Caribbean Beat Magazine

Let It Rain

Photographer Sean Drakes took his camera equipment and crew into Trinidad's Northern Range and came back with this page-stopping record, and the admonition, Let It Rain: keep our forests pristine

  • Photograph by Sean Drakes
  • Photograph by Sean Drakes
  • Photograph by Sean Drakes
  • Photograph by Sean Drakes
  • Photograph by Sean Drakes
  • Photograph by Sean Drakes
  • Photograph by Sean Drakes
  • Photograph by Sean Drakes

The village of Avocat is 90 minutes from Port of Spain, and the gateway to one of the most accessible and rewarding river treks in Trinidad’s Northern Range. We nervously checked our equipment: hiking boots, bug repellant, binoculars, towel, water bottle, sun-hat, sun-block, swimsuits, before we left civilisation behind.

But with the first steps into the cool water of the Marianne River, the stillness enveloped us. The water is shallow here — ankle to knee in depth — and river sandals are the smartest footgear for the 35-minute trek across the mossy rocks and along the muddy trails beside the river.

There are 433 species of birds in Trinidad and Tobago, 180 different mammals, 617 butterflies and 53 different reptiles. Adventure lovers like the folks at Wildways Caribbean Adventure Travel know where to find them, and trips like this, into pristine rainforest, are everyday pleasures for them. After 30 minutes, we were so wet — I’d lost my balance five times — that the water no longer felt chilly. I’d lost count of how many times we’d crisscrossed the riverbed, and no longer thought twice about wading through the water.

As we came closer to the Petite Marianne waterfall, we could hear the 30-foot cascade growing louder.  To reach the fall itself, you either swim across a deep pool or climb a steep muddy slope.  (A waterproof backpack and good packing skills come in handy here.)  The slope was easier than it looked; vines and tree trunks served as handrails, roots formed a narrow stairwell through the canopy of leaves.

Inside this secluded oasis, we couldn’t help but wonder how folks can feel content with sun, sand and azure sea.


Blanchisseuse, Trinidad


Sean Drakes


Akila Hosein, Dezyre Dior,

 Dominique Amorer/Elite


Paulla DeSouza

Hair styling

Vicky McDeigan

Swimsuits designed by

Miles Regis and Sean Drakes

Swimsuits made by

Jillian Salandy for Jeswear (

Special thanks to 

Anthony Harris, Ashraph, Sonja Stewart, Wendy Yawching, Skye Hernandez, Luanne Regis and Vernon Simon

Tour facilities provided by 

Wildways (Caribbean Adventure Travel Specialists – hiking, kayaking and cycling tours)

Tel./fax: 868-623-7332