WELCOME FROM THE TEAM
Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago is back! Bienvini, Bienvenidos, Bienvenue, Ekabo, Namaste! This year we are giving an extra-special warm Trinbagonian welcome from all of us at Caribbean Tourism Publications Limited. Like so many of you, we faced a myriad of challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic shut-down of world travel and tourism in 2021. Although we were forced to put our publication on hold for the first time in twenty-two years, we welcomed the challenge and were inspired by the overwhelming support from readers and clients: many of you also shared that you look forward to collecting issues as souvenirs, as well as go-to guides. So, we’re back by popular demand and excited to launch the 2022 edition of the Ins & Outs of Trinidad and Tobago. While providing our traditional overview of feature articles, portraits, insights and directories, we have added several innovative features. Visit our new website www.insandoutstt.com to see what’s happening for Carnival, upcoming events and festivals; choose from a wide selection of restaurants, hotels, attractions and eco-adventures, watersportactivities, along with relevant contact details, or download the free Ins & Outs APP. Then check out our Instagram and Facebook stories for updates that will make your visit captivating yet carefree. Whatever you choose, we hope you will come to love these islands like we do and appreciate their unique, diverse, unmatched Caribbean beauty.
Patricia Patricia Lewis
Patricia Lewis Soraya Gonsalves ADVERTISING SALES
Patricia Lewis Marie Gurley Kathleen Maynard Michelle Nunes EDITOR
Anna Walcott-Hardy LAYOUT
Shayam Karim Patricia Lewis Soraya Gonsalves DESIGN
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Vanessa Ramtahal PUBLISHED BY
Caribbean Tourism Publications Ltd. 15 Mucurapo Road St. James, Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago Tel: (868) 622-0738/9 Mobile: (868) 706-4650 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.insandoutstt.com https://www.facebook.com/insandoutstt https://www.instagram.com/insandoutstt/
Cover Artist Tessa Alexander
Watercolour & Screen-printed papers, 14x19”, 2022
Inspired by the mundane, marginalized mores of life and based on a combination of photographs, sketches and layered screen-printed papers, Tessa Alexander creates visual images which explore themes surrounding identity and heritage. Her compositions whether landscape or figurative are often juxtaposed or layered with motifs which reflect topical issues surrounding socio-political and economic hegemony. The cover’s Dame Lorraines, Minding Your Business, armed with parasols while peering into a home, are part of the ongoing Carnival series which examines the perspectives and mannersims of masqueraders; a theme that Tessa continues to explore, intrigued by the “living ritual, the fluidity, vibrancy and unpredictability of Carnival”. Tessa Alexander has an Associate’s degree in fashion design and an MFA in Cultural Studies, a fine artist and art educator, her work has been exhibited at home and abroad and can be found in international collections. For more: Tessaalexanderart@gmail.com
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 © 2022 Caribbean Tourism Publications Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Printed by: Eniath’s Printing Co. Ltd.
What ’s Inside
Tour of Port of Spain
38 83 Meet a Trini
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Truly Trinbagonian 12 Must-See Corbin Local Wildlife Park Little Tobago Island
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Beaches Accommodation Real Estate Restaurants
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Tour of Port of Spain Festivals Lifestyles It Feels Good Explore
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12 Must-See Accommodation Entertainment Meet a Trini Restaurants
Must-See & Do Things in T&T
What ’s Inside
A Short Walking Tour of
Downtown Port of Spain By Paul Hadden
(Guided Tour by John Gonsalves)
We begin our tour standing on the corner of Broadway and South Quay facing the Lighthouse, one of Port of Spain’s most iconic landmarks. Now used by most Trinidadians as the unofficial marker to the city’s entrance, the lighthouse was originally erected around 1842 to safely guide incoming ships from the Gulf of Paria into the city’s harbour. This historic lighthouse was once connected to the city by a long wooden jetty which stretched from what is now the Brian Lara Promenade. If you look to the right, you will see the Museum of the City of Port of Spain, which now stands at the site of the last surviving fort from the period of the Spanish occupation of Trinidad, Fort St. Andres. The fort was originally built to defend the harbour against naval attacks and stood as the only line of defense for Port of Spain. Take a closer look, and you will see several of the fort’s original cannons. To the left of the lighthouse is the grand Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) building also known as City Gate. Designed by German architect David Hanh and originally completed in 1924, the building’s neoclassical design was meant to reflect the strength and order of the colonial government of the day. The initials TGR, Trinidad Government Railway, can still be seen above the entrance. It was at this site that the country’s once thriving railway ran until it closed its doors in December of 1968.
The Brian Lara Promenade
Now, let’s turn and walk north toward the Brian Lara Promenade. Now known as Broadway, this stretch was once called Almond Walk, a wide avenue with two rows of shady almond trees planted in the middle where many residents of the developing city would enjoy taking leisurely strolls.
The Lighthouse Brian Lara Statue on the Brian Lara Promenade All Photos: Richard Lyder
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Brian Lara Promenade, previously known as Independence Square and before that, Marine Square (Plaza del Marina), this bustling promenade, was once an area of coastal wetlands and mangrove forests. At the turn of the 19th century, the British Governor Sir Thomas Picton began a major reclamation project of the city which saw the tidal mudflats being filled with landfill from the hills of Laventille. As the city developed, business places came to occupy both sides of the square, and the once wild swampland was transformed into the city’s main thoroughfare. In the 1880s a fountain was erected in the middle of the square. Today this area is the site of the statue of Captain Arthur Andrew Cipriani (1875-1945), one of Trinidad and Tobago’s original activists for the working-class people and former Mayor of Port of Spain.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Now let’s head eastward on Independence Square South towards the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. This beautiful cathedral, built from blue metal stone from the Laventille quarries, is one of the island’s oldest religious buildings and was commissioned by the country’s first civilian governor, Sir Ralph Woodford, to cater to the predominantly Roman Catholic population of the time. It is here in the cathedral’s underground crypts where the city’s Catholic archbishops and high-ranking Catholic officials are laid to rest. This end of the city is most significant, since just east of the Cathedral was the start of our capital.
TRINIDAD | TOUR OF PORT OF SPAIN
By 1757, San José de Oruna (St. Joseph) had fallen into delapidation, and the then Governor Don Pedro de la Moneda moved his seat to the village of Puerto d’España, which consisted of two streets, Calle de Infante (now Duncan St) and Calle Principe (now Nelson St), a couple of little wooden houses and mud-huts, some 400 mostly Spanish-Amerindian settlers and three shops. Although much of the city’s original architecture has been lost, there still exist many small clues that point to its origins. Walking towards the cathedral you can spot some of the original stone and iron fretwork which remain on a few buildings. In the distance, facing north, you might make out some of the overhangs and raised central roofing that was once a key feature of many of the city’s buildings. These features were not only aesthetically pleasing, but also served to keep the city’s buildings wellventilated and its pavements cool. They are some of the vestiges of the original eco-friendly design of Port of Spain.
The Treasury Building
Exiting the Cathedral, we head westward along Independence Square North towards the Treasury Building which is located on the corner of Treasury Street. The names of many of the nearby streets reflect the country’s colonial past: the first four streets are all named after British royals (King George, Queen Charlotte, Prince Henry and Prince Frederick); then we cross Chacon Street which stands in remembrance of the city’s last Spanish governor, Don José Maria Chacon, and finally Abercromby Street, named after Sir Ralph Abercromby who led the British naval force which invaded Trinidad in 1797, forcing the outnumbered Spaniards to capitulate. If you stand on the southern corner of Abercromby St and Independence Square South, you can still see the original street sign and may even make out the original date which reads, “anno domini (the year of our Lord) 1822”. The crumbling sign also displays the original name of the road, King Street. The Treasury Building is a site of great historical significance, as it was here on an August morning
The Treasury Building Old Police Station Headquarters Building at the corner of Abercromby Street and Chacon Street
TRINIDAD | TOUR OF PORT OF SPAIN
Statue of Captain Arthur Andrew Cipriani, Brian Lara Promenade
in 1838 that the Emancipation Proclamation was read, finally putting an end to over three hundred years of transatlantic slavery in the British West Indies. Trinidad and Tobago still prides itself on being the first country in the world to commemorate the abolition of slavery with a public holiday.
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
The Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity and A Short Architectural Detour
Turning north on Abercromby street, we make our way to the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, which was built over a seven-year period beginning in 1816. This elegant cathedral which contains elements of Gothic, Victorian, as well as late Gregorian style architecture, is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago. Badly damaged in the 2018 earthquake, this stunning cathedral which is home to one of the island’s most magnificent pipe organs, currently remains closed to the public due to the damages sustained. As we turn left onto Hart Street, we make our way past the Old Police Station Headquarters.
It is at this very site that some of the most instrumental developments in the modern era of Trinidad and Tobago’s political landscape began to stir. This grassy area was dubbed the University of Woodford Square as it was here that the country’s first prime minister, Dr. Eric Williams, would give passionate lectures to the public and engage in fiery debates concerning the future of an independent T&T. From the vantage point of Woodford Square, we can see many of the city’s most important buildings including, the National Library of Port of Spain, which has expanded considerably since its inception in 1851; the Red House, which is the traditional seat of Trinidad and Tobago’s parliament; and the Hall of Justice.
The Cabildo House and Police Memorial
As we walk northwards past the Old Police Station Headquarters, which was twice gutted by fire, once in 1882, and then again at the onset of the attempted coup d’état in 1990, we swing left onto Sackville Street. There we will notice a small memorial dedicated to the officers of the Police Service of Trinidad and Tobago who lost their lives in the line of duty, including the sentry, who was killed at this very site during the attempted coup. Not too far from the memorial take note of a small terracotta-coloured property. Known as the Cabildo House, this building is one of the last remnants of Spanish architecture in the city. Deceptive in size, the structure, whose façade comes right up to the pavement, boasts a large inner courtyard typical of colonial Spanish architecture.
As we retrace our steps, we head towards Woodford Square. This historical landmark was once known as Brunswick Square until the outbreak of World War I, which saw a huge rise of anti-German sentiment sweep across the British colonies and led to the renaming of the square in honor of Sir Ralph James Woodford, the governor credited with much of Port of Spain’s early development.
TRINIDAD | TOUR OF PORT OF SPAIN
St. John’s (London) Baptist Church
Our short tour ends at a little known, but historically significant Baptist church which lies just opposite the Hall of Justice on Pembroke Street. This beautiful church, which is a fine example of 19th century religious architecture in Port of Spain, also tells a deeper story of the Merikin community in Trinidad for whom the Baptist faith played an indelible part in their development. The Cabildo House
12 Things that are
Truly Trinbagonian By Anna Walcott-Hardy
To label Trinidad and Tobago as unique is an understatement, the islands are buzzing with an indescribable energy. A callaloo-mix of cultures, T&T is home to 1.2 million people, many of whom welcome the challenge of changing adversity into an accomplishment. The fusion of food, festivals and music makes these islands like no other place on earth.
This is our Trinbagonian way of relaxing and having fun! Whether it’s a couple of friends catching-up at a bar, home entertaining, or partying sea-side, a lime with good friends always include great food and lots of “ole talk”.
Paramin Blue Devils
Bathed in blue these traditional characters emerge at sunset from the hills of Paramin on Carnival Monday to spew flames and wreak havoc on a gleeful crowd of spectators waiting at the crossroads. Words of warning – make sure to pay when the devils ask for a dollar!
The steel pan was created from oil drums in Trinidad in the 1930s by innovators like Winston ‘Spree’ Simon, Ellie Mannette, Bertie Marshall and Anthony Williams. Steel pan yards are central to communities throughout the island. Many locally crafted percussive instruments were once banned by the colonial government including the Tamboo Bamboo. And yet the community of panmakers, players and tuners thrived in Belmont. Today, panyards can be found across the country, the bands welcome players from far and wide with many yards offering seating and refreshments. FROM TOP
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No Man’s Land
Curried Crab & Dumplin’
Photo: Ziad Joseph
Temple In The Sea Photo: Ziad Joseph
Scarlet Ibis at the Caroni Swamp Photo: Christopher Anderson
Photo: Damian Luk Pat
Highlanders Steel Orchestra Photo: Maria Nunes
Breakfast will never be the same once you’ve tried this popular Trinidadian street food. Two golden baras are filled with curried channa/chickpeas and a selection of delicious chutneys, with pepper being optional – we suggest ‘slight’ for the novices.
Red Topaz Hummingbird
There’s a reason Trinidad is called the land of the hummingbird. With 18 species, the Red Topaz is certainly one of the most majestic - just 8.1cm long including its tail, this iridescent beauty flaunts a ruby-red crown and shiny golden throat. The females are not as bright and colourful as the males, but the Trinidad and Tobago bird boasts a greenish-orange stripe from the chin to the chest.
On the Chaguaramas peninsula, the scenic walk uphill through a natural arch of bamboo is a sight to behold. Serene, with picturesque ocean vistas of the north-west coast of Trinidad; if you’re lucky, you may also see the capuchin monkeys climbing the crisscrossed tree trunks.
The Nylon Pool
Once you enter the cerulean waters you won’t want to leave this natural, in-sea shallow pool, located near to the Buccoo Reef, Tobago. The warm waters and white-coral sands were named by Princess Margaret when she visited Tobago in 1962.
Curried Crab & Dumplin’
A visit to Store Bay will give you a chance to taste this traditional Tobagonian dish of curried Caribbean Blue Crab flavoured with cumin, coconut milk and cilantro. Highly recommended after a tour of Buccoo Reef and the Nylon Pool.
The Temple In The Sea
In Carapachaima, the original Hindu shrine was built by a determined devotee, Siewdass Sadhu. Although the original structure has been reconstructed, it still stands as a testament of love and perseverance.
The Magnificent Seven
Along the westerly side of the Queen’s Park Savannah, you can’t help but admire the dramatic Magnificent Seven historical buildings starting with the Queen’s Royal College (QRC) and ending with Castle Killarney (tours are recommended).
