Blue Basin Waterfall
The pride of Diego Martin is the Blue Basin Waterfall. The river originates from a remote area in Paramin known as Meyah and its course is through the dense region of the Cameron Valley. It then flows over a steep escarpment to a series of fascinating cascades. Situated at the top of Blue Basin Falls there are a series of hidden gems, pools and waterfalls known by villagers as White Hole, Coffin Hole, and Tsou Falls.
The Blue Basin River has always been significant to Diego Martin. In 1797, it provided water to the nineteen sugar mills and nine rum distillers in the Valley. The purpose of the historic Diego Martin Water Wheel was to crush the sugar cane and its water supply came from the river. At that time, the population of Diego Martin was 141 whites, 289 free coloured and 734 slaves. One Hundred years later in 1897, there was a depression in the Sugar Industry, and many of the estates collapsed. This was due to the abolishment of slave labour in 1834.
At River Estate the Colonial Government purchased the land to drill wells for the purpose of supplying water to Port-of-Spain and environments. Soon after, the Cadbury Brothers of England leased the land to do research in Cocoa Production. Today there is still evidence of its rich history and along the river channel and in the forest surviving cacao trees still, exist.
The trek to Blue Basin Waterfall is a short 20 minutes walk along the road to the falls. Please note there is security for the vehicles.
Island Hikers explore the Blue Basin Waterfall. Estimated hiking time 20 mins to a ½ hour.
Assembly: 7.00am KFC West Mall
Rating: 2 easy
For more information contact Marcia 490-2421, Jamal 761-1889 Mario 749-2956 or islandhikers.com
Balandra is a small bay situated on the Northeastern Coast between the communities of Salybia and Rampanalgas. Its sheltered waters make it a favourite destination for sea-bathers. The rich landscape is filled with natural resources and the area capitalizes on agriculture, fishing and a beach resort. The name Balandra is a Spanish word when translated means Yacht, and in early times, anchored in the tranquil water’s were Spanish Sailboats.
Despite the popularity of the beach much of the area remains uninhabited from housing development. Situated opposite to the beach at Alcindor’s Trace, is the Balandra Forest where there is a network of trails that lead all the way to Rio Seco and surrounding villages. The vegetation there consists mainly of Mora (Mora Excelsa), which are large, heavily buttressed rainforest trees that grow between 130feet to 200feet (40m-61m) high. It is one of the few rainforest trees that grow in a long straight stand and the trunk used for timber production. It's lumber used for heavy construction, industrial flooring, boatbuilding and the manufacture of guitars because of its strong resistance to wear, strength and durability. The landscape is always under threat from loggers who exploit the precious woodland.
Another natural resource that meanders inconspicuous through the valley is the Balandra River. It provides water to nearby farmers for short-term agriculture. Further upstream in a concealed location along the river there are several spectacular pools known as the Balandra Basins.
The trek to the Basins will take 20 minutes and starts at Upper Alcindor Trace. The walk begins with a short descent to the river and continues upstream to the pools. Along the channel, there are two pools to discover. The first is broad and shallow and ideal for non-swimmers while the other located further downstream has a deep hollow basin. Giant boulders placed on the riverbed add elegance to the serene scenery and provide a comfortable place to relax and revel in the beautiful surroundings. The basin’s crystal clear water appears emerald green in the tree-filtered sunlight. Playing hide and seek between the rocks are the large lobster like crayfish. In recent times, with the Alcindor Road resurfaced small development is taking place, and there is a camping lodge.
After the hike, there is the option to spend the rest of the day at the nearby beach.
On Sunday3rd February 2019,Island Hikers visit Balandra Basins
Assembly: 7.00am Corner of O'Meara Road and Churchill Roosevelt Highway Arima.
Depart by 7.45am
Rating: 2 easy
Hiking time estimate: 30 mins Lifejackets provided.
The hike is suitable for children five years and older.
Registration is on the morning of the hike
Bring along an extra change of clothing and shoe.
For more information, please contact www.Islandhikers.com or Mario: 749-2956, Jamal 761-1889
Turure River exploration on Saturday 26th January 2019
The Turure River with its multi-steps of appealing waterfalls is an ecological gem. Visitors are usually blown-away by its exquisite natural beauty. Its source originated from the limestone region of Platanal and deposited along its bed are layers of sedimentary rock. The river is a nature lover’s delight filled with Jacuzzi-like pools and picturesque cascades. The bed of rock along its course magnificently carved into natural water-steps, which ascend to a sequence of captivating chutes. The river’s main attraction is its long horizontal falls, which resembles a curtain as the water tumbles down the rocks. At the bottom of the falls, there is a plunge pool, and the polished rock surface provides favourable conditions for rappelling. Exploring the river further upstream there are more attractive gems to discover and there is a small cave concealed at the back of one of the fall’s overhang.
