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Kayaking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A bird identification guide with information on over 332 tropical birds and over 820 photographs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trinidad provides several opportunities for kayaking enthusiasts. Below we give a synopsis of several areas for kayaking in Trinidad. To find the locations referred to on this page, see the Trinidad Map.

bulletNariva River
bulletOrtoire River
bulletGodineau River
bulletRiver of Hope
bulletCedros Marshes
bulletCaroni Swamp
bulletTompei River
bulletRio Seco River
bulletSally Bay River
bulletGrande Riviere
bulletMarianne River
bulletYara River
bulletMucarapo Bay
bulletWilliams Bay
bulletHart's Cut Bay
bulletOther Chaguaramas Areas

One point that should be noted by anyone seeking to kayak in Trinidad rivers is that care should be exercised during the rainy season particularly if there are torrential showers in the particular area. Heavy downpours can cause river levels to rise rapidly and bring debris downstream.

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

Nariva River, Manzanilla

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The Nariva River provides a year round opportunity for kayaking and empties into the sea at Manzanilla Bay. There are two easily accessible entry points; at the river mouth and at the bridge along the Manzanilla/Mayaro Road that spans the river. When entering or exiting the river at the river mouth, during low tide, care should be exercised to ensure that you are not swept out to sea as the flow out of the river can be quite strong. Along the river it is possible to see basking caimans, while tarpon (known locally as grande ecaille) are sometimes seen near the surface of the water. The Nariva River mouth is also a popular fishing area.

 

Ortoire River, Manzanilla

At the southern end of Manzanilla Bay, the Ortoire River empties into the Atlantic ocean and it also provides a year round opportunity for kayaking. There are several entry points for this river with the easiest being at the river mouth. Another entry point near the river mouth is at the fish market where the Manzanilla/Mayaro Road crosses the river. At the fish market it is possible to park your vehicle and walk down a slight incline to get access to the river. The Ortoire River, while emptying into the sea at Manzanilla is a very long river that actually begins on the outskirts of Princes Town in the area known as Indian Walk. As it approaches the sea, its flow is enhanced by the joining of the Poole River. Its flow is further enhanced by the joining of the Balata River on the outskirts of the village of Pierreville in Mayaro. Another easy entry point to the Ortoire River is alongside the bridge on the Naparima/Mayaro Road that spans the river on the outskirts of Mayaro.

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In its lower reaches the Ortoire is quite wide, being approximately 75 feet across. As you proceed upstream from the river mouth and leave the village of Ortoire the river narrows to approximately 40 - 50 feet and on the outskirts of Pierreville the river further narrows to approximately 20 - 30 feet across. In the lower reaches the banks of the river are lined with mangrove however as you proceed upstream the flora changes to bamboo and forest.

During the rainy season the sediment in the water gives it a muddy brown appearance, however in the dry season the water is a translucent green. The Ortoire River mouth is also a popular fishing area.

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Godineau River

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Kayaking in the Godineau area takes you through a variety of habitats, from saltwater mangrove swamp to fresh water marshland to partially cultivated areas. A variety of birdlife can be seen on these kayak trips including Scarlet Ibis, Southern Lapwing, Osprey, Savannah Hawk, Wattled Jacana, Cattle Egret, Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Lesser Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Whistling Duck and a variety of migrating ducks (during the northern winter).

The Godineau River is one of the rivers in Trinidad that provides a year round kayaking opportunity as the water level is always sufficient. This kayak trip can be started either from the Gulf of Paria along the area known as the Mosquito Creek or inland from the Woodland area.

The Godineau river is also known as the South Oropouche River.

Kayak Tours along the Godineau River are available from Wetland Kayak Tours - 868-766-4035

 

River of Hope

Another kayaking opportunity in south Trinidad is the River of Hope in Moruga. This area appears on some maps as the Moruga River. This river is used by commercial fishermen who live inland and use the river as their route for piloting their pirogues (boats) out to sea. The river therefore provides a wide relatively deep channel for the kayaker. An easy entry point to the river is at the Spring Bridge in La Ruffin, from which you have the option to either paddle upstream or downstream to the sea.

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To get to Gran Chemin, Moruga you travel east from Princes Town and turn onto the Moruga Road at St Julien. The Moruga Road runs for approximately 23 kilometers and ends at Gran Chemin. La Ruffin Beach lies to the east of Gran Chemin, Moruga and is accessed via La Ruffin Road that intersects the Moruga Road shortly before Gran Chemin. The Spring Bridge on La Ruffin Road spans the River of Hope.

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Cedros Marshes

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The road that goes from Bonasse and Fulleraton to Icacos in Cedros runs through marsh and swamp areas. It provides an easy opportunity for kayaking as you literally lift your kayak off the car or trailer and place it in the water. The marsh area has numerous open patches of water and in other parts you paddle your kayak through reeds and rushes. This area is rich in bird life and so while paddling you have the chance to observe many wetland species. Our Birding Hotspots Page outlines some of the species that can be seen. One of the attractive features of Cedros is that the penninsula is narrow, so you are never far from the various villages and can easily engage in multiple activities. Our Area Summary Page, located under Places of Interest outlines some of the other activities to be experienced in the Cedros region.

