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The eastern coastline of Trinidad is rather wild, and development is slow coming to this side of the island.
Although Manzanilla appears to be a typical, secluded Caribbean beach, nothing could be farther from the truth.
At any time of the day, you can expect to see water buffalo, giant egrets and other interesting water fowl. I’ve never been to any beach and viewed a water buffalo walking down the beach – like I said NOT your typical beach.
This is a brown sand beach – the sand is a bit courser than your typical powder white sand beach. At sometimes of the day (depending on the sun) the beach takes on a greyish color tone. The raging blue waters against the backdrop of brown/grey sand offers a non typical visual Caribbean beach experience.
This is a perfect beach for sunbathing, but since the east coast is on the Atlantic side, the waters have an undertow, and are too rough for swimming.
Manzanilla is 17 miles long, and bordered by coconut and mangrove trees, and quite at drive from the capital city Port of Spain – about 1 1/2 – 2 hours depending on traffic and road conditions.
The beach shoreline doesn’t get much typical beach traffic, and coconuts, leaves and other vegetation line the area – so you might want to put on some shoes if you plan on walking any part of this 17 mile beach.
Since this side of the island is less developed, not a lot of tourist come here – so you pretty much have the beach to yourself (and the water buffalo and fowl). There are lifeguards on duty, a snack bar, picnic tables and also changing rooms, showers and toilet facilities – and also an adequate parking lot.
Nature lovers can travel about 2 1/2 miles to the northeast to visit a turtle nesting area.
Not an ideal beach for everyone, but it offers excellent sunbathing, privacy, seclusion and a great view of the raging Atlantic.
I much prefer the white sand beaches, however I gained an appreciate for this “wild beach“. It does not have the pristine look of the “average” tourist beach, but there was definitely serenity and beauty in its wildness. And I got a great sun tan!