Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide

Caribbean  #2 in Best Cheap Caribbean Vacations
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Trinidad & Tobago Area Map

Neighborhoods

Trinidad is approximately the size of Delaware, while Tobago is even smaller. Both islands are located approximately 7 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 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 nearly every imaginable 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 the 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.

Several small towns dot Trinidad's northern coast: Moka, home to the St. Andrews Golf Course; Paramin, where you'll likely overhear Trinidadians conversing in French Creole; and Blanchisseuse, home to numerous leather and wood artisans. The calm waters off this coast are perfect for swimming; Las Cuevas Bay, specifically, is one of Trinidad's most popular beaches.

Located about 18 miles east of Port of Spain is the town and region of Arima, where several natural attractions are located, including Dunston Cave, the Aripo Caves and Asa Wright Nature Centre, a reserve that has an old plantation house and 700 acres of land for hiking and bird-watching.

Trinidad's northeast coast is one of the most remote and unspoiled parts of the island. Within this part of the island is the town of Grande Riviere, 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.

Go to the island's western coast for an evening motorboat tour of Caroni Swamp Bird Sanctuary and watch flocks of scarlet ibises 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 of Tobago as well as the island's central business hub. Located on the southern coast, Scarborough has recently undergone a revival to modernize the city. The capital city now boasts a library, hospital and the country's largest performing arts theater. Although downtown Scarborough does not have many attractions, we do recommend visiting Fort King George or 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, including Hillsborough Reservoir, the island's main source of fresh drinking water; Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve, the oldest protected forest in the Western Hemisphere; and Kings 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 that features views of both the northern and southern coastlines.

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 Campbellton 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. This will help prevent getting pickpocketed, which is a common occurrence during this time of year because of the close proximity of partygoers during day and evening festivities.

Carnival takes place during the dry season in Trinidad and Tobago, which makes it that much easier to get dehydrated while enjoying the festivities. Several tourist sites recommend drinking plenty of fluids, applying sunscreen at regular intervals, and wearing comfortable shoes and light clothing to prevent getting dehydrated.  

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