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The 3rd Journey-Caravels of Columbus
 Carupano capital of Venezuela Carnaval and gateway to Paria Peninsula only connected to Macuro, the point of Columbus' only continental landing in 2000, Whereas Margarita Island since the mid-eighties has become Venezuela's main expatraiate community and prime vacation island.  Meanwhile, on Trinidad, the points Columbus landed continue to be deserted despite their natural prominence.  sOrinoco - Also famous for their Carnaval and part of the legacy of the Caravels of Columbus on his  3rd voyage Porlemar Airport Los Roques Puerto La Cruz
Margarita Island
Columbus [home]
Wiki travel forums
Icacos Point || Point Fortin by wikimapia
Wiki travel guides
Gulf of Paria, Venezuela by boat
Help others navigate the Gulf of Paria by posting your insights to Captain wiki
Local Links
w/ carnival coverage
The beach & the Pipeline -2005
Map of P/ Fortin by pointalive.com
southtrini.com | Events Calendar
Point Fortin Bourough Day Celebrations at .triniview.com/album
South » Ten places to visit
cedros-100.jpg (2601 bytes)
"With the introduction of a guest house system and a centrally located Tourist Information Center in Bonasse, the Cedros Tourist Office is planning to open up the peninsula to visitors that may want to stay longer than just one day. With the possibility of a $500 airfare to Tobago, Cedros is becoming a very appealing alternative and Cedros residents are more than ready to accommodate the added visitor influx. [more at therepublicofcedros.org]
In December of 2006 Alcoa Aluminum plans to build a USD $1.5 billion smelter at nearby Cap-De-Ville were turned down due to protests from the community and environmental activists. Alcoa has made no announcements about alternative sites but does have a contract with the government.
The Point Fortin Chamber of Industry and Commerce said the decision not to go ahead with the Cedros and Chatham smelter plants was an opportunity lost for people in the area.
the Chatham/Cap-de-Ville Environmental Protection Group, which was at the forefront of protests against the smelter plants in the southwest peninsula villages, and the group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea have vowed to continue their campaign regardless of where the government intends to construct the plants.
Errol McLeod, president of one of the biggest trade unions here, worries that building an industrial estate
at the  Otaheite Bay as announced by Prime Minister Patrick Manning  when he killed the aluminium smelter plants in the southwest peninsula villages of Cedros and Chatham may severely affect the commercial fish centre in south Trinidad.

 [more at google news]

South West at tripod 
Siparia at triniview
Columbus Bay
Erin Bay
Pitch Lake
Point Fortin
Business & Trade
southchamber.org membership comprises just under two hundred companies, mainly in the energy sector.  
 US Aluminum Giant Alcoa is facing massive criticism over a proposed 340,000 metric ton smelter plant in Cap De Ville
Real Estate
http://sipreal.com Point Fortin-based agency specializing in properties in the south western peninsula
"As a result, my plan drastically changed from coming here to die to coming here to “make a comeback!'

"After four months I was in the best shape of my life and developed a social network of dear friends and family. Now that I look back at my life, I see how I let myself become consumed with the American culture of fast food and fast living and obsessed with performance, achievement, status and the collection of material objects. All the things that I thought I needed (which ran me into the ground and almost killed me) I no longer wanted. I came to a point where the simple things were all that mattered… family, friends, health and a sense of community and home.  [More at escape artist]

Boca del Serpiente (Serpent's Mouth).
Gulf of Paria
Trinity Hills.
Banwari Trace the oldest archaeological site in the Caribbean.
Mythic Trinidad
Columbus Monuments
Bartolomé de Las Casas || quotes
Pre-Columbian Africa-Americas contact theories
Holy Trinity
The number 3
Rule of Three.
Triple Goddess:
Triple deities.
Sir_Walter_Raleigh || quotes
 Siparia Regional Corporation is a Regional Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago. It has a land area of 510.48 km². The Siparia Regional Corporation is headquartered in Siparia. Other urban areas include Cedros, Fyzabad, La Brea and Santa Flora.