The first part of the expedition is to get to the top of the Riverhead where the source originates. The journey starts from the Turure Bridge along the dirt road to the top of the mountain where there is a landmark cross. A trail positioned on the left leads down in the valley to the river.
Along the riverbed, the calcium carbonate deposits provide additional traction and make the rocks less slippery to walk on. The serenity of the forest comes alive with the courtship display of the white-bearded manakin (manacus manacus trinitatis) and the echoing sound of the bearded bellbird (Procnias averano carnobarba). In recent times, loose silt from extensive quarrying caused pollution to the nearby streams resulting in landslides and endangerment to wildlife.
On Saturday 26th January 2019, Fitness Walkers explore the Turure River. For more details visit www.Islandhikers.com or call Marcia: 490-2421, Jamal: 761-1889 and Mario: 749-2956.
Assembly: 7 am Corner of Omeara Road & Churchill Roosevelt Highway, Arima. (Next to the Doubles vendors)
Hike Starting location: A circuit-hike from the Turure Bridge along the road to the Quarry & Cross and then down the river.
Rating: 5 moderately challenging.
Please note: Exploring the river entails some climbing down waterfalls and rugged terrain.
Estimated Hiking time of trip: 4-5 hours
Paria Bay and waterfall is the number one destination for nature lovers, recently on the 29th November 2016 torrential showers caused severe flooding and landslide to many areas of the Northern Range. The devastating rainfall caused most of the rivers from Matelot to Blanchisseuse to change their appearance. Paria Waterfall significantly affected by the floods and the pathway from the beach to the cascade now changed. On the bank of the falls, there is a pileup of debris as high as thirty feet caused by the furious energy of the downpour. The picnic area encircling the falls now relocated to the other side, and placed along its circumference are boulders deposited by the energetic force of the water. What makes the falls so remarkable is the large plunge pool, now rejuvenated to its natural green colour. The river source originates from the Brasso Seco region where the water supply is refreshingly clean and crystal clear. Adventurers can test their skills jumping off the rocks and swimming against the current, to the get behind the overhang located at the back of the water-drop. Some noticeable vegetations growing alongside the river’s bank are the Maraval Lilies (spathiphyllum cannifolium), Cannonball (couroupita guianensis) and choconia (warszewiczia coccinea).
Paria Beach approximately 1.5 km has silky smooth sand and every year from February to July the leatherback turtles nest on the beach. On the eastern end of the bay, the River’s Mouth with its shallow, calm water is a lovely spot to refresh. During high tide, the backlash of seawater into the river attracts a variety of small marine fish. The vegetation at the river’s mouth consists primarily of red mangrove and going abundantly on the beach are coconut trees. Another attraction on the western end of the bay is the Cathedral Rock, where the sea eroded the landscape to create a spectacular arch and is a lovely spot to take photos.
The coastal walk from the Blanchisseuse Spring Bridge to Paria Beach will take 1 ½ - 2 hours depending on one's pace. The trail is broad and detailed with some short inclines. Along the way, an attractive place to stop and take a rest is Turtle Rock. The coastal sceneries are magnificent, and the sea breeze is refreshing and energising.
Paria Beach & Falls is a must-see for every Trinbagonian with a variety of attractions to fascinate the nature lover. It is crucial that our ecological treasures preserved so future generations can inherit. Visitors and weekend campers must protect the environment by now cutting down valuable trees and leaving litter on the beach. This negligence leads to beach erosion and endangerment to turtle hatchlings and wildlife.
On Sunday 18th March 2018, Island Hikers visit Paria Bay and waterfall.
Assembly: 7.00am at the entrance to Central Bank Auditorium or 7.30 opposite Sam’s Bar Maracas Bay.
Rating 4-5 moderately challenging
Cost $60.00. Secure parking is at Marian Beach Resort.
Maxi Taxi Transportation provided $60.00.
For more details contact, Mario 749-2956, Marcia - 490-2421, Jamal 761-1889, or visit www. Islandhikers.com
One of Trinidad’s most stunning waterfalls is the Rio-Seco located on the North Eastern Coast just after the village of Matura and obliquely opposite to the Salybia Beach. What makes the Rio Seco so appealing is its broad, spacious basin, which reflects vibrant colours of emerald green. Its cool, pristine waters make it one of the best places for an outdoors recreation. Nature lovers can sit and enjoy the magnificent scenery and relax under the peaceful ambiance. The vegetation, which consists mainly of towering Mora, shelters the picturesque landscape. Adventure seekers can escalate the cascade and jump fifteen feet into the energizing pool.
Rio Seco is a Spanish word that means Dry River, and it seems ironic this abundant never-ending supply of water classified as dry. However, further upstream where the bed consists of porous limestone the water submerges and some areas are dry. An amasing feature located at the mouth on one of its tributaries is the natural sulfur spring where yellow sulfuric deposits ooze from the rocks. Approximately two kilometers before it reaches the coast at Saline Bay there is a confluence of the Rio Seco and the grander Salybia River.
