I strolled down to the Brian Lara Promenade to see what the local craftsmen had on sale. I wasn’t disappointed! Leather goods such as belts and sandals and wood carvings. On Charlotte Street, on the eastern end of town, was buzzing, with rickety tables laden with Chinese preserves, kitchen-ware, fruit and vegetables, even bargains from the backs of pick-up trucks. Before leaving “downtown”, I nipped into Excellent City Centre, a landmark mall housing over 60 shops. Its own Excellent Stores has a vast selection of items, from household objects to children’s clothing and seasonal decorations. If I miss anything there, I can always pop into their branches at MovieTowne, Price Plaza and Trincity Mall, Monday to Sunday. I had a quick pick-me-up at the House of Jaipur’s Indian Tea Room, all the while feasting my eyes on the fine selection of jewellery, clothing, and home interior accessories. Finally, I dragged myself back to my hotel, exhausted but happy. My shopping craving is satisfied ... for now.


2 Mall crawling in the West

Since I spent yesterday enjoying the busy streets of the capital, I thought I’d do a little mall crawl. Trini malls are modern, comfortable, and easily accessible from the main highways. There are banks and ATMs, food courts and restaurants, and all the sophisticated retail stores my heart desires, including jewellery, fashion, art, books, leather goods, home furnishings, and flower shops. In case I want to prepare a little something in the kitchenette at my hotel, I can pop into any of the larger chain supermarkets onsite. Naturally, I went for one of the biggest: The Falls at Westmall, in the north-west. It’s got 130 stores, two major banks, cellular phone centres, a food court, and a choice of cosy cafés. I had the time of my life! Then it was on to the loud and lively St. James shopping area, via the Western Main Road. A quick stop at Featheration for rhinestones to put a little glitz in my life, a hot “doubles” on the street, and I headed north to Long Circular Mall, with three levels of retailers, food court, gym and supermarket. While there, I indulged myself at Stechers Ltd., where I was dazzled by Swarovski crystals, fine jewellery and watches, and perfumes and skincare products. Still in the West, I made a beeline for Invaders Bay, one of T&T’s earliest Amerindian settlements, now home to the Mediterraneanthemed MovieTowne complex. It was a memorable experience, tucked away among the mangroves, with over 40 premier shops, an outdoor festival area (free concerts on Saturday nights!), several restaurants, and a ten-screen multiplex cinema. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. As I left for my hotel, I made a note to return to the West

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  39

to try Starlite Shopping Plaza in Diego Martin, Highland Plaza in Glencoe, Shoppes of Maraval, and the elegant Ellerslie Plaza.

Day 3 Eastward bound ... and then a trip to the Southland A great night’s sleep — after trying on my new outfits, of course — and it’s off to the East. As soon as I arrived at the interchange between the Churchill-Roosevelt and Uriah Butler/Solomon Hochoy Highways, I turned into the sprawling City of Grand Bazaar, where I enjoyed a rewarding outdoors shopping, dining and entertainment experience. Valpark Shopping Plaza is just a few kilometres away, with 115 shops (Yay!). A little further east is Trincity Mall, one of the largest in the English-speaking Caribbean. It’s visited by over 5 million shoppers each year, and with its mix of fashion retail, entertainment, two food courts and top-class restaurants, a large supermarket, and three major banks either in-house or adjacent, I can see why. I hope I have time to see a movie at Caribbean Cinemas 8. I still had a little time on my hands, so I headed south to Chaguanas for the Centre Pointe Mall and Centre City Mall. In Chaguanas, I also found a fantastic array of useful and decorative clay items. It seems the pottery wheels never stop spinning in Central! Near the end of the Solomon Hochoy Highway, in La Romaine, I rounded my day off at Gulf City Mall, enjoying their distinctive boutiques, with a designated section for children’s shopping centred around a fun play area.


4 Planning for more shopping

I spent the morning at my in-hotel spa (including a pedi for my poor, aching feet). I whiled away the time writing up a list of all the

40  Shopping

things I want to pick up before I leave Trinidad. If you like, I’ll share my list with you; we shopaholics are generous that way! Modern and traditional furniture and fittings - I can choose between precious West Indian designs and Asian and North American pieces from outlets of Signature Collection and Mi Casa. Mobile Phones and Computers - I can pick one up at any of the the malls, plazas and cell phone outlets, and get top-up cards at supermarkets, drugstores and other easily identified distributors. African Art - I think African Trophies in Port of Spain is a good place to find beautiful baskets, and artefacts in wood, stone and copper, from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Clothing and Accessories - Everywhere I go, the latest styles tempt me. I can’t leave without picking up some sweet new outfits from one of the many designers and fashion houses, like Avenue Montaigne in Maraval. Many are internationally recognised, such as Claudia Pegus, Heather Jones, Meiling, Millhouse, Radical Designs and The Cloth. I can quickly pop in to stores like Fusion in Valpark for fashionable ready-to-wear outfits, or Wet on Ariapita Avenue or Tropical Wear at Westmall for another swimsuit. And I hear Desigual in Movie Towne is really different! For the guys, there’s Bradford, with outlets in many malls. Grassroots Shopping - I’m definitely going to interact with the quirky and interesting local roadside vendors, who I can see on every corner, from Port of Spain to Chaguanas and along the East-West Corridor. I’m certainly going to pop in at one of the weekend craft markets, like UpMarket or the Green Market. Indian Wear - What luck! One of the many Indian Trade Fairs and Expos will be open while I’m here! I’m going to look for something exotic and colourful, maybe even Indian jewellery, furniture, brass, or

42  Shopping

bedding. I’ll also try Priya’s in mall and city outlets, Jewellery - What a lightweight, easy-to-carry gift option to take home ... or to add to my private collection. Why not? The workmanship is excellent, with natural materials, gemstones, copper and beads, silver and precious gold. Anand’s in Gulf City and several Chaguanas locations sounds like a good bet. Eyewear - I ought to stop at one of the many mall outlets of Ray Cool, or Social Eyes in Shops of Maraval, for stylish sunglasses to protect my eyes from the tropical sun. Toiletries - Note to self: Pick up sunscreen. Fortunately, pharmacies and drug stores are conveniently open, some even 24 hours, and I can get over-the-counter and prescription medications, toiletries and beauty products. SuperPharm has seven locations, which are also open on Sundays and holidays. Books - For reading on the beach, and on the flight home. I’m taking back, for the in-laws, some of those stunning coffee-table books on Trinidad’s natural history, culture and architecture from Nigel R. Khan, outlets located in various malls). And maybe I’ll discover one of the many new Caribbean writers that have blossomed lately. Souvenirs - I’ve browsed through souvenir shops such as Bambu Gift Shop (West Mall) and Rainy Days (Ellerslie Plaza) and Caboodle Gifts (Maraval) in the malls and plazas, and at Piarco International Airport. I think I’ll get some T&T flags, pottery, or knick-knacks in the national colours of red, white and black. Maybe some painted shirts, and a doll dressed in a Carnival costume. If the music bug bites me, I’ll take a piece of music history home with my very own steelpan and accessories from The Selection House in downtown Port of Spain, or Panland Trinidad & Tobago.

Art - I need a painting for my hallway, and the art galleries and framing businesses in the malls, plazas and artsy areas like Woodbrook and St. Clair are the best places to look. Maybe a sculpture or a print, or something unusual, like wrought iron. If I feel like dabbling myself, I’ll pick up my supplies at On Location in Westmall, or Caribbean Contemporary Arts off the Eastern Main Road. Gourmet Goods - Edible gifts for the boss, or a chance to cultivate my own “sweet hand” (the culinary equivalent of a green thumb) with local condiments and preserves from supermarkets and airports. Pepper sauces and jellies, preserved local fruit, chutney or kuchela made with tamarind, mango or other local fruits, and authentic spices and herbs make my mouth water. My hotel offers fine local coffee, blended by the Hong Wing family since 1921. It’s on sale everywhere, so I’ll pick up a pound. But I’m not telling how much sinfully exquisite local chocolate delicacies, made with very best of Trinidad’s own superb cocoa beans, I’m buying ... that will be my secret! Natural Foods - I guess I’ll balance out my chocolate indulgence with some healthy food from the Natural Store at Shoppes of Maraval, Yummy Mummy in Chaguanas, or Health Food Specialist Ltd. in Cocoyea Village, San Fernando, or one of the many health food stores that meet the rising demand for dietetic and specialty foods. When I’m missing the tastes of home, gourmet shops Peppercorns in Ellerslie Plaza and Westmall, and Petit Gourmet in St. Clair, import fresh fruit and vegetables, among other delicacies, as does Malabar Farms in Long Circular, with stocks of top quality steak and meats, seafood, cheeses, deli meats, breads and specialty platters. They even do baskets on order. Alcohol - I’m impressed by the range of alcoholic beverages, spirits, wines and specialty drinks, including fine local rums and world-famous Angostura aromatic bitters.

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Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  45

46  Shopping

I’ll look for them at Vintage Imports (Woodbrook) and Fernandes Fine Wines (Westmall), in the beverage section of supermarkets and smaller groceries, or take advantage of the excellent duty-free prices at the airport. Flowers - The only word to describe the flora here is “opulent”. I’ll cheer myself up every few days with an armload of the local flowers I see cascading from roadside vans, or one of the many florists like Flowerline in Chaguanas, or La Tropicale Flower Shop in St. James, Port of Spain. Duty Free - I’m saving some money to shop duty-free at Piarco International Airport, because I can shop both inbound and outbound at the stores on the ground floor (after exiting Immigration) and the first-floor-level shops (accessible via the stairs or escalator). The temptations are endless: gold and silver jewellery; Swarovski crystals; tobacco and perfumes; designer eyewear by Channel, Prada, Oakley, Maui Jim and Ray Ban, leather goods, books and local T-shirts and craft, cosmetics, chocolates and confectionery ... I get dizzy just thinking about it. CDs and music, champagne, port, aged Caribbean rum, Chai Rum, scotch or other spirits ... and I’ll even have them delivered to my plane, but I have to get there early, as shopping closes off an hour before departure. And by the way, my friends arriving in Trinidad by sea can feed their duty free cravings at Apadoca’s, at Crews Inn, Chaguaramas, or simply choose from the duty-paid selection. So there you go, from one shopaholic to another, here’s my last bit of advice: experience as much as you can, and keep your holiday memories alive by savouring the treasure chest of purchases, brought to life by this melting pot of people that is Trinidad & Tobago.

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  47

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Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  49



Artisans Craft a Shift to Modern Thinking by Sean Drakes


s the mammoth fast ferry named Spirit docked in Tobago, I briefly anticipated an idyllic scene of soothing steelpan, fruit drinks perched on trays, and rows of charming women in cotton aprons selling straw bags and glazed clay pottery. Instead, among the Friday bustle of the capital city of Scarborough, ferry passengers were greeted by a fast food outlet, traffic, and sidewalks trimmed with mannequins wearing lycra dresses made in China. Functional and decorative objects of art, such as bamboo furnishings, seashell wind chimes, leather

Highland Waterfall Artist: Jason Nedd

sandals, copper sculptures, fabric dolls, wooden kitchenware and jewellery from seeds, are a thin representation of the indigenous craftsmanship and intuitive art of local artisans. Over the decades, local art and craft producers have endured the loss of desirable retail space, and greater competition, as their customers are swamped with options imported from ports of cheap labour in the Far East. In response, a few pioneers are modernizing the art and craft indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago.

In the age of reverence for indigenous, handmade and eco-friendly products, such art and craft are poised to command heightened interest.


rtisans like Ted Arthur, a self-taught leather craftsman based in Scarborough, was trained to create leather belts and slippers with the basic designs and simple embellishments he calls the “drag finish”. In the eighties and nineties, “The Drag” was an assembly of leather craftsmen in a cluster of shackstyle shops on Frederick Street in the heart of Port of Spain. These artisans still sustain a presence in pockets near the city’s main avenues. Arthur has been creating leather accessories and footwear for 28 years, but his designs with basil leather and cow’s skin imported from the US have raised the bar to a standard to follow. “I wanted to make an impact and bring new life to the craft, so design and colour was the way to go,” explains Arthur. “I wanted the Caribbean flavour, hence I came up with my own style of colouring that involves using different vibrant liquids mixed and applied using my technique.” Arthur’s goal is to create “a wow! effect and make jaws drop.” Based on sales and reaction to his booth at the Tobago Jazz Experience, he accomplished that goal. Arthur, 52, says shelves at his shops on Picton St. and the Scarborough Esplanade aren’t stocked for long. At price points that run US$50 to US$100 for sandals and US$65 to US$500 for jewellery sets, that’s understandable. The painful question remains: What restrains many local artisans who specialize in traditional art and craft from exploring beyond their comfort zone to, as Arthur says, “produce a product that could dance on the same stage with the big guns”? Some young jewellers, craftsmen and designers aren’t waiting around for that answer; instead, they’re reimagining ways to employ contemporary design elements to reconstruct and modernize indigenous art and craft, and possibly shape a new niche. Visit The Gallery, a chic boutique in Long Circular Mall, for exquisite examples of this emerging genre. In Tobago, traditions are treasured. Arthur says the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP) is an asset that helps preserve and teach many facets of traditional art and craft design. While shops near Store Bay in Tobago and the Cruise Ship Complex in Port of Spain remain staple locations for visitors seeking certain types of art and craft, resort boutiques, like Tobago Charms at Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, and tent events on the Brian Lara Promenade, also provide much-needed retail opportunities for local artisans. At the monthly UpMarket event hosted in Woodbrook, and weekend venues such as the San Antonio Green Market in Santa Cruz, handmade and ecoconscious art and craft encourage consumers to reconsider how small enterprise enriches a community. And that amounts to a win-win everyone is enthusiastic to support.

Fine leather accessories by Ted Arthur

Photo: Oswin Browne

Rocks of Art Unique “Rocks of Art” painted and signed by our leading artists. Money raised is used as grants to homeowners who have been encouraged to keep their beautiful Victorian homes intact and to provide bursaries to scholarship winners who need help with transport and warm clothing.

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  51

Glenn Roopchand

Jason Nedd

EXHIBITION: FROM CALYPSO TO MYTHOLOGY PLACE: THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO DATE: MAY 2015 Visual Vibrations of Mother Calypso’s Heartbeat. Inspired by calypsonian extraordinaire David Rudder, whose musical compositions and unique lyrics elevate the ordinary to epic, mytho-poetic status.

Tobago-born artist, Jason Nedd, started painting and drawing at an early age. He continues to excel in his love and passion for drawing and painting. Jason has been holding exhibitions in Tobago and Trinidad, which have led him to receive many commissions, both national and international. His work can be found at his gallery at the Bloody Bay Beach Facility in Tobago, as well as both Fine Art Gallery and Horizons Art Gallery in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Trinidad (868) 296-5217

Mobile (868) 680-0469 Bloody Bay Beach Facility (868) 319-9836

New Jersey (973) 567-2419

Gingerbread house by Artist Ryan Williams

On Location Art Galleries • Exhibitions • Original Art • Prints • Framing • Art design • Consulting • Valuations • Prints on Canvas. We harness over 30 years of experience in Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and Trinidad to provide premium picture framing, local art works and prints to Trinidad and Tobago. We have a wide variety of artwork by both established and top emerging artists. Two convenient locations; give us a call or come in today! Tel (868) 622-3403 Address 42 De Verteuil St, Woodbrook Tel (868) 633-3404 Address Unit #205, The Falls at West Mall Email Facebook

52  Art and Craft

Astrida Saunders The Chocolate Lady


by Judy Bastyra

very Saturday you’ll find Astrida Saunders, “The Cocoa Lady”, at the Green Market in Santa Cruz. There, you will be able to sample her mouth-watering products made from cocoa grown at her family’s estate in Tamana. It’s said she makes the best “cocoa tea”; a traditional breakfast drink made from pure cocoa nibs that are pounded with spices, then boiled with water or milk, and sweetened. Under her brand, Exotic Caribbean Mountain Pride, Astrida produces instant cocoa; moulded traditional cocoa for cocoa tea; cocoa and rum ice cream; Astrida — a rum based liqueur; cocoa butter; and gourmet hand-made dark chocolates, filled with local fudge, sugar cake, fruits and nuts, coffee or jam. Her business is earning her the reputation of being one of Trinidad’s best-known chocolate producers and female entrepreneurs. And it all started with rabbits! “I was one of the first people to grow rabbits as a teenager, and was part of the 4H agricultural club (Heads, Hearts, Hands and Health). My 4H co-ordinator told me about an agriculture scholarship at a college in Venezuela. I won it. After graduating, I married and had two daughters. Whilst the children were young, I left the running of the estate to my four brothers, but after our parents died, they asked me to take over the management. I said ok, but I am not going to just sell the beans, as there’s no profit in it. When I told them that I was going to make ‘traditional chocolate’, they laughed. “People were bringing back traditional cocoa balls from Tobago and Grenada. I saw the potential of cocoa as a souvenir. It was a no-brainer, as here in T&T we produce the worldrenowned Trinitario bean; and the ICGT (The International Cocoa

Gene Bank of Trinidad) is one of the most diverse and accessible collections of cocoa germplasm in the world, so we should be producing our own cocoa products. “I started making traditional chocolate by hand, with a mortar and pestle. Pure cocoa nibs, spices, bay leaf, orange peel, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, are pounded together, then rolled into balls or sticks. I wanted to make it look more attractive, so I took my idea to a great guy who made costumes for Carnival. Together, we came up with the shape of the cocoa pod, and he made a mould for me. “At the beginning, the ‘hobby’ made a few hundred dollars to help with the grocery bills. HiLo (now Massy Stores) raised the bar for me. They pushed me to find finance — well, it was only me and my daughters who were the investors. Both of them are very active in helping me run the business. “I began making filled dark chocolates because of Isabel Brash (founder of Cocobel handmade chocolates.) Isabel was chosen to participate in a WEAmericas Programme (Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas) but was unable to go, so she offered me her place. WEAmericas Partners provide women who start SME’s with access to training, mentoring, networks, finance and markets. I am eternally grateful to her for her generosity of spirit. I try to encourage other women who have cottage industries to meet other women entrepreneurs at the market. Maybe we should form a WETrinidad.” The San Antonio Green Market is located at Saddle Road, near Cutucupano Road in Upper Santa Cruz. It is open from 6:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Saturdays, and 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sundays

meet a Trini

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  53

Health and

Beauty by Roslyn Carrington


n Trinidad we have a saying: “Are you here for your health?” It’s usually thrown out ironically, at a friend who seems to be doing nothing but lazing around, eating good food, and relaxing. Well, if YOU are here for YOUR health, you’re in luck! There are so many healthy — even downright decadent — options, from spa days to tanning, holistic medicine to more eclectic experiences like Reiki massages and qigong breathing sessions. The wisdom of the ages can be brewed into your morning herbal tea, or the cares of the world stroked away from your tense shoulders by gentle hands. Enjoy it all … and good health to you.

Find your centre in Trinidad with relaxing, restorative Yoga


ou know those Yoga DVDs that feature glorious tropical backdrops, and agile models who twist and bend to the shushing sound of waves? Well, how about trying it for real? Yoga has always had a toe-hold in T&T because of the number of people of East Indian heritage who make it part of their spiritual and wellness practices, but its popularity has spilled over the borders of culture and ethnicity, and it is now enjoyed by all who are interested. Young, not-so-young, fit or not, well or ailing, slim, fat, or in between, yoga lovers can be seen filing into their respective studios with mats rolled up under their arms and expectant smiles on their faces. For the visitor, it’s an opportunity to enhance the relaxed mood that began penetrating your pores the second you set foot on our soil.

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  55

Most studios offer single-visit rates, or, if you’re here for a longer stay, you can pay monthly or work out a deal for more than one session. Sessions last between an hour and an hour and a half, and you can go at any pace that suits you, as teachers offer alternative positions for all levels of fitness and flexibility. Naturally, you’ll find a larger density of studios in highly populated areas, but a quick browse through a search engine or on social networking sites such as Facebook will show that there are groups all over the country who meet in gyms, community centres and even private homes. You’re sure to be welcomed with warm smiles, because yoga is not “we thing”; it’s a huge global community to which all practitioners belong. You can enjoy a balanced session or one that is tailored to your needs: relaxation, strength, or spiritual centering. Choose from any of the major schools of practice; Hatha, Sangha, Bikram, Iyengar, Restorative, Hot Yoga, or fluid, graceful Vinyasa. Good teachers are certified, experienced, and well trained, able to gently correct your posture, warn you of improper practice, or respond to possible injury. Be sure to let them know if you have any physical condition that can impact your practice, such as joint or muscle pain, spinal injury, or balance problems, and if you’re pregnant, speak up! Most studios would be happy to offer loaner mats and equipment if you don’t have any of your own — we know you like to travel light. So browse the Internet, flip through the yellow pages, or ask the concierge at your hotel; you’ll soon be stretching, twisting and breathing your way to relaxation.

56  Health and Beauty



he funny thing about exploring Trinidad’s gorgeous natural environment is that when you get into nature, nature gets into

you. How can you forget the gong of the elusive bell-bird, hidden in the trees overhead? Or the cathedral-like Gasparee caves, with their stalactites reaching downward to meet their twins, stretching up from the ground? You can play hide and seek with monkeys, sip from a spring, or discover a new species of butterfly. Even our Botanic Gardens, opposite the Queen’s Park Savannah, can stand in for a storybook forest adventure, if your imagination is up to the task. The First Peoples of the islands knew it, the pirates and brigands of the high seas knew it, and the intrepid explorers of the New World knew it: Trinidad is replete with secret corners, shady mountain trails, and intriguing hidey-holes that beg to be uncovered — over and over again. And if not by you, then who? Section Must-Reads 60  Peace be the Journey 66  Home of the Hummingbird 74 Trinidad and Tobago Butterflies Capuchin Monkey Photo: Christopher Anderson

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  59

Peace be the Journey by Sheldon Waithe

Maracas Bay is undoubtedly Trinidad’s most popular beach, with thousands flocking to its waters every weekend, to wash away the stresses of life or lime in perfect surroundings, cooled by its sea breeze.


he drive to the beach is equally joyful, with scenery worthy of a trek without the need to get to the bay itself. Heading ever upwards, through the shade of a lush rainforest, is an escape to another world. Regular visitors will know every turn like the back of their hand, yet they will still be coaxed into a mood of relaxation by the gentle meanders, the cool air, and the view. Indeed, some people go to Maracas simply for the drive, have a shark and bake, and return along this magical road. Beginning in Maraval along the Saddle Road, the vestiges of city life start to erode as you near the fork in the road at Moka Golf Course. Leaving behind the stores, rum shops and supermarkets that populate each side of the street, the first piece of iconic scenery fills the visual senses the moment you ascend; the greens of the golf course with the ridged mountains in the background are a worthy appetizer. Within a few hundred metres is the “last chance” stop; a parlour on the left to buy an ice cold drink for the ride ahead. Then it’s on to the first twists towards the Saddle. The fork up on high offers the choice: left to

the beach, right through a cutaway in the mountain that plunges down to the Santa Cruz valley. The 90-degree left turn takes you past a popular meeting point for limers, sportsmen, and the occasional vendor. Now the road narrows and steepens to the single lane leading to one of the highest points, Corbeaux Hill. Your car may request first and second gears; runners, walkers and cyclists know that when the journey is human-powered, this represents the most demanding stretch. Look upwards to see a smattering of small homes precariously perched on the apex of the hill, and wonder at the view they have each morning. After metres of vegetation that includes the Chaconia flower, an open area signals arrival at the top of Corbeaux Hill. The small yellow shack on the left seems to have been there ever since the Americans built this piece of engineering excellence in the 1940s. Equally, it never seems to be occupied. A short journey through another cut-out in the mountainside, and another sharp gradient awaits, with the grassy banks to the right forming a natural sidewalk. If you have timed it right, you can buy the best natural honey

available from vendors on this grassy patch. Here, you come to the legend that is Magnetic Hill. Said to contain rocks of magnetic value, allowing one to put a car into neutral and feel it being pulled uphill, the incline causes great debate amongst believers and disbelievers, but it’s pretty certain that most have tried it. The topography soon changes with the first sightings of the sea, dotted with rocky islets and bays amongst the dramatic cliffside. The longer climbs give way to short inclines and descents before a swooping bend opens up the rainforest for the sun to blast through. On the plateaus that appear every so often against the roped barriers, are the first sign of re-entry to civilisation, with vendors selling all sorts of local delicacies. Each one specialises in one item rather than an assortment. The small spring on the right is a popular stop, with motorists and cyclists topping up their bottles with cold, clear water. A few more kilometres, and, without warning, the lookout comes into view. Not stopping here is sacrilegious; the panoramic views are worthy of a thousand selfies and profile pics.

Along the periphery, vendors keep the area busy, as customers buy preserved fruit; pineapple chow is the clear favourite, with mango, plum and pommecythere chows tantalising the taste buds as soon as people see them in their bottles. On occasion, a few composers do extempo (off-the-cuff calypso commentaries) on seemingly any topic. It’s easy to get carried away and stay here, but there’s still the beach to get to. A left turn onto the road and it’s downhill all the way. To the right, the Maracas Valley opens up in all its flourishing splendour, the mountains looking like the massive shoulders of some green giant. In the early part of the year, the Flamboyant trees turn the mountain a deep orange hue; in the latter months, wispy clouds kiss the mountaintops. While you’re admiring all of this, the Bay emerges. Tall coconut trees bid you welcome. The relaxation continues with your day on the beach, but the best bit is that you have to return through the beautiful road that brought you here. Peace be the journey. Maracas Beach

Photo: Christopher Anderson

Beaches B

ordered by the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, Trinidad’s splendid beaches remain unspoilt and within reach of avid surf seekers, sun worshippers and beach enthusiasts in general. The journey in itself can often be a breath-taking experience, particularly along the North Coast Road to the magnificent Maracas Beach, or any of the picturesque villages and seaside spots in this relatively rural area. The rugged north-east coastline is truly a surfer’s paradise, blessed with waves throughout the year. From November to April, ocean swells approaching from the north-east produce good surf breaks, while May to September the waters are calm and idyllic, great for swimming. Within easy reach of the capital, the welldeveloped north-west shoreline offers a variety of activities, from offshore island exploration to water sports. “Down the islands” – the offshore islands off Trinidad’s western peninsula – are popular for fishing and boating, where a spectacular vision of lush hills, embroidered with holiday homes, meets deep blue sea. On the south-west coast, there are some excellent beaches, perfect for relaxation after a visit to the extraordinary Pitch Lake and La Brea. Waters can sometimes appear muddy due to sediment from the Orinoco River. Facing the Atlantic Ocean along the east coast, the sea floor is characterised by shifting sand, and special care should be taken when bathing along this shoreline. Rip currents here are a common feature, though a relatively inconspicuous natural phenomenon. These currents are narrow streams of water that flow away from the beach and out towards deeper water. If you remain calm, you can escape them. Rip currents push you out to sea; they do not pull you down, so it is best to go with the flow. Swim parallel to the beach until you are out of the current, then swim to shore using the waves to push you in. Non-swimmers should stay out of water that is higher than waist deep. In Trinidad, lifeguards patrol most popular beaches during the weekends and public holidays. However, they do not patrol many of the more secluded beaches. Seek the services of professional tour guides for more adventurous excursions.

Maracas Bay Maracas Bay is Trinidad’s most popular beach, with access from Port of Spain via the scenic north coast. Facilities include car parks and changing rooms, and vendors sell the popular “bake and shark” sandwiches, amongst other local fare. A fishing village and a hotel exist on the western end of the bay. Lifeguards are on duty from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. but extreme caution is recommended, especially from November to April. Rip tides and strong waves occur, so those with small children should be particularly careful. The beach is approximately 1.8 km long, with finegrained, off-white sand.

Mayaro Photo: Robert Ramkissoon

62  Beaches

Maracas Bay

Photo: Sarah Jane Carter

Blanchisseuse Bay Photo: Stephen Broadbridge

Pirogue Bay Photo: Christopher Anderson

Las Cuevas

Blanchisseuse Bay

Along the north coast road lies the scenic Las Cuevas beach. Las Cuevas has 2.2 kilometres of fine-grained, off-white sand, bound at either end by “the caves” for which it is named. The majestic El Tucuche peak rises in the background. A small inn overlook the bay, and snack bar, car park, picnicking and changing room facilities are available. Lifeguard services are generally provided from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and fresh fish is sold daily. A backdrop of natural vegetation and a big, wide river make Las Cuevas a favourite of surfers, campers and “off-road” drivers.

Blanchisseuse Bay is one of Blanchisseuse village’s three main beaches. The bay is located on the north coast, approximately 18 km east of Maracas Bay. Access is through the North Coast Road or the scenic Arima-Blanchisseuse Road. The beach is 1.4 km long, with light-brown and medium-grained sand. It is characterised by plunging breakers and strong rip currents that can make swimming quite dangerous. Swimming at the shallow mouth of the Marianne River is safer, while kayaking is also done up the river. Caution is recommended for both activities.

Toco Photo: Ayanna Young

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  63


Photo: Ayanna Young


Vessigny Beach

Follow the length of the Tucker Valley Road (off the main road in Chaguaramas) and encounter one of the most unspoiled pebbled beaches in Trinidad. Uncontaminated by river activity, the water in this small bay is usually clear and calm, with the occasional chance of rough seas during November to April. Upon entering the water, you’ll find that the beach has a downward slope, with the gradient increasing to make it surprisingly deeper further out. Facilities include a paved car park, picnic tables, benches, a children’s play area, changing rooms and toilet facilities.

Vessigny Beach trims the edge of Vessigny village in south Trinidad, just three kilometres past Trinidad’s famous La Brea Pitch Lake. The water is generally cleaner during the dry season, with calm seas and low waves. White sand has been brought in to enhance this beach’s natural dark brown sand. In addition to a car park and camp grounds, there are changing rooms, picnic tables and a snack bar open on weekends and during school holidays. Lifeguards stationed at the beach generally work from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This is a very popular beach and can be crowded on public holidays with beach parties and bus excursions.

Scotland Bay On the north-western tip of Trinidad in the Chaguaramas peninsula rests Scotland Bay. Primarily accessible only by boat, the U-shaped bay is very sheltered and an excellent location for boaters and campers, for swimming and snorkelling. Being a rain shadow area, the water is clear and calm for the majority of the year. Cliffs of rich vegetation lead to sand and shingle beaches, introducing one of the many gorgeous “down the islands” settings. Scotland Bay draws not only kayakers and snorkelers but a vast number of sailboats and cruisers, which take full opportunity to moor inside this haven.

64  Beaches

Granville Beach One of the best camping locations in southern Trinidad, this moderately sloping beach has low to moderate energy waves. The water is usually clear, except after periods of heavy rainfall, with a half mile of fine brown sand to satisfy campers and swimmers alike. Although quite popular, this is one of the smaller Trinidad beaches, where there are no lifeguards. A paved car park is provided for visitor convenience, along with toilets and a private beach facility. There are a few beach houses along the northern section of the beach, which are also available for rental.

Quinam Beach

Sans Souci Bay

Probably the most popular south coast beach, Quinam is approximately 1.6 kilometres long, with waters good for swimming, although there are moderate currents along the beach. The sand is fine and brown, although it disappears during high tide. A favourite for weekend family outings, Quinam offers an opportunity to explore trails into the woods. A lifeguard station is posted at this site and a large car park directly faces the beach. A recreational park 150 metres before the beach provides an interpretative centre, huts, tables, benches and barbecue pits. Camping and fishing are popular.

