Trinidad and Tobago Travel Guide

Trinidad and Tobago Summary

Pros

  • Gorgeous waters, particularly on the Caribbean side of the islands
  • Popular diving destination
  • Home to numerous bird species, so various birding excursions available
  • Almost everywhere accepts the US Dollar, which goes a long way on these small islands
  • Fresh seafood can be found in upscale restaurants and roadside shacks
  • Renowned for its rum
  • Annual Jazz Festival in Tobago is open to the public and brings in big-name performers
  • Carnival in Trinidad is also a lively weekend of partying
  • Visitors can watch turles hatch on Turtle Beach in Tobago
  • Numerous value hotel options

Cons

  • Waters on the Atlantic side are often rough, and carry some debris
  • Trinidad has relatively high crime rates
  • Fewer attractions than larger Caribbean islands such as Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, and even smaller islands such as Barbados
  • Few luxury hotel options

What It's Like

Just off the coast of Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago is a small country at the end of the Caribbean chain of islands. While Trinidad is the larger, more industrialized island (and also home to a significant amount of crime), Tobago is the smaller "resort" island. Nonetheless, tourism isn't a major industry for either, and the country is one of the most industralized in the Caribbean. Still, plenty of visitors head to Trinidad and Tobago (particularly the latter) for its bird-watching, diving, and relatively unspoiled nature. Locals who have moved abroad also come home in masses for the annual Carnival festival in Trinidad and the Jazz Festival in Tobago.

Direct flights from major airports such as JFK in New York City and Miami International arrive in Trinidad daily. About once a week, flights go directly from the US to Tobago. Generally, however, visitors headed for Tobago must fly into Trinidad and then take either a 20-minute plane ride, or a 2-hour ferry, to the smaller island.

Where to Stay

Unless traveling on business, most visitors spend the majority of their time on Tabago, as it is the more peaceful -- and unspoiled -- of the two islands. Attractions such as nature reserves and beautiful beaches (such as Turtle Beach where beach-goers can spy turtles) attract international visitors as well as Trinidad residents on a weekend getaway. Tobago has fewer historic sights, however, so history buffs may want to spend a day or two on Trinidad, home to spots such as the "Magnificent Seven," a row of beautiful mansions.

Since tourism isn't a major industry for the country, Trindad and Tobago do not boast a plethora of hotels. Most hotels are small beachfront boutiques, although there are a couple of all-inclusive options. There are also few luxury options, but the boutiques are often charming and the price is often right.

 

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Facts

Languages: English
Airports: A.N.R Robinson International Airport
Piarco International Airport
Peak: December - May
Visa: Not for US citizens visiting for less than 90 days
Vaccines: No
Currency: Trinidad and Tobago Dollar
Electricity: 115 V, 60 Hz
Tipping: 10-15% is appreciated for good service
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