The Pitch Lake
In La Brea lies the greatest natural deposit of asphalt in the world, estimated at 10 million tonnes. Often called the eighth wonder of the world, there are over 109 acres of pitch where you can walk along the hissing surface and during the rainy season you can even bathe in pools that form.
The Caroni Swamp is a 12,000-acre sanctuary of mangroves, teeming with crabs, caiman and birds, with the grande finale being the arrival of the Scarlet Ibis at sunset. The boat tours begin at 4 pm, and although the birds are seen throughout the year, from mid-October to March is the best time to view the magnificent Ibis coming home to roost.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | TRULY T&T
Photo: Lisa Fernandez/Lifepyx
Whetting the Appetite By Sheldon Waithe It was just a taste, after all, to maintain a semblance of the creativity and revelry generated annually by Trinidad Carnival. An opportunity for musicians and costume designers to showcase their talents; for the traditions of yesteryear to maintain the link to Carnival’s past. The ‘Taste of Carnival’ was launched with little time to prepare, yet the grandeur was resplendent in the Carnival Kings and Queens costumes. The winners, Joseph Lewis’ depiction of Kreegorseth - Mystic Guardian of the Amazons and Shynel Camille Brizan’s portrayal (while six months pregnant) of Olugbe-Rere Ko - The Spirit Who Brings Good Things, were welcome harbingers after months of pandemic enforced lockdowns. Brizan’s towering ice blue Moko Jumbie beauty was representative of costumes that boggle the mind – elaborate constructs created in minimal time – and reminded the world about the undisputed magnificence that is Carnival design. Soca artists rocked the stage with abandon despite the social distancing restrictions, with concert venues in north and south Trinidad deemed safe zones. Their performances emphasized release, even if there could not be all of the customary abandon. The likes of Voice, Bunji Garlin, Blaxx and Fay-Ann Lyons belted out their hits, with collaboration a major theme of the truncated season. Singers joined one another on stage, to the delight of crowds that were limited to pods of ten. That did not prevent them from wining to the beat, as Farmer Nappy said, encouragingly “We might have no road, but we can still party”.
The Kaiso Karavan at Queen’s Hall provided two years’ worth of social commentary that emanates from calypso, with a beautiful outdoor setting amongst the gigantic trees, that could set a new precedent for calypso tents in forthcoming seasons. The re-enactment of the Canboulay Riots (which caused the first ever cancellation of Carnival in 1881), maintained its 5am Carnival Friday slot but moved from its traditional Piccadilly Greens location to the NAPA stage. The importance of its production in 2022 and evolvement into a play ‘Kambule’, was summed up by its writer Eintou Springer. “It is an ancestral tribute, so we will always do it. We intend to keep ritual in the Mas’, to remind ourselves of those from whose belly the Mas’ came and give them reverence, recognition, and visibility”. Top marks for this unusual Carnival season were reserved for Musical Showdown in De Big Yard. In the absence of Panorama, this new steelpan event may have been scaled down, but the sound was big…and varied. Steel bands chose to perform gospel, R&B and classical music, with outstanding results. It was promoted as a show, rather than a competition, with the fans the true winners. It was just a taste of Carnival, albeit a vital one; we cannot wait for the full serving. FROM TOP
Queen of Carnival - Olugbe-Rere Ko, The Spirit Who Brings Good Things HADCO Phase II Pan Groove Ole’ time Carnival Photos: Maria Nunes
One of the quintessential depictions of Trinidad’s carnival, with their piercing screams and beaten biscuit pans, are the fire-breathing Blue Devils. All versions of this masquerade are pale in comparison to those from the hills of Paramin. Photos: Jason C. Audain
The Blue Diables of
By Harmony Farrell
In this world of its own, the absence of an official carnival parade is but minor. The jabs/diables are the artisans of their costumes, the chemists of their paint, and, according to Steffy Marcano (leader of the Next Level Devils), the literal pavers of their roads, whenever the potholes grow too large. The jab sustains itself so much so that if carnival as we know it were to disintegrate for some reason, the Blue Devil would adapt to play mas’ in its rubble. The Blue Devil’s origin, much like many or all folk artforms, demonstrates the human creativity that produces beauty out of next-to-nothing. With little more than blue laundry powder, homemade instruments, discarded clothes and residual memory of Africa, the population of Paramin fashioned the jab. It is a wonder to be studied how, hundreds of
years later, the life force of this character has been preserved in its sanctity amidst the forces of “commodification” and “prettification” in the contemporary carnival. The magic is found in community. No matter where the bands roam - to downtown Port of Spain, to Europe, to music videos or stage performances, the jabs always return home. This community is itself a mas’ camp where the practice is rooted in reverence for its history and the legacy of the now retired jabs who, in their senior years, continue to be actively involved in guiding each generation of devil. Elders, children, and all in between are masters of jab. For them, it is more than a masquerade. Indeed, it can be the opposite - an unmasking to reveal the inner self. It is the space to quite literally “Play yourself”! It is a lifestyle and a birthright. As they say, “You’re born a jab”.
TRINIDAD | FESTIVALS
Carnival Band Leader
Dean Ackin on Innovation during the Pandemic
“We listen, we pay attention to our environment, trends, and most importantly the voice of our masqueraders - what they ask for, we develop and provide. When we identify a need, we innovate…If the pandemic has taught us nothing [else] it’s that TT carnival is a beautifully unique and irreplaceable thing… our job is to translate, maintain, preserve and celebrate it.”
If “necessity is the mother of invention” then the CEO of one of the most popular Carnival bands on the island has filled that need. Dean Ackin has been on a trajectory to change the face of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival for over two decades and is now making waves overseas. It’s interesting that in 2001, just out of high school and working at a local bank, Dean and a group of friends decided to create a section within the Carnival band Poison as more of a “hobby” than a career. The section grew so quickly that he launched the TRIBE All-Inclusive Carnival band just four years later. Although most Carnival bands offer this today, the concept was truly inspired - an all-inclusive experience where revellers no longer have to leave the band in search of food, drink, restrooms, make-up touch-ups and even rest. This would all be provided while on the road. ‘Tribe’ Mas Band
Photos: Anthony Maugee
The brand evolved in size and scope with the addition of the Bliss and the Lost Tribe Carnival bands, tailor-made to meet the demand for an alternative aesthetic in terms of costume design, as well as entertainment.
Dean credits his team’s ability to adapt as the secret to their success, alongside a commitment to breaking barriers and celebrating Caribbean beauty.
“THE LOST TRIBE was a moment of evolution in our art form that married the best of modernday road experience and the authenticity of our history of storytelling and design. It shook the industry with its out of the box design approach, unconventional material use and rejection of feathers in its material box.”
Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of Carnival 2021 and limited celebrations this year in safe zones for vaccinated participants to enjoy select events, but not the two-day street parade. But this has not deterred the team, they have continued to innovate, even looking beyond our shores into new collaborations in international destinations. “It’s been a challenge, but the carnival has never been easy nor smooth,” Dean says with a laugh. “Our business is one of innovation, constant evolution and development in the face of adversity…As the road parade was not possible, we worked on developing other aspects of the brands.” He went on to add that over the past seven years, inclusive of these pandemic years, “the Lost Tribe family, as we have grown to call our masquerader base, has grown in size, reach and impact, extending globally. LT continues to evolve with innovation as a core pillar of the brand identity and urged by demand, LT joined with its sister company Ultimate Events Limited in 2019 to open the ‘TALENT BANK’, a facet of the brand that presented entertainment, event performances, costumed performers and
The original idea was to take Carnival to the Seas. Combining the efforts of two carnival Mega Brands, TRIBE and Machel Montano, we had planned and launched a Carnival Cruise that would translate our Trinidad carnival in a different way… and then the pandemic hit.
brand executions for clients... LOST TRIBE’s journey has been and continues to be one of breaking barriers, design and celebrating Caribbean stories and beauty”. This leads us to one of the most anticipated events of the year, Melé. In April, 2022, a destination all-inclusive pairing of the Carnival band TRIBE with Soca superstar Machel Montano takes off at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico. The sold-out event will include concerts, parades and “fete, after fete, after fete”. “Melé has definitely been a journey and a product that blossomed in the face of the pandemic. The original idea was to take Carnival to the Seas. Combining the efforts of two carnival Mega Brands, TRIBE and Machel Montano, we had planned and launched a Carnival Cruise that would translate our Trinidad carnival in a different way… and then the pandemic hit. Facing the challenges head-on we decided to transform the production to a destination-based one. This year’s inaugural five-day event will be held at the Moon Palace resort in Cancun, Mexico, and will be a Soca experience like no other! The response has been great, we are sold out, and we can’t wait to show everyone what we have in store.” And our Carnival tribe can’t wait to play mas’ in 2023!
Photo: Christopher Daniel
TRINIDAD | FESTIVALS
Phagwa-Holi Festival 19th & 20th March Spiritual Baptist/ Shouter Liberation Day 30th March Good Friday 15th April Easter Monday 18th April Feast of La Divina Pastora/ Soparee Mai 8th May Eid-ul-Fitr 2 May Indian Arrival Day 30th May May Cross Festival/ Cruz De Mayo Celebrations 30th May Ganga Dhaaraa 9th June Corpus Christi 16th June Labour Day 20th June St. Peter’s Day 3rd July Emancipation Day 1st August The Festival of Santa Rosa 1st August–31st August Ganesh Utsav 31st August Hosay 8th August Independence Day 31st August Launch Of Parang Festival 1st September – Ends 6th January Republic Day 24th September Ramleela 26th September Date subject to change The Ogun Festival 7–9th October First Peoples Heritage Week 12th October Divali Festival 24th October Tobago Carnival 2022 28th - 30th October Christmas Day 25th December Boxing Day 26th December T&T Carnival 2023 20th & 21st February
The blooming of the majestic Poui trees is synonymous with a few things on the islands: the dry season, the beginning of secondary school examinations, and the celebration of Easter. This is a time when generations picnic under the trees, play long games of cricket and football, and of course, fly kites in the clear, blue Easter skies. Like all Trinbagonian holidays, many head to the islands’ beautiful beaches. In Tobago, witnessing the traditional goat races at the stadium is a must. Like all Trinbagonian holidays, Easter celebrations are also synonymous with special foods. Though it is mainly Roman Catholics who refrain from eating meat on Good Friday, many Trinidadians and Tobagonians use this occasion to enjoy some delicious fish, fried or otherwise. As in many other parts of the world, sticky hot cross buns with cross-shaped icing on top are also an Easter staple. Another tradition is the Good Friday ‘Bobolee’: a stuffed effigy of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, that passers-by are encouraged to beat as a symbolic punishment for Judas’s sin. It has now become a bit of a rarity, often showing up in more rural parts of the island, so keep an eye out for any hanging ‘bobolees’.
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Installation of the Shiv Lingam Pt. Krishen Ramdeen & the ISHA Organisation Photo: Lisa Fernandez/Lifepyx
Chinese New Year Celebration, 2020 Photo: Lisa Fernandez/Lifepyx
Joanne Briggs, Los Paranderos de UWI Photo: Maria Nunes
Photo: Lisa Fernandez/Lifepyx
Photo: Ziad Joseph
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Eid-ul-Fitr On Eid-ul-Fitr, a festival that marks the breaking of the fast, Muslims around the world celebrate the end of the sacred month of Ramadan in which the Holy Quran was revealed to the prophet Mohammed. During this time, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and sexual activity between dawn and dusk, and at sunset the fast is broken with prayers and communal meals. The practice of fasting is a spiritual exercise found in many of the world’s religions; in Islam it is used as a means to help the believer focus on spiritual reflection, prayer, and good deeds; it is a way to draw the mind and spirit from worldly concerns and place the attention on the divine. The Quran tells the faithful that, “fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be mindful of God”. In order to ensure that no one is excluded from this happy occasion, many Muslim families traditionally perform an act of charity around the time of Eid through donations of food or money. This is sometimes linked to the practice of zakat, or almsgiving, which is one of the pillars of Islamic teachings whereby Muslims are called upon to give a certain percentage of their wealth to charity. Although zakat is not necessarily due at this time, some Muslims choose to make these charitable payments around the time of Eid-ul-Fitr. The word zakat literally means “to cleanse” and it is believed that act of giving purifies and blesses the wealth of the donor. The night of Eid-ul-Fitr itself is a joyous time of great celebration filled with enjoying food and sweets, as well as socializing with friends, family, and neighbours.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | CULTURE
Photo: Christopher Anderson
Indian Arrival Day On Indian Arrival Day, May 30th, we recognize and celebrate the arrival to these shores of the indentured labourers from India who migrated to the islands in the mid-19th century. The first group arrived from India on the Fatel Razack or, in English, Victory of Allah the Provider, which was misspelt by a careless British customs officer who noted the arrival of the “Futtle Razack.” This group of two hundred and twenty-five East Indian indentured labourers would have just completed a perilous three-month journey across the kala pani, or ‘black waters’ that lay between India and the Caribbean, in order to begin a new life in Trinidad, working on sugarcane and cocoa plantations across the island. The British, who looked to India as a source of cheap labour after emancipation, would continue to bring close to one hundred thousand labourers from India to the colonies. These labourers, who came to replace the freed African slaves who left the plantations in droves after emancipation, have left an indelible mark on the culture of Trinidad and Tobago - the religion, food, music, and traditions that they brought with them have played a major role in shaping the multicultural landscape of the country.
Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day Every year on March 30th, Trinidad and Tobago commemorates the liberation of the Spiritual (Shouter) Baptist community, whose faith was banned for over three decades (1917-1951) in the early twentieth century by the colonial government. The Spiritual Baptist faith is one that is indigenous to this country; a religion comprising elements of Protestant Christianity and African doctrines and rituals. Here are some of the iconic features of the faith. The bell is one of the most enduring symbols of the Spiritual Shouter Baptist community. It can be heard ringing throughout the worship assembly and celebrations. Used as a powerful tool to raise the vibrations of the congregation and connect them with the divine, the elders of the church teach that the bell is a representation of what the Bible calls, “a voice in the wilderness calling out to God” and is said to represent the divine presence of the Holy Spirit. No celebration is complete without the ample ringing of bells. Another recognizable symbol of the faith is the calabash. Used as a vessel for flowers, candles, water, and other items during worship, it is regarded as a gift from ‘Mother Earth’. It is believed that it was heavily influenced by the spiritual practices of persons of former kingdoms in West Africa including the Dahomey, Kongo, and Yoruba tribes. The calabash symbolizes the faith’s connection to the ancestors hailed from these kingdoms.
