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From 'Sand fly Alley' to the new seascape

Guapo beach

By Louis B Homer

People are now flocking to Guapo beach to be part of the new seascape where peace, contentment, white sand and gentle waves provide a healthy outdoor menu.

A few years ago it was known as 'Sand fly Alley'. Since 2011 it was upgraded jointly by Atlantic LNG and Point Fortin Corporation. Now it is one of Trinidad's popular beaches. On week ends and public holidays the entire beach is literally packed with sea bathers, young and not so young.

The 1 km stretch of white and grey sand provides opportunities for children to build sand castles in the comfort of a wide shore, while parents can wallow in the smooth waters off Guapo Bay.

A resident of the area expressed his version of what Guapo beach has to offer. "Most visitors don't come to Guapo beach to study history. They come to enjoy the delights of a beach that offers great opportunities to swim, lie on the sand, listen to the surf, and watch birds as they chirp in the mangrove fields on the eastern end of the beach."

The charm of this beach does not lie in spectacular sights, but rather the subtle beauty of the marshes at the eastern end of the beach.

A returning resident who formerly lived at Point Fortin told the Express, "Since my return from Canada I come to the beach every morning before I begin my day's work. The water acts like a tonic to my body; it refreshes my outlook and keeps away any chances of contracting any viruses."

He said the major part of the beach is now open to the public. "In the old days we had to walk along a fence that divided nature from sporting pleasure. Where the access road to the beach is constructed was part of a golf course managed by the oil company. Now we can drive straight to the beach," he said.

At low tide the large stones imported from St Lucia that serve as a windbreak allows daring beachcombers to stand on the rocks to get a panoramic view of the beach and mangroves that protect Guapo river from dehydrating.

A visitor described beaches as an important natural asset. "They represent a dynamic entity that is constantly changing in size and shapes as they respond to changes in currents." At Guapo beach safety is not a problem. Records indicate that no one has ever drowned on that beach. There are no lifeguards, yet care should be taken not to venture too far out at sea.

Getting to Guapo beach is very easy. It is located approximately 12 km west of La Brea Pitch Lake. To access the beach, travel along the southern main road to Point Fortin, pass two roundabouts, and then bear right along the Guapo Road which is partially enhanced with exotic tropical vegetation, then on to Clifton Hill which leads to the 1 km long beach.

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