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Mt. Plaisir Adventures

Brief history of Grande Rivière

Grande Rivière is a tiny village located on the "North Coast" of Trinidad between Toco and Matelot Villages. This area was originally settled by immigrants from both Venezuela and Tobago back in the late 1800s. The only way they could have gotten to Grande Rivière was by means of boat as this village was completely isolated from all other villages close by. They grew cacao and subsistence crops from as early as 1866 up until 1920, and the people back then thrived greatly. The people of Tobago would sail regularly to Grande Rivière and vice versa where trade was very active for the survival of the people here as Tobago was the closest major town from Grande Rivière....35 km. Grande Rivière is 60 km from Sangre Grande, there closest town from here and about 100 km from the capital city of Port of Spain.

Economic life in Grande Rivière thrived on the then 650 acre estate known then as the "Grande Rivière Estate" which was a cocoa estate and was the only employer then and the folks here worked on this estate as wage labourers back then and Grande Rivière thrived greatly back then. Then came World War I was the start bin the disruption of cacao production, a glut in production led to a collapse in cacao price in 1921. The Great Depression between 1929 - 1939 led to a great global economic downturn that affected many countries in the world and to top it off, a disease called "The Witch's Broom" which completely destroyed the cacao industry back in the day. What finally killed off the cacao industry in Grande Rivière was the higher price for sugar and also the rise of the petroleum industry in Trinidad ultimately led to the complete decline in cacao production. As the cacao industry collapsed, Grande Rivière went into decline. The Grande Rivière Estate was sold and the new owner maintained cacao production, but staff was cut to a minimum. The economy here was dominated by agriculture after the decline of cacao......bananas were grown as cash crops, artisanal fishing also became popular here, subsistence agriculture, hunting and the capture of nesting Leatherback turtles contributed greatly for both food and income.

in 1992, following the success of "Nature Seekers" in Matura, the Grande Rivière Environmental Awareness Trust (GREAT) was established with the aim of protecting nesting Leatherback turtles on the Grande Rivière beach. In 1993, Piero Guerrini, an Italian photographer rented the former cacao estate headquarters and converted it into a 12 room beach front hotel called Mt. Plasir Hotel. The hotel was very successful and eventually, other hotels joined in notably "Le Grande Almandier Hotel", "McEachnie's Haven", and "Acajou Hotel". In addition, fellow villagers started renting rooms to visitors. Thanks to the Leatherback Turtle laying season (March - August), life in Grande Rivière prospered once again as these hotels offered employment to the countryfolk and the proper training of the site guides in charge of conservation of the turtle nesting period, Grande Rivière sprang back to life. 

In came the dreaded pandemic "COVID" in 2019 that led to the complete closure of businesses throughout the island and Grande Rivière was not spared as well. The pandemic went on for 2 years and due to Piero Guerrini not being able to carry on maintaining the now dilapidated condition of Mt. Plasir Hotel, the place was now in danger of shutting down completely and someone had to step in to save the high level of hoteling set by Piero. In came Hadco Experiences and they made a conscious decision to completely transform the hoteling industry in Grande Rivière into what it is today, "REGENERATIVE TOURISM", in a way that has never been done before in Trinidad.

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