I would first like to thank past reviewers who helped me with my many quesitons on how to get to the lake. Returned back to Blighty 2 days ago and fully enjoyed my soak in the sulphuric waters of ptich lake however, our allocated guide, Wayne, wasn't as forthright with his knowledge or information as I'd ideally like. I decided to go with a few friends who drove to the site and was greeted by a "guide" (not adorned with the official red shirt I'd read about) who asked us to park in a designated spot outside the car park so my friend followed thinking he worked for the company. I must add that I am sooooooooooooooooooo glad I read all the tips from here before arriving as it armoured me with much needed information espeically regarding the official tour guides wearing red shirts. Anyway, my friend followed this "guide" and we stopped in some area near the trees. He welcomed us and asked us to follow him as he began his tour. I promptly asked him that I would like to check into the office first to pay as I noticed he didn't had the red shirt I felt this was fishy immediately. He replied that the office is currently being redecorated so it's not open then i quizzed him about his lack of attire (ie. red t-shirt), he said his shirt was in the wash plus he mentioned to one of my friends that the tour price is US$60 for all four of us (which is more expensive than the tour office price). This man was very good at lying as he responded convincingly to all my questions, but I cut the conversaiton short and told him i prefer to use an official guide at the office for this tour and whilst he kept teling me he is an official guide, I saw in the distance a guide (her name was Amina) with a red t-shirt who told me the office is open and to get to car and pay and park in the official car park which was free parking. I thanked the tout and said I'll be using the official guides and he went off grumbling. I later learnt that this man was a local tout who would have taken us to where we wanted to go but is not official and was aiming to charge us more than the going price! But what i don't understand is that there should be laws against this happening in the first place as this tout literally met us as we turned into the La Brea gate and led us to an area outside the lake ready to start his own tour. I was told these touts are safe as they are local people knowledged within this field but as an outsider, we are not to know that. In fact, our official guide, Wayne, who did not speak much throughout the tour (don't know about you but I find this uninspiring to say the least as tour guides in my experience are the fountains of knowledge, giving you as much information as possible) told us he saw when we entered and beckoned us to follow him to the car park (we didn't see him!) but this tout intercepted us quickly and led us in another direction. My feeling is that if the official guide saw all this happening, why didn't he come after us???? It's obviously because these officials feel that the touts are making money any which way they can and have to survive too, so i guess they leave them to it despite them taking away from their business. It's clear the officials don't care the business is going to touts but i'm sure the ownners of the tour would care!
Anyway, back to the tour... the day we went was raining so no sun, which didn't bother me as due to no shade to hide under, the weather was perfect for me. Our guide, Wayne, escorted us to the black barren land and pointed out a few historical facts. I was amazed to see cashew nuts trees growing under this terrain as well as papyrus happily flourishing which broke up the dense black scenery. I took a 2 litre empty coke bottle as i was told the sulphic water can be taken away and last forever so long as you keep it uncorked when you return to your home or hotel. Many reviewers here advised venturing to other places whilst down south, which i wasn't intending to do, but our friend beckoned us to to to a nearby beach beginning with "V" where the water is shallow. I wanted to swim but it's difficult to as you will need to go far out where the waters get deep and I could see the lifeguards getting nervous as I was trying to seek a deep place to swim. This beach is great if you simply want to immerse yourself in shallow, still waters so don't particualrly want to swim. I will definitely go to the pitch lake again when i visit trinidad again, which may be in December this year. I will need to restock on the water as it's great for mosquitoes bites... in fact I had a ton of mossie bites on my legs and arms and by the time i got him after the sulphuric waters and the sea water, they weren't red anymore but nearly faded so one or the other or both does definitely help. I would advise you to ask for Amina as your guide... the others may be great but I saw Amina giving a thorough talk on her tour whereas our guide, Wayne, said very little which was disappointing as I am naturally curious as an outsider which little knowledge. All in all, our tour was about one hour and cost just TT$30 each which is just over £3 each.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.