LACCCB 2018 Visitor Information

This document contains some information which you might find useful when packing your bags and once you arrive. Make note of this online map of the St Augustine area

By attending LACCCB 2018 you agree to follow the Society for Conservation Biology code of conduct

 

Venue

Northwest of Trinidad and Tobago and just 15 km east of Port of Spain, the town of St. Augustine is home of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and is also full of beautiful green parks, and historic sites such as Mount St. Benedict.

Trinidad and Tobago is the southernmost nation in the Caribbean, these islands represent an extension of the South American mainland which provides them with impressive biological features. The island of Trinidad has outstanding physical characteristics, the Northern Range harbors a vast number of waterfalls, such as the Blue Basin Falls and the Maracas Falls, both 91 metres  high. The island of Tobago shelters a number of reefs, one of which, Buccoo Coral Reef, is known for its marine life and is popular for scuba diving and snorkeling. The highlands are covered with beautiful tropical rainforests, home of great diversity of wildlife. Trinidad and Tobago is a wonderful place to watch birds, visitors can go to the Caroni Swamp, a bird sanctuary, or to the Nariva Swamp.

The campus of UWI in St. Augustine is a unique scenic mix of twentieth century and modern architecture that shows visitors an incredible landscape of native and introduced trees and shrubs. This campus is particularly important for conserving the origins and traditions of the Caribbean culture.

 

Arriving into Trinidad

Your arrival will be at Piarco International Airport. The airport code is POS, and some airlines list the airport as “Port of Spain”. For those of you who don’t require a visa in advance, you will obtain a 90 day visit visa on arrival at Piarco airport. You might be asked for evidence of your intention to leave so best to keep a copy of your return ticket handy. You will also be asked to provide an address and contact in Trinidad – the name of your hall of residence (all are in St Augustine – see below) or hotel should be sufficient. The contact can be Lee Ann Beddoe (1-868-620-2984 or 1-868-662-2002 ext. 83739).  We will also send a letter with details of the conference for you to print and present at immigration. Please review Entry Requirements for Visitors to Trinidad & Tobago or contact your respective country embassy services

 

Transport within Trinidad

“Maxi taxis” are the usual form of public transport. They are minibuses and do particular routes – the main one here being between Port of Spain and Arima (campus is at the half-way point).  You get on and off as you please (press the button or ask the driver to stop). From campus, it costs less than TT$7 each way to get to POS. “Route taxis” also do particular routes. They look like a normal car except they have an “H” registration. They cost one or two dollars more than maxi taxis. Maxis use both the Bus Route (above the tunnels as you come out of the North Gate) and the Eastern Main Road (through the tunnels) – these run parallel, but the former is faster.

The airport is not accessible via public transport, so make sure you either organise a lift or book a private taxi. You can book a taxi back to the airport through the Piarco Airport Taxi Co-operative Tel: 669 0282; Kalloo’s Tel: 669-5673; Martin’s 625-3002. Agree a price by telephone (based on guidelines above).

Car hire is most easily done at the airport, and the offices are based within Arrivals. We believe Econocar is one of the most competitive companies.

Airport taxis

Taxis from the airport have a set price through the Piarco Airport Taxi Cooperative (Tel 669-0282). You can pay in US$ or TT$, but be sure you confirm the price when you get in.

As a guideline, for taxis to Freedom Hall / Canada Hall this should be US$20/30 (daytime/night) or TT$130/200 (daytime/night)

 

Getting from your accommodation to the conference

The Halls of Residence (Freedom Hall and Canada Hall) are a few minutes walk away (~3 minutes) from the venue (Teaching and Learning Complex, UWI St. Augustine Campus). See map for more details.

