Beyond Maracas Bay – 9 Magnificent Destinations on the North Coast of Trinidad
For many Trinidadians, a trip to the north coast of Trinidad is associated almost exclusively with a visit to Maracas Bay. With its awesome sandy beach, great food and the all-important Trini lime and atmosphere, Maracas Bay is an awesome beach destination.
But if you venture past Trinidad’s most popular beach, you will discover some other wonderful destinations – some obvious and some hidden. But each have a special quality – be it great waters to swim in; beautiful vistas; seclusion; or wonderful scenery – that will compel you to return time and time again.
1L'Anse Martin Beach
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Between Las Cuevas and Blanchisseuse Bay on the North Coast road lies a small idyllic strip of sand known, L'Anse Martin Beach. Fringed with coconut palms and almond trees, this beach destination is great for swimming, surfing and tans.
One of the truly hidden gems in Trinidad, Hundred Steps Beach is a secluded beach that is excellent for quite sun bathing, swimming, exploring and great fun. NOTE: Several security concerns have been raised about this destination. Please exercise extreme caution and visit in groups.
Hundred Steps Beach is a secluded gem with calm clear waters, great sand and picturesque surroundings set at the base of a verdant green cliff. It is a serene destination by virtue of the difficulty to get to it. Located after Las Cuevas on the North Coast Road, Trinidad. Situated at the base of a cliff, the beach is accessed via a short nature walk from Mitchell Trace to the top of a concrete staircase that leads to the beach. However, you are surprised to learn that a section of the staircase is missing and the completing your descent requires a climb done a rope tied to a tree. But once you are passed the adventurous scramble down the cliff, you realize that this is a destination worth the effort getting to. You are greeted by a lovely beach comprised of fine golden sand with a gorgeous view of the Chupara Bay to the front and enclosed by rocks on either end. The tranquil nature of the beach is a privilege to behold and you realize that you are experiencing something that few others have. Because of the isolation we strongly advise that you visit this destination during the day with a group.
If you seek to escape the crowds of Maracas then Tyrico Beach is the beach for you. Located on the North Coast Road just east of Maracas Beach, Tyrico is great for swimming and relaxing.
Known to many Trinidadians as Tyrico Bay, Tyrico Beach is not a bay in itself as it is actually situated within Maracas Bay at its eastern end. This lovely spot of sand, though underrated by locals, is great for the visitor who wishes to be in close proximity to the food and amenities of Maracas Beach, but away from the crowds. A more relaxing swim is also afforded as the angle of the beach results in smaller waves and a less hectic surf, making it ideal for visitors with children. With lots of sand real estate per sun-bather, in a sense, this mini Maracas is the best of both worlds. You will find Tyrico Beach on the left of the North Coast Road within 2 minutes of driving past Maracas Beach. A blue and white sign marks the entrance to a short unfinished access road that allows up to drive right onto the sand. As there are no vendors here, bring your own food or pick up a bake and shark and drink on your way past Maracas Beach.
This historical area is very peaceful, calm and quite scenic!
Situated to the immediate north of Las Cuevas Bay, overlooking a scenic bay are the remnants of Fort Abercromby. Built by the British in 1804 as part of the fortification of Trinidad that included Fort George and North Post. The British were concerned however about attacks from the French and knew all too well that Las Cuevas Bay made a good place for landing ships as they had landed there in 1750 when Trinidad was still in Spanish hands. The British also intended that Fort Abercromby would be a place of last defense in case they lost Port of Spain, retreating with their forces through St Joseph and over the mountains to Las Cuevas.
What remains now is just two lone canons marking the headland but Fort Abercromby is still a place of interest because of its historical significance and fantastic ocean views. A stairway leads to a lookout which gives a more picturesque view of the ocean and surroundings. The deep clear pool below this fort is a popular fishing and snorkelling spot.
Marianne Beach is the last stop along the North Coast Road and it is the largest and most popular beach found in Blanchisseuse
Marianne Beach is the last stop along the North Coast Road and it’s the largest and most popular beach found in Blanchisseuse - the once-secluded fishing community that has become a popular weekend getaway, with holiday homes and guesthouses spotted along the drive. The beach stretches for two kilometers, starting from the bustle of the busiest side of the village and ending with serenity at a freshwater lagoon - which was created by a dam of shifting sands between the beach and the nearby clear Marianne River. The lagoon is great alternative for swimming when the sea gets too rough. The beach has become a site revered for worship by Orisa devotees who pay homage to Olokun, diety of sea, ocean, wetlands, swamp lands, maritime and coastal environments.
Marianne River meets Marianne Beach on Trinidad's North Coast and is ideal for kayaking, swimming and recreation.
The Marianne River is the venue for the Ganga Dhara festival - a pilgrimage done by Hindus to the river as they make offerings of buttercups to Ganga Mai (the river mother or the Mother of creation). Marianne River is also great site for kayaking and bird watching. Spotted sandpipers, kingfishers, gray kingbirds and striated herons are seen along the river course.
At Yarra Beach, the blue water rhythmically licks the long sandy beach and coconut trees dance in the wind like a cliche Caribbean paradise.
Located immediately after La Fillette, Yarra Beach's entrance is not easy to find but well worth the challenge. On the descent from the hill to enter the beach, a fabulous landscape greets you; the blue water rhythmically licks the long sandy beach and coconut trees dance in the wind like a cliche Caribbean paradise. Huge picturesque rocks sit squarely in the middle of the bay and break the waves before they hit the shore. Rocky cliffs line the western end, making the ideal setting for adventure.
Yarra Beach is regarded for its visual beauty rather than swimming as the ocean surges in from the deep. However at the western end of the beach, the Yarra River widens and meets the beach to create a haven for swimmers.
Yarra River is the perfect river to laze by and is a favourite local spot for a beach and river lime.
Yarra River is the perfect river to laze by on a cool Sunday evening or to enjoy the company of tweeting birds and crying seagulls on an early Sunday morning. The River acts as a natural boundary separating the villages of La Fillette and Blanchisseuse and is a favourite local spot for a beach and river lime. One stretch of the river bank is lined with almond trees while the other is cornered by a wide expanse of sand, adding a natural border to the environment. The mouth of the Yarra River meets the Yarra Beach where the water slowly pours through a small grove of coconut trees to enter the water.
Great for swimming and sunbathing, it is the longest (22km) strip of sand and the second most popular beach on the North Coast.
In contrast to Maracas Bay which is some 10 to 15 minutes away, the waters here are less robust and attract sea bathers who appreciate the calmer breakers of 80 centimeters. It is also more secluded and less crowded than Maracas Bay. It’s a sheltered horseshoe bay which provides protection from the wind, making it an ideal spot for swimmers. However, surfing is usually done on the western end with waves sometimes as high as 1. 5 meters between November and April. There is a restaurant near the car park that serves local dishes if you are not up to the bake and shark frenzy as you make your way here. You can bring your cooler of goodies but be careful as you walk down the steps to reach the bay.