Spiritual Baptist worship is a joyous, musical affair in which the divine is invoked and praised through spontaneous hymns of worship, the beating of drums, the ringing of bells, clapping and dancing–the entire body and mind are used to connect the congregation to God. One recognizable feature of this style of worship is what is known as groaning, a sort of humming or groaning sound which worshippers sometimes make as an act of devotion to God, a form of devotion which transcends language. Water, another essential symbol, is used during worship. A Baptist service begins with what is called “watering the field” where the corners and centre of the church are sprinkled with water. This water signifies the source of life and energy, representing the divine which revives and refreshes the worshippers. This use of water is a feature that the faith shares with many other world religions and spiritual practices. These symbols are all powerful elements of Baptist worship which give us more insight into this integral and somewhat misunderstood religious community. On Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day, we are reminded of the struggles faced by this community and their resilience and achievements in the face of oppression.
Photo: Lisa Fernandez/Lifepyx
Photo: Mimi Chu Leung
The Home of Cocoa
Excellence Awards for TT Chocolates By Anna Walcott-Hardy
“In so many ways you can say Trinidad gave cocoa to the world…Most of the cocoa varieties grown around the world were distributed largely from Trinidad. That is why Trinidad is known internationally, wherever cocoa is produced, as the home of cocoa.” Professor Pathmanathan Umaharan of The University of the West Indies Cocoa Research Centre (CRC) has championed the historic role local cocoa has made since the 18th century, from additions to Cadbury chocolates to the genetic materials that
were exported to populate cocoa estates throughout the British Commonwealth. Once celebrated as the locus of the cocoa empire, this legacy of excellence continues today with the increasing use of the high yielding, disease-resistant Trinitario, a hybrid of the Criollo and Forastero cocoa strains. Trinidad and Tobago’s cocoa is reaching greater heights again with the announcement that our local farmers were winners of the prestigious International Cocoa of Excellence Awards. The 2021
Trinidad and Tobago’s cocoa is reaching greater heights again with the announcement that our local farmers were winners of the prestigious International Cocoa of Excellence Awards. TOP: Mr. Winthrop Harewood | LEFT: Ms. Annette Mills BELOW: Farmers of the Four Roads Tamana Cluster. The Four Roads Tamana Cluster sample is the first time a composite sample from different farms in a community, was submitted on behalf of T&T. The members of this group are Mr. Albert Maloney, Mr. Calvin David, Ms. Helen Monsegue, Mr. Lyncoln Salandy, as well as Mr. Martin and Jacqueline Matthew who processed the group’s sample. This latter couple won an International Cocoa Award for a sample from their estate, in 2019.
winners were announced via an online ceremony with Winthrop Harewood of Tableland and Annette Mills of Aripo winning Silver, and Farmers from the Four Roads Tamana Cocoa Association receiving Bronze for the region of Central America and the Caribbean. The Cocoa of Excellence Awards celebrate and promote quality and diversity through a culture of excellence in the cocoa sector. All three participants were winners of the National Cocoa Awards, held at the Cocoa Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago (CDCTT) earlier this year, and their bean samples were submitted on to the Cocoa of Excellence Programme. The Programme is the entry point for cocoa producing countries
to participate in the international awards. Annette Mills’ story is one of many that reflects the true fortitude of the Trinidadian entrepreneur. Over forty years ago she began reviving the Charamal Estate in the Heights of Aripo, facing incredible challenges from large snakes entering the home to landslides, even having at times to sleep in her car. Now she is grateful, but not surprised that the estate’s beans were named in the top 50 of the best cocoa-bean samples in the world. “In 1979 I purchased an abandoned cocoa estate of twenty acres and set about to transform it with the aid of three young men, my sons…the old fields were rehabilitated and
new ones were established with grafted seedlings interplanted with citrus, bananas, various fruit trees… life was a huge learning curve, every day brought different challenges.” After enrolling in a course at the CRC and armed with a background in catering, she’s now a chocolatier crafting 75% dark chocolate bars, bon-bons and truffles as well as cocoa butter and powder. The lush estate also houses a guest lodge and offers plantation tours, a breakfast hike and chocolate-making demonstrations. Annette’s journey is one of the many stories that reflect the dedication and innovation of our local cocoa farmers and chocolatiers. To learn more visit: Charamal Estate: 1 (868) 756-1196 https://www.charamalcocoatt.com/
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | FEATURE
Eat, Grow, Glow By Paul Hadden
Photos: Shaun Rambaran
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives, yet it has also given us time to reflect on many aspects of modern life and begin making positive changes on a personal and communal level. One such positive trend has been the growing movement to eat more locally grown produce. “Eat what you grow” is a developing trend in the region and the world, and one which was made even more vital as we experienced the sudden and disconcerting interruption of the global supply during the pandemic. Eating what we grow and growing what we eat is a wonderful way for us to rediscover the connection to the land while enjoying delicious, home-grown, nutritious foods. Here are some examples of the types of amazing produce cultivated right here in T&T:
First brought to the islands from India with the arrival of the East Indian indentured labourers, the mango has become one of the most beloved fruits on the islands. The choices are immense with over seventy varieties grown on our soil.
Feels Good to Eat...
Many Trinidadians and Tobagonians relish peppers, which is good news considering that they are packed with health benefits. Notably, the Trinidad Scorpion Pepper, native to Moruga, boasts a whopping 2,000,000 units on the Scoville Scale, making it one of the hottest peppers in the world!
Peas and Beans
Many leafy greens such as kale, lettuce, and spinach are packed full of vitamins and nutrients, and with the advent of hydroponics it has become easier than ever to grow these healthy and delicious greens right in our backyards.
What would Trini food be without pigeon peas, channa, kidney beans? These and other legumes are staple features of the diet in the “blue zones” of the world: areas known for the longevity of the local people.
Trinidad is home to some of the finest cocoa in the world. The famed Trinitario cocoa bean, prized for its superior flavour and used by almost all local chocolatiers, was originally developed here in the 18th century as a cross between two varieties of cocoa: the Criollo and Forastero. Research shows that dark chocolate is one of nature’s medicines and may even help to alleviate mental troubles such as depression and anxiety.
Local dishes always call for a healthy addition of fresh herbs and seasonings. Easy to grow and cultivate, herbs such as chive, chadon béni, and Spanish thyme play a key role in adding that delicious flavour to many of our most beloved foods.
Root vegetables such as cassava, yam, dasheen, and eddoes have long been used in many local dishes including our hearty soups and stews. Rich in fibre, these foods are filling, nutritious, and extremely versatile in their preparation.
A popular ingredient for many local dishes such as choka and buljol, tomatoes are surprisingly easy to grow and often yield a large harvest. Tomatoes are most plentiful during the hot Dry Season.
The spiky coconut trees, which are found throughout the islands, are one of the Caribbean’s most iconic fruit trees. Fresh coconut water is not only hydrating but also a wonderful source of antioxidants.
Our tropical islands possess the perfect climate for all kinds of delicious citrus fruits. Packed with vitamin C, fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons are tasty and nutritious.
What You Grow LIFESTYLE
Food for Thought Craving something gourmet?
A Fresh Perspective
Are your taste-buds craving something gourmet? If so, then you must visit Peppercorns now. A one-stop gourmet shop with three accessible mall locations. Shop in comfort at Peppercorns which offers you local and imported gourmet and grocery items from cereals to cheeses, meats, frozen foods, gluten free items and more. With a variety of gourmet brands that are otherwise difficult to source in T&T, Peppercorns provides its customers with high quality products and fresh produce. https://peppercornstt.com/
A fresh perspective is sometimes necessary to truly enjoy life and at Fresh you can certainly find that new outlook and take back your health. Fresh is a grocery store born out of a love for life and a shared belief that the path to optimal health starts with clean and wholesome food. For natural and organic foods, supplements, body care products and even cleaning supplies, enjoy a fresh new world at 49 Saddle Road Maraval. Tel: 622-7828
Taste the Caribbean at Munch Kings Looking for a Taste of the Caribbean? Well look no further. Munch Kings offers you just that with local flavours of premium home-made ice cream. What makes Munch Kings’ ice-cream unique is the use of natural ingredients and fresh milk - it is like having a spectacular burst of the Caribbean on a cone. With 9 convenient locations throughout Trinidad, it is quite easy to treat your taste buds to a variety of local flavours. www.facebook.com/MunchKingsIceCream/
Molay Marketplace & Cafe
Finally, Diego Martin has its own gourmet Marketplace & Café, at 57 Schneider Gardens. We combine home kitchen know-how with gourmet techniques & ingredients for breakfast & lunch. Dine-in on our breezy porch or in the Tea Room, or grab ‘To-Go’ from our fully stocked chillers. Savour amazing New England Coffee, specialty teas, fresh-fruit smoothies & delightful baked goods. You will love Molay Marketplace, full of local artisan items & imported favourites. Opening hours, menu & more on social media. https://www.facebook.com/molaymarketplace
Tobago Gold Chocolate Rum Cream
Say hello to Tobago Gold Chocolate Rum Cream, invented in Tobago and a new twist on the old tradition of Trinbago Cocoa Tea. This blend has the signature of Lars Söderström, CEO and founder of Tobago Gold Europe BV. “By combining the finest cocoa with Caribbean flavours, and mixing this blend with rum, we created a unique cream liqueur.” Söderström proudly explains that with its high percentage of premium cocoa and a low sugar content, Tobago Gold aims to meet the preferences of today’s modern consumer. While living in Trinidad, in 2004 Söderström bought the abandoned 365-acre La Caurita cocoa estate in Maracas Valley and brought the estate back to life by replanting cocoa trees and building a new cocoa house. This was the initial spark leading to the creating of Tobago Gold. “Tobago makes you happy, everyone who comes here loves it! Tobago is beautiful, clean, green and serene. The natural beauty is the inspiration behind the name and packaging of our product.” Tobago Gold has received exceptional consumer feed-back world-wide, and was also recognized several times in international taste and design awards. After the successful launch in Trinidad & Tobago in 2021, Söderström says the team is now dedicated to bringing this exciting new product to consumers worldwide, and it is already delighting consumers in several European countries. “I want to bring a Caribbean flavour, with a Carnival Spirit to the world – creativity, happiness, inclusiveness and above all having fun together.”
Jencare Day Spa
It feels good
Where is the best place to do something nice for yourself because you deserve it? At Jencare Day Spa. With two convenient locations in Woodbrook, Trinidad and Lowlands, Tobago, Jencare is guaranteed to make you feel loved, pampered and awakened. Be revitalized from head to toe with Jencare’s Aromatherapy massages, steam saunas, facials, skin perfecting and body treatments, manicures, pedicures and more. You are guaranteed to leave feeling refreshed. Call: (868) 627-4141
La Mer Day Spa
Total tranquillity awaits you at La Mer Day Spa. Immerse yourself in the spa of vital luxuries. From its signature couples massage, lunch, complimentary eucalyptus and steam shower to specialized facial treatments, detoxifying body scrubs, hot stone massage treatments, nail treatments, cupping, reflexology and more, total peace and relaxation await you at La Mer Day Spa. Be sure to visit at Level 1, BHP Billiton Building, Invaders Bay, Port-of-Spain.
Spa Esencia Find your urban retreat and prepare to indulge, detox, and relax at Spa Esencia. Our blissful treatments incorporate luxury products and local botanicals in order to offer you a truly refreshing experience. Explore our plush spa suites equipped with luxury amenities overlooking the Gulf of Paria. Book your stay today to begin your journey to rejuvenation. Spa Esencia, Hyatt Regency Trinidad Call: (868) 821-6500. trinidad.regency.hyatt.com
COVID-19 and You in T&T
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm and these twin islands are no exception. Trinidad and Tobago reported its first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus on March 12th, 2020. The good news is that over 50% of the population is fully vaccinated and the case numbers have begun to decline. For more than two years, the country has been battling the virus head-on and has put in place several regulations and safeguards, including ensuring that World Health Organization (WHO)-approved vaccines are available. Here is some more insight into local regulations and requirements as provided by the Ministry of Health:
There’s a lot of information on COVID-19
What should I know about COVID-19
I have reduced and laminated my vaccination
regulations and guidelines. Where should I go
requirements when entering and mingling
card to a business card size so it fits in my
to get accurate information?
wallet. Is this accepted?
With the recent relaxation of most COVID-19
As of Sunday 27th March, 2022, most of the
Yes, this is accepted. A copy on your phone and
restrictions allowing the gradual reopening of
COVID-19 restrictions previously imposed
a photocopy are also accepted.
places and resumption of events, information
on citizens were lifted. Some new guidelines
being presented to us is constantly changing as
announced by the nation’s Prime Minister,
Do I need to get my vaccination information
the Ministry of Health continues to take steps in
Keith Rowley are:
on the International Vaccine Card?
safeguarding the population against the virus. To
COVID-19 antigen tests will be accepted
You will only need this if you are travelling. To
get updated and accurate information, persons
from vaccinated passengers arriving
have this done you must have:
should only acquire information from official
in Trinidad and Tobago, replacing the
sources such as the website and social media
need for a negative PCR test. Soon,
pages of the Ministry of Health (www.health.
the travelpass system will be lifted. A
gov.tt) and the Regional Health Authorities, as
TTravel Pass was previously required
well as communication from partner ministries
by all persons entering Trinidad and
and agencies (for example, Office of the Prime
Minister - Communications, Office of the
Card (front page and page with proof of COVID-19 vaccination). •
space for leisure activity for vaccinated
persons) but from April 4th, the Safe
A copy of the biodata page of your passport.
