Eco Adventure In Trinidad and Tobago

from the rainforest to the waterfalls, discover the eco in us

Eco Adventure In Trinidad
You don’t have to be in the backwoods of Trinidad to spot an exotic butterfly. A chance sighting of an unusual bird in urban skies is not so rare — especially with more than 430 bird species found in Trinidad and Tobago. Spectacular flora like giant bromeliads and orchids abounds even if you’re not in the thick of the forest. But if that’s what you get without actively seeking it, imagine what awaits you in the depths of our lush rainforest, atop our verdant mountain peaks, and in the remoteness of our pristine wetlands.

Even as small as it appears, there is so much to uncover when you visit Trinidad. Because of our once geographical connection with South America, you can enjoy a variety of Caribbean as well as South American flora and fauna. With all our diversity and the many intricate details that go along with understanding that diversity, eco trips are best done with the expertise of an eco-tour operator/guide.
uncover Eco Adventure when you visit Trinidad.

  • CHAGUARAMAS

    • Institute of Marine Affairs:

      Institute of Marine Affairs: This library and information centre conducts research on the marine environment around the islands. Regular marine life exhibits can be seen. More details: Institute of Marine Affairs

    • Edith Falls:

      This three-fingered waterfall is most striking during the wet season when rainfall is heavy. The walk to the 250-foot falls can take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes. More details: Chaguaramas Edith Falls

    • Morne Catherine:

      This is the highest peak in the Chaguaramas area. A winding seven-mile road leads to the summit, with nature trails you may want to explore for wildlife sightings. The climb to Morne Catherine is a must if only for the captivating Tucker Valley and sea views.

    • Gasparee Caves:

      Approximately 90ft deep, this underground limestone system consists of three main areas: The Entrance, The Twilight, and the Dark Zone. In each, fascinating geological formations are enhanced by natural light reflections. The Twilight Zone also has a saline pool, three feet deep at its shallowest. More details: Chaguaramas Gasparee Cave/ Scotland Bay

    • More Info:

      Things To Do In Chaguaramas Bay Peninsula

  • NORTH

    Within the Northern Range are three distinct nature preserves: Trinity Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Asa Wright Centre, and Valencia Wildlife Sanctuary.

    • Valencia Wildlife Sanctuary:

      This sanctuary which coincides with the Valencia Forest Reserve comprises 6,881 acres and is situated in the north east of Trinidad in the county of St. Andrews. It was proclaimed a sanctuary on the 1st of June 1934. There are at least 50 species of birds in this area. All are birds which are typical of lowland forest, such as doves, antbirds and manakins. Other animals include deer, agouti, tatoo and iguana. This area is managed by the Forestry Division and special permits are given to scientists and researchers for study of indigenous flora and fauna. Easy access by roads, Guides can be hired.

    • El Tucuche:

      A popular hiking route, this peak is Trinidad’s second highest.

    • Maracas Waterfall:

      Best seen in the rainy season, the falls are approximately 300ft high. Once in the Maracas-St Joseph Valley area, follow the Waterfall Road from the Maracas Royal Road.

    • Mount St Benedict Church and Monastery:

      This site is perfect for birdwatchers and offers wonderful vistas of the Caroni Plains.

    • Caura Valley:

      A famous spot for river limes and hiking trails.

    • Asa Wright Nature Centre and Lodge:

      Located in the Arima valley, this former estate house is now a lodge where visitors can get up close and personal to an amazing variety of bird life, including Squirrel Cuckoos, Toucans, and Tufted Coquettes. Asa Wright also houses a restaurant catering local-style cuisine in a family-type setting. More Details: Asa Wright Nature Centre and Lodge

    • Heights of Guanapo:

      This area’s main attractions are the Guanapo Gorge, and La Laja and Sombasson waterfalls. Hiking in this area must be done with a guide.

    • Aripo Caves:

      Large colonies of oilbirds and bats can be spotted here. Guided tours are necessary.

  • NORTH-EAST

    Eco Adventure In North-East Trinidad.

    • Matelot:

      Here you’ll find the Matelot Waterfall, a half-day hike from the village. The road ends at Matelot village; forest runs uninterrupted back to Blanchisseuse.

    • Grande Rivière:

      Through lush rainforest, the road leads west to Grande Rivière where leatherback turtles nest. Though one of the more remote areas on the island, accommodation and restaurant facilities are available.

    • Matura:

      This protected beach is another popular spot for turtle nesting. Matura lies within the area of the Northern Range that has unbroken continuous virgin forest cover rare for the Caribbean islands. The area also boasts the most outstanding representation of Mora forest (Mora excelsa) remaining in the country. Almost half of the proposed park consists of evergreen forest with another significant portion being montane forest with excellent examples of serrette-wild debasse-bois gris forest type. This largely pristine area provides excellent habitat for wildlife, including some locally rare and endangered species (pawi, ocelot) and its rivers contain relict South American fish fauna.

