Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide
The southern Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago are a lesson in contrast. Trinidad, the larger of the two, is bustling with commerce and diversity. A cosmopolitan oasis of Creole culture and the birthplace of the steel drum and the limbo, Trinidad brims with natural resources like gas and oil. And its cultural eclecticism and, in some places, astonishing wealth, is all but unparalleled throughout the Caribbean. And then there's the sleepy island of ... continue»
The best time to visit Trinidad and Tobago is from January to May when the skies stay clear. Although the islands aren't on the hurricane belt, afternoon rain showers are daily occurrences from June to December. Hotels lower their rates to accommodate for this rainy season. At least the weather stays pleasant year-round: there's little humidity and average temps hovering in the low 80s.Best Times to Visit Trinidad & Tobago»
Trinidad & Tobago Neighborhoods
Trinidad is approximately the size of Delaware, while Tobago is even smaller. Both islands are located approximately seven miles off the coast of Venezuela's Paria Peninsula.
Unlike Tobago, Trinidad is not known for being a resort destination and has a limited number of accommodations, most of which are located around the capital, Port of Spain.
Port of Spain
Port of Spain is a busy port city on the northern part of the island. Nearly all of Trinidad's multicultural aspects can be found here, from fretwork wooden architecture to restaurants specializing in every conceivable cuisine. Port of Spain is also home to such tourist attractions as the Anglican Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, Columbus Square and Fort San Andrés, which was built in 1785 by Spanish settlers to protect city.
West of Port of Spain sits the Chaguaramas area, which is known for beautiful views and a relaxing atmosphere. Hikers flock to this region for natural sites such as the Blue Basin Waterfall or Macqueripe Beach.
Moka, Paramin and Blanchisseuse
Several small towns dot Trinidad's northern coast; Moka, home to the St. Andrews Golf Course; Paramin, where you're likely to overhear Trinidadians conversing in French Creole; and Blanchisseuse, home to numerous artisans working with leather and wood. The calm waters off this coast are perfect for swimming; Las Cuevas Bay, specifically, is one of Trinidad's most popular beaches.
Located about 15 miles east of Port of Spain is the town and region of Arima, home to several natural attractions such as Dunstan Cave and the Aripo Caves, as well as the Asa Wright Nature Centre, a reserve revolving around an old plantation house with 700 acres of land good for hiking or bird-watching.
Trinidad's northeast coast is one of the most remote and unspoiled parts of the island, home to the Grande Rivière where leatherback sea turtles are known to lay their eggs. The region also offers plenty of opportunities to hike and swim. Nearby towns like Galera Point on the island's easternmost tip offer accommodations for those looking to stay in the area.
Caroni Bird Sanctuary and Pitch Lake
Go to the island's western coast for an evening motorboat tour of the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, and watch flocks of scarlet ibis spread their wings. Also on the west coast, Pitch Lake is one of only three asphalt lakes in the world. Because the tar is somewhat hardened, it is possible to walk across the surface, but take care to avoid air pockets that cause the ooze to bubble.
Tobago draws more tourists than Trinidad because of its famously beautiful beaches.
Scarborough is the capital city as well as the island's central business hub. Located on the southern coast, Although downtown Scarborough is not really worth a visit, we do recommend taking a stroll by the food and souvenir stalls of the city's bay-front promenade.
The island's eastern coast is home to several natural attractions, which include the Hillsborough Dam, the island's main source of fresh drinking water; the Main Ridge Forest Reserve, the oldest protected forest in the Western Hemisphere; and King's Bay Waterfall, a picturesque area open for swimming. There are also several great hiking locations in the area, such as Pigeon Peak, the highest point on the island with views of both the northern and southern coastlines.
Northern Coast and Charlotteville
Travel writers highly recommend spending some time in Charlotteville on the northern coast, as it plays host to several popular beaches. Pirate's Bay and Castara Bay are often visited by snorkelers, while secluded Campbelton Bay is preferred by fishermen.
Experienced travelers stress using common sense when participating in Trinidad's Carnival: Don't carry around valuables or wear expensive jewelry, and if at all possible, leave your wallet or purse at home in favor of carrying your identification in a front pants pocket. Streets are dense with limin' crowds during the day's parades and the night's parties, and pickpocketing can occur.
Carnival takes place during dry season in Trinidad and Tobago, and it's easy to dehydrate while enjoying the festivities. Several T&T tourist sites suggest drinking plenty of fluids, applying sunscreen at regular intervals, and wearing comfortable shoes and light clothing.
The best way to get around Trinidad and Tobago is by car, which you can rent at either Trinidad's Picarco International Airport (POS) or Tobago's Crown Point International Airport (TAB). If you don't plan on much exploring, you can get by just fine with the cheap taxis. Buses are also available but are rather unreliable. When you're ready to switch islands, head down to the docks at Port of Spain or Scarborough and board one of the private ferries.Getting Around Trinidad & Tobago»