Worth a Trip: Mount St Benedict Monastery

A Benedictine monastery sits on 240 hectares on a hillside north of Tunapuna, 13km east of Port of Spain. Though not a major sight in itself, Mount St Benedict attracts people who want to stay or eat at its secluded guesthouse, birdwatch or walk in the surrounding forest. Unless you have a car, however, it’s inconvenient to get to. The thickly wooded hills behind the monastery provide hiking opportunities and possible glimpses of hawks, owls and numerous colorful forest birds, and maybe a monkey, and the road up offers panoramic views of Trinidad's central plains.

Under the monastery, peaceful Pax Guest House is delightful place to come for lunch or afternoon tea (TT$15; daily 2pm to 6pm), with scones, pastries or Trinidadian sweet bread served on a veranda that makes a great spot for birdwatching. Book visits in advance. A favorite hike from here is the 30-minute trail to the fire tower, which offers eye-popping views and birding.