Trinidad - A roadtrip around the island

My plan for the next four days was to drive around the entire island. and unlike my previous experience in Grenada, everything went smoothly with the rental car.

Contrary to Grenada and other Caribbean islands, however, Trinidad is much bigger and also consists of a second island Tobago. Driving around the island doesn't work either as there are no roads at the edges of the island.

The flight with Caribbean Airlines arrived on time, immigration was quick and easy and the rental car representative was waiting for me with a sign bearing my name.

Another island where a rental car is cheaper than taxis

The cost of renting the car for five days was $190 USD, which was a very reasonable price considering that it was the beginning of the carnival season. 

In Trinidad, it's convenient to have a rental car, as the taxi ride from the airport would have cost between $40-$50 USD - which is extremely expensive compared to the daily price of a rental car. 

Driving in Trinidad is comfortable, the highways are of high standards and without potholes. I drove to the hotel in Port of Spain. The journey from the airport is far and takes around 45 minutes.

Took a walk in Port of Spain and noticed the city's relatively higher standard of living compared to other Caribbean islands. 

Also, it seemed much more well-organized compared to other Caribbean countries. This could possibly be due to Trinidad's proximity to mainland South America, so they have the resources to build higher standards.

Day 2 - South of Trinidad has nice beaches

I left Port of Spain at 8:00 am and headed towards the south of the island. There was little traffic at that time as most people were commuting from outside of the city to work in Port of Spain.

First drove to a lookout on San Fernando Hill.

The view didn't disappoint. Great scenery from all angles. 

The road infrastructure in the country is generally adequate, but traffic congestion and poor road maintenance can cause delays.

La Brea Pitch Lake. I read on google maps that it is the largest commercial deposit of natural asphalt in the world. So there is a lake full of asphalt and concrete created naturally by nature.

Upfront I was told the access costs 40 USD, so I skipped the walk on the lake. The view from outside is Ok too.

I then drove further south to visit a beach. Outside the urban areas of Trinidad, the streets become more and more narrow.

Many roads off the highway are poorly maintained, with potholes and uneven surfaces. Additionally, the lack of street signs and road markings makes it difficult.

Trinidad's beaches are well maintained and managed by the government, making them beautiful, accessible, and free.

This is exemplary compared to most other Caribbean countries. I stopped at Vessigny Beach.

Returned to Port of Spain in the evening.

Day 3 - North coast is even more spectacular

The morning rush hour was mainly when entering the city. Leaving the city was no problem.

I drove towards La Vigie Paramin Lookout.

The roads became narrow and steep very quickly. I had never seen such steep roads that were considered main roads. Didn't have the time to take photos of those streets, too dangerous to stop. 

But they were extremely tight and curved, with their own rules for passing other cars in the turns. To pass other cars in the curves, the driver had to switch between left and right lanes. 

The steepest part of the road was the last 200 meters to the lookout. Even with a modern small Nissan, it was impossible to climb the slope with the air conditioning on and gears in L2. I had to crawl up the slope at a snail's pace.

But the lookout up there from La Vigie Paramin was worth it.

Continued to Marcas Beach. This is probably the nicest beach all over Trinidad. Many restaurants, whereas offering the same fish menus with the most famous dish all over Trinidad "Bake and Shark". It's basically fish and chips or fish in bread (bake).

The government's management and maintenance of the beaches made them free and accessible, setting an example for other Caribbean countries.

Along the north coast are truly spectacular beaches, even for Caribbean beach standards.

Continued from Maracas and went to Las Cuevas Beach and La Fillette Beach. Great beaches one after another, about 15 minutes apart.

I continued driving to Blanchisseuse Beach, which is the last possible village to drive to on this road. 

After that, the road is ending because of the jungle.

The driving time on these roads is much longer than what Google Maps shows. The tight curves with some drivers were quite reckless, making driving challenging.

It was in the mid of afternoon when I started driving back to Port of Spain. 

Day 4 - A walk in the forest before leaving the Caribbean

Drove towards the west of the country, and 30 minutes from Port of Spain, I arrived at Chaguaramas Boardwalk and Beach, which seemed more for the locals.

A 15-minute drive to the north led to a bike path that extended to the parking lot of to the area called "Bamboo Cathedral". It was an impressive trail through the bamboo forest, and the wind made the bamboo rustle, creating typical bamboo acoustics.

The path led to a lookout, which could have been more spectacular.

Day 5 - Leaving the Caribbean towards Guyana

Trinidad was a nice destination with beautiful beaches and scenic lookouts. Compared to other Caribbean countries it seemed much more advanced and almost looks like a mainland country, not really like a Caribbean island. 

At this point, I finished visiting all the east Caribbean islands and now will continue to mainland South America. Drove back 45 minutes to the airport, gave back the rental car, and departed from Trinidad, heading to Guyana

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