Chacachacare is an island five miles west of Trinidad and is a great place to get away from the crowds. The island is horseshoe in shape and offers a wonderful get away with lots to do.
In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, there were many people living on this island, cultivating sugar apples and large quantities of cotton. When slavery was outlawed the island was abandoned, but around 1887 a stone pier and a large house were built for the use of a sanatorium which was erected by S. Chittendon.
By the time the leper died in 1984 the colony and island was abandoned again, but all the building and equipment was left and is now there to be discovered. The majority of the buildings are to be found in the two small coves at the northwestern end of the main bay. These coves were connected by a walkway or road built at the water’s edge around the point separating them. While most of the buildings are destroyed, we did find several houses still intact and able to be explored. In fact, these were in good enough shape that you could still climb the stairs to the second floor.
In the second cove I found a workshop with two massive generators, intact storehouses, a church, and a Hindu temple. This last one was very interesting, because it was in a clearing and clearly still used quite often. Turns out this temple was established in 1945 and you can find it by taking the trail/road inland from the middle of the second cove.
What else did we find on the island to explore? To find that out you are going to have to come back tomorrow, but I can tell you that I loved this island because it had so much to explore and let us try and piece together the history and day to day life of the leper colony.