 Point Fortin the smallest Borough in Trinidad and Tobago, is located in southwestern Trinidad, about 32 km (20 miles) southwest of San Fernando. After the discovery of petroleum in the area in 1906 the town grew into a major oil-producing centre. The town grew with the oil industry between the 1940s and 1980s, culminating in its elevation to borough status in 1980. After the end of the oil boom Point Fortin was hit hard by economic recession in the 1980s and the closure of its oil refinery. Construction of a Liquified Natural Gas plant by Atlantic LNG boosted the economy.


Princes Town Regional Corporation has a land area of 621.35 km². The Princes Town Regional Corporation is headquartered in Princes Town. Other towns include Moruga.
Penal-Debe Regional Corporation  has a land area of 246.91 km². Urban areas within Penal-Debe Regional Corporation include Penal, where the corporation is headquartered, and Debe.
On Carnival Sunday 22nd February 1998, at around 2pm in the afternoon, the Lance Mitan suspension bridge crossing the Moruga river failed. more at seetobago.com



The southwest peninsula, known locally as "deep south"  has rarely been visited by tourists since Columbus lost his anchor here in 1498. The many beaches on the gulf side offer brown sand and calm waves. The countryside is coconut and teak plantations broken up by sleepy backwater towns and unromantic oil infrastructure and locals refer to the urban areas just a couple of hours away as 'up north'.

Cedros has some of the longest stretches of pristine beaches in Trinidad and Tobago and weekend visitors are flocking to the peninsula since the long overdue reconstruction of the Southern Main Road into the Peninsula is finally completed. Locals are looking forward to resort hotels expected to be built at Granville and a hoped for large scale international tourist resort at a designated 100 acre site at Columbus Bay. Cedros is easily accessed by car being only about one and a half hour away from San Fernando.

Point Fortin - South West Peninsula

In 1906, a geologist, Arthur Beeby-Thompson, found oil at Guayaguayare and Point Fortin grew into an oil town. It rode the wave of opulence during the 1990's oil boom and withstood the economic ravages of the subsequent recession. The area still shines brightly today as an oil and natural gas hub, home to the Atlantic LNG plant as well as other oil and gas company headquarters.


Icacos Point is the south western tip of Trinidad where you can see the vague outline of the coast across the Gulf. Just 9km off the coast and marking the division between Trinidad and Venezuela is Soldado Rock. This is a major bird preserve with a nesting season between March and July.
Icacos [Ih-car-cus] is a small village spawned by what was once the largest estate in Trinidad, Constance Estate. This coast is a pretty 3 to 4 hour drive from Trinidad. You will pass through coconut plantations, and herds of buffalypso ( a type of water buffalo) graze on the open land. On the way are unspoiled Cedros and Erin offering tranquil coastal views and sheltered coves.
You may not find a place to overnight but you'll enjoy the fishing villages, whose slow rhythm of everyday life is soothing to the soul.

Places To Stay: Point Fortin
Grandville Beach Resort Grandville Beach Road, Point Fortin, Trinidad - (868) 648-0154
South Western Court [15 rooms] 16 Cap-de-Ville Main Road (868) 648-4734 Their restaurant is the main gathering spot in town
Cinnamon Court 148 Clifton Hill, Point Fortin, Trinidad - (868) 648-0752
Cinnamon House Guest House 118 Cinnamon Drive, Point Fortin, Trinidad - (868) 648-2349 A/C & cable TV in all rooms. Just past Clifford Beach.  Restaurant serves good Creole  food
Icacos Beach House, Iacacos Beach Road halfway between Icacos pt. and Iacacos 868-622-8826

is a bustling town 13 km (8 miles) south of San Fernando, west of Siparia and northeast of Point Fortin. In 1937 Fyzabad was the centre of labour unrest, led by T.U.B. Butler which is considered the birth of the Labour movement in Trinidad and Tobago.
Labour Day celebrations,
observed annually on June 19. The OWTU (Oilfield Workers Trade Union) organizes a walk through the streets of the town; and at Charlie King Junction a stage is erected and there's a fun street fair.

