Travel Fundamentals for Trinidad

Vacationers will find friendly people and distinct regions on Trinidad and Tobago

Photo credit: © Lidian Neeleman | Dreamstime.com
 

Learning local etiquette and some basic background information on the different regions of Trinidad and Tobago will help you plan a trip that caters to your interests. From bustling capital cities to pristine quiet beaches, it's good to know where to go and how to be respectful once you get there.

Etiquette

There is no better way for travelers to endear themselves to locals than to demonstrate a knowledge of and respect for local customs and etiquette. When you travel abroad, you are in someone else's home. Travelers should always be courteous and use common sense when visiting all areas of Trinidad and Tobago. Always dispose of your garbage in trash receptacles. Avoid using inappropriate language in public. Travelers should heed this warning especially because public use of inappropriate language on Trinidad and Tobago is punishable with arrest and fines.

When surrounded by unique people, many visitors to Trinidad and Tobago take lots of pictures. Photos are great mementos, but you should always ask permission before aiming your lens at a resident on Trinidad and Tobago. Asking before you snap the photo is a small gesture but helps avoid any misunderstandings.

Local service staff, whether in a restaurant, hotel, or taxi, should be tipped according to local customs. Business travelers should always shake hands and exchange business cards upon introduction.

Visitors should also be aware that their beach and revealing clothing is not considered appropriate attire anywhere but the beach. Swimsuits, shorts, bikini tops, and flip flops should not be worm in restaurants, shops, public hotel areas, and cities.

Travelers can also make themselves aware of local expressions that may be used during their travels. To "lime," for example, is to hang out and party. This expression could be the most important! Formalities such as "good morning" should also be used when greeting someone.

Travelers who are conscious of local customs and standards for behavior on Trinidad and Tobago are sure to be appreciated by locals.

Regions on Trinidad

Port of Spain

Port of Spain, is the capital of Trinidad, the active hub of the island both culturally and economically. The city boasts a zoo and museum, and visitors can enjoy shopping for local crafts. Hotels and nightlife on the island are largely in Port of Spain. Carnival in Port of Spain is a unique occasion full of revelry, costume, and dance.

Chaguaramas

Encompassing the area and islands west of Port of Spain, the area of Chaguaramas is perhaps best known to yachters and nature enthusiasts. Over 14,000 acres of largely unspoiled and varied terrain, the region offers a large national park, ecoadventure, beaches, and a popular marina for yachters.

Northeast

Another undeveloped and unspoiled area, the Northeast part of the island, including Toco and Matelot offers travelers a hideaway on the island. Beaches, rainforests, and a sparse population cater to travelers looking to get away, but amenities and services in this area are not common.

The North and Blanchisseuse

Blanchisseuse is a small fishing village that plays host to travelers looking to enjoy the beauty and quiet of the surrounding ocean and forest terrain. Waters can be rough, but the unspoiled rainforests offer travelers other natural diversions. Several other beach areas can be found in this area, including Las Cuevas and Maracas Bay. The Asa Wright Nature Centre has a cornucopia of bird species for bird lovers.

The South and The East

The southern and eastern parts of the island are both largely undeveloped. The east coast of the island has two attractive beaches, Manzanilla and Mayaro. The south part of the island is home to San Fernando (the island's other major city) and the oil industry, but this area remains largely unspoiled and unpopulated. Travelers will not find the tourist amenities of restaurants and hotels in abundance.

Regions on Tobago

Scarborough

The capital of Tobago does not attract large droves of tourists, but does have markets, museums, and gardens. Bacolet, to the east, offers travelers restaurants, beaches, and hotels.

Crown Point

Crown Point is home to the airport on Tobago, and beaches such as Store Bay and Pigeon Point often give air travelers reason to stay in the area. Restaurants, accommodations, and nightlife are also available in Crown Point, as well as in Buccoo to the northeast.

Northeast

This area has the villages of Speyside and Charlotteville, both of which are largely off the radar. This is a popular area for divers, but the rough waters make swimming in the area treacherous. Both locations have a number of small and quaint accommodations.

North Coast

This is a largely undeveloped area on the island full of nature preserves, beaches, and quiet seaside villages such as Castara and Parlatuvier

Trinidad and Tobago offer travelers from all over the world prime opportunities to escape crowds by enjoying unspoiled and quiet natural environments. At the same time, travelers looking for culture and activity can find it in Port of Spain and in the Crown Point area of Tobago. Travelers in any region of Trinidad and Tobago should make good use of etiquette and courtesy to endear themselves to friendly residents.

 

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