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Caroni_Kayaking

The Caroni Swamp on the western side of the Uriah Butler Highway is a fantastic place for kayaking. While it is possible to enter the swamp using literally any of the various streams and irrigation channels that flow across the Uriah Butler Highway, one of the better starting points for kayak exploration is to use the Blue River. The launch point on the Blue River is the same location as where the tour guide boats take on passengers for bird watching tours.

The Blue River leads to the sea and while the river channel starts out being relatively narrow, as the river is joined by various tributaries it widens considerably.

At the initial part of the river the water is brown with a very muddy appearance, however as you progress along the river and as you branch off the main river the water quality changes significantly becoming almost translucent green.

The Caroni swamp is a fantastic place for kayaking as you are not restricted to the main Blue River but can explore the various tributaries and in turn further explore the side creeks that join these tributaries. Some of these side creeks open into lakes that are in the middle of the swamp, while others lead to swamp areas that have an ethereal forest like quality. Some of the lakes are very shallow being only two feet in depth and so need to be explored at high tide because the water level falls as it turns to low tide and you can be stuck on a mud bank.

Kayakers can explore the tributaries that are on the northern side of the Blue River however to explore the tributaries on the southern side of the Blue River requires a permit as this is a restricted area.

Kayaking through the Caroni swamp is a great way to experience a swamp environment. Unlike being in a tour boat where there is the noise of the engine, kayaking through the Caroni allows you to experience the swamp in an almost silent manner with the only sound being the sound of your paddles hitting the water. Throughout the swamp you can see Scarlet Ibis flying overhead and as you glide along within the swamp you will see them on the trees. Two other widely seen residents in this environment are the Tri-coloured heron and the Little blue heron, along with Cattle and Snowy egret. In the early part of the Blue River, you can also see Pied Water tyrants and Red Capped Cardinals. The Crested Oropendola can also be seen inside the swamp along with the Solitary Sandpiper, while the Bell Bird is heard.

Those who kayak from the launching area to the sea will find the journey takes about 1.5 hours however you need to be aware that if you return when the tide is falling and so there is a strong flow to the water heading to the sea then the return journey can take 2.5 hours as you paddle against the current. If the wind is blowing the paddling is even more strenuous.

If you do not own a kayak, to experience kayaking in the Caroni Swamp you can arrange with one of the various tour guides or check our Events Calendar for the organised kayaking trips.

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Tompei River, Toco

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The Tompei River is on the outskirts of Cumana Village in Toco.

This is a relatively short kayak trip that can be started from the bridge on the Toco Main Road that spans the river and goes down stream. Kayaking is not allowed upstream of the bridge as there is a water intake facility on the up stream side, which supplies the surrounding areas with drinking water. The river flows through partially cultivated land and then on to a mangrove area before finally entering the sea.

 

Rio Seco River

This kayak trip begins at the mouth of the river in Sally Bay (Saline Bay) just off the Toco Main Road in Matura. The lower reaches of this river as it approaches the sea always has sufficient water depth to allow kayaking throughout the year and the river is very wide at the lower reaches. As with other rivers in Trinidad however, the kayaking is best at the end of the rainy season when the water levels are still high to allow you to explore further up the river. Within a few minutes of the leaving the river mouth you are enveloped in the stillness of nature with the only sounds being the rustle of animals in the undergrowth and the whistling of the birds.

 

Further along this river is the Rio Seco Waterfall, however there are several narrow rock pools before the waterfall that can present a challenging portage. Most persons visit the Rio Seco Waterfall by hiking. The width of the river on its last leg before the sea means that the novice kayaker has ample room to practice and enjoy the sport of kayaking. The length of the river however also allows the more experienced kayaker to travel further inland and enjoy a morning or afternoon on the water. There are lifeguards on patrol on the beach and there is also a life guard booth at the mouth of the river facing the lower part of the river. The river mouth and beach front are very easy to get to, as you simply turn off the Toco Main Road at Salybia Beach Road just before the big bridge. A one minute drive along this road leads to the beach.

Kayaks are available for rental at the beachfront. At present kayak rentals are only available on weekends and public holidays. There are also bathroom facilities on the beach front. In addition to combining a trip to the waterfall with your kayaking, you can also arrange other nature trips at the water sport center. During the turtle nesting season, if you stay in the area until nightfall you can include a visit to the nearby Matura beach to view the nesting of the leather back turtles.
There are snack vendors on the road way that leads to the beach.

One point to be noted about the beach on which this river empties is that the correct name is Sally Bay, as the real Salybia Beach is in Toco near the lighthouse.

 

Sally Bay River, Balandra

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This river empties into the sea at Balandra Bay and offers a relatively short kayak trip through mangrove and hardwood forest. The upper portion of the river has boulders that require frequent portaging. This kayak trip can be combined with kayaking on the Rio Seco River or Tompei River to create a full day.