You may need to present the letter we sent you for immigration purposes when entering campus. If security questions your presence, just explain about the conference and if necessary ask them to make a phone call to one of the organisers (Lee Ann Beddoe:1-868-620-2984)

 

Accommodation

Freedom Hall (Formerly known as Milner Hall)

Freedom Hall comprises of five blocks. Present configuration provides for an Old Wing and a New Wing. The Old Wing comprises four blocks; A male only undergraduate block (62 spaces- double occupancy); A female only undergraduate block (62 spaces- double occupancy) and 1 block (30 spaces- single occupancy) for both male and female senior undergraduates. The fourth block is the Postgraduate Flats (Four Bedroom Apartments- single occupancy) for males and females- 20 spaces. The new Wing is housed in in one block for males and females. The Ground, First and Second Floors house undergraduate students (124 spaces- double occupancy) and the third floor houses Postgraduate students (27 spaces- single ensuite). The Hall is fully equipped with kitchen facilities, Common Rooms and both private and shared bathrooms and toilet facilities. Check out this brochure for more details

Address: Freedom Hall, St Augustine Circular Road, St. Augustine, Trinidad

Telephone: (1-868) 662-2002. Ext 82246/83019

 

Canada Hall

Canada Hall has a total of 168 single rooms arranged in groups of 5 or 6. Each group of rooms has its own kitchen, dining and common room, as well as shared bathroom and toilet facilities. The rooms offer each resident privacy, comfort and wonderful views of the main campus and the hills overlooking the St. Augustine area through large windows. The Bedrooms are furnished with desks, beds, chairs, closets, bookshelves and ceiling fans; while the bathrooms have brand new shower and washroom facilities. View this brochure for more details.

Address: Canada Hall, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad

Telephone: (1-868) 662-2002. Ext 84286, 82497, 82498 or (1-868) 663-8812

 

At both Freedom and Canada Hall, there will be a 24 hour porter who will let you into your room on arrival. Accommodation is clean but fairly basic. There are kitchen facilities but these are not equipped with utensils, other than those left behind by term-time residents. You may wish to bring or purchase other items (cutlery, bowl etc).  
 

Other accommodation options:

There are many options available close to UWI St Augustine Campus which range from small hotels, to apartments to guest houses. Airbnb is also an option in Trinidad that you can explore. Here are a few accommodation options:

 

The University Inn and Conference Centre, address is:  Circular Rd, Trinidad and Tobago

Tel:(1-868) 662-9635

 

Tunapuna BB Guest House, address is:  Scott Street 10, Tunapuna, Trinidad and Tobago

Tel: (1-868) 686-3337

 

El Sara O' Lodge, address is: 35 Evans Street, Curepe, Trinidad and Tobago

Tel: (1-868) 741-2077

Pax Guest house, address is: Mt St Benedict, Tunapuna, Trinidad and Tobago

Tel: (1-868) 662-4084

 

Paying for accommodation

All payments should be made directly when booking accommodation. Payment for accommodation at Halls of Residence should be arranged through direct bookings with the University Accommodation Services.

 

Internet access

At both halls there is WiFi Access and there are also computer rooms where you can use the internet for free. The UWI St Augustine campus also has wireless access in most locations. No password is required.

There is also a separate, free wifi connection in Rituals coffee shop on campus (see map).

 

Food and drink

A paid lunch option (vegetarian, vegan or chicken) is available for purchase during registration for the main conference, but outside of this you may want to explore some local options:

Street food is excellent, most notably ‘doubles’ - a messy and addictive mix of fried dough (barras), curried chickpeas and chutney, and aloo pies which are potato and chickpea curry in a fried dough.

‘Roti’, a stretchy flat bread stuffed with a veg/chicken/goat/shrimp filling.

Be sure to specify ‘no’, ‘slight’, ‘medium’ or ‘plenty’ pepper with each order of doubles or roti, depending on your preference!

Halls of residence do not provide breakfast. However, you should be able to find something on or near campus. Doubles are traditionally eaten for breakfast, and there are a couple of vendors around (see map). Fresh smoothies can be bought in the food court. Veg Out cafe (at the back of the food court, outside) offers vegetarian and vegan lunches and snacks - as well as tea, coffee and local bean-to-bar fine chocolates. There is also a ‘Rituals’ coffee shop on campus (see map) which sells muffins, doughnuts, cookies and cakes – as well as some savoury options, and of course tea and coffee! At the food court area there are also fast food options like KFC, Subway, Pizza and Pita Pit.