Sans Souci, together with Toco and Salybia Bays, is the surfers’ paradise in Trinidad. The best surfing waves break during the months of November to April. Competitions are organised by the Surfing Association of T&T and locals welcome visiting surfers. Sans Souci is approximately 300 metres long, with mediumgrained, dark grey sand. The water is clearer during the months of May to September, with more ideal swimming conditions during this time. Located along the Paria Main Road, this bay is some 7 km from the Toco Junction along the rugged north coastline and mountainous landscape.


Grande Rivière Bay

Off the Toco Main Road on the north-east coast, the two indentations of Salybia Bay, with its blue-green water and a shoreline of coconut and almond trees, guarantees an attractive sight. An expanse of reef on the eastern section of this windswept beach filters the water, making it a calm, clean swimming area at low tide and a surfers’ paradise at high tide. The western section of the beach does not have a reef and is deeper, with weak easterly currents. There is plenty of shade along the shore, and although snack vendors abound in the vicinity, there are no facilities. Salybia is a popular camping location, with beach resorts located nearby.

Grande Rivière has become internationally known as an important nesting ground for the leatherback turtle (Dermchelys coriacea). The turtle’s nesting season lasts from March to August. There are several hotels nearby. For more on turtle watching see pages 16 and 71. The beach is approximately 1.2 km long, with coarse yellowish sand and usually clear water. Swimming is safest from May to October; waves are much rougher at other times. The river, a beautiful feature of the area, enters on to the eastern side of the beach.



you must try while at the beach in T&T

Grande Rivière Photo: Stephen Broadbridge


Shark & Bake Pineapple or Mango Chow Coconut Water Potato Pies Sugar Cake

Many Trinidadians own holiday homes along the CocosManzanilla-Mayaro stretch on the east coast of Trinidad. This beach strip is characterised by swaying coconut trees, and Easter and the July-August vacation are popular times for visiting. “Chip chip” (Donax striatus), a bivalve, is commonly found in the sand, and chip chip cocktail is served by locals. June to August are the best times for swimming at Mayaro, but surging breakers, tidal fluctuations and rip currents make swimming generally dangerous. The sand is fine-grained and light-brown in colour.

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  65

Home of the Hummingbird by Judy Bastyra

Did you know‌that Hummingbirds are the tiniest birds in the world and are only found in the Western Hemisphere?

here are 345 species, and these dazzling creatures T are able to fly left, right, up, down, backwards, and even upside down. Their metallic iridescence is caused by light hitting the surface of the feathers, which are composed of multiple layers of air sacs, and the colour will vary with the angle of the light. They hover whilst feeding by rotating their wings in a full circle, going at 80 beats per second, creating a humming sound. They are the fastest moving creatures in the world by size.Their metabolism is roughly 100 times that of an elephant, and they are one of the most territorial and aggressive of the bird species. You will learn this, and more, on a visit to Yerette, the hummingbird sanctuary set up with 20 or so feeders in the magical garden of retired university lecturer, Theo Ferguson, and his wife, Gloria. It is hidden away in a residential area in the Maracas Valley; there you can see the aerial acrobatics and iridescent beauty of 13 of the 17 species in T&T: the copper-rumped hummingbird, whitechested emerald, blue-chinned sapphire, white-necked Jacobin, black-throated mango, green-throated mango, long-billed starthroat, ruby topaz, tufted coquette, green

hermit, rufous-breasted hermit, little hermit, and brown violetear. Coming here will give you the opportunity to observe these miraculous creatures, and allow you to hear their squeaky chirps, trills and buzzing. Every species has a different language. As they zip past, you’ll see flashes of living gemstones. There are no signs on the roads leading up to the house. Visits are by appointment only, and there are three sessions a day, which include a lecture, light home-made refreshments, and a slide show of photographs taken by Theo. On a good day, and if it is raining, you may be able to see hundreds, if not thousands of hummingbirds, as they love frolicking in the rain. Hummingbirds are the sole pollinators of over 8,000 varieties of plants, so as they feed, they are making an important contribution to the environment. As they suck nectar from the flowers, 90% of what they consume is sugar; the other 10% comes from tiny insects. Artificial nectar that is put into the feeders is made from white sugar and water – only white sugar, as brown sugar has a residue of molasses, which could cause iron toxicity. The

mixture is made up of four parts sugar to one part water, which is similar to what they get from the flowers. They live an average of five to seven years, reaching maturity at one year. Even sex is speedy – the male hits and runs and then the poor female has to build the nest and sit on two currant-sized eggs for two weeks. Usually, the female is left alone to build the nest and bring up the babies, with the exception of the rufous-breasted hermit, who gives a hand with nest building. Hummingbirds take 250 breaths a minute, and they burn up one to two times their bodyweight in food every day. There’s no poop per se; as they fly above you, every so often you may receive a “blessing” almost as clear as water; odourless and tasteless. The hummingbird’s heart is five times the size of the human heart in relation to their size, and their resting heart rate is 500 – 600 beats per minute. They live to a biological extreme, beyond our comprehension. It’s not surprising to learn that these jewel-like birds became part of the fashion industry in the 19th Century, when they were used to decorate hats and dresses. As

a result, millions were caught and killed, up until the demand ceased in 1918. Europeans thought that they all came from Trinidad, as this was a trans-shipment point for cargoes, and because of this, Trinidad was called “Land of the Hummingbird”. Trinidad is also called Land of the Hummingbird because they were so named by the first peoples, the Amerindians who called the island Iere, an Amerindian word for hummingbird.Today, it is illegal to catch, cage, buy or sell hummingbirds. You can only admire them in nature, where they belong. “Yerette” is the Amerindian word for hummingbird, and the indigenous people of the Caribbean believed that these tiny, beautiful creatures were the sacred souls of the deceased. That might be one of the reasons that research is currently underway at a university in America on how the vibrations given out by hummingbirds can be of therapeutic use for stress management. For bookings, please contact Gloria or Theo at 1.868.663.2623, 1.868.373.1379, 1.868.360.6033 Email: Website:

Photo: Christopher Anderson

Sights I

f you and your friends visiting from overseas were each to spend a day in a different part of the island, and then compare notes, you’re unlikely to agree on what constitutes the “real Trinidad”. “It’s a place steeped in mystery, culture and history,” one would say. “Not so,” says another, “It’s a land of grand architecture, manors and great-houses.” “An infinite lush and diverse green forest,” argues a third, “With mountains, streams and creatures beyond your imagination.” “Drama, music, laughter and dance,” yet another chimes in, “it’s in the way they walk, talk, express themselves and live as a people.” And you’d smile to yourself, because as a "Trini" you know that all of this and more is Trinidad, and every one of you would be 100% right.

Trinity Cathedral

Photo: Edison Boodoosingh

Photo: Aujourd’hui Studio

Sights The Temple in the Sea in Waterloo Village (located south-west of the borough of Chaguanas) is a testament to the religious devotion of one man, and a sacred site for Hindus all over the world. Siewdass Sadhu, an Indian indentured labourer and a true devotee, built this duplicate of a Hindu temple literally in the sea. His first attempt to build a temple on sugar cane land was torn down by the estate owners, and he spent 25 years painstakingly carrying buckets of dirt out into the ocean to build the mandir by himself, even as the sea itself constantly eroded his efforts. He died and never finished. In 1994, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago properly reclaimed the temple’s foundation and renovated the mandir to honour the 150th anniversary of Indian Arrival Day. It stands now like a spiritual oasis, almost floating atop the waters of the Gulf of Paria. Opening hours for the grounds are from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. For the mandir, opening hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and by appointment.

Western Sights The Magnificent Seven, located on the western side of the Queen’s Park Savannah, are seven renowned architectural masterpieces. The President’s House, Botanical Gardens and Emperor Valley Zoo are on the northern end of the Savannah. The beautifully manicured Gardens provide wonderful photo opportunities and a peaceful interlude for relaxing.

The National Museum, located at the south-eastern corner of the Savannah, opposite Memorial Square, showcases historical exhibits and cultural programmes. Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Museum is located at the Old Police Headquarters on St. Vincent Street in Port of Spain, and is open Tuesday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., except public holidays. Take a stroll along the Brian Lara Promenade, where you can enjoy an ice-cold beer from the many bars that line the streets. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, with its nineteenth-Century stained glass windows, towers over the city. Trinity Cathedral, at the top of Chacon Street, with its statue of Governor Woodford, is also worth a visit. A sacred labyrinth (ancient walking meditation tool) on the grounds of the Cathedral is a spiritual oasis in the midst of the bustling city. The Cathedral is one of many buildings surrounding Woodford Square, which include City Hall, Hall of Justice, Greyfriars Presbyterian Church, the Red House (historically the seat of Trinidad and Tobago’s Parliament, but this has been relocated to the International Waterfront Centre during renovations), Old Fire Station, and the National Library on Abercromby Street. The Chaguaramas Base and the Chaguaramas Military & Aerospace Museum house interesting historical artefacts of wartime. On the compound of the Museum are four consecrated Memorials alongside military vehicles, vessels, artillery and aircraft. The indoor museum covers over 500 years of history.

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Located in the Bocas del Dragón or Dragon’s Mouth, are the five islands referred to as “Down the islands”: Chacachacare, Huevos, Gasparillo (or Centipede Island), Monos, and Gaspar Grande (or Gasparee). Many locals have holiday homes on Monos and Gasparee, within easy access by boat from Chaguaramas. Scotland Bay is also very popular with locals on weekends.

Northern Sights Paramin Village, especially during the Christmas season, is famous for its Parang Festivals and delightful cuisine, as well as breathtaking views. The charming village of Lopinot has a museum, a river, picnic tables, a cosy restaurant and playing field, and is rumoured to be haunted by the Count de Lopinot. The Angostura Museum, located in Laventille at the House of Angostura, features a display of corporate and national history. For information and to arrange a tour guide, call (868) 623-1841/5 or visit contactus.

Photo: Christopher Anderson

Ins & Outs Tip Remember to drink lots of water … it’s hot out there!

The Eric Williams Memorial Collection is housed in the library of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. The Collection holds the library and archives of the late Dr. Eric Eustace Williams, historian, educator and the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. He led the country to Independence from Britain and to becoming a Republic. The Collection is organised around the themes: Family, Scholarship, Statesmanship, Education, Industrial Development, Politics, and Private Study. It is open to the general public on the last two Saturdays of every month from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. School groups are welcome on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to noon. For more information and to make reservations, contact the UWI Alma Jordan Library at (868) 662-2002 or 645-3232/4 Ext. 82132, 83506 or 83361. Mount St. Benedict Monastery sits atop a hill in the north, overlooking south and central Trinidad. It offers spectacular views, nature tours and exhibitions. Accommodation is available at Pax Guest House, renowned for its afternoon teas and simple but sumptuous dinners. Dine either indoors or, if it’s not raining, out on the balcony, which overlooks mountains and treetops under the stars.

Photo: Aujourd’hui Studio

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Cleaver Woods, situated on the Eastern Main Road, is famous for the Amerindian Museum, which houses the works of indigenous

craftspeople. Arima is well known for the last remaining Santa Rosa Caribs, who hold annual festivities there. The Asa Wright Nature Centre was established in 1967 in order to protect and preserve part of the Arima Valley. It is globally renowned among ornithologists and birdwatchers. For details call (868) 667-4655; send an e-mail to or visit North-eastern Trinidad beaches like Matura and Grande Rivière are two of the few remaining nesting sites for leatherback turtles in the world. In order to go turtle viewing with a certified tour guide, you need to obtain a permit from one of the Forestry Division’s offices. The Division will also be able to direct you to an authorised tour guide or tour operator; these guides are trained to preserve the ecological balance of the turtles’ nesting ground. Leatherbacks are sensitive to disturbances while laying, so please listen and obey all the tour guides’ rules while viewing the nesting process. For more information, please call the Forestry Division’s offices located in San Fernando (call 868-657-9450), Sangre Grande (call 868-668-2518) or Port of Spain (call 868-622-3217).

Central and South Sights In central Trinidad, the Hanuman Murti, located in Carapichaima, is an awesome Hindu religious site. Lion House, formerly the home of Nobel laureate Sir Vidya Naipaul, stands aloof in Chaguanas. If you’re in Waterloo Village heading to the Temple in the Sea, be sure to stop by The Indian Caribbean Museum of T&T on Waterloo Road, Carapichaima. The museum is one of a kind, dedicated to the preservation of the material history of over one million descendants of East Indians in the Caribbean. The collection of artefacts is vast, including musical instruments; immigration documents; agricultural tools; religious ritual items; cooking utensils; old photographs of the original East Indian indentured labourers; and historical books over 100 years old. School visitors, tourists, researchers and diplomats all visit the museum to use its resources. Visits to the museum are free of charge, but large groups are asked to schedule tours beforehand. The Indian Caribbean Museum of T&T is a nonprofit organisation affiliated with the TDC and the National Museum. Opening hours are from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, contact the curator at (868) 673-7007 or e-mail icmus@tstt.

Ins & Outs Tip Single entry Turtle viewing permits cost TT$5.00 per adult and TT$2.00 per child under 12 years, for a maximum of 20 persons.

Caroni Swamp

Photo: Stephen Broadbridge

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The Wild Fowl Trust in Pointe à Pierre is a beautiful nature park with tours and nature trails. At the Trust, you can view the beautiful waterfowl of Trinidad and Tobago, and lakes that house a wildlife reserve that has been in existence for over thirty years. It is unique to the Caribbean region. Tours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends. For more information, contact the Trust at (868) 658-4200 ext. 2512, two days in advance. Website: La Vega Estate, located in Gran Couva, from its humble beginnings as a cocoa estate, has grown and blossomed into a thriving nursery and garden centre, with outlets in north and south Trinidad. La Vega has opened its gates to the public and offers fun for the entire family. La Vega is also home to a shrine dedicated to the Divine Mercy of Jesus. For further information call (868) 6799522 or visit their website Our Lady of Montserrat RC Church is located in the village of Moruga. This spiritual oasis commands a panoramic view over much of Trinidad. Designed by a French priest named Fr. Marie Jules Dupoux of Avignon, the building retains its original wooden frame and stained-glass windows, bought and crafted in France. The Church is also home to many holy statues, but the Black Madonna holds court above them all. Many believers travel to Our Lady of Montserrat to pay homage to and to ask for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin. For more information, contact the Church Office at 650-0082 or 636-0769.

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In the south, San Fernando Hill offers a picturesque nature trail and fabulous lookout over the heart of the city. For further information, contact the San Fernando Office of the Forestry Division at (868) 653-9563. The La Brea Pitch Lake is the largest asphalt lake in the world. Located in Trinidad’s south-west peninsula, the lake provides the entire country, and many of the neighbouring islands, with pitch for building roads. The ride along the road is like a roller coaster from the melting pitch underground, and the sulphur lakes are well known for their healing properties. Please use one of the Tourism Development Company (TDC) official tour guides ONLY. You can find them within the La Brea Pitch Lake Facility. Persons offering tours outside the facility are NOT authorised to conduct tours on the TDC’s behalf. Official TDCapproved tour guides are outfitted in red polo shirts with the La Brea Pitch Lake logo on the front and the words “OFFICIAL TOUR GUIDE” on the back. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 13 years and older pay TT$30; children between 6 and 12 years pay TT$12. Children under 6 years are free. For further information, call (868) 651-1232. The Devil’s Woodyard, where the mini mud volcanoes belch out thick, chocolaty mud, is a delight for the kids to witness. There is a small play and picnic area nearby. It is situated in Hindustan, which is near Princes Town.

Morpho or Emperor Butterfly Photo: Stephen Broadbridge

Trinidad and Tobago Butterflies by Nasser Khan

Trinidad and Tobago boasts 14 of the 15 families of butterfly known in the world, and of the hundreds found here, 30 of them are endemic, that is, found nowhere else in the world. Trinidad and Tobago is known for its exotic flora and fauna and having the largest density of birds for its combined area (470 recorded species in an area of 5,128 square kilometres or 1,980 square miles). The same, too, for the total number of butterfly species recorded, some 620 in total, 123 of them in Tobago alone. The significance of butterflies in Trinidad and Tobago’s flora and fauna is demonstrated by the naming of The Emperor Valley Zoo, situated adjacent to the Botanical Gardens in Port of Spain, Trinidad … named for the Morpho or Emperor Butterfly (Morpho peleides insularis). A resident of the shady and lush valley area around the zoo, this butterfly's beauty is frequently encountered as it flutters by with its iridescent blue wings and its characteristic dipping motion. Malcom Barcant was the most prominent lepidopterist (one specializing in the collection and study of butterflies and moths) Trinidad and Tobago has ever had. In his book Butterflies of Trinidad and Tobago, compiled and produced over a period of many years of field research, chock-filled with colour photos by famed local photographer Noel Norton, are chapters devoted to covering the 617 species recorded up to the time of publication. Chapters include The Life of a Butterfly, Methods of Collecting, Groupings by Habits, Habitat and Rarity, Answers to Popular Questions, Flowers Popular with Butterflies, and A Butterfly

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Checklist. His collection of over 5,000 preserved butterflies, beautifully displayed in a tropical setting, is housed at the Museum at the House of Angostura, situated in Laventille, Trinidad. Trinidad and Tobago boasts 14 of the 15 families of butterfly known in the world, and of the hundreds found here, 30 of them are endemic, that is, found nowhere else in the world (e.g. the Blue Emperor). Some butterflies, such as the Tucuche Adelpha, are very localized, feeding on specific plants, some even on a single plant. The Tucuche Adelpha is found only atop Mount El Tucuche, Trinidad’s second highest mountain, in the Northern Range. Many of the common butterflies have been given local names, some even as colourful as the butterflies themselves. Some of the more common species that have fewer environmental requirements, which allows them to thrive almost anywhere flowering plants are found, include: the Scarlet Peacock (Anartia amathea) perhaps the commonest of Trinidad’s butterflies and is easily identified by its bold red markings and white spots; White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae jatrophae), a close relative to the Scarlet Peacock; Mangrove Buckeye (Junonia genoveva), local name “Donkey’s Eye”; White Crescent (Janatella leucodesma), bold white and black markings allow for this butterfly to be easily identified in flight;

Ruby-spotted Swallowtail (Heraclides anchisiades idaeus), a large butterfly commonly seen feeding at the flowers of hibiscus and ixora; Dirce Beauty (Colobura dirce), also known as the Zebra, White Admiral and the Mosaic; Malachite (Siproeta stelenes); Variable Cracker (Hamadryas feronia farinulenta); Banded Banner (Pyrrhogyra neaerea); Illioneus Giant-Owl (Caligo illioneus), known as the Cane Mort-Bleu; Aetolus Lycid (Arawacus aetolus) and Monarch (Danaus plexippus), the latter easily identified by their bright orange colour and black wing veins. 2014 saw the start of a ground-breaking project to construct a 15-acre Butterfly Emporium at Wallerfield in eastern Trinidad, as part of the Tamana InTeck Park. Wallerfield was used by the Americans as an Air Force base during World War II. The Emporium, which is an education and research centre for neotropical butterflies in Trinidad and Tobago, is closely linked to eco-tourism, and will unite world-class entertainment with environmental education, a new trend in eco-tourism called “edu-tainment.” It is a project undertaken by The Evolving Tecknologies and Enterprise Development Company Limited (e TecK). Upon its completion, visitors to the Butterfly Emporium will have the experience of interfacing with native, vibrant butterflies fluttering atop a lush tropical canvas of foliage and flowers, the experience of the butterfly rainforest. The live exhibit will house native, tropical plants and trees to support 20 to 30 different species and approximately 1,600 free-flying butterflies at any given time. Guests will be able to stroll through the butterfly rainforest on a winding path and relax to the sounds of cascading waterfalls year-round.

Ins & Outs   Ins of&Trinidad Outs of Barbados  & Tobago  75

Waterfalls Paria

by Sheldon Waithe

Paria remains one of T&T’s most popular waterfalls, for the journey as well as the final destination. The hike from Blanchisseuse village takes you along the coast overlooking the Caribbean Sea, past two small beaches and through a luxuriant forested trail onto the white turtle nesting sands of Paria Bay. Then it’s a 15-minute jaunt up to the falls. The 8-mile, undulating journey takes approximately 2 hours, after which you are greeted by a deep, clear pool of fresh mountain water. Completing the perfect setting are the heliconia and lilies, which form a tunnel through which the waterfall cascades.

Rincon One of the grand-daddies of waterfalls in Trinidad, Rincon is a 250-foot vertical drop near Las Cuevas. The journey begins through the farms at the end of the North Coast Road, then you can follow crystal clear streams through lush vegetation towards their source. Once there, your choices range from marvelling at its grandeur, soaking in the shallow pool, or allowing the powerful water flowing down the rocks to massage those muscles after a somewhat testing twohour hike. The other-worldly experience makes the journey back to civilisation seem almost like leaving a magical world.

Jewel of Brasso With eleven in the Blanchisseuse-Arima area of the north coast, Brasso Seco holds a monopoly in the waterfall department. The best of the lot is reflected in its name; “the Jewel of Brasso”. A short journey off the E1 Brasso Road, hikers are soon upon a large clearing with a small natural pool. Thundering into the water below from a height of 70 feet is a waterfall often described as the most picturesque in the area. Photo opportunities of persons dwarfed by its rock face and covered in its wide spray abound; the perfect image of man immersed in unspoilt nature.

Argyle Waterfall No list of T&T’s waterfalls would be complete without mention of Argyle. Located in Roxborough village in Tobago, the nature walk takes a quick fifteen minutes, after you have paid the compulsory US $3 admission that includes an experienced guide. Argyle is a series of steps and pools, the water tumbling down from its 175foot height, as beautiful trees envelop its path. The climb to the upper levels requires some dexterity, as you choose your favourite plateau pool. At the very top, the island’s famous species of birds come to say hello, barely heard above the gushing water.

Edith Falls The easiest waterfall to get to, Edith Falls is a 30-minute walk just off the road towards Chaguaramas golf course. The route through an old cocoa estate is flat, with a wide trail along the river; the only elevation is the climb required over some boulders in the river bed near the end. This three-level, 250-foot waterfall is at its majestic best in the rainy season, and is home to many “locals”, so don’t be alarmed by the sight of the occasional howler monkey or homecoming parrot, who live in the peace of this beautiful tropical forest.

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Angel Falls Angel Falls takes its flow from one of the highest mountains in Trinidad, the northern range’s El Tucuche. As such, the shortest possible hike (there are three routes) takes an hour, up a constant ascent of one mile. At the top, the first glimpses of the waterfall are possible, before a descent made slippery by the heavy moisture of the rainforest. Ropes are recommended for added precaution. Upon your arrival at the falls, the powerful gush massages you while the spray refreshes. Most visitors seldom want to leave the natural liming spot on the rocks under the falls and surrounding the shallow pool.

Black Pool Photo: Ayanna Young

Photo: Stephen Broadbridge

Avocat Watefall Photo: Christopher Anderson

Matura Waterfall

Castara Waterfall

Getting to the matchless beauty of the Matura Waterfall requires considerable effort; some three hours' worth, through the Mora forest in the foothills of the eastern end of northern Trinidad. However, it’s worth it; to gaze upon the levels of limestone that are the background for the crystal clear water flowing over its edge. This is nature’s infinity pool. As the meeting point of the Matura and Manuelot rivers, these wide falls pour into a large, calm pool below, suitable for swimming or simply enjoying the enchantment.

On Tobago’s northern coast, Parlatuvier Bay is a hidden gem of a beach. After a hike upwards along the river from the village, you’ll find the equally concealed waterfall. The ascent grows from gradual to steep, along the boulder-strewn river banks. The sound of water tumbling is a slight giveaway, and suddenly you are facing a tall waterfall that spreads across the ridge. Lush vegetation encircles the shallow pool, while fallen tree trunks and smooth rock faces form natural seating in the water. The water here is cold and refreshing, a departure from the warm salt water on the beach.

Ins & Outs of Barbados  77



ith one of the most literate populations in the region, and the highest rate of tertiary

level education, it’s no surprise that Trinis are so successful in business development. Add to this the influence of several cultures that arrived from afar with the express purpose of generating wealth through hard work, and you have a thriving entrepreneurial culture, from the largest manufacturing franchise to the smallest craftsman’s booth. Our energy sector provides the literal and metaphorical fuel for development, making us a force that rivals energy economies several times our size. Throw in our native creativity, imagination and drive, and you know you’re in the right place to do business.

Photo: Christopher Anderson

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  79

Phenomenal Trinidad and Tobago


ou need go no further than the people who live here. No one knows the beauty of our islands better than a local. Only a local can tell you where to find the tastiest cuisine, the best bars, or which hidden trails reveal spectacular beaches and breathtakingly pristine waterfalls. As the elected representatives of our people, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is using this local knowledge. We are highlighting and harnessing the resources of communities to ensure responsible development of memorable tourism assets. Within our collective intelligence is the secret of what makes us special and what will make people come. Government’s strategy utilises this collective intelligence of local people to fuel initiatives with sustained and multiplying impact.

The Honourable Gerald Hadeed Minister of Tourism

Magical Maracas Bay


rinidad’s Maracas Bay can boast of an iconic status that no other beach on the island, one might even venture to say in the Caribbean, can easily match. Most recently described as the “perfect beach” by the Huffington Post online newspaper for its towering coconut palms and stunning scenery, Maracas Bay is also home to the world famous bake and shark sandwiches. This perfect sun, sea and sand getaway is now set for a glamorous transformation with the implementation of Government’s TT $89 million Maracas Redesign Project. Part of the Government’s continued efforts to maintain the highest standards at local tourist facilities, the project will enhance the Maracas Bay experience for both locals and visitors and ensure facilities at the popular beach is of an international standard and comparable with the best in the world. Scheduled for completion in September 2015, the project will include a road to alleviate traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety; the establishment of a new wastewater treatment plant; expanded parking facilities, and modern vending booths, changing facilities and bathrooms. It is expected that during the works to improve the overall Maracas Bay experience for everyone, there will be minimum impact to visitors, with strategies being put in place during the construction phase to alleviate disruption and inconvenience.

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Arrive and Stay in Style

Explore new eco-trails

Another anticipated project is the rehabilitation works to Tobago’s ANR Robinson International Airport. The project will transform the existing facilities and establish a regional benchmark for comfort and modernity, while providing users with an authentic sense of the destination’s character. The upgrade works will include world-class departure and arrivals areas, an upgraded terminal, and new a VIP lounge. With the increased arrivals the airport development is expected to facilitate, the Trinidad and Tobago Hotel and Guesthouse Room Stock Upgrade Incentive Project will ensure visitors stay in style. The programme, which was expanded in the Government’s 2015 budget, reimburses owners a percentage of the cost of upgrading guest rooms and external areas. A similar incentive for owners of properties between one and five rooms was also announced. Denise Aleong-Thomas, president of the Small Tourist Accommodation Owners of Trinidad and Tobago, praised the Government’s initiative for micro properties as a much needed boost.

One of the newest initiatives to highlight Trinidad and Tobago’s spectacular natural heritage is the development of recreational trails. A collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism and local communities, led by tour operator Courtenay Rooks and Carib community shaman Cristo Adonis, the Eco Trail Development Pilot Project aims to create a series of multipurpose ecoadventure trails. Initially, the Grande Riviere to Sans Souci, Matelot to Blanchisseuse and Chaguaramas trails are being targeted for development.

Delivering Service Excellence To complement the upgrade in tourist infrastructure, Government has also targeted human development by implementing a comprehensive national service quality improvement programme. The Service, Training, Attitude and Respect (STAR) Programme was launched in 2010 by the Tourism Development Company to improve the attitudes, behaviours and skills of tourism sector workers. Touching hundreds of organizations, more than 3,500 persons have received STAR training, including members of the Police Service and Immigration Division, community groups, accommodation providers, public servants and entrepreneurs.

Experience authentic T&T Government’s tourism thrust has also focused on the development of sustainable, community-based tourism sites. The Community Tourism Project offers a fantastic opportunity to experience authentic Trinidad and Tobago while supporting socio-economic empowerment in vulnerable communities, oneof-a-kind experiences and increased international competitiveness. Recent projects include an upgrade of the Orosco Bay Visitor Centre at Matura, one of our famous nesting sites for leatherback turtles, and the upcoming Sugar Heritage Village and Museum at Brechin Castle, which is still being developed.

Safari in the City If seeking adventure within the confines of civilisation, the Emperor Valley Zoo is the perfect, family-friendly getaway. In keeping with international trends, the zoo, which is undergoing upgrade work, features exhibits which mirror natural animal habitats. Occupying eight acres, including hummingbird and butterfly gardens, the zoo is considered the best in the region, with more than two hundred species calling the facility home. Recent exotic acquisitions include giraffes, Bengal tigers and African lions.

Beauty Brand expands into American Market Photo: Sean Drakes

by Sean Drakes

Cheryl Bowles has cracked the code for growing a wholesome brand.


hen you’ve developed herbal teas, then a brand of hair food, expanded into skincare and opened five spas, how do you top those successes? If you’re entrepreneur Cheryl Bowles, you aim to position your brand in North America’s largest specialty supermarket chain. Long before she began developing hair and skincare products and spas, Bowles served as chief chemist and head of research and development at Nestlé Trinidad and Tobago. Bowles is an adventurous spirit, not easily daunted by risks. When offered the chance to work with L’Oreal, she opted to forge into the cosmetics domain on her own terms. She opened The Herbarium Ltd. in a cosy retail space at Roundabout Plaza in Barataria, offering unique herbal tea blends. That venture lasted just a year, due to the short shelf life of certain herbal ingredients. Her mother, Merle Bowles, was a hairdresser with a craving for a hair food designed specifically for the Caribbean. Using her mother’s clients for product development research, Bowles perfected her first hair food product under the Cher-Mère label. "I contacted a TV station and bought 5 minutes of air time just before the Young & Restless [soap opera].” She asked viewers to write her to receive a free pamphlet. “The response was so overwhelming [the TV station] asked us to reroute the mail,” recalls Bowles. She also hosted free skin analysis at pharmacies. Customer feedback influenced Bowles to introduce a hot oil treatment, shampoo and conditioner. By her second year in

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business, sales doubled. In 1989 she launched a skin institute, followed by her flagship spa in Woodbrook, which helped business growth to average at 15%. To sustain standards, Bowles says: “We brought in mystery shoppers, and we have someone to help us with quality control.” Expanding Cher-Mère into the Canadian market was stewarded by Bowles’ daughter, Aba Bailey, who has been based in Kingston, Ontario. “It’s interesting, because now I am in a Caucasian market,” observes Bowles. Catering to Canadian consumers starts with studying their strict guidelines for labelling and categorization. She discloses every ingredient percentile on her packaging to stay in the cosmetics division. Further, “I can’t say acne toner because it becomes a drug. I can call it toner for blemished skin; and we do labelling in French and English.” Compromising is not an option when you aspire to be among the best. Bowles sees Whole Foods, a mega organic grocery chain in North America, “as the platform to tweak my products.” “Whole Foods has 453 ingredients that they consider persona non grata in cosmetics; you cannot use them. We now satisfy all of their requirements.” And Cher-Mère products are “compliant with the European Union (EU) directives.” As Cher-Mère accelerates its pursuit of premium placement in North America, her fans advise Bowles to explore other continents. To which she adamantly replies: “I not going to Africa or South America until I hit the US. I am not even going to the rest of the Caribbean. You make it in the US, you hit the world.”

