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Trinidad for Adrenaline Junkies

Fort George, Trinidad. Photograph by Ariann Thompson

The cannons at Fort George stand guard over the most breathtaking view of the Gulf of Paria and north-western peninsula of Trinidad. Photograph by Ariann Thompson

Let’s take it from the top

Paramin

This traditional mountain farming community overlooking Maraval, on the outskirts of Port of Spain, has the most stunning views on the island. The highest point, Morne La Vigie, is over 2,000 feet. The people here in Paramin – descendants of runaway African slaves, French Creoles from Martinique, Guadeloupe, Grenada, Dominica, and St Lucia, ‘cocoa Panyols’ from Venezuela and Amerindians – are famous for their luxuriant seasoning herbs, pimentos, vegetables and ground provisions. They speak a French Creole or patois that is unique to Trinidad, though similar to St Lucian kweyol, and still perform their crèche and parang music during the Christmas season. On Carnival Sunday, mass is said in patois at the Catholic Church, whose stained-glass windows offer commanding views of the surrounding mountains. Tip: Tours can be arranged through a tour operator, or you can hire a jeep on Saut D’eau Road in Maraval.

Fort George

The wind whistles and sings up here, and small birds have a hard time staying on their flight path. At more than 1,000 feet above the city, this beautifully maintained 19th century military installation in the hills overlooking the capital comes with a breath-taking panoramic view of the entire north-western peninsula, including the Diego Martin Valley and the Gulf of Paria. Look for rainbows splashed across the nearby foothills after a bit of rain. Children (preferably over seven) will have a fun time looking through the telescopes, exploring the terraced grounds and never-used ‘lock-up’, and riding the cannons. It tops the list as a sunset-watching location.

Adventure Seekers: more adrenaline rushes

Trinidad’s forests, cliffs, rivers, waterfalls and seas will get your blood pumping and pulse racing easily. Tour operator Adventure Seekers takes you hiking, hashing, rappelling, surfing, wakeboarding, scuba diving, ziplining, rock climbing and paragliding. If you just want to experience the serenity of nature, they can take you camping, turtle-watching, horseback riding or sailing. www.facebook.com/adventureseekerstt

Martial arts

Private dojos, which welcome drop-in visitors, teach kung fu, karate, bushido, aikido, judo, jujitsu, tai chi, kickboxing, krav maga and WuShu. An indigenous form of karate called Don Jitsu Ryu was developed by Professor Don Jacob. He holds a 9th Degree Black Belt and the title (Hanshi) Grandmaster is taught at his Purple Dragon dojos across T&T, the Caribbean, the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia. www.purple-dragon.com

Booty Camp: Provocative Fitness

In the land of the limbo, fitness workouts can come with a rather spicy twist. At women-only studio, Provocative Fitness, which is located on the aptly named Fitt Street in Woodbook, founder and instructor JC Blandin brings her formidable background as a trained dancer (folk, modern, ballet and yes, limbo) and national aerobics champion to the fitness industry with an eclectic menu of workouts that both tone up and titillate. In addition to gruelling ‘boot camp’ sessions, Provocative Fitness makes getting fit freakishly fun with classes in ‘winercise’, zumba, pole dancing, and aerial silks and hoops. www.provocative-fitness.com

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A team of of writers discovering Trinidad & Tobago for 25 years and counting!

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