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Camping

 

Trinidad does not have dedicated campgrounds that would be found in many North American and European countries but camping is popular during the dry season reaching a peak on the Carnival weekend and on the Easter holiday weekend (Good Friday to Easter Monday). During the Easter weekend it is advisable to secure your camp sites early (from Thursday night) at the popular camping areas, as the best locations are quickly taken.

Part of the popularity of camping at Easter time is the added security provided by the many other campers in the same area. When going camping, it is a good practice to stop at the Police Station in the area where you plan to camp and inform the police that you will be camping in the area and where your campsite will be. At the end of your camping trip you should also stop at the Police Station and advise them that your camping expedition is over. For more advice on camping security see the article, Staying safe on remote camp sites.

For advice on Choosing the Best Tent, Picking a Sleeping Bag, How to make a camp fire and other camping advice see our articles area.

 

 

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The most popular camping sites are located on beaches, as would be expected on a Caribbean island, but some persons do camp in forested areas along rivers.

Popular Camping sites

bulletChacachacare
bulletMaracas Bay
bulletTyrico Bay
bulletLas Cuevas Beach
bulletBlanchisseuse
bulletCaura River
bulletNorth Manzanilla
bulletManzanilla Beach
bulletMayaro
bulletQuinam Bay
bulletLos Iros Bay
bulletBalieau Beach
bulletGranville Beach
bulletPoint Coco Beach
bulletValencia
bulletMatura
bulletSally Bay, Matura
bulletBalandra Bay
bulletRampanalgas 33km
bulletToco Lighthouse
bulletLa Fouray
bulletSalybia Bay, Toco
bulletPatience Bay Toco
bulletMission, Toco
bulletSans Souci
bulletGran Riviere
bulletShark River
bulletMatelot River

To find the locations referred to on this page, see the Trinidad Map

 

For information on camping in Tobago, visit our affiliated web site, Caribbean Outdoor Life.

 

Chacachacare

Camping at Chacachacare can at times be like camping on your own private island and if you are at the right time of year you can see hawksbill turtle nesting. The fact that this is the furthest of the offshore islands means that only those persons with access to a boat can visit this island. The remoteness means that all camping supplies must be brought with you, including water. Those individuals who use a water taxi from the Island Property Owners Dock to get to Chacachacare must remember to carry a fully charged cell phone (preferably two) in order to summon assistance in the event of an emergency as there are no residents on the island other than the keeper of the lighthouse. A permit from the Chaguaramas Development Authority is required in order to camp on the island. Persons who are visiting the island for only one day do not require a permit and the most popular beach on the island is La Tinta Bay.

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Camping takes place at La Tinta Bay, Perruquier Bay, Coco Bay and at the other bays on the island. Further information on Chacachacare can be found on our Other Places of Interest Page.

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Maracas Bay & Tyrico Bay

Camping is allowed at Maracas Bay and Tyrico Bay. For the Easter weekend a permit is required from the Tourism Development Company. The permit is obtained upon payment of a small fee and designates the specific location where the tent can be placed. Apart from the scenic beauty of the bay, the popularity of this beach for camping stems from the easy availability of drinking water, toilets, showers, the close presence of the police station and shops & bars in the nearby village.

 

Las Cuevas Beach

This beach is also popular for camping during the Easter weekend because of the easy availability of drinking water, toilets, showers and small shops & bars in the nearby village. The fishing depot at the northern end of the beach also has potable water.

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It is not advisable to camp at the south-eastern end of the bay unless in a large group as this area, while visually attractive because of the natural forest descending directly to the beach, is deserted and so less secure.

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Blanchisseuse

The most popular camping spot in the Blanchisseuse area is along the banks of the Marianne River. There is a private land owner who has created a camp ground and allows camping on his property for a small daily fee. Toilets and showers are available on the property with a small charge for their use, plus potable drinking water is available. The owner has also erected a small bar that serves drinks and simple meals. In addition he allows car parking within the boundaries of his property. The property is on the beachfront and a short distance from the banks of the river. Unfortunately because many persons who go to the beach and the river do not clean up when they are leaving, the owner of the adjoining property has erected a wall along the edge of the property to prevent cars from being driven up to the river. The driving of cars up to the river mouth compacts the sand making it difficult for the leatherback turtles to scoop out the sand during the leatherback nesting season. The wall is therefore also intended to make it easier for the turtles to nest by blocking cars from this area. It is still easy to access the river as one simply has to walk along the beach from the camping site. On the weekends paddle boats are available for rental on the river.

