Travel Diary: Maracas Bay, Trinidad & Tobago

My parents would say that there are several better candidates to feature for my first travel post highlighting T&T beaches. Their point would be valid. There are obvious alternatives such as the quintessential turquoise watered beauties that Tobago boasts. There are also beaches in Trinidad that are more popular among locals than Maracas - one of these, Las Cuevas, is a stone's throw away from Maracas. Notwithstanding, Maracas is a favorite in Trinidad & Tobago for good reason. While its water may not be the most mesmerising in the Caribbean, it's a gorgeous piece of nature and a calming retreat. Spending an afternoon reading on the sand, bathing in the water and gazing at the verdant mountains always rejuvenates me. In addition to these pleasures, a huge part of its appeal is the journey there. 

The Bay is nestled in the western edge of The Northern Range, about an 1 hr drive from our capital city Port of Spain and oh! what a captivating drive it is! As you move away from POS, your heartbeat slows down in tandem with the surroundings. In the  villages bearing pretty French and Spanish names, wooden stalls display local tropical fruit. Vendors nonchalantly wave you over to browse their offerings. It's a good idea to pick up some to savour during your drive or later on. Closer to Maracas, there's another spot for buying munchies but my main reason for stopping at this lookout point is always to enjoy what the name alludes to, the spectacular vista of sea, sky and cliffs. You might not be interested in the spicy fruit or coconut flavoured snacks but you must step out to gaze at the scenery and smell the sweet rain forest air. On a clear day you might even be able to spot neighbouring Venezuela. 

After this pit stop, Maracas Beach is only about 10 minutes away. With dramatic effect, the mountains open up to reveal towering coconut trees, a swath of beige sand and teal water. This greeting never gets old for me. It always entices me to stay for a while. An ideal trip is a whole day affair that includes swimming, reading, eating and relaxing. On a few occasions I've attended small concerts on the beach. These have been laid back, rootsy events that make me wish there were more of such gatherings, i.e. intimate poetry readings and acoustic concerts. I'm not keen though on the intense events that are held at Maracas such as post Carnival Ash Wednesday fetes. They are not what I want to experience in such a beautiful natural environment.  For me the whole point of going to the beach is to indulge in quiet and reconnect with nature. When I can't spend an entire day doing so, it's more than enough to arrive in time to catch the sunset. 

Photography Credit: photos of me by Kyeon Constantine , photos of scenery by me.


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