Pitch Lake
One of the wonders of the world, with a surface like elephant skin it is the largest of only three natural asphalt lakes in the world (the other two being located in Venezuela and Los Angeles, USA). The lake was formedmillions of years ago, and it's believed that at one time it was a huge mud volcano into which muddy asphaltic oil seeped.
 Sir Walter Raleigh discovers Pitch Lake
"Every fool knoweth that hatreds are the cinders of affection."

 According to legend, Sir Walter Raleigh [1552 or 1554 – 29 October 1618] discovered the lake in 1595 and used the asphalt to caulk his ships, he also took time out to burn the new San Josef, Spanish settlement.
On Raleigh's 2nd expedition to go up the Orinoco in search of El Dorado he attacked a Spanish outpost which ended badly for both. When Raleigh returned to Britain without his son who died in the fight, authorities granted the Spanish ambassador's wish that his prior death sentence be carried out.  Raleigh was beheaded with an axe at Whitehall on 29 October 1618.

Churned up and down by underground gases, the oil and mud eventually formed asphalt.Today, the bitumen mined here is used to pave highways throughout the world. You can tour Pitch Lake on your own, paying an admission of US$5 per person.
The lake is believed to have healing properties and some wash their faces with the sulphuric water as it is reputed to be good for mosquito bites, rashes and skin conditions.  When the natural springs appear at its centre during the rainy season, you may find locals taking an evening dip in the special waters.
An on-the-spot museum also houses some artifacts that have been recovered from the lake. You'll find some bars and restaurants at Le Brea.
GETTING THERE: Pitch Lake with the village of Le Brea on its north shore. To reach it from Port-of-Spain, take the Solomon Hocoy Highway. It's about a 2-hour drive, depending on traffic.

Mud Volcanoes

Residents of Chatham, a small village on the southernmud_volcanoe_summit.jpg coast of Trinidad, awoke May 11 2001 to see a new island about a mile and a half offshore, in the Columbus Channel. A mud volcano on the floor of the North Atlantic Ocean formed the 16-foot wide piece of land, scientists at Trinidad's Seismic Research Unit said.
In 1997, a mud volcano erupted in the central Trinidad farming village of Piparo, covering homes with mud that flew as high as 150 feet in the air. The sound of rumbling and the shaking of the earth alerted residents before the eruption, and they all managed to escape from their houses before the mud spilled out onto the village, crushing roofs and forming a thick blanket of dirt over all structures. No one was killed. (DisasterRelief.org)

Mud volcanoes tend to be associated with petroleum deposits. They are found in several parts of the world apart from Trinidad, including the Caucasus, Australia and Venezuela.
  Gas is often the driving force, pushing mud from deep within the earth upwards towards the surface. The force is so great it can lift and break rock formations, so that pieces of rock are sometimes thrown out with the mud when the volcano erupts. Eruptions may be triggered by "external forces" such as "movement along old fault lines"

Devil’s Woodyard Although not the most spectacular mud volcanoe it is the most accessible and famous of the many mud volcano sites located in south Trinidad. It also has the best facilities, including a children’s playground, picnic tables, and toilets.
Some local Hindus hold this to be a sacred spot and worship here.
Take the route down Hindustani Road, 3km past Indian Walk in Princes Town.