Just outside the campground there is a small shop and as this area is on the outskirts of the village, food and other supplies are also available in the village shops for those who have forgotten any essential items. There is a police station in Blanchisseuse and also a health center that sometimes has an ambulance stationed at it. Both of these facilities are along the main road. Also along the main road are several pay telephone booths.

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Another popular camping location is the small beach that is directly opposite the Blanchisseuse police station and at the side of the fishing depot. The area between the sand and the cliff is small so that there is only sufficient space for one camping group.

While camping is popular in many locations at Easter, Blanchisseuse is one area where camping is done throughout the year.

 

Caura River

As a result of a Government decision in 1943 to construct a dam, the majority of the Caura valley has no human habitation. A brief synopsis of the history of the valley is given on our Other Places of Interest Page. Over time the name Caura has come to be synonymous with the Trinidadian term "river lime".The clear river water and low population make Caura River a favorite for camping, picnics and recreational bathing.

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The most popular spots are at the abandoned pump house and are called Pool Number 1 and Pool Number 2. The river is so popular however that there is insufficient space at these locations for all the people who go to this valley on a weekend and so every stretch of the river that has a clearing is used for picnics, usually involving cooking at the riverside. The majority of this cooking is accompanied by the playing of loud music. The water level along the river is generally low and so most bathing consists of sitting and soaking in the river.

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As the upper reaches of the valley do not have many homes, there are no shops and so all camping items must be transported into the valley. Directly along the river bank is the preferred location for camping and there are Ajoupas at some points. To cater for the demand for relaxation spaces, a park has been created on the hillside on the western side of the road between Pool Number 1 and Pool Number 2. To see more photographs of Caura, visit the Photo Gallery and enter the search term "Caura".

From the Eastern Main Road in Tacarigua, the location of of the pools is approximately 25 minutes drive along the Caura Royal Road.

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North_Manzanilla

North Manzanilla Beach has a wide grassed area that is set back from the shore and maintained by Cepep. Part of this flat area is open land while other parts have numerous coconut trees with open spaces between. For those who want to combine activities there is an old Trace, just west of the camping area, that runs for several miles following the undulating land and provides an invigorating hike. There are no facilities at North Manzanilla beach so everything you plan to use, especially water, must be brought in by you. There are a few small roadside shops along the road leading to the beach but no shops in the immediate vicinity of the beach.

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To get to North Manzanilla you follow the Eastern Main Road to Manzanilla from Sangre Grande. Immediately after the Manzanilla Gas Station and just before the Anglican Church you take the left fork in the road. Follow this road for approximately 4.5 kilometers and then take the road on the left (there is no sign). If you miss this left turn do not worry because shortly after the main road ends in a dead end above the beach. For more information on North Manzanilla Beach see our Beaches Page.

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Manzanilla Beach

Manzanilla Bay (also called Cocos Bay) is another popular camping area. This beach is over 20 kilometers in length and so there is ample room for everyone who wants to camp along this beach. The most popular camping areas are at the northern end where there are shower and toilet facilities and towards the southern section of the bay at the Nariva River mouth.

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Along the bay near the river mouth between the Nariva River and the sea is private property where camping is allowed for a small fee. This area is attractive because you are sandwiched between the river and the sea. Campers should carry insect repellant as there are mosquitoes at night. For more information on Manzanilla Beach, visit our Beaches Page.

 

Mayaro Beach

Mayaro Beach lies to the south of Manzanilla Beach and is approximately 17 kilometers in length. Camping occurs along the beach front at almost any area where there is room.

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A very popular camping location is at the southern end of the bay after Sandsucker Drive in the area known as "Indian Bay". In this area, a small river enters the sea, with the river providing a calm spot for bathing, as shown in the photograph above. Another popular camping area is at Church Road in Radix Village.

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Quinam Bay

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This is another of the popular locations for camping in South Trinidad during Easter. The best spots are along the roadway leading to the beach, where the land between the trees has been cleared and is maintained by the Ministry of Agriculture.

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Ajoupas have been built among the trees and there is also space for erecting tents. There is no potable water supply in the area so all drinking water must be brought to the site. There are a few small snack vendors at the the beach and so campers must bring all food and other supplies.

For additional information on Quinam Bay see Quinam Beach in our Beach Review.

 

Los Iros

For information on Los Iros see Los Iros Beach in our Beach Review.

