Situated on the picturesque banks of the Arima River at the foothills of the Trinidad’s Northern Range, the town of Arima is the jumping off point for exploring northeastern Trinidad. The name Arima is the native Amerindian word for water. The town itself was founded by Spanish Capuchins in the mid-1700s, but today it’s the only town in the country with an indigenous Amerindian community. To learn more about the Amerindian people and buy native crafts, visit the Santa Rosa First Peoples Centre. You can also visit Cleaver Woods Recreation Park, which has a replica Amerindian thatched hut and displays of native items. From Arima, it is well worth heading just out of town to visit the Asa Wright Nature Centre. The 1,500-acre rainforest wildlife preserve offers naturalist-guided walks, birdwatching tours or you can simply visit the lodge for lunch or high tea.
Arima sits along the main highway about 30 minutes east of Port of Spain, or 15 minutes from Piarco International Airport. Along with the town’s unique Amerindian culture, it’s a great jumping off point to explore the countryside of the Northern Range, where secluded valleys conceal mountain creeks and tropical wildlife.