Friday, June 9, 2017

Sights to See: Cafe Mariposa, in Lopinot Village, Trinidad


LOPINOT Village  NE of Port of Spain.  Reaching this small village requires a scenic drive through rainforest.  You might spot an ocelot, anaconda snake, or man-eating crocodile (our guide joked that they attack and eat only naked men with “dangling bait”).  The area has 5 natural caves and 12 species of hummingbird, including the ruby topaz.  The village remains largely unchanged despite the fact that many cocoa estates were cleared to facilitate building a school, church, and houses.  Now a historic site, the villagers are restoring old structures to maintain the historical village appeal and natural beauty. 
 

Cafe Mariposa  58 Lopinot Settlement.  At this sweet cafe owned by the Guerrero sisters, the aunties are in the kitchen and a nephew is the waiter.  The cafe started as a butterfly sanctuary--thus the name--but the butterflies dwindled.  
mosaic butterfly welcome sign at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad
mosaic butterfly welcome sign at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad


Fortunately, hummingbirds took their place and now fly all around and you can sometimes even feel one fly by.  
mosaic hummingbird at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad
mosaic hummingbird at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad




Hummingbird feeders (filled with 1 part white sugar to 4 parts water) attract the birds and also some bees in huge numbers--12 of the 18 species of hummingbird found in Trinidad are seen here.  
bee at hummingbird feeder at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad
bee at hummingbird feeder at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad






Firebush and other bird-friendly plants keep them from becoming dependent.  The four-course lunch served here is a farm-to-fork experience.  Many ingredients are grown on site, including the biggest, most delicious avocados I’ve seen in a long time.  Many plants on the property have medicinal properties, and no pesticides are used.  
medicinal plant garden at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad
medicinal plant garden at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad

My group’s visit was punctuated by downpours, but we were protected on a large open-air porch.  The first course was fried cassava sticks and plantain rounds.  
cassava sticks and plantain rounds at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad
cassava sticks and plantain rounds at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad

Next came a divine pumpkin-chocolate soup, 
pumpkin-chocolate soup at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad
pumpkin-chocolate soup at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad

then chewy homemade tacos filled with a choice of pulled pork, ground beef, or chicken.  
tacos at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad
tacos at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad

The fourth and final course was avocado and cocoa ice creams.  
avocado and cocoa ice creams at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad
avocado and cocoa ice creams at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad


We were warned to be careful with the pepper sauce, which is made with the scorpion pepper--the world’s hottest--and indeed it was HOT.  After lunch, we were serenaded by six of the seven sister chefs singing a parang selection, 



with nephew accompanying on an unusual box bass made by his uncle.  The bass had a curved, harp-like bamboo reed with a single string.  
unusual handmade box bass at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad
unusual handmade box bass at Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village in Trinidad


Bed & Breakfast is also available; all rooms are en suite with a balcony overlooking the gardens. 


More things to do in Trinidad.

More things to do in sister island Tobago. 

More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images and videos ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

6 comments:

  1. Looks like fun accompanied by an authentic feast (or was it the other way around?). Either way, cafe Mariposa looks like a worthy possibility for those traveling in Trinidad.

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  2. Cafe Mariposa looks lovely. I could watch those hummingbirds all day .. and I probably would!

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  3. What amazing food - I'd love to try the pumpkin-chocolate soup or the avocado and cocoa ice cream. I'd enjoy watching the hummingbirds too...

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  4. This looks like a fun and tasty trip. I love the name Farm-a-See.

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  5. What a wonderful visit to Trinidad. I just love hummingbirds and this is a reminder to me to go fill my feeders! Thanks.

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  6. Cafe Mariposa sounds like a must-stop in Trinidad! That pumpkin chocolate soup is a great combo

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