The 35-minute walk to the falls is along a wide-open path situated at the top the riverbank and shaded by the canopy of the rainforest. Along the way, there are two little streams to cross, and trees roots spread abundantly across the footpath. At the entrance to the falls, one can hear the echoing call of the bellbird heard distinctly throughout the forest.
Over the years, the Forestry Division along with the Ministry of Tourism recognizes the potential of the falls as a natural attraction have fixed the muddy road and erected signs to make it accessible to visitors. The area is part of the Matura National Park an Environmentally Sensitive Area declared by the E.M.A in 2004. The declaration is a positive step in protecting the environment and prohibits hunting and forest destruction.
It is the responsibility of citizens to protect and preserve their environment by taking out their garbage. A few steps into the pool the water raises over one's head, and visitors should exercise caution and bring along some safety equipment.
On Sunday, 18th February 2018 Island Hikers visit the Rio- Seco Waterfall.
Rating: 3 Fair
Hiking time: 35 minutes suitable for children five years and up.
Assembly: 7.00am at Corner of O'Meara Road and Churchill Roosevelt Highway, Arima.
Bring along an extra change of clothing and footwear to be left in the vehicle.
Note life jackets provided,
Cost of hike $60.00
Security provided for vehicles $20.00
Persons requiring transportation from Arima to the falls, please call to book.
For more information contact islandhikers.com or Mario 749-2956, Jamal 761-1889 or Marcia 490-2421.
The Marianne River located in the dreamy village of Blanchisseuse is a fascinating place to enjoy some exciting river adventures. There is a lot of rich history that surrounds Blanchisseuse with its seascape mesmerized by a high wall of mountains, pristine forest, and sandy beaches. On the eastern end of the district, a familiar landmark is the Spring Bridge, which in 1952 relocated from Manzanilla to Blanchisseuse. Recently the bridge refurbished to facilitate foot-traffic, and it’s historical significance recognised. The river has always been significant to the villagers of Blanchisseuse, and that’s how the place got its name. The English Surveyor Frederick Mallet saw the women washing their clothes in the river and called the community “Ladies River.” Later the French referred to the place as Blanchisseuse meaning “Washer Woman.” The river's mouth with its calm and soothing waters is now a favorite spot for river limes and an ideal place for kayaking. Further upstream two destinations with a bucket-load of fun are Avocar Falls and Three Pools.
Up until 1931, the Blanchisseuse community remained isolated from the rest of Trinidad and the only way to reach there was by the weekly island ferry. The construction of the Arima, Blanchisseuse Road allowed the first access to the village and in 1970’s the Maracas North Coast Road extended for a further 18 miles to Blanchisseue. In 1869, the explorer Charles Kingsley was the first Englishman to make his way through the forest to visit Blanchisseuse. Another landmark is the Roman Catholic Church “Our Lady of Mt Carmel" built in 1835. One of the church bells donated by the British in 1835 originated from Bristol, England while the other came from Lyon France in 1878. A prominent person born in Blanchisseuse was Sir Solomon Hochoy, who became the first local Governor in 1960 and Governor General in 1962.
The expedition to the waterfall starts from the Avocar Village located 3km from the village on the Arima, Blanchisseuse Road. Secure vehicle parking is available at the residence of Pops a friendly villager who facilitate visitors. The short 30-minute walk is alongside the riverbank, and the trail crosses the river several times, in shallow areas below the knee. Avocar Falls located in a concealed tributary and to access there is a short hill to ascend from the main river. At the base of the falls, there is a lovely pool to refresh. The landscape encircled by huge boulders, which add brilliance to the already spectacular scenery. For details contact Mario: 749-2956, Jamal 761-1889, Marcia 4902421 or www. Islandhikers.com.
Island Hikers visit Avocar Waterfall.
Assembly#1: 7 am depart by 730am at the entrance to Central Bank Auditorium.
If required, please call Mario to book maxi-taxi transport from Port of Spain.
Assembly#2: 730am depart by 815am at Sam’s Bar located at the end of Maracas Beach.
Rated: 4 moderate uphill trek to Avocar Falls with downstream river return / Optional 2 easy walk to 3Pools only
Registration is on the morning of the hike $60.00.
Secure parking is available at Marianne Beach Resort $15.00
For details contact Mario: 749-2956, Jamal 761-1889, Marcia 4902421 or www. Islandhikers.com.
