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Other Recreation

 

 

Some of the other Outdoor Recreation activities in Trinidad, include:

bulletKite Flying
bulletTurtle Watching
bulletCatching Crayfish
bulletCrab Catching
bulletArchery
bulletDragon Boat Racing
bulletSailing
bulletWindsurfing
bulletKite Surfing
bulletJet Skis
bulletModel Boat Racing
bulletModel Aircraft Flying
bulletOff Road Driving
bulletMotor Car Rallies
bulletCircuit Car Racing
bulletModel Car Racing
bulletKarting
bulletZip-lining

If the information you are seeking is not on this page, use the search box below to search this site. When searching, you do not need to enter the word "Trinidad" in your search.

Search The Outdoors Trinidad Site

 

Kite Flying

With the passage of time we see less of the old time kites made of paper and bamboo or coconut fronds held together by a flour paste glue with a tail made of strips of cloth. However kite flying still has some popularity especially among children. In addition adults are often seen, at the beach, flying kites.

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The chookie chong, which is a kite made from notebook paper with a tail also made from notebook paper, is the easiest kite style to make and was probably the first type of kite that most children learned to fly. Even today little children can sometimes still be seen flying a chookie chong around their home. The most commonly used design for a kite was the diamond shape. This kite style requires a long tail for stability and flies at a low angle. On these kites the longer the tail, the higher the kite will fly. The madbull is always held in awe as it is a very large kite that was and is generally flown by teenagers and adults because it requires some strength to hold the string. The madbull kite has objects attached that cause it to make a whirring or buzzing sound as it flies. One type of kite that is always admired in Trinidad is the fighter kite. This kite is designed to cut strings of other kites as they fly, using sharp objects such as crushed glass or razor blades glued to its string.

Part of the excitement of kite flying arose from the task of creating the kite, which involved choosing the paper, deciding how to decorate, making the tail, getting the string. Most of the kites used today are purchased from vendors and made of plastic. Although the excitement of creation is gone, kite flying is still an enjoyable past time.

The peak period for kite flying is February to May because of the constant winds during that period. Similar to other Caribbean countries, there is a large kite flying competition each year during April (usually on Easter Sunday at the Queen's Park Savannah) and  other smaller competitions at other times such as the Tobago Kite Flying Festival on December 26th. To see pictures of kite flying visit the photo gallery and enter kites in the search field.

To learn about the various kite flying competitions visit our Events Calendar

 

Turtle Watching

Trinidad has become one of the premier countries to view the nesting of leatherback turtles. The nesting season runs from March to September with May & June being the months of highest concentration. The leatherback turtle is the most visually dramatic of the turtles that nest in Trinidad because of their size. Adults can vary in size from 600 pounds to 2,000 pounds. Nesting takes place at night and only the female comes to land. The female leatherback turtle always returns to the same beach where they were born for laying their eggs. On the beach the female turtle will dig an egg chamber with her flippers and then lay between 80 to 100 eggs.  After laying, the female leatherback  covers the chamber with sand and then smoothes over the area to disguise the chamber. A female will visit and lay up to eight times during the nesting season.

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Nesting takes place on Atlantic beaches that have heavy surf, a steep profile and coarse sand. The beaches on which nesting turtles are found are Maracas, Las Cuevas, Blanchisseuse, Grande Riverie, Sans Souci, Guayamara, Mission, Patience Bay, Tompire, Rincon, Matura, Fishing Pond and Manzanilla.  The prime nesting sites are at Matura and Grande Riverie and permits are required for visiting these beaches at night during the nesting season as well as at Rincon and Fishing Pond.

Grande Riverie is the premier site for viewing the nesting turtles. This popularity is due to the fact that the largest number of leatherback turtles comes to this beach which is partly caused by the conservation efforts in this area. Set on the grounds of a former estate, very near to the beach, is a small visitor center (telephone number 868-670-4256) with a cocoa drying shed. Many of the trees around the center are labeled so you are able to learn the names. Permits can be obtained at the visitor center and there are licensed guides to oversee the nesting and explain the process. There are several hotels on the beach so that visitors can sleep over if they are too tired for the return journey. It should be noted however that turtle watching is a very popular activity and the hotels are often fully booked on weekends, so reservations are advised.

Big Bay at Sans Souci is also a turtle nesting site and receives the four other species of sea turtles in addition to the leatherback turtle. One can arrange to view the turtle nesting at Sans Souci by calling the Sans Souci Community Turtle Tour Guides at 868-670-1505.

