Trinidad and Tobago are something of a contradiction. These two tiny southernmost Caribbean islands (Trinidad is barely the size of Delaware in the United States and Tobago is even smaller at twenty miles) are known for being almost like night and day. Trinidad is vibrantly rich in cultures and ethnicities and is perpetually active while Tobago is comparably laid back, skewing more towards a tranquil atmosphere.
The roots of how Trinidad earned its name originate with Christopher Columbus who named it the La Isla de Trinidad (The Island of Trinity) after the Holy Trinity. The Spanish subsequently seized control of the island but instead of taking advantage of its resources they ignored it and instead captured the Amerindian tribes to use them in the South American colonies, at least until the late 1500s. Cacao and tobacco plantations were set up but the Spanish continued to ignore Trinidad for the most part, a factor many believe lead to British takeover in the late 1700s.
Columbus was also responsible for sighting Tobago and although it was also claimed by the Spanish, they made no effort to colonize it. As a result Tobago remained in a state of flux as the Dutch, French and several other countries attempted to take control of the island. Tobago eventually became a neutral territory for a period of time before the British finally began setting up several plantations of the island such as cotton and sugar which lasted until the late 1800s. During this time Tobago became a part of Trinidad.
Today Trinidad and Tobago has maintained consistent tourism appeal and the country is now among the prosperous in the Caribbean. It’s also recognized as the originators of calypso and Limbo, the former a prominent musical style enjoyed throughout the Caribbean and the latter a popular party game enjoyed in many places throughout the world. In fact, Trinidadians and Tobagonians (both groups are casually referred to as Trinbagonians) often encourage tourists to play a game of Limbo in order to make them feel more at home. The majority of people speak English with a noticeable British accent which makes it a lot easier to get to know the hugely diverse arrays of people that live in Trinidad. It’s the best island in the Caribbean if you’re seeking a true cultural melting pot.
There are several sights to explore in Trinidad and Tobago like the natural hiking trails of Argyle Falls to the historic Fort King George, a structure built in the 1700s. Since Tobago is considered the more laid back of the two islands, it’s popular for its several miles of beachfront and the many diving spots which are considered among the best in the Caribbean. This disparity between Trinidad and Tobago ensures visitors receive the best of both worlds regardless of whether they’re looking for entertainment and a lively atmosphere or want to soak up the atmosphere and get to know the people and the places.
Trinidad and Tobago is known for its vibrant musical culture. Being the birthplace of Calypso, steel drum music and the musical game Limbo, the sights and sounds of Trinidad and Tobago represent the popular perception of Caribbean culture. Trinidad and Tobago, with its abundant resources, has not had a real presence in the tourist industry but recent initiatives by the government and private industries to attract tourism has sparked interest among Caribbean visitors. After renovating their airport and refurbishing the capital city Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago is quickly becoming one of the more popular destinations in the Caribbean.
Trinidad and Tobago real estate ranges from newly constructed Caribbean-style beachfront homes to classic Trinidad and Tobago homes that exude character and Caribbean lifestyle authenticity. These beachfront homes and villas come with standard Caribbean home features like pools, patios and wraparound terraces but for prices considerably less than what's seen in most Caribbean islands. The Trinidad and Tobago homes for rent or for sale come with two to seven bedrooms and can be inland perched on a hilltop or right on the beachfront with beautiful views of the ocean.
Resorts and hotels in Trinidad and Tobago aim to make the Caribbean lifestyle even more relaxing by providing amenities such as in-house restaurants, bars, tennis courts, horseback riding, snorkeling, babysitting services, spa and a health club. Some of the more renowned resort-hotels are Coco Reef Resort and Spa, Le Grand Courlan Resort and Spa, and Vanguard Hotel Limited Tobago Resort and Spa. Buying or renting a resort condo, resort townhouse or resort home comes with the benefits of security, comfort and convenience.
Coco Reef Resort & Spa
Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre
Le Grand Courlan Resort & Spa
Mount Irvine Bay Hotel & Golf Club
The official currency of Trinidad and Tobago is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TT$).
Calling Code: 1 (868)
Top Level Domain: (.tt)
Trinidad and Tobago is a parliamentary republic headed by a president and prime minister.
Valid Travel Documents: Required upon Exit and Entry.
Government Issued Photo ID: Required
Climate: The average daily high temperature in Port of Spain is 31°C (88°F) in both January and July, while the low averages 22°C (72°F)
Tips when you get there
Trinidad and Tobago offers the convenience of having international airports on both of the islands. After arriving at one of the airports, all taxis have established fares and are a great method of getting around. The islands are relatively small, Trinidad being the size of Delaware and Tobago being a little over twenty miles long so traveling anywhere on either island takes no more than a couple of hours. Taking a tour of the island after settling into your residence is highly recommended.
What to do
There are plenty of activities and interesting locations to visit on Trinidad and Tobago. An island known for its abundantly floral scenery, Trinidad and Tobago offers scenic vistas ranging from nature conservatories to skyscraping waterfalls. These islands also offer an abundance of activities like colorful festivals, water sports, fine dining and music concerts.
Festivals in Trinidad and Tobago are especially spectacular. Tobago Fest located on Trinidad's sister island produces great music and incredible costumes which combine to create a feast of art and culture for the senses. Other festivals include Diwali and Carnival that offer equal entertainment and general merriment.
A quality natural location to visit is Argyle Falls, which is a triple-tiered waterfall just west of Roxborough that offers great photo opportunities, beautiful views and natural pools to relax in. Popular among nature watchers, Tobago Forest Reserve is also a nice place to visit with its hiking trails and professional guide services.