Angel Falls on Sunday 20th January 2019
A captivating waterfall rooted in the northern foothills of Mt. El Tucuche, is Angel Falls. Access to the falls is from the Zorro Trace Valley, located on the North Coast Road between Maracas and Las Cuevas however the falls can also be accessed from the Maracas St Joseph Valley in Lloango Village. Concealed by craggy ridges and rolling mountains it flows over a steep escarpment and drops 50 feet vertically, into a cosy basin. The river streams into a canyon where the falls outstanding celestial appearance and exquisite gracefulness gives it the name Angel. There is the option to sit under the water-drop for an invigorating massage or relax in its refreshing pool. Towering over this picturesque landscape are the twin peaks of El Tucuche (936 metres) where the source of the watershed originates. Lower down in the valley, the river pours over steep precipices where to discover are more impressive cascades. The River Channel is an explorer's bliss with breath-taking pools and fascinating waterfalls. Exploring this natural wonder invokes a feeling of mystery and adventure. The landowners at Zorro Trace earn their income from farming small cash crops such as tomatoes, cabbage, pimento, pumpkin and green peppers. The river is vital in supplying the necessary water for their produce.
The exploration To Angel Falls begins at Zorro Trace, and the trek to the falls takes approximately 45-minutes. The journey begins with an upstream walk alongside the river, where there are some shallow areas to cross. The trail located on the left-hand side of the river starts with a steep ascent that leads to the top of the ridge. A short path on the right diverts from the main track into an undisclosed valley where located is the Angel Falls. The return journey is downhill and there is the option to further explore the river to discover other attractive waterfalls. A shoe with good grips is recommended since the trail can be muddy in certain areas.
On Sunday 20th January 2019 Island Hikers visit the Angel Falls.
For more details contact Mario 749-2956, Marcia 490-2421, Jamal 761-1889 or visit www.islandhikers.com.
Assembly: 7 am at the entrance to Central Bank Auditorium or 730am Sam’s Bar Maracas Bay
Rating: 4moderate (includes an uphill climb going)
Hiking time one-way: 45 minutes to an hour
Trail Description: An uphill forest walk to reach the falls and a downhill return.
Preparation: a shoe with good grips and change of clothing.
Recommended for kids seven years and up.
Rincón Waterfall on Sunday 13thJanuary 2019
Rincón is an agricultural community located on the North Coast Road approximately 2 km from the Las Cuevas Beach Facility. Its historical authenticity goes way back to 1795 when Governor Jose Maria Chacon granted 1,250 acres of land to the Spanish Treasurer Jose Ramon Muxica to establish an estate. The Las Cuevas Estate comprised of the Rincon Valley and extended all the way from the Sea to the foothills of El Tucuche. The landscape boarded by two rivers, on the northeast Curaguate or Rincon River and on the west Quebrada De Hierro. In 1797, the land sold to Valentin de Basanta, who planted sugarcane but with the Slave Amelioration Act of 1824, the estate became bankrupt and was again put up for sale. The population of the estate recorded by the English Surveyor Frederick Mallet was 2 white men, 2 coloured men and 2 coloured women, 40 male slaves,14 female slaves with 2 boys and 2 girls. Within a few years, cocoa replaced sugar cane as the dominant crop and today, unmanaged cacao trees showed evidence of its vibrant history. Rincón is a Spanish word when translated means “in a corner” and the area used for transhipment between the rugged North Coast and the old capital San José de Oruña.
The prominent peaks of El Tucuche (936m) shadow the Rincon Valley and nestled within its boundaries are several fascinating waterfalls. The most magnificent is the Rincón Falls which has an altitude of 76 metres and is the second highest in the country. On the southern side of the Tucuche Mountain in the Maracas St Joseph Valley, the highest the Maracas Waterfall is 91.5 metres. The Rincón Falls flows over a steep cliff and cascades down a series of rock steps into a large basin. It is a stimulating sensation to go under the water-drop for a comforting message and plunge into the pool for a refreshing swim.
The trek to the falls starts from Rincón Village and takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the destination. There is the option to do the expedition as circuit hire and return via another route on the left-hand side of the valley. The journey for the first 20 minutes starts with an energizing ascend and mellows as it reaches the top of the hill. Along the way, the trail passes an enchanted basin known as Black Pool and continues with gentle curves along the ridge. The trail eventually descends to a junction where the right path goes further up the mountain to Habio Falls while the left goes down to Rincón Falls. Echoing distinctly in the forest is the loud call of the black and white male bearded bellbird or locally known as Campanero. His sounds are to attract a female and at the same time ward off any rival males.
Island Hikers visit the Rincón Waterfall on Sunday13th January 2019,
Rating: 4moderate (some uphill walking)
Hiking time one-way: 11/4 hours
Assembly 1: 7.00am entrance to Central Bank Auditorium or
Assembly 2: 7.30am Sam’s Bar Maracas Bay.
Suitable for kids 7 years and over with a wiliness to walk
For details call Mario 749-2956, Marcia 490-2421, Jamal 761-1889 or www islandhikers.com.