The beaches at Guayama, Mission, Patience Bay, Tompire are not well known for receiving leather back turtles however these turtles also nest on these beaches. The Tompire beach is on the outskirts of Cumana village and gets its name from the river that crosses the Toco Main Road just before one enters Cumana village. The Guyamara Beach lies between Rampanalgas Village and Cumana Village and is highly accessible as it is immediately next to the main road. The heavy surf and steep profile of this beach make it suited for leatherback turtles to heave their tremendous weight out of the water and onto the sand. While turtles definitely nest at this beach and towards the end of the nesting season one can see discarded egg shells there is not a high incidence of nesting, possibly because the frequent car headlights passing along the road discourages the turtles from coming out of the water. These beaches are patrolled at night during the nesting season by the Toco Turtle Protection Programme (TTPP) to ensure the protection of the nesting turtles. To view the nesting on these beaches you can contact the TTPP at 868-670-0068 or email tfprojects@tstt.net.tt. The TTPP also conducts nightly patrols at Big Bay Sans Souci.

Matura Beach is another popular location because of the tours run by Nature Seekers, a community based environmental protection group. At the starting point for the Matura beach tours there is a small visitor centre with toilet facilities that are open when tours are being conducted. The Beaches Page has directions for finding Matura Beach. Permits for viewing the nesting of the leatherback turtle can be obtained from the Forestry Division at

bulletLong Circular Road, Port of Spain - 622-7476
bulletBailiser Avenue, Pleasantville, San Fernando - 657-7357
bulletDamarie Hill, Sangre Grande - 668-3825

Maracas, Las Cuevas, Blanchisseuse and Manzanilla receive occasional nesting turtles. Las Cuevas Bay has not traditionally been known as a major turtle nesting site, however leatherback turtles have been nesting at this bay, particularly at the far western end of the bay. For persons living or staying within Port of Spain and its environs this beach has the advantage of being in easy driving distance being approximately 45 minutes away. The months of May and June have the heaviest concentration of nesting turtles at this Bay and it is reported that hundreds of turtles come to nest. The Las Cuevas Eco-Friendly Association (868-309-0113) arranges guided tours for turtle watching at Las Cuevas.

The number of turtles nesting at Manzanilla is not as great as at Grande Riverie or at Matura, however leatherback turtles have been reported as nesting on this beach since the 1880's. During the months of March to August, the Manzanilla Beach is closed to the public during the hours of 6pm to 6am to protect the turtles. Persons wanting to view the turtle nesting at Manzanilla should go to the orientation site at the "Breakaway" area along the Cocal Stretch.

Paria Beach, Madamas Beach and Gran Tacarib are also nesting sites for Leatherback turtles. These beaches are only accessible by boat or via a forest hike.

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Photo by Ricardo La Borde

In addition to the leatherback, four other sea turtles nest on the beaches of Trinidad and Tobago and these are:

bulletCaretta caretta                                     -     Loggerhead
bulletChelonia mydas                                  -     Green turtle, green-back,
bulletEretmochelys imbricata imbricata    -    Hawksbill, oxbill
bulletLepidochelys olivacea                         -   Olive Ridley, Batali

Viewing turtle hatching while not as dramatic as the nesting is also an enjoyable activity. The young turtles begin hatching approximately 60 days after the eggs are laid. As soon as they hatch the young turtles climb through the sand onto the beach and immediately head for the water. Upon entering the sea, the young turtles head for deep water. The young females will then remain at sea until they are sexually mature at approximately 15 years.

 

 

Catching_Crayfish

Crayfish, also known as river lobster because of the similarity in their appearance, is considered a delicacy in Trinidad and catching these small crustaceans can provide hours of clean cool fun. Crayfish are found in the clear water of the North Coast rivers from Las Cuevas onwards and in the rivers on the North East coast from Rampanalgas to Matelot. Catching crayfish requires good reflexes because these small crustaceans dart about in the river. While crayfish can be caught in the day, they are mainly caught at night. Crayfish like to hide in the shade and under rocks and they blend well against the backdrop of the rocks, so they are not easily seen in the day time. They mostly feed at night and so emerge from their hiding places during the night. Using a flashlight they can be seen in the water because their eyes glow red in the dark. One of the humourous aspects of catching crayfish is that they test everything with their pincers and so may nibble at your toes or legs when you are in the water. It can be quite funny to see someone jumping out of the water because of a pinch from a crayfish.