  • CENTRAL

      Caroni Bird Sanctuary fuana

    • Caroni Bird Sanctuary:

      From this extensive area of lagoon and swamp, flocks of Trinidad’s national bird, the scarlet ibis, can be seen every evening blanketing the sky in awesome red on their way to roost. Boat tours are offered especially for visitors to see this spectacular scene. Don’t forget your insect repellent, though. More details: Caroni Bird Sanctuary at Caroni Swamp

  • SOUTH-EAST

    • Nariva Swamp:

      Go kayaking through the swamp, the largest in Trinidad, for a chance to glimpse manatees in their natural habitat. Among some of the other wildlife you might spot are anacondas, caimans, and blue and gold macaws. You’ll need a permit to visit, which can be arranged through a tour operator.

    • Trinity Hills Wildlife Sanctuary And Reserve:

      The Trinity Hills Wildlife Sanctuary contains the last virgin forest ecosystem characterised as being representative of Beard’s evergreen seasonal forest type in the south of the country. It has relatively untouched examples of crappo-guatecare-fineleaf-carat type as well as acurel-mousarra-gommier forest.

    • More details:

      Nariva Swamp, Bush Bush and Trinity Hills Wildlife Sanctuary And Reserve at South-East Trinidad

  • SOUTH

    • Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust:

      This sanctuary is located on the grounds of the Pointe-à-Pierre oil refinery. The Trust protects endangered birds and waterfowl, and breeds other birds for return to natural wildlife areas. There are trails and a learning centre.

    • Oropouche Lagoon:

      These wetlands are profuse with wildlife, including butterflies — of which Trinidad has more than 600 species. The cremation site, Shore of Peace, is also situated here. To visit, go with a tour operator/ guide.

    • More Details:

      Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl and Oropouche Lagoon at South Trinidad

  • Scenic Mountain & Maracas Bay Drive:

    This drive will take you through the capital city of Port-of-Spain, highlighting architectural and historical landmarks. The first stop is at the Lady Young Lookout which provides a panoramic view of the city. Continue east passing several towns including bustling San Juan, before entering the Santa Cruz Valley. Here you will pass several old Cocoa Plantations and stop to explore these fascinating trees. You will pass through lush tropical forest and a natural saddle (a ridge between two peaks) on the way up to the Northern Range to Maracas Bay. Long strands of golden sand form a lovely beach that is shaded by coconut trees framed by lush mountains. Return via the village of Maraval as well as residential areas on the way to the ship.

  • Parks and Protected Areas

    For information and to arrange visits or guided tours, please contact one of the parks listed below. Opening hours for park administrative offices are Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, except public holidays, unless otherwise noted.

    • Queens Park Savannah

      Horticultural Services Division
      Ministry of Public Utilities
      Cotton Hill, Maraval, Trinidad, West Indies
      Tel. (868) 622-1221 ext. 2160-5
      Fax. (868) 622-9131

    • Royal Botanic Gardens of Trinidad and Tobago

      Horticultural Services Division
      Ministry of Public Utilities
      Cotton Hill, Maraval, Trinidad, West Indies
      Tel. (868) 622-1221 ext. 2160-5
      Fax. (868) 622-9131

    • Caroni Swamp Visitor Centre (Protected Area)

      38 Bamboo Grove Settlement No. 1
      Uriah Butler Highway, Valsayn, Trinidad, West Indies
      Tel. (868) 662-5114 or 645-1205

    • Nariva Swamp (Protected Area)

      Kernaham Village, Manzanilla Road, Trinidad, West Indies
      Tel. (868) 662-5114 or 645-1205

    • Aripo Savannah Scientific Reserve in Cumuto Village, Trinidad.
    • Cleaver Woods Recreational Park in D'abadie, Trinidad.
    • Fort George Historical Site on Fort George Road in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
    • Lopinot Historical Site in Lopinot, Trinidad.
    • Matura National Park in Salybia, Trinidad.
    • Water Wheel Museum in River Estate, Diego Martin, Trinidad.
    For the parks and reserves listed above, please contact:
    National Parks Office

    89 Farm Road, St. Joseph, Trinidad, West Indies
    Tel. (868) 645-1203
    Opening hours: 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

    How to Obtain a Permit to enter protected areas (Caroni and Nariva Swamps)

    Permits are only required to enter protected areas (Caroni and Nariva Swamps) and can be purchased on site by providing the following:

    • One valid form of identification (driver's permit, national identification card, passport).
    • List of the names of persons wishing to enter the prohibited area.

