Our colleagues Jennifer Johnson and Cherise Stevens (at Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications) keep us abreast of the latest developments in the eco-tourism area, including environmentally-friendly resorts and conservation activities in Trinidad and Tobago. Here are three interesting items: turtle watching season in Tobago, a family-run eco-resort named Castara Retreats (also in Tobago), and the Blue Flag Certification of the Las Cuevas Beach in Trinidad. See descriptions below:
Turtle Watching Season—With 80% of all leatherback nesting in the insular Caribbean, one of the world’s most important leatherback turtle nesting locations, Trinidad offers a near guarantee to witness giant sea turtles on beaches. Tobago has an important population of hawksbills living in its numerous coral reefs and many of green turtles inhabit the seagrass beds off the coast. The nesting population on these islands makes the conservation efforts critical. The best time to spot a leatherback is on a beachwalk on Matura Beach or Grand Riviere during their nesting time from March through July. The hawksbills, found in the coral reeds of Tobago, nest from May to September.
Castara Retreats, Tobago
Located in Tobago, Castara Retreats, a family-run eco-resort, announced the addition of four new apartments to its accommodation offerings. Over the past 18 months the hotel has almost doubled in size, expanding capacity to accommodate up to 36 guests and features 14 stylish, high quality self-catering lodges. Additionally, management at Castara Retreats recently announced the appointment of new head chef, Carolyn Senior to the team. The hotel’s restaurant offers European-style dishes (freshly caught fish each day, lamb, chicken and steak dishes, home-made pastas, inventive vegetarian options) and fabulous cocktails, popular with visitors and locals alike. For more information, visit www.castararetreats.com. For reservations, call Kenny on 766-1010.
Conservation and Preservation—Blue Flag Certification
The Las Cuevas Beach in Trinidad was selected in September 2014 as the pilot beach for the implementation of the Blue Flag Certification program, a voluntary eco-label developed through compliance with a strict criteria dealing with environmental education management, water quality, safety and other services. The 2015 Blue Flag season for Las Cuevas Beach, now the only certified beach in the English-speaking Caribbean, is January 16 to November 16. During this period, beach goers can view the Blue Flag information board which will display monthly updates on the water quality and on-site environmental education activities. The information board also provides a description of essential services available at the beach and the designated Blue Flag zone. For further information on Blue Flag Trinidad and Tobago, visit www.blueflagtrinidadandtobago.com.
[Photo of Las Cuevas Beach by Al Marc: http://www.panoramio.com/user/1424812.]