While some persons catch crayfish using bait such as chicken, liver or fish tied to a string and pulling the crayfish out of the water when it holds on to the bait with its pincers, the more common methods in Trinidad involve using a fork or net. Generally persons who catch crayfish use a small 3 pronged fork or small scoop net such as used with fish tanks. When the crayfish is seen one either stabs the crayfish with the prongs of the fork or scoops the crayfish out of the water with the net. This requires good timing because crayfish move very quickly. As crayfish have a voracious appetite some persons combine the use of bait with using a net. Grated coconut spread in handfuls on the water is a fantastic attractant as the crayfish are drawn to the coconut on the surface and so easier to spot and net.

 

 

Crab_Catching

Crab catching is an engaging recreational activity especially when the crabs are caught for eating. The main crabs used as food in Trinidad are land crabs known as the Blue Crab and the Hairy Crab. The Blue Crab generally lives in muddy places and the Hairy Crab usually lives in swampy places. A third type of crab that is eaten, though much less often because of its habitat, is the Manicou Crab, which is a brown, terrestrial mountain crab that lives in the forest.

One of the methods used for catching these crabs is to use a trap and these are usually made of wood, bamboo or wire. Despite the material that the trap is made of, the concept of the design is the same. The trap has a door that is open, but when the crab takes the bait that is in the trap the door either drops shut or falls shut and cannot be opened by the crab from the inside. To attract the crab, bait of either dried coconut meat or large pieces of hot pepper are placed in the trap.

Another method that is used, but is one for the really brave, is to spot the crab entering its hole and then to push your hand into the hole and grab the crab. The claim made by those who use this method is that the crab cannot open its claws in the hole and so cannot pinch very hard.

Probably the most enjoyable way to catch land crabs is to grab them with your hands as they come out of their holes and traverse the beach. The best time for indulging in this method of catching land crabs is at night during a full moon with a high tide. During this time the crabs come out their holes and cross the beach to release their eggs in the sea. They can thus be caught going to the sea or returning after releasing their eggs. This method, if done with friends, can result in hours of entertainment and is guaranteed to result in laughter especially if some one does not hold the crab properly or firmly. The safest method for catching the crab is to grab the crab from behind using the thumb and index finger and holding the crab by the body with the fingers positioned behind the pincers (gundy). This method is safe because the crab cannot reach behind itself with it's pincers. Areas that are mangrove fronted by a beach are prime areas for this activity as they generally have a large population of crabs. Manzanilla and Mayaro are two areas that are well known for this type of crab catching and many individuals engage in this night time activity while on vacation at these beaches.

After catching the crabs some people keep them in a barrel for 3 or 4 days and feed them lettuce. The reasoning advanced for doing this is to purge the crabs of all the rotted material that the crab may have eaten previously.

Catching marine swimming crabs is also very popular. Individuals use a piece of chicken on a line dangled in the water and when the crab takes hold of the chicken the line is pulled out of the water and a flattened basket (usually the metal or plastic cover from a fan) is slipped under to catch the crab if it lets go of the bait when it comes out of the water. The canals along the Uriah Butler Highway are one of the places that is popular for catching these crabs.

 

Archery in Trinidad

Archery is the art, practice, or skill of propelling arrows with the use of a bow. Historically archery has been used for hunting and combat although throughout most of the world archery is now simply a recreational activity and is probably the oldest sport now practiced, dating back as far as 50,000 years BC. Target archery is the most popular form of archery, in which members shoot at stationary circular targets at varying distances ranging from 30 meters to 90 meters outdoors and 18 and 25 meters indoors. In Trinidad and Tobago archery is a relatively new sport, although our Amerindian ancestors certainly practiced it for hunting and defense. Although new it is a growing sport.

There are presently 4 archery clubs in Trinidad; Southern Bowtech Club of Gasparillo; the Central Precision Archery Club of Chaguanas; Elite Archery Club of Tunapuna; and Points Archery Club of Chaguaramas. These clubs operate under the Trinidad and Tobago Target Archery Federation (TTTAF), which maintains an archery field at Tucker Valley, Chaguaramas and this range is named after Micheal P. Mackenzie, one of the first local archers and a founding member of the federation.

This range is available to all members of the federation without charge. At the clubs beginners, starting from 10 years, are provided with entry level equipment which includes bow, arrows, targets and some protective gear and of course training. But itís not just a youth sport, itís attracting sportsmen and women of all ages including senior citizens. 

