Trinidad’s east coast is wild and rural. The mix of lonely beaches with rough Atlantic waters, mangrove swamps and seaside coconut plantations creates dramatic scenery. It’s deserted most of the year, except for holidays and weekends, when people flood in to Manzanilla and Mayaro for beachside relaxation, packing coolers with food and splashing about in the gently shelving waters. Most visitors come here on a day trip bound for Nariva Swamp, with its protected wetlands and forest.
Running parallel to the sea, the Manzanilla–Mayaro Rd makes for a beautiful drive. It passes through the Cocal, a thick forest of coconut palms whose nuts are shipped all around the island, and which harbor some interesting birds, including red-chested macaws.