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Journey down to the southern portion of the island of Trinidad and it is there that you would find the city of San Fernando. San Fernando is a multi-cultural city that is almost as big as Port of Spain, the islands capital.
It is known for its oil refineries and many industrial companies are also here. San Fernando actually started out as an agricultural city, where there were sugar plantations which ultimately evolved into a striving sugar industry.
Today San Fernando is the home to the largest sugar refinery in the world. This refinery is situated at Usine in Ste. Madeline. There is also an oil refinery that was constructed here during the World War II and it evolved in the 1970s during the oil boom. The oil boom has contributed to the growth of suburban towns such as Marabella and Gasparillo. Remnants of San Fernandos historic past can be seen in areas of the San Fernando Wharf and Harris Promenade.
San Fernando has quite a few beauty and scenic locations and the weather here can be sunny one minute and rainy the next depending on the time of the year that you visit.
There are many points of interest here and you can s tart at Harris Promenade which is home to Government offices and Magistrate and the Supreme courts as well as a few school buildings. Named after Lord Harris, the former Government of San Fernando, Harris Promenade also features an interesting statute of Mahatma Gandhi which was brought over from Indian and erected in 1952. There is also a statute of Marcus Garvey and an engine preserved from the last train that ever ran in San Fernando.
Just beyond San Fernando heading to La Romaine is where one would encounter the famous Pitch Lake. This natural phenomenon was formed because of faulty sandstone which spills crude oil. The black lake is soft but easy to walk on. Most people choose to remove their shoes to be able to feel the pitch lake under their feet. What is felt is a warm thickness under your feet which can also be therapeutic.
However any object left on the lake surface would eventually sink. This happens because the asphalt is always churning in a slow fashion. Today, the pitch is used for exporting as well as for repairing local roads and roof tops. There is also a small Amerindian museum at the lake site where there is a collection of Amerindian artifacts. One can take a guided tour to the Pitch Lake which is opened daily.
San Fernando is a southern town in Trinidad that visitors would truly enjoy since the southern hospitality here is glaring; people on the streets always greet you with a hello and a smile on their faces and there are many things you can get into while you are in San Fernando.
As you journey into San Fernando, one of the first things that you would see even from a distance is the San Fernando Hill. The hill is at a good vantage point for admiring the southern and central part of the island and one can also see the Venezuelan mountains as well. More than a place for sightseeing, the San Fernando Hill is also a great place to spend quality time for a picnic or private party for the children. There are picnic huts in addition to a play park and childrens area. It is also the place for many seasonal parties as well.
When you are staying in San Fernando you can choose staying at a holiday home or you can stay at one of the hotels here. Some hotels offer fully air-conditioned rooms along with Internet access while others have swimming pool, a gym, spa and poolside grill and bar.
Within a short distance from San Fernando are a few beaches that are great for relaxing and enjoying the serene atmosphere. Vessigny Beach is just a mere minutes away from San Fernando and is considered one of the better beaches in the southern part of the island. The waters at Vessigny are calm and there are added facilities for your convenience.
The further away that you go from San Fernando you would encounter more beaches such as Granville Beach and Erin Beach. The beaches can get very crowded quickly especially when there is a public holiday on the island. Of all the things you can do in San Fernando you can be a part of the myriad of cultural events that takes place here. Probably the biggest cultural event here takes place in the beginning of the year with the countrys annual Carnival Street Parade. This event gives the visitor the opportunity to get dressed up in pretty costumes and just dance in the street along with the music.
Skinner Park is usually the location for the Carnival event; it is also the place to go for other events such as watching a game of football, cricket or other athletic activities.
If you are interested in a more social entertainment setting, then you would feel at home at The Naparima Bowl. Naparima Bowl has been around for many years and it seats close to 500 people in its full-air-conditioned auditorium. The Bowl also boasts of having a 40 feet wide stage and is one of that open-air amphi-theatre that has hosted many concerts and music festivals.
After one of the concerts you can make your way to late night dining at one of the restaurants here. There are restaurants in San Fernando where you can enjoy a variety of meals including Chinese, traditional Trinidadian food, barbecue chicken the latter which is smothered in a unique tasty sauce as well as many KFC stores and burger shops.