There is an excellent fruit and vegetable market in Tunapuna, which is about 10-15 mins walk from campus and open in the mornings. It is larger at the weekends but is closed on Mondays.

There is a small mini mart on campus and supermarkets within walking distance.

The largest supermarket nearby is Massy Stores which is a 10 minute walk along the Eastern Main Road towards Port of Spain (if you exit campus at the North Gate, walk through the tunnel and turn left).

Most tap water is drinkable. Water fountains on campus provide chilled, filtered water from which you can refill water bottles.

 

What to bring

Daily temperatures range between 22-32°C (89-71°F). Generally speaking it is hot, sunny and humid. It cools a little in the evening but not much. However, at this time of year showers are quite common.

 

  • Bring clothes suited for the hot climate – loose linen shirts and trousers are ideal. Sandals are fine. However, note that indoor areas tend to be air conditioned so bring a shawl/cardigan/jacket.

 

  • Rain falls sporadically and we are approaching the rainy season. Bring a small umbrella or lightweight waterproof.

 

  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat.

 

  • Insect repellent and anti-bite cream. If you are sitting outside in the evening, long sleeves/trousers are advisable. There is no malaria in Trinidad, but there are sometimes cases of Dengue fever, so it is worth taking precautions against being bitten. Those who are particularly sensitive to bites may wish to bring a transportable mosquito net.

 

  • Cash. Bank cards are not as readily accepted in Trinidad as they are in USA/Europe. US dollars are accepted for some tourist activities although for everyday things you will need TT dollars. Note that street food vendors, ‘maxi taxi’ drivers, etc. may not accept $100 notes so hang on to small change. There is an ATM machine at Piarco airport where you can withdraw money. There are also two ATM machines on campus. Don’t bother with traveller cheques.

 

  • Exchange rate (16/2/18) is approximately TT$10 = GBP£1 = US$1.5 = € 1.2

 

  • Toiletries and medication. There is a very small shop on campus and some supermarkets and pharmacies on and in walking distance of campus. Massy Stores (the nearest large supermarket) also has a pharmacy inside. However, we suggest you bring all the toiletries and medication you need.

 

  • Water bottle/flask, which can easily be topped up on campus which has many water fountains.

 

  • It is not a legal requirement to carry ID in Trinidad but a good idea to carry some form of ID.

 


 

Health

Non-residents can get medical treatment at one of Trinidad’s public hospitals but you might have a lengthy wait. There are also private medical centres nearby. If you need any medical assistance during your stay, please contact one of the committee for advice. Pharmacies are abundant in Trinidad.

 

Telephones

The country code for Trinidad and Tobago is 1-868. In cases of emergency, you can reach the police by dialling 999 toll-free from any phone in Trinidad and Tobago. There are some public telephones but they are rare, and only take 25 cent coins. Local sim cards are also affordable and widely available but you can also use a Companion phonecard which you can buy from supermarkets, news agents, etc.

 

Safety and dress

In cases of emergency, you can reach the police by dialling 999 toll-free from any phone in Trinidad and Tobago

Unfortunately it is not advisable to walk around after dark in any part of Trinidad, especially alone. It is also a good idea to exercise general caution e.g. by not wearing flashy jewellery, being careful near ATMs, etc. We would also not recommend taking public transport late at night, unless in a group.

What you wear is of course a personal choice, but our advice would be that women try to avoid wearing revealing clothes; unfortunately even vest tops that show your shoulders can sometimes attract (usually harmless) unwanted attention especially when you are also a foreigner. It is also noteworthy that vests and shorts tend not to be commonplace on campus or elsewhere, for men or women, and long sleeved/legged options are ideal.

Be aware that wearing ‘camouflage’ patterned clothing (in any colour or design) is illegal in T&T.

 

Vaccinations

Yellow fever is a risk in certain parts of Trinidad and Tobago. The vaccine is recommended for travelers 9 months of age or older who may be visiting these areas, which include Nariva Swamp/Bushbush wildlife sanctuary.

Country entry requirement: The government of Trinidad and Tobago requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever (this does not include the US - for complete list, see Countries with risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission).

Typhoid and hepatitis A vaccines are recommended for most travelers, especially if you are visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.