Caribbean Snap Shots: Maracas Bay Beach, Trinidad

Protected by a deep bay, this north shore crescent of golden sand is one of Trinidad's national treasures


The island of Trinidad is best known as the home of the world- famous Carnival, with its lavish street parades, calypso music and all-night parties that pack the streets with local and visiting revelers. But this southern most of the Caribbean island also boasts some fine beaches. Visitors looking to add a bit of sight seeing and a swim to their visit can escape Port of Spain and follow the North Coast Road over a jungle-clad mountain range to discover a perfect crescent-shaped bay ringed in golden sand, and backed by towering palms set against dramatic rainforest cliffs. This is Maracas Bay Beach. Located on the island’s north coast, this stretch of shoreline receives enough wave action to attract paddlers, surfers and boogie boarders to the outer reaches of the bay, while the warm sands and calmer inshore waters welcome the less ambitious, who come only to relax. Maracas is by far the island’s most popular beach, and visitors and locals come to spend the day. There is a lifeguard on duty during peak hours and nearby options for libations or lunching on the local favorite: bake-and- shark, which is a fried flatbread filled with seasoned shark meat and lettuce or coleslaw. Richard’s Bake and Shark gets top marks, and provides an array of hot sauces for the adventurous, but it is by no means the only lunch spot worth checking out.