Pim Island is a small uninhabited island located in the middle of the Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. It gained worldwide attention in 2009 after a team of biologists from Durham University successfully bred the Komodo dragon on the island.
The island is located in the middle of the Komodo National Park, and it was first visited by Europeans in 1858. The Dutchman Willem Schouten named the island Pim Island after a native woman he had encountered there. In 1908, two British naturalists, A. H. Murchison and J.Bickersteth investigated Pim Island along with nearby Flores and Sulawesi islands for their collections of plants and animals.
During World War II, the island was occupied by Japanese troops who ordered that all of its turtle eggs be gathered up as relocation sites for their soldiers.
After Indonesia’s Independence in 1945, there were several efforts to turn Pim Island into a tourism destination with plans to convert it into an equatorial zoo where exotic creatures could be housed but these attempts have failed without any explanation being given. During this period, the Komodo National Park
had been created and in 1980 Pim Island was included as one of its core areas.
In 2009, a team from Durham University returned to study Komodo dragons on Pim Island and breed them for reintroduction into the wild (breeding programs were unsuccessful).
The climate on Pim Island is tropical with Wallacea rainforest vegetation. Temperatures range from 24 to 36 degrees Celsius with an average of 28.5 degrees Celsius in the dry season and 27.3 degrees Celsius.
The rainy season lasts six months, starting on June 15th, ending around September 20th while the temperature during this period never exceeds 33 degrees Celcius but it can fall as low as 0 degrees celsius which is not uncommonly registered in February 2016 when a report was recorded of freezing temperatures. The average rainfall is 300mm per year.
During the dry season, there are lots of strong wind turbines which usually double as solar-powered lighting systems to conquer electricity crises by producing energy based on atmospheric humidity.
Solar panels and storage batteries provide light during both day and night on all inhabited islands except Komodo island where this form of electrical source became necessary since at present time it lacks such sustainable sources although a few years ago hydroelectric power started to become a serious option for the island, mostly because of the construction projects.
The culture on Pim Island is mostly Tagalog with influences of Indonesian and Malay culture. The traditional dances are a mix between the three cultures which give each dance its own flavor. Traditional spiritual beliefs are also practiced such as animism, ancestor worship, shamanism, and spirit possession which can be seen in the myths about Komodo dragons.
The people of Pim Island still practice slash-and-burn agriculture although there has been an increase in modernization of the island. Some people practice subsistence farming or fishing, while some use a mix between both methods which can depend on how much hard work is done and what successes are achieved during planting season.
Other contributions to daily life and survival include food products such as yams, taro (hence the name “Taro Island”, not related to Hawaiian Taro), eggplant tells grown for making sauces Aside from yams, taro, and eggplant the island also has other staple foods such as breadfruit. On occasion, coconut is produced in large quantities during 2-3 years before harvesting since it takes months to grow on a huge scale required for commercial farming. Other food crops include papaya, sweet potato, vegetables like tomatoes and pumpkin morning glory vines among others.
The political system on Pim Island is mainly a presidential form of government. There are currently 2 branches of government, the Executive Branch which includes the President and Vice President who serve four-year terms. The Legislative Branch is made up of Members of Parliament or “Pundaks” who are elected every three years through elections conducted by the National Electoral Commission. The Judiciary System comprises Courts that interpret, apply, and enforce the law.
The main language spoken on Pim Island is the “kakau in Cornish” which was a plantation language of English. A multitude of dialects, languages, and cultures known as East Indian culture have been incorporated into the language itself. The Poon people are not slaves on Pim Island however they were at one point during slavery with families most likely split up on different plantations and settlements than each other both before and after abolition.
Education for the younger population is free and compulsory up to secondary level, however, university education is not available.
There are also a number of private schools catering to different areas of study. Medical services are fully subsidized by the government with hospitals operational round-the-clock. Internet access is widely available in most public places including hotels, shops, and cafes.
The currency on Pim Island is the East Caribbean dollar (EC$). Travelers should be mindful that only Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (BTT) banknotes are accepted.
The majority of Pim Island’s houses feature wooden roofs which make for a very different landscape on the island compared to other Caribbean islands such as St Vincent, Grenada, or Dominica where aluminum crowns are more popular.
The island is well-known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and lush rainforest. There are over 30 designated tourist areas across the island including Grand Anse Beach, Salt Pond Bay, and the biologically rich Maho Creek. Many visitors choose to stay in one of the many resorts or villas on Pim Island which can accommodate up to 150 guests per night.
Pim Island also has a number of smaller outlying villages where visitors can get the feel of real Trinidad and Tobago village living. There are several beaches on Pim that tourists visit each year especially Grand Anse Beach which is popular with visitors drawn by its wide coral sand beach, fine white powdery sands, sea turtles, and colorful bottlenose dolphins.
The island is well-connected by air with daily flights from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St Lucia, and Antigua. There are also regular ferries operating between Port of Spain, Pim Island’s capital, and nearby islands such as Grenada. From Port Of Spain, there are bus services to all parts of the island as well as taxis, horse carriages, and bicycles for hire.
Trinidad and Tobago is known for its unique Caribbean cooking which often includes the use of fresh seafood such as conch, crab, and crayfish. Jamaican influences are also evident in many dishes with islands like Pim being popular stops on the “Caribbean Food Trail”.
The most famous dish from Pim Island is probably Salt Pond Bay Crab Curry which is a signature dish at several of the island’s restaurants.
Pim Island is a beautiful destination that offers a relaxed tropical atmosphere with crystal clear waters and lush rainforest. There are many tourist attractions on the island including beaches, resorts, and villas. The food offered is typically the Caribbean with influences from Jamaica.
What Are The Accommodation Options On Pim Island?
There is a wide range of accommodation options on Pim Island including villas, Condos, guesthouses and motels.
Are There Any Tourist Attractions On Pim Island?
There are several tourist attractions on Pim including beaches, resorts and villas. Some of the most popular destinations include Grand Anse Beach, Salt Pond Bay Crab Curry at several restaurants and Port Of Spain town.
How Much Time Should Visitors Spend On Pim Island?
A single day of leisure will provide you with enough to see the island’s beauty and highlights such as Salt Pond Bay Crab Curry at several restaurants, Port Of Spain Town and Grand Anse Beach. A two day visit would be enough to see Port Of Spain town, Grand Anse Beach, Salt Pond Bay Crab Curry at several restaurants and more.
Can I Book A Guided Tour On Pim Island?
Yes you can with Eco Ed Tours who operate frequent tours from Port of Spain on bicycle carriers off the boat for those interested in taking a stroll through the rain forest or visiting the island’s natural beauty spots like K iggen.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit?
Pristine white beaches, dense rainforest and crystal clear waters are waiting for visitors all year round but it’s peak season during the winter months between December-February; this is when most tourists arrive on Pim Island.