Previously, there were safe zones (a safe
Attorney General and Legal Affairs, WHO or
A copy of your Local Immunization
A copy of your travel itinerary if you have one.
Your existing International Vaccine Card if you have one.
Zone operations will be lifted, allowing What should I do if I had close contact with
for the mingling of vaccinated and
You should then visit the County Medical
someone who has COVID-19?
Officer of Health’s office in your county. No
Mask wearing will remain in force in
appointment is necessary and at some offices,
public places, except on a sporting field.
a dropbox is available so you can leave your
As of April 4th, 2022, all restrictions
documents in a sealed envelope with your
you should self-quarantine and call the hotline,
have been lifted on visiting rivers and
name and contact information. The average
877-WELL. Self-quarantine Guidelines are
beaches and there is no limit to public
processing time will be three to five working
available from the Ministry of Health.
days from the date of drop-off.
If someone you have been in close contact with
has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been sent on self-quarantine by a medical professional,
The island of Chacachacare is home to one of Trinidad and Tobago’s lesser-known jewels, a pristine tropical Salt Pond. Couched in the dense forest of the island is a triangular pool with several times the salt content of the sea. Its salinity, as you can imagine, offers unique features that set it aside from a freshwater pond. It is a natural sauna, keeping a comfortable bathwater temperature regardless of the weather. It is a fuss-free swim, or float, more accurately. Much like the Dead Sea, it allows you to keep your head above water until and unless you actively decide to submerge yourself. Either way, a dip in the Salt Pond is certainly a healing experience. Caribbean elders are known to trust in a sea bath as the remedy for anything from nasal congestion to misfortune. Just imagine what a salt pond bath could cure! Though visibility beneath the surface may be limited, you need not worry about any unexpected visitors below the surface, as few species of wildlife are cut out for the extremely salty habitat. The pond remains mostly undisturbed by creatures and humans alike. It is no wonder that this breathtaking spot is unexplored. Though not impossible to reach, it takes a boat journey through the choppy waters of the Bocas del Dragón channels to arrive at Chacachacare, the farthestflung and largest of the Bocas islands. Closer to Venezuela than it is to Trinidad, this is as down as ‘Down D Islands’ gets. For those lucky enough to join a trusted tour group, this breathtaking spot is well worth braving the waves.
Photo: Christopher Anderson
Erin Bouffe Mud Volcano
The easy trek to the mud pool situated at the Los Iros Volcanic Park makes it a popular choice for families. While Trinidad’s waterfalls are monopolized by the northern region of the island, the southlands give exclusive access to another natural feature - mud volcanoes. The seaside village of Los Iros is home of the Erin Bouffe Mud Volcano, one of the less popular but more fun mud deposits that offer the opportunity to dive into mother nature’s spa. This is the perfect spot for anyone wanting adventure
Photos: Jason Sookermany
without a trek. After driving through the tall grasses and farmlands of the ‘deep south’ community, the mud volcano itself is a leisurely five-minute walk away from vehicle parking. Though the site lacks infrastructure for sheltering from the elements, this doesn’t become much of an issue as the car is only a stone’s throw away. For the main attraction, there is one large pool and several smaller ones, which have been multiplying over the years. Each
is filled with warm clay that’s sure to bring out your inner child and treat your skin at the same time. The magic in the mud is that its density allows you to float to the surface, which adds a sensation of weightlessness to this full body mask. To top it all off, there’s a mud slide that takes you winding down the hill from the main crater, once you’re prepared to make the walk back up. Minimal guidance is needed for such an uncomplicated visit, and
The magic in the mud is that its density allows you to float to the surface, which adds a sensation of weightlessness to this full body mask the farmers and residents in the area are shining examples of southern hospitality. They’ll give the best advice on whether the weather permits the option of walking through the forest path to the nearby Los Iros beach. This is a half-hour journey on average and is a straightforward navigation once the terrain is dry. If not, the farmers are happy to offer fresh water to wash off - free of charge, but donations are welcome. If your car is well stocked with plastic bags to keep clay off the upholstery, you may opt instead to drive to beach which is just parallel to the mud volcano road. A day trip to the mud volcano promises to be both restorative and exciting, all in the same dip.
Tapping the Potential of
In service of global climate action imperatives and national emissions reduction targets, The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) and its subsidiary companies are making pioneering advances into the green energy space. Among the latest projects being explored by The Group is the conversion of landfill gas into a commercially viable energy source. Landfill gas (LFG) is a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic material in landfills. LFG is composed of roughly 50% methane (the primary component of natural gas), 50% carbon dioxide (CO2), and a small amount of non-methane organic compounds. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas 28 to 36 times more effective than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 100-year period. Capturing methane and putting it to productive use as an energy source is therefore a key strategy for combating global warming. In this context, the NGC Group’s latest clean energy undertaking is a valuable one. On September 13th, 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed among NGC, NGC CNG Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC CNG), National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (National Energy), and the Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL), to explore opportunities to capture and commercialise landfill gas for uses such as the provision of carbon-negative, renewable compressed natural gas.
Landfill gas (LFG) is a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic material in landfills. 42
Through this MOU, the Parties will identify and quantify landfill gas emissions for existing landfills, explore existing and new infrastructure requirements to facilitate transportation and commercialisation of extracted landfill gas volumes, and explore opportunities for utilisation of the derived renewable compressed natural gas as an alternative transportation fuel for vehicles. Specifically, the captured methane emissions can potentially be used to fuel SWMCOL’s fleet of vehicles and other official government fleets. It is expected that this initiative will contribute to Trinidad and Tobago’s energy transition journey and create new revenue streams for the country. The NGC Group is committed to driving the local energy transformation to a zero-carbon energy future. This collaboration with SWMCOL is just one of several partnerships that The Group is embracing to address the rapidly changing energy and economic landscape and mitigate the threat of climate change. Now more than ever, renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives are needed if we are to create a circular economy and achieve a sustainable energy future. Harnessing the power of landfill gas is a step in the right direction.
Immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty while enjoying a great workout. Whether your goal is a waterfall, river, or beach, there are tons of options to choose from at all levels of difficulty. Doable hikes are Rio Seco Waterfall, Turure Waterfall, Mermaid Pools, North Oropouche.
EZ Fit Adventure Tel: (868) 350-5868 Email: email@example.com https://www.facebook.com/CoachK
Caroni Swamp Tour
Home to the beautiful scarlet ibis which returns to the swamp just before sunset. Take a motorized boat tour and learn all about the over 100 species of birds, crabs, caiman, and swamp boas. The Caroni Bird Sanctuary boat tours depart daily at 4pm. Tel: (868) 681-8274, 776-2046 https://www.facebook.com/ WinstonNananEcoTours
Located near to the historic Temple in the Sea and connected to the stunning Dattratreya Temple, the Hanuman Murti is the largest statue of Lord Hanuman to be found outside of India. Located in Carapichaima, central Trinidad.
Must-See & Do
4 Tobago Forts
Learn about the colourful military history of Tobago by visiting one (or several) of its seven forts. Many of the bastions also offer some of the island’s best views. A mustsee is Fort King George in Scarborough which sits above the Capital. The barracks, powder magazine and lighthouse among other buildings can be visited. For information contact: Tobago Museum | Tel: (868) 639-3970
Down the Islands
Going DDI (“Down D Islands”) is a weekend ritual for many Trinidadians. Explore historic Nelson Island, tour the Gasparee limestone caves, or just rent an elegant island home and spend the weekend liming with friends and soaking in the water. For a visit to the Nelson Island Heritage Site, call the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago. Tel: (868) 225-4750 | https://nationaltrust.tt/
6 Turtle Watching
Trinidad is home to the second largest Leatherback Sea Turtle nesting site in the world! Take advantage of this natural wonder and book a tour to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Tours for viewing are resuming for the upcoming season and will be operating under stipulated COVID-19 protocols. For information contact: Turtle Village Trust Tel: (868) 667-8471 https://www.facebook.com/ TurtleVillageTrust
No Man’s Land Tobago
Visit locations like the Coral Garden, Nylon Pool, Arnos Vale and many more with a guide, personally snorkelling with you to highlight all of the reef’s natural beauty.
Take an early morning kayak or paddle board to No Man’s Land and then the Nylon Pool. Then downwind back to Pigeon Point through an area known for turtles.
8 Castle Killarney
Enjoy a guided tour of this unique building which is an integral part of Port of Spain’s architectural legacy. A perfect way to start or end a visit to the Queen’s Park Savannah. Open and operating under stipulated COVID-19 protocols. Walk-in tours, and guided tours Tel: (868) 358-5755 https://www.facebook.com/castlekillarneytt
Things in T&T
NGC Bocas Lit Fest
Experience the rich literary culture of the islands. Take a writing workshop, read a poem at an open mike, or come and listen to a panel of fabulous local and regional writers discuss their work. Save the Date: 28th April–1st May 2022 Tel: (868) 222-7099 https://www.bocaslitfest.com/
Stand Up Paddle Tobago Call (868) 681-4741 http://www.standuppaddletobago.com/ morning-paddle
Nariva Swamp Tour
An abundance of nature everywhere you turn, visit the swamp by hiking on foot or taking a small boat tour. A popular choice with eco tour companies. Expect to see everything from monkeys and ocelots, to caiman and anacondas. Caribbean Discovery Tours Tel: (868) 620-1989. firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.facebook.com/ CaribbeanDiscoveryToursLtd
Day in Chaguaramas
Hike or bike through a natural trail, take a walk by the sea on the boardwalk, enjoy a delicious meal at the marina, or spend a fun day at the water park with the kids. Lots to do for the whole family. For Tours, check the Chaguaramas Development Authority https://www.instagram.com/chaguaramas_magic/ Tel: (868) 225-4232 Ext. 191 Tours.email@example.com
Intriguing Museums Brij Maharaj Auto & Heritage Museum For all of the car fans out there, this one is not to missed! The Brij Maharaj Auto & Heritage Museum hosts a unique collection of vintage cars, motorcycles, and scooters. Finding no counterpart on the island, the museum is a must-see for anyone passionate about automobiles and transport. During the tour, visitors are given a wealth of information related to the beautiful classic cars on display.
Located on the beautiful, sprawling grounds of the Fort King George compound in Scarborough, the Tobago Museum tells the story of the island’s tumultuous past through its exhibition of Amerindian and African artifacts, military relics, shells, and documents from the colonial period. Fort King George, Fort St., Scarborough Tobago Tel: 639-3970
Hubert Rance St, San Fernando, Trinidad Tel: 868-620-4551 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ BrijMaharajMuseum
National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago
The University of the West Indies Zoology Museum The Zoology Museum, located on the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies, is the perfect place to explore the wide variety of flora and fauna found in both Trinidad and Tobago and the surrounding region. The museum’s mission is “to collect, preserve, document, and display the fauna” of the region, and visitors can expect to see over seventy thousand preserved specimens from both the Caribbean and South American mainland. The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. Tel: 662-2002 Ext 82237 E-mail: UWIZoologyMuseum@sta.uwi.edu Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ uwizoologymuseum Photo: Nicholas Bhajan
The Tobago Museum
Offering free entry to the public, The National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago is home to an impressive collection of around 10,000 pieces of historical art. Located just minutes from the Queen’s Park Savannah, the museum will be celebrating its 130th anniversary this year. You can look forward to touring the seven different galleries: Art, Social History, Natural History, Economic History, Petroleum and Geology. 117 Frederick St., Port of Spain Tel: 612-3691 ext 2017 E-mail: email@example.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ nationalmuseumandartgallerytt/
The Central Bank Auditorium and the Central Bank Museum T
he Central Bank Auditorium and the Central Bank Museum are your gateways to the arts in the capital city of Port of Spain. These two cultural hubs are located in the Central Bank tower on Independence Square. The Auditorium, with its state-of-the-art facilities, provides a space for performing artists to showcase local content. The Museum offers a modern design with interactive displays, as well as exhibitions featuring the Bank’s fine art collection.
THE CENTRAL BANK MUSEUM
The Central Bank Museum is a space where history and art come alive through informative exhibits in a modern museum environment. The Museum welcomes visitors of all ages to enjoy our displays, explore our collections and learn about the history and role of the Central Bank within the context of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider region. The Museum displays are interactive and engaging and aim to inspire and educate! Check out our virtual self-guided tour of the Museum on the Central Bank’s website: Central Bank Museum Tour (net-fs. com) or book a virtual tour meet-up and interact directly with us! Instagram - @cbttmuseum Tel: 621-2288 ext. 2151/2120/2400
THE CENTRAL BANK AUDITORIUM
The Central Bank Auditorium remains one of Trinidad and Tobago’s premier performing spaces and is renowned for its intimacy and ambience. Designed to serve as a civic contribution to the local performing arts, this state-of-the-art facility offers an array of worldclass services and amenities, which include: • Digital Lighting and Sound • Dressing Room and Green Room Facilities • Box Office and Concession services • Audio and video recording • Live streaming and virtual events • Fully sanitized facility, adhering to all local COVID-19 regulations
For more information about the Auditorium, visit the Central Bank’s Website at www.central-bank.org.tt or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cbttauditorium/ Tel: 621-2288 ext. 2155/2142/2248
Have you ever had
Reminiscent of the old days, Chocolate Bar Café offers visitors a true taste of T&T’s rich culture in just one cup of piping hot chocolate (what locals refer to as ‘cocoa tea’). Tucked away in the lush, scenic valley of Santa Cruz, visitors can purchase authentic, locally made chocolates, bask in the glory of the sunshine outdoors amongst cocoa trees and a cocoa house while having local dishes and sipping on a cup of perfection. The offerings at this café will certainly leave you with a feeling of nostalgia but satisfaction at the same time. Chocolate Bar Café serves breakfast from 8am on Wednesdays to Sundays and a takeaway service is also available. You must visit Chocolate Bar Café for this is certainly an experience and a café you will never forget. Chocolate Bar Café #2 Sam Boucaud Extension Road, Sam Boucaud Santa Cruz, Trinidad Tel: (868) 237-9351 https://www.facebook.com/ChocolateBarTT
Waterfalls There is no feeling quite like the massage of droplets showering onto your body from a waterfall, or the rush of cool, clear water and smooth river stones under your feet.
