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Put the tourists of Trinidad in a room and you’ll have an awkward party: on one side will be wallflower birdwatchers tangled in camera and binocular straps, and on the other – the side with the bar – you’ll have the party-hound Carnival fans turning up the music and trying on their spangly costumes.

But here's the secret: there’s much more to Trinidad than is seen through binoculars or beer goggles. The swamps and forests are a birdwatcher’s dream, and Port of Spain’s Carnival will blow your mind, but there are also verdant hiking and cycling trails, spectacular waterfalls and deserted bays of shocking beauty, alongside flamboyant Hindu temples and the decidedly oddball Pitch Lake.

As oil, gas and manufacturing have long been the country's bread and butter, Trinidad tends to treat tourists in a blasé manner. And to some visitors that’s a boon. Genuine adventure awaits here if you choose to accept.

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