When traveling, high paid marketing experts create Caribbean images of white sand beaches, crystal clear blue water, fancy drinks with umbrellas in them … this is all packaged nicely into a hotel experience and “ta-da!!” … tourist beach experience.
Macqueripe Beach is one of NOT one those experiences, but yet it has always remained a favorite of mine and many “Trinis” over the years for its simplicity, great swimming and wonderful drive through the forest to get there. It really is one of the hidden gems in Trinidad: everyone seems to know about, but not enough people actually head out there.
Heading here from Port of Spain is really easy … head out to Chaguaramas, once in you’re in Chaguaramas, head to Pier 1 and there is a large intersection with signage to head to east to Macqueripe Beach… easy!
On your journey, you should factor the following into consideration:
- Traffic : Traffic in Trinidad is terrible. If you are in Port of Spain in rush hour in the morning, prepare to add another hour to your journey. It is always best to leave really early or leave late. It’s unfortunate, but this is what happens in a country where is there is almost one car per person now, not enough roads and infrastructure and a road network design that was fit for a typical Caribbean island and nothing more.
- Lack of a GPS : There are no GPS related applications right now that will map Trinidad for you (well that which I know of). You will actually have to rely on road signage and maybe actually asking a person directions. The good thing is that once you’re out of Port of Spain, getting to Chaguaramas is easy and signage is pretty clear.
- Terrible drivers : It’s unfortunate but when you have a country, where people can buy their driver’s license with litle road experience or drivers with zero defensive driving experience, then you have a recipe for tons of road accidents. Thankfully, the Tucker Valley link road that takes you to Macqueripe never has any traffic, although because the road never has traffic, people hit the accelerator on this road – hence cars will zoom past at high speeds past you.
One of the best things about Macqueripe Bay is that you can hike the Tucker Valley trail to the beach. The forest trail was once upon a time the training grounds of the American Armed Forces during World War II, but now is a world famous hiking trail. Be warned that it is a steady uphill climb for about an hour or so, so your fitness should be decent – I did this hike once about 12 years ago. After the climb, it is pretty flat terrain and then a downhill jog.
It is a very picturesque drive with tons of coconut tree and foliage to each side.
Then you get to the beach facility and prices are clearly marked and there is parking by the stairway that leads to the beach.
Once you park and secure the car … the security won’t help you 🙂 Head down the stairs