Piarco Boulevard - ABM Location

The Blue Machine in the 1980's

Visit us on or email us

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Republic Bank

The Blue Machine – Banking 24/7 When Republic Bank launched its Blue Machine in 1985, it provided customers with readily available cash dispensing and payment mechanisms, country-wide, 24/7. This convenient Automated Banking Machine (ABM) was implemented during an economic downturn and helped stimulate business activity by fostering consumption. Customers also no longer needed to “stock up” on cash for the weekend, opting instead to withdraw cash at an ABM, as the need arose. It was another step in the Bank’s efforts to increase and improve its service delivery options to its customers and what was a much needed service channel then, has remained a convenient, necessary banking channel today. With 127 ABMs at 86 locations across Trinidad and Tobago, Republic Bank has continuously increased the availability of its banking services to its customers. Instead of standing in line in banking halls for more time than it would take to conduct a transaction, customers can make use of ABMs to change their credit card pins and conduct withdrawals, deposits, fund transfers and credit card cash advances, as well as make bill payments, all at one reliable machine. The world is moving at an increasingly fast pace and electronic channel and payment options are the way to go for today’s banking customers. Though Republic Bank has expanded its electronic banking channels for its customers - offering Republic Online Banking via desktop and mobile devices, Republic SMS Mobile Banking, Electronic Point of Sale Devices, the Republic ACH platform, Credit Cards with Chip and PIN Technology, Yooz.Billpay (a mobile bill payment service) and Yooz Top-Up (a service that allows customers to credit pre-paid mobile phones straight from their accounts) – with the millennial generation opting to conduct their banking business outside of banking halls as far as possible, the Bank’s Blue Machines have remained a useful option for customers. With ABMs being just one of the many options offered by the Bank, Republic continues to seek out solutions to its customers’ needs, always placing an asserted focus on innovative and efficient service.



rinidad is both a business destination and a tourist haven, so it stands to reason that we offer accommodation for the business

traveller, the tourist, and everyone in between. Whether you’re interested in a small inn or guest house, or a boutique hotel with all the extras, or even an internationally branded hotel, Trinidad has it. The majority of large hotels are located in Port of Spain, and many are capable of hosting meetings, events and conferences, but for those who prefer a local flavour, there are locally owned and operated facilities in a range of sizes. If you need to be close to the oil and energy-based sector, there are excellent options in Pointe a Pierre and San Fernando. The eco-tourist will find beach-front hotels ideal for turtle watching, and eco-lodges nestled in the forest. Our western peninsula is great for boating, fishing and nature watching. So whenever you’re here, you’re home!


by the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA)

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  87

Situated in the breezy residential area of St. Joseph Village, San Fernando, Tradewinds Hotel has been owned and operated by the Laing Family since 1994. The forty-one-room “Home Away From Home” boasts friendly, helpful and courteous staff and an efficient management team, making it the first choice among the business sector. Rooms are spacious and fully equipped with minibar, cable TV, air-conditioning, safes and complimentary wireless Internet access. Other facilities include: Driftwood Restaurant, On Deck Pub, conferencing, mini-mart, gym with state-of-the-art equipment and instructors on site, swimming pool, massage therapist and hair salon. Only 400 metres away from Caribbean Cinemas 10/South Park Shopping Plaza.

Tradewinds Hotel

Tel (868) 652-9463 Address 36-38 London Street, St. Joseph Village, San Fernando, Trinidad Email Refresh your travel experience at the Courtyard by Marriott, Port of Spain. This contemporary hotel features a re-designed lobby, restaurant, library and business centre. The 119 spacious guest rooms and suites offer plush beds, large work desks with ergonomic task chairs, and free Internet access. The hotel is conveniently located 40 minutes from the international airport, just 10 minutes away from the city centre, and within walking distance of the MovieTowne Entertainment Complex and the Hasley Crawford National Stadium. Host a memorable meeting or business event in any of our versatile conference rooms; the perfect setting for a small business dinner or social gathering.

Courtyard By Marriot

Tel (868) 627-5555 Fax (868) 627-6317 Address Invaders Bay, Audrey Jeffers Highway, Port of Spain, Trinidad Hyatt Regency Trinidad, a luxurious high-rise hotel of contemporary design located in downtown Port of Spain, presents an unrivalled level of comfort, service and convenience among Trinidad hotels. This 428-room hotel, catering to business, convention and leisure travelers, boasts spacious suites and guestrooms with spectacular gulf and city views, flat-screen televisions, wired and wireless internet and the signature Hyatt Grand BedTM. Also featured is a 16,000-square-foot Regency Ballroom, a 10,000-square-foot Port of Spain Ballroom; a fullservice restaurant; lobby bar and lounge; sushi bar; a 9,000 square-foot spa; state-of-the-art fitness center and rooftop infinity pool with stunning panoramic views of the Gulf.

Hyatt Regency Trinidad 88  Accommodation

Tel (868) 623-2222 Fax (868) 821 6401 Address 1 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad, W.I. Reservations Facebook Twitter @HyattTrinidad Instagram Hyatttrinidad

Ideally located, minutes away from Port of Spain, Banks, Embassies, Medical Institutions, Malls, the Queen’s Park Savannah and Oval. Our boutique hotel features a range of rooms, including balcony suites with separate living areas and cosy studio rooms with kitchenettes. Amenities include room service, complimentary Wi-Fi, laundry services, gym, pool and two full service restaurants. Visit KAVA, located lobby level, and enjoy an eclectic menu featuring artisan brick oven pizzas and classic cocktails or experience an evening of fine dining at our Asian restaurant, Tiki Village, on the 8th floor, and witness one of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the capital city.

Kapok Hotel

Tel (868) 622-KPOK (5765) Address 16-18 Cotton Hill, St. Clair, Trinidad Email Facebook Instagram @kapokhotel This unique architecturally designed hotel is 45 minutes away from the Piarco International Airport and five minutes away from the business districts, historical sites and downtown shopping area. The hotel offers 418 rooms, including 27 suites, all with private balconies, high touch and high tech amenities. This Hilton hotel also offers superb meeting rooms and function spaces that can accommodate up to 800 persons. Other services and facilities include one restaurant; coffee shop; 2 bars, LUCE Lounge & Sushi bar; 24-hour room service; 2 Chevron tennis courts; outdoor swimming pools; a 5,000-square-foot fitness centre with saunas; bank & ATM machine.

Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre

Tel (868) 624-3211 ext. 6040/6041 Fax (868) 624-4485 Address 1B Lady Young Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad Email Facebook Twitter

At Regent Star Hotel let your inner curiosity take over and visit our new boutique style hotel in Piarco. With the combination of international flair and the convenience of being only a minute away from the airport, how can you resist? No matter what the occasion or travel purpose you can enjoy state of the art facilities. Our conference areas seat up to 300 people with WiFi and customised business packages to suit you. We have venues for weddings and events where we will tend to your every need on that special day. Why not be tempted to try our renowned cocktails and indulge in our award winning chef specialties at the Flavours Restaurant. After all that, sleep it off in our super comfy beds and wake up feeling like a star at Regent Star Hotel.

REGENT STAR HOTEL 90  Accommodation

Tel (868) 669-7000 (STAR) Fax (868) 669-7827 Address 118-119 BWIA Boulevard, Piarco, Trinidad Email

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Try our Superior Executive Ocean or Garden View Rooms All our non-smoking Superior Executive Rooms include: full buffet breakfast; king-sized bed with pillow-top mattress & comforter; high speed Internet access; in-room safe; 32-inch flat-screen high definition television with cable; air conditioning; work desk & chair; stocked minibar with complimentary water; iPod docking station/clock radio; reading chair with ottoman; directdial telephone; ceiling fan; microwave; hospitality tray; hair dryer; iron & ironing board, and complimentary daily newspaper.


Tel (868) 659-2271 Fax (868) 659-2202 Address Pointe-a-Pierre, Southern Main Road, Claxton Bay, Trinidad Email This attractive hotel is conveniently located five minutes from Piarco International Airport and thirty-five minutes from Port of Spain. It is situated within a growing urban development, close to the Millennium Lakes Golf and Country Club and Trincity Mall, and features a combination of eighty-two beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites. Take advantage of our complimentary airport shuttle, and enjoy our complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary Internet access, outdoor swimming pool, Fitness and Business Centres. We also cater for small meetings. So whether you are travelling for business or recreation, the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Trincity is the ideal place to STAY SMART.


Tel (868) 669-6209 Fax (868) 692-4557 Address 1 Exposition Drive, Trincity Email ACAJOU is a small, eco-friendly, family-operated hotel situated on the beautiful and dramatic northern coast of Trinidad in a small fishing village called Grande Rivière. The hotel is built as a group of traditional cottages nestled between the beach, a crystal clear river and lush rainforest-covered mountains. What makes Grande Rivière unique are the hundreds of endangered leatherback turtles that nest here every year, from March until August. Please visit for unbiased reviews about ACAJOU Hotel.

Acajou Hotel 92  Accommodation

Tel (868) 670-3771 Fax: (868) 670-4566 Address Grande Rivière, Trinidad Email

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  93

It is said that “Good things come in small packages.” The Linx Suites Hotel is proof that this saying is true. Conveniently located in the heart of San Fernando, Trinidad’s vibrant industrial capital, The Linx Suites Hotel is ready to serve all your personal and corporate needs. Our warm and inviting boutique hotel features 22 comfortable Caribbean-inspired suites, all fully air-conditioned, with complimentary wireless Internet access, cable TV, mini-bar and national/international phone service. We offer our valued guests a range of services and amenities that can be custom tailored to serve and accommodate every need. Highlights include our first class D’Jalem Restaurant, the elegant and stylish SKYY View Lounge, calming pool, sun deck, outdoor Jacuzzi and spa retreat.

The Linx Suites Hotel

Bombshell Bay Luxury Villa Rental

Tel (868) 652-9902 / 657-2080 Address 2–8 Riverside Drive, San Fernando, Trinidad, W.I. Email Facebook thelinxsuiteshotel Gasparee Island Rental (Home Away From Home) Situated forty minutes from Piarco International Airport, just off the coast of Chaguaramas, a 10-minute boat ride to Bombshell Bay Resort on Gasparee Island. Luxury villas overlooking the Gulf of Paria, breathtaking view with beautiful scenery, all villas are self-contained and feature a private terrace overlooking the beach. The villas are fully air-conditioned and have an open-plan living area with lounge, dining area, kitchen and bathroom(s). The kitchen has all amenities. The resort also features a swimming pool, tennis court, fishing, and kayak rentals. You can also tour the Gasparee Caves. Guests can enjoy international cuisine with Caribbean influences at the restaurant. Tel (868) 672-6549 Mobile (868) 777-2785, 788-1098 Address Gasparee Island, Chaguaramas, Trinidad Email Facebook Gasparee Island Rental L’Orchidée Boutique Hotel is located in the beautifully landscaped neighbourhood of St. Ann’s, Port of Spain, 35 minutes from Piarco International Airport. Conveniently situated 5 minutes’ drive from the city centre, and walking distance from the Queen’s Park Savannah. At L’Orchidée our twelve beautifully appointed rooms are themed after orchids, and our cosy fine-dining room and open-air patio serve a fusion of sumptuous local and international cuisine. Wireless and high-speed Internet access are available throughout the property, making it ideal for the business traveller. Enter L’Orchidée, and experience being lavished with care and attention like our orchids. L’Orchidée — The Boutique Experience! Tel/Fax: (868) 621-0613 / 0063 Address 3 Coblentz Gardens, St. Ann’s, Port of Spain, Trinidad Email

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Located 88km from Piarco International Airport, Le Grand Almandier lies nestled between the almond trees and the beach. Here the forested headlands border the magnificent coastline to the north and the majestic Grande Rivière River, from which the village gets its name, to the north-east. The perfect retreat to enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer: the birds, the wildlife, the nesting leatherback turtles, fishing, boat tours and waterfall tours. The ten tastefully decorated rooms and suites sleep two to six persons. The ideal choice for anyone in search of peace and serenity in completely natural surroundings.

Le Grand Almandier

Tel (868) 670-1013/2294 Fax (868) 670-2294 Address 2 Hosang Street, Grande Rivière, Trinidad Email

At Inna Citi Place bed and breakfast we offer a warm and friendly experience in a secure and comfortable environment. Rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, cable TV, wireless Internet, ceiling fans and en-suite bathrooms. Comfort, service and great value characterise our offerings. Inna Citi Place bed and breakfast is located just minutes away from two of the best known entertainment centres of Port of Spain: St. James and Ariapita Avenue. It is six minutes’ drive from the historic Queen’s Park Savannah, and is within walking distance of the Queen’s Park Oval, banks, shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants and churches.

Inna Citi Place

Tel (868) 622-0415 Mobile (868) 683-6132 Address 15 Gaston Johnson Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain Email

Royal Hotel is located in the city of San Fernando. Surrounded by an awesome canopy of Samaan trees and lush foliage, we welcome you to the warmth of our Southern hospitality. All rooms and suites are air-conditioned and outfitted with modern facilities for your every comfort. Enjoy a meal at our restaurant, which specialises in a variety of tasty Caribbean and International cuisines, or just sit back and relax at our bar and lounge or around our swimming pool. Our hotel also includes conference facilities as well as an ideal setting for wedding receptions, cocktail parties and other special functions. Ideally suited to the business traveler, we offer special group and long-term rates.

Royal Hotel 96  Accommodation

Tel (868) 652-4881 Address 46-54 Royal Road, San Fernando, Trinidad Email

Located along the luscious green forested north-eastern coastline, J & J Big Yard Guest House and Hollows is a great getaway for a peaceful, safe and enjoyable time. The scenic and interesting drive leads you past beaches and rivers, and our facility is suitable for the whole family, and perfect for couples who need a getaway. There are two 5½-foot-deep pools with a large deck for pool-side events and weddings, and a large area (The Hollows) which can host any size event.

J & J Big Yard

Office (868) 670-2117 Mr. Jessop (868) 751-4503 / (868) 373-8441 Email

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  97



one in on Trinidad and you’ll be blown away by the number of recreational hot spots that await you in this metropolitan melting

pot. It’s safe to assume that the entertainment T&T offers has something to do with its being ranked the happiest destination in the Caribbean in 2013’s UN World Happiness Report, don’t you think? Multiculturalism definitely factors in when it comes to T&T’s entertainment landscape. With several ethnic denominations sprinkled about, there’s a sweet sense of cultural definition in every aspect of our teeming nightlife. From the southern end of Trinidad, where the prevalence of the East Indian race flavours almost everything with the taste of delectable curry cuisine, and the sounds of chutney hits blaring from roadside bars, to the western side, where good friends gather at their preferred sushi and wine bars, the action never ceases to amaze. Stray a little further west, where complete strangers assemble at the docks of any of the three party


vessels, and see and experience first-hand what our people are so passionate about.

by Aba A. Luke 3 Canal Photo: Maria Nunes

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  99

Phenomenally Entertaining ...Trinidad and Tobago’s nightlife has it all! Music, cocktails and Caribbean rum, fashion and fast cars, good friends and freedom — it’s all in a night out on these tiny twin islands. Lounges and nightlife attractions are quickly adding to the sensuality of the island’s entertainment appeal. Here, global influences are always intertwined with the traditions of the islands, so when a strip called Ariapita Avenue begins to resemble Sunset Strip in LA, it’s no surprise. Rest assured, however, that the doubles vendor who plants himself on the corner outside a random nightspot on the Avenue from Thursday night through Sunday morning brings with him the authenticity of this Trinbago strip, which is truly unique to these islands. Think that’s all there is to entice? Think again. In the past few years, new additions have lit up the trendy Ariapita Avenue in Woodbrook, Port of Spain, as well as other locations in “town” such as Woodbrook and Maraval. Even San Fernando offers new elements of night-time fun, if you feel like heading south. No matter what tickles your fancy, Trinidad and Tobago’s diversity translates into entertainment suited to you in one way or another.

Theatre is incredibly enjoyable in these parts as local thespians like Raymond Choo Kong, Richard Ragoobarsingh, Penelope Spencer, Cecilia Salazar and others transmit their Caribbean flair in reproductions of real life situations. Theatre lovers often assemble in droves at venues like The Central Bank Auditorium, Queen’s Hall, Cipriani Labour College, the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), the Little Carib Theatre, the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts,(SAPA), and the Naparima Bowl to take in the fun. Entertainment is limitless in this place, where natives and visitors alike explore and partake in the sights, sounds and tastes with wild abandon. It is in this place that international recording superstars like Beyoncé Knowles, John Legend and Keyshia Cole share stages with Caribbean hit makers like soca music’s Machel Montano, Blaxx, Shurwayne Winchester, Fay-Ann Lyons, and the ever-lyrical Bunji Garlin. It is only in this place…this Trinidad and Tobago... a place that never ceases to amaze.

Hutt Shutts Sports Bar Located on the pristine foothills of the Northern Range, Hutt Shutts Sports Bar is one of Trinidad & Tobago’s premier destinations for a true “Trini lime”. Not too sure about “liming”? Ask anyone on your 10-minute journey from the airport to our counters for an explanation; you’re sure to be greeted with a warm smile and a satisfying answer. Our decor has a medieval tone, and gives you the feel of a classic Trini pub. Additionally, sports fans will adore our LCD monitors, which constantly provide LIVE and up-to-date coverage of all major sporting events. Come enjoy your first drink with us, and become a part of the affluent and diverse culture that is Trinidad & Tobago. Tel (868) 640-0078 Address Upper Balgobin St., Crown Street, Tacarigua Email

‘Stumblin’ On The Avenue “STUMBLIN”, as the name suggests, is a bar whose patrons show no mercy and party until the wee hours of the morning, giving credence to the name as they stumble out the door at the end of the night. “STUMBLIN” is a unique sports bar that transforms into an energetic “party house” after the sports programming is done. Eight TVs surround the bar on 6 walls, both inside and outside on the patio. A more perfect venue could not be found for your office parties, personal parties, Christmas parties and Carnival events. With courteous and professional staff and the best DJs on the Avenue, “Stumblin” should be your choice when visiting the Avenue. Tel/Fax (868) 223 5017 Address 42A Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, Port of Spain Email Facebook Stumblin-On-The-Avenue

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Chuck E Cheese’s Chuck E Cheese’s is the ultimate location for family entertainment, where A Kid Can be a Kid! Conveniently located just south of the Chaguanas exit, we offer a full menu, including delicious pizzas, sandwiches, assorted platters, a coffee/dessert bar and an extensive, all-you-can-eat salad bar. Kids will have a blast on our 65 games, and earn tickets to redeem prizes! Our unique KidCheck programme ensures that your kids are safe. The ultimate birthday party experience happens at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Entrance is free and all games are only one token. Come celebrate life! Tel (868) 22-CHUCK (222-4825) Address 3A Park Avenue, Brentwood, Chaguanas Email Facebook

Ijump Ijump is Trinidad’s first and only indoor inflatable kids’ play centre. Kids 2 – 12 can laugh, learn, and play with other kids in our safe, fun environment. Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sundays 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Our extensive kids’ party packages can be tailored to your event. Centrally located in Woodbrook, we offer curb-side kids’ drop off and pick up zones as well as convenient, secure parking. Come, relax in our café that offers free WiFi, kid and adult-friendly refreshments, home-baked goods, paninis and delicious smoothies, which you can enjoy whilst watching your kids play on our slides, obstacle courses and bouncy castles. Tel (868) 313-9319 Address 171 Tragarete Road (corner of Pole Carew and Tragarete Road, Port of Spain) Email

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Why commission a Wedding Planner? by Marilyn Duncan-Wiltshire Principal Consultant- TriniWeddings


very couple wants a lovely wedding, the wedding of their dreams, the perfect wedding that comes off without glitches and is enjoyed by their guests. It is difficult to attain this without professional help, as very few brides are professional event planners, so there is a huge margin for error. Most engaged couples these days have rather demanding jobs and simply cannot handle all the stress or cope with the time-consuming details of planning their wedding. As with any complicated project, there is a need for a Project Manager, which, in the wedding business, is known as a Wedding Planner.


egardless of whether your event is large or small, a Wedding Planner can remove the burden of hundreds of details, and see to it that all the segments of the wedding are properly planned and implemented. Wedding Planners wear many hats. They are counsellors, budget planners, and organizers, who offer advice on all aspects of the wedding, and can do the actual leg work of locating, booking, and contracting the vendors. They also manage the wedding day activities so that the bride, groom, and related parties can be worry-free to enjoy the day. During your initial consultation, the Wedding Planner seeks to ascertain the type of wedding you have in mind by requesting that you detail your preferences for making your wedding day special and distinctive. Budgets are discussed, and when a complete picture of your event begins to take shape, the Planner makes recommendations that will eventually make your nuptials a reality. Some people fear that the Wedding Planner will barge in and take over, but that is unlikely, as reputable Planners make your dreams come true, not their own. Some Planners are flexible in terms of how much or how little involvement they have in planning the wedding, and work within your parameters. They have close contact with vendors of the highest quality, can usually negotiate rates that are cheaper than what you could get on your own, and often guarantee the services of the vendors. They are familiar with timelines, which means that they know when specific tasks need to be done and alert you to have them done. Planners are experts on wedding etiquette, know the

Triniweddings By Marilyn Duncan-Wiltshire (Certified Wedding Specialist)

• Wedding Planning and Consultancy • Flawless and Stress-free Planning and Coordinating • Services for Weddings Tel 628–WEDD (9333) Address 38 Maraval Road, Newtown P.O.S Email

Kavita R. Singh Photography Commercial & Event Photography • Specialising in Weddings • Product photography Tel (868) 299-3327 Address JEL Commercial Centre, Chaguanas Email Facebook Kavita R. Singh Photography

marriage laws of the country, and can shield you from problems which may arise. If a wedding is in your future and you want to achieve the perfect wedding with minimal stress, experts recommend that even if you insist on being a DIY bride; begin your planning by making a consultation appointment with a Wedding Planner. It will be money well spent.

Flowers to Treasure Ltd An Event Management and Floral Design Company

• Wedding Planning and Coordination • Floral Artistry • Destination and Outdoor Weddings Infused with Authentic Creativity • Food and Beverage – and Unparalleled Service Menu Creation • Décor and Thematic Tel (868) 487-7981 Concepts Email

J & J Big Yard J & J Big Yard Guest House and Hollows Wedding Services: • Grounds rental • Bar services • 1000 guests • On site hotel accommodation

Office (868) 670-2117 Mr. Jessop (868) 751-4503 / 373-8441 Email

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  105

In Trinidad, the beat goes on... and on... by Desiree Seebaran


OCA is still T&T’s signature entertainment product. And it’s been steadily making waves, from Machel Montano’s 2014 EDM-soca fusion collaboration with Diplo and Major Lazer, to Bunji Garlin’s win of the Best International Performance title at the 2013 Soul Train Awards with his hit single, Differentology. But the local entertainment industry has been buzzing with an exciting resurgence in theatre and other stage productions. Rapso group 3canal (named for the uniquely Trini name for a machete with three grooves in its blade) are forerunners of this renaissance. Like calypso, rapso thrives as a medium for biting social commentary. For the past 10 years, 3canal has been showcasing their word/sword play in a “multi-media performance event” called The 3canal Show. The annual Carnival event involves theatre, dance, local music, mas and video production, using traditional Carnival characters like the Midnight Robber and Jab Molassie to tell stories. The Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW), founded by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and others, has sprung to life after years of inactivity, founding a new school for the arts and producing established Caribbean plays like Trevor Rhone’s Two Can Play and fresh works like Same Ol’ Mas by Randy Ablack. The Workshop recently undertook a colourful development of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Shakespeare’s midsummer festival reimagined as Trinidad’s biggest cultural festival, Carnival. The TTW also hosts concerts with local indie music acts, and has experimented with a dinner theatre series in collaboration with the Normandie Hotel. The National Drama Association of T&T (NDATT) held its first island-wide drama festival in 2013, chockfull of community acting

106  Special Events

Natalia Dopwell Photo: Daniel Gomez Compliments: Classical Music Development Foudation of Trinidad & Tobago (CMDFTT)

and production workshops, staged readings of new scripts and productions of award-winning local plays. Broadway-type works are also becoming more common. Must Come See Productions, an offshoot of the University of the West Indies Festival Arts Chorale, has put on a mid-year musical every year since 2005, including Oliver, Beauty & the Beast, and Aida. Last year, the BP Marionettes Chorale executed a lavish and much-applauded production of Les Mis. Later in 2014, Caribbean Youth Productions performed The Phantom of the Opera at Queen’s Hall, with full chorale and ballet ensembles. Speaking of dance, T&T has a small but vibrant dance community that is always producing high calibre work.

The Noble Douglas Dance Company’s 2014 modern dance presentation, TEETH, kept the audience enthralled till the end. The Lilliput Children’s Theatre, under Douglas’ guidance, along with 3canal member Wendell Manwarren, is a thriving seed ground for young dancers and actors. The Contemporary Choreographers Collective (COCO) is a smaller dance ensemble that also consistently produces work, including a threeday dance festival in 2014. The late Trinidad-born Geoffrey Holder – actor, dancer, choreographer and painter extraordinaire and darling of the New York arts scene – would probably have given a booming commendation to the ambitious production of The Wiz by newcomers Proscenium Theatre Company. Holder passed away in 2014, but is notably remembered not just for his robust bass voice or his choreography for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, but also for his costume design for the original Broadway production of The Wiz. Proscenium is a newbie company, only four years old. But its 2012 production of Little Shop of Horrors got great reviews. And with Holder’s costume design as inspiration, its production of The Wiz is something that theatre-goers will be talking about for years to come.

Ins & Outs of   Ins Trinidad & Outs&of Tobago  Barbados  107 107

Sports by Sheldon Waithe


he 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, along with football and cricket, dominated our 2014 sporting calendar. First to cricket, where the Limacol Caribbean Premier League continued the fireworks from 2013. The T&T Red Steel’s last-ball, match-winning six had a packed Queen’s Park Oval shaking with cheering. Alas, the Red Steel never found the consistency required to go all the way, and, unlike the previous year, when Trinis were spoiled with two semis and the final, there were

Photo: Abraham Diaz

just a handful of matches in Port of Spain. Yet fans are looking forward to the 2015 allocation to again make T20 in T&T the best lime in town! Players such as Dwayne and Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Kevon Cooper are but a handful of Trinbagonian cricketers sought after the world over, emphasising our depth of talent. In the Regional Four Day competition, 2015 marks ten years since we won the title, a statistic that T&T will seek to resolve.

Trinidad Sports Review 2014


n football, the Soca Warriors are edging their way back to the top; the qualifying rounds for the 2018 World Cup is on the horizon. T&T had the pleasure of playing eventual finalists Argentina in Bueno Aires just before the World Cup. The final score of 3-0 to the Argentines was expected, but the Warriors gained for the experience. In the Caribbean Football Union Cup, we produced big wins versus St. Lucia, Antigua and Dominican Republic, to book a place in the final versus Jamaica, held after Ins and Outs went to press. The senior women’s football team battled to fourth place at the CONCACAF Championship. Domestically, the Digicel Pro League and Pro Bowl were both won by W Connection, with WASA victorious in the semi-pro bmobile National Super League. In the water, Total Monster gobbled up the prestigious Carib Great Race title. T&T had ample representation at the Grenada sailing week, where Peter Morris’ Jaguar won the regatta. Andrew Lewis’ quest to qualify for a second Olympics looks good with his performances at the Sailing World Cup. The annual Tarpon Thunder and Wahoo competitions drew hundreds of anglers; there was no record marlin catch as in 2013, but 1,043 lbs of wahoo and 59 lbs of kingfish were donated to charity from the latter tournament. Dragon Boat races continue to grow in popularity, with regattas drawing record crowds. George Bovell III and Dylan Carter continued to represent the islands with aplomb, the former winning gold at the Swimming World Cup in Singapore (his ninth overall World Cup medal), the latter winning silver and bronze medals at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China. Amongst the plethora of annual golfing competitions, the Open takes pride of place; in 2014, the 107th edition, 16-year-old Sachin Kumar held aloft the coveted trophy. Another teen, Joshua Johnson, took second place at the CAC Chess tournament in Colombia, and the youth trend continued with gold medals for Sean and Shannon Yearwood at the Carifta Chess Championships. The T&T chess community was elated by a visit by world champion, Gary Kasparov. Ancil Greene and Kiyomi Rankine copped the national titles in the fast growing sport of triathlon, a fact evidenced by the large turnout at international events such as Tobago’s Massy Rainbow Cup. In cycling, a kidney infection hampered star track sprinter Njisane Phillip. At the Caribbean Road Championships Tyler Cole and Akil Campbell won the Juvenile and Junior titles, while evergreen Emile Abraham took silver in the men’s race. To the Commonwealth Games now, where Team T&T returned with 8 medals, but no gold. In traditional track and field, the galloping Gordons, Jehue and Lalonde, won silver and bronze respectively. The 4x100M and 4x400M teams maintained their annual medal haul with bronze each, while Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott settled for silver in the javelin. Cleopatra Borel added a shot put silver to her cabinet, as Ayanna Alexander won a bronze in the triple jump. Michael Alexander powered his way to bronze in boxing, to complete a tidy showing for the nation. With 2015’s Pan Am Games in Toronto the last stepping stone to the Rio Olympics, T&T’s athletes will be seeking to equal or better the medal count. And with the completion of projects such as the Swimming Centre and Velodrome due in early part of the year, expect the performances and the influx of global competitors to escalate. Good luck to all T&T competitors in 2015!

Photo: Edison Boodoosingh

Photo: Stephen Broadbridge

Photo: Navin Ramrattan / Christian Ramnarine

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  109

Photo: Maria Nunes

Golfing T&T by Sheldon Waithe


hhh golf, the ultimate pastime, the supreme test of mental and physical skill. If the golfing gods could choose a year-round climate for the game’s worshippers, the tropics would surely be at the top of the list. Buoyed by its avid golfing fraternity, T&T’s courses offer the best in variety, service and competition. Seven courses split over two islands of just over a million people is a good ratio, but at the rate the game’s popularity is growing, a few more may be on the horizon. In the capital city, Port of Spain, in the northwest of Trinidad, there are two distinctly different golf courses, both surrounded by magnificent scenery. The 67 par Chaguaramas Golf Course (, is spread out over a plain in the middle of the rainforest. Run by the Chaguaramas Development Authority, each set of nine holes is dissected by a narrow road, with flourishing trees to one side, and the rock face — including the beautiful, thin-plumed Edith Falls — to the other. The open-sided clubhouse and partially sheltered driving range completes the idyllic setting. Play on this mainly flat terrain is open to the public, with a $120 ($20 US) daily fee. Nestled on the other side of the Northern Range is the St. Andrew’s course in Moka. Much like its Scottish namesake, the course is one of the best in the land, with top flight competitions held on its demanding slopes. Play is only allowed for members or their guests, for around $70 US per day. An on-site shop provides all the amenities, and you step out onto greens bordered by a semi circle of forested mountains. After a testing time, the legendary clubhouse awaits for tales of triumph

110  Sports

or woe. Full details of every hole and much more can be found at Heading east towards Piarco International airport, you’ll find the newest of the courses, the Millennium Lakes and Country Club (www.millennium Every conceivable facility can be found here, including a single-level, state of the art 35-bay driving range. As the name suggests, several lakes dot the course, requiring a high level of skill to avoid them, while the open nature allows the wind to make the simplest shots a true golfing challenge. Costs for this luxurious experience are $460 for 18 holes, $287 for 9 holes ($73 and $45 US respectively). The nearby Trincity Mall (the largest in the Caribbean) and Holiday Inn Express, complete the convenience. In the former sugar cane fields of Couva is central Trinidad’s Brechin Castle Golf Club (+1 868 2311, +1 868 685 366 7636). It is nine undulating holes that are perfect for beginners or for experienced players to work on their short game. A casual round of golf or family round is available for $16 US, with limited facilities but breathtaking scenery, surrounded by relics of the sugar industry and monoliths of the energy-based industries. Further south, Petrotrin Pointe-a-Pierre Golf Club retains its uniqueness from its setting; nestled amongst an oil refinery. This is where Stephen Ames first held a golf club, along its rolling gradients and numerous water hazards. Where else could you play 18 holes (including a very hilly back nine) on a superb course, then see flames shooting from an industrial stack in the near distance? Its manicured greens belie its location, and golfers soon forget that they are just off the Uriah Butler Highway. Advance booking is recommended, with a cost of $32 US for your testing round; watch out for the bush and sand traps! ( Tobago has cashed in on its paradisiacal setting with two courses that keep the players coming back for more. The Mount Irvine course ( was once touted as the best in the country, with international competitions held regularly on its coconut-tree-lined drives and greens. Next to the magnificent hotel bearing the same name, many sand traps (well, it is a tropical island...), open drives and rolling countryside await your efforts to better the course record of 65. Nine holes will cost you $30 US, with $48 for an eighteen-hole round; a weekly rate of $248 provides seven days of glorious golf, with the clubhouse and restaurant the perfect accompaniment. Finally, to the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Tobago’s second and most recent course (http://www.magdalenagrand. com/activities/golf/). Opened in 2001, this 72 par course has been interwoven with the natural land, so the scenery varies from hole to hole. Lakes, mangrove, sweeping beachfronts, with exotic birds and the odd caiman thrown in make this PGA-designed course a joy to play upon. A driving range and clubhouse bar and grill is the perfect setting to conclude the day, cooled by those same breezes that made those shots so challenging earlier. Play is open to paying customers, with $72 US for the full 18 holes and $48 for a quick nine holes. A sevenweek package is available for $432 US. T&T’s legendary socialising and competitive streak finds its way onto its golf courses and into the “19th hole” afterwards. Take advantage of some of the best golfing the Caribbean has to offer; simply head for one of the nearby courses and tee up. Fore!

