A spectacular place filled with lots of adventure is the Guanapo Gorge. Located in the Heights of the Guanapo Region, between the mountainous valley of Lalaja to the north and the lowlands of the Guanapo Quarry to the south. What make the gorge so appealing are its fascinating geological features. Enclosed by steep walls of pre-historic rock, the gorge narrow and V-shaped is 400 metres long. Inside the canyon, the rocks carved magnificently into extraordinary shapes caused by the vigorous force of the river. Strikingly along the walls, are the sunrays radiating a beam of light on the rocks. They appear brilliantly polished with smooth and shiny surfaces. Inter-looking spurs, which occur on the inside of each bend, jut out from the slopes and divide the gorge into sections. The erosion along the valley sides is a slow process that took thousands of years to form since the granite rocks are resistant to weathering. The river source is from the southern foothills of the highest peak El Cerro Del Aripo (940m) and along its course, other tributaries combine to increase its intensity.
There are two routes to access the entrance to the gorge. The first is a descent from the Lalaja hilltop located 6 miles north on the Arima, Blanchisseuse Road. The other and preferred route for the expedition is a trek, which starts at the Guanapo Quarry and continues alongside the river to the mouth of the gorge. The area around the mouth there is a shallow pool and a perfect place to leave the bags for the exploration. The trek to reach the top of the gorge is along a forest bench trail known as Sombasson Trace. The trail continues for another 20 minutes and leads through the forest, up the mountain and then down the river to the gorge.
Discovering inside the Guanpo Gorge is loaded with lots of fun and excitement to test one's skills. It begins by jumping into a pool and paddling a short distance through water. Along its channel, fallen debris hinders the water flow and creates numerous obstacles to overcome. Please note that life jackets provided but you are welcome to bring your own. Noticeable, playing hide and seek between the rocks are the giant lobster-like crayfish which breath through feather-like gills and are members of the superfamilies, Astacoidea and Parastocoidea. Please note for those not wanting to explore the gorge there is optional, to spend the time cooling down at its mouth.
Island Hikers explore Guanapo Gorge
Suitable for kids 7 and up
Assembly: 7.00am at the Corner of Omeara Road and Churchill Roosevelt Highway, Arima.
Rating 4: moderate
Note: life jackets provided but you can also bring your own.
Hiking time to the river: 1hour
Exploration of the gorge: 1 1/2 hours
Registration is on the morning of the hike.
Cost of the hike $60.00
For details contact Mario 749-2956, Marcia 490 2421 or Jamal 761-1889 or islandhikers.com
To see the video of inside the Guanapo Gorge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8HQEeXeVD4