 

Balieau Beach

This beach is located in Cedros. For further information see Balieau Beach in our Beach Review.

 

Granville Beach

Located midway between Point Fortin and Cedros, Granville affords the opportunity of camping directly alongside the beach and is very popular during Easter. There are no shops in the immediate vicinity of the beach but there are several shops in the village a short distance away. Information on beach conditions can be found in our Beach Review. To get to Granville Beach you turn off the Southern Main Road at Granville Road and then turn left onto Coromandel Road.

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Point_Coco_Beach

Point Coco Beach lies on the southwestern penninsula between Granville and Chatam. It is a quiet beach area that is a short distance from a small village but with no houses on the beach. At high tide the sea comes up the full width of the beach but there is a raised area suitable for camping as shown in the picture below.

To learn more about Point Coco Beach, see our Beaches page

 

Valencia

The Valencia region is in the eastern part of Trinidad. The Valencia Road begins in the village of Valencia at the Eastern Main Road and runs until it joins with the Toco Main Road. The Valencia Road is bisected by several rivers, the Turure, La Seiva and Oropouche rivers. The river banks in the immediate vicinity of the road are the popular camping areas. Being so close to the roadway, these areas attract large crowds particularly on holiday weekends. The Valencia region is also popular for river limes.

 

Matura

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Matura Village is in eastern Trinidad, along the Toco Main Road. There are two areas that are popular for camping in Matura; along the banks of the Matura River and on Matura Beach. The Matura River bisects the Toco Main Road and the banks of the river in this area are flat, so suitable for camping. This river has clear water and is relatively shallow along this stretch hence its popularity as a camping area, however with many people swimming in the same area, the water gets slightly cloudy.  There is a private landowner who, for a small fee, allows vehicles to go through his property  and so reach a part of the river above the road side campers.

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There are two small shops in the village where forgotten items and ice can be purchased. There is also a police station in the village. An activity that is sometimes engaged in by campers in Matura is the hike to the Mermaid Pools (also called Matura Basin).

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Sally Bay

Sally Bay, along the Toco Main Road and after Matura Village, is another of the popular camping locations. Most individuals erect their tents either on the beach or on the northern banks of the Rio Seco River. Along the northern section of the beach there is a wide flat area bounded by shade trees that is also used for erecting tents. There is a beach facility with showers and toilets that is open on weekends and public holidays. There is also a fishing depot on this beach. In the village immediately before the beach are two small shops (one on the Main Road and one inside the village), while in Matura Village are also two shops.

The Beach Review page has more information on Sally Bay.

 

Balandra Bay

Balandra Bay is further along the Toco Main Road, after Sally Bay and Rincon Beach. The road to the beach is called Balandra Bay Road and is on the southern side of the Toco Main Road. Camping on this beach is particularly popular at Easter. The two ends of the beach plus the grove along the Balandra Bay Road are the preferred locations. The trees at the beach ends   create a mixed grove of coconut, almond and sea grape.

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Freshwater is available at the fishing facility at the northern end of the beach. One of the benefits of Balandra, as a camping site, is that the village of Rampanalgas is close by with a well stocked grocery and bar, vegetable stand and snack vendor. Freshwater is also available in Rampanalgas at a standpipe on the Main Road. For information on the sea conditions, see the Beaches Page. For more photos of the beach, visit the photo gallery and enter Balandra in the search field.

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Rampanalgas

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Along the Toco Main Road at the 33 kilometer distance marker, shortly after the center of the village of Rampanalgas is a small cove that is a favorite camping location of some individuals. This cove is directly alongside the Main Road. The beach side camping is done on the northern end of the cove where a low wall prevents encroachment from the sea. Also at the northern end of the cove, a small river flows to the sea. The accumulation of beach sand prevents the river from flowing directly into the sea creating a small pool that is ideal cooling off. At the southern end of the cove another small river crosses the road and enters the sea. Camping takes place on the banks of this river on the western side of the road (land side).

Both of these camping spots are small spaces with room for only two or three tents. Fishing is a favorite activity of campers at this location. The sea can be rough at times on this beach and there are no lifeguards so most bathing is done in the rivers.

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Toco

The Toco area has a variety of locations for camping with the most popular being Salybia Bay. This bay is located on the north-eastern tip of the island along the road leading to the Toco lighthouse. One of the reasons for the popularity of this particular beach is the presence of a stand pipe that provides potable drinking water.