 


Dragon Boat Racing

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Dragon Boat racing is a new sport to Trinidad, having been introduced in 2006 to commemorate the arrival of the Chinese to Trinidad.

The standard crew complement of a contemporary dragon boat is around 22, comprising 20 paddlers in pairs facing toward the bow of the boat, 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and 1 steerer or tiller (helm) at the rear of the boat, although for races it is common to have just 18 paddlers. The drummer or caller leads the crew throughout a race with the rhythmic beating of a drum to indicate the timing and frequency of paddling strokes. The steerer, known also as the coxswain, helm, steersman, sweep, or tiller, controls the dragon boat with a steering oar similar in function to a tiller which is mounted at the rear of the boat.

An association has been formed and regular races are held, often comprised of teams from different companies. Visit our Events Calendar to see the scheduled races. The association can be contacted at ttdbf@wow.net

 

Windsurfing

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Windsurfing has a small following in Trinidad. Chagaramas and along the west coast in the Bayshore, Westmoorings area are popular locations. Los Iros beach in South Trinidad with its constant breezes and low level waves is another popular windsurfing location. As the beaches used by windsurfers in Trinidad are different from those used by regular surfers, there is little jostling for space.

Visit our Events Calendar to see the scheduled competitions.

 

Kite Surfing

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Long stretches of beach with few or no persons in the water, an absence of rocks and a constant on-shore wind create heaven for a kite surfer. For the small band of dedicated kite surfers in Trinidad our south coast beaches are that type of heaven. On any weekend when the wind is above 14 knots, especially during December to June you may see individuals kite surfing at either Mayaro, Moruga or Los Iros beach. Persons who are interested in the sport can contact Edward Shim at Shim's Tailoring (868-623-1655) for more information and visit the group "T&T Kiteboarding Page" on Facebook for information on wind conditions and kiting activities. For other pictures of kite surfing, visit the Photo Gallery and enter the search term"surfing".

 

Jet Ski

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For those who like the feel of the power and the speed while zipping across the water, the use of personal watercrafts is considered unrivalled. The relatively sheltered waters of Chagaramas Bay with its low waves is a favored location. Jet Skis are available for rental every day at Williams Bay, Chaguaramas.  Visit the Photo Gallery for more pictures of Jet Ski action.

 

Model Boat Racing

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There is a model boat club that hosts regular racing competitions for model boat enthusiasts. Mucarapo Bay in the waters in front of the lookout on the Audrey Jeffers Highway and Williams Bay Chaguaramas are the locations most often used for these races. These races are usually held once per month on a Sunday afternoon. On other Sunday afternoons, members of the club gather to practice with their boats.

Visit our Events Calendar to see the scheduled races.

 

Model Aircraft Flying

Model aircraft flying is an interesting hobby that is practiced by a few dedicated aficionados mainly at the Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain; although there are some persons who fly their model planes in any open area near their homes. The group that flies at the Savannah has formed the Queen's Park Savannah RCI Club and fly their model planes mainly on Sunday mornings and on public holidays.

Individuals who are new to this hobby usually start by flying planes that are trainers which are planes designed to automatically correct for pilot errors and continue flying. As individuals acquire greater skill through practice some persons upgrade to more demanding models such as miniature war planes or acrobatic planes or jets or helicopters. The group at the Queenís Park Savannah starts fairly early in the morning between 7.30am and 8am and engage in pattern flying and acrobatic flying. For safety reasons no more than 4 planes fly ant any one time.

So on a Sunday or holiday morning you can visit the Queen's Park Savannah in the area of the old sand track and see model aircraft in the air doing their various tricks and stunts. If after seeing the planes in the air you want to start this hobby you can buy a completely built plane or buy a kit and build your own. Model airplane kits come either completely broken down or almost ready to fly with just some assembly required by the owner.

 

 

Off Road Driving

For those who love the adrenaline rush of tires on a four wheel drive vehicle, churning and slipping sideways in the mud, off road driving is a sport to explore. Trinidad's various logging trails, cane field and agricultural dirt roads provide the right environment for testing the ability of your four wheel drive vehicle. While it is fun to explore new areas there is a benefit to doing that exploration as part of a group (especially if you get stuck in the mud) and the Trinidad Off Road Club regularly organizes group drives. Visit our Events Calendar to see the scheduled group off road drives.