Chasing Waterfalls In Trinidad and Tobago, there is no shortage of waterfall destinations. Even some of the most sublime water features are a short walk from civilization, while others will call to you through the labyrinth of the forest. The Northern Range of Trinidad has a monopoly on the island’s waterfalls. In the North-East, the popular spots include Turure Water Steps, Aripo Blue Basin as well as the waterfalls of Rampanalgas and Rio Seco. Along the NorthWest coast, the Avocat Waterfall and Three Pools are favourites for those who may wish to take a beach trip as well. In Tobago, there’s something in store for everyone in at least one of the Argyle Waterfall’s three levels or even the pot (more like pool) of gold at the end of the ten-minute trek to Castara Falls. For any hikers up for a challenge, the trail to the Paria Waterfall is a must visit. The hours of journeying are well justified by a scenic route, including the crystal waters and white sands of Paria Bay. A hike to Tombasson Waterfall demands climbing, swimming and perhaps a bit of crawling through the Guanapo Gorges another fitness challenge for the more daring amongst us. Alternatively, the Covigne Gorges in Chaguaramas offers that extra touch of adventure, albeit with a less strenuous journey. Whether the intention is to fire-up the coal pot and ‘make a cook’, or to traverse the multiple pools along the river’s course, there is an extensive list waiting to be visited. Whenever you seize the opportunity to go chasing waterfalls, it is strongly recommended that you are led by a trusted tour company or an experienced guide. Avoid the water courses during times of heavy rain and don’t leave any debris behind for Papa Bois to clean up!
Argyle Waterfall, Tobago 51 Photo: Christopher Anderson
Beaches | Trinidad Photo: Christopher Anderson
Maracas Beach remains one of the most well-loved beaches in Trinidad. Offering large paid parking facilities, toilets, chairs and umbrellas for rent, as well as ample food and drink options, a trip to Maracas is a stress-free excursion. Of course, no trip to Maracas is complete without a delicious bake and shark sandwich loaded with toppings and sauces.
Trinidad’s North Coast is studded with some of the most stunning beaches the Caribbean has to offer. Aside from the two most popular destinations, Maracas and Las Cuevas, there are tons of ‘hidden’ beaches that are definitely worth a trip, from worth a trip, from Yara and 100 Steps to Blanchisseuse Bay.
One of the hidden gems on Trinidad’s southern coast. The beach is equipped with everything to meet the beach goer’s needs including: a car park, snack bar, camp grounds, picnic tables and changing rooms with showers and toilets. It’s a great pit stop to consider on your way to visit the Pitch Lake! Photo: Jason Sookermany
Photo: Christopher Anderson
Famed for its abundance of coconut trees, Manzanilla is one of the most ruggedly beautiful beaches on the island. Watch out for the beautiful but poisonous Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish which arrive in droves from February to April.
TRINIDAD | EXPLORE
ne of the greatest blessings that the country has to offer is the many enchanting beaches scattered across the islands. Offering more than just the stereotypical Caribbean seaside experience, many of Trinidad’s beaches include not just sea and sand, but breathtaking views of lush tropical rainforest, majestic mountains, and mile-long stretches of coconut-tree-lined shores.
Photo: Richard Lyder
True to its French name, Sans Souci really is the place “without worry”. A favourite spot for surfers who enjoy riding the swells, the scenic village and nearby Toco lighthouse are well worth the trip. Photo: Ziad Joseph
A popular spot for locals and visitors alike, Las Cuevas beach is just 7km east of the iconic Maracas Bay. Meaning ‘the caves’ in Spanish, the beach is named for the small grottos that are located at both ends of the bay.
Photo: Cheri-ann Pascall
Photo: Nicholas Bhajan
Located off the Paria Main Road, Grand Rivière is one of the top spots on the island to observe the majestic Leatherback turtles during their nesting season. Tours to view the turtles can be arranged during the season (turtlevillagetrust.org; Grande Rivière Visitor Centre: 868 469-1288).
TRINIDAD | EXPLORE
A Walk on the Wild-side
Corbin Local Wildlife Park As a young boy growing up in the Tobago countryside, Roy Corbin’s father took him on his first hunting trip into the forest when he was just nine. As an adult he “got the bug”, but as the landscape began changing, so did his passion for hunting. “I was good at it. But then something hit me when I began seeing the animals disappearing before my eyes. They were getting less and smaller and I realized that I was part of the problem.” His interest in rehabilitation grew as neighbours would bring him injured wildlife. Collaborating with the Forestry Division, Roy would rehabilitate and release the animals. He also enrolled in conservation courses with William Trim at the Ministry of Tourism. Then, eight years ago, he decided to keep developing the family’s twenty-acre farm, breeding sheep and goats, while also fencing five-acres for a sanctuary. During this period, he became friends with Ian Wright, a British artist who had worked on conservation projects in Africa and migrated to the Caribbean with his wife Lyn. The two decided to make a go of it and the Corbin Local Wildlife Park, a registered non-profit organization located on the summit of the winding Belmont Farm Road in Mason Hall, was created. The park is remarkable: a guided tour along a tree-lined path reveals spacious enclosures for iguanas, Black-eared Opossum (Manicou), caiman, turtles, snakes, Golden Tegu Lizard (Salipainter/Matte), Armadillo (Tattoo), Collared Peccary (Quenk) and deer. There’s also a myriad of local butterflies and birds including the Blue Back Mannequin and Copper-rumped Hummingbird.
“We lead the debate by example,” Ian Wright explained. “We’re looking at creating the right habitat to attract more wildlife, birds, bees, bats, butterflies…critters…Every animal has a role in the forest.” Unfortunately, numbers in the wild have plummeted (mostly a result of ingesting rat poison) for several endemic animals including birds of prey like the Black Hawk and Barn Owl. The rising demand for ‘wild meat’ during the harvest festival has also exacerbated the issue. Another challenge for Roy has been funding during the COVID-19 pandemic: in response, on-site as well as virtual tours are available; and a ‘Fruiting Forest’ with forty-five species of plants, used to feed the animals, is thriving. The sanctuary has also gained certification as one of Tobago’s one hundred-plus tourism businesses inspected by the Tobago Tourism Agency (TTAL). But the ultimate joy has undoubtedly been having Roy’s son join the team, the next generation of conservationists. “He’s a great part of the project,” Roy added. “I still can’t say how happy I am – Michael grew up with the animals and he has that passion.” FOR MORE INFORMATION
Ian Wright: (868) 460-2919 Roy Corbin: (868) 327-4182 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com https://www.facebook.com/ CorbinLocalWildlife/
The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) was established by the THA as the island’s destination management company in 2017, working closely with the Assembly’s Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation as its policy implementation agency. Following the onset of the pandemic and the closure of Trinidad and Tobago’s borders, TTAL has been working tirelessly with Tobago’s tourism industry stakeholders locally, and in key source markets across the globe, to enhance the destination’s competitiveness in the postCOVID era of travel and tourism. In fact, the Agency’s efforts were recognized on an international scale when Tobago was awarded Silver in the 2021 Travel Industry Club (TIC) Destination Awards held in Germany, recognising TTAL’s evolved strategy in response to COVID-19. This was no small feat for the tiny Caribbean island, as Tobago’s submission surpassed fellow finalists of established tourist destinations such as Columbia and Bavaria. A renewed focus on health, safety and sanitation is key to slowing the spread of the COVID-19, as well as instilling confidence in the global travel
and tourism industry. In this regard, TTAL spearheaded the accreditation of the island’s tourism operators in dual certification with the “Safe Travels” stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council, and the Healthier Safer
Tourism stamp from CARPHA. These safety efforts were underscored by a social media campaign #MaskonTobago, which encouraged tourism stakeholders and visiting locals to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols. With the financial challenges faced by Tobago’s local tourism stakeholders during the pandemic, the Agency managed the administration of a Tourism Accommodation Relief Grant (TARG) aimed at enhancing the quality of the destination’s accommodation plant, to allow Tobago to become more attractive and competitive when the borders reopen. TARG as well as the Agency’s ongoing Tourism Accommodation Upgrade Project provided some financial support for stakeholders in their time of need.
The Agency initiated stakeholder engagement programmes to help the destination align with trends emerging after the pandemic, notably the growing demand for sustainable options for travel. By 2022, Tobago’s global reputation as a green destination was better than ever, as the island emerged from the pandemic lockdown with six international eco-awards. Most notable was Blue Flag and Green Key awards. Tobago created history in 2021 by becoming the first Blue Flag destination in the Englishspeaking Caribbean, when boat operator Top Catch Charters received the award. Through continuous collaboration the Agency was able to capture international eco-label Green Key for five tourism accommodation properties between April 2021 and January 2022. As Tobago sought to capitalize on the increased demand for wellness travel stimulated by the stress of the pandemic, the Agency embarked on a multi-phased initiative to develop the local wellness travel niche. The project kicked off with the “Exploring Wellness Tourism 360” 2-day conference in July 2021, followed by capacity building workshops for tourism stakeholders, and ongoing tourism product audits. At the core of TTAL’s postCOVID product development strategy is a renewed focus on customer service delivery at tourism touchpoints on
the island. TTAL forged a partnership with Uplifting Service – an award-winning global facilitator in customer service - to implement an islandwide revamping of the service culture. As the Agency continued its efforts to support tourism industry recovery, the organization retained destination awareness through campaigns designed to evolve with the state of the industry a during the pandemic. #DreamingOfTobago was launched immediately after the border lockdown in 2020 as a message of solidarity that kept Tobago front of mind for travellers until travel resumed. As the travel restrictions began to ease in key source markets, the campaign #TobagoAwaitsYourReturn emerged to reinforce the island’s safety and sustainability with potential travellers. The #TobagoWelcomesYourReturn phase was launched in 2021, amplifying efforts to bolster forward bookings for Winter
2021 flights with returning British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Multichannel campaigns were also undertaken in partnership with influential travel media in Tobago’s source markets including Reisen Exclusiv and FVW in Germany, Wanderlust, BBC Wildlife and National Geographic in the UK, and Zoomer Magazine in Canada. Domestically, TTAL partnered with the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association to initiate a dedicated staycation digital campaign to drive awareness of the offerings on the island by the Association's membership. Despite COVID-19 waves and various travel restrictions, data illustrates there is a positive sentiment for long haul travel from the UK and Germany – Tobago's top 2 international source markets - and travel will rebound in 2023. The Agency continues to seek the sustainable development of the island’s product – and people – to help revive the sector in the wake of the pandemic.
Bird of Paradise Island Little Tobago Island
A tropical haven surrounded by azure waters, the tiny island of Little Tobago or Bird-of- Paradise Island is located just off the north-eastern Atlantic coastal village of Speyside, Tobago.
Prominent in view when entering Speyside, just behind the smaller islet of Goat Island, Little Tobago is lush and almost entirely covered by a Tropical dry-forest comprising short semievergreen trees, shrubs, terrestrial bromeliads and cacti - all suited to the island’s xerophytic environment. The extreme dry conditions on this isle, just about 1 square kilometre in area (100 hectares/ 247 acres), are ideal for the specialized species of tropical plants and diverse pelagic birds which call the island home. The entire island is designated a sanctuary, strictly protected by the Forestry Department of the Tobago House of Assembly so that only authorized access is allowed. Guided tours via glass-bottomed boats are available daily through bona fide guides; departing from both the government and privately-owned jetties in Speyside. After an approximate ten-minute ride, the boats dock at a small cove. Guides lead walking tours along the narrow winding trail overlooking the beach. At the top, further hiking trails lead
off in different directions including to the island’s summit. The feature wildlife exists on the island’s windward side where hundreds of seabirds nest and forage in open view. Mixed flocks of Red-billed Tropicbirds, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Brown Boobies, Redfooted Boobies, and seasonal migratory Terns are a few of the many “Sea Bird” species which can easily be seen in flight over the steep cliffs, along with many other resident perching-birds found throughout the island’s interior. Nesting birds are also a common sight ahead of the lookout where chicks are often seen mere feet away. This magical island is well worth the trip. You may also want to include a tour of the reef nearby which boasts a magnificent brain coral. Jason Radix Eureka Natural History Tours www.naturetobago.com firstname.lastname@example.org (868) 731-0759
THIS PAGE FROM TOP Photo: Cheri-ann Pascall Photo: Devan Mulchansingh Photo: Cheri-ann Pascall
OPPOSITE PAGE Photo: Cheri-ann Pascall
Beaches | Tobago Buccoo Bay
The perfect spot to enjoy a Tobago sunset, Buccoo Bay offers ample parking, public toilets, and changing rooms. It is also located minutes from the goat racing stadium as well as the famous ‘Sunday School’ parties which are always full of local music and sumptuous Tobago cuisine. Photo: Nicholas Bhajan
Photo: Jason Sookermany
Pigeon Point Englishman’s Bay
Despite being one of the most gorgeous beaches on the island, Englishman’s Bay remains a hidden treasure, far away from the throngs of beach going locals and visitors, located between Parlatuvier and Castara. Food and craft can be purchased from a few vendors and there is a small restaurant on the beachfront.
One of Tobago’s most iconic beaches, the white sand and cerulean waters of Pigeon Point make it the pictureperfect Caribbean retreat. There are ample facilities and food options here for beachgoers. Pigeon Point also serves as a launching point for glass-bottomed boat tours of the nearby Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool.
Photo: Nicholas Bhajan
Photo: Christopher Anderson
Just minutes away from the ANR Robinson International Airport and within walking distance of souvenir shops, bars, and food stalls with tons of local food on offer, Store Bay has it all! It’s the perfect place to relax in Tobago’s crystal-clear waters.
