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Hiking to Mt St Benedict Pines on Sunday 15th September2019

Hiking to Mt St Benedict Pines on Sunday 15th September2019

The Abbey of Mount St. Benedict situated in the Tunapuna Hills 600 feet above sea level is a significant tourist attraction that provides spiritual guidance to Christians and Non-Christians. On the entrance to the monastery, there is a large sign written in Latin "PAX" meaning “ a place where peace reigns." In October 2012, The Abbey of Mount St Benedict celebrated its 100th anniversary.

           The history of Mount Saint Benedict goes back to 1911 when Abbot Dom Mayeul de Caigny of Brazil wrote to the Archbishop of Port-of-Spain John Pius to establish a Benedictine foundation in Trinidad. The Archbishop granted permission, and on the 17th January 1912, Dom Mayeul purchased a small estate located in the hills of Tunapuna from Mr Andrew Victoriano Gomez. Tunapuna, which means “the way of the water,” had no roads leading up to the mountains and to get there the Abbot had to walk the steep hills on foot. He became impressed by its landscape the splendid views and serene ambience. The asking price in those days was 4,000 pounds, and the first building he erected was a small Tapia Hut. He celebrated the first mass on the 10th August1913.        

           During the period, 1912-1918, extensive work began on the Mount, a church, guesthouse, workshop, living quarters and kitchen. By 1918, the daily crowds increased to such an extent that the monks needed to find a more secluded place for recollection and study. Situated at 1851 feet above sea level the monks looked at the nearby hilltops of Mt. Thabor as the ideal location to build the new monastery. Its purpose was to accommodate young monks studying theology and those seeking seclusion from the influx of daily visitors. By 1922, the mansion at Mt. Thabor contained fifteen rooms, a chapel, a large hall and two towers 40 feet high. Reserved on each side of the tower were the Papal Flag and the Union Jack, visible from miles around. The higher monastery was a place of solitude and for the public to visit written permission was required.  However, the difficulty of climbing the mountain and bringing daily supplies caused the property to be abandoned. Today all that is left of this majestic pious structure is some concrete ruins. The wooden Tapia Castle now destroyed by the rugged elements of nature. 

             Mount St. Benedict became an Abbey in February 1947 and on 3rd June 1947 Dom Adelbert Van Duin a monk stationed there became the first Abbot. His motto "to be at the service to all" and he received his abbatial blessing from Archbishop Finbar Ryan on 16 June 1947.

              During the dry season, the hilltops, which surround Mt. St Benedict, are sometimes venerable to bush fires and to preserve the landscape the forestry division replanted pine trees. There is a lookout tower used to survey the region. The uphill walk to the Pines where Mt Thabor situated will take 25 minutes. The hilltop with the soothing breeze blowing constantly across the valley is a perfect location for a picnic. Trekking the mountain, surrounded by a backdrop of towering pine forest is a truly remarkable and gratifying experience. Visible in the distance are breathtaking views of Mt El Tucuche, Maracas St. Joseph Valley, the East-West Corridor and the Central Plains.  On the compound, there is a cafeteria and a gift shop to assist in the upkeep of the church. Mt St Benedict also distributes yoghurt and for many years once known for having the best honey.

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On Sunday 15th September 2019, Island hikers family adventure to Mt.Thabor and Mount. St Benedict.

Assembly: 7.00am at Massy Stores Car Park St. Augustine. Depart at 8.00am

Hiking time to the top 25 minutes

Downhill return: 20 minutes

Rating: 3 Fair {short steep uphill climb with a downhill return}

Children 7 years and up

Parking at the empty lot located on the opposite side of the football field heading up to the monk.

For details contact Mario749-2956, Jamal 761-1889, Marcia 490-2421 or

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Brutal #12 on Saturday 21st September (2008- 2019)

Brutal #12 on Saturday 21st September (2008- 2019) explore Paragrant Bay.