Oropuche Lagoon
The oldest Caribbean evidence of human occupation has been found here, some 3400 to 5000 B.C. Banwari Trace deposit is to be found on the southern edge of the Oropuche Lagoon in southwest Trinidad, just west of the Coora River. The site occupies the top of a Miocene hillock, originally covered with deciduous seasonal forest, which rises above the swamp. The Banwari Trace material culture shows a highly distinctive cultural assemblage, typically consisting of artifacts made of stones and bones. Objects associated with hunting and fishing include bone projectile points, most likely used for tipping arrows and fish spears, beveled peccary teeth used as fishhooks, and bipointed pencil hooks of bone which were intended to be attached in the middle to a fishing-line. A variety of ground stone tools were manufactured for the processing of especially vegetable foods, including blunt or pointed conical pestles, large grinding stones and round to oval manos
  • Cedros: Near the tip of the south-western peninsula, and of the furthest points on the island from Port of Spain, Cedros has Trinidad’s widest beach at low tide.
  • Quinam Beach is 7.5 km drive down the Coora Road/Penal Quinam Road, through teak plantations and forest. The waters are calm and good for swimming, and the sand is fine and brown, although it disappears during high tide. Favored for family outings on the weekend.
    Quinam Recreational Park
    Quinam Recreational Park is a newer  park, in a forested area near the Quinam beach in south Trinidad. Includes rustic picnic shelters, an information centre and nature trails. Forestry department (622–3217).
  • Erin Bay Erin is a popular spot for windsurfing. Erin remains on of the most vibrant of fishing communities thousands of pounds of carite, red fish, cavali and other varieties of fish are dispatched every day from Erin and creating a striking hustle and bustle
  • Vessigny Beach Just 3 kilometres past the Pitch Lake in La Brea, the beach boasts brown sand and calm seas.   Changing rooms, picnic tables and a snack bar, open on weekends and during school holidays are all available. Enjoys a reputation as a popular weekend party spot. It also has camping facilities. There are no lifeguards on duty. It is about 2 hour's drive from Port of Spain.
  •  Columbus Bay: Said to be the point at which Christopher Columbus first landed in Trinidad. The beach is surrounded by miles of coconut plantations and the "Three Sisters" (3 tiny islands) protrude just off the shoreline.  Columbus Bay is where the famous explorer supposedly lost his anchor, which is now displayed at the National Museum. This beach is huge, very tropical and seldom occupied. Download
  • Moruga Beach where Columbus first landed and named the island after the Holy Trinity in 1498


Moruga comes alive each August for the re-enactment of Christopher Columbus’s arrival on the island in 1498. The local community hosts a heritage festival in October.
"God made me the messenger of the new heaven and the new earth of which he spoke in the Apocalypse of St. John [Rev. 21:1] after having spoken of it through the mouth of Isaiah; and he showed me the spot where to find it."  Columbus 1500  
In his treatise The Book of Prophecies, which was influenced by the writings of earlier theologians, Columbus offers some insight into his views on the Garden of Eden and the second coming of Christ. In order for the return of Christ to come about, certain requirements would have to be met --namely, that Christianity must take root throughout the world; the holy lands and in particular Jerusalem, the birth place of Christ, must be wrested from the Muslims; a "last emperor of the world" must be established (Isabella and Ferdinand would seem, at least to Columbus, to meet this requirement); and, finally, the Garden of Eden would have to be found.


Christopher Columbus is much examined in history as one of the greatest mariners in history, a visionary genius, a mystic, a national hero, a failed administrator, a naive entrepreneur, and a ruthless and greedy imperialist. To the surprise of many, in 1992 on the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the voyage that changed the world, Columbus had become a divisive figure.
Columbus, who never abandoned the belief that he had reached Asia, led a total of four expeditions to the Caribbean. On his third he named Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela, and Margarita Island. Hehttp://www.ibiblio.org/expo/1492.exhibit/full-images/columbus.gif returned home in chains for he was not a good manager of men and was quite filled with himself. He changed the coat of arms he was granted in 1493 several times adding new elements, such as an emerging continent next to islands and five golden anchors to represent the office of the Admiral of the Sea.
It is popular today to use his obvious failings to claim his genius was a fraud but this will not stand the test of time.
His method of navigation was called "Dead Reckoning" and it combined experience and intuition with vague guidelines based upon a compass and estimates of daily travel.

"I have come to believe that this is a mighty continent which was hitherto unknown. I am greatly supported in this view by reason of this great river, and by this sea which is fresh.