TOBAGO | EXPLORE
ver on the sister isle Tobago, you will find some of the Caribbean’s most idyllic pictureperfect beaches. Warm white sand, crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving, and beaches so remote that yours may well be the only footprints for miles, are just some of the seaside options Tobago has on offer. Many of Tobago’s more popular beaches are also equipped with ample facilities and food options for visitors. Photo: Nicholas Bhajan
One of Tobago’s most popular beaches and anyone who has spent the day swimming in its pristine waters, fishing off its rocks, or liming on its shores can easily understand why. The nearby reef, which can easily be accessed from the beach, makes Mt. Irvine a true snorkelling paradise. This beach is also popular with surfers, fishermen, and scuba divers. Photo: Jason Sookermany
TOBAGO | EXPLORE
HomeWork Design Studio Photo: Tevin Mills
Tradewinds Hotel (868) 652-9463 36–38 London Street, St. Joseph Village, San Fernando, Trinidad email@example.com | www.tradewindshotel.com Situated in the breezy residential area of St. Joseph Village, San Fernando, Tradewinds Hotel has been owned and operated by the Laing family since 1990. The 41-room “Home Away From Home” boasts friendly, helpful and courteous staff and an efficient management team. Rooms are spacious and fully equipped with minibar, cable TV, air-conditioning, safes and complimentary Wi-Fi. Other facilities include the newly opened Trellis Restaurant, Bottles & Bites Sushi & Tapas Restaurant, conferencing, minimart, gym with state-of-the-art equipment and instructors on site and swimming pool. Only 800 metres away from Caribbean Cinemas 10/South Park Shopping Plaza.
Royal Hotel Tel (868) 652-4881 46–54 Royal Road, San Fernando, Trinidad www.royalhoteltt.com Royal Hotel has the charm of a bygone era, with the conveniences of the modern world. We are known for our warm southern charm, an oasis conveniently located within the city of San Fernando. We invite you to relax in any of our 62 spacious rooms, equipped with cable TV, air-conditioning, safes and free Wi-Fi, along with a complimentary continental breakfast. Visit our Landmark Bar or Pavilion Restaurant for a taste of an eclectic mix of local and international cuisine. Our conference and meeting rooms are ideal for hosting business events, cocktail parties and wedding receptions. Hoping to see you soon!
The Brix (868) 612-4000 2-4 Coblentz Avenue, Port of Spain, Trinidad www.thebrixtrinidad.com A Trinidadian hotel distinctively and refreshingly different—diverse in spirit, attitude, and aspect — here humans come together, and exciting reactions are stimulated mere minutes away from the city centre. Our 161 guest rooms and suites are 478 square feet, featuring one kingsized or two queen-sized beds. All guest rooms are complemented with plush bedding and luxurious amenities. Enjoy an elevated food and beverage experience at the Exchange restaurant and our exclusive Sugar High Lounge. Other facilities include an outdoor saltwater pool, an extensive fitness centre, 2400 sq ft. of indoor meeting space.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | ACCOMMODATION
Acajou Hotel (868) 670-3771; (868) 670-4566 (Fax) Grande Rivière, Trinidad, W.I. firstname.lastname@example.org | www.acajoutrinidad.com 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 is the hundreds of endangered leatherback turtles that nest here every year, from March until August. Please visit www.tripadvisor.com for unbiased reviews about Acajou Hotel.
Cara Hotels (868) 659-2271; (868) 759-7884 Pointe-a-Pierre, Southern Main Road, Claxton Bay, Trinidad email@example.com I www.carahotelstrinidad.com Sink into one of our comfortable armchairs at the end of your busy day and watch the sunset over the Gulf of Paria. Cara Hotels, Trinidad offer comfort, tranquillity and a safe place to work or relax. Our close proximity to the southern business centre of San Fernando and the Point Lisas industrial estates makes us a first choice for accommodation, conferences, business meetings, corporate special events, weddings and cocktail receptions. Dine at our recently renovated Zest Bistro or BayView Bar on your next visit!
Le Grand Almandier (868) 670-1013; (868) 740-3959 2 Hosang Street, Grande Rivière, Trinidad firstname.lastname@example.org | www.legrandalmandier.com Located 88 km 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 northeast. 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.
Par-May-La’s Inn & Sundeck Suites Par-May-La’s Inn: Tel: (868) 628-2008/5321 # 53 Picton Street, Newtown, Port of Spain, Trinidad email@example.com
Sundeck Suites: Tel: (868) 622-9560/9561 # 42–44 Picton Street, Newtown, Port of Spain, Trinidad firstname.lastname@example.org
At Par-May-La’s Inn and Sundeck Suites, each room has air-conditioning, private toilet and bath, hot and cold water, telephone and cable TV. Sundeck Suites also has kitchenette facilities and Par-May-La’s Inn offers a complimentary continental breakfast daily. Both properties offer free Wi-Fi and are conveniently located, walking distance away from supermarkets, hair salons, banks, US, Canadian, and other embassies, the Queen’s Park Savannah and Oval, restaurants, medical facilities, mas camps and nightlife entertainment.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | ACCOMMODATION
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | ACCOMMODATION
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | ACCOMMODATION
Blue Waters Inn (868) 660-4341, (868) 660-2583 Batteaux Bay, Speyside, Tobago, West Indies email@example.com | www.bluewatersinn.com Blue Waters Inn is the best kept secret in Tobago. Surrounded by 46 acres of lush greenery, nestled in a private bay, every room faces the turquoise waters of Batteaux Bay. This beachfront boutique resort is a true Caribbean escape. Their luxurious rooms are steps from sea and sand, and the stunning infinity pool faces Little Tobago island. They are minutes from some of the most exciting dive sites in the Caribbean, including the dive wreck of The Trinity. Experience waterfront dining and a mouthwatering menu at AQUA at Blue Waters Inn, which is also a fully functioning conference centre and event space, catering to weddings and other special functions. They are a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence winner, for eight consecutive years.
Sunspree Resort Ltd. (868) 631-5195 / 631-5196 | (868) 631-5195 (fax) #40 Store Bay Local Road, Crown Point, Tobago firstname.lastname@example.org | www.sunspreeresortltd.com Sunspree Resort delights guests with luxurious accommodation, gourmet dining, and close proximity to some of Tobago’s exotic beaches. The resort is five minutes’ walk from the ANR Robinson 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. We offer free Wi-Fi. 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. Tripadvisor Certificate Of Excellence 2013 Winner!
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | ACCOMMODATION
New ways to get the best places & within budget Whether you are just passing through the islands for a quick Caribbean getaway, or coming for a longer stay, finding good accommodation is often challenging. Thankfully, there is no shortage of beautiful hotels and guesthouses in Trinidad and Tobago to suit a range of budgets. From luxury high-end villas, and all-inclusive spas, to more modest bed-andbreakfast type of accommodation, there are a host of available options for the those travelling to the Caribbean. Outside of the more traditional routes, the internet has opened up a world of accommodation choices and there are now several interesting virtual options on offer. Not too long ago these types of rentals were considered alternative, but in recent years websites such as Airbnb, which allows visitors to rent private houses, apartments, or even just a room, have seen an enormous gain in popularity. Visitors who are staying in countries for extended periods of time, are beginning to use these sites to find their new homes. One of the other benefits of using sites like Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and Hotels.com is that they provide visitors not just with information on the properties themselves, but also with unbiased reviews from fellow renters. Travellers can access information which will ensure that they are getting what they need. Yet even with all of these exciting online options available, there is still something to be said for the more traditional route of using the services of a real estate agent to help you find your new home away for home. For those who don’t have the time or desire to conduct extensive research online, or who prefer a more traditional, personalized approach, there are a host of professional, real estate services which can help visitors find the perfect short-term rental.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | ACCOMMODATION
Going through an agency offers several benefits. First off, locals can save money as the rates are also in TT dollars as opposed to many sites where payments are in US dollars. There is also a lot more flexibility when you deal with a person instead of booking through a site. Whether you are looking for more flexible check-in times, searching for hidden deals, or seeking certain personal modifications to your rental villa, a quick call to your agent can help to facilitate these requests. No matter whether you choose to go down the traditional route or the online approach, one thing’s for sure: your perfect island home away from home is here waiting for you!
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | ACCOMMODATION
Photo: Nicholas Bhajan
Back On Track; Sport Returns by Sheldon Waithe Sport became both the hope and beacon for life during the pandemic and in the aftermath of the gradual reopening of society. Fans looked to the nation’s talented sportsmen to provide welcome distraction in global events such as the summer and winter Olympics, and local events that signalled the resumption of beloved competitive action. The Trinidad & Tobago Automobile Sport Association (TTASA) hosted a race day that perfectly captured the aspects of the the past, present and future. ‘Return to Motorsport: Memorial Day’ was held in late February 2022, at the Frankie Boodram Wallerfield International Raceway, which was a site for drive-through vaccinations. It was held as a celebration of motorsport racing but also as a tribute to the lives lost to the Coronavirus. In addition to the thrill of traditional circuit racing, fans were treated to cart racing, motorbike racing (where Rossi Joseph provided ample warning of his intentions this season with three wins from three races) and the head-to-head favourite, drag racing. A new event, the Mazda Miyata Class, was won by the experienced Ravi Singh, a driver that has won races abroad while representing T&T. The race is based on all drivers in the same type of car, making skill a larger factor in the results by creating equality amongst the vehicles. By adding Grid Khana – head-to-head racing between two street cars - and Auto Cross, a slower timed event between cones, TTASA has created a rich programme to take motorsport forward in the coming years.
Joshua da Silva
Photo: Nicholas Bhajan
The sports world was rocked by the passing of 2012 Olympic medallist Deon Lendore, after a January 2022 car accident in Texas. Fellow runner Jereem Richards vowed to honour his memory, doing so in the greatest manner by winning the 400m title at the World Athletics Indoor Championship, in March 2022. Dylan Carter’s amazing consistency netted him national records and podium places; he collected a bagful of medals in the International Swimming League, before the icing on the cake, silver at the World Swimming Championships in the 50m Butterfly, in December 2021. Fellow Olympian Nicholas Paul mirrored the achievement on the global stage when he rode to a silver medal in the Kilometre Time Trial at the 2021 Track Cycling World Championships. Maintaining the medals on the world stage, heavyweight boxer Nigel Paul brought home a bronze from the World Boxing Championships. The powerful Motul Monster repeated its victory in the 53rd Great Race, a staple of the national sporting calendar, completing the arduous 91-miles from Port of Spain to Store Bay in 1 hour and five minutes. Nicholas Paul
Photo: Richard Lyder
Spinner Anisa Mohammed reached a major landmark in cricket when she became only the fourth woman to take 300 wickets at international level, achieving the feat at the Women’s World Cup. In the men’s game, after his shock move from Trinbago Knight Riders to St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, Dwayne Bravo defied the odds by leading his new team to their inaugural Caribbean Premier League title. Wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua Da Silva took a major step forward when he scored his maiden Test century against England in Grenada. With the series in the balance after two draws, Da Silva’s timing was as perfect as his strokeplay, playing a pivotal role in the West Indies winning the series. In December 2021, there was faint hope that T&T would be represented on the unlikely stage of the 2022 Winter Olympics. By the time that the Olympic flame was lit in Beijing, the bobsleigh team of Andre Marcano, Axel Brown and Shakeel John ensured that the red white & black returned to the Winter Games after a twenty-year absence. Finishing in 28th place, the team laid down a marker of possibilities for the next four-year cycle. Major events like the 2022 Commonwealth Games, will provide further arenas for T&T’s sportsmen and sportswomen, to continue to shine.
PanNotation For the love of pan
Pan lovers are in for a treat thanks to PanNotation, a one-of-a-kind online platform where users can purchase music scores written specifically for pan, access and share educational materials, and benefit from the sale of arrangements as well as compositions. “The dream is that the site becomes a central doorway for the pan community to share their history, stories, individual, band, community ideas for music education, and the acceleration of knowledge-musical and historical,” Mark Loquan, who developed the concept of PanNotation and currently serves as the chairman of the company, explained. “Also, the dream is that the site is the first place to go for music educators, pan enthusiasts, students, community and school bands, teachers, and collectors of historical pan information,” Loquan added. “The vision is that people use the site to share their knowledge in the form of podcasts, videos, and scores, where they can explain why they do what they do. The site should earn commercial value for all those contributing scores, with an element of sustainability via a not-forprofit organization assisting initiatives or people to advance in their field or to
help communities through other pan NGOs.” Just shy of 300 registered users that span the globe, PanNotation started as a way to offer steelpan arrangers and composers an avenue in which to sell their music scores to an international market. A not-for-profit arm of PanNotation is in the initiation stages where any surplus earnings above cost can be used for pan sustainability initiatives. Dr Mia Gormandy-Benjamin, the company’s CEO, has been a part of the development from the early stages. “We have found that many pannists and steelbands internationally have had limited access to music scores, and arrangers and composers have limited avenues in which to make their music easily accessible to an international audience, PanNotation bridges this gap. In addition, steelpan educators around the world have struggled to get access to quality information about the steelpan.
PanNotation now offers a subscriptionbased library of academic articles, steelband profiles, podcasts, and an array of educational materials. The company also aims to support the sustainability of the instrument through its not-for-profit, which can assist with steelpan scholarships, preservation projects, and global collaborative efforts, just to name a few.” Already, many people who learn about PanNotation are excited about the idea and have registered. “We still have to tap into steelpan communities around the world to ensure everyone has access to our site” GormandyBenjamin noted. PanNotation will be hosting a Virtual Steelpan Conference on April 30, 2022, where all pannists, pan enthusiasts, academics, professionals, and anyone interested in furthering the art form, can come together, network, share ideas, and work toward a more sustainable future for steelpan professionals.
For more information visit https://pannotation.wordpress.com/2022/01/19/ pannotations-virtual-steelpan-conference/ You can also visit www.pannotation.com or follow PanNotation on Instagram and Facebook.
