Orientation & Geography

North America, Trinidad and Tobago

Chaguaramas lies in the North West Peninsula of Trinidad west of Port of Spain; the name is often applied to the entire peninsula, but is sometimes used to refer to the most developed area. The entire peninsula was leased to the United States in 1940 for the construction of a naval base under the Destroyers for Bases Agreement. The base was also used during the early 1960s as a BMEWS early warning radar site, as well as serving as a missile tracking site on the U.S. Air Force Eastern Test Range. The base was scaled back in 1956 and the area was returned to Trinidad and Tobago control in 1963. Chaguaramas was the location slated for the construction of the capital of the short-lived West Indies Federation. It is also the place where the Treaty of Chaguaramas was signed, establishing Caricom, the Caribbean Community and Common Market, in 1973. The Chaguaramas Peninsula supports one of the few remaining areas of dry forest in western Trinidad. It has been the center of yachting activity in Trinidad. The Chaguaramas area also contains some dockside facilities, mostly for the transfer of bauxite ore between ship and shore, or from smaller boats to ocean-going vessels. The function of such docks is easily recognizable as the docks and buildings are colored pink from the bauxite dust. The waterways in this area are considered excellent by divers and fishermen.