   In 1998 Columbus made his third voyage in honor of the Holy Trinity and discovered the continent- or did he? Find out why why he was returned in chains to Spain and we now call lands -the Americas
Take off for Trinidad's South-Western Peninsula. Here the landscape becomes rolling hills spotted with farms, fishing villages, wetlands and forests. This offers a different view of Trinidad as rural communities dot the landscape side by side with the oil industry. These areas offer rich birding opportunities in wetlands for Spotted Toddy-Flycatchers, Pygmy Kingfishers and Rails, scrub and farms areas for Yellow-Headed Caracaras, Flycatchers, and Yellow-rumped Caciques or forest areas for Honeycreepers, Manakins, or Trogons
The Orinoco River Delta is one of the largest intact and unspoiled wetlands in the world. With the exception of the town of Tucupita, the Orinoco River Delta is a glorious expanse of forest, water and sky.
Visit our Orinco and Chagauramas Guides for lots more options and information about this trip.
angel-ecotours.com/adventure-travel-package-orin1.html   Tours run year-round. Of course, our itinerary is completely customizable to suit your adventure goals.  from Puerto Ordaz or Maturin.   2 days / 1 night

Difficulty Relaxed - paced tour includes some walking, river travel in canoes, and optional swimming.
Lodging You will be staying in comfortable wooden cabins that have running water, toilets and showers. Some cabins have queen-size beds. Hammocks are available upon request.
Clipper Cruise Line, clippercruise.com 11969 Westline Industrial Dr., St. Louis, MO 63146. Call (800) 325-0010, fax them at (314) 655-6675
The Yorktown Clipper: A 227-foot craft with a shallow 8-foot draft and easy maneuverability. Boasts advanced-technology satellite navigation and communication equipment. Meals are American and continental fare with regional touches from the Caribbean Basin.  The ship is completely air-conditioned. Itinerary: "The Natural Treasures of the Lower Caribbean" is not listed at their web site but you may wish to inquire.
Hurricane season lasts from June to November. Although the islands of Trinidad and Tobago are below the hurricane belt, you will experience more rain during these months.
Gulf of Paria On any given day, the Gulf-regarded as one of the largest natural harbours in the western hemisphere- is speckled with oil tankers to service the many companies in the south.
Grand Icacos Lagoon, Cedros
Located on the south-western tip of Trinidad, just seven miles from Venezuela, this lagoon is an estuarine basin mangrove of approximately 330 hectares. While the entire peninsula is a bird watching experience, there are three prime hotspots; Fullarton Swamp, Los Banquilles Swamp and the Grand Icacos Lagoon.
The road from Fullarton Village to Icacos Village runs through the center of the Swamp and so it is possible to literally view the birds without leaving your vehicle. Greater enjoyment however comes from parking the vehicle and entering the water with a kayak or other water craft.

More at birdsoftt.com/

Trip Reports

The highs and lows of the 3rd Voyage of Columbus

Believing he had found the Garden of Eden, he was quite dismayed to find himself shipped back to Spain in chains

The Story of the Discovery of the Americas begins with Columbus 3rd voyage to Trinidad and Venezuela. A trip we encourage everyone to take.

A great story in its own right we have given it a special place here as the foundation of the holiday of the Americas

Many begin their journey to Venezuela's Macareo River from Columbus Bay near the Southern Tip of Triniday
A flotilla of 4 boats and families: We were not alone in Columbus bay. Some fishing boats were anchored there too. We didn't pay them much notice until this "transport" boat passed by.
We bought a bucket full, 10 pounds of huge shrimps.

Macareo main page.
"Well, no matter. We were soon unhooked from the bottom and sailing southwest in a gentle breeze which gradually built through the day to a howling 20+ knots. Our route led us among the derricks and platforms of the Soldado Oilfield, where we caught a large crevalle jack, then around some striking rocks to Columbus Bay at Trinidad's southwestern tip. Just as we rounded Los Gallos rocks and headed into the bay we caught up with Alsager, the third boat of our party, who had left much earlier in the morning. We grilled up the jack as the main course of a potluck for all of us, and sat back with our drinks, among friends, contented, thinking, "Ah yes. This is cruising."

