Land of Diversity

By: Stephen Broadbridge

Trinidad, a three-hour flight from Florida, is historically Caribbean, geographically South American. Trinidad offers an exotic, diverse yet uniquely accessible and safe experience for the eco-traveller. Night clubs, music, shopping centres and city bright lights are never more than an hour’s or so drive from wilderness that is intriguing and various.

Miles of extensive cloud-capped mountain ranges stand covered with dense tropical rainforest, crossed by sparkling rivers and hundreds of dramatic waterfalls. The north coast and the bridge of islands which stretch to South America are indented with deep bays of unspoiled white sandy beaches. The central plain’s natural savannahs are full of rare species. Forty square miles of mangrove swamp can be seen on the central west coast. On the East Atlantic coast, the internationally-protected freshwater wetlands of Nariva are fringed by miles of coconut plantations fronting the sandy Manzanilla and Mayaro beaches.

Since the nineteenth century, scholars have known of this great diversity of species that the variety of habitats supports, and had established study stations in the Northern Range. Today, American and British scholarly societies and universities regularly send field trips to Trinidad.

Film makers such as Attenborough, National Geographic, Discovery channel, British BBC and German television have known the unique character of Trinidad’s wilderness with its spectacular mountains and forests and its over 400 species of birds, 108 mammals, 620 butterflies, 2300 different flowering plants, including 700 orchids, as well the unique golden tree frog, endangered pawi, and such South American species as the scarlet ibis, macaw, and the red howler and white-fronted capuchin monkeys. •

Film makers such as Attenborough, National Geographic, Discovery channel, British BBC and German television have known the unique character of Trinidad’s wilderness with its spectacular mountains and forests and its over 400 species of birds, 108 mammals, 620 butterflies, 2300 different flowering plants, including 700 orchids, as well the unique golden tree frog, endangered pawi, and such South American species as the scarlet ibis, macaw, and the red howler and white-fronted capuchin monkeys. •