Discover T&T talked to Courtenay Rooks — a tour operator, naturalist, and conservationist with decades of experience — about what makes Trinidad such a compelling destination for eco lovers and those looking for unique, immersive vacations
Keeshan Ramkissoon was awarded the President’s Medal in 2012, in recognition of his contribution to scouting, and studied civil engineering at the University of the West Indies. He is an avid hiker with the instincts of a natural outdoorsman. When you say someone “cuts a new path” it’s usually a cliché but in Keeshan’s case, he actually wants to do the finding, clearing and cutting new trails
Trinidad is known to wildlife experts and enthusiasts for the sheer mind-boggling number of animal species and habitats crowded together on one small island just 50 miles long by 37 miles wide. Having once been part of South America, Trinidad has evolved both continental and island life forms: 108 native mammals (57 of which are bats), 460 birds, 55 reptiles, 25 amphibians, and 620 butterflies, as well as over 2,500 species of flowering plants (700 of which are orchids), 370 species of tree and 300 types of ferns. Nowhere else in the West Indies can match this level of diversity – and few areas of comparable size anywhere in the tropical Americas
Of all the out-doorsy things you can do in Trinidad & Tobago, hiking is one of the best. Much like the country, hikes can accommodate almost everyone, from the gentle soul who’s looking for equally gentle terrain to the most intrepid, bring-it-on types.
Mountains covered with tropical rain forest; mangrove swamps and savannahs; rivers, waterfalls and jungle-green seashores — these are just part of Trinidad’s unique Caribbean/South American legacy. We may be separated by just a few miles of sea, but not long ago — a few seconds of geological time — we were part of the mainland. Learn about Trinidad’s natural history, with advice from a local hiker and tour guide about how best to go out and explore