If you’re a nature aficionado, a photographer of unique landscapes and shapes, or are just looking for a natural way to cool down on a hot day in Trinidad, you should check out the Bamboo Cathedral. Located in the Tucker Valley in Chaguaramas, this paved trail is a delight to wander. Tall bamboo stalks stretch up high above your head, many of which bend to form a natural archway all along the trail. On a bright breezy day, the bamboo sways and creaks, the leaves rustle, birds and Red Howler Monkeys call out to each other, butterflies flutter by, and the sun peeks through the dense vegetation creating dappled patterns on the ground. It is really lovely. It is no wonder Anthony Bourdain, when he visited Trinidad, hosted one of the episode’s meals here!
What to Expect
Just after the entrance to Chaguaramas, the Tucker Valley Road leading to Macqueripe Bay is on the right hand side. But if you reach the actual beach, you’ve gone too far. The sign to the Bamboo Cathedral blends into the background so keep a sharp eye out for it (heading towards the beach, the Bamboo Cathedral will be on the right hand side). There is a small parking lot where you must park – driving through the site is not allowed.
The trail through the Bamboo Cathedral is paved so you don’t need to worry about your shoes…unless you want to walk further than the Cathedral, that is. And you can – a hot uphill climb takes you to a beautiful view of Trinidad’s coast. If you plan to do this, take plenty of water, a hat, and wear proper shoes. While the area is generally quiet, you will likely see a few other visitors and some locals who use this trail for exercise.
I suggest visiting the Bamboo Cathedral during the mid to late afternoon. The light is beautiful and you may get lucky like we did – we actually saw a Red Howler Monkey! For the longest time, we stared at it and it stared at us. I wondered what it thought of the three tourists who kept trying (failed miserably) to get its picture!
And since you’re already in the area, why not check out the ruins of St. Chad’s Church, take a swim at the beach of Macqueripe or try out the zip line facilities, or go for a meal at the laid back restaurant of Sails!