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There are no houses between the beach and the road and the area has a mixture of coconut, almond and other trees. On the western end is a grove of trees that is always shaded and cool. Tents can be erected among the trees. See the Photo Gallery for pictures of Salybia camping (enter the search term salybia). On the eastern side of the beach, there is an open area where tents are also erected. The regional corporation usually places portable toilets throughout the open area during Easter weekend. Food and other supplies are available in the nearby village. As this is a very popular camping location during Easter, the area fills up quickly.

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Patience Bay, which is also along the road leading to the Galera Lighthouse, but before Salybia, is another popular location for camping. This bay has a small river that runs through the center of the bay. Bathing in the river is not advised as the water in the river flows very slowly. The river bank however provides flat areas for tents and is above the high tide mark. During holiday weekends this beach has less campers than Salybia. On our Beaches Page there is more information on Patience Bay.

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Mission has a very wide flat sandy beach that has ample space for erecting tents above the high tide mark. There is a small river that meets the sea at the western end of the beach and has several pools that are ideal for soaking through the heat of the day or frolicking with children. On the beach there is a parlor that sells miscellaneous items and there are a few other parlors in Mission village, while the shops in Toco are not far away. On the Beaches Page is additional information about Mission.

Other areas in the north-eastern penninsula that are popular for camping are; Balandra Bay, Sally Bay, Cumana, Grande Riviere, Paria Bay, Sans Souci

 

La Fouray

Camping at La Fouray is truly a back to nature experience. Individuals who camp here must bring all supplies as there is no freshwater or electricity or shops. In exchange for such small deprivations the camper is rewarded with a blue-green sea, dramatic rock formations and the sounds of nature at night. Individuals can camp on the headland which is cooled by constant sea breezes. The area of the sand beach is also a camping spot as up from the beach the land levels and tents can be placed among the trees.

For photos of the beach, visit the photo gallery and enter Fouray in the search field. The Beaches Page provides directions for finding La Fouray.

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Big_Bay_Sans_Souci

Big Bay at Sans Souci on the north east coast of Trinidad is a scenic beach. The beach slopes upward from the sea and then dips slightly to flatten into a grass sand area that rolls away to a small river. It is this flat area behind the beach that is used for camping. The apex of the beach has low sea grape and almond trees that provide a wind break for tents. It is a lovely spot with the small sea grape trees at the top of the beach, tall coconut palms on the beach side and almond trees interspersed in the area before the river.

The Paria Main Road is reasonably close by so there is no far distance to drive off road. There is also a wide flat grassy area just off the road, which is used for parking vehicles. During the Easter weekend the Regional Corporation provides disposable toilets for use by campers. The beach is near to the village and in the village there are two parlours and two bars that can provide some basic foodstuff and alcohol.

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Shark River

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Located on the north-east penninsula, approximately 10 minutes drive after the village of Gran Riviere, Shark River flows through the Matura National Park. This is a highly accessible river as the river crosses the road on its journey to the sea. The majority of camping activity takes place along the banks of the river in the areas near the roadway. On the seaward side are several large pools that provide a refreshing swim as the water is bracing in its coolness. On the mountain side of the roadway, the streambed is rocky but there are a few pools in the vicinity of the roadway. This area is a national park and so has retained its natural vegetation with Mora forests and bamboo stands along the river.

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The upriver portion is idyllic and encourages exploration. The river flows through a rocky streambed that allows walking along the side of the river, with the forest descending to the side of the river. Along the river are clear pools that invite the walker to take a refreshing dip. Periodically small tributaries join the main river, while hummingbirds and kingfishers may occasionally be seen.

 

Matelot River

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Matelot is a small village on the north coast of Trinidad that is accessed by a single road  which winds along the coast, passing through the villages of Cumana, Toco, Lance Noir, Sans Souci and Grande Rivere. As is typical with this part of Trinidad, it is an area of great natural beauty with untouched forest, rugged coast line and crystal clear rivers. The Matelot River enters the sea in the village of Matelot and most of the camping activity is in the area near the river mouth. Many persons while camped at Matelot undertake the hike to the Matelot Waterfall. In the village of Matelot there are no real shops just roadside parlors, so it is best to carry everything that you might expect to need on your camping trip.

Along the road between Shark River and Matelot, several streams enter the sea and the banks of each of these are also used as camping areas.

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Last modified: August 4, 2012

All photographs (unless otherwise stated) are the property of  Brian Ramsey. None of the photographs may be reproduced without the express written consent of  Outdoor Business Group Limited and Brian Ramsey.