5 Things You Didn’t Know About T&T

Largest Natural Deposit of Asphalt in the World

natural-wonders-of-the-world-pitch-tar-lake-la-brea-trinidad-geulogy-advert10 million tons to be exact! Trinidad’s Pitch Lake is one of the largest natural deposits of asphalt in the world! Located in the southwest of Trinidad, this natural marvel was created by tectonic activity in the Caribbean Region.

Local legends about the Pitch Lake reveals another tale of how the lake was developed however.

Callifaria, daughter of a local tribal chief, who fled to her lover, Kasaka, a prince of the rival Cumana tribe. Her father, Callisuna, attacked the Cumanas, recaptured his daughter, and forced her to return home, tied to a horse. The winged Arawak god, Pimlontas, was so angry that he damned the village and caused it to sink into the earth, then covered it up with “piche.” (DestinationTT)

An estimated 10 million tons of asphalt has been extracetd from the Pitch Lake since mining started in 1867. Years of excavation, exploration and mining has revealed Amerindian artifacts, fossilized remains and a 4000 year-old tree that appeared only to sink again into the lake!

Home to the Most Important Turtle Nesting Grounds

Did you know that Trinidad holds one of the largest nesting grounds for turtles in the world?

At both Grand Riviere and Mathura, located on the north coast of Trinidad, visitors can see first-hand, the beauty and majesty of nesting Leatherback, Hawksbill, and Green turtles. All turtles who come to our shores to nest are protected by law in Trinidad and Tobago.

Visitors who would like to witness the marvels that take place during nesting season (March to September) are encouraged to arrange a tour with a reputable guide. Trinidad and Tobago’s Forestry Division keeps track of all authorized tour guides and tour operators so make sure to visit this link to see a list of reputable tour guides.

Home to the One of Hottest Peppers in the World

Want to know where Trini people get their fiery passion from? I’ll let you in on a secret: in 2012 the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper was named the hottest chili in the world.

Currently it’s at the #2 spot of the world’s hottest peppers, knocked off its throne by the infamous Carolina Reaper. But as Trinis say “doh study dat!” It’s still every bit as hot as the Reaper. Registering at over 2 million on the Scolville heat scale, the Moruga Scorpion engulfs your taste-buds in a haunting heat. Grown and harvested right here in Trinidad – there’s no slowing this pepper down.

This isn’t the only record breaking pepper to make its name on the world stage – the 7-Pot Douglah (#3 hottest chili) and 7-Pot Barrackpore (#9 hottest chili) were also developed in Trinidad, registering at 1.8 and 1 million respectively on the Scolville scale. So, “if yuh name man” try one!

We have our very own Glowing River

This one’s really special and by far one of T&T’s rarest attractions. Our Ortoire River in Mayaro glows blue for just a few days ever decade or so…then in an instant the phenomenon is gone not to be seen for years!

The glowing is said to be the result of a sudden growth of bio-luminescent organisms in the river. Those who have witnessed this nocturnal, natural light show tell of the magical glowing with any disturbance of the water. Check our this video!

Home to the Oldest Forest Reserve in the Western Hemisphere

main-ridge-forest-reserveNow we’re heading over to Tobago – did you know that Tobago us home to the oldest forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere?

The Main Ridge Forest Reserve was set aside in 1776 and comprises of 3937 hectares of protected area. The purpose of its establishment was “for the purpose of attracting frequent showers of rain…”. However today it has grown into so much more.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Main Ridge Forest Reserve is an evergreen forest that provides habitats to many species of mammals, birds and reptiles. Of the many species, most significant is the Sabrewing Hummingbird, which was declared an Environmentally Sensitive Species by the island’s Environment Management Authority in 2005; and the Ocellated Gecko – an animal not found in any other part of the world!

Presently, the Reserve is predominantly used for ecotourism on the island, with tourists being able to partake in bird watching exhibitions, biking and nature walks along the main trail.


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