 

 

Motor Car Rallies

Motor Car Rallies are organized in Trinidad by the Trinidad and Tobago Rally Club, which is responsible for the two disciplines of Navigation and High Speed Stages. The TTRC organizes approximately 15 Events every year including the Championship Series, a major International Rally, and numerous charitable events. The international Rally is known as the Trinidad Car Rally and draws participants from throughout the Caribbean.

Here are some scenes from the Trinidad 2013 Car Rally

 

See a Video of the 2014 Trinidad Car Rally by clicking here.

See close up photos of the action in the 2014 Trinidad Car Rally by clicking here

 

Circuit Car Racing

Circuit Racing is one of the exciting motor sports available in Trinidad. The sport has been operating in the country since 1966. The sole authorized racing track is the Wallerfield Racing Circuit which is a former aircraft runaway originally created by the US Air Force during World War 2. After a hiatus of several years the sport has been revitalized with the racing track being repaved and the Wallerfield Racing Circuit reopened. The controlling body for Motor Sport in Trinidad is the Trinidad and Tobago Auto Sports Association (T.T.A.S.A) who derive their authority from the FIA in Geneva. The FIA is the highest international body involved in the administration of Motor Sport.

Racing in Trinidad takes place in several groups:
 
bulletGroup 2 - Modified two and four seater 2WD production cars fitted with normally aspirated piston engines up to 2,000 cc and 12A Rotary engines
bulletGroup 3 - Modified two and four seater 2Wd production cars fitted with normally aspirated piston engines up to 3,200 cc or 12A or 13B Rotary engines
bulletGroup 4 - Closed wheel AWD or 2WD, engines up to 4,500 cc or 2,600 cc forced induction engine or 12A or 13B Rotary engines or 20B Rotary engines
 

In addition to racing among local cars there is also the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship Series which involves cars from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Cayman Islands, Suriname, St Vincent. There are four carded rounds in this series with one leg taking place in Trinidad.
 

 

 

Radio Controlled Car Racing

Every year children throughout Trinidad and Tobago receive model cars as gifts and most people think of these radio controlled cars as children's toys. However for some adults these radio controlled cars are much more than toys, for them these cars are tools in a very serious sport. With cars that run on a special methanol fuel mixture, tires made of a special compound plus the ability to make fuel flow, throttle, camber and suspension adjustments this is a serious recreational activity. On weekends, various members meet to practice their skill, check how their cars are operating and make adjustments to the operation of their cars.



Throughout the year there are organized model car race meetings in various parts of Trinidad and Tobago. The racing is done in both Off Road and On Road categories along defined race course. The racing is also done in accordance with very specific rules and using a sophisticated timing system.

For more information on this sport visit the web site of the Radio Controlled Model Organization of Trinidad and Tobago at http://www.rcmott.org/

 

Chaguaramas Zip-Line

Many countries have zip-lines as a means of outdoor recreational activity as it is an exciting way to get a panoramic view of an area and when created high in the forest canopy it also offers  a view of the canopy that is almost impossible to achieve from ground level. A zip-line consists of a series of cables strung along several points at an incline. A pulley is suspended on the cables and the rider is attached by means of a harness to the pulley. The rider then launches from a platform and travels along the zip-line with the rider's movement being propelled by gravity as he travels along the cable.

Trinidad now has a multistage zip-line located in Chaguaramas in the Tucker Valley. The zip-line has seven (7) stages beginning on the northern side of Macqueripe Bay. The rider goes through all 7 stages and then turns around and zips back to the beginning. The first stage takes you over Macqueripe Bay with a wonderful view of the bay below while the remaining stages take you through the trees up in the forest canopy. As a rider completes each stage you have to move to the next platform as the starting point for the next stage which is always somewhat higher than the ending point of the stage you have just completed. Moving from one platform to another requires walking in the tree canopy along suspended wooden bridges providing a view within the canopy.

One of the key aspects of zip-lining is rider safety. At Chaguaramas for each zip line stage there are two steel cables and riders are double attached to both cables. Each rider is given a pair of heavy duty gloves and can control the speed of their movement by holding the cable while using their hand as a brake.  In the event that a rider stalls along the cable because of going to slowly, the rider can use their hands and pull themselves along the cable to the next station.

 

The entire zipline course takes between 45 minutes and one hour to complete and is full of excitement with one hearing howls of enjoyment as riders move along the course.

 

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

 


 

 

 

 

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Last modified: June 20, 2007

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.