Introducing Trinidad & Tobago
It’s Carnival in Port of Spain. Soca music throbs in the streets, and a woman furrows her brow, shaking and gyrating as the beads on her bikini seem close to flying off. She is Trinidad and Tobago. An East Indian couple serves pungent curried doubles at lightning speed on the street corner, fishermen plunk their catch on splintering docks as the new morning spreads over an azure ocean, an oil-industry businessman walks from crumbling streets into a modern air-conditioned building where he navigates the global economy for his nation, and a crazy-haired steel-pan player lays into an oil drum reaching a seventh-level of ecstasy – they are all Trinidad and Tobago.
National pride, a sordid history of slavery and indenture, and the love of music and limin’ unite the myriad colors, ethnicities and cultures that make up the dual-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Dive in. Be prepared to experience beaches so mesmerizing you’ll forget your name, first-class diving through coral wonderlands, a Carnival to end all Carnivals, and luxuriant rainforests prime for bird-watching, hiking, and cycling. Of the two islands, Tobago is the laidback pleasure center, while hard-working Trinidad has less of a tourist infrastructure...but plenty of natural and nocturnal attractions.
But don’t expect anyone to hold your hand. The oil and gas industry leaves tourism low down on the priority list. Upscale resorts and hotels are out there, and more so on Tobago, but generally you jump in the mix and accept the services that facilitate a sun-drenched ball, whether it be peaceful, sand-filled, rollicking, or all of the above.
Best places to stay in Trinidad & Tobago
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Trinidad & Tobago destination guides
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Asa Wright Nature Center
Trinidad boasts of an ecological diversity unmatched in the Caribbean and the east coast is a prime example. Featuring protected wetlands and miles of fine brown sand, this five and a half hour tour allows you to travel to the fascinating Asa Wright Nature Center. Here, you will experience rich bird life such as the Ruby-topaz humming-bird and the tufted coquette.
Island Circle Tour
Heading south out of Port of Spain and down the west coast, your circle island journey begins. You'll see the spectacular scenery of places such as the Gulf of Paris, Mayaro Beach, and Manzanilla. You will also visit the town of San Fernando, the second largest city of Trinidad.