Southern Main Rd, Brighton, La Brea, Trinidad
About La Brea Pitch Lake
Venturing deeper into South Trinidad, along the western coast via the Southern Main Road, you will come upon the La Brea Pitch Lake. Located on the map in the vicinity of Pitch Point, the Pitch Lake is surrounded by villages such as Vessigny, New Jersey and Sobo, all of which are on the way to the southern-most Borough of Point Fortin.
Locals and visitors can tell when they are approaching the Pitch Lake. The surface of the main road becomes noticeably undulating and vehicles have to navigate the uneven places with care. Even the buildings constructed in the area are subject to this movement over many years. It certainly becomes a bumpy ride the closer you get to the Pitch Lake, but its fascinating history and composition makes it must-visit site in the southland!
Pitch Lake tours provide a wealth of information about the asphalt lake, so be sure to listen to the guide provided on this tour.
Here are some quick facts to get you started:
– La Brea Pitch Lake occupies approximately 100 acres of land containing over 100 million tons of asphalt/pitch/bitumen/epure of volcanic origin.
– It is said to be about 250 feet deep and its age is placed at about 2000 yrs.
– Early Amerindian legend tells that the lake came about as a result of a curse placed upon the native village by their winged god, after they had eaten the sacred hummingbird. The village was swallowed up and the pitch emerged as a symbolic stain.
– Amerindian artifacts have been discovered in the lake, preserved by pitch.
– In 1595, Walter Raleigh caulked his ships with asphalt from the lake on his expeditions.
– In 1840 Abraham Gesner extraced kerosene from bitumen/pitch samples; in 1887 American Amzi Barber got a 42 yr. concession from the British gov’t for his company,Barber Asphalt Paving Co.
– It is the largest deposit of asphalt in the world; other similar asphalt deposits may be found in the La Brea Tar Pits(Los Angeles) and La Guanoco (Venezuela), among other locations worldwide.
– Today the Pitch Lake is mined by state-owned Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago which has shipped asphalt to Africa, South America and Europe.
Enjoy your virtual tour of The La Brea Pitch Lake with our tour guide Mr. Garvin Charles!