Meet a Trini
CHELSEA FENSOM By Anna Walcott-Hardy
How did your parents support you along the way?
rowing-up in a close-knit family in Cocorite, Trinidad, helped nurture Chelsea Fensom’s love of music and the Carnival season, as did living in an island where the genre is everevolving and ubiquitous. She began playing the violin at the age of seven, followed by the steel pan a year later, and then the cello when she was just ten. The youngest person to receive Level 4 and 6 Diplomas on the cello in the English-speaking Caribbean, Chelsea remains grateful to mentors like Jean-Marc Aimey, Kenneth Listhrop, Francis Pau, Manab Naskar and her uncle, Kenneth Guppy. A graduate of St Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain, the twenty-year-old is currently studying Civil Engineering at The University of the West Indies.
How has growing-up in Trinidad and Tobago impacted your growth as a musician?
It surely halted some opportunities that I could’ve experienced as compared to studying music abroad. Being a classically-trained musician, there was a period of about six years, when I didn’t have a cello teacher simply due to the fact that there aren’t enough cello students for a foreign teacher to come and teach. However, there are several music genres unique to Trinidad and Tobago like Soca and Parang and it widened my scope of the possibilities of the types of music I can experience, and made me more open to other genres around the world such as Zouk.
My parents are my main fans and the biggest influences on the musician that I am today. They always went out of their way to drop and pick me up from every single rehearsal and performance I had. Can you imagine travelling in a maxi [taxi] with a cello? Even when I felt like giving-up during a difficult time in my life, they continuously pushed me to persevere and break out of that time.
How has the pandemic affected your plans?
Unfortunately, with the pandemic, having school only in an online format has hindered my ability to meet my new classmates and experience the true ‘university life’. COVID had also put a stop to many of my music opportunities and performances at the time, but thankfully now the quarantine has lessened.
“From as long as I can recall, I enjoyed listening to my older sister practise and play the piano. I would sing every Parang by heart and my parents would take my sister and I to the Savannah to watch the steel bands on ‘the Drag’ for Panorama. At some point, I realised that I wanted to be a part of this, to be able to create and enjoy music with others and not only listen to it.”
How have you been able to cope with the challenges of the pandemic? Having a lot of free-time has given me ample opportunity to improve my technique on my instruments, and open a path of creating music of my own, which I had never considered before. Also, I learnt a lot of new skills such as baking and kayaking.
What guidance would you give to others interested in music? I would encourage them to follow their dreams, to practise, practise, practise, and never give up! Music is a language that all can understand if we simply try to.
MEET A TRINI
Dream Weddings Planning during a pandemic
Rebecca & Josh
Photo: RAJ/V Wedding Photography
lanning a wedding is a heady mix of excitement and anxiety in the best of times, pair this with a pandemic and it becomes a monumental challenge. Yet for many couples, the process strengthened their bond and made them realize what truly matters.
Marina & Johann
Marina Gonsalves and Johann Mitterhauser know first-hand that it’s best to have a positive attitude, lots of patience and an ability to adapt. “I got married to the love of my life in the most intimate setting, surrounded by those closest to us. Although lots of important people in our lives could not be there, we wouldn’t change our day for the world.” They married in June 2021 during a national lock-down when Covid-19 cases were on the rise and the public gathering allotment was reduced from 150 people to 10. Marina moved the location from a restaurant, when alcohol restrictions were put in place, to the family home. “On the evening of Tuesday 15 June 2021, the Government held an emergency press conference to inform the nation that for the upcoming weekend on Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 June, there would be an enforced lockdown and citizens would only be able to operate between 5 am - 10 am on both days. Our wedding planner, Taylor Abraham, quickly called us to ask what we would like to do and we decided that if by some miracle we could move the wedding up one day to Friday 18 June, we would do it. Luckily, we called all the vendors and mostly everyone was available. We prepared virtual packages and distributed them for our Zoom guests.” Ultimately, the event went off perfectly with most guests enjoying the reception online. Marina’s key takeaway is simply to have an open mind. “It was always important to us to keep close to each other, keep each other calm as a couple and remind ourselves of the reason we were getting married all along.” Marina chose their elegant home, but the islands also have some of the most striking destinations in the world, outfitted with modern amenities, from seaside villas to estate houses, yachts and grand ballrooms. Undoubtedly, the country’s a foodie’s dream, so many couples add spice to the menu with local fare - Doubles, Roti, Crab and Dumpling or traditional sweets. Live entertainment is also a popular choice, along with the DJ, some weddings have special appearances by a Calypsonian, Soca artist or a pannist; or like our next couple, have a violinist and guitarist perform at the church ceremony and reception, then for the grand finale, end the night with -Tassa Drummers.
Marina & Johann
Photo: Samantha Jackson
Rebecca & Josh
After living abroad for several years, Rebecca Walcott and Joshua Romany returned home, got engaged and planned their February 2022 wedding in just six months. “For our wedding we made sure to be creative and openminded during the planning process. The pandemic profoundly adjusted our day-to-day reality, so it’s important to not sweat the small stuff. We ended-up choosing a ‘hybrid’ style. This allowed for international guests to take part in the ceremony virtually, while also keeping in-person numbers down. It’s also important to work with vendors you trust. That way, on the day of, whatever goes right, or wrong, is in the right hands.” The day goes past very quickly, so Rebecca also suggests placing extra focus on the pre-planning phase, for instance: having a change-of-date clause in vendor contracts; a wedding website to invite guests, track responses and access your registry; a photography and videography shot-list with sample poses; a practice session for bridal hair and makeup; and creating a sanitization station for guests. Event Planner Savanna Lake, also ensured there was a detailed wedding-day timeline. The garden celebration was truly memorable, but the rising cases made the planning a challenge. Yet Rebecca and Josh agree that it was well worth it, with even the weather co-operating and guests dancing until midnight. Now happily married, both couples look back fondly on their wedding day when in the midst of a crisis, although all may not have gone as planned - everything was absolutely perfect.
Real time to
More than just a wine store Located on the corner of Hunter and Damian Streets is an iconic little wine shop that has become a distinctive landmark in Woodbrook. Since opening its doors 25 years ago, Vintage Imports has become known for its expertly curated selection of fine wines, and the family-like atmosphere that draws you in as you enter. This wine store has expanded its offering over the years to satisfy a market that is becoming increasingly sophisticated and curious in its palate. Award-winning rums and bespoke whiskies now line the shelves alongside stalwarts in the wine world and new, interesting finds. Gift ideas abound – from wedding appropriate crystal to fun accessories for wine infused seaside get-aways. With a little something for everyone and every occasion, Vintage Imports undoubtedly lives up to its reputation as being more than just a wine store. Tel: (868) 622-2883
Meet a Trini MARINA SALANDY-BROWN By Harmony Farrell
“I am a complete Trini,” affirms Marina Salandy-Brown “and the wonderful thing about the Caribbean is that so much is possible.” Indeed, she has flexed her propensity for making realities out of possibilities. In 2011, the inaugural Bocas Lit Fest, executed in under six months was an immediate success - attracting 3500 “bums on seats” for four days of events. It has since risen to prominence as one of the leading events of its kind in the Anglophone Caribbean. The expertise taken to lead this team is a sum of Marina’s expansive experience. It started with a culturally-rich childhood. Marina’s weekdays were spent between home in Diego Martin and school in Port of Spain, while her family spent the weekends experiencing another world of Trinidad in Toco, or whichever pastoral outpost that her father, an agronomist, was managing at the time. The immersion in village life shaped her understanding of people and culture. As a curious child in a generation where inquisitiveness was considered an affront, Marina found her answers in books, which further broadened the parameters of her mind. A tenacious and rebellious spirit has taken Marina from strength to strength. From the age of seventeen, she lived on her own in Britain. At nineteen, an immigrant still with no advanced qualifications but armed with great selfassurance, she became an editor in British publishing. She later attended university in Britain, Egypt and Mexico, spoke fluent Arabic and Spanish, and amassed twenty years of work in BBC broadcasting, before returning to Trinidad on an early retirement. Throughout it all, Marina carried a distinctive Trinbagonian sensibility that opened many doors for her abroad. After eleven years at the helm, she has now handed over the responsibility of the festival, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, and Bocas’ many literary projects to a team that she trusts and leaves to do the “necessary worrying”, and continue the work. “Bocas is not really Marina. For things to survive, they must be bigger than just one person. If you’re invested in the output and the objective of something, you can’t make it yours. You have to give it to other people.” Now as President of the NGO’s board of directors, she relishes the fact that her sprawling to-do list has shortened. The
workings of the festival are now handled by a younger generation of movers and shakers who straddle the arts and the administration - led by the likes of Nicholas Laughlin and Jean Claude Cournand. The NGC Bocas Lit Fest’s workshops and events have empowered readers, writers, publishers and performers. Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, one of the UK Observer’s 10 best debut novelists in 2022 candidly credits the festival for the start of her success. As for myself, what Marina calls a ‘Bocas baby’, I have attended numerous events from high school years into adulthood, and most recently been given the honour of the Youth Writer Award for 2021. The festival has pivoted seamlessly into the virtual environment, and shows no sign of stopping. Marina Salandy-Brown has no doubt that this organization will continue to thrive for decades to come. “I’m sure other things are going to come my way. I’m still young and I’m still energetic. I’m looking forward to them. Bring it on, really!”
MEET A TRINI
Sunset Deck (868) 624-3211 (Reservations) Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre 1B Lady Young Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad email@example.com Our culinary philosophy features a seasonally inspired menu with selections that focus on local ingredients and fresh herbs to produce beautifully crafted dishes by our chefs. The perfect choice for all-day dining, the Sunset Deck is an excellent meeting spot with its simple yet contemporary ambiance, perfect for casual dining. Sample Menu: Braised Lamb Shank - Sous Vide Shank, Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon, Crème Brulee Cake.
Waterfront Restaurant (868) 821-6550 Hyatt Regency Trinidad, 1 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad trinidad.regency.hyatt.com I www.opentable.com Waterfront Restaurant invites you to enjoy local and international cuisine with a contemporary flair. Sample Menu includes: Honey Chipotle Shrimp on Pound Plantain with Chipotle sauce, Guacamole, and Salsa. Chef specialties: Black Bean Tofu Lo Mein, Semolina Crusted Tofu, Vegetables, Rice Noodles and Black Bean sauce. Comfort food: BBQ Beef Short Ribs, Hickory flavored Beef Short Ribs, Baked Beans and Garlic Mash Potatoes. Dessert: Green Apple Mousse, Vanilla Mousse with Scotch Bonnet Chocolate Cremeux with Apple Compote and Chocolate Crumble.
Whipped (868) 357-9447 One Woodbrook Place Port of Spain, Trinidad firstname.lastname@example.org Formerly known as ‘Whipped by Nalima’, which specialized in decadent desserts, ‘Whipped’ has now extended to a full restaurant and bar with a diversified menu, as well as a hookah station with a variety of infused flavours. Menu includes: Salads: Kale Salad; Mediterranean Chickpea; Rice bowls: Teriyaki Salmon, Cuban Chicken; Pasta: Penne à la vodka, Pesto Alfredo Linguine; Paninis: Banh mi, Tandoori Salmon BLT; Savoury crepes: Thai Shrimp, Chinese chicken; Sides: Cheddar Jalepeño Biscuits, Mac n’ cheese; Sliders: Spicy Chicken Sliders, Lamb Sliders.
Salt n’ Pepper Classical Indian Cuisine (868) 622-3938 / 339-4949 Shoppes of Maraval, Saddle Road, Maraval, Trinidad email@example.com You will find the best of subcontinental Indian cuisine at Salt N’ Pepper. Our food is much more than just roti and curry – as anyone who has tasted our naan or tandoori might testify. Starter: Samosas, Kerala Fried Chicken. Chicken: Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken Masala. Lamb: Rogan Josh and Vindaloo. Seafood: Fish Curry, Shrimp Kurma. Tandoori Specials: Chicken, Fish, Shrimp Naan: Garlic, Butter, Peshwari. Vegetarian: Mutter Mushroom, Aloo Gobi. Rice: Basmati, Bbiriyani, Pulao.
Soong’s Great Wall (868) 652-Wall (9255) / 657-5050 /652-2583 97 Circular Rd., San Fernando firstname.lastname@example.org Nestled at the base of the iconic San Fernando Hill, join us at Soong’s Great Wall for a dining experience just as awe-inspiring as its majestic namesake. Step into our newly renovated dining room or our breathtaking outdoor deck ... relax and be pampered by our highly trained staff. Our skilled chefs will not disappoint, preparing the finest Chinese cuisine for you to enjoy. Sample Menu: Phoenix Basket Sizzling Tenderloin Beef , Sesame Shrimp, Lobster Cantonese, Dasheen Pork, Great Wall Chicken, Pepper Squid, Lemon Fish.
1/4 PAGE LISTING PENDING ZEST
ZEST BISTRO (868) 659-2271 I (868) 731-4729 Cara Hotels, Pointe-a-Pierre, Southern Main Road, Claxton Bay email@example.com I www.carahotelstrinidad.com Located in Cara Hotels, Zest Bistro is the happening restaurant in South Trinidad to dine, drink, and socialize! Zest Bistro takes on a refreshingly modern approach to dining. With its elegantly simplistic décor, our creative culinary professionals, thoughtfully combines seasonally fresh ingredients to produce a unique style of cuisine rarely experienced in Trinidad. This semi casual, warm and welcoming bistro with its charming and friendly service team is the perfect setting for get-togethers and celebrations for a truly unique dining experience.
More Vino / More Sushi (868) 622-8466 | 610 6673 Port of Spain – 23 O’ Connor St., Woodbrook (868) 610-8257 I 609-8466 Valpark Plaza (868) 652-VINO (8466) | 610 8466 San Fernando – 33 Scott St. More Vino is one of the most popular restaurants on the island, best known for their sushi. They combine traditional Asian and Caribbean flavours for an undeniable explosion of taste and excitement. Hot Kitchen: Shrimp Tempura, Edamame, Crispy Chicken Bombs, Golden Dumplings, Sriracha Wings, Asian Bowls. Sushi Bar: Sriracha Lobster, Double Crunchy, Angry Crab, Iron Chef, Volcano, Tempura, Crunchy Ninja, Scorpion Pepper. Lunch, Dinner, Takeaway, Catering, Event Space Rental and Delivery.
Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant (868) 658-6557 I 1660 (Reservations) 212 Southern Main Road, Marabella, Trinidad firstname.lastname@example.org For over 25 years, Golden Palace has been a Marabella landmark. Our chefs, trained in China, cook authentic Cantonese dishes. The Golden Palace Food & Grill Canteen, downstairs fastfood, offers dining or takeaway, with a varied local breakfast. For lunch, enjoy a wide choice of local, Indian and Chinese cuisine. Appetizers - Crab Back; Mini Spring Roll; Spicy Fried Calamari. Main Course - Tao Chicken; Roast Duck in Thai Curry Sauce; Fish in Sichuan Spicy Sauce; Beef Sautéed in Maggi Sauce. We cater for functions, weddings and all occasions.
Ducky’s Ortoire Organic Roast Seafood (868) 313-1953 Ortoire Village, Mayaro, Trinidad email@example.com Ducky was born and raised in the rural fishing community of Mayaro called Ortoire. A fisherman, he will make his signature meal, roast fish, on an outdoor fireside under banana leaves. Ducky’s offers a unique, original and organic experience. It’s street food where one can witness the full preparation of their meal. From the cleaning of the seafood to the roasting with all the natural ingredients under banana leaves. Sample Menu: Roasted Lobster, Roasted Lobster filled with Shrimps, Roasted Fish (all types).
Lime Inn (868) 670-3771; (868) 670-4566 (Fax) Acajou Hotel, Grande Rivière, Trinidad firstname.lastname@example.org www.acajoutrinidad.com Reflecting our 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. Available for functions, Lunch and Dinner Sample Menu: Creamy Crab Soup; Gazpacho with parmesan cheese; Cucumber Soup with Acajou Chicken Salad, Tuna Fish Salad; Sliders - Spicy Chicken Sliders, Lamb Sliders. Main - Pesto Linguine & Grilled Eggplant, Grilled Red Snapper Dessert - Nut and Chocolate Tart.
AQUA Blue Waters Inn (868) 660-4341 Batteaux Bay, Speyside, Tobago email@example.com I www.bluewatersinn.com AQUA is located in the eco-chic resort, Blue Waters Inn, in Speyside, Tobago. AQUA offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with an intimate view of the dazzling turquoise waters of Batteaux Bay. The evening provides an exquisite dining experience, where you can savour our fresh and fabulous menu under the stars, or in our elegant indoor space. Sample Menu: Batteaux Bay Shrimp Salad, Tuna Tartar, Sizzling Mango Chicken Fajitas, Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon , Cedar Plank Salmon, Lobster Baja Tacos, Crab and Dumpling. We cater for weddings & special events.
The Seahorse Inn Restaurant & Bar (868) 639-0686 Grafton Beach Road, Stonehaven Bay, Black Rock, Tobago firstname.lastname@example.org I www.seahorsetobago.com Intimate alfresco beach-side dining under the stars. Awardwinning food and service, an exceptional wine list, extensive bar selection, in a romantic tropical setting. Regarded as Tobago’s premier dining experience and a “must do” whilst on the island. Sample Menu: Spiced Fried Calamari, Tuna Ceviche, Duck Rillets, Lobster Thermidor, Crab-stuffed Grouper Fillet, Pineapple-glazed Duck Breast, Tenderloin & Rib Eye Steaks, Shrimps Mornay, Rack of Lamb.
(868) 660-8500 Tobago Plantations Estate, Lowlands, Tobago email@example.com I www.magdalenagrand.com 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 recipes prepared in a modern European way, as well as dishes from all over the world, refined with exotic Caribbean ingredients. Sample Menu - Starters: Caesar Salad, Mini Crab Cakes, Smoked Salmon, Pork Kebab. Main Course: Pork Tenderloin, Pan Seared Chicken Breast, New York Striploin Steak, Pan Seared Local Catch of the Day, Blackened Salmon. Desserts: Fruit Salad, Chocolate Cake, Cheesecake. We’re open only for dinner.
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 a population of 1.3 million. It has an international presence in the oil and gas-based energy industry, and profitable and productive manufacturing and services sectors. T&T is also pursuing a policy of economic diversification and is investing in several other sectors. Geography and Location Trinidad – Once part of 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: Lat. 10.5° N / Long. 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: Lat. 11.5° N / Long. 60.5° W Climate Trinidad and Tobago has a tropical climate. Daytime temperatures average 31°C (87°F) and are moderated by the northeast trade winds, while nights are a cool 21°C (69°F). The islands have two distinct seasons: dry, from January to May, and wet, from June to December. There is a short dry period around midSeptember 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.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | FAST FACTS
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 follows the Westminster model of government and upholds the traditions of parliamentary democracy it inherited from Britain. The Government is stable. 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 renewable term. Executive power, however, is vested in the Prime Minister and Government, following elections at least every five years. The next general election will become due in 2025. Tobago has its own elected House of Assembly and its seat is in the capital city, Scarborough. https://www.ttconnect.gov.tt/ gortt/portal/ttconnect https://www.tha.gov.tt/ Banking The financial system consists of commercial banks, trust and mortgage finance companies, finance houses and merchant banks. Number of Commercial Banks................8 Number of Branches................................123 Number of Automatic Banking Machines....................... 254 ATMs https://batt.org.tt/banking-industry/ Standard Bank Hours of Operation City Centres: Monday to Thursday – 8 am to 2 pm Friday – 8 am to 1 pm & 3 pm to 5 pm RBC and Scotiabank (not mall branches) 8 am to 5 pm Shopping Centres (Daily): 10 am to 5 pm Exchange Rate: TT$6.78: US$1 (Mar. 2021)
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, the state-of-the-art National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), South Academy for the Performing Arts, awardwinning spots like Coco Reef and the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort in Tobago are ideal for corporate meetings and team-building retreats. Business Hours Offices: Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm 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 Telecommunications International Access and Area Code: 1-868 Trinidad and Tobago’s telecommunications sector has shown strong growth. TSTT provides both landline and mobile telephone services, Digicel home phone and mobile telephone services and FLOW landline services. International direct distance dialing is available nationwide. With broad coverage throughout the islands, mobile phones are an easy option. Wireless Internet services are readily available at hotels and cybercafés. https://tatt.org.tt/
La Vigie Lookout in Paramin
Photo: Mark Hardy
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, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Cameroon, Fiji Islands, Mozambique, Uganda and South Africa. For business travel and vacations lasting 90 days or less (within a 180-day period) European Union citizens do not need visas for entry. The same applies for nationals from nonEuropean Union Schengen countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). Holders of CARICOM passports, with the exception of Haiti, do not require visas. Visitors from several other countries are allowed to enter Trinidad and Tobago for periods of up to three months without a visa. http://www.immigration.gov.tt/ Work permits are required for business stays beyond 30 days. Visa extensions can be obtained from the Immigration Office at 3-9 Richmond Street, Port of Spain, while work permits can be obtained from the Ministry of National Security, Temple Court II, 52-60 Abercromby Street, Port of Spain. www.nationalsecurity.gov.tt Transportation Airports – Piarco International Airport is a vital hub for international air traffic in the Caribbean. It is located about 45 minutes from the capital city, Port of Spain and there are non-stop daily scheduled flights to and from major international cities. Caribbean Airlines Limited, Trinidad and Tobago’s national airline, offers routes that include direct flights to major cities like Toronto, New York and Miami. CAL also flies regionally with regular flights to Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana and
Suriname, to name a few destinations. International flights are also available direct from Tobago’s ANR Robinson International Airport. Airlines that fly directly to Tobago include British Airways and Monarch. International and regional airlines that fly to Trinidad and Tobago include American Airlines, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, United Airlines, West Jet, JetBlue, LIAT and several charter flight companies. http://www.tntairports.com/ Major Airlines Piarco Airport American Airlines..........1 British Airways................1 Caribbean Airlines........1 Copa Airlines...................1 JetBlue...............................1 KLM......................................1 LIAT......................................1 Rutaca................................1 Surinam Airways............1 United Airlines................1 West Jet Airlines...........1 1
(868) 821-6000 (800) 247-9297 (868) 625-7200 (868) 669-5189 (800) 538-2583 (800) 625-2411 (800) 669-2982 (868) 625-4324 (868) 627-0102 (800) 864-8331 (888) 937-8538 (888)-WESTJET
ANR Robinson Airport Virgin Atlantic.................1 (800) 744-7477 British Airways................1 (800) 247-9297 Approximate Flying Times to Trinidad and Tobago London...............................8.2 hours New York...........................4.5 hours Miami...................................3.3 hours Houston..............................5.3 hours Toronto...............................5.5 hours Seaports Ferries travel the inter-island route daily. Several cruise lines stop at Port of Spain during the peak season from November to April. Cruise ship operation was temporarily suspended as part of the global response to COVID-19. Port of Spain Ferry......(868) 625-3055 Tobago Ferry...................(868) 639-2417
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 multipurpose containers for trade within the Caribbean region. 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. Free parking is available at both ports. There is a Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) shuttle service, which costs TT$3 through the city of Port of Spain. For further information, visit: www.nidco.co.tt or call 624-3281/674-5593 (POS) or 800-4WTS (San Fernando). Emergency Contacts Police/Rapid Response............. 999 Fire...................................................... 990 Ambulance...................................... 811 Global Medical Response......... 653-4343 Coast Guard.................................... 634-4440 The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) 800-ODPM (6376) Trinidad: 640-1285 / 640-8905 640-8653/ 640-6493 Tobago: 660-7489 Port of Spain General Hospital........................... 623-2951 San Fernando General Hospital........................... 652-3581 Scarborough General Hospital........................... 660-4SGH (4744) Roxborough Health Centre and Hyperbaric Facility Tobago.............................................. 660-4392
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | FAST FACTS
Index 519...................................................................................... 91
Island Beer Chill & Grill Trinidad....................... 92
Retreats with Horses............................................... 61
Acajou Hotel.......................................................66, 90
Jencare Day Spa...............................................34, 69
Romance Garden...................................................... 82
Adam’s .......................................................................... 89
Kali’na Restaurant..................................................... 93
Royal Hotel............................................................ 64,68
Adam’s Bagels .......................................................... 89
Salt N’ Pepper Classical Indian Cuisine......... 88
Aqua Blue Waters Inn............................................ 93
Samurai ......................................................................... 92
Being with Horses..................................................... 61
La Brea Industrial Development
Signature Selection................................................. 32
Blue Waters Inn...........................................70, 71, 93
Company Ltd (LABIDCO)......................... 42, 43
Soong’s Great Wall.................................................. 88
Bottlestop Wine Bar & Café............................... 92
La Mer Day Spa................................................. 34, 35
Spa Esencia................................................................. 34
Brentwood Mall......................................................... 33
Land of the Hummingbird...................................30
St. Clair Medical Centre..........................................37
Burger King ................................................................ 87
Le Grand Almandier................................................66
C3 Centre...................................................................... 32
Lime Inn .......................................................................90
Sunset Deck................................................................ 86
Cara Hotels .........................................................66, 88
Little Caesars.............................................................. 87
Sunspree Resort Ltd............................................... 70
Caribbean Discovery Tours Ltd.........................48
The Brix....................................................................9, 64
Caribbean Estates, Land & Villas...................... 73
Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort........ 93
The Central Bank Auditorium............................ 47
Caribbean Housing Ltd (CHL)........................... 33
Malabar Farms Gourmet Shop..........................30
The Central Bank Museum................................... 47
Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago............ 47
Medcorp Limited ......................................................37
The Meena House..................................................... 89
Charamal Estate........................................................ 25
Mi Casa Fine Home Furnishings.........................31
The National Gas Company
Chocolate Bar Café.................................................48
Molay Marketplace & Cafe...........................28, 90
of Trinidad and Tobago.............................. 42, 43
Cinro Manor................................................................. 69
More Sushi.................................................................... 88
The NGC Group................................................. 42, 43
Coco Development Company of
More Vino..................................................................... 88
The Seahorse Inn Restaurant & Bar................ 93
Trinidad & Tobago limited..........................24, 25
Mountain Pride................................................... 25, 48
The Tobago Tourism
Coco Drops.................................................................. 25
MunchKings / Inside Back Cover,.................... 28
Ducky’s Ortoire Organic
National Energy Corporation
of Trinidad and Tobago.............................. 42, 43
Tobago Gold Chocolate Rum Cream............. 29
Dufry Trinidad Ltd......................................................31
NGC Bocas Lit Fest......................................... 45, 83
Energy Zone Fitness...............................................48
NGC CNG Company Limited...................... 45, 83
Tradewinds Hotel /
Pappy’s - Home of Brian’s
Five Islands Water & Amusement Park.........77
Agency Limited (TTAL)......................55, 56, 57 Tobago Beyond..........................................55, 56, 57
Outside Back Cover.....................................64, 86
Fricken Chicken......................................................... 91
Trellis Restaurant....................................................... 86
Fresh .......................................................................... 1, 28
Trinidad and Tobago NGL Limited.......... 42, 43
Gina’s Chocolate....................................................... 22
Passage to Asia ......................................................... 91
Glamorgan Events.................................................... 82
Peppercorns...................... Inside Front Cover, 28
Victoria Keyes............................................................. 73
Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant.................90
Phoenix Park Gas
Villas Are Us Ltd....................................................... 73
Hadco Group................ Inside Front Cover, 1, 28
Processors Limited....................................... 42, 43
Vintage Imports Wine Merchants.................... 82
Healing with Horses................................................. 61
Pint-Size Paradise Realty..................................... 70
Waterfront Restaurant........................................... 86
Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre..... 65, 86
Plantation Beach Villas.......................................... 68
Westshore Medical Private Hospital................37
HomeWork Design Studio................................... 62
Hyatt Regency Trinidad.................................67, 86
Prestige Arts International...................................30
Zest Bistro.................................................................... 88
IL Portico Italian Pizzeria...................................... 93
Rachel Lee Young ...................................................30
La Vigie Lookout in Paramin
Photo: Mark Hardy