Trinidad and Tobago — Attractions
Trinidad and Tobago’s varied history and wealth of natural attractions offer much to entertain the visitor. Manmade sites such as the quirky Kimme Museum of Arts are balanced with historical landmarks such as old forts and the La Brea Pitch Lake. The lush rainforests and swamps are home to a wide variety of wildlife – the scarlet ibis and the strange nocturnal oilbirds are just two of the more unusual species that draw nature lovers to the islands.
Fort George was built in 1804 by the British, who fortified the northwest coast of Trinidad against pirates or invasion by rival nations. Today, visitors can see the canons, the lockup, the signal house, and the remains of the old walls. The free entrance and spectacular views of Gulf of Paria, Port of Spain, and surrounds make this a popular picnic spot.
Address: Fort George, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago
Asa Wright Nature Centre
Formerly a plantation, the Asa Wright Nature Centre was created in 1967 to conserve part of the beautiful Arima Valley. Visit for the day or stay overnight at the lodge to hike along the various bird trails, swim in the tree-lined Clearwater Pool, savor the landscapes, go bird-watching, or enjoy high tea on the verandah. There are toucans, hummingbirds, and a cave which is home to the strange, nocturnal, echo-calling oilbirds that live on the property. The center is open daily between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., but advance reservations are required.
Address: Spring Hill Estate, Arima Valley, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago
La Brea Pitch Lake
Trinidad’s La Brea Pitch Lake is the largest of only seven natural asphalt (bitumen) deposits in the world. The weird tar at the bottom is about 82 yards deep and covers nearly 100 acres. Amerindian artifacts, giant sloth bones, and mastodon teeth have been uncovered from the lake and can be viewed at the small museum on site. Visitors can take a guided tour that discusses the geological history of the area and in the rainy season, bath in the sulfuric waters that collect above the bitumen, which are said to be good for your health. Tours can be booked through the La Brea Pitch Lake Visitor Centre, just outside the lake.
Address: La Brea Village, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago
Caroni Bird Sanctuary
The Caroni Bird Sanctuary wetlands are home to many plants and animals, including anteaters, caimans, tree boas, and many types of birds. The daily Scarlet Ibis Tour at 4:00 p.m. takes visitors on a guided boat trip down the river, mangroves, and swamps to admire the views, take photos, and look for herons and the stunning scarlet ibis. Other visitor activities include hunting, fishing, crab catching, and bird watching. Reservations must be made in advance.
Address: Butler Highway, Caroni, Island of Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago.
Argyle Waterfalls and Nature Park
The 600 foot Argyle Falls is Tobago’s most famous waterfall. It is located on the Argyle River, near Roxborough, on the southeastern coast. The park is open daily and the 20-minute guided tour stops along the way to take photographs and swim in the many refreshing pools en route to the three-tiered waterfall.
Address: Argyle Falls, Roxborough, Island of Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago
Fort King George
Built by the British in 1777 and expanded by the French in 1781, Fort King George is one of the nation’s best preserved historical sites. The fort has an officer’s mess hall, barracks, a bell-shaped water cistern, canons, a museum, a gift shop, and well-kept gardens, along with splendid views of Scarborough, north Tobago, and the sea. The site is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Address: 84 Fort Street, Scarborough, Island of Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago
Kimme Museum: ‘The Castle’
Luise Kimme is a German sculptor who has been living and working in Tobago since 1979. The Kimme Museum (also known as ‘The Castle’) is an attractive, fanciful building surrounding the original studio. It houses some of his best works, including 14-foot tall sculptures of dancers, religious figures, and characters from mythology and folklore. The gallery is only open on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or by appointment only.
Address: Kimme Avenue, Mt Irvine, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago.
Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool
The Buccoo Reef and nearby Nylon Pool are dually the most popular attractions on Tobago. Situated off Pigeon Point beach, these two natural wonders are best accessed by glass-bottomed boat. The reef is home to a myriad of marine life and is good for snorkeling and diving. Behind Buccoo Reef is the pool, a sandbar that forms a one meter deep natural swimming hole in the middle of the ocean.
Address: off Pigeon Point Beach, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago.