The wild and rugged coastline of Trinidad’s northeast tip feels more remote than anywhere else in the region; it takes close to four hours to drive from Port of Spain to Matelot, where the paved road ends. Cut off from most of the island by the dense rainforest of the Northern Range, the region seems suspended in a time warp; people and houses are few and far between and an air of hypnotic quiet pervades. The villages strung along the coast are close-knit and spirited communities, making their own entertainment at rum shops, country parties and fishermen’s fetes. Farming and fishing are the mainstays of the economy, with tiny roadside stalls offering fruit and vegetables, plus shark oil, saltfish, honey and sea moss.

The Toco Main Road (also known as Matura or Paria Road) loops northeast from Sangre Grande to Matelot, beyond which untamed bush and unreachable rocky coves entice you to scramble down the cliffs. While a number of fantastic waterfalls lie inland, the region’s coastline is most famous for the leatherback turtles, which lumber up onto the sand here to lay eggs between February and August, their eggs hatching tiny shuffling babies between June and September. Matura and Grande Riviere are the most well-known places for guided night-time turtle-watching. Grande Riviere has the advantage of a good choice of accommodation, though its distance from Port of Spain means some visitors opt for Matura, enabling them to do some turtle-watching and return home the same night. Most people take a few days to visit this region, however, in order to fully appreciate its awe-inspiring coastline of weather-beaten cliffs and golden beaches, with surfers riding the breakers.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Trinidad & Tobago features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Trinidad or Tobago – which island is right for you?

Trinidad or Tobago – which island is right for you?

The islands of Trinidad and Tobago both have tropical beaches, steamy rainforest and amazing wildlife but are far from identical twins. Here we look at which…

06 Sep 2016 • Andy Turner insert_drive_file Article
Cocoa loco: a guide to chocolate tourism in Trinidad and Tobago

Cocoa loco: a guide to chocolate tourism in Trinidad and Tobago

Our authors have travelled the length and breadth of Trinidad and Tobago, shimmying through the streets at Carnival, body-surfing at the beaches and gorging on …

23 Nov 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Around the world in 20 dances

Around the world in 20 dances

Square Dance, USA The "square" tag has nothing to do with naffness (now why would anyone think that?) but rather to do with the arrangement of the fo…

16 Oct 2014 • Neil McQuillian camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month