Ins & Outs of Barbados  110

Dylan Carter Making Waves


ith descriptions like “a large, impressive wing span and an engine capable of powerful thrust after takeoff”, you could be forgiven for thinking that T&T had entered the aircraft manufacturing industry. In fact, the country has indeed “made” this “product”, but it refers to the young man who follows in the swim trail blazed by George Bovell III, magnificently announcing his arrival upon the world’s stage in 2013, before providing ample confirmation in 2014. At 18, Carter has medalled in the two highest levels of competition for his age group. For good measure, he also has his first senior Games experience under his belt, finishing agonisingly close to a medal. In the five years since he took up competitive swimming, his trajectory has matched his blistering speed in the pool. The combination of genetics, raw talent and strong family support has blended with passion, drive and patriotism for a winning formula. If it is a heavy burden to bear, he seems blessed with a down-to-earth attitude that encompasses the best of Caribbean calmness. In his own words, Dylan Carter “keeps it real.” Carter stormed the 2009 Carifta Swimming Championships with the small matter of 8 gold medals, backed by 8 Carifta records. The wider world took notice in August 2013 at the Junior World Championships in Dubai, where he headed a national team laden with potential, and there were whispers about his training times. A national record in his first event, the 100M backstroke, emphasised his form, though he just missed precious metal with fourth place. Days later, he lined up for

by Sheldon Waithe Photos: Maria Nunes

the 50M butterfly final, determination etched on his face; 29.38 seconds and another national record later, he secured T&T a silver medal. For Carter, it cemented the fact that he belonged amongst the world’s elite, after the long gruelling hours of training and the sacrifices required. “It meant a lot because of the hard work; this is what I worked for.” The University of Southern California is a great “finishing school” for an athlete; the knowledge and infrastructure helps to turn out Olympic champions. The US college circuit in which they compete is recognised as the best “graduation”. In January 2014, Carter began life as a student there. The year ahead would be his biggest yet, with the Commonwealth Games and the Youth Olympics. At the first encounter in Glasgow, T&T fans were treated to the image of Bovell and Carter training together; the godfather and the protégé. A fifth place in the 100M Freestyle Final amongst some of the best swimmers in the world belied his age, and he took his good form to Nanjing, China, where he proudly held the red, white & black aloft as the flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony. A bronze medal in the 50M freestyle set the tone. The following night, he went a step higher, securing the silver in a thrilling battle with hometown favourite, Hexin Yu. Carter had delivered upon the high standards he set for himself, in a trend that will inevitably continue. The 2015 Pan Am Games beckon, then it’s onto the big one: Rio 2016. One thing is certain: Carter will give it his best, and take it all in stride.

meet a Trini

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  111



n Trinidad, our diverse ethnic origins have created a true melting pot of award-winning flavours. Your culinary adventures could begin with the

Trini version of India – our unique blend of spicy curried dishes that are relished even in the finest restaurants. Our Chinese cuisine options vary from fast food to family-style restaurants to fine dining. Traditional Chinese cooking methods meld with local flavours to create an innovative twist. From the Middle East, we have gyros and kibbis; from Europe, fine Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Quality sushi bars have also become a staple. The true Trini cuisine blends the delights from around the world to create distinct flavours. It is possible to spend a week in Trinidad and never have to eat in the same place twice! We dare you to try it! by the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA)

Not sure about the cost of eating out? This edition of Ins & Outs introduces a new Price Point system, with a handy chart that lets you know in advance how much you can expect to pay per person for a meal. So before you hit the road, you can decide on a menu that suits your appetite AND your budget. $ under TT$150; $$ under TT$250; $$$ under TT$350; $$$$ under TT$450

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  113

Sample Menu Appetizers Grilled Caribbean Wings, Shrimp & Chips FROM THE GRILL Jack Daniel’s® Steak Jack Daniel’s® Chicken Mains – Caribbean Seafood & Chicken Rice, Chop House Salmon Salads – Chipotle Yucatan Chicken Salad, Shanghai Chicken Salad Pasta – Roasted Garlic and Chicken Alfredo, Romesco Grilled Vegetable Pasta Burgers – Mushroom Onion Swiss Burger, Southwest Burger Dessert – Caramel Cake, Oreo® Madness

In 1965, Fridays™ opened its first location in New York City. Over the years, TGI Fridays™ has developed a rich food and beverage heritage, which includes popularising Happy Hour and creating the Long Island Iced Tea and Loaded Potato Skins. The heart of each TGI Fridays™ is the bar, a stage where that “Friday Feeling” begins and infectious energy is created by the world’s greatest bartenders serving up innovative drinks. Whether for lunch, dinner or late-night dining, we always provide an environment that frees our guests to let go of restraints and be themselves. That way they leave our restaurants feeling far better than they did when they first walked through our doors. Tel: (868) 624-TGIF (8443) Address bpTT Building, Port of Spain Tel: (868) 673-TGIF (8443) Address Price Plaza, Chaguanas Tel: (868) 653-TGIF (8443) Address Gulf City, San Fernando

Waterfront Restaurant


Sample Menu

Roasted Garlic Seafood Diablo A seafood medley of mussels, calamari, scallops and shrimp sautéed in a spicy tomato cream diablo sauce and served with rice and fried plantain.

Lunch Cranberry Cous Cous Salad Seared Atlantic Salmon with Quinoa Creole Chicken with Coconut Bhagi Cou Cou

Sample Menu

Dinner Pan Seared Spiced Rub Sea Scallops Leek and Potato Ragout Red Snapper with Coconut Green Pea and Eddo, Papaya Pimento Chow Herbs Roasted Rack of Lamb, Sweet Potato Rosti and Red Wine Caramelized Onions

Waterfront Restaurant invites you to enjoy local and international cuisine with contemporary flair. Featuring fresh seafood, mouth-watering steaks and a bounty of delicious tropical fare, Waterfront promises to take you on an amazing culinary excursion. Savour authentic flavours, magnificent presentations and gorgeous tropical décor as you dine indoors or outdoors, with amazing views of the Gulf of Paria. For a truly special dining experience, have a seat at our Chef’s Table and take in a front-row view of the action in our open kitchen. Tel (868) 821-6550 Address Hyatt Regency Trinidad 1 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad Facebook HyattRegencyTrinidad Twitter @HyattTrinidad Instagram Hyatttrinidad 24 hour Grab and Go $$$ Deli/Patisserie – Cinnamon

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Welcome to Zanzibar and Zanzibar by the Sea — a truly different dining and entertainment experience. Zanzibar offers memorable dining and “liming” in a unique environment; an inimitable blend of Trinidadian and international styles. Experience fine dining in a casual atmosphere. Choose from our broad menu featuring international dishes prepared by our celebrated chefs. So put Zanzibar on your “to do” list during your visit to Trinidad and Tobago.

Tel (868) 627-0752 Fax (868) 627-0713 Address Shop # 54 Fiesta Plaza, Invaders Bay, MovieTowne Tel (868) 634-3346 Zanzibar by the Sea Address Peake Yacht Services, Western Main Road, Chaguaramas Tel (868) 628-5970 Head Office Zanzibar Movietowne – Lunch, Dinner Zanzibar By The Sea – Breakfast, $$$ Lunch, Dinner

Pizza Hut

Flavours Restaurant

Kaizan Sushi

Sample Menu

Kaizan Sushi

Appetizers Regent Star’s Pumpkin & Seafood Delight Thai Style Mussels – Mussels steamed in coconut broth with lemongrass and ginger.

“Hella Hot Roll” Fresh salmon, king fish, wasabi mayo, spicy sauce, cucumber, avocado and chopped jalapenos rolled in a soya bean wrapper, topped with spicy tuna, unagi sauce, mango sauce, tobiko and spring onions.

Sample Menu Appetizers $35 Stuffed breadsticks – An exciting variation of our famous breadsticks, filled with cheese and pepperoni or ham. Pasta $85 Chicken and Mushroom Duxelle Alfredo – Creamy Alfredo sauce combined with duxelle Portobello mushrooms, sliced mushrooms, grilled chicken and rotini pasta, topped with parmesan and fresh basil. Pizza $105-$130 Chicken BBQ pizza – Savoury chunky barbecued chicken, green peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese atop a base of delicious barbecue sauce. Dessert $50 Chocolate lovers cake – Triple-layer chocolate served with one scoop of rich vanilla ice cream.

The world-famous Pizza Hut first opened its doors in Trinidad and Tobago in 1994; today, our seven convenient locations serve up not only hot, delicious and signature pizzas, but also pasta, salads, appetizers, desserts and more. Whether you join us to dine in, or want carry out or delivery, Pizza Hut is your destination for unbeatable and affordable Italian and American-inspired meals that cater to every taste. Share them with family and friends. Tel Roxy (Woodbrook) (868) 628-1488 Valsayn (868) 662-1488 Price Plaza (868) 672-1488 Gulf View (868) 653-1488 Trincity Mall (868) 640-1488 Arima (868) 664-1488 Gulf City Mall, Tobago (868) 660-1488 Facebook Instagram @pizzahuttt

Mains Regent’s Rack of Lamb Pan-seared & oven-baked, served on a potato cake with vegetable tian & a red wine reduction. Black Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin Drizzled with a brandy-infused peppercorn sauce, served with twice-baked potatoes and steamed broccoli. Lobster in Thai Chilli Sauce Served with a spiced Vietnamese dip, herbed basmati rice and vegetable tian Flavours Salmon Served with Garlic & Dill Cream on Creamy Potatoes and Vegetable Medley.

Sample Menu

Bay Scallops Broiled scallops topped with tobiko sitting on top of a delicious crab meat and avocado mix.

Welcome to Kaizan Sushi, a truly different kind of dining and entertainment experience. Located at Fiesta Plaza, MovieTowne Complex, Kaizan Sushi offers memorable dining in a unique setting. So put Kaizan Sushi on your todo list during your visit to Trinidad & Tobago.

Captivate your palate as a mélange of flavours infused with rich historical cultures transcend from the four corners of the world at our Flavours Restaurant. Allow yourself to indulge in an array of the finest Scotch whiskies, exquisite cocktails, or even try some of our local rums and beers at The Rocks Lounge Bar. Open daily from 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Tel (868) 669-7000 (STAR) Fax 669-7827 Address Regent Star Hotel 118-119 BWIA Boulevard, Piarco, Trinidad Email $-$$$$

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Tel (868) 623-5437, 623-5370 Address Shop #7, Fiesta Plaza, Invaders Bay, MovieTowne Tel (868) 628-5970 Head Office Lunch, Dinner


Texas de Brazil

Lime Inn

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Seasonal Salad Area Aged French Cheeses, Smoked Salmon Marinated Portobello, Lobster Bisque Brazilian Pasta Salad, Sushi, Brazilian Black Beans with Pork, Sweet & Sour Fish. Various Cuts of Beef, Lamb, Pork, Chicken and Brazilian Sausage Brazilian Picanha, Rack of Lamb Chicken wrapped in Bacon, Filet Mignon Parmesan-Crusted Pork, Hearty Flank Steak Filet Mignon wrapped in Bacon. Brazilian Cocktail: Caipiriniha Our signature cocktail with fresh fruit and sugar muddled and served shaken.

Starters Creamy Crab Soup Gazpacho with parmesan cheese & “gambas marrakech” Cucumber Soup with chili-glazed scallops Acajou chicken salad Tuna Fish Salad with walnuts, Gorgonzola & roasted beetroot. Mains Pesto Linguine & Grilled Eggplant topped with parmesan cheese Caribbean Rub Chicken with pineapple and papaya salsa (picture) Grilled Red Snapper with lemongrass, grapefruit salsa, pack choi & basmati rice Duck Breast with anjomole, pumpkin creme & roast root vegetables BBQ Pork Loin with roast vegetables, long beans & cauliflower creme.


Ristorante Italiano Sample Menu Antipasti & Salads – Fuoco Gamberetti Arrosto – Fire-roasted shrimp tossed with fresh herbs island peppers, and spicy garlic butter Pizzas – Romano – Crispy pancetta, prosciutto, caramelized onions, tomato, Alfredo sauce, shaved parmesan and arugula. Pastas – Lasagne Alla Ragu – A hearty meat ragu layered with lasagna noodles, mozzarella, parmesan, and a rich cream sauce. Chicken, Meats & Seafood Parmigiano – Boneless chicken breast coated with Italian breadcrumbs, baked slowly with pomodoro and mozzarella. Desserts – Torta Al Cioccolato Warm sour cream fudge cake finished with a decadent chocolate ganache, served with vanilla bean gelato.

Desserts Nut and Chocolate Tart with grapefruit sorbet Grilled Pineapple with Rum Sabayon & Coconut Ice Cream.

Texas de Brazil is an authentic BrazillianAmerican churrascaria (steak house) offering you an interactive dining experience unlike anything else in Trinidad and Tobago! Treat yourself to our 50 to 60 seasonal salad area and traditional side items. When you are ready for meat, turn your card to green and prepare to be swarmed by a troop of carvers generously serving various cuts of meat until you can say, “No mas!” An extensive wine list, freshly made signature cocktails, and many decadent desserts are available to complete your dining experience. Hours of Operation: Lunch from Thur – Sat 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sunday Brunch: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Dinner nightly: 5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Tel (868) 623-0022 Address Level 2 Fiesta Plaza, Movie Towne Invaders Bay, Audrey Jeffers Highway Port of Spain Fixed pricing (All you can eat) $$$$ Available for Functions

Reflecting our own mix of Sweden and Trinidad, our menu is a lovingly created marriage between local and continental influences. Come and relax in a setting that will completely take your breath away. Tel (868) 670-3771 Fax (868) 670-4566 Address Acajou Hotel, Grande Riviere, Trinidad Email Available for Functions, $$$ Lunch, Dinner

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Our inspiration for Rizzoni’s came from generations of secret recipes and techniques. From the southern coast in Naples, the Rizzo family brings their bold flavours, fresh herbs, and seafood right off the docks, to northern Italy where we found the Pisoni family, who were passionate about their cattle and poultry. Their ribeye cuts, veal, free-range chicken and tender filet mignon were the most exquisite we’d ever seen. In honour of the Rizzo/Pisoni families and their Italian heritage, and our appreciation for them allowing us into their lives, we’re so very proud to bring you Rizzoni’s! Lunch served daily: 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Dinner: Sun to Thurs: 5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Fri & Sat: 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Tel (868) 627-RIZZ (7499) Address Level 1, Fiesta Plaza, Movietowne Port of Spain Available for Functions $$$

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  119


Ruby Tuesday

Tiki Village

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Hickory Bourbon Salmon A griddled salmon fillet glazed with bourbon barbeque sauce.

KAVA Pizza – Our own signature pizza! Tomato sauce, mozzarella, goat cheese, caramelized onions, with toasted walnuts or capers.

Our Special Polynesian Delight A combination of five delectable hors d’oeuvres. A Tiki favourite — Perfect for sharing!

Atlantic Salmon – Teriyaki and mango-glazed Atlantic Salmon, pan-seared with parsley potatoes and julienne vegetables.

Mongolian Beef – Tender beef, sautéed in a hot, spicy hoisin sauce, served over a thin layer of crispy vermicelli.

Prosciutto Salad – Prosciutto with mixed greens, olives, goat cheese, balsamic dressing and pepperoncini salsa.

Jing Shek Ban – Steamed boneless filet of fish with ginger and chive in a soya sauce.

Lobster Carbonara Tender lobster blended with a rich Parmesan cream sauce and tossed with peas and bacon and served over linguini pasta. Spicy Jalapeño Pretzel Cheeseburger Not for the faint of heart, this burger is topped with pepper jack cheese, crispy jalapeños and chipotle mayonnaise.

From our bountiful Fresh Garden Bar and fork-tender ribs to our premium handcrafted gourmet burgers, Ruby Tuesday makes every effort to ensure you get the best casual dining experience. You can expect the same friendly atmosphere and great service at any of our locations: MovieTowne, Port-of-Spain; the City of Grand Bazaar; Price Plaza in Chaguanas; and NOW OPEN at Gulf City, San Fernando. Don’t have time to dine with us? Try the convenience of our Curbside Pick-up TOGO! @ 624-8646. Hours: Sun. to Thur. – 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Fri. to Sat. – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Ruby Tuesday – More Choices, More Taste, More Fun! Tel (868) 624-6566 MovieTowne Complex, Port-of-Spain Tel (868) 663-6566 Grand Bazaar, Churchill Roosevelt Hwy Tel (868) 665-5369 Price Plaza, Chaguanas $$

KAVA’s Bushwhacker – Vodka, Baileys, Kahlua, Coconut Rum, Coconut Cream, Amaretto, Grand Marnier and Vanilla Ice Cream.

Walnut Shrimp – Shrimp deep fried and tossed with toasted walnuts in an exotic sauce. Tiki Pork – Tender slices of seasoned pork sautéed with onions, sweet peppers, in a spicy hoisin sauce.

KAVA’s eclectic menu features artisan brick oven pizzas, salads, gourmet burgers, pastas, steaks and more. It displays a wide selection of wines, and offers a variety of internationally renowned beers. Its convenient location, along with the crisp and inviting décor, makes it an excellent meeting spot! Enjoy your choice of indoor café styled seating or relax on our outdoor terrace, both providing the perfect setting for casual dining. Whether it’s for a quick bite for lunch, graband-go or a leisurely espresso with tempting desserts, KAVA is the obvious choice.

Tiki Village is a unique Asian-Polynesian Restaurant offering a stunning view of the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, and the Gulf of Paria. Explore our famous Dim Sum menu on Sundays and taste our delicately hand-crafted Asian delights. Or join us for our sumptuous a-la-carte lunches and dinners. Honey-toned wooden pillars and copper masks, locally crafted by our artisans, create a warm ambiance and an elegant background. Perfect for a romantic evening, business meeting or a family outing.

Reservations (868) 622-KAVA (5282) Address Kapok Hotel, Lobby Level 16-18 Cotton Hill, St. Clair, Trinidad Email Facebook Lunch, Dinner, Takeaway $$ Available for functions

Reservations (868) 622-KPOK (5765) Address Kapok Hotel, 8th Floor 16-18 Cotton Hill, St. Clair, Maraval Email Facebook Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Takeaway, $$$ Available for functions

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Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  121


Restaurant & Bar

McDonald’s™ Restaurants

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Grill & Specialties Rack of Lamb Grilled half rack, rosemary & mint Sea Bass Dijon cream, Amaretto Steamed Mussels Sautéed with white wine & garlic Served with garlic bread Chinese Kitchen Honey Garlic Shrimp Shrimp wok tossed with honey & savoury garlic Sizzling Beef Seared beef sautéed with onions & presented on a sizzling skillet Hong Kong Roast Pork Roast pork tossed in a fiery, spicy blend of chilli, garlic, peppers & onions Pepper Calamari Fried crisp & tossed with spicy red peppers.

Big Mac™ Quarter Pounder with Cheese Chicken McNuggets™ Real Fruit Smoothies McCrispy™ Chicken Caesar Salad Happy Meal

Subway Sample Menu Breakfast Ham & Egg, Egg & Cheese, Bacon & Egg, Western Egg – all available in 6” FOOTLONG Deli Lunch/Dinner Classic Subs – Subway Club, Turkey Breast, Black Forest Ham, Roast Beef, Veggie Delite Signature Subs – Tuna, Subway Melt, Fish Fillet, Veggie Patty Select Subs – Steak & Cheese, Italian BMT, Seafood & Lobster, Meatball Marinara Premium Subs – Chicken Teriyaki, Oven Roasted Chicken, BBQ Chicken, BBQ Pork Bread Options Available – Italian, Honey Oat, 9-Grain Wheat, Roasted Garlic, Parmesan Oregano Extras Available – Pineapple, Olives, Jalapenos, Double Meat, Extra Cheese, Bacon Sauces – Sweet Onion, Red Wine Vinegar, Chadon Beni, Garlic Sauce, Mayo, Olive Oil Also available – Cookies, Muffins, Brownies, Toasties, Hot Drinks, Cold Drinks.

North: Arima, Barataria, Curepe, Mount Hope’ O’Meara, San Juan, Sangre Grande, Trincity Mall, Tunapuna, UWI, Valpark, Valsayn, Piarco. West: Ariapita Avenue, Diego Martin, Frederick St., Glencoe, Hart St., Henry St., Independence Square, Long Circular Mall, Maraval, MovieTowne, Queen & Edward St., Westmall, St. James. South/Central: Couva, Debe, Gulf City Car Park, Gulf City Mall, High St., La Romain, Marabella, Mayaro, Montrose, Penal, Point a Pierre, Point Fortin, Point Lisas, Price Plaza, Princes Town, Siparia. Tobago: Lowlands, Orange Hill, Scarborough. Tel (868) 662-5716/645-8158/662-0092 Fax (868) 662 3250


Mocha Frappé Caramel Frappé Espresso Latte Cappuccino, etc.

With an extensive menu, Town allows you to enjoy a variety of cuisines, including classic grill items as well as traditional Chinese dishes, all in the same contemporary setting. Our indoor and outdoor bar and lounge areas make for a prefect after-work gathering. Whether it’s an intimate affair or grand celebration, Town is the place you’ll want to be.

For reservations/take-out/ delivery (868) 627-TOWN Address #51 Cipriani Boulevard, Port of Spain Email

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Arcos Dorados has successfully opened and operates five McDonald’s Restaurants in Trinidad and Tobago. The free-standing restaurants at Grand Bazaar, Cipriani and Gulf View boast a number of features unveiled for the first time in Trinidad: the introduction of an Auto-Mac drive-thru service, an airconditioned Playplace for kids and free Wi-Fi for all customers at McCafé. Tel (868) 387-0935 The Falls at Westmall, Westmoorings Tel (868) 387-0937 Grand Bazaar, Valsayn Tel (868) 387-0936 Cipriani Boulevard, Newtown Tel (868) 290-3264 Gulf View, La Romaine Tel (868) 290-4559 Gulf City Mall, Gulf View Facebook McDonald’s TT $ Twitter @McDonalds_TT

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  123

Passage to Asia

El Pecos Grill

Irie Bites

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Murgh (Chicken) Lasooni Kebabs Boneless chicken marinated in fresh garlic and cashew paste, besan powder and yogurt, cooked in our tandoori oven. Jing Yee Fish Red snapper steamed in our delicate ginger and garlic sauce. Thai Curry Shrimp Sautéed in spicy Thai green curry, with broccoli, mushroom, and bell peppers and topped with fresh basil. Chef’s Specialty Lobster Sautéed in Thai herbs and spices.

Meats Chicken – rotisserie, BBQ, jerk, fried, stewed, curried Beef – stewed, roast, pastelles, 100% burger Pork – BBQ ribs, jerk, BBQ, BBQ pigtail Fish – grilled, stewed, fried Lamb – BBQ, grilled Sides Rice – festive, white, bhagi, pelau Provisions – steamed, plantain, buttered cassava, parsley potato, sweet potato wedges, steak fries, seasoned fries Vegetables – chunky vegetables, corn, melongene ratatouille Salads – green, coleslaw, green fig, macaroni, potato Other – macaroni pie, peas/beans, dumplings Saturday Specials Oxtail & beef soup, pig foot souse

Meats with two sides Pork – Smoked BBQ, BBQ Ribs BBQ Pigtail Chicken – Smoked BBQ /Jerk Fish – Grilled/Jerk, Lamb – BBQ/Jerk Side Bites Jamaican rice & peas, Bhagi rice Stewed lentils, steak fries, macaroni pie mixed vegetables, Jamaican festivals Salads Macaroni, Potato, Green fig Daily Lunch Specials Mon. – Stewed fried fish and two sides Tues. – Chicken pelau, cole slaw, fresh salad Wed. – Jamaican curry goat, white rice green fig, green salad Thur. – Stewed oxtails, red beans white rice, green salad Fri. – Stewed pork, calaloo, provisions Sat. – Ackee and salt fish, provisions OR Beef and oxtail soup.

Passage to Asia is Trinidad’s ultimate experience in authentic Indian, Thai and Chinese cuisine. Located in the heart of Chaguanas, and offering over 250 dishes, our venue is ideal for receptions, business meetings, parties and intimate dinners. Dining with us is a lifetime experience; our native chefs from India and Thailand provide you with the passport to Asian taste as you partake in our fusion buffet every Friday and Saturday or join us for our sumptuous a-lacarte lunches and dinners presented in an unforgettable divine ambiance with 1st class service. Tel (868) 671-8709, 868-742-4309 Fax 868-672-2701 Address #7 St Yves Street, Chaguanas Email We cater for all occasions, $$-$$$ Takeaway Available

El Pecos offers you the best in fast casual dining, with a solid reputation for consistently good food and value for money. Indulge yourself in our selection of fire-grilled or slowcooked meats, served with a variety of superb sides. Simply serve yourself, weigh, and pay for your food by the pound. Tel (868) 63-PECOS Diego Martin Main Road Tel (868) 622-9713 84a Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook Tel (868) 628-7186 Royal Palm Plaza, Maraval Tel (868) 674-0533 Lower 6th Avenue, Barataria Dining 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. TT$ 40.00 per lb.

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Unique and flavourful, Irie Bites combines the earthy taste of good old Jamaica with the excitement of Trini cuisine. Our signature brand Irie Bites provides mouth-watering authentic Jamaican jerk and smoked BBQ meats. These traditional Caribbean Recipies are straight from Grannie’s kitchen table. For those on the go or busy at the office, there’s no need to sacrifice quality and value. Simply call, place your order and collect. Let our red, green, yellow and black sign lead you to a true taste of Jamaica. Irie Bites – savour the experience! Tel/Fax (868) 622-7364 Address 71A Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook Tel/Fax (868) 622-6725 Address 153 Western Main Road, St. James $

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  125

Italian Restaurant

Hilltop Restaurant

Burger King

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Pasta Linguine Frutti di Mare – Linguine pasta tossed with lobster, clams, squid, shrimp and mussles in a sauce made of plum tomatoes, garlic & basil. Seafood Salmone alla Messinese – Atlantic pink salmon resting on a layer of sautéed spinach, dressed with a sauce made of cream, capers & truffle oil. Steak Filetto alla Toscana – Prime fillet steak in a cream brandy sauce with mushrooms, tomatoes and tarragon.

Appetizer Quesa Azul Delicia – Potato nest with blue cheese, pimento and mushroom Soup – Caul’do Verde Cauliflower and kale soup served with cheddar snaps Fish – Gambas Al Ajillo Pan-seared pink salmon fillet with grilled garlic shrimp and pickled onions Salad – Ensalada de Pimento y Tomate Charred bell peppers and tomatoes, marinated in a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. Entrée Pollo con Salsa de Madrid Roasted chicken with salsa of mango honey, herbs, and red onion, with a sorrel drizzle, served with Vegetable Paella. Dessert Porto Pudim Flan with Spiced Churros Port-infused baked dessert custard and salted caramel with delicate paprika chocolatedipped churros.

Breakfast Croissan’wich with Ham or Bacon Pancakes French Toast Eggs Bacon Hash Browns


Calabrian-born Chef Angelo Cofone brings to Trinidad the authentic southern flavors of Italy. With over twenty years of experience working both in Italy and London, he has brought his magical culture to this island, putting Trinidad a cut above the rest. Diners are mesmerised by his mouth-watering cuisine and the charm and warmth that he generates. Together with his highly trained staff, wife, and two of his three sons, they have produced a restaurant that offers the finest in dining. Reservations necessary. Open Monday to Friday. Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturdays - Dinner from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tel (868) 628-5551 / 628-7854 Fax (868) 622-9562 Address 38 Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook $$$$ Lunch, Dinner

Hilltop Restaurant is TTHTI’s practical training space, which offers customers a memorable dining experience that should not be missed. The meals, executed and presented by our very own Culinary and Food and Beverage students, feature an exciting fusion of indigenous Caribbean herbs and spices, blended with the finest international ingredients. You may even complement your meal with one of our Students’ Signature drinks. Reservations (868) 634-2144 Ext 4066 Address Cor. Airways Rd. & Hilltop Lane, Chaguaramas $$ Email

126  Restaurants

Sample Menu

Lunch Whopper Stacker Veggie Burger BK Fish Original Chicken Sandwich Salads

Burger King – “Home of the Whopper” – is known for its flame-broiled beef burgers. Celebrate fast food diversity with Burger King as it boasts of variety to satisfy your palete from fish to steak, chicken and ham products. We are conveniently located at St. James, MovieTowne Invaders Bay, Maraval, West Mall, Grand Bazaar, Trincity Mall, Curepe, Tunapuna, Chaguanas, Price Plaza, Gulf City, High Street, San Fernando, Marabella, Princes Town and Gasparillo.

Tel (868) 663-4159 Fax (868) 645-1058 Address Restaurant Holdings Limited Restaurant Support Centre 14 Frederick Settlement, Caroni Email Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  127


Coffee Beanery

Restaurant & Bar

Soong’s Great Wall

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Appetizer Pepper Salt Calamari Succulent morsels of calamari fried to perfection and tossed with garlic, ginger, onions, scallions and fresh Calcutta chillies. Main Course Konjee Crispy Chicken Moist slices of chicken breast crispy fried, heated with our special Calcutta red chili paste and tossed with onions and scallions in a sweet and spicy Konjee sauce.

Phoenix Basket A combination of assorted seafood, meats and mixed vegetables presented in an edible basket. Sizzling Tenderloin Beef Beef tenderloin slices stir-fried in black bean sauce and served on a sizzling hot platter. Sesame Shrimp – Golden battered shrimp smothered in a delectable cream sauce and sprinkled with lightly toasted sesame seeds. Lobster Cantonese – Chunks of the finest lobster, delicately cooked with a cream & butter sauce. Dasheen Pork – Slices of pork & dasheen, layered and steamed in a special sauce.

