Some people are happiest in a fast-paced city with never-ending attractions that allow them to go, go, go; others prefer peace, quiet, and nature untouched by human hands. The dual island nation of Trinidad and Tobago is the perfect destination for either type of traveler, acting as the figurative “city mouse” and “country mouse” of the Caribbean.
|Currency||The official currency of Trinidad and Tobago is the Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TT$). Occasionally, vendors in Port-of-Spain will accept U.S. and Canadian currency, but it is safer and wiser to convert your currency. In all cases, British pounds should be converted.|
|Electricity||Electric systems on Trinidad and Tobago are not uniform; the most commonly used are the 110-volt or 230-volt systems, but ask your hotel in advance in order to prepare.|
|GDP Per Capita||The average per capita income is $25,400(USD) per year.|
|Island Size||The islands share about 1,979 square miles in land area.|
|Language||English is the official language, but French, Hindi, Spanish, and Chinese speakers abound in this country.|
|Population||1,337,684 people call these islands home; 383,100 visitors pass through annually, with 31 percent coming from the U.S.|
|Entry Requirements||All visitors, including those from the Caribbean, are required to show a valid passport and ongoing or return tickets upon arrival on Trinidad and Tobago. Visas are not necessary for visits shorter than six weeks. You will be given a carbon copy of the immigration card that you fill out on arrival, and will be asked to return it upon your departure, so hold on to it!|
Trinidad and Tobago are the southernmost islands of the West Indies, and stand approximately 20 miles apart from one another. They have a total area of 1,981 square miles, with Tobago encompassing only six percent of the total area. Both islands are volcanic in origin, mountainous, and extremely fertile.
Trinidad and Tobago are famed for their variety. The racial diversity in this country is due to its historical role as a main port for the British colonies in the West Indies. Nearly every former British colony, from South Africa to South India, is now represented in this melting pot of the Caribbean. The mix of cultures leads to a distinct flavor in mannerisms, dress, language, and way of life that is a hybridization of the many people who once moved across oceans to these small islands. Trinidad and Tobago have successfully combined Indian food, African dress, Caribbean calypso and steel-drum music, British English, and the distinctly English love of the sport of cricket into one exciting culture.
Trinidad and Tobago are the closest Caribbean islands to the equator, and have a tropical climate. Average annual temperatures range from 72 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit, with trade winds cooling the coastline. Rainfall is the largest indicator of seasonal change. During the wet season, from June to December, the islands get about 40 inches of rain each year.
...Tobago offers a quieter, more natural atmosphere... has won several awards for eco-tourism...
Trinidad is the more populous of the two islands, and a more energetic destination. The people of Trinidad are a lively group who like to have fun – which may explain why steel pan music and the Limbo came from the island. The traveler who likes to get up and go will feel most at home here, with dance clubs, open air markets, and calypso tents being some of the most popular attractions. Festivals are extremely popular on the islands, and visitors will likely find an exciting event going on during their travels. The most well known festival is known as Carnival. Spectators at Carnival will be treated with dance-worthy musical performances, tantalizing island food and many other cultural festivities. Vacationers will be interested to learn that these islands are the birthplace of tropical staples like calypso music, steel drum bands and the infamous limbo dance. However, rich culture and heritage are not limited to festive music on Trinidad. Some sites worth visiting include the National Museum and Art Gallery, the Botanical Gardens, and Fort Chacon. Click here to read more about landmarks on Trinidad and Tobago.
On the flip side, Tobago offers a quieter, more natural atmosphere. The island has won several awards for eco-tourism, and is even considered by many to be the number one eco-tourism island in the Caribbean. Tobago is home to the Western Hemisphere's oldest protected forest, many secluded beaches, nature trails, bird watching sites, and a colorful coral reef that divers can't get enough of. Nature enthusiasts will be impressed by the extensive avian sighting opportunities that can be enjoyed on the islands; Trinidad boasts more resident species than any other destination in the Caribbean. Additionally, many historic plantations have been converted into nature preserves, providing a great opportunity to learn about the island's history, culture, and nature all at once. Sites you won't want to miss out on include Aripo Caves and Savannah, Devil's Woodyard, and Maracas Waterfall.
When choosing an ideal accommodation during your trip to Trinidad and Tobago, you will find that there are a variety of different options available. Whether you’re working on a tight budget, or are indulging in a lavish vacation, the islands offer something for everyone. provide everything needed to complete a perfect island getaway within a single package. Those traveling in a group or with a large family should consider that will make you feel at home, like villas and apartments. Those with an adventurous spirit may enjoy spending their evenings camping on the island, although it is recommended that tourists hire guides to lead them through the island vegetation. Click here to read more about camping and eco-tourism. With so many options, it’s easy to find the best Trinidad and Tobago lodging facility to suit your needs.
...crystal clear waters and white sand beaches are a reality on Trinidad and Tobago...
One thing both islands have in common is their undeniably beautiful beaches. The clichéd image of crystal clear waters and white sand beaches are a reality on Trinidad and Tobago, offering vacationers the picture-perfect beach-going experience they dream about when planning a trip to the Caribbean. There are 10 beaches in Tobago, and more than 20 on Trinidad, each with their own purpose. Some beaches are more suitable for beach combing, while others offer more inviting surf.
One of the most popular dishes is ‘Shark and Bake’...
After a thrilling day spent exploring the island’s cultural and natural glory, travelers are sure to build up a demanding appetite. Given the high volume of tourists that flock to Trinidad and Tobago from around the world, the islands have adapted to the multicultural tastes of travelers and provide a selection of restaurants that cater to different tastes, such as American-style dishes, Asian-influenced fare and more. However, a true island getaway is incomplete without a sampling of the local food favorites. One of the most popular dishes is ‘Shark and Bake’, which consists of fried dough sandwiching golden morsels of fried shark meat. Other favorites include Callaloo soup, curried roti wraps, fresh seafood from the ocean and rivers, edible roots and more. For a unique dessert, try the Trinidadian version of snow cones. These frozen treats feature shaved iced drizzled with kola and condensed milk. Whether you choose to feast on locally influenced fare or more comfortable Continental dishes, your palette is sure to be pleased with the culinary offerings of Trinidad and Tobago.
Tobago is generally safer than Trinidad, where Port-of-Spain has the petty crime problem of major metropolitan areas such as New York or London. Avoid Port-of-Spain at night, as streets get deserted very quickly. Also avoid evening travel around Wilson Street and the Market of Scarborough, two particularly questionable areas. Always be wary of potential pick-pockets, especially during Carnival, and never leave valuables unattended. Stick to bottled water on the islands.
If you are planning a trip to the Caribbean, consider Trinidad and Tobago, where you can travel back and forth between the islands and feel as though you are experiencing two very different types of vacations. Relax on the beach one day, party the next, and explore the forest the day after that. The possibilities are endless. One of the best elements of the tropical spirit felt on these islands is the fact that foreign travelers are not known here as ‘tourists,’ but instead are embraced as ‘visitors.’
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