The twin island nation of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a largely overlooked gem on the northern shores of South America. It consists two main islands and several smaller islands forming the southernmost link in the Caribbean chain. Trinidad is the larger of the two islands and is home to the majority of the country’s population. However, both islands are true beauties and while you’re enjoying the vibrant city living you can find on Trinidad, make sure to enjoy the quieter and more naturally preserved Tobago. Given its history of descendants from native Amerindian tribes who migrated from South America, West Africa due to the Atlantic Slave Trade, India due to to Indentureship workers, as well immigrants from several European and Middle Eastern cultures, the present day community of Trinidad and Tobago has resulted in a gorgeous melting pot of cultures and customs. With individuals who can trace their families back all across the globe, Trinidad and Tobago welcomes all. Being the third richest country in the Americas after United States and Canada, primarily due to revenue from oil and natural gas, the islands also provide a haven to those who need to escape the trials and tribulations of the fast paced world, with some of the best parties, festivals, and notably one of the best Carnivals in the world. You’ll be able to try foods from all over the world with their own Trini flavor, go exploring through the vast rainforests and mountain ranges of both islands, and relax on the warm and sandy shores of the Caribbean Sea.
Trinidad and Tobago has lots of beautiful sandy beaches for you to kick back and relax on. The most popular beach which attracts most people is Maracas Bay. This sandy beach is located on the north side of Trinidad and involves a mountainous drive on the North Coast Coast road with access from the capital city of Port of Spain , San Juan as well as Arima via Blanchisseuse, Maracas Bay is one of the most well known and celebrated beaches in the island of Trinidad. It is also home to the world famous local dish bake an shark which is a must have while visiting the island. Although there are other physically more scenic beaches such as Las Cuevas and several in Tobago including Pigeon Point, Englishman’s Bay and Mt Irvine just to name a few, Maracas Bay is at the top of the list of places to visit.
Queens Park Savannah
Queen’s Park Savannah is a park in the capital city, Port of Spain. Known locally as simply “the Savannah,” it is the city’s largest open space and also the largest roundabout in the world. It occupies about 260 acres of level land, and the distance around the perimeter is about 2.2 miles. Originally part of the St. Ann’s Sugar Estate, the Savannah, now owned by the state, is Port of Spain’s main outdoor recreational park. It is also home to some of Trinidad’s major attractions which can be found around its perimeter such as the the the Botanic Gardens, the Emperor Valley Zoo, the Hollows, the National Museum, the National Academy for Performing Arts , as well as the Magnificent 7 – a group of early 20th century buildings are located. These include the Queen’s Royal College; the residences of the Anglican bishop (Hayes Court) and the Roman Catholic archbishop, Mille Fleurs, Roomor Whitehall (once the office of the prime minister) and the majestic Stollmeyer’s Castle. On weekends and afternoons, the Savannah comes to life and is the destination for sports enthusiasts, health fanatics, joggers, family picnics and persons seeking to indulge in the sumptuous local street food served by vendors. It is also the main location of the country’s Carnival festival.
The Hollows, Queen’s Park Savannah
La Brea Pitch Lake
Located in La Brea in southwest Trinidad, the La Brea Pitch Lake is the largest commercial deposit of natural asphalt in the world – one of only three in known existence – and holds approximately 10 million tonnes of asphalt.
Its asphalt has been used to pave roads and airport runways around the world, including the roadway in front of Buckingham Palace in England, La Guardia Airport in New York, the Lincoln Tunnel which connects New York to New Jersey, as well as numerous roads in several countries.
The Pitch Lake is a popular tourist attraction. It also features a small museum and visitor center where official tour guides can be found to safely escort visitors onto the solid surface areas of the lake. During the rainy season pools of water settle on the surface forming sulfur rich ponds which are thought to have cleansing properties when you bathe in them
Persons can also enjoy the flora and fauna around such as water rose, nymph lilies, bird of paradise, hummingbirds, kingfishers and sandpipers.