Beverages Coffee Specialty coffee beverages Tea, smoothies. Lunch Panini, bagels, and wraps made with ham, chicken or turkey, Tuna paste, chicken paste Grilled chicken. Soups Salads Fruit, Pasta Meat & Vegetables Pastries

Hakka cuisine is an elegant fusion of Chinese recipes with distinct Indian spices and flavours. Over 100 years ago, the original recipes traveled from Mei Zhou, China to India with the Hakka Chinese people, who eventually settled in Calcutta. Over several generations, the marriage of oriental techniques and Indian ingredients evolved into a gastronomic explosion for the taste buds. Our chefs have traveled from the top Hakka restaurants in Calcutta to meticulously prepare dishes that define the sights, tastes and aromas of the HAKKA experience. Dining or Takeaway 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Mon. – Thur. 11:00 a.m. – 12 midnight Fri. and Sat. 12 noon – 10:00 p.m. Sunday Tel (868) 622-0004 Address 4 Taylor Street, Woodbrook, POS Email Facebook Hakka-Restaurant-Bar Lunch, Dinner, Parking Available $-$$

The Great Wall of China is the world’s longest wall built entirely by hand, making it a remarkable engineering feat. Today, Soong’s Great Wall prides itself on that same personal attention that builds long-lasting relationships, making us a world-class restaurant. Relax and be pampered by our highly trained staff, personally instructed in the art of making you feel welcome. Our famous Wednesday Night Buffet offers succulent lobster, among many other delectable dishes. Don’t miss our Sunday Lunch Buffet. Reservations: (868) 652-Wall (9255) / 657-5050 / 652-2583 Fax (868) 653-3834 Address 97 Circular Rd., San Fernando Email Private upper level for special $$ functions & seminars

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Sample Menu

Coffee Beanery opened its first stores in the United States in 1976 with exceptional coffee and a warm, relaxing environment. Today, Coffee Beanery is still a family owned business, with nearly 100 locations throughout the world, with 20 locations internationally. Coffee Beanery offers decadent specialty choices such as their original beverage, the Café Carmel, as well as specialty drinks like the Black and White Frappalatte. Other offerings include the brand’s vast variety of estate, flavoured and decaf coffees, such as Caramel Pecan Pie and their house coffee, Beanery Blend®. Tel (868) 222-2968 Level 2, Trincity Mall; Mansfield House, 24 Abercromby St., Port of Spain; Cor. Fitt St. & Ariapita Ave, Woodbrook Facebook Coffee Beanery Trinidad


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Aioli Sample Menu Lunch Menu Mezzeh Platter, Mediterranean Salad, Tagliatelle con Olio, Shrimp and Manchego Flatbread, and Basil-Infused Panna Cotta. Dinner Menu Escargot in Puff Pastry, Beet and Chèvre Salad, Magret de Canard, and Truffle Nutella Crême Brulée. Signature menu items include Wild Mushroom Soup, Crab Risotto, Tuscan Fries, Lobster Bites, Seared Beef Steak on Gorgonzola Polenta with Arugula and Aioli Caramel Ice Cream.

More Vino / More Sushi

On the Greens

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Chef Ju’s Recommendation Ga Ga’s Crab Dip – crab, cream cheese, spices, parmesan, mixed bread Japanese Ceviche – raw fish, citrus, seasoning, spices Ju Ju Roll – salmon, tuna, torched scallop, tobiko, sesame oil, unagi sauce, curry mayo Dickiemoto – soft shell crab, cream cheese, cucumber, crab salad, tobiko, seaweed powder.

The Vegan Tofu simmered in Chunky Creole Sauce with choice of side & fried plantain garnish. Passion Fruit Glazed Salmon Passion Fruit Gastrique Grilled Salmon, with glazed carrots & side. Rack Of Lamb Succulent Roasted Lamb served with our signature tamarind sauce, house vegetables & side.

If you love fresh ingredients blended with the culinary flavours of France, Italy and Spain, then Aioli is the place for you. Executive Chef John Aboud and his team conjure up gastronomic delights for Tapas, Lunch and Dinner. With a menu replete with innovative twists on classic food, Chef Aboud takes you on a sensory adventure. Signature cocktails and an impressive selection of wines, coupled with exceptional attention to guests, make the Aioli experience one that each guest will surely cherish.

More Vino was established in 2005 as a premium wine retailer and quickly became the ultimate ‘liming’ spot for sipping on fine wine. Fast forward to 2015 and you have Trinidad’s premier wine bistro, More Vino, coupled with the country’s most authentic sushi bar, More Sushi, for an eclectic fusion of Japanese and European cuisine with a friendly, local vibe. Choose from a wide variety of international wines, gourmet food, premium spirits, beers, cigars and hookahs and enjoy the unique ambience that is More Vino | More Sushi. Open from Mon. to Sat. at 11:00 a.m.

Tel (868) 222-4654; 222-3291; 628-3972 Address Ellerslie Plaza, Maraval $$$

Tel (868) 622-VINO (8466) Fax (868) 622-2710 Port of Spain – 23 O’ Connor St., Woodbrook Tel (868) 223-VINO (8466) San Fernando – 33 Scott St., San Fernando Email Facebook Twitter $$$ Lunch, Dinner, Takeaway

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‘Vayberri On the Greens’ is nestled in the heart of the Millennium Lakes Golf and Country Club, located at Sunrise Loop Road, Trincity. Minutes away from the Piarco International Airport, Vayberri On the Greens offers dining under the teak rafters of our Main Dining Room or under the stars when seated on our Open Air Patio overlooking the Greens of the Golf Course & panoramic views of our Northern Mountain Range. Also on site is Vayberri’s 19th Hole Sports Lounge ideal for viewing sporting competitions, partaking in a laid back game of pool or simply winding down in a more upbeat ambience. Come tantalize your taste buds with our eclectic mix of international cuisine infused with our local charm and enjoy the serenity of our quaint ambience. Open: Monday-Sunday and Most Public Holidays. Reservation 640-9797 or 640-9717 Ext 2 Address Millennium Lakes Golf and Country Club, Sunrise Loop Rd., Trincity Email Fine Dining, Patio Dining, Sports $-$$ Lounge, Takeaway Available

Chaud Café & Wine Bar

Chaud Restaurant

Chaud Events

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Lunch Grilled shrimp & quinoa salad Prime rib au jus sandwich Wild Mushroom Ragoût Pasta Brunch Café Eggs Benedict Belgian waffles Steak frites Small Plates | Dinner Portuguese garlic pork belly Harissa rubbed lamb chops Ginger & garlic roasted eggplant.

Starter Smoked salmon-crab ‘dome’ & lobster salad, avocado, soy beans, mango, coconut-kafir lime espuma. Main Honey-lacquered duck breast & Parmentier de confit; blueberry-Port sauce, pumpkin purée, romaine, glacé baby onions Apple cider-glazed ‘double cut’ pork chop; herb spätzle, Applewood bacon-braised kale, dried fruit mostarda, apple crema. Dessert Coconut panna cotta, blueberry topping, pistachio-coconut sorbet, dark chocolate bark.

Consistent with the Chaud brand of dining, Chaud Events brings the unique culinary skills of Chef Khalid Mohammed to your event. From small, informal gatherings of 20 persons to larger formal banquets and events, Chaud Events offers a wide selection of imaginative menus, crafted by Chef Khalid. His menus both embrace and redefine Caribbean cuisine, drawing rich inspiration from the ever-evolving landscape of local and international culinary influences. Chaud Events offers restaurant-quality experience with flawless delivery and presentation, and the convenient added option of full bar service.

Step out of the hustle of Port of Spain and – with a sigh of relief – step into the warm glow of Chaud Café & Wine Bar. Good laughs, exotic world music, cooling breezes on the deck. Delicately prepared gourmet food. Based on the tradition of Spanish tapas and Lebanese mezze, we offer small to mediumsized plates. This is gourmet eating at its friendliest. Dine in or take-away a sandwich or salad at lunch, or enjoy an evening out with family and friends. Kick back with a bottle of wine, order several small plates and pass them around the table. Enjoy the small pleasures of life. This is not fine dining. This is not a bar. This is Chaud Café.

Chaud restaurant both challenges and embraces Caribbean fine dining, elevating familiar local flavours to a level of exotic elegance. Chef Khalid’s menus reflect a passion for local Caribbean cuisine, matured by international influences. His Guava BBQ King Fish is a legend unto itself, part of a repertoire of inventive dishes that alternately teases and comforts the senses. The restaurant offers both a daily prix fixe and à la carte lunch service, Monday to Friday, and is open for dinner Monday through Saturday.

Tel (868) 628-9845 Address One Woodbrook Place Damien Street, Woodbrook Email Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch Catering

Tel (868) 621 2002 Address 6 Nook Avenue, St. Ann’s, Port of Spain Facebook Instagram $$$$ ChaudRestaurant


Tel (868) 621-2002 Address 6 Nook Avenue, St. Ann’s, $$$$ Port of Spain

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Café Mariposa

The Rise

Grill & Bar Restaurant

Sample Menu

Sample Menu Appetizer Cassava Sticks, Island Shrimp, Chicken Wings, Tenders, Geera Pork, Seafood Platter Lunch & Dinner Special Pasta, Burgers, Quesadillas, Pork Ribs, Lamp Chops, Steak, Lobster, Shrimp Platters, Pepper Lamb Sides Fries, Garlic Bread, Fried Cassava, Sauteed Vegatables, Garlic Mashed Potato, Coleslaw, CheesE Fries, Corn on the Cob.

The Rise Grill & Bar Restaurant invites you to come and enjoy their American, Spanish and Caribbean dishes. Dinning or open lounge serving facility. With nightly entertainment, Karoke Thursday after work lime on a Friday. Safe and Secure Parking Real Food, Real Drinks for Real People Open 7 days / Week

Tel (868) 665-5627 Mobile (868) 685-1723 LP 62, Rodney Road, Endeavor Rd., Lange Park, Chaguanas Email


Appetizer Dasheen sticks dipped in 70% dark chocolate with pommecythere chutney Soup Pumpkin ‘n Corn soup, served with Bollitos Main Course Award-winning Cocoa Panyol Pork Roucou chicken medallions Agua Viva tilapia Pigeon peas, chayote bianca, Cocoa rice, Agua Viva salad Dessert Award-winning cocoa ice cream or Avocado ice cream (seasonal) or Gluten-free cocoa cake (An Ice-cream Tasting Experience is possible for an additional cost) Beverage Award-winning Bebida de Cacao

Cafe Mariposa is a family run restaurant that serves vegetarian, vegan, gluten- and lactosefree dishes. Our specialty is using the cocoa bean as a base for our savory and sweet creations. We use cold-pressed coconut oil, fresh herbs, and local vegetables. Select your own mountain-reared tilapia before your nature walk, and it will be delicately prepared by the time you return. Reservations only. All reservations made 24 hours in advance, Tuesday – Saturday. Dinner only on Mondays. Tel (868) 669-8647 Address 58 Lopinot Settlement, via Arouca Email

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Samurai Trinidad Sample Menu Appetizers Tuna Pizza – Tuna, avocado, fried garlic, truffle oil, garlic mayo. Hamachi Ponzu – Yellow Tail, citrus Ponzu, jalapeños. Sushi Joe-San – Grilled beef, avocado, lettuce, asparagus, Teriyaki, garlic mayo. Samurai Spirit – Shrimp, kanikama, lettuce, tomato, Teriyaki, spicy mayo, chilli sauce. Teppanyaki Samurai Spicy Chicken – Chicken breast, bell peppers, carrots, bean sprouts, onions, celery, mushrooms, spicy sauce. Teppanyaki Scallops – Scallops, broccoli, tomatoes, lemon butter sauce.

The Samurai — a revered Japanese class of warrior during the 9th Century. Unknown to many, they shaped Japanese culture and cuisine into what it is today. You can now experience the best of Japanese cuisine at Samurai Restaurant. Come and savour our speciality sushi rolls, ocean fresh sashimi, and delectable tempura, and watch as our expert Teppanyaki chefs demonstrate culinary artistry. Samurai is proud to offer you a new dining experience. Opening Hours: Mon. – Sat. 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Sun. Brunch 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Tel (868) 289-4616 Address One Woodbrook Place Woodbrook, Trinidad, W.I. Email Facebook Samurai Trinidad Lunch, Dinner, Dine In $$$-$$$$ and Takeaway

Nichossa Restaurant

Adam’s Bagels

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Breakfast Friday Special Tomato, melongene, pumpkin and bhagi chokas with whole wheat sada roti Saturday Special Fried bake and black pudding or buljol Saltfish accra with tamarind sauce Lunch Different soups every day Salads and sandwiches Tea Select hot coffees and teas. Tempting in-house pastries, pies and cakes.

Cachapa Venezolana Original Venezuelan pancake made with sweet corn, stuffed with white cheese

& Specialty Breads

Breakfast – Mexican omelette, Belgian waffle, croissant Special Café Meals – Stuffed chicken breast, 6 oz tenderloin steak, blackened shrimp Italian – Vegetable lasagna, chicken & shrimp fettuccine Alfredo Salads – Sesame chicken salad, Tex Mex steak salad Paninis – Grilled chicken & bacon, Portobello mushroom Wraps – Maracas shark, Tandoori chicken Burgers – Beef, turkey, salmon or vegetarian Sweet Things – Opera cake, French macaroons, date squares Savoury Bites – Beef pies, cheese puffs, chicken quiche.

This café-styled restaurant and specialty bakery offers diners a comfortable yet classy dining experience. The kitchen offers American-styled breakfasts with unique teas & coffees, followed by a wide selection of light to full meals for lunch and dinner. The bakery produces a large variety of sweet and savoury items, ranging from local classics such as coconut drops and beef pies to truly decadent treats like the white chocolate almond torte and the red velvet cheesecake. Open MondaySaturday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., this restaurant is definitely worth a visit. Tel (868) 652-8912 Address Rainbow Plaza, Gulf View Link Road, Gulf View, San Fernando Email Specialty bakery, breakfast, lunch, dinner, catering for functions


Adam’s is a family-owned and -operated Bakery, Restaurant, and Gourmet Shop located in the heart of Maraval. Believing in fresh ingredients, quality products and friendly personalized customer service, Adam has developed strong relationships with his customers over the past 23 years. Adam earned the title: “Best Bakery & Coffee Shop 2013” by T&T Table Talk Awards. Visit us the next time you are in the area and experience the charm and hospitality that is ADAMS.

Tel (868) 622-2435 Address 15A Saddle Rd., Maraval, Port-of-Spain Email Breakfast, Lunch, Tea



The Panyol Place

Pabellon Criollo Shredded beef, white rice, black beans and fried plantain Tequeños Famous Venezuelan finger food sticks with white cheese wrapped in a dough then deep fried golden.

Offering a cosy and friendly environment characterized by original traditions of Venezuela, Taryn’s, The Panyol Place is a unique eating establishment, bringing an authentic and typical Venezuelan and Latin American cuisine to its clients. Professional, personal service and courtesy accompany our original fresh corn-based dishes, which are served every day. Come and enjoy a wide variety of Arepas, Empanadas, Cachapas, Hallacas and much more, with various fillings, including white cheese. Enjoy fresh fruit juices. Also, Taryn’s offers a variety of dishes for lunch on a daily basis, all with a Venezuelan flavour, such as Pabellón Criollo. Try our special soups on Saturdays. Spanish spoken. Mon – Fri: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sat: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Tel / Fax: (868) 622-3989 Address 23 Mucurapo Road, St. James, Port of Spain, Trinidad Email $-$$

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  133


Chez Leonie

Restaurant & Sports Bar

Café & Patisserie Sample Menu

Reservations (868) 221-7588 Address 23 Cipriani Boulevard, Newtown, Trinidad Email Facebook Chez Leonie Breakfast 6:00 a.m., Lunch, Dinner


Sample Menu

Sample Menu

This Fowl Is It Succulent chicken marinated in local herbs in a rich brown sauce. Tanty Tilla Fresh pork roasted in a fusion of local herbs, served with a pommecythere sauce. Talk of Cipriani Oxtails stewed the old fashioned way, in a blend of local herbs and vegetables. Tanty Merle Boneless shredded saltfish, tossed with fresh vegetables, olive oil and a twist of lemon. Pitch Lake Smoked herring, charred, deboned and tossed with fresh vegetables, olive oil and lemon. Sucouyant Black Pudding flambé with a fusion fresh Paramin herbs. Bhowghee Bhaigan (eggplant), roasted with garlic and tomatoes, in a delightful choka.

Chez Leonie is a gorgeous gingerbread-styled cafe, situated on Cipriani Boulevard, serving authentic local food with no preservatives or saturated fats. Fresh juices such as tamarind and five finger are a must. Their freshly baked bread and pastries … Ooh La La!

Mélange Restaurant Passion fruit-glazed Atlantic Pink Salmon Poached pink salmon fillet complemented by Dijonnaise Sauce. Baby Back Ribs “Fall off the bone” baby back ribs finished with barbeque guava glaze. Chargrilled Ribeye Steak Eight-ounce Ribeye chargrilled to your specifications and complemented by red onion confit. Linguini Diablo Grilled marinated chicken breast served on a bed of linguine tossed in mild marinara sauce with fresh basil and portobello mushrooms.

Appetizer Hot Wings Spicy wings marinated in a barbecue sauce Soups Chicken Corn Soup Thick, creamy, tasty creamed-style corn, seasoned with chive, with eggs and minced chicken Lunch Shrimp Jumbo shrimp served with a delicious tomato sauce, fried rice and chow mein made with carrots, christophene, sweet peppers and cabbage Chicken Succulent, tender chicken infused with herbs and spices, served with our signature mushroom sauce. Castro's Restaurant & Sports Bar invites you to come view all the latest sporting events on any of our six 50'' televisions, while partaking of our wide variety of cocktails, mocktails and juices, along with our mouth-watering Chinese cuisine and other dishes. Our Karaoke Sundays are a must-come event, along with our everyday drinks special. Castro’s takes time to ensure customers enjoy every moment by having promotions with our different suppliers. Bring the entire family, and come to Castro’s Restaurant & Pub, where "The Fun Never Stops''. We promise to ensure that you enjoy the ambiance while receiving exceptional service.

Tel (868) 223-6088; 664-2000 Address #40 Queen & Sorzano Street, Arima Email

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Mélange is an elegant 60-seater restaurant where guests enjoy a selection of international favourites fused with Caribbean bursts of flavours. The spirit of the restaurant is reflected in presentations that are unmatched, service that is friendly and indulgent, and a contemporary ambience that is both relaxed and romantic. A casual dining menu is also available. Renowned for seafood, roast rack of lamb and the best-tasting steaks on the island. Open for lunch daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. All major credit cards are accepted. Reservations (868) 628-8687 Address 40 Ariapita Avenue and Cornelio Street, Woodbrook Email Available for Functions, Takeaway, Lunch, Dinner


Al-Haaq Sample Menu Main Course We specialise in the best tasting grilled food Chicken, fish, lamb, shrimp. Sides Macaroni salad, potato salad, noodles, fried rice, fries and wedge fries, sumptuous beef and chicken burgers. All meats HALAL AL-HAAQ, THE HOME OF BAR-B-QUE and the famous “Hotter than Hot” AL HAAQ pepper-sauce.

Al-HAAQ, which means “the Truth”, had its humble beginnings on a half-barrel. It has a well-earned reputation for authentic BBQ dishes, having grown to be one of the most popular grill shops in Chaguanas. Also known for its popular Hotter Than Hot pepper sauce, Al-HAAQ is 100% local, and offers only the best grilled food, prepared from the freshest seasoning and finest ingredients in T&T. Truth be told, AL-HAAQ is THE HOME of Bar B Que.

Tel (868) 672-2903 Address Montrose Main Road, Chaguanas Piarco International Airport Outdoor Food Court, Trinidad Facebook Al Haaq Bar B Que Caribbean Ltd $ Eat In or Takeaway


Pizza, Pasta & Sandwiches Sample Menu Stone Oven Pizzas Artisanal Sandwiches and Wraps Gourmet Italian Pastas

Stoned is a locally established operation, bringing you the highest quality of Italian pizza and pasta, and an international array of deli-styled sandwiches and wraps. We utilise a traditional old-style Naples family pizza crust recipe to bring you a little slice of Italy right here in the Caribbean. We use the freshest locally sourced ingredients, and the highest quality imported ingredients. Come visit Stoned, where highly trained, courteous staff will treat you like a member of the family. Indoor dining, open-air dining, takeaway and delivery options available. Opening hours 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. Sunday – Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday

Address #71 Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, Port of Spain Instagram @stonedtrinidad

Wicked Wings Sample Menu 49 Flavours of Wings Including Strawberry, Chocolate BBQ, Mango Chow, Island Sorrel, Spicy Tamarind, Honey Garlic, and for the adventurous, try our Atomic and Suicide varieties Hand-made Beef Burgers done to your liking Trini homestyle Chicken and Chips Sides Onion rings, cassava fries, wedges and chicken rings.

Wicked Wings is a locally established franchise, modeled after American wing franchises, with a local twist on flavours. In trying to maintain the highest standards of quality and health, we offer a fried chicken battered so that it cooks perfectly in its own juices, and we do not use artificial flavours, colourings, essences or MSG. Our burgers are handmade and cooked as you like them.

Tel (868) 49WINGS (499-4647) Locations: #64 Aranguez Main Road, San Juan Opposite Medford gas station, West End, Pricesmart interchange, Chaguanas 71 Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook Instagram: wicked_wings Dine In, Take Away

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  135

3D Map: E. Matthews - Digital Art Ltd



he island of Tobago is so strategically placed geographically that it was squabbled over for centuries by the great powers of Europe.

Add to that a strong African presence, throw in a few other cultures that came later, and what you have is a society that celebrates — something, anything, everything — all year round. There are national festivals, religious festivals, and village fairs, all of which are accompanied by song, dance, food, drink, and excitement. There is ALWAYS something going on, so check our calendar of events section or ask a local. They’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. Most of the time, you can join in yourself; maybe learn a few new dance moves, listen to the drums, tap out a tune on a steel pan, and taste “blue food’ with all the fixings. So whether you feel like racing a crab or eating one, there’s a festival here for you.

Section Must-Reads 140  Heritage Festivals 143  The Tobago Place-Name Game

Tobago Heritage Festival Photo: Christopher Anderson

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  139


Festivals In Tobago, our customs are well preserved, to be kept alive and well for every generation. Enjoy a taste of living history. by Katy Young


ne of the most popular parts of the heritage festival is the re-enactment of a traditional Tobago wedding. It is designed to highlight the European influences on the island. The women wear long, colourful gowns, while the men wear black stovepipe hats, scissor-tail coats, white gloves, bow ties and umbrellas to provide their partners with shade. Hundreds come to witness the preparation of the bride, dressed all in white. This is followed by the wedding, and then the heel-and-toe procession through Moriah to the reception site. There is plenty of feasting and entertainment into the night, including dancing the reel and jig. The rituals reflect traditional values such as fertility, purity and fidelity.

Photo: Maria Nunes

Photo: Abraham Diaz



The village of Les Coteaux is synonymous with mystery. It was the landing place of the legendary African witch known as Gang Gang Sara, who, it is said, flew to Tobago to search for her family, who had been sold into slavery. The village is also thought to be the centre for Tobago’s obeah, a type of witchcraft. As you might therefore expect, these myths have been woven into an annual play performed as part of the Heritage Festival. Local actors and actresses put on the comedic presentations; characters include the commerce lady, the obeah man and the preacher. These characters draw on Tobago’s rich Amerindian, European and African influences. The tales usually involve themes such as retribution for bad behaviour and reversals of fortune.

The Seafood Festival A true celebration of the sea and the importance of fishing in Tobago. This annual festival is held in Roxborough and provides a wonderful opportunity to sample many of the local seafood dishes. Earlier in the morning there is the re-enactment of the Belmanna Riots of 1876, which saw slaves at a Roxborough Cocoa Estate rise up against bad working conditions. It celebrates the close community spirit amongst Tobago’s slave population, a way for many to survive. Corn Soup Photo: Sean Drakes


Finger Foods

Les Coteaux Folktales and Superstitions

you must try while in Tobago!

Our Tobagonian delicacies can hold their own against any out there. Taste them and see for yourself.

Crab and Dumpling Bread Pudding Benne Balls Corn Soup

Other fishing villages in Tobago also hold fêtes during the Heritage Festival, including Charlotteville and Black Rock, where there is the chance to take part in “pulling seine”. This communal hauling in of fish has been taking place in Tobago for a least one hundred and fifty years; everyone taking part gets a share of the catch. This cooperative work ethic can be traced back to Africa; the method was adopted by Tobago’s slave population after Emancipation to build homes and work the land.

Other Festivals Blue Food Festival This is a unique culinary event held every October at Bloody Bay, and which celebrates the humble root vegetable, taro, known locally as dasheen. It is known as “blue food” as it turns a blue-white colour when cooked. The term now encompasses all ground or starchy provisions, such as yam, cassava, sweet potato, breadfruit, pumpkin and plantain. Over the years Tobagonian cooks have taken the humble dasheen and turned it into arguably one of the most diverse vegetables in the region. Now it is used in appetizers, entrées, desserts, beverages and liqueurs – anything you can imagine, from lasagne to ice cream. The Blue Food Festival is the chance for local chefs to compete for prizes and show off their talent and imagination, creating new dishes with dasheen.

Goat Racing

Photo: Inken Janning

142  Festivals

Goat and Crab Racing Goat racing has the pageantry and pomp of a day at the races, like Ascot or the Grand National. There are stables, owners, trainers, “jockeys” and “steeds”, which are carefully selected and trained; ladies even dress up in their best clothes and hats. There is a lot of shouting, cheering and hollering from the crowd as they urge on their favourite goat or crustacean. Luckily for the “steeds”, the jockeys don’t ride the animals; they just run alongside them. Racing happens in both Buccoo and Mount Pleasant. It has evolved into a truly family affair, where generations meet through tradition, and visitors caught up in the festive atmosphere become honorary Tobagonians for a day.

Harvest and Fisherman’s Fetes These are at the core of community life in Tobago, where villages take turns throughout the year to come together and give thanks. Generally, it begins with a church service, before villagers go home to cook. There is the atmosphere of a village fair, with music and dance. Each household in the village throws open its doors, and visitors and friends alike are urged to sample a delicious range of food, from stewed chicken and curried crab to cassava, barbecued fish and macaroni pie. Where else could you call in at a stranger’s house and be welcomed inside for food and drink?


Photo: Aujourd’hui Studio

The Tobago Place-name Game Do you know what your name means, or where it came from? by Chris Morvan


o you know what your name means, or where it came from? Probably not – it just serves as an identifier when people want to talk about you. If you’re called John Anderson, all it means (probably) is that your first name is taken from a Biblical character, and somewhere back in time one of your forefathers was called Anders; his son was known as Anders’ son. But there are factors that can obscure perfectly obvious derivations. If you were looking for the meaning of the name Tobago, you might start by suggesting it has something to do with tobacco, but you’d probably be expecting to be shot down in flames because it couldn’t be that obvious. Oddly, though, you would be right – as far as we know. The trouble with ancient names is that few people really know where they come from or what they mean – if anything. Tobago’s capital, Scarborough, takes its name from an English seaside town. There are Scarboroughs in several countries, and it doesn’t take much imagination to see an 18th Century British general twisting his handlebar moustache and going, “Good Lord, Albert, this bay looks just like the place where I grew up in Yorkshire. A bit warmer, mind you.” The pretty little back-to-nature village of Castara sounds like a native name given to it by the Amerindians. Indeed, one theory is that it means “waterfall by the sea”, but a second opinion says it stems from a 17th Century poem by William Habingdon about his wife Lucy Herbert, whom he called Castara. (Ah, but why did he call her Castara? Because of this village in Tobago which sounds like a girl’s name? Or because it’s an ancient Greek name meaning “girl”?)

On to Bacolet. Sounds French, doesn’t it? What does it mean? But “Bas” means “low” in French, and if you compare it with the Bahamas (“Baja Mar” = “low tide” in Spanish) you could be looking for a low “colet” or Colette. A short French girl, maybe. Why not? Plymouth is simply named after the English harbour town from where the Mayflower set sail with the Pilgrim Fathers, heading for America. Not far from Tobago’s Plymouth is Arnos Vale. Now, there’s a cemetery of that name in Bristol, England, referred to in some old documents as Arno’s Vale, so maybe there was a guy named Arno. There is also a place in France called Arnos. Biblical names are obvious; simple indications of the religious fervour of Tobago residents in past centuries, so places like Bethel, Moriah and Canaan require no investigation. Belle Garden? What do you think? Black Rock? Err, maybe something to do with the colour of a large piece of volcanic material sticking up out of the sea. Charlotteville? It could be named after any military man’s muchmissed darling Charlotte. Or a woman who lived there, or Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III who was, intriguingly, rumoured to have had some African ancestry. George himself, of course, has his own name embedded in Tobagonian history, with the fort overlooking Scarborough named after him. And so to Buccoo, idyllic fishing harbour, globally important reef and goat-racing capital of the world. And what do we know about the origin of the name? Maybe it means “Rack your brains over this one, sucker.”

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  143



rom its reefs and the creatures that call it home, to battle scenes and plantations, Tobago is surprisingly diverse. Its two

coastlines — the rugged and wild Atlantic side, and the gentler Caribbean side — offer impressive scenery. How you get there is up to you: by boat, kayak or paddleboard; by horse, bike, car; or even under your own steam, marvel at the thousands of species of birds, reptiles, mammals and insects. Immerse yourself in our colourful and textured history. Take many, many pictures. And wherever you go, cool down after your tour in one of our many waterfalls, or let the waves lap away your stress. A wealth of nature, history and culture, as well as the spectacular landscape, are just waiting to be discovered! Section Must-Reads 146  Sights 148 Meet a Tobagonian 149  The Mystery Tombstone of Plymouth 150 Beaches Photo: Aujourd’hui Studio

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Sights Tobago: One coin, two sides. Which coast is your favourite... Atlantic or Caribbean?

Atlantic Coast Sights Argyle Waterfall is a beautiful three-tiered waterfall, where visitors must use local guides for the twenty-minute walk and a swim. Turn left as you cross the bridge west of Roxborough. Entrance fee: TT$50. Petit Trou lagoon, located within Tobago Plantations Beach and Golf Resort, is a wetland with a boardwalk that winds through the mangrove – a lovely scenic walk with good bird watching throughout the area. Scarborough, Tobago’s capital since 1769, is home to the Tobago Museum, housed at the “Officers’ Mess”, Fort King George. Open Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, call (868) 639-3970. Fort King George, established in 1777 and abandoned in 1854, also has the remains of a powder magazine, an old hospital, a cell block and a water tank. There are magnificent samaan trees and palms alongside the old colonial building that is now the hospital. The Old Court House, dating from 1852 and located in James Square, is used by the Tobago House of Assembly. There is also an old court house in Studley Park. The Botanic Gardens is accessed from the highway, just east of the main traffic lights.

Argyle Waterfall

Photo: Edison Boodoosingh

Fort Granby is on the beach shortly after the Studley Park quarry. Goodwood Genesis Nature Park & Art Gallery is on Windward Road between Scarborough and Roxborough. Entrance fee: TT$60 or US$10. Tel: (868) 660-4668. The Goldsborough side road leads to Rainbow Falls, a visit to which should only be attempted with a local guide. The Richmond 18th Century Great House is open to the public, with a small entrance fee, and refreshments are available. The Kendal Great House, used by the THA, is visible on the hillside just before Roxborough. The Cocoa Factory in a nearby cacao plantation is just past the entrance to Argyle Falls. Roxborough, capital of the north-east, has examples of colonial architecture in the Court and VAT buildings on the waterfront. Here begins the forest road that crosses the Main Ridge hills, with a lookout mid-way. Louis d’Or Old French Barracks is on the left side of main road, followed by the government plant nursery.

