Population about 65,000, mostly Indo and Afro Trinidians, traditionally farm lands, with expanding commercial and residential parks. The name 'Chaguanas' comes from the first indigenous tribe who settled in that part of the island. Their mark is still present today in the form of the Caroni Savannah Road which, was originally the footpath heading to the north. Chaguanas was home to politician and mathematician Rudrunath Capildeo who was the uncle of world famous Vidya Naipaul.
The market town is a popular destination for local and regional shoppers seeking out the best price for consumer products. Its exponential growth in all directions is resulting in increasing traffic problems and demands for housing and other social services. Chaguanas is pitted to become the third city in Trinidad and Tobago,as was hinted by the last two government administrations. It is also one of the first two districts in Trinidad and Tobago to begin utilising international stantandard ZIP codes.
The Divali Nagar site is the nexus for many Hindu oriented events and activities, in particular the holy holiday for which it was named.
There is public transport available to Chaguanas from many points in Trinidad via buses, taxi (shared), private taxi and minibuses (maxi taxi). The cost of transport ranges from TTD 4.00 to 8.00 and higher for private trips. It is not uncommon to see cyclists around the town.
Some of the places where you may easily find transport are - Port of Spain, San Fernando, Couva and Curepe. There is a Highway and Main Road which connects the town to the North and South, and smaller paved streets link smaller surrounding communities.
Average travel time from the capital city to Chaguanas is approximately 50 minutes during peak hours and 25 minutes off-peak.
There is hub for public buses, downtown that links to a number of rural areas such as Rio Claro, Tabaquite . Tickets can be bought at the hub on the day of travel or before hand.
The fastest way to get around downtown Chaguanas is on foot. The central business district is easily navigable on foot and nothing is more than five minutes walking distance.
Most of the streets have pavements, although you may often have to navigate around street vendors who take up space to sell their wares.
There are local taxi services to some of the surrounding communities, be wary of PH or private hire (gypsy) taxis. There have been a number of reported abductions and violent robberies propagated by drivers of these type of vehicles who pose as legitimate services. It is advisable to ask a local where is best or safest to catch a taxi.
Tips are not traditionally given to local taxi drivers.
For those of you with rental or private vehicle, there are a number of parking spaces around the town that are free. your greatest challenge will be to demonstrate patience during peak hours as the town centre is usually a perpetual gridlock; a trip across town can take anywhere from 10 to 35 minutes.