Trinidad’s Western Peninsula Gets a Facelift!

Among the bobbing yachts, Trinidad’s westerly coast sports a few impressive mountains jaggedly facing upwards, a fishing village or few, myriad water-related activities and, of course, the new additions that the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) has been making in the last few years.

Chaguaramas, Trinidad, a once-upon-a-time United States (U.S.,) military base during World War II (WW2), is now a family-oriented playground set on lush Caribbean shorefront. The developments of late signal an innovative strategy to re-vamping an area that’s always held much potential for business development, as well as an opportunity to provide locals and visitors another form of entertainment.

To give you a better idea of the developments in the Western Peninsula, here are some of the main attractions:

The Bamboo Cathedral: Just before you get to Macqueripe Beach, this natural bamboo formation is nestled in Tucker Valley, Chaguaramas. The makeshift cathedral of bamboo stretching towards each other to form an arch over a grassy pathway is about 300 metres long. The pathway itself leads to the WW2 Tracking Station; another fantastic historical point of interest in the Western area of Trinidad.

The Boardwalk: Over the 1400 foot stretch of board planks that neatly line the shore at Chaguaramas, the newly opened Boardwalk is an inviting, family-oriented space for nature lovers looking to soak up the last of the day’s sunshine. More adventurous types can roam about in the rented paddle boats available. The ‘Mini Off-Road Mayhem’ (http://chaguaramas.com/index.php/things-to-do/boardwalk) also offers kids and adults the excitement of radio controlled monster trucks, but sans danger. Those looking to relax and enjoy the atmosphere can rent a gazebo that’s great for gatherings and picnics. Also nearby are food vendors offering everything from coffee to soups. The Boardwalk area also expects to see new additions including craft markets and other sales.

The Golf Course: Built by American servicemen during the WW2 occupation, the Chaguaramas Golf Course is the only public course on the island. According the CDA’s website, the golf course will be expanded into an 18-hole course fit for lovers of the sport. Those who want to shell out $80.00 (CGC members) per nine holes or $95.00 (non-CGC members) should rest easy that the course also features the only 250ft., driving range in Trinidad and Tobago, a lounge area equipped with a bar, changing room and secured parking for up to 134 vehicles.

The Heritage Park: Surrounded by lush nature and myriad wildlife of both the winged and footed kind, the Heritage Park is part of the CDA’s plan to sustainably develop the area even further.  The Bellerand Recreational Park hosts recreational activities such as golfing, swimming and not too far from the majesty of Edith Falls. The park includes a giant sized checkerboard, a multi-purpose Play Park, Four (4) Picnic Tables and Benches a bleacher for approximately 150 spectators, and parking accommodation for Twenty-Five (25) vehicles Samaan Park is known for its 200-year-old mushroom capped trees and was once part of the Huggins Planation.

Hiking: Nature* lovers are in for a treat as they discover the various nature trails and other indigenous wonders that seem to thrive in the Western area. The Covigne River Trail Adventure takes you through abandoned cocoa, coffee and nutmeg plantations, but the prize for this hike is the waterfall and plunge pool that is the perfect denouement of any arduous walk.

Looking for more of a challenge? Then the Chacachacare Salt Pond tour is for the true adrenaline junkie who wants to travel to a saline point with views of the Caribbean Sea to boot.

More popular routs include Edith Falls, which is located easterly of Morne Catherine and overlooks the gold course as well. Not forgetting the Gasparee Caves, that astounding cave system brimming with stalactites and stalagmites on the offshore island of Gaspar Grande. Many brave the 100 feet journey underground to pay homage to the stunning crystal pools and other natural wonders along the way.

Zip Lining: Just above Macqueripe Bay, there is a newly added network of lines meant for zipping along on. As another part of the CDA’s development of the beachfront, zip lining is a soft-adventure fit for those looking for a safe thrill. What other way could one get a tree-top view of the newly remodelled Macqueripe Bay and views of the sea? The company, Zip-Itt Adventure Tours are a team of well-trained, professionals charged with maintaining the safety and fun.

Guides accompany all zip liners along the seven line course, especially the highest one measuring at 100 feet high. The entire adventure takes up to an hour and has been touted as one of the best zip lining courses in the region.

For more information, please visit:
TDC: http://www.tdc.co.tt/
CDA: http://chaguaramas.com/
*The CDA advises that lone hikers need to inform CDA of your presence in case of emergency. Please call 634-4227 for more information.

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