Visiting the site of a Trinidad mud volcano is becoming an evermore popular
pursuit for those who are looking for interesting things to in Trinidad.
Sure, birdwatching, hiking, checking out the main towns, and heading to the
beautiful north shore beaches
are what brings in most visitors, but as Trinidad continues to develop its tourism
industry, people are discovering that there is plenty more to enjoy here. When
you embark on a journey to see a Trinidad volcano, you should know that the
volcanoes here are quite different than what you probably have in mind. A Trinidad
mud volcano does not erupt lava and superheated gases. Instead, it merely bubbles
most of the time, allowing for cooler, trapped gases to escape from the earth’s
shallower crust levels. The gas that is most often associated with a Trinidad
mud volcano is methane, and many geologists believe that the presence of methane
is necessary when it comes to the location of mud volcanoes around the world.
Though mud volcanoes are seemingly safe to approach most of the time, they can
erupt rather violently every now and again.
An offshore mud volcano in Trinidad is more rare than an onshore one, but
that doesn’t mean that they don’t happen. Should you add a Trinidad volcano
trip to your list of things
to do in Trinidad, you might want to first visit the offshore volcano at
Point Radix. Located on the east coast near the village of Mayaro, the Point
Radix mud volcano might be causing locals to fret over possible eruptions, but
that isn’t keeping curious visitors away. It’s quite a bit of a trek to Mayaro
from the west coast cities of Port
of Spain, Chaguanas,
and San Fernando,
though one that more and more tourists are choosing to make. Mud volcanoes generally
form a conical formation of mud and clay that can rise to considerable heights.
The one found off Point Radix is estimated to be around 40 feet tall. It can
been seen looming just below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, and its base
spans some 500 feet across. Sometimes, offshore mud volcanoes can create new
islands, but due to the muddy makeup of these islands, they usually erode rather
quickly. As is common of offshore mud volcanoes, the waters above the Point
Radix volcano are rather turbulent due to the consistent release of gases. As
mentioned, there is a relatively low amount of energy or heat associated with
a Trinidad mud volcano. As such, visitors who want to get a close up view of
the Point Radix volcano can head out in a boat. These volcanoes can occasionally
erupt with significant consequences, however, which is why most visitors choose
to view the offshore Trinidad volcano from land.
In 1997, the south-central Trinidad village of Piparo saw its mud volcano erupt with force. Cars and homes were buried under a layer of mud and clay, which didn’t take long to harden. No one was killed, but it goes to show that while there is considerably less heat and energy associated with mud volcanoes, they can still be rather dangerous. Most of the time, however, a Trinidad mud volcano is little more than a mild upwelling of gas bubbles and saline water. It’s up to you how close you want to get to them. While seeing the Point Radix volcano in Trinidad is growing in popularity, you can also visit on-land examples, like the one at Piparo. The Piparo mud volcano has formed a conical structure that rises 150 feet above the surrounding land. It is usually dormant, but as evidenced in 1997, it has the ability to cause quite a bit of calamity. Another popular on-land Trinidad volcano that you can visit is known as Devil’s Woodyard. Found near Princess Town, which is basically due east of San Fernando, Devil’s Woodyard is the best known Trinidad volcano. Most of the time, the surface here merely bubbles, with small cones of mud and clay forming at times. Devil’s Woodyard can erupt rather violently, however, so you’ll want to exercise caution.
There are more than fifteen mud volcanoes that you can add to your list of things to do in Trinidad, and most of them are found in the southern part of the island. You can rent a car to get to the volcanoes if you wish, or you can look for Trinidad tours or vacation packages that include volcano visits. Anyone who is at least a little bit interested in geology will find a Trinidad mud volcano to be a fascinating thing, but just remember to exercise caution when approaching one. In addition to eruptions, some Trinidad mud volcanoes can swallow you up in their muddy pits if you are not paying proper attention.