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Grande Riviere

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The wide river mouth at Grande Riviere allows kayaking in the lower reaches of the river. A few of the hotels in the vicinity of the river have kayaks for use by their guests. Unfortunately as one proceeds upstream, after crossing the bridge, there are sections where the combination of lowered water level and boulders requires carrying the kayak to get past the boulders.

 

Marianne River, Blanchissuesse

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The Marianne River empties into the sea at Blanchisseuse and it is easiest to begin your paddle from the river mouth. This is not an extended kayak trip for most kayakers as upriver there is an area known as Three Pools that results in a somewhat difficult portage. Kayaking in this area is best towards the end of the rainy season as the water level is high enough to allow paddling for the entire trip. During the dry season there are parts of the river where the low water level requires walking the kayaks.

At the river mouth freshwater marsh vegetation exists along the banks of the river while freshwater swamp forest exists further inland with towering stands of bamboo. As you kayak along the river a variety of bird life can be seen including spotted sandpipers, kingfishers, gray kingbirds and striated herons.

At the river mouth, there are kayaks available for rental every day, all year and kayaks are also available for pre-arranged trips.

 

Yara River, Blanchissuesse

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Another kayaking opportunity in the Blanchisseuse area is the Yara River. This river is immediately after the village of La Fillette and at the entrance to Blanchisseuse. Starting from the river mouth presents a slight difficulty as it is surrounded by private property with holiday homes but it is possible to walk along the edges of the properties to get to the river mouth. Kayaking along this river is best towards the end of the rainy season as the water level is high enough to allow paddling for the entire trip.

This kayak trip can be combined with kayaking on the Marianne River for a full day.

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Mucurapo Bay

Lying just on the outskirts of Port of Spain, this bay is highly accessible and the inner waters of the bay are relatively calm. The easiest entry point is at the lookout off of the Audrey Jeffers Highway, popularly known as the Foreshore.

 

Williams Bay, Chagaramas

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Williams Bay, Chagaramas provides kayaking opportunities in relatively sheltered ocean waters, as the north-western penninsula blocks the currents of the Caribbean Sea. In the bays on the coastline opposite the Military museum it is sometimes possible to see marine iguanas on the rocks and in the sea and capuchin monkeys in the trees.

Kayak Rentals are available every day all year from the Kayak Center.

 

Hart’s_Cut_Bay_and_Masson’s_Bay

This is a kayaking area that gives you the opportunity to kayak in a relatively sheltered bay and at the same time observe natural flora and fauna. Hart’s Cut Bay is located in Chaguaramas and is sometimes called Yachting Association Bay because the Yachting Association is located in the bay while others call it Anchorage Bay because the Anchorage nightclub is in this bay. Hart’s Cut Bay derives it name from Daniel Hart, who in 1856 cut a narrow channel through the neck of Point Gourde to allow small boats to pass from Carenage to Chaguaramas Bay. Hart's Cut existed well into the twentieth century before it was abandoned and filled in.

You can launch your kayak from any point along the Western Main Road as it goes past Hart’s Cut Bay. There are very calm waters inside the bay. It is best to kayak along the western and southern sides of the bay to avoid any boats motoring around the bay. Near the entrance to the bay, wind driven waves approach you from the east heading west. Near the entrance to Hart’s Cut Bay on the southern side of the bay is Masson’s Bay.

Masson’s Bay is a deep indentation in the Point Gourde peninsula, the entrance to which is marked by several derelict vessels. The waters of Masson’s Bay are very calm and clear as the bay is protected from the wind by the penninsula. If you are lucky you may see the Capuchin monkeys that sometimes come to the trees at the water’s edge. Marine iguanas often swim at the entrance and climb on to the rocks at the northern western side of the entrance to the bay. On the northwestern side of the bay near the entrance are two very small beaches on which are seen are coral fragments that are the remnants of a long dead coral reef. In the inner parts of Masson’s bay Immature Scarlet Ibis are sometimes seen.

 

Other Chagaramas Kayaking

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Another kayaking opportunity in the Chagaramas area begins in the area of the Almoorings Fishing Depot/Crews Inn Marina. From this starting point it is possible to kayak along the coast to the Bocas or turn south and paddle to Centipede island (also known as little Gasparee) and then across the channel to Gasparee Island.

When paddling in this area one should be alert to the various power boats that are entering and departing from the various marinas, particularly on weekends.

Other kayaking opportunities in the Chaguaramas area include the trip to the Five Islands and to the San Diego Islands.

 

For kayaking advice see our articles area.

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cd_front_cover_condensed.jpg (6907 bytes)

A bird identification guide with information on over 332 tropical birds and over 820 photographs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cd_front_cover_condensed.jpg (6907 bytes)

A bird identification guide with information on over 332 tropical birds and over 820 photographs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Send mail to webmaster@trinoutdoors.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright � 2006 Outdoor Business Group Limited
Last modified: October 20, 2015

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.