Maracas beach is one of Trinidad’s most popular beach strips along the north coast. Nestled between rainforest cliffs and dotted with tall gorgeous palm trees it’s no wonder that it’s described by Huffington post as the closest you can get to a ‘perfect beach’. It’s a long stretch of golden sand with blue-green water. The drive is 30-45 min from Port of Spain and is a picturesque one. There are several lookout points that are worth the stop to see the mountain ranges and valleys. It’s totally worth the drive and here is why.
1. The Lookout
Do stop at all, but the last lookout before heading down the north coast road Maracas bay is probably one of the most popular stops to make on the drive to the beach for first-time visitors and for locals. It’s a must to stop and take photos on either side of the lookout. It’s probably one of the most photographed lookout on the island. So feel free to get your selfies and group shots in.
Not only can you take in the beautiful mountain and coastal views but you can also pick up some local snacks to take to the beach. Some of my favourites are the chows. Trini chow is comprised of mainly fruit or veggies cut up and marinated in a garlic, chadon beni (a local version of cilantro), and hot pepper vinaigrette. Fruit like mangos, pommerac, five-finger (carambola), pineapple, pommecythere (golden apple) and many others. It’s delicious, tangy and addictive to eat!! Other snacks include sugar cake, which is like a grated coconut bark, fudge, preserved mangoes and cerise (local cherries) and salty snacks too like plantain chips, just to name a few.
2. Lay on the beach and chill with a cold one
The beach is so therapeutic. Grab a drink or bring a cooler, lay back and watch the waves come in and sink those toes deep into the warm sand. There’s really no other feeling like it. The beach gets very busy on the weekends. I love it when it’s busy. It’s the best for people watching. But I usually head over early (like before 8 which will also beat the traffic) to secure a spot on the beach and then let the masses roll in. Enjoy your company, the gorgeous views, your drink and the snacks you may have picked up on the way.
3. Ride the waves
Maracas has some great waves to have fun in. Young ones can play supervised along the shoreline which is quite a span. But older kids and kids at heart can enjoy going in a bit further to ride and jump the waves or get tossed around in them which is what usually happens to me. The water can get a little rough at times and some spots may have a strong under tow just as a caution so please have respect for the water and be mindful of this. There are lifeguards there that will blow there whistle if they think you have gone too far or if help is needed.
4. “The best fish sandwich”
Enjoy a shark and bake or bake and shark depending on what they are calling it at the time you visit Trinidad. It’s changed in the last ten years. Richard’s is the most famous little hut selling but there are others that will not disappoint. What it is, is a fried fish sandwich that you can top with things like cucumbers, tomatoes, chadon beni sauce, tamarind sauce, pepper sauce, garlic sauce and more. It’s so delicious! If you only want the fish which is beautifully seasoned then just order that and top it with the works. If you are staying away from meat have no fear you can order the bake alone or an aloo pie (fried pastry made from flour and water, and filled with boiled, spiced and mashed potatoes) and top it with whatever you like. It’s a must. Locals drive all the way over the range just to have this fried fish sandwich. It’s Andrew Zimmern approved and what he called the best fish sandwich he has ever had on his show Bizarre Foods.
5. Take some awesome pictures
Last but not least take some iconic selfies or group shots on the little jetty at the far left of the bay, near the colorful fishing boats and the little bridge by the car park. You will not regret it. You will take home memories of your visit and one of the most photogenic beaches in Trinidad