While the trip between Queen’s Wharf in Port of Spain (Trinidad) and the main ferry dock in Scarborough (Tobago) was formerly a five-hour boat ride, the government has now leased ‘Fast Ferries’ that make the interisland journey in a mere 2½ hours; the journey costs TT$50 one way. It’s a cheaper, comfortable way to travel, except if you are prone to seasickness. There is a bar, cafeteria and deck, and movies are played in the air-conditioned interior.
Usually there are two to four departures daily from both islands, in the morning and afternoon. Around the Carnival season, it’s best to buy your tickets as far as possible in advance. The office doesn’t answer phones on weekends, but you can go down and buy tickets day of. For availability call the Port Authority (Trinidad 625-3055, Tobago 639-2181; www.patnt.com). Schedules are online.
Driving yourself can be a great way of getting around the islands. Car rentals start at about TT$300, and include insurance and unlimited mileage.
Buses on both islands provide a substantial means of transportation for locals. Many people take buses to and from work in neighboring towns, and children depend on buses to get to and from school. Buses offer travelers an inexpensive way to get around, especially on longer cross-island trips, but beware that buses are slow and unreliable. For shorter distances, travelers are better off taking maxi-taxis or route taxis. Check the bus information for Trinidad and Tobago.
Regular taxis, locally called ‘tourist taxis, ’ are readily available at the airports on both islands, the cruise-ship complex on Trinidad and hotels. These vehicles are unmetered but follow rates established by the government; hotel desks and the airport tourist office have a list of fares. Make sure to establish the rate before riding off.
Flying between Trinidad and Tobago is an easy 20-minute flight costing TT$300 per person each way. The checked baggage weight allowance is 20kg. While it’s wise to book in advance, it is often possible to buy tickets at the airport on the day of departure. Caribbean Airlines (625-8246; www.caribbean-airlines.com) has a monopoly on these interisland flights.