At 200m high, San Fernando Hill overshadows the town centre, and has long been a sacred place for Amerindian tribes from the South American mainland, who made annual pilgrimages to the site from 6500 BC up to the early 1900s. According to legend, the hill is the final resting place of Haburi the Hero and his mother, who were fleeing from the Frog Woman in the Orinoco Delta in Venezuela; on reaching Trinidad, however, they were turned into “Anaparima”, the original Amerindian name for the hill. Half flattened, with steep protruding points, it owes its modern-day profile to years of gravel mining, which lopped off a third of its original height. Protests by locals saw quarrying put to a stop and the hill declared a national park in 1980.
The summit has been landscaped, with shaded picnic tables, a children’s playground, café, public toilets and several lookouts from which to enjoy the views; there’s a telescope mounted on the open balcony of the new visitor centre. The panorama includes the city and the exclusive St Joseph Village suburb, the Gulf of Paria and the flaming chimneys at Point-a-Pierre and Point Lisas, and the ever-growing suburbs and agricultural plains of the interior.