"Of course cruising also means motor sailing into howling wind, adverse current, and big whomping waves breaking over the bow. The next day we covered the straight-line distance of 20 miles by power-tacking 33 miles, which because of the current translated into 47 miles through the water. It was a bone-shaking day, rough and bouncy through thick brown water. We had a dispiriting choice of unpleasant waves where the current was less strong, or smooth water among fishing boats, but right into the wind and the worst of the current, so we just tacked back and forth and partook of both.

"Reuben on Alsager had convinced us all that one of the waypoints in the Rio Macareo info packet was incorrect, so we cut across the "mud flat" shown on the chart. This turned out not to be the right thing to do -- at least not for Alsager, as they have a 7-foot draft and the water was about 7 feet deep. Windom slid through with our shorter keel, while Kajsa led Alsager the proper way around. Eventually we were all in the 12-foot deep channel, although our GPS and chart insisted we were actually aground.
10/10/01 | Approach to the Rio Macareo

"Our trip to the river is marked by adverse winds, a 3 knot current against us and the most uncomfortable  anchorage any of us have ever experienced.  Now we begin to understand why more boats don't come here. We are racing daylight and the tides to get to the mouth of the river. Finally just at sunset with Ventana in the lead we cross the shallow bar and have the deep water of the river beneath us. We are not in the river 5 minutes when we are greeted by pink dolphins playing near the boat. Moments later we fall silent in awe as a flock of scarlet ibis fly overhead and come to roost in the trees nearby. The ibis are a color so red you can't believe it could exist in nature.
Sail to our Home Page
'....anchored off Icacos Point, the southwest tip of Trinidad, we feasted on his tasty white flesh. The anchorage there was terrible, with the swell coming from the south and causing a rolly and uncomfortable night. In anything other than a multi-hull, it would have been an impossible anchorage.

Early the next morning we hoisted the sails again and headed across the Serpents Mouth to the Macareo River.

"Mosquitoes? Bugs? YES!!
Screens on the hatches and Chrissi's cockpit screen enclosure were 100% necessary after 5pm.
Don't leave home without them!
It's not bad before dark.

"EVERY village wants to trade.
When our trade goods of fish hooks and fabric and flour and soap, etc., etc. were gone,we started with our food and clothing and sheets and towels - until we were traded into near-destitution!Baskets and beads and models of boats are the main items offered in return.
 more Macareo River- 12/01

"We couldn't help noticing many young people are lacking teeth, maybe caused by their diet. We were told the river water is badly polluted from the towns and settlements many miles upstream. The doctor at the clinic tries to advise them to boil their water, but they consider what wood is available is too precious to use for this purpose. During the rainy season at least they have no other source of water but the river.

"As we lay at anchor again in Columbus Bay at the end of our expedition, having successfully negotiated the shallow river mouth, we agreed that it had been a truly absorbing and fascinating experience. We shall particularly long remember the happy natural smiles of the children standing in their canoes, their faces lining the toerail as they looked over the top at us. more at tripod

"The dinghies let us explore the waterways in a more intimate way than the big boats, getting us into tiny side streams which are sometimes no more than less dense spots in the vegetation. We head in a ways, then kill the engine and either row or drift with the current. We look, and more importantly, we listen. The noises of the jungle rise around us.
10/13/01 | On the river
Cruising notes to the RIO MACAREO
The Rio Macareo may be only 15 miles south of Trinidad but when compared to the usual Caribbean cruising grounds it is a very remote cruising area with no facilities providing supplies  for fuel or food.
Daily temperatures range in the 80s to 90s with matching high humidity, but both are lower in the evening. Rain showers can be expected in all seasons.
To get information of what to do before entering the river, contact The Boca, tlf. (868) 634 2622. ( www.BoatersEnterprise.com  ) Cruising notes to the RIO MACAREO are essential for a safe, minimum hassle visit. 
2004 Trip Report in their monthly publication -.pdf