Located in Central Trinidad, La Vega Estate is a 250 acre hideaway with outdoor activities and interests for the whole family. Originally a cocoa estate, La Vega is now home to a unique combination of garden centre, plant nursery, nature and recreation park.
The Garden and Plant Nursery Story …
La Vega is much more than a business venture to owner, Bertram Manhin, whose lifelong love affair with plants and nature led him to acquire the estate in 1983. An avid plant collector, Manhin established a nursery to stock the plant material he gathered from both local sources and his travels around the world.
With all this growing and blossoming, a garden centre was set up in San Fernando in 1986. This outlet carries the full range of plants grown at the estate and a great assortment of gardening supplies. As time went by, curious visitors and customers began visiting the estate even though it was not yet open to the public. In 1988, a structure was built to house a garden centre and accommodate visitors; it has expanded to more than 4 times its original size.
Manhin’s enthusiasm for beautiful plants benefits all of his customers as he is always on the lookout for “new and exciting” specimens. Whether it be orchids, aglaonemas, caladiums, bougainvillea, hibiscus, palms or bamboo; you can be sure to find noteworthy varieties available at our garden centres.
Also a great lover of fruit, Manhin has successfully introduced and cultivated an impressive collection of rare and exotic fruit in Trinidad. Among his favourites are rambutan from Malaysia, jumbo dongs and sweet carambola from Taiwan, abiu and giant peewah from Brazil and Costa Rica. Today, Manhin’s passion continues unabated as he searches daily for “special treasures” to add to his orchards. Recent additions that he is looking forward to are luscious varieties of mangoes, durian, sweet passion fruit, longan and sugar apples.
The Nature & Recreation Park Story …
The Nature & Recreation Park is a result of Manhin’s tremendous fondness of nature and the outdoors. His first project was in an area almost completely surrounded by naturally occurring water where graceful bamboo arched overhead to form a cosy retreat. After some minimal clearing and pruning, a sandy floor was installed, followed by 2 spacious thatched huts and landscaping. This cool and peaceful sanctuary is known as “Bamboo Nursery”, it remains one of our visitors’ favourite locations at the estate. This was followed by the development of many other areas including Meditation Garden, Riverside and Playing Field.
Due to the nature of our business (growing plants!), it was essential to secure an adequate supply of water during rainy season to irrigate the greenhouses and fields throughout the year and especially during the harsh dry season. Lusade Pond was our first reservoir, it also became our first waterside venue open to visitors. Surrounded by shady trees, scenic views and comfy picnic areas it is a well-like spot for those who want a peaceful experience.
Lake George is our 2nd reservoir, it is about 4 times the size of Lousade Pond and where all the action takes place. Here, outdoor enthusiasts can barbecue, fish for tilapia, play games or ride bicycles while the less adventurous can look on from one of the may thatched huts beside the lake. Lake George is popular with everyone; families, schools, church and community groups, open air buffs and is just a great “liming” spot … it has hosted many weddings, family reunions, corporate and special events.
Our visitors enjoy La Vega Estate so much that they are often sorry to leave at closing time. We received may requests for overnight accommodation and are now pleased to offer Jacana Cabin, a charming, rustic cabin with its own patio overlooking an amazing view, complete with AC, plush beds, kitchen and bathroom facilities.
All in all, our Nature & Recreation Park offers a huge expanse of natural beauty in a safe and welcoming environment. Some of our guests claim that “La Vega is heaven on earth” and we totally agree …