    For persons wishing to conduct research, a brief proposal describing the research activities should be submitted at least one week in advance to:

    The Wildlife Section

    29 Farm Road, St. Joseph, Trinidad, West Indies
    Tel. (868) 662-5114
    Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

  • Eco Adventure Tour Operators In Trinidad

    • Permits are needed for some locations but any reputable guide/tour operator will arrange these for you.
    • Don’t attempt a long hike without a guide, it’s easy to get lost or have an accident.
    • Snake bites and scorpion stings are rare; the biggest natural danger is the Portuguese Man-of-War. Seek local advice on whether these jellyfish are present. Don’t depend on season. Vinegar is good if you get stung.
    • Where long trousers for lengthy bush treks and never wear open-toed sandals. Comfortable shoes with good grip are recommended.
    • Avoid wearing black, it attracts mosquitoes and if you’re in the open, soaks up the heat.
    • Only hire Trinidad and Tobago Incoming Tour Operators’ Association registered guides. They are professionally trained and have public liability insurance.
    • Visit our TRINIDAD & TOBAGO IN BRIEF - Essentials To Keep In Mind for essential official contact information.
    • Here are some samples of Tour Operators In Trinidad

      Banwari Experience Limited
      Services throughout the Caribbean: transfers, accommodation, conferencing; cultural, eco, educational, sporting and shopping tours. Member of Caribbean Alliance Tourism Services (CATS).
      Address:
      Banwari Experience Limited
      Bourg Malatresse, Lower Santa Cruz, Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies.
      Telephone: (868) 675-1619 or 624-8687 Fax (868) 675-1619
      email: banw...@tstt.net.tt
      Website: http://www.banwari.com/

      Caribbean Discovery Tours
      The adventure traveler or naturalist will find here a great diversity of ecosystems -mountains and thick forests, swamplands, flora and fauna that are both Caribbean and South American.
      Address:
      Caribbean Discovery Tours
      9b, Fondes Amandes Rd., FONDES AMANDES HOUSE, St. Ann's, Trinidad and Tobago.
      Tel: 868-624-7281
      Fax: 868-624-8596
      Cell: 868-620-1989
      Email: cari...@yahoo.com
      http://caribbeandiscoverytours.com/trinidad_and_tobago.html

      Wildways Caribbean Adventure Travel
      Adventure and nature tours, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, camping, educational, and special interest tours.
      Address:
      Wildways Caribbean Adventure Travel
      10 Idlewild Road
      Knightsbridge, Cascade
      Port of Spain
      Trinidad & Tobago
      Tel: (+1-868) 623-7332
      Fax: (+1-868) 623-7332

      Contact: Asa Wright Nature Centre and Lodge

      Caligo Ventures
      (For International and Independent Traveler)
      Caligo Ventures is the exclusive U.S. representative of the Asa Wright Nature Centre.
      To Book Your Trip Call Toll-Free at 800-426-7781 in the U.S. and Canada
      From Other Countries call 305-292-0708 or Fax 305-292-0706.
      Email: i...@caligo.com
      Website: http://www.caligo.com/trinidad/index.html

      Visit our TRINIDAD & TOBAGO IN BRIEF - Essentials To Keep In Mind for official contact information of eco-tour operator/guide In Trinidad. Also check: Trinidad Wildlife, Hunting and Forestry Offices for Licence and Permit

Useful Links:

  • List of flora of Tobago - their origins & uses
  • Trinidad and Tobago Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) - to assist in facilitating the involvement of the general public in the management of the biological resources of Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Discovering the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago - Provides bird identification guide provides hundreds of photographs and images, plus descriptions and information on tropical birds along with added bonus features.
  • The Outdoors Trinidad - provides information on outdoor recreational activities in Trinidad, West Indies. There is a wide range of outdoor activities in Trinidad, varying from Hiking & Birdwatching to Kayaking & Surfing.
  • Nature reserves of Trinidad and Tobago By Treasure Chest of Trinidad and Tobago - Brief description of Adventure Farm and Nature Reserve, Botanic Gardens, Genesis Nature Park and Art Gallery, Grafton Caledonia Wildlife Sanctuary, Little Tobago Island, Louis D'Or Nurseries, Main Ridge Forest Reserve, St. Giles Rock, Aripo Savannahs, The Emperor Valley Zoo, The Point- a- Pierre Wild Fowl Trust.
  • Trinidad and Tobago Flora & Fauna, Wetlands and Rainforests
  • Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists' Club - Membership based oldest clubs existing in Trinidad and Tobago to encourage and promote activities that would lead to the appreciation, preservation and conservation of our natural heritage. Currently active groups are: Bird Group, Botany Group, Bug Group, Herpetology Group & Marine Group.
  • Paria Springs Eco-Community - offers many tours throughout Trinidad and Tobago. From fun adventures to easy relaxing rainforest walks with Paria Springs Eco Community and Courtenay Rooks, naturalist, adventurer, birder, mountain biker, kayaker, surfer with developing the tourism aspects of the Paria Springs Project and much more.
  • Hike Seekers and Island Hikers - Both provide hiking and conducting tours into the rain forest of Trinidad & Tobago, swimming in the sea, cooling off under a jungle water fall, splashing through a mountain river, visits to remote caves to see theendangered oil birds and a wide variety of forest bats.