Sherman’s Auto Rentals This vibrant, service-oriented company is operated by a staff that is dedicated to the tourism industry of Tobago. We boast over twenty years in the Automobile Business and today we offer Car Rental Services on the beautiful island of Tobago. Our clients are offered top-of-the-line luxury cars or jeeps. Meeting and greeting on arrival! Tel (868) 639-2292 Fax 868) 639-3084 U.S. direct line: 1 (469) 532 2544 U.K. direct line: 1 (011) 44 (865) 594706 Address Lambeau Village,Tobago, W.I. Email

Photo: Sean Drakes

Continuing along this scenic coastal road, you can spot the King’s Bay Great House, with its cocoa sheds, a waterfall and a beach facility. Speyside Lookout has a wonderful view across Tyrell’s Bay to Goat Island and Little Tobago. Little Tobago is an uninhabited bird sanctuary, thanks to Sir William Ingram’s efforts to preserve the habitat of numerous species of exotic birds. Goat Island, also a bird sanctuary, was once visited by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, an ornithologist who wrote a book on T&T birds. The Speyside Waterwheel and Sugar Factory ruins are beside the bridge on the road to Blue Waters Inn. The Flagstaff Hill Lookout used by the forces during WW2 is as far east as you can go!

Caribbean Coast Sights Charlotteville is a quaint seaside town, with cocoa sheds and Fort Cambleton overlooking Man O’ War Bay. There is a nice walk to Pirates’ Bay. This area is ideal for diving and snorkelling. Between Charlotteville and Bloody Bay is a scenic coastal drive. Bloody Bay is where the Gilpin Trail leads up into the Forest Reserve, protected since 1765. It crosses the island to Roxborough. There are four waterfalls along the way, including Parlatuvier, a small waterfall, and Castara, another small one that only really flows in the rainy season. Continuing along the Caribbean coast is Mt. Dillon Lookout, just after Norman Parkinson’s old house. Look out for the giant silk cotton trees with their buttress roots and thorny bark. Les Coteaux Highland Waterfall (off the beaten track) can be found after coming down the big hill into Les Coteaux. Turn left, pass a lovely old church on the left and follow the paved

road, turning left again after the bridge. Park near the bridge and follow the track to the falls on foot. Franklyn/Arnos Vale Waterwheel is the site of a sugar factory built by Courlanders in 1670. The ruins include the British sugar mill that closed in 1865. The Bar and Restaurant are open from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tel: (868) 660-0815. Arnos Vale Hotel is great for bird feeding, snorkeling and looking at Amerindian artifacts. Between Plymouth and Mount Irvine are a series of small forts preserved in little landscaped areas: Fort James, Fort Bennett, Fort Milford and Rocky Point. The Courlander Monument by Janis Mintiks, 1978, was erected in memory of Latvian settlers. Courland Sugar Mill and Factory ruins are located in a residential development. En route you will pass Black Rock, which has an interesting old church with a wood-shingled facade. Adventure Farm is a privately owned nature reserve with a variety of birds, including thousands of humming birds, as well as fruit trees, lots of butterflies and iguanas. The owners serve local fruit juices, coffee and tea. Entrance fee is US$4 or TT$25. Open Monday to Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Lovely hiking trails. Grafton Bird Sanctuary was established in 1963 after Hurricane Flora, when the owner started feeding birds who had lost their habitats. The Castle Museum on Kimme Drive, Mt. Irvine, houses Luise Kimme’s sculptures. Buccoo Marine Park, including Buccoo Marsh for bird watching, Buccoo Reef and the Nylon Pool, has been a protected marine park since 1973. Bon Accord lagoon, Wetlands and No Man’s Land are areas of the park accessible by boat only. The Pigeon Point Heritage Park is a state-owned park with white sand and turquoise sea.

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meet a Tobagonian

Glenroy James

singer, songwriter, jack-of-all-trades


by Chris Morvan

here are far more talented people in the world than just those who come to prominence. For instance, there is a man who lives a quiet life in Tobago, to whom people take things when they are broken. His name is Glenroy James, and he is based in a little tin shack in Buccoo, up near the traffic lights. When I go to meet him, he has just accepted a woman’s handbag. The zip has broken, and in these parts, the answer is, “Take it to Mr. James”. Unbeknown to Glenroy, when the woman hands it over, she only walks a couple of feet, out of his sight, then hangs around, smoking a cigarette. Because she knows the real passion of Glenroy James’s life is music, and he keeps a battered acoustic guitar in the shack, which he picks up and strums to amuse himself. It’s a cheap instrument, painted a kingfisher blue, bearing the marks of its resourceful owner: nails here and there to repair it. He has a small amp to play it through, but the music of Glenroy James doesn’t often make it to the ears of the public. One December, he lent his presence to a charity event in a community centre, sharing a stage with three other singer-guitarists. As the stallholders, selling everything from cakes to jewellery, set up operations, the music was to be a background, a welcome change from the overamplified dance music that tends to thunder out on these occasions. He has a light, skillful touch, Glenroy James, and a soulful voice as sweet as coconut liqueur. He writes his

148  Touring

own songs, too, mainly poignant tales of love and loss, and those who are listening are captivated by the gentle, jazzy inflections. You know the expression, ”It’s the singer, not the song”? Well, there should be another one: ”It’s the player, not the instrument”, because the sound coming through the PA does not seem like something that beaten-up cheap guitar should produce, any more than the voice seems appropriate when it emanates from a weather-beaten man who is pushing 70. Glenroy’s first “guitar” was a cooking pan with a piece of wood nailed to it, and one string, and he would wander around his home village making sounds. He graduated to the real thing at the age of 15, spending his entire first weekly wage packet on a guitar. His mother didn’t think this was a good idea. “What are you going to eat?” she scolded. “I said, ‘You’ve been teaching me to sing since I was four, and now I can sing and play my guitar,’” he tells me. Unable to read and write, Glenroy tried a number of occupations, including tailoring and plumbing, but he was always destined to be a jack-of-all-trades. He still makes clothes, while an unerring eye enables him to turn his hand to just about anything. A saddle is broken at the Healing with Horses foundation in the village? No problem. “My main factor in life is to keep learning,” he says. “However long it takes, I’m there. I’m in business, I’m learning. And everything has its reward.”

Mystery Tombstone of Plymouth Photo: Inken Janning

The Mystery Tombstone of Plymouth T “Within these walls by Chris Morvan

he inscription on a tombstone in Plymouth has intrigued people for centuries. Touching? Sad? Romantic and tragic? Now that well over 200 years have passed, it is unlikely that anyone is going to turn up fresh evidence as to what really happened. Who was Betty Stiven? It is generally accepted that she was a black slave woman who was secretly married to her white master, Alexander Stiven, a wealthy sugar baron and slave owner. Whether they were legally married or not, the prevailing code of the time dictated that a woman automatically became the wife of the man to whom she lost her virginity. One source claims she was 12 when she became pregnant, which would have been less contentious at that time, and anyway, in the murky world of slavery, laws didn’t count for much. Betty might have become Alex’s common-law wife, since that would have involved no ceremony or paperwork. However, relevant paperwork does exist, according to one researcher, “There is an Anglican church in Scarborough, where you can find an old registry; turn to page 2, and you will see the names of three children, Alexander, Sally and Mary Stivens.” Another investigator gives her a maiden name: “Betty Scott was the wife of Alexander Stivens. She died during childbirth. Her father was a member of Tobago’s community, and was heartbroken at the death

of his favourite daughter. He buried her in a corner of his garden, and erected the large tombstone. According to local lore, Betty was buried with 800 pounds of gold and three puncheons of rum. History has it that a planter friend of his returned a few years later and stole the gold and rum. There is even speculation that there are no bodies in there. The cryptic words serve only to fuel the imagination. Why was she unaware of being a mother? One theorist has her giving birth to quadruplets, of whom one is stillborn, and the others being given to other slave women to raise. But she didn’t know this because she was drifting in and out of consciousness. The records of three babies may have given rise to the idea that one was stillborn. As for Alex being unaware that they were married, some suggest that Betty got the rich man drunk enough to “marry” her, but not too drunk to achieve this by taking her virginity. The “indulgences” she granted him don’t stretch the imagination much. Whether the mystery is solvable or not, you’re never going to crack it if you don’t try. Just ask someone where the tombstone is. There is no official guide — but then there’s not much to see. You can get close enough to read the inscription, and then you’re left with your thoughts.

are deposited the body of Mrs. Betty Stiven and her child. She was the beloved wife of Alex B Stiven. To the end of his days he will deplore her death, which happened upon the 25th November 1783 in the 23rd year of her age. She was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it; except by her kind indulgences to him.”

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Beaches Pigeon Point

Pigeon Point Heritage Park is Tobago’s premiere beach location, with its iconic jetty and thatched hut, and our only beach with the soft white sand and amazing turquoise waters of the Buccoo Reef. Located on the quieter Caribbean Sea side of the island, this is a perfect beach for families, but also for wind-surfing and kite-boarding within the protected waters of the reef. Looking west, it is also fabulous for sunset photography through the coconut trees. Reef, dive and fishing tours leave from the jetty. The entry fee is TT$18, which allows access to food, drink, toilet facilities and a selection of thatched huts for shelter.

Parlatuvier This is a quiet fishing village right after Englishman’s Bay, with a picturesque, quaint feel and lovely blue-green water. There is safe bathing and sound anchorage for fishing boats, with a sizeable jetty for landing the catches. There is a small bar and restaurant that serves lunches, but the village is not really suited for tourism.

Castara The first fishing village after Moriah, Castara developed around tourism. It is quite vibrant, and offers many options for a guesthouse on or near the beach type of holiday, with safe swimming. The smaller Little Bay offers some more privacy. There are a few shops, bars and restaurants, and at night there is a little more activity than is typically found in Tobago’s villages. Just half an hour’s drive from Scarborough.

Englishman’s Bay This is a lovely, natural beach about one hour’s drive from Crown Point. Winner of a Best Beach environmental award, it is surely the beach that any visitor would like to discover or any “yachty” would love to anchor off. Certainly, the snorkeling is great. The beach has a gentle slope and is tree-lined at the high water mark, with a stream at the far (western) end. There is a small restaurant that serves tasty local food, a handful of craft vendors and parking. Toilet facilities are limited.

Grafton Beach It is popularly called Grafton Beach, after one of the hotels located there, but its real name is Stonehaven Bay, just west of Black Rock. At low tide, you can scramble over the stones that give the bay its name, or swim in the more gentle surf at the Black Rock end, sheltered by the promontory on which Fort Bennett is built. This has some of the best snorkelling in Tobago. There is shade under the sea grape trees if you like a natural ambiance, or try Grafton Hotel’s Buccaneers Beach Bar mid-way down the beach, with its umbrella-shaded tables on a deck above the sand.

Ins & Outs Tip Whether in a shady spot or even when it’s raining, the sun is ever present. Remember your sunscreen!

150  Beaches

Store Bay

Old Grange


Pirates’ Bay

Pigeon Point Photo: Stephen Broadbridge

Store Bay One of Tobago’s most popular beaches, Store Bay is located right by the airport between Crown Point and Coco Reef hotels. This beach hosts many local events. It is very accessible even on foot, offers great swimming year-round and features craft vendors, shops, toilets, parking and a line-up of local cooks whose names are synonymous with good Tobago food. Think crab and dumpling, conch and stew pork. Everyone pays a visit to Store Bay, from residents taking their early morning sea bath to visitors who like to soak up the local vibe. Photo: Damian Luk Pat

Pigeon Point Photos: Inken Janning

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ne of the best things about vacationing in Tobago is that you can relive your experiences when you get home, with

irresistible souvenirs and mementos. Whatever you’re into, you’re sure to find something to please. Jewellery? Choices range from seashells and jumbie beads to semi-precious stones and delicate gold. Art? Our local sculptors create traditional African masks, clay figurines or abstract metal objets. If clothing is what delights you, go for a rainbow sarong or tye-dyed T-shirt ... or a true local designer original. The gourmand in you will be spoiled for choice with our range of local sweets, preserves, and liqueurs. Better yet, pick up a recipe book so you can wow your friends at your next dinner party. We could go on and on ... but we won’t. Because your vacation is about discovery, so get out there and indulge your curiosity — and your shopping appetite — for yourself.

Photo: Edison Boodoosingh

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Shopping by Katy Young


s soon as you land in Tobago, you can start shopping! The island’s famous sweets are available from stalls at the airport in Crown Point; our sugar cake (grated coconut and sugar) and Tobago bene balls (hard, crunchy balls made of molasses and sesame seeds) should give you enough energy to immerse yourself in shopping. To explore the island, you can hire a car or jeep; many providers will have a car delivered to you at the airport. From there, visit Things Natural on Milford Road, where you’ll find local craft and clothing, jewellery, paintings and herbal products. Store Bay and Pigeon Point are great places to buy souvenirs, crafted out of bamboo, wood, leather, calabash and ceramics. Shoppes @ Westcity in Canaan offers a range of stores, from clothing and shoe shops to books and soft furnishings. If you’re self-catering, you can load up on groceries at many

Photo: Damian Luk Pat

outlets. Tobago specialities to sample include locally made goat’s cheese, homemade ice cream and fresh fish and lobster. No matter what’s on your gift list, you’re sure to tick off every item, whether it’s Tobagonian artwork, souvenirs, trinkets, or forgotten items, like that much-needed sunblock, swimsuits, and sandals. Try Island Days and Tobago Charms for great quality bargains or pick up some local prints or originals from Martin Superville and other artists at The Art Gallery. Small and medium-sized malls have been sprouting up all over, where you can browse away half a day, but don’t neglect the little Mom and Pop stores, where you’re certain to find a delightful surprise you simply must have. And when you’re done, unload your bounty back at your hotel, and go soak those tired feet in the shallow waves. You deserve it!

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  155



he wonderful part about being in the holiday business – apart from the privilege of helping strangers to the island have a

really great time – is that everybody loves going on holiday, and no matter how dark the economic skies and uncertain the future, we all need a break eventually and are prepared to make sacrifices to book that alluring Caribbean “vay-kay”. Tobago’s little secret is that it is still so quiet and nature-oriented as a destination that visitors who choose to come here generally fall in love with it. And that means, of course, that the idea of actually owning a holiday home here shines as attractively as the sun that comes up each and every morning.

Photo: Stephen Broadbridge

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  157


Abraham Tobago Realty offers a large selection of Homes and Land for Sale and is very much involved in Villa Rentals and Property Management. The range and quality of their services are unequaled on the island. Now you can access accurate real estate information and personalized service from a reputable licensed professional with over 30 years experience in the Real Estate Industry in North America and the Caribbean. Abraham Tobago Realty will find Your Place in the Sun! Tel (868) 639-3325 Email

Caribbean Estates, Lands & Villas

Whether you are looking to purchase your dream home or land, a holiday villa getaway or a commercial investment, our friendly and professional staff are on hand to help you find the perfect property. Our experienced sales and rental agents have extensive knowledge about the Tobago property and rental market and can advise you in all aspects of buying, selling or renting. For beautiful properties throughout Tobago, Residential and Commercial Sales and Holiday Villa Rentals

Tel (868) 639-LAND / 639-5263 / 639-9663 Fax (868) 639-2258 Address Cor. Milford & Golden Grove Roads, Canaan, Tobago, W.I. Email

An investment here is an investment in peace and harmony with your natural surroundings.


here is quite a significant villa sector within the tourism industry on the island, thanks to a surge in foreign ownership back in the 1990s when land was plentiful, prices were low and flights full. The recession has changed the pattern of international arrivals, and land is not quite so plentiful, but villas are, and the effect of the recession on prices has been a bonus for the new investor. Resort and golf course property is available from around US$450,000 to US1.5m on developments like Samaan Grove, Mt. Irvine Golf Course on the Caribbean coast, and Tobago Plantations beach and golf resort on the windward Atlantic coast. There are also smaller villa developments that are very attractive to the investor, like Sanctuary Resort near Grafton, with townhouses in the $300,000 range, or nearby Villas at Stonehaven, an up-market setting for a clubhouse, restaurant and 14 villas priced around $900,000. Investing in the Bacolet area offers a much wider range of prices since it is an older established residential part of the island, so you get the chance to buy a house as well as a ”villa”, and locations vary from coastal to hillside, but most with a constant breeze and a view. For true nature lovers who relish the absence of street lights and amenities such as shopping and restaurants, the ecodevelopment at Englishman’s Bay will be alluring. There are a scattering of ten- to twenty-year-old villas on the slopes of the rain forest with prices from $460,000 to almost $1m. An investment here is an investment in peace and harmony with your natural surroundings. Just an hour’s drive from the

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airport, Tobago is the perfect foil to visitors who lead lives of stress and madness in North America or Europe! Thinking of buying a holiday home? Find a recommended professional real estate agent and give them your budget. They will put together a shortlist that suits your pocket, and with at least a day’s notice they should be able to make appointments for you to view. In high season, this gets a little more difficult, since the properties are often rented out. If you’re a foreign national, your investment is regulated by the Foreign Investment Act of 1990, which allows you to buy up to one acre in specified locations. The purchase procedure involves making an offer, accepted in writing, then you sign a Sale Agreement and make a 10% deposit into an escrow account, with completion 90 days later. During the 90 days your local attorney will search title and draw up the deed of conveyance — or assignment in the case of leasehold land. Leasehold title is common since many villas are located in gated communities with common services and areas that are centrally maintained for the benefit of all owners. Formalities include showing proof of funds entering the local banks, and an application must be made for a licence to own land in Tobago. Whether local or foreign, all parties to a transaction must provide due diligence via proof of identity and source of funds, in compliance with internationally accepted anti-money laundering legislation. With Tobago about to enter a new period of tourism growth, what better moment to snap up your home in the sun at pre-boom prices. Find a good property manager and jump in….the water is very warm!



he first time you hear a Tobagonian speak, you’d think we have music in our very bones … and you’d be right. Soca, reggae,

calypso, jazz, drums … it’s there in every word. And you can hear it echo onstage and through the speakers everywhere you choose to “lime”, because in Tobago if there’s no music, it’s not a party. Dress up for sophisticated sipping in our luxury hotel lounges, or get “rootsy” in denim and flats at our outdoor “brams”. (In T&T that’s our word for a no-holds-barred, whoop-it-up, drink-from-thebottle party, the kind you’ll remember for the rest of your life.) Don’t wear yourself out too much, though. Remember, you’re hiking in the morning….

Section Must-Reads


162  Tobago Jazz Experience 164 Fashion Week 168 Sports 170 Diving

Tobago Jazz Festival Tessanne Chin Photo: Abraham Diaz

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Tobago Jazz

Experience by Jhodie Skeete


ourism brings people together, and one way this has been achieved is through the Tobago Jazz Experience (TJE). The nine-day festival has helped to strengthen relationships among businesses, and assisted in marketing Tobago as a tourist destination. TJE has also aided in the distribution of economic benefits by moving business opportunities into local communities through increased visitors and spending. The festival is organised by the Tobago House of Assembly’s Division of Tourism and Transportation. It is in its sixth edition, and has grown, spreading throughout eight villages on the island, with free access to most of the village jazz events.

Tobago Jazz Festival - John Legend Photo: Inken Janning


Photo: Edison Boodoosingh

Verdine White - Earth Wind & Fire

Photo: Inken Janning

Tobago had more than 40,000 arrivals for the Jazz Week that ran from April 19 to 27 in 2014.


he popularity of the annual event resulted in sold-out flights and ferry tickets, and a 95 % occupancy rate on the island, as stated by Chris James, President of the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association. Extra flights and sailings for interisland travel were also arranged in order to accommodate more travellers to the island, and even these were sold out. New York-born Jamaican reggae star Tarrus Riley kicked off the Festival with Jazz in the East at the seaside town of Speyside. Riley said he came “to give smiling, live-in-concert vibes; reggae music in fine style,” and he did just that with hit after hit like Gimme Likkle One Drop, and his signature piece, She’s Royal. The crowd of over 11,000 people at the Speyside Recreation Grounds begged for more as Riley drove them into a frenzy. The exciting line-up of performers kept the Caribbean energy flowing. Blaxx and Roy Cape All Stars commanded the stage with powerful soca hits Leh Go and No Getaway, and Rhapsody Next Generation amplified the atmosphere with rhythmic blends of modern steelpans and saxophones. The Jazz trail continued to Signal Hill, where young and upcoming performers showed their musical talents. Hillside Jazz, as it’s now known, featured Kapri, who is an emerging international singing sensation, currently out of Canada with Tobagonian parentage. Kapri wowed the audience with her jazz funk dance moves and lyrics. The Milford Road Esplanade was host to Waterfront Jazz, where artistes performed simultaneously on multiple stages stretched along the Scarborough waterfront. Each audience got a taste of spoken word, instrumentals, solos, duets and full bands. Visitors chose between relaxing on the beach, seine-pulling, and sampling local foods at Northside Jazz in Castara. Live entertainment featured a mix of reggae and soca from Ja Melody, Benjai and Ziggy Rankin among other local acts. Tickets were twice sold out, in large part due to headline act John Legend for the main event, World Music Night at the Pigeon Point Heritage Park. Over 10,000 people were entertained by

the nine-time Grammy Award winner, who delivered a flawless performance of a string of his international hits, including Stay With You and All Of Me. Local crossover band, Dil-e-Nadan, R&B singer Brandy, and Iwer George also performed at that event. Brandy commented that she loved the island and was delighted to be in Tobago, and Legend later tweeted, “Thank you Tobago!! What a Night #TobagoJazz.” TJE’s newest addition to its calendar, Youthopia, headlined with NBC’s The Voice winner, Jamaican Tessanne Chin. Chin delighted the crowd with favourite numbers, When I’m With You, Redemption Songs and Secret Hideaway. That night was dedicated to the celebration of youth and music, and young performers shared their vocal and instrumental talents in varied genres, including soca, reggae, soul and jazz. Also featuring were the effervescent Olatunji, R’Kardo Stevon, Erphaan Alves, Gerard Balfour, and DJs Journei, Krush, DJ Red and Private Ryan. Soul masters Earth, Wind and Fire proved their versatility with a fusion of jazz, pop, rock and funk at TJE’s finale, Beach Jazz Fiesta. The crowd was also swayed by multi-platinum singer/ songwriter Keyshia Cole, saxophonist Tony Paul and vocalists Genevieve, and soloist Chrycee and the band Soleil, both of St. Lucia. But the Tobago Jazz Experience is not just for the fun, dance and music. It brings people and communities together with adventures like tasting golden-brown breads and pastries baked in a dirt oven in Castara, tree-house dining in Speyside, goat and crab racing at Buccoo and Mt. Pleasant, and much more. Secretary of Tourism and Transportation, Tracy DavidsonCelestine, remarked, “The Tobago Jazz Experience is about celebrating our culture and our unique and historical experiences here in beautiful Tobago.” Davidson-Celestine also said “The Division has also been consistent in maintaining quality artistes to perform at the Tobago Jazz Experience, and it is our intention to continue to make it an all-inclusive event: accessible and attainable for the jazz enthusiast.”

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  163

Fashion Week Fashion is fast becoming a growing industry in Tobago. by Katy Young


he island’s natural beauty and fascinating culture inspires unique designs which are certainly having an impact on the region’s catwalks. At Caribbean Fashion Week 2014 in Jamaica, Tobago was well represented with Cee Wee Designs, Diamond Linton, Tobago Gyul, Kirsten Benjamin, I Say U Designs, Ted Arthur of Ted Arthur Leather Craft, Lydia ArneaudLawrence, L.O.C.K Creations, Delia Alleyne, and Juliet Bernard with her Krystal’s Fashion label. Three months later, New York Fashion Week saw Charmaine Spicer and Delia Alleyne fly the flag for Tobago. Spicer, who although born on the island is now based in Florida, is known for her signature “hiked-up” cotton dresses and floral, feminine baby doll frocks. Alleyne, who grew up on Tobago, presented her Save the Buccoo Reef collection at the Fashion Gallery. The collection has been described as embodying “oceanic hues in their brightest and most saturated form, with iridescent jewel tones as accents”, with the use of iridescent black chiffon fabric giving “her collection a different level of depth and elegance.” Having started five years ago, Tobago Fashion Weekend (TFW) has now become THE place for local, regional and international designers to showcase their couture. For the first time last year, TFW was held in the island’s capital, Scarborough, rather than the picturesque backdrop of Pigeon Point Heritage Park. It focused on a more “industrial” feel, showcasing a “galvanised look” which brought fashion to the forefront for consumers. The theme of this year’s event was “Stone Pussy Dressed” (SPD) Redefined. The event’s organiser, Designers United Stores, has used a different colloquial Tobago phrase each year as a theme for the three days of shows. “Stone Pussy Dressed” is a phrase used to describe someone whose fashion choices are so elaborate or so stylish that they stand out from the crowd. SPD Redefined featured designers such as Dexter Jennings (Trinidad), Romero Bryan (United Kingdom), Tabi Just (USA), Ris Anne Martin (Trinidad & Tobago), House of Byfield (Netherlands), Rhion Romany (Trinidad), Dominic Hutch (Trinidad), Shaun GriffithPerez (Trinidad), Rhian Ramkissoon Honamic Designs (Trinidad/Canada) and Claudia Pegus (Trinidad). The work of the TFW’s Art to Commerce Programme was also showcased. The artwork on the fabrics and T-shirts in the collection was painted by secondary students in Tobago. The programme aims to expose students, first hand, to the fashion industry. The work of the students highlighted the amazing wealth of creative talent amongst the island’s budding fashion designers.

Photo: Edison Boodoosingh

164  Fashion

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Weddings by Katy Young

Make your wedding day a dream come true and choose to have your wedding in Tobago, one of the most romantic settings in the Caribbean.


rom intimate ceremonies involving just the two of you, to small affairs with a few guests or larger celebrations with family and friends, the island is the perfect location for your special day. There are a range of villas, boutique hotels and resorts that can cater to your every need, depending on the type of wedding you want. Sandy, golden beaches, lush tropical gardens overlooking the ocean, or a formal setting; it is all within your grasp, and your budget. Some couples have even tied the knot underwater, where the island’s colourful marine life make unique guests. Pigeon Point Heritage Park, one of the most famous beaches in the Caribbean, now has a specific wedding venue for your special day. Tobago’s natural beauty and warm, welcoming atmosphere makes it the ideal place to begin your married life together. Remote villas or the smaller resorts offer you privacy, and many of the hotels offer excellent rates, especially if you choose to get married there, too. There are many activities you can do together to mark the start of your journey together. For honeymooning couples there are romantic cruises, where you can watch the orange sun set on the ocean; secluded beaches with lush palm trees to picnic under; picturesque waterfalls to swim in on the edge of the rainforest; or quaint restaurants for candlelit dinners. Whatever the style of your wedding, it is advisable to book early. You can organise everything yourself or in conjunction with the hotel/villa. Many of the island’s hotels specialise in wedding packages. Alternatively, hire a professional wedding planner. Make travel arrangements well in advance, especially if your wedding falls on a public holiday. Make sure all the flight and ferry tickets and accommodation are booked before sending out your invitations. For wedding memories that you will treasure forever, look no further than Tobago.

Photo: Inken Janning

Sports by Sheldon Waithe

With its idyllic setting for year round sporting activities, Tobago continues its growth as the perfect sporting destination.


oreign visitors are latching onto what locals have known for some time; that the little island of Tobago is blessed with the geography, topography, oceans, forests, rivers and winds, to facilitate most sports. With brand new facilities in place — including a recently laid world class surface athletics track — and other projects in the pipeline, Tobago is combining modern sporting requirements with its unspoilt beauty.

Photo: Stephen Broadbridge

These high profile events offer a glimpse of Tobago’s sporting capacity, for every international competitor swinging his clubs in tropical splendour, kicking a ball in the perfect climate, pedalling past palm trees to victory, or cutting through the water at high speed aided by Caribbean breeze, there is the local sportsman and woman who knows that quite simply, that there are fewer places better suited to play sport.

Great Race

Photo: Ronald Daniel

Tobago International Cycling Classic Photo: Inken Janning

Tobago Sports Review 2014


he seas surrounding the island offer ample sporting reward, above and below the waves. For the nation’s experienced and competitive anglers, pride of place goes to The Tobago International Game Fishing Tournament, held in the waters off Charlotteville. In May 2014, the second day of the tournament alone yielded some 13,000 lbs worth of caught fish, which are, of course, released back into the water immediately after being weighed. They range from the expected blue marlin, to wahoo and sailfish. There was also the bait of one million TT dollars on offer for the largest marlin caught that weighed over 1,000 lbs in the annual Marlin Madness competition. Alas, it was not for want of trying; there was a seven hundred and seventy-five pound Marlin caught on the first day of competition, while the record for total billfish caught was smashed, emphasising Tobago’s bountiful waters. “Team Gold Spoon” took first place. Under perfect skies in late June, the Dragon Boat Regatta attracted the best teams to Pigeon Point. As they have done frequently throughout the year, Team Aquaholics came out on top, beating the other twenty-one entrants, including six Tobago-based teams. The aptly named Festival of Wind brought a colourful array of sails (kite-boarding and windsurfing) in all shapes and sizes to Pigeon Point during four days in early March. Straight out races, along with the freestyle competition, thrilled onlookers, with the Venezuelan contingent scooping first place in both events. In mid-August, Total Monster destroyed the field that left Trinidad barely an hour earlier, crossing the line in 1:08:50 and sparking off the usual Great Race weekend parties. In a first for Tobago, two matches for the Caribbean 50 Over cricket tournament were held on the island at Shaw Park, attracting big crowds, who left elated, having seen T&T beat the Leeward Islands. The second match fell prey to cricket’s bête noire, rain, but given the successful hosting, the event will surely return. One of Tobago’s beloved sons continued in his endeavour to raise the profile and standard of his two favourite

sports, football and golf. The annual Dwight Yorke Invitational Golf Tournament continues its success as an initiative for sports tourism, drawing in stars from the world of sport, as they tested the Plantations course. The man himself has not rested on the laurels of the golf competition, as he announced the exciting news that in June 2015 the British Airways Tobago Football Legends Challenge will take place in conjunction with the golf. Sixty-four former football greats will play at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, and far from being simply a spectator feast, the legends in attendance will also be working with community outreach programmes throughout Tobago. The superbly organised Massy Rainbow Cup Triathlon was held in July, attracting global competitors for one of the most difficult events on the calendar, yet held in the picturesque surroundings of Courland Bay. Frenchman Gaetan Fetaud led a clean sweep for the foreign triathletes in the main event, the Olympic distance, while Briton Elinor Thorogood did the same in the women’s event. This triathlon is now truly on the global map for the serious athlete, but includes novel events to grow the sport, such as the minimal distance ‘Try-a-Tri’ competition, held in a friendly atmosphere. As ever, the Tobago International Cycling Classic closed the curtain on the major sporting year for the island. Now in its 28th glorious year, its status grows with each edition. The schedule remains the same; a four-stage race followed by the Union Cysliste International (UCI — the sport’s global federation) ranked one-day classic, over some of the most testing terrain through and over Tobago’s mountainous centre, along breezy coastlines and, of course, in the blistering heat (from the sun as well as the racers!). Local boy and three-time winner, Emile Abraham, represented with aplomb, but the stage race was taken by the USA’s Winston David. It was Colombia for the second year running in the one-day UCI race, Oscar Pachon emulating last year’s victor, Jaime Ramirez.

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Scuba Diving in Tobago by Derek Chung


obago is blessed with superior underwater flora and fauna, due to its northerly position to Venezuela’s Orinoco delta, thus benefiting from the nutrient-rich waters of the Guyana current, yet enjoying clear water and stable salinity and temperature, to foster coral growth. A perfect opportunity for the visitor to dive on lush coral reefs, rocky reefs with colourful encrusting sponges and coral, or fascinating shipwrecks, all of which harbour an abundance of marine life.