There is always a feeling of accomplishment to test one's fitness in climbing the highest peaks and although it can take hours to reach a mountaintop it is worth the pain and determination just to spend a few minutes at a summit. “ The Brutal" is the name given to the ultimate challenge hike, it is a test in ascending T&T steepest mountains and despite the difficulty, the participants are always enthusiastic and look forward to the challenge. It is about the persistence to conquer the steep and rugged hills. The event organised by Island Hikers and Fitness Walkers is now in its 11th year (2008-2018). It is a fun expedition for the fit, advanced and trained hiker and should not be considered a race. The event attracts hikers of all ages (see pics of oldest male hiker Glenn Wilkes 76 years and female Shilindra Narine 67 years)

The expedition starts at Hobal Trace in the Maracas St Joseph Valley where hikers are briefed about the safety instruction and told to stay in groups. It can take between five to eight hours to complete the course or depending on one’s experience and fitness. It is not a hike for the casual, or untrained enthusiast. The distance is 12km long and divided into four legs each with its own challenges. 

Leg 1 (1 1/2- 2 1/2 hours) is a climb to the twin peaks of El Tucuche 3072 feet or 936 meters. Visible on the summit is a panoramic view of Las Cuevas Beach and from the second peak an aerial view of Maracas Bay. Giant bromeliads, which grow abundantly at the top, collect water in their stems and living between its leaves is the indigenous golden tree frog. 

Leg 2 (1 ½ -2 hours) is a rugged descent from El Tucuche Summit to a landmark area known as the Cross, where once lived a hermit lady known as Sister Beatrice who is buried at this location. Participants depending on their boldness and well-being have the option to continue to Maracas Bay or quit and return to St Joseph. 

Leg 3 (1 ½- 2 hours) the journey continues from the Cross-with a short ascent to the top of the ridge then down to Maracas Bay.  

Leg 4 (1 ½ - 2 hours) is a steep uphill return from Maracas Bay over Loango Mountain to St Joseph.  

At the finish line, participants rewarded with a commemorative medal, T-shirt, food and refreshments. 

Brutal #12 on Saturday 21st September (2008- 2019) 

Rating: 8 for very Strenuous.

Assembly: 6.00am Corner of Abercromby Street and Eastern Main Road, St Joseph (Next to St Joseph Mosque)

Depart to Hobal Trace: 6.45am

The cost of the Brutal Hike$200.00 includes food, drink, medal and t/shirt. 

To register for the Brutal please contact Mario: 749-2956, Jamal 761-1889, Marcia 490-2421 or visit the website


Yarra Gorge on {Republic Day} Tuesday 24th September 2019

Yarra Gorge on {Republic Day} Tuesday 24th September 2019

On Republic Day Tuesday 24th September Island Hikers Explore Yarra Gorge

Assembly  7am Ent to Central Bank Auditorium & 

730am opposite Sam’s Bar Maracas Bay

Rating: 3  fair (life jackets provided)  

hiking time :1 hr requires getting wet

Bring along extra change of clothing  & 

a waterproof pouch for phone, camera & remote 

Cost $60  

Contact, Mario 749-2956, Jamal 761-1889 or 

Marcia 490-2421, 


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Planning a private hike for your group

To book and for more details, please contact Mario 749-2956

About Us

Hiking Philosophy

3 Sprout Falls in Morne La Croix

Hiking gives us the opportunity to get away from our busy schedules and enjoy the beauty of nature.Its all about the journey. Meeting new friends, exploring new destinations and at the same time getting fit and having a healthy life style.

The Paths We Travel


Our motto.Live Love Hike ! 

Island Hikers explore the secret gems of Trinidad & Tobago and by extension numerous countries in the world. 

 Peru, Cuba,Costa Rica, Belize, Panama,Guatemala,Mexico, Kilimanjaro Jamaica, St Lucis, Dominica, Grenada,Guadeloupe,Martinique and Guyana.

 Island Hikers Sunday Hikes for fun and family .

Fitness Walkers Saturday hikes for those who like the extra challenge. 

explore T&T trails

Jamaica Tour

The magnificent Red-billed Streamertailed Hummingbirds (Trochilus polytmus) are only found on the Ca

The magnificent Red-billed Streamertailed Hummingbirds (Trochilus polytmus) are only found on the Caribbean island of Jamaica, where they are quite common along the coast and in the mountains. They are also known as the Doctorbirds, God Birds, Scissors Tails, Longtail Hummingbirds or Western Streamertails

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Do you have a question about one of the  hikes? 

 Send me a message, and we will get back to you as soon as I can.


Island Hikers

152 Frederick St, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Mario Russell :1 868 7492956

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