Trinidad North Range and North Coast Attractions
Covered by rain forest across the top of Trinidad and running from the foothills to the sea in the north, the Trinidad North Range and North Coast region is the prime ecological and thereby tourist area of the island. These hills were formed when the land once sat astride a mid-ocean ridge millions of years ago. The land is quite contorted and the few roads wind to follow the deep valleys.Three areas are especially visited: Mt St Benedict, the Arima Valley and some of the beaches on the north coast.Since the road through the Arima Valley to the Asa Wright Nature Center continues on to Blanchisseuse and the north coast, visitors may wonder if it is worth while to complete the driving circuit. However, there is little different to see north of Asa Wright and the coast road beyond Maracas does not yield views of the sea. In fact some of the time is spent driving along the walls of villas hiding the sea.
Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge
The Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge is located in an unspoiled rain-forest covered range of mountains that runs from west to east across the top of Trinidad. While the whole ridge is rich in birds, the Arima Valley proved such a concentration of birds that the New York Zoological Society established a research station there in 1949.The bird species found at the site and which come to the feeders off the verandah are some of the most colorful in Trinidad, appealing even to those who are not bird watchers.As the fame of the valley grew, so did the need for guest accommodation and thus Asa Wright and her husband opened a room on their 193 acre cocoa, coffee and citrus plantation.One of her visitors and friends was Don Richard Eckelberry, a noted wildlife artist who painted 1,200 bird species over the course of his career. Asa asked Eckelberry to help protect the forest after her death and he knocked on doors until they had the donations required to purchase and protect the area. The trust opened the property in 1967.The guest accommodations now number 25 rooms including two in the original plantation house. Income from hosting guests pays for the conservation of the surrounding forest, purchases of additional land (now 1,060 acres) and environmental educational programs for the population of Trinidad.In addition the site is the only Trinidadian home to the rare nocturnal oilbirds, a type of owl which numbered only 22 in 1967, but which now fluctuates between 130 and 150 individuals.
Maracas Bay (Tyrico Bay)
Maracas Bay is a popular sandy beach about 40 minutes northeast of Port of Spain. Not far beyond is a second beach at Tyrico Bay. The drive from POS to these beaches present some good views of peninsulas jutting into the water.Both beaches have changing rooms, thatched roofed shelters, and food vendors.