Photo: Stephen Broadbridge

Being in the Caribbean, you’d expect to find angelfish, butterfly fish, trumpet fish and the like, but in Tobago you’ll be amazed by their sheer size. But Tobago’s diving is much more than large French angels; it’s about turtles, sharks, cobias, moray eels, stingrays, eagle rays and mantas. It’s about shortnosed baitfish, octopi, cornet fish and garden eels. It’s about sharing stories on the dive boat, making friends, and enjoying a cold beverage at day’s end.

Undersea Tobago Undersea Tobago was formed in 1997 and soon thereafter introduced PADI scuba experiences for kids aged six and over, and the use of Nitrox to Tobago. Our PADI instructors boast 10,000+ dives and their knowledge ensures a rewarding underwater experience. Explore Tobago’s reefs and wrecks with us, where personal attention meets adventure. Located at the Coco Reef Resort.

Photo: Stephen Broadbridge

Undoubtedly, Tobago’s reputation as a world class Caribbean dive destination is well deserved.


peyside has earned a reputation for its lush coral growth, and is home to dives such as Black Jack Hole and Keleston Drain, located on the eastern side of Little Tobago. The former is a lush, sloping coral reef with expanses of shelving coral, where clouds of Creole wrasse, brown chromis and black durgeons swim about, suspended above the nurse sharks tucked within the shelter of the reef. At Keleston Drain, you can find one of the largest brain corals in the world, at an easily accessible depth of 15m/50ft. At a slightly greater depth, (24m/80ft) catch a glimpse of juvenile black-tip reef sharks hunting along the reef’s edge, or witness garden eels making their home in the sand. Other signature dives include the Bookends, a bit challenging during the water entry, as it requires a fairly rapid descent in order to avoid being swept off the reef, and to attain the “bowl”. However, you’re rewarded with the sight of large tarpon feeding below the cloud-like white water swirling above. At the Japanese Gardens, currents bear divers through the colourful growth of vase, orange elephant ear and yellow tube sponges before whisking them through the Kamikaze Cut, to surface in front of Goat Island. Pay particular attention to the dive briefings in Speyside, especially when there are currents present, as these can challenge those with less experience. Dive sites in the South offer the island’s best wreck diving, including the wreck of the Maverick; she started life as the

Tel (868) 631-2626 Mobile (868) 680-4209 Address c/o Coco Reef Resort and Spa, Store Bay and at Ocean Mist Apartments, Crown Point Email Web

Scarlet Ibis, serving as one of the ferries in the 70s that provided a vital sea link from Trinidad. It was sunk by the Association of Tobago Dive Operators (ATDO) to create a colourful artificial reef and playground for divers. Perfect for students pursuing their Advanced Open Water certification, and a great introduction to safe wreck penetration. Visit the shallower Mt. Irvine Wall, a rock reef where guides search for short-nosed batfish, elusive octopi, hawksbill turtles, stingrays and eagle rays. On the Atlantic side, Diver’s Dream and Diver’s Thirst are favourites, with aesthetically pleasing sand valleys and coral-encrusted rock ledges. You’re likely to visit Flying Reef, a gentle drift dive along a ruler-straight reef running parallel to the airport. Swimming amongst a huge school of Bermuda chub provides a distraction from searching out the many lobsters, green moray eels and stingrays. September and October are best for a dive on the SS Kioto, torpedoed in 1942 by U-514. Built in 1918, this British merchantman was transporting chrome ore when she was sent to the bottom. She lies in 12m/40ft, and her recognisable features include winches, boilers and propeller. Whilst not carrying munitions, she was used for bombing practice by the USAF, who were responsible for anti-submarine patrols in the Caribbean during WWII, and several unexploded bombs can be found scattered around her remains, so be careful what you touch! Undoubtedly, Tobago’s reputation as a worldclass Caribbean dive destination is well deserved. Whether experienced, novice or first time diver, be sure to contact one of the members of the Association of Dive Operators (www. when planning to take the plunge into Tobago’s underwater realm.

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n Tobago, we have a wide range of accommodations for you to choose from; large, 3 and 4-star hotels; smaller, more intimate

ones, or a wide choice of guesthouses, if you want to experience what it is really like living amongst our people. If you are more self-sufficient, there are a great number of lovely private villas you can book. There is truly something for every taste and expectation, and you are sure to enjoy your time in paradise, regardless of where you put your head at night. Tobago’s rich culture provides many festivals and activities throughout the year. We’re also known for our “sweet hand”, and using locally grown produce with tantalizing tropical tastes. All we ask is that you try it, because that is what holidays are for: having a unique experience in a culture you know little about. Just choose where you want to rest your head, and come….


by the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA) Storebay Photo: Sean Drakes

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The Magdalena Grand in Tobago has everything you want. This new oceanfront resort gives you a choice of swimming pools, patios, beach, spa, tennis, 5-star PADI dive centre, and championship golf. There are six different choices of bars and restaurants, and the dining experience couldn’t be better. The resort’s 200 rooms and suites have incredible views, and families love our kids’ club and playground, which entertain our smallest guests. Enjoy all the wonderful amenities of Magdalena Grand and escape from the everyday. Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort has it all. Discover the “True Caribbean”.

Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort

Blue Waters Inn

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Tel (868) 660-8500 Fax (868) 660-8503 Address Tobago Plantations Estate, Lowlands, Tobago Email Blue Waters Inn is the best kept secret in Tobago. We are surrounded by 46 acres of lush greenery, and every room faces the turquoise waters of Batteaux Bay. This beachfront, boutique resort has everything you need for a true escape. Our luxurious rooms are literally steps from the sea and sand, and we have added a stunning infinity pool and Jacuzzi. We are just minutes from some of the most exciting dive spots in the Caribbean, and we have our own state of the art PADI 5 Star dive facility on site. In addition, we have completely renovated the restaurant and bar area, adding an expansive waterfront deck, and implementing an exciting new menu, from breakfast to dinner! If you haven’t discovered us yet, there has never been a better time to get in on the secret! Tel (868) 660-4341, (868) 660-2583 Fax (868) 660-5195 Address Batteaux Bay, Speyside, Tobago, West Indies Email

Here in the unspoilt natural beauty of Tobago, on the west coast of the island, overlooking the Caribbean Sea is The Villas at Stonehaven, a benchmark luxury villa resort, comprising 14 spacious three bedroom villas, each with private infinity plunge pool and sited to ensure privacy. Spend lazy days in lush tropical landscape with kaleidoscopic ocean views, spectacular sunsets and clear starry nights. Awaken to the dawn chorus and the sounds of the distant ocean lapping the shore. Desiring company, stroll down to The Pavilion Restaurant for cocktails and where you will find an eclectic mix of local and international culinary delights infused with local flavours.

The Villas at Stonehaven

Tel (868) 639-0361 Fax (868) 639-0102 Address The Villas at Stonehaven Black Rock, Tobago Email

The poetry and romance of the Caribbean reveal themselves in glorious abundance at Sandy Point Beach Club, the only timeshare resort in Trinidad & Tobago…a vantage from which to witness the eternal courtship between sun and sea. Forty-six well-appointed apartments, ranging in size from studios to fourbedroom units, are each designed and equipped to ensure an enjoyable, relaxing stay in Tobago, whether you plan to scuba dive, golf, explore Tobago’s rainforest reserve or just kick back and relax in the sun or in the quiet sanctuary of your holiday habitat.

Sandy Point Beach Club

Resort Tel (868) 639-0820/0877, 631-8975/ 8976 Fax (868) 631-8231 Address 68-70 Store Bay Local Road, Crown Point, Tobago Email Set on seven acres of beautifully landscaped grounds overlooking Store Bay, one of Tobago’s finest beaches. Within walking distance of the airport and the well-known Pigeon Point beach. Accommodation comprises studio, cabana and one-bedroom apartments. All rooms have ocean view, kitchenette, bathroom, hair dryer, cable television and telephone. The Blue Moon poolside restaurant and Rumbar cater for all your food and beverage requirements. Recreational facilities include swimming pool, tennis courts, table tennis and shuffleboard, and there are free Internet facilities for our guests. From our grounds you can walk down steps that lead to Store Bay beach.

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Tel (868) 639-8781/3 Fax (868) 639-8731 Email

The colonial-style villa at Blue Haven is the setting for the romantic restaurant Shutters on the Bay. The restaurant overlooks palm-fringed Bacolet Beach and the excellent menus combine international gourmet cuisine with West Indian spices. Seasonal entertainment provided. “The Blue Haven Hotel has the best restaurant on the island. The kitchen produces modern fusion cuisine using local ingredients...”(Condé Nast Traveler).

Blue Haven Hotel

Tel (868) 660-7500 Fax (868) 660-7900 Address Bacolet Bay, Tobago Email

Under the brand name Sugar Mill Suites, Paradise Rentals Limited supports the management and rentals of Tobago Plantations Beach and Golf Resort properties. These luxury vacation rentals are ideal for tropical resort living. You can choose between our comfortable, luxurious modern “homes”, or elegant old-world condos and charming villas. All of them offer you the modern conveniences and the star-quality service you expect from a top-class resort hotel. Find out more about the Sugar Mill Suites, Condos, Villas and Bungalows to choose the right space for your stay with us… Life is always sweeter at The Sugar Mill Suites!


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Tel (868) 631-1054, 639-8000 Address Lowlands Email

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Amazing, fun-filled vacations begin at Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort. Nestled on five acres of exquisitely landscaped property the VIEW of the ocean and coastline is captivating and warmly welcomes you to the warmth of island life. It’s LOCATION on the south-western side of the island in the Crown Point area, five minutes away from the ANR Robinson International Airport, and 10 minutes from beaches, historical sites and other amenities is unmatched. ACTIVITIES include diving, hiking, swimming, and relaxing spa treatments. Facilities comprise of two restaurants, two pools — a free-form pool with a children’s pool — and a diving pool; and a Jacuzzi. Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort ... Your Tropical Destination.


Tel (868) 671-9143, 671-0631 Fax (868) 665-9236 Administration Office Suite 102, 21B Gaston Street, Montrose, Chaguanas, Trinidad Tel (868) 639-8512-3 Fax (868) 639-9605 Address Crown Point, Tobago, W.I. Email The Johnston Apartments in Tobago are magnificently located on Store Bay Beach, moments away from Crown Point International airport, nightclubs, shopping and the island’s best food. This vacation destination is ideal in every way. You can relax and unwind in our spacious one-bedroom apartments overlooking the sea. Each room is fully air-conditioned and selfcontained, complete with a modern kitchen. Cleaning services are provided daily. Whilst staying at Johnston Apartments, you have the use of Crown Point Beach Hotel’s pool, restaurant, tennis court and conference facilities. The natural and manmade wonders will make your stay unforgettable.


Tel (868) 639-8915, 631-5160/2 (TOBAGO) Tel (868) 627-1927 (POS) Fax (868) 631-5112 Address Store Bay, Tobago Email Escape to luscious Tobago and make Storebay Holidays your haven from the hustle and bustle. Enjoy our home-away-fromhome atmosphere while the island breezes refresh your soul. Ideal for relaxation, families, friends, honeymooners, or the single adventurer. Our rooms include: • 20 apartments • Suites for up to 8 persons • Self-catering apartments for up to 4 persons • Studios for 2 persons Our self-contained apartments are equipped with air-conditioned bedrooms, hot and cold water and cable TV.

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Tel (868) 639-8810 Fax (868) 639-7507 Address Store Bay Local Road, Crown Point, Tobago, W.I. Email

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Sunspree Resort delights guests with luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining, and close proximity to some of Tobago’s exotic beaches. The resort is five minutes’ walk from Crown Point International Airport. This Caribbean getaway boasts 19 rooms, each offering a view of either our garden or our swimming pool. Different room and suite categories accommodate families of all sizes. Sunspree Resort is suitable for those who crave action and adventure, those interested in relaxation, or even those who are looking for romance. We even provide an idyllic paradise where all your wedding and honeymoon dreams can come true. Sunspree Resort has won a Certificate of Excellence 2013 from Trip Advisor.

Sunspree Resort Ltd.

Tel (868) 631-5195/ 631-5196 Fax (868) 631-5195 Address #40 Store Bay Local Road, Crown Point, Tobago Email Why more people settle for Surf Side: The nearby beaches – Store Bay and Pigeon Point; the surrounding restaurants and groceries; comfortable rooms, spacious kitchens, private baths, pools, cable TV, lavish porches; homely atmosphere; security; best location in Crown Point. Poolside villas. Similar accommodation at our associate company, PAR-MAY-LA’S INN, 53 Picton St., Newtown, Port of Spain. Tel: (868) 628-2008 Fax: (868) 628-4707.

Surf Side Hotel

Tel Weekdays: (868) 639-9702 Tel/Fax Nights and weekends: (868) 639-0614 Email This elegantly furnished apartment building is a mere 5 minutes’ drive from the Arthur N. R. Robinson International Airport and 10 minutes from Scarborough. Guest accommodation features 10 air-conditioned, one-bedroom apartments with king, queen or single beds, fully equipped kitchenette, cable TV and free WiFi. The quiet village setting makes us the ideal place to stay when visiting for business and/or pleasure.

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Reservations 727-2563 Fax 631-5673 Address Corner George & Guy Streets, Canaan, Tobago Email

Hotels & Guest Houses in Tobago HOTEL Location TELEPHONE E-MAIL International Access Code (868) ADVENTURE ECO VILLAS Plymouth 639-2839/797-2940 ARTHUR’S BY THE SEA Crown Point 639-0196 BACOLET BEACH CLUB Bacolet 639-2357 BANANAQUIT APARTMENTS Crown Point 368-3539 BELLEVISTE APARTMENTS Crown Point 639-9351 BEVERLY’S OASIS SUITES Lowlands 639-7928 / BLUE HAVEN HOTEL Bacolet Bay 660-7400, 660-7500 BLUE WATERS INN Speyside 660-4341 CANOE BAY BEACH RESORT Lowlands 631-0367 CASTARA RETREATS ECO RESORT Castara CHOLSON CHALETS Charlotteville 639-8553 COCO REEF RESORT & SPA Crown Point 639-8571 CROWN POINT BEACH HOTEL Crown Point 639-8781-3 reservations@crownpointbeach GOLDEN THISTLE Crown Point 639-8521, 639-7060 HALF MOON BLUE Bacolet 639-3551 HOPE COTTAGE GUEST HOUSE Scarborough 639-2179 IRON HILL GUEST HOUSE Whim 635-0725 ISLAND INVESTMENTS Shirvan Road 639-0929, 639-9901, 639-9297 JOHNSTON APARTMENTS Store Bay 639-8915, 631-5160-2 K’S KONDO’S Bon Accord 361-0299 KARIWAK VILLAGE HOLISTIC HAVEN Crown Point 639-8442 AND HOTEL MAGDALENA GRAND BEACH RESORT Lowlands 660-8500 MAHOGANY VILLAS Mt Irvine 718-4306 MAN-O-WAR BAY COTTAGES Charlotteville 660-4327 MARIE’S COTTAGES Mt Irvine 639-0233 MILLER’S GUEST HOUSE Buccoo 660-8371, 772-5609 MJ’S HOLIDAY VILLAS Bon Accord 765-8602 MT. IRVINE BAY HOTEL & GOLF CLUB Mt. Irvine 639-8871-3 PALM HAVEN Patience Hil 660-7307 PAPA JOE’S PLACE Canaan 727-2563 RAINBOW NATURE RESORT Crown Point 660-4755 reservations@therainbownature REX TURTLE BEACH Scarborough 639-2851 ROVANEL’S RESORT Bon Accord 639-9666 reservation@rovanelsresort SANDY POINT BEACH CLUB Crown Point 639-0820, 639-0877 reservations@sandypointbeach SANDY’S BED & BREAKFAST Scarborough 639-2737 SEAHORSE INN Black Rock 639-0686 STORE BAY HOLIDAY RESORT Crown Point 639-8810 SUGAR MILL SUITES Lowlands 631-1054, 639-8000 SULLIVAN’S COURT Buccoo 639-0891 SUNSPREE RESORTS Crown Point 631-5196

WEBSITE www.arthursbythesea.travelto www.crownpointbeach – – – – www.therainbownature www.rovanelsresort www.sandypointbeach

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Hotels & Guest Houses in Tobago HOTEL Location TELEPHONE E-MAIL WEBSITE International Access Code (868) SURF SIDE HOTEL Crown Point 639-0614 TARA’S BEACH HOUSE Lambeau 639-1566 THE HUMMINGBIRD HOTEL Crown Point 635-0241 THE PALMS VILLAS RESORT Bon Accord 635-1010 THE VILLAS AT STONEHAVEN Black Rock 639-0361 TOBAGO BEACH VILLAS Black Rock 718-4306 TOBAGO PLANTATIONS RESORT Lowlands 631-1054 TOP O’ TOBAGO VILLAS Plymouth 639-3166 TOP RANKING HILLVIEW GUESTHOUSE Speyside 660-4904, 682-3622 TOUCAN INN & BONKERS Crown Point 639-7173, 639-0332, 639-8993 TROPIKIST BEACH HOTEL & RESORT Crown Point 639-8512-3 TURTLE VIEW GUEST HOUSE Black Rock 639-1435 VILLA BEING Arnos Vale 676-6165 VILLA ROSE OF SHARON APARTMENTS Bon Accord 631-8793 – VILLAS OF TOBAGO Bon Accord 639-9600 VIOLA’S PLACE Lowlands 639-9441

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Hotels & Guest Houses in Trinidad HOTEL Location TELEPHONE E-MAIL WEBSITE International Access Code (868) ACAJOU HOTEL Grande Rivière 670-3771 ALICIA’S HOUSE St. Ann’s 623-2802 ALICIA’S PALACE St. Ann’s 621-1017 ASA WRIGHT NATURE CENTRE & LODGE Arima 667-4655, 667-5162 BOMBSHELL BAY LUXURY VILLA RENTAL Chaguaramas 672-6549 CARA SUITES HOTEL & CONFERENCE Claxton Bay 659-2271/2 CENTRE COBLENTZ INN BOUTIQUE HOTEL Cascade 621-0541-4 CORAL COVE MARINA HOTEL Chaguaramas 634-2040, 634-2244 COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT Port of Spain 627-5555 CREWSINN HOTEL & YACHTING CENTRE Chaguaramas 634-4384/5 CULTURE CROSSROADS INN St. James 622-8788, 680-7678 D’HYLITE INN Maraval 628-2732, 622-5165 FORTY WINKS INN Newtown 622-0484, 628-0316 HILTON TRINIDAD AND CONFERENCE Belmont 624-3211 CENTRE HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HOTEL & SUITES Trincity 669-6209 HOTEL NORMANDIE St. Ann’s 624-1181 HYATT REGENCY TRINIDAD Port of Spain 623-2222 INN AT 87 Newtown 622-4343 INNA CITI PLACE Woodbrook 622-0415 J&J BIG YARD GUESTHOUSE Toco 670-2117 KAPOK HOTEL St. Clair 622-5765 L’ORCHIDÉE BOUTIQUE HOTEL St. Ann’s 621-0618, 621-0063 LE GRAND ALMANDIER Grande Rivière 670-2294, 670-1013 LE SPORTEL INN Tunapuna 299-0646 MONIQUE’S Maraval 628-2351, 628-3334 MT. PLAISIR ESTATE HOTEL Grande Rivière 670-1868 PAR MAY LA’S INN Port of Spain 628-4707 PARIA SUITES La Romain 697-2742, 697-1442/3 PAX GUESTHOUSE Tunapuna 662-4084 RADISSON HOTEL TRINIDAD Port of Spain 625-3361-8 port-of-spain-hotel-tt/ttosptr REGENT STAR HOTEL Piarco 669-STAR/669-7827 RESIDENCE AT TRADEWINDS San Fernando 652-9463 SALYBIA NATURE RESORT AND SPA Matura 691-3210/1 SUNDECK SUITES LIMITED Port of Spain 622-9560/1 THE CASCADIA HOTEL & CONFERENCE St. Ann’s 623-3511 CENTRE THE CHACONIA HOTEL Maraval 628-0941, 628-0705 THE CHANCELLOR HOTEL & CONFERENCE St. Ann’s 623-0883 CENTRE THE LINX SUITES HOTEL LIMITED San Fernando 652-9902 THE ROYAL HOTEL (1978) LIMITED San Fernando 652-4881 TRADEWINDS HOTEL & San Fernando 652-9463 CONFERENCE CENTRE TRINIDAD MARACAS BAY HOTEL Maracas 669-1643, 669-1914

hotels and guest houses in trinidad


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obago remains one of the Caribbean’s most versatile culinary destinations. That is not surprising, given our colourful history,

which has left to us a legacy of great people of virtually every nationality and ethnicity. Replicating the diverse multicultural, multi-ethnic population of our island, has created a fascinating culinary fusion, far more interesting than the typical fare found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Cooking is in our blood...from home-grown culinary artistes who garnered their skills in the kitchens of mothers, aunts and grandmothers, to talented foreign chefs who journeyed to this idyllic paradise on romantic quests, only to ease into the rhythm of the lessharried Tobago lifestyle, we’ve got it all! It is no

wonder then, that the melding of styles, culture and temperament has been the genesis for world-class deliveries on the international culinary competition circuit. Once you’ve savoured our “sweet hand” you’ll find yourself returning for more and more.

Not sure about the cost of eating out? This edition of Ins & Outs introduces a new Price Point system, with a handy chart that lets you know in advance how much you can expect to pay per person for a meal. So before you hit the road, you can decide on a menu that suits your appetite AND your budget. $ under TT$150; $$ under TT$250; $$$ under TT$350; $$$$ under TT$450

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Apex Bar & Grill

Bake My Day Sample Menu

Sample Menu Roasted Rack of Lamb Drizzled with mint jelly sauce, served with potato mash and vegetable medley - $199 Baby Back Ribs Served with Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce and a side of your choice - Full Rack $260 Catch of the Day Fillet of Fish grilled and topped with Creole sauce and served with potato mash and vegetable medley $130 Bruschetta Diced tomatoes, seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, served on garlic toast $35

APEX is a casual dining restaurant and bar conveniently located five minutes from the ANR Robinson Airport in a busy shopping mall. The restaurant has a classy, spacious and inviting décor, where guests can relax in relative privacy. APEX is the perfect meeting or liming spot, and the place of choice for celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and small weddings. Enjoy our cocktail evening on Tuesdays, our Talent series on Wednesday nights, wine specials on Thursdays, and afterwork lime on Fridays. Apex serves a varied grill menu, featuring gourmet salads, pasta, steaks and seafood. It also offers a world-class bar, where guests can enjoy a variety of wines, cocktails and shots. Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. Reservations (868) 631-APEX (2739) Address Level 3, Shoppes@Westcity, Pennysavers Compound, Canaan, Tobago Facebook Apex Bar and Grill Email Lunch, Dinner, Takeaway $$$ Available for functions

Roosters Sample Menu

Sandwiches, Soups and salads served with freshly baked breads, Ciabatta and baguettes. Freshly made smoothies, coffee, tea, and speciality cakes. Bake My Day… open 6 days a week! Our delightful coffee shop serves a light fare, prepared fresh each day. Serving mouthwatering soups and a variety of delicious sandwiches and salads, with an array of house speciality cakes to die for! Cheesecakes, black forest, peach & kiwi, pineapple gateaux baked daily, with ice cream and gourmet coffee, fresh juices, and smoothies. This has to be one of Tobago’s best contemporary modern eating venues, with a casual atmosphere. A place to relax, catch up on the news, read a book, and unwind. Indoor and outdoor settings are available, with free WiFi. We also have wheelchair access. Cakes for all occasions Special events can be booked Open Mondays to Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Combo Deals Chicken Sandwiches Chicken sandwich combo Buffalo legs combo Veggie burger combo Dinner Combo Two pc combo Wing combo Kiddie combo Fish combo Fish sandwich combo Specials 10pc Bucket 12pc Bucket Party Pack Beach Lime ROOSTERS – our very own! After two years in business we are opening a new branch in Roxsborough, very shortly due to public demand of our very own! tasty freshly cooked meals. So get all your scrumptious chicken and fish meals at Roosters! Roosters at Crown Point Airport delivers to Canaan and Bon Accord and Roosters at Shirvan Plaza delivers to Shirvan, Lowlands, Buccoo. CALL US NOW!


Tel (868) 631-5273 Fax (868) 631-1133 Address Shirvan Plaza, Shirvan Road Email Specialty/Events

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Tel (868) 630-5000 Crown Point Airport Mon. to Sat. 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Tel (868) 631-1000 Shirvan Plaza, Shirvan Road – Mon. to Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. $ Sun. 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  189

Kali’na Restaurant

Pembois Restaurant & Terrace

Caribbean Fusion upscale dining

Salaka Grill

All Day Dining Main Restaurant

Ocean front and pool-side restaurant

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Starters Tobago Spicy Crab Cakes pineapple & passion fruit chutney | tamarind jus Jerk Pork Tenderloin Skewer Trinidad and Tobago rum & pineapple jus

Starters Butternut Squash Soup roasted jerk-flavoured almonds Warm Chicken Salad mixed greens | balsamic vinaigrette | sautéed chicken strips

West Indies Wrap Spiced chicken breast | tomato crispy lettuce | scallions cilantro & mango chutney

Entrées Grilled Tobago Lobster herbed basmati rice | sautéed vegetables | chadon beni garlic butter sauce Whiskey Peppered Beef Tenderloin fingerling potatoes | Stag glaze

Entrées Mango Curry with King Fish basmati rice | sautéed vegetables Cajun Sirloin Steak coconut rum jus | sweet potato & plantain mash

Dessert Chocolate Mousse Cake El Dorado sauce | Vanilla Ice Cream

Dessert Baileys Parfait mixed berry compote

Discover the unique Caribbean Fusion cuisine in an upscale and romantic environment in one of the top restaurants in Trinidad and Tobago. The chef features traditional Caribbean or Creole recipes prepared in a modern European way, as well as dishes from all over the world, refined with exotic Caribbean ingredients.

Each morning we feature an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. The menu changes daily so you will enjoy different hot items every day or choose eggs made to order. It’s the most popular breakfast on the island. Pembois is also open daily for lunch and dinner.

Salaka offers a delicious selection of pizza, salads, grilled fish, and meat or vegetarian dishes for a relaxing lunch poolside overlooking the ocean. At night, Salaka Grill turns into a romantic seafood grill with a catch of the day and seafood pasta, along with seafood tapas, antipasto, and an Asian dim sum sampler.

Tel (868) 660-8500 Fax (868) 660-8503 Address Tobago Plantations Estate, Lowlands, Tobago Email Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tel (868) 660-8500 Fax (868) 660-8503 Address Tobago Plantations Estate, Lowlands, Tobago Email Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tel (868) 660-8500 Fax (868) 660-8503 Address Tobago Plantations Estate, Lowlands, Tobago Email Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


190  Restaurants

Bake and Shark Coconut bake | chadon beni sauce Chicken Roti West Indian curry sauce | “aloo” wrapped in dhalpurie pumpkin chutney Guava Barbecue Chicken Breast Kebab Roasted peppers | onion | pineapple



The Pavilion Restaurant

Restaurant & Bar

Restaurant & Bar

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Smoked Salmon Dhalpourie Smoked salmon, garlic-flavoured dhalpourie skin, spiced cream cheese, chives, capers, red onion, petit greens and eggs, dressed with a shadon beni balsamic dressing. Heavenly Niçoise Salad Fresh crisp green beans, bell peppers, baby spinach, fingerling potatoes, red onions, pear tomatoes, kalamata olives, eggs, blue dasheen chips, sesame crusted seared tuna. Lamb Pistachio Pistachio-Dijon crusted rack of lamb, roasted garlic rosemary sauce, pholourie drizzled in tamarind sauce. Reef Snapper Deboned whole snapper, seasoned with local herbs, dusted in cinnamon and nutmeg flour, deep-fried, served with lemon-scented tamarind sauce and coral reef-infused oils.

Caribbean Fish Chowder – A local favourite served with black rum and pepper sauce. Seafood Salad – Grilled shrimp and the day’s fish catch with cucumber, tomato, onions and crisp fried plantains tossed with a creamy vinaigrette. Jerk Chicken – Breast of chicken stuffed with button mushrooms, baked in delicious jerk seasonings, served with cassava au gratin. Cuban-Inspired Tenderloin – 10 oz tenderloin seasoned and grilled to perfection with a spicy Cuban bean salad. Fresh Catch and Pasta Specials Espresso and Housemade Desserts.

Creole Crab Cakes – Seafood sauce, red pepper coulis Bruschetta Trio – Tomato, fennel, feta. Smoked Salmon, horseradish cream, capers. Chicken liver paté, candied orange peel Lobster Thermidor – Classic sauce of cheese, white wine, cream and snipped chives Blackened fillet of Grouper Wilted greens, mashed potato, warm lemon herb vinaigrette, chili oil Tournedos Seahorse – 10oz Tenderloin steak, roast garlic mashed potatoes, seared fois gras. Roast shallots Red wine sauce. Slow Braised Pork Belly – Crackling, spicy shrimp & Madeira sauce.

Relax with a cocktail by the half-moon infinity pool. Dine simply or sumptuously according to your mood while savouring kaleidoscopic ocean views and the scents and sounds of the tropics. All to be enjoyed at The Pavilion Restaurant, a sought after venue for sunset Happy Hour, dining, conferences and other special events. Open Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00 a.m. – 11.00 p.m. (including holidays) Extended Happy Hours: 5.00 p.m. – 7.00 p.m. (until 8.00 p.m. Friday). Tel (868) 639-0361 Fax (868) 639-0102 Address The Villas at Stonehaven Black Rock, Tobago Email Coffee, Lunch, Happy Hour, Dinner $$

Café Havana

Café Havana is one of Tobago’s newest and hottest restaurants & cocktail bars, characterising the Caribbean experience with a lively bar and lounge and relaxing openair dining. Café Havana has many faithful “regulars”, thanks to Chef Cesario and Team, preparing consistently delicious cuisine, along with superb service. This picturesque location, combined with a delectable menu, is also the ideal setting for all of your special occasions. Cafe Havana can organize all the details for the wedding of your dreams, romantic dinners for two, birthday parties, holiday parties, and more! Tel (868) 639-2357 / (868) 639-3551 Address 72 Bacolet Street, Scarborough, Tobago Email Open EVERY DAY for Breakfast, $$$ Lunch and Dinner

The Seahorse

Intimate al fresco dining under the stars, a gentle breeze, the soothing, eternal sound of the surf. Fabulous food before you, leatherback turtles nesting on the beach. It’s no wonder the Seahorse Inn is Tobago’s premier beachside fine dining restaurant. We were acclaimed best value small inn & restaurant in leading UK publications the Daily and Financial Times, Evening Standard, Express, plus Options and Wedding & Home magazines. Open for dinner 6:00 p.m. daily Tel (868) 639-0686 Address Grafton Beach Road Black Rock, Tobago Email We Cater for Weddings & Functions $$$ on or off premises

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  191

Bouvardia Sample Menu Rainbow Salad A mixture of cabbage, carrots and sweet pepper served on a bed of lettuce and garnished with asparagus, cucumbers, tomatoes and beets.

Sample Menu

Rack of Baby Back Pork Ribs Served with spicy or regular sweet potato fries and coleslaw Char-Grilled Lamb Rack Served with basmati rice, eggplant choka and a local curry sauce Grilled or Blackened “Catch of the Day” Served with garlic mash, fresh salad, steamed vegetables and a sauce Pinot Grigio Honey BBQ Chicken Roasted half chicken served with seasoned wedges, fresh salad and vegetables Surf & Turf Lobster Tail and Rib Eye Steak OR Rib Eye Steak and Shrimp, sautéed in garlic and herbs. Served with your choice of sides.

Baked potatoes with Gulf shrimp skewer in garlic sauce Flying fish roulade on pickled red cabbage

Curried Shrimp Madras Specially selected shrimp cooked in a subtle yet richly flavoured curry that complements the shrimp perfectly.

Sesame-crusted chicken breast on sweet potato mousse and terragon-mustard sauce

Stuffed Eggplant Eggplant sautéed with flavour peppers, onion, garlic and tomatoes, sprinkled with cheese and breadcrumbs, then baked.

Reservations (868)-639-9666/0652 Address Store Bay Local Road, Bon Accord, Crown Point Email Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $$$ Open Daily

Café Coco

Tobago Fisherman’s Soup A traditional Tobagonian Fish Broth with vegetables and local provision infused with local herbs and spices

Chicken Supreme Boneless breast of chicken, stuffed with seasoned bread and deep fried.

Savour the enthusiasm of the rich, vibrant flavours of delicately prepared meals at Bouvardia. These freshly primed dishes are delicious and impeccable in taste. Bouvardia is committed to using the finest ingredients, thus creating the finest food. The staff’s passion complements every service provided, making Bouvardia one of the leading restaurants in the Southern Caribbean region. This oasis, nestled in Crown Point, Tobago, presents a naturefocused environment near the poolside, and sets the tone for every diner to leave feeling satisfied. “Experience Somewhere Different”

Shutters on the Bay

Lobster à la Shutters on the Bay with vegetables, calypso rice and garlic lemon butter

Sample Menu

Catch of the Day grilled with herb and lime, sautéed potatoes and patchoi Island curried chicken with basmati rice and mini-roti Stir-fried wok noodles Asian-style with vegetables and soy sauce Coconut ice crepe served with sautéed pineapples Caramelised plantains with rum & raisin ice cream. The colonial-style villa at romantic Blue Haven Hotel is the setting for the restaurant, Shutters on the Bay, overlooking Bacolet Beach. The excellent menus combine international gourmet cuisine with West Indian ingredients and spices and often feature fresh fish, lobster and crayfish. Dinner menus are changing on a daily basis.

Tel (868) 660-7500, 660-7400 Fax (868) 660-7900 Address Bacolet Bay, Tobago Available for Weddings, $$$ Functions

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Café Coco is the most spectacular restaurant and bar in the region, with seating for 200. It features waterfalls, fountains, marble bathrooms and hand-painted tiles, all synchronized to create an exotic atmosphere of charm and beauty amidst impeccable landscaping. Our chefs, from their open kitchen, offer a wide range of reasonably priced dishes, carefully selected to excite every palate. We offer a perfect venue for weddings, graduations, birthday parties and other group functions. Reservations (868) 639-0996 Fax (868) 639-8574 Address First left off Pigeon Point Road, Crown Point, Tobago Email $–$$ Lunch, Dinner


Shore Things Café & Craft

Sample Menu Meats Grilled chicken, lightly fried chicken chunks, lamb chops, beef steak & kebabs Seafood Shrimp kebabs, Mediterranean shrimp & grilled fish steak Sides Arabic rice, baba ghanoush, fries, garlic potatoes, hummus, kibbeh, parsley potatoes, pita bread, tabouleh.

El Pescador

Daytime verandah café and craft shop Sample Menu Caribbean Crab Backs A delightful blend of crabmeat and local herbs in a delicate crab shell Taste of Tobago Fried flying fish or baked chicken with creole sauce served with vegetable rice, stewed peas and salad Bacon and Mushroom Quiche Always a favourite Vegetarian Pizza Whole wheat base dressed with tomato sauce, grilled eggplant, roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, broccoli and cheese Coconut Cream Pie A sweet pastry shell filled with coconut custard, topped with a light whipped cream… decadent

Skewers is a unique Middle Eastern restaurant, which captures your taste buds with delicious foods infused with Arabic spices. Enjoy their wide menu and combo selections, which offer healthy yet flavourful meal options. Skewers provides sizzling grilled meats, fresh salads, fully loaded gyros, and an array of mouthwatering savoury sides. Ideally located, so you can casually dine in or take away a piece of Arabic culture when you savour the tasty flavours of the well-crafted traditional Middle Eastern cuisines, coupled with local flair… captivating any vegetarian or meat lover’s palate. Operating hours: 10:00 a.m.– 11:00 p.m.

Tel (868) 631-8964 Address Corner of Milford Road & Pigeon Point Road, Tobago


Seafood Restaurant Sample Menu

Starter Shrimp Taragon TT$50 Jumbo shrimp in a glass with salsa and homemade sauce. Main Course El Mexicano Fish TT$125 Fish fillet baked in a jalapeño and white wine reduction. Sunday School Steak 165 TT$ 8 oz Omaha Steak grilled to your choice with homemade steak sauce or chili tamarinds. Nylon Pool Delight TT$250 A seafood platter with shrimp, squid, scallops, clams and fish. Served with your choice of sides.

Creole Rum Punch “1234 easy does it”…spiced with nutmeg and Angostura Bitters. Come and experience the gracious hospitality of Shore Things Café & Craft. Select a light snack or not-so-light lunch in our casual outdoor café overlooking the Atlantic. Browse a selection of local handicraft while sipping a cool drink, serenaded by the sounds of birds and waves. Our breads and pastries are baked fresh on site. Come and indulge…naturally. Mon – Fri 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Reservations recommended Dec – April Please check our Facebook page or website for new monthly events.

Reservations (868) 635-1072 Address 25 Milford Road, Lambeau, Tobago Email Lunch, Tea


Tobago’s No. 1 beachfront restaurant, with excellent food and a fantastic view. Sit back, relax, converse and watch the sun rise and set over Buccoo Bay. Our professional staff will cater for your every need. Try one of our refreshing cocktails on the sun terrace. Sample the delicious fresh seafood in our open-air restaurant, and enjoy the catch of the day from the local fisherman at the jetty in front of the restaurant. Reservations (868) 631-1266 Address Miller’s Guesthouse #14 Miller Street, Buccoo Point, Tobago Head Chef Leonardo Larios Free Wi-Fi access $$ Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  193

Pleasant Prospect Café

Kariwak Village

Ciao Café & Ciao Pizza

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Sample Menu

Tobago Ceviche Catch of the day cubed, tossed with onion and tomato, marinated in lime juice. Trini Bruschetta A local take on the Italian speciality; lightly toasted coconut bake topped with saltfish buljol. Chicken Live Paté Mousse of seasoned livers with pops of green peppercorns, served with toast points. Shrimp Tempura/Oyster Garlic Sauce Lightly battered, quickly fried jumbo shrimp. Asian Pork Loin Chop/Guava Sauce Marinated in black bean and garlic, marked on the char-broiler, then finished in the oven. Rack of Lamb/Rosemary Sauce Grilled to your liking, served with scalloped potatoes and garlic green beans.

Dinner Pumpkin soup with fresh dill Fresh garden greens with roasted sunflower seeds. Mahi mahi in a coconut herb sauce OR Baked chicken with cumin & coriander with savory basmati rice, ginger mixed vegetables and grilled eggplant. Kariwak lime pie with homemade peppermint ice cream. Coffee, tea or Kariwak spice tea with bay leaf, cinnamon and ginger.

The Café lives up to its name; friendly staff welcoming patrons who wish to sit a while on the porch sipping an exotic cocktail, listening to the background music and taking in the bustle of village life below, or be seated in the spacious and airy dining room, walls painted with under-water scenes, tile-topped tables, mahogany chairs … casual elegance at its best. Tel (868) 639-4409 Address Triangle Square, Pleasant Prospect, Tobago Email Lunch, Dinner Catering for weddings and functions, on or off premises


Opened in 1982, Kariwak is a cosy green oasis of a hotel with an absolutely fantastic restaurant known for its creative use of herbs straight from the garden. Everything is freshly prepared on-site, from the legendary Kariwak rum punch with fresh lime and passion fruit to the homemade rosemary focaccia served on weekends. Breakfast is a delight of local fruit, homemade yogurt and muesli along with traditional favourites. Kariwak’s popular lunch and dinner menus are set daily based on what is freshly available. Generously-sized salads and sandwiches served throughout the day… buffet dinner and live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. Dinner: $200 to $230 TT Lunch: $95 to $105 TT Tel (868) 639-8442 Address Store Bay Local Road, Crown Point Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Bar

194  Restaurants


Tradizional Cucina Italiana A variety of pastas and antipasti Authentic Italian pizza Homemade desserts A TASTE OF ITALY IN THE HEART OF TOBAGO Come enjoy the view and indulge yourself at this authentic Italian Gelateria in the heart of Scarborough. We offer two experiences at one location — Ciao Café has a full bar featuring international beer, and offers freshly made espresso. Why not try one of our freshly made Panini sandwiches made in our Italian Deli and finish with a dessert and caffè? At Ciao Pizza you can explore our menu of traditional pizzas, pastas, salads and Italian antipasti and more. Finish your meal by tasting any one of the 20 flavours of our very own artesian-made gelato. Be sure to ask about our range of authentic Italian wines available – but keep checking our stock, as we have only what’s good and in season! We accept local and international credit cards, Euro and US currency. Opening Hours: Ciao Café: Monday – Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (seasonal); Friday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to midnight and on Sundays and Public Holidays from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Ciao Pizza: Open Monday to Saturday from 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch; from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for dinner; and on Sundays and public holidays for dinner only. Closed on Tuesdays.

Reservations (868) 635-2323, 639-3001 Address Burnett Street, Scarborough, Tobago $$ Lunch, Dinner, Takeaway

Tobago’s delectable Culinary Fusion -

The Pasta Gallery Sample Menu Main Course Baked Meat Lasagne A hearty choice, baked lasagne with Bolognese sauce, cheese, and béchamel. Chicken Alfredo Chicken served over fettuccine in a cream-based sauce with parmesan cheese. Linguine al Pesto Basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic and nuts. Shrimp Fettuccine Sautéed shrimp served over fettuccine with tomato sauce. Dessert Tiramisu, Cheesecake, Gelato. Gluten free and whole wheat pastas available.


by the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association (THTA)

used from the best of China, Arabia, India, Africa and Europe, food in Tobago is varied, rich in local herbs and oriental spices and always hearty. Eager for an education in Tobago cuisine, then look no further...we’ve got it all right here:

Benne balls — A popular confection made from sesame seeds, which will test your dentures. Blue food — Any root crop, such as dasheen, eddoes, cassava, yam, sweet potatoes, etc. Brown down — Spicy stewed chicken, beef, pork or fish buljol (salted codfish), often served in a coconut bake (type of bread) and seasoned with peppers, onions, tomatoes and olive oil. Callaloo — A soup made from spinachlike dasheen leaves and okra, with various other ingredients such as coconut. Traditionally, it would have crab in it. A staple of Creole cooking.

Paratha roti — Also known as “bussup-shut”, paratha is flakier and served shredded, so that you can take pieces of it in your fingers to scoop up accompanying dishes. Pastelles — Spanish-style corn meal wraps filled with a mix of meats and olives and seasonings. It is cooked wrapped in banana leaves and easily frozen after. To serve the pastelle, is steamed and served in the banana leaves. Traditionally eaten at Christmas. Pelau — Pigeon peas and rice cooked together with meat and often flavoured with coconut milk. Delicious — one of my favourites! Phulouri — Small, deep-fried balls made from ground split peas and flour and served with a spicy chutney dip.

Superbly located on the way to Pigeon Point, The Pasta Gallery features a unique fusion of restaurant and art gallery. Start with a refreshing salad or crispy bruschetta then savour homemade sauce simmered to perfection over a hearty serving of pasta. While enjoying the ‘trattoria’ experience, don’t forget to take in the local art that surrounds you. Come and relax in our cool yet cozy atmosphere and relish the simple art of good food. Feel free to call ahead to place your takeaway order.

Coconut bake — A type of bread made with grated coconut and generally served for breakfast with buljol or cheese. Bake is the term used for the smaller, deep-fried variant, traditionally served with shark, and distinct from the roasted bake. Cou-Cou — A mixture of cornmeal, okra and butter, boiled and stirred ‘till firm, then sliced. Normally served with steamed fish and callaloo.

Shark-and-bake — Seasoned shark, dipped in flour, deep-fried in a wok and then placed in a small, round fry bake with various dressings.

Tel (868) 727-8200 (PASTA-00) Address Pigeon Point Road, Crown Point Facebook /thepastagallery Dine in, Takeaway, Bar

Crab ‘n’ Dumplin’ — Crab stewed with curry and coconut milk and served with flat flour dumplings called “cow tongue”.

Black cake — A rich cake made at Christmas with dried fruit, cherries, brandy and rum, iced and decorated as the traditional wedding cake.


Oil-down — Breadfruit, boiled down in coconut milk with salted meat, to a sticky stew.

Souse — Boiled pig’s trotters or chicken feet served cold with cucumber slices in a salty, limey, peppery liquid.

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  195

Fast Facts on Trinidad & Tobago Located at the gateway to the Caribbean, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is renowned for its industrialised, energy export-driven economy; vibrant culture, and multiethnic society. T&T is a leading regional economy with an international presence in the oil and gas-based energy industry, and a profitable and productive services sector. T&T is also pursuing a policy of economic diversification and is investing in several other sectors. Trade, investment and innovation are also policy priorities of this twoisland nation as it continues on its path to developed nation status. Geography and Location Trinidad – Once attached to the South American mainland, Trinidad is situated 12 km (7 miles) northeast of the coast of Venezuela, and is separated from it by the Gulf of Paria. Trinidad has three mountain ranges: the Northern Range, the Central Range and the Southern Range. The highest point, El Cerro del Aripo, is 940 metres (3,084 ft) above sea level. About 40% of all land is undeveloped forest and woodlands, although the island is experiencing rapid development. Trinidad’s Pitch Lake is the largest natural reservoir of asphalt. Total Area: 4,828 sq km (1,864 sq miles) 81.25 km long by 57-73 km wide (50 miles by 35-45 miles) Location: Latitude 10.5° N Longitude 61.5° W Tobago – Tobago lies 34 km (21 miles) northeast of Trinidad. Of volcanic origin, the island is a single mountain mass, although the southwest is flat or undulating and coralline. The highest peak, the Main Ridge, reaches an elevation of about 576 metres (1,890 ft). The coastline is broken by inlets and sheltered beaches, and there are several uninhabited islets. Total Area: 300 sq km (116 sq miles) Location: Latitude 11.5° N Longitude 60.5° W Climate Trinidad and Tobago has a tropical climate. Daytime temperatures average 310C (870F) and are moderated by the northeast trade winds, while nights are a cool 210C (690F). The islands have two distinct seasons: dry, from January to May, and wet, from June to December. There is a short dry period around mid-September called Petit Carême. Trinidad and Tobago are just outside the usual path of hurricanes and other tropical storms, but Tobago can experience inclement weather as a result of such weather systems. People and Society Population: 1.3 million Ethnic Groups: Indian (South Asian) 40.3% African 39.6% Mixed 18.4% European 0.6% Chinese and Other 1.1% Average Life Expectancy: 70.3% Median Age (2013 estimate): 33.9 (male 33.4, female 34.4) Population Growth Rate: -0.09% (2013 estimate)

196  Fast Facts

Birth Rate: 14.07 births/1,000 Population (2013 estimate) Time Zone Greenwich Mean Time: Minus four hours In US Winter: Eastern Standard Time plus one hour (EST +1) In US Summer: Eastern Standard Time (EST) There is no daylight savings time. Government Trinidad and Tobago’s government is a parliamentary democracy. The head of state is the President, who is elected by an Electoral College of members of the Senate and House of Representatives for a five-year term. Executive power, however, is vested in the Prime Minister and Government following elections every five years. The local government body in Tobago is the Tobago House of Assembly and its seat is in the capital city, Scarborough. Head of State: President Anthony Carmona; Head of Government: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar Leader of the Tobago House of Assembly: Chief Secretary Orville London; Economic Data T&T’s economy is heavily impacted by its oil, gas and petrochemicals industry. In 2012 the energy sector contributed an estimated TT$48,917.9 million or 43.7% of GDP and 81.4% of export receipts. The other major contributor is the services sector, which generated 61.2% of all employment in 2012. Increasingly, T&T is experiencing growth in the non-energy sector, primarily in the areas of distribution (retail in particular) and finance. Exchange Rate: US$1: TT$6.35 (2014 estimate) GDP: US$24.64 billion (2013 estimate) GDP Per Capita: US$18,373 (2013 estimate) Labour Force: 628,0140 (2013 estimate) Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (2014 estimate) Inflation Rate: 7.78% (Sept. 2014 estimate) Major Exports: ammonia, asphalt, crude oil, LNG, methanol, petrochemicals, urea Major Trading Partners: Canada, CARICOM, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Japan, Korea, USA, Venezuela Banking Number of Commercial Banks: 8 Number of Branches: 133 Prime Lending Rate: 7.5% (2014 estimate) Number of Automatic banking machines (ABMs): 254 Bank Hours of Operation: City Centres – Monday to Thursday – 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Friday – 8:00 a.m. to noon & 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Bank Hours of Operation: Shopping Centres – 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.

Meeting Places and Conference Centres Trinidad and Tobago is one of the top five Caribbean meeting and conference destinations. Many hotels have facilities for conferences, including international brands such as the Hyatt Regency Trinidad and the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre. In addition to the state-of-the-art National Academy for the Performing Arts, award-winning spots like Coco Reef Resort in Tobago and the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort are ideal for corporate meetings and team-building retreats. T&T is host to over 84,000 business travellers annually. The Tourism Development Company Limited comprises a Convention Bureau department within its organisational structure. Business Hours Offices: Monday to Friday – 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Government Offices: Monday to Friday – 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (City Centres): Monday to Friday – 8:00 am to 4:30 pm; Saturday – 8:00 am to 1:00 pm Retail (Shopping Centres): Monday to Saturday – 10:00 am to 7:00 pm Legal System The legal system is based on common law and statutes. The judicial system comprises magistrates’ courts and the Supreme Court, which is made up of the High Court and the Court of Appeal. There is a separate Industrial Court that deals with most labour matters. The Judicial and Legal Service Commission appoints judges of the Supreme Court. The Attorney General is responsible for the administration of the legal and judicial system. Education The educational system is based on the British system and produces one of the highest standards of education in the Caribbean. The estimated literacy rate is over 98%. Health Trinidad and Tobago’s health system consists of government-funded and private hospitals, well-qualified specialists, private medical practitioners and clinics scattered throughout the islands. Specialists trained in gynaecology, paediatrics, radiology, physiotherapy, cardiology, gastrology, urology and orthopaedics work both in private practice and healthcare facilities. Medical services are free at the governmentfunded institutions and clinics, but a fee is charged at all others. Twenty-four-hour emergency services are available at several government and private medical facilities. There is also a 24-hour Emergency Air Ambulance Service. The new Scarborough hospital was opened in Tobago in 2012.

Public Utilities Electricity – Trinidad and Tobago has a reliable supply of electricity. The domestic and commercial supply voltage is 110/220 volts, 60 cycles. The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) is the agency responsible for T&T’s electrical supply. Water – The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), a state enterprise, is the sole provider of water and wastewater services in Trinidad and Tobago. Telecommunications Trinidad and Tobago’s telecommunications sector has shown strong growth over the last years. TSTT provides both landline and mobile telephone services. Digicel, a rapidly growing telecommunications operator in the Caribbean, offers mobile phone services in both islands, and Flow (Columbus Communications) offers cable television, Internet and landline telephone services. Several smaller entrants are establishing a presence in the fixed line telecommunications market. International direct distance dialing is available nationwide and on public payphones. International phone cards are sold in many local shops and pharmacies. With broad coverage throughout the islands, mobile phones are an easy and available option. Wireless Internet services are readily available at hotels and cybercafés. International Access and Area Code: 1-868 Post/Courier Services Regular mail, express mail and courier delivery are reliable and available from local provider TTPost at excellent rates. International courier services are efficient and readily available. Media Daily Newspapers: Trinidad Express, Trinidad Guardian and Newsday Bi-weekly Newspapers: TNT Mirror. Weekly Newspapers: Tobago News, Catholic News, Bomb, ShowTime, Punch Television stations: CNC (channel 3), CCN TV6 (channels 6 and 18), Gayelle Television (channel 7), IBN (Channel 8), CNMG (channel 9), NCC (channel 4). IETV (channel 16), Parliament (channel 11), Synergy TV (33), Tobago (channel 5). There are over 30 Radio Stations (AM and FM) broadcasting news and different genres of music. Roads Trinidad and Tobago has an extensive transportation network of paved roads. Highways link the north and south of the island (Uriah Butler Highway, Solomon Hochoy Highway), and the east and west (ChurchillRoosevelt Highway). Driving is on the left-hand side.

Immigration, Work Permits and Visas Visitors to Trinidad and Tobago must possess valid passports and return or ongoing tickets for successful entry. Most Commonwealth countries do not require visas for entry, except Australia, New Zealand, India, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Cameroon, Fiji Islands, Mozambique, Uganda and South Africa. Visitors from several other countries are allowed to enter Trinidad and Tobago for periods of up to three months without a visa. Holders of CARICOM passports, with the exception of Haiti, do not require a visa. Work permits are required for business stays beyond 30 days. Visa extensions can be obtained from the Immigration Office at 67 Frederick Street, Port of Spain, while work permits can be obtained from the Ministry of National Security, Temple Court, 31-33 Abercromby Street, Port of Spain.,; Transportation Airports – Piarco International Airport is located about 45 minutes from the capital city, Port of Spain. It plays an important role as a vital hub for international air traffic in the Caribbean. There are non-stop daily scheduled flights to and from major international cities. Trinidad and Tobago’s national airline, Caribbean Airlines, serves London Gatwick, Toronto, New York, Miami, and popular regional destinations. International and regional airlines that fly to Trinidad and Tobago include American Airlines, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, United Airlines, LIAT and several charter flight companies. International flights are also available direct from Tobago’s ANR Robinson International Airport. Major Airlines T&T National Carrier: Caribbean Airlines (868) 625-7200 American Airlines (868) 821-6000 British Airways (800) 247-9297 Copa Airlines (800) 271-2672 United Airlines (868) 624-1737 LIAT (888) 844-5428 Seaports – The main seaports are located in Port of Spain and Point Lisas. The Port of Port of Spain handles dry and general cargo, break bulk, containers and passenger traffic. The Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corporation Ltd (PLIPDECO), mainly a bulk port for industrial commerce, also handles container and general cargo traffic. The CARICOM Jetty, which is located at the Port of Port of Spain and operates the Passenger Inter-Island Ferry, receives, stores and delivers CARICOM cargo and multi-purpose containers for trade within the Caribbean region. There are two fast ferries (T&T Express and T&T Spirit) and one conventional ferry (Warrior Spirit) travelling the inter-island route daily.

The Chaguaramas Ferry is a joint partnership between the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) and the National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO). The ferry sails into Chaguaramas from Port of Spain (terminal located next to the Hyatt Regency) on Saturday and Sunday at $20 return. Secure parking is available at all ports. There is also a Free Shuttle Service for ferry passengers that travels North to Macqueripe, West to Tetron and East to Tembladora respectively with scheduled stops conveniently located along the way. For more information contact the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) at 868-6344227/4312/2424/4349 or National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO) at 8004WTS or (868) 624-5137 (Port of Spain Office) and (868) 652-9980 (San Fernando Office). A water taxi ferry connects Port of Spain and San Fernando. Scheduled sailing times are Monday to Friday. Tickets cost TT$15 one way and can be purchased at the Water Taxi Terminal located at Flat Rock, Lady Hailes Avenue, San Fernando or the Cruise Ship Complex, Port of Spain. Log on to: or call (868) 623-2901 (PBX) or Port of Spain Ferry servoce (868) 625-4906/3055 or Tobago (868) 6392417/4906. Safety in Trinidad and Tobago Drugs: There are severe penalties, including long jail terms for possession and trafficking of illegal drugs like cannabis (marijuana, weed or ganja) or cocaine. Centipede and Scorpion stings: While not lethal, you should consult a doctor in case of allergic reaction. Manchineel Apples (Hippomane mancinella): Found near to or on beaches. Avoid any contact with the fruit or the tree, both of which are highly toxic and corrosive. Portuguese Man-O-War (Physalia physalis): Small, translucent air bladders with a purple to light-blue tint, usually float in the water or get washed up on shore. The tentacles inflict a very painful sting. Immediately apply vinegar for about 30 minutes and seek medical attention. Mosquito and Sand-fly Bites: Many repellents are available, including oil of lemon, eucalyptus and citronella. Antihistimine creams will relieve itching. Sea Urchin Spines: If the spines are protruding from your skin, then you can try to remove them, otherwise leave them in your skin, soak the affected area in warm water and seek medical attention. Eco-tourism Trinidad and Tobago, although relatively distinct ecologically, are both blessed with rich natural environments well suited for eco-tourism.

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago  197

Index A/B

Abraham Tobago Realty 158 Acajou Hotel 92 Adam’s Bagels & Specialty Breads 133 Aioli 130 Al Haaq Bar B Que 135 ALAMO 11 Anand’s Gold & Diamond Collection Ltd 48 Angelo’s Italian Restaurant 126, 127 Ann Stapleton 2, Front Cover Apadocas 48 Apex Bar & Grill 188, 189 Art Gallery (TAG) 52 Asa Wright Nature Centre 72 Atypical Ware 46 Avenue Montaigne 43 Bake My Day Restaurant 188 Bambu Gift Shop 47 Blue Haven Hotel 178, 179 Blue Waters Inn 174, 175 Bombshell Bay Luxury Villa Rental 75, 94 Bouvardia 192 Bradford 49 Broyhill 40 Burger King 126, 127


Caboodle Gifts Limited 44 Café Coco 192 Café Havana Restaurant & Bar 191 Café Mariposa 132 Capil’s and Company Limited 40 Cara Suites Hotel & Conference Centre 92, 93 Caribbean Discovery Tours Ltd 75 Caribbean Estates, Land & Villas 158 Castro’s Restaurant and Sports Bar 134 Chaud Café & Wine Bar 131 Chaud Events 131 Chaud Restaurant 131 Chez Leonie Café & Patisserie 134 Chuck E Cheese’s 102, 125 Ciao Café 194 Ciao Pizza 194 Coco Reef 179 Coffee Beanery 128, 129 Courtyard by Marriott 88, Inside Front Cover CROSS 3 Crown Point Beach Hotel 176, 178 De igual Clothing 46


El Pecos Grill 124 El Pescador Seafood Restaurant 193 Emerald Designs & Event Services Ltd 107 Excellent City Centre 19 Excellent Stores 49 Face and Body Clinic 57 Fashion Optics Limited 40 Featheration Motif 46 Fernandes Fine Wines & Spirits 39 Fiesta Plaza 44 Flavours Restaurant 116 Flowers to Treasure Limited 105 Fracture & Orthopedic Clinic Limited 56 Fusion 43 Germaine de Capuccini 57 Glenn Roopchand 52


Hadco 48 Hakka Restaurant & Bar 128, 129 Hilltop Restaurant 126

198  Index

Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre 90, 91 Holiday Inn Express & Suites 92, 93 Hong Wing & Sons Ltd 15 Hong Wing Coffee 15 House of Jaipur (Indian Lifestyle Boutique) 41 Hutt Shutts Sports 102 Hyatt Regency Trinidad 56, 88, 89, 114 I Jump 102, 107 Iain ‘Wabba’ Milne 2, 137, Tobago Cover In Joy Tours 75 Inna Citi Place 96 Irie Bites 124 Island Days 155 Island Investments 159 J&J Big Yard Guesthouse 97, 105 Jason Nedd 52 Johnston Apartments 180


Kaizan Sushi 116 Kali’na Restaurant 190 Kapok Hotel 90, 91, 121 Kariwak Village Holistic Haven & Hotel 174 Kariwak Village Restaurant 194 Kava 120, 121 Kavita R. Singh Photography 105 L’Orchidee Boutique Hotel 94 La Tropicale Flower Shop 107 Le Grand Almandier 96 LIAT (1974) Limited 9 Lime Inn 118 Linx Suites Hotel Ltd 94 Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort 1, 174, 190 Malabar Farms Gourmet Shop 45 Massy Motors 11 Mc Café 122 Mc Donald’s 122 Mélange Restaurant 134 Mi Casa Fine Home Furnishings 45 Ministry of Tourism 80, 81, 83, 95 More Sushi 130 More Vino 130 Mount Gay Barbados Rum 48 MovieTowne Entertainment & Shopping Centre 44, 103, 165 MovieTowne Tobago 165 Nails by Odalé 56 National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO) 101 Nichossa Restaurant 133 Nigel R. Khan Bookseller 19 O’Reilly’s Catering 107 Okazions Card & Gift Store 52 On Location Art Galleries Ltd 52 Papa Joe’s Place 182 Passage to Asia 124, 125 Pasta Gallery 195 Pavilion Restaurant 177, 191 Pembois Restaurant & Terrace 190 Pizza Hut 116, 117 Pleasant Prospect Café 194 Prestige Holdings Ltd 114, 115, 116, 117 Priya’s Creations 47 Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) 73 Queen’s Hall 106 Rainy Days 47 Ray Cool 40 Regent Star Hotel 90 Residence at Tradewinds Outside Back Cover Republic Bank Limited 84, 85 Rizzoni’s Ristorante Italiano 118, 119 Roosters Restaurant 188, 189 Rovanel’s Resort & Conference Centre 181 Royal Hotel 96, 97

Ruby Tuesday 120, 121 Salaka Grill 190 Samurai Trinidad 132 Sandy Point Beach Club 176 Savanna Gallery 51 Seahorse Inn Restaurant & Bar 191 Shade Night Club and Restaurant 165 Sherman’s Auto Rentals & Ground Tours 147 Shoppes @ Westcity 155 Shore Things Café & Craft 193 Shutters on the Bay 192 Signature Selection 40 Silver Dollar Private Members Club 21 Skewers 193 Social Eyes Optical 42 Soongs Great Wall 128, 129 South East Transport 75 Spa Esencia 56 Stechers 3 Stoned Pizza, Pasta & Sandwiches 135 Storebay Holidays 180 Stumblin’ on the Avenue 100 Subway 122, 123 Sugar Mill Suites 178, 179 Sunspree Resort 182 SuperPharm Limited 49, 56 Surf Side Hotel 182


T.G.I. Friday’s 114, 115 Taryn’s, The Panyol Place 133 Texas de Brazil 118, 119 The Art Gallery (TAG) 52 The Courtyard by Marriott 88, Inside Front Cover The Face and Body Clinic 57 The Hilltop Restaurant 126 The Linx Suites Hotel 94 The Pasta Gallery 195 The Pavilion Restaurant 177, 191 The Regent Star Hotel 90 The Rise Grill & Bar Restaurant 132 The Savanna Gallery 51 The Seahorse Inn Restaurant & Bar 191 The Shade Night Club and Restaurant 165 The Trinidad and Tobago Convention Bureau 83 The Villas at Stonehaven 176, 177 Things Natural 155 Tiki Village 91, 120, 121 Tobago Charms 155 Tobago Plantations Ltd 178, 179 Tourism Development Company 80, 81, 83, 95 (TDC) Town Restaurant & Bar 122, 123 Tradewinds Hotel & 88, Conference Centre Outside Back Cover Trini Weddings 105 Trinidad and Tobago Convention Bureau 83 Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Insititute 126 Tropical Wear 46 Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort 180, 181 Undersea Tobago 171 VayBerri on the Greens 130 Villas at Stonehaven 176, 177 Vintage Imports 19 Waterfront Restaurant 114 Watertaxi Service 103 Westshore Medical Private Hospital 55 Wet Swimwear 39 Wicked Wings 135 Yummy Mummy Gourmet 46 Zanzibar 114, Inside Back Cover Zanzibar by the Sea 114, Inside Back Cover