The Dramatic Beach Scenery
of Guyamara, Toco and San Souci

A journey to capture tropical beach pictures...


An old box cameraEscape with us and you'll find striking beach scenery in northeastern Trinidad, along the road to Toco and San Souci. All you will need for this self-guided adventure is a rental car, a Trinidad map, and a desire to see one of the most dramatic areas in Trinidad. By contrast Tobago beach photos, and pictures of Trinidad beaches from the islands south are subdued.

The rock strewn beach scenery of Toco and Trinidad's north east coast Toco and Beyond 

Toco - the name given to this area by the native Caribs - is the most northeastern village on the island.

It is the domain of hidden coves, diminutive bays, and seldom trod beaches, where every curve in the road is likely to reveal another opportunity for you to capture stunning tropical beach pictures. In this corner of Trinidad the Trade Winds often whip Atlantic swells against the rocky coastline, spewing foam skyward with each relentless broadside. But...

Toco is also the realm of steep, soft-sanded beaches, which make perfect leatherback sea-turtle nurseries.

Enjoying a cool drink in Rampanalgas Beach Scenery Tour 

Our journey starts in earnest at Sally Bay in Salybia, just before the Rio Seco waterfall hike turnoff, where the Rio Seco River enters the Atlantic through a small fresh water lake beach-side.

It's a good idea to have someone concentrate on driving, while you take the pictures because the road is often narrow and it can difficult to park. Pull aside for a brief respite, and a cool drink at Arthur's Bar in Rampanalgas. This is a picturesque area where seaside homes dot the coastline.

Stunning Guyamara Beach scenery on the way to Toco Guyamara Beach 

Guyamara Beach is one of the most moody and visually exciting beaches in the area. You'll not find beach scenery like this every day. Luckily, you can't miss it because the meandering Toco Main Road passes right alongside the beach.

This is definitely not a beach for swimming; rather its drama makes it the domain of photographers, painters, picnickers, beachcombers, and sometimes fishermen. It's difficult to drive past without stopping. You'll be inspired to spend the day capturing memorable tropical beach pictures of Guyamara's changeable and inspiring beach scenery.

This is truly Caribbean scenery you'll want to remember.

Galera Point and the Toco lighthouse park Toco Lighthouse 

The next stop on our dramatic northeastern coastal tour is the Toco Lighthouse Park, where your best pictures will be captured early in the day.

Galera Point Lighthouse is where the most easterly point of Trinidad faces the full onslaught of the Trade Winds, a force of which sculptures and manicures the Sea Grape trees into tight windswept hedges. It's where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, and the closest point to Trinidad's sister island, Tobago.

Great tropical beach pictures are easy to capture in the Toco area especially at: Galera Point, where native Caribs, fleeing the Spanish after the 1699 Arena Uprising, threw themselves off the cliffs into the perilous sea below rather than suffer further Spanish oppression; La Fouray Beach, hidden away just to the south of Galera; and the more typically Caribbean beach scenery in the Toco ares, Salybia Beach and Patience Bay.

Toco Fishing Depot Beach, one of the many small bays and beaches on the way to San Souci Trinidad's Northeastern Coast 

Beyond Toco, beach scenery photo opportunities abound as the narrow road hugs the coastline to reveal sunlit images of small sultry bays along the relatively deserted Paria Road – an oddly named stretch of road that doesn't actually reach Paria Village, or the untamed Trinidad beaches of Paria, Petit Tacarib and Grande Tacarib.

Other than on public holidays you'll find the Paria Road relativity free of traffic, with only the occasional surfer seeking a better ride somewhere further along the coast, and the odd villager on their way into Sangre Grande - the closest major town.

The beach scenery at Cobra Bay Toco's Caribbean History 

To give you some perspective:

Trinidad history records that Toco did not escape the dramatic pull-and-tug of Europe's Caribbean ambitions. In 1631, without knowledge of the Spanish, English forces landed and occupied Toco, only to be expelled 6 years later by the Dutch, who in turn were ousted but the Spanish shortly thereafter.

European powers were not interested in beach scenery, they were looking for harbors from which to attack richly laden Spanish gallons exiting the Orinoco River - the location of fabled El Dorado.

The French flocked to Trinidad, and summarily to Toco, in the year's immediately following the 1783 Cedula of Population, when the country was still under Spanish rule. The land was too poor for sugar cane, so cotton became the crop of choice, with as many as 59 cotton mills in the area.

Galleon deck cannonsBy 1881 the country firmly was under British rule. Cocoa and coffee had become an important industry replacing cotton as the preferred crops. The demand for labor saw the population in Toco rise significantly, with people from Tobago making up the bulk of the influx.

In 1930 the road linking Toco with Sangre Grande was completed. Prior to that the only way to get to Toco - and for that matter most coastal communities including Mayaro - was aboard the round-the-island steamer.

Big Bay, San Souci Beach scenery, Trinidad San Souci & Big Bay 

Further on along the Paria Road you will come upon Reef Break and Big Bay, beaches of the San Souci area. Reef Break, especially when there's a storm front approaching, is one of the best surfing beaches in Trinidad.

Practically virgin Big Bay is a relatively long, scenic beach, and a great place to spend the day. The best time to swim here is between May to September when currents are at their weakest, and the sea is at its bluest.

Scenery on the San Souci to Toco Road Back to Port-of-Spain 

Here ends our search for dramatic beach scenery on Trinidad's northeast coast. It's time to unwind, have a picnic, swim, and enjoy the Caribbean sun, sea and sand to its fullest.

If you've planned your day well, you arrived at San Souci before mid-day and took full advantage of the early morning light to capture pictures along the way - it's about a 3-hour drive from Port-of-Spain, without stops to take pictures and explore along the way.

Start your journey back at around 4:00 pm. This will allow the Caribbean's evening light to infuse the tropical beach pictures you take on your return journey, with a warm golden hew. And there's one final thing to remember, twilight in the Caribbean passes very quickly, so be well on the way home before dark.
Roll of film for your camera

Here's more information about a Northeast Adventure Tour.

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