This island lies just north of the Venezuelan coast, and it is one of the most prosperous Caribbean nations due to its oil industry. Trinidad is the larger island and is more industrialized. The nation’s capital is Port-of-Spain. The island is less dependent on tourism than most Caribbean nations, so the experiences you’ll discover will be more diverse.
There are tourist areas, for sure, but when you travel here, the feel is different. There isn’t an “all about the tourist” vibe. For many, that’s an attraction. It can be off-putting for some. That’s why many travelers prefer Tobago where there is less manufacturing and more focus on tourists.
The tropical climate in Trinidad and Tobago is divided into two seasons. The dry season is from January through June. It warms up slightly after that and gets wetter, so summers into fall can be steamy. This two-island nation is south of the path of most hurricanes.
A diverse heritage is found in Trinidad and Tobago reflecting West Indian, South American, African and European ancestry. It’s one of the most diverse yet blended countries in the Caribbean in terms of heritage. English is the official language, and several creole dialects are also spoken.
Life is Thriving in Trinidad and Tobago
A thriving economy combines with a thriving ecosystem filled with beauty, birds and lots of fun things to do. Here is a taste of the culture in Trinidad and Tobago.
- Cuisine in Trinidad and Tobago: When you combine influences as diverse as African, Indian, Creole, Amerindian, European, Chinese and Lebanese, the result is varied and delicious. Plan to try local specialties including curried beans, roasted eggplant or tomatoes, fried potatoes with garlic and onion, fried plantain, saltfish, smoked fish, coconut bread, okra, crab, sweet potatoes, stewed chicken, various rice dishes, king fish, carite, red fish, bonito, curried crab and dumplings. Get away from the resort areas if you want the most authentic food.
- Music in Trinidad and Tobago: Calypso music was birthed here, and it’s very popular. Steelpan is a more recent development. Other sounds found in the Caribbean are enjoyed here including soca, chutney and parang. Live music is popular at clubs and venues in large cities. Festivals throughout the year feature calypso and other sounds.
Things to Do in Trinidad and Tobago
In the city and the country, there are plenty of favorite activities in Trinidad and Tobago to keep you from getting bored!
Spot Birds Familiar and New: Some of the birds you see in your backyard in the US or Europe during summer are found in Trinidad and Tobago during the winter months. Hummingbirds are among the more than 300 species that make their part-time or permanent home here including the brilliant scarlet ibis. Don’t miss the Caroni Bird Sanctuary if you’re a birding enthusiast. Birding tours are offered too, and a recent reviewer said, “a tour is an excellent way for amateur birders to catch a glimpse of species they’ve never seen before.”
Snorkel or Scuba Dive: Diving in Trinidad and Tobago is a top activity for visitors. PADI scuba instructors and guides are available, and are “friendly and helpful,” according to a diver from Virginia, USA. Snorkeling is popular in resort areas, and equipment is readily available.
See Historical Sites: Sightseers in Trinidad and Tobago enjoy visiting places such as Fort George, Mount St. Benedict Monastery, Queen’s Hall, Temple in the Sea, Mohammed Ali Jinnah Memorial Mosque and Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
Sunbathe on a Blissful Beach: The best beaches in Trinidad and Tobago include Blanchisseuse Beach, Las Cuevas Beach and Mayaro Bay, which one French traveler called, “a lovely beach in a secluded area.”
Sample the Nightlife: Resort areas offer the best chance to mingle with tourists, the majority of whom come from Western Europe. Getting away from the beach provides the opportunity to see how the local population likes to live it up.
Who Should Consider Visiting Trinidad and Tobago?
Tobago is an ideal location for those who want to get away from city life to a true resort area. Trinidad is more diverse. The island nation is a good choice if you’re going to the Caribbean between July and December, or hurricane season. Storms rarely affect islands this far south. Singles, couples and families all find things to do in Trinidad and Tobago.
Tourism Board: GoTrinidadAndTobago.com
Government Offices: Gov.tt
Photo Credits: Wikipedia.org, Destination TNT