The La Brea Pitch Lake
Trinidad and Tobago is a nightlife hotspot, filled with nightclubs, bars, and cocktail lounges. Whether you want to lose yourself in the energetic music of the dance club or you want to meet locals at the neighborhood bar, there is no shortage of opportunity in the cities of Trinidad and Tobago. Some of the best “liming” spots (a.k.a. places to hang out) are in the capital, Port of Spain.
Cricket is king in Trinidad and Tobago. So much so, that the national team has rivalries with almost every other team that it plays. If you’re traveling during cricket season, do yourself a favor and buy a ticket to go root for the national team. The energy you will feel in the stadium is unparalleled.
With Trinidad and Tobago’s unique cultural melting pot of a community, there is almost always a celebration taking place. You can experience Carnival in February or March, Hosay in December or January, or Diwali in September. And that doesn’t even include the food, music, or political festivals! However, it is important to remember that the Carnival celebration in Trinidad is arguably the biggest in the country, so plan well in advance if you want to experience this party to end all parties.
Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic CPL 2020 will be held in one country this year – Trinidad and Tobago. All matches will take place across two stadiums in Trinidad. The Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba will host 23 games, including the semi finals and the final and the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain will have 10 matches. The tournament runs from August 18 – September 10, 2020. The tournament will be very different this year as players are housed and will be playing in a bio-secure environment. There will be also be no spectators at games.
This week’s matches will take place at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. The fixtures are as follows:
Match Date and Time
Tuesday 18 August, 2020 @ 10:00 am
Trinbago Knight Riders vs Guyana Amazon Warriors
Tuesday 18 August, 2020 @ 5:30 pm
Barbados Tridents vs St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Wednesday 19 August, 2020 @ 10:00 am
Jamaica Tallawahs vs St Lucia Zouks
Wednesday 19 August, 2020 @ 5:30 pm
Guyana Amazon Warriors vs St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Thursday 20 August, 2020 @ 10:00 am
St Lucia Zouks vs Barbados Tridents
Thursday 20 August, 2020 @ 5:30 pm
Trinbago Knight Riders vs Jamaica Tallawahs
Saturday 22 August, 2020 @ 10:00 am
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots vs St Lucia Zouks
Saturday 22 August, 2020 @ 2:15 pm
Guyana Amazon Warriors vs Jamaica Tallawahs
Sunday 23 August, 2020 @ 10:00 am
Trinbago Knight Riders vs Barbados Tridents
Sunday 23 August, 2020 @ 2:15 pm
Guyana Amazon Warriors vs St Lucia Zouks
Similar to most countries in the world Trinidad and Tobago has been affected by the COVID-19 virus. With a total of 565 cases and 12 deaths to date, the government has recently re-implemented measures, effective August 17, 2020, to curb community spread of the virus over the next 28 days. These include closure of beaches, places of worship, cinemas and water parks. Borders remain closed to commercial travel.
Both Trinidad and Tobago have an international airport. And even better, travelling between the two airports is a common occurrence, making your island hopping adventure that much easier. You can easily get a flight to Trinidad or a flight to Tobago and have the luxury of knowing you can easily jump in between.
If you’d rather relax on a cruise to Trinidad and Tobago, you’re in luck because both islands’ capitals are ports as well. You’ll be able to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere at Scarborough as you soak up some sun, explore the historic sites, and try all of the new flavors.
Once you make it to Trinidad and Tobago, be sure to get yourself a ticket aboard the ferry so you can explore the two islands with ease. For your more local exploration, you can rent a car in to get you from point A to point B on these beautiful islands. To gain a truly local experience you can utilize the “maxi-taxi” service or hire a taxi.
To feel as though you’ve truly found a private tropical beach to call your own, head to the Maracas Beach near Port of Spain, Trinidad. You need to travel through the rainforest to reach your destination, but once you see the trees pull away and open up to the turquoise waters and pale yellow sand of this protected alcove, you’ll feel like you’ve found the hidden gem of the Caribbean.
Lovers of birds can get a spot with the Caroni Bird Sanctuary Day and Night Tour. This all day tour takes you through rainforests and mangrove forests to showcase the beautiful biodiversity of the island. You’ll get to see the stunning scarlet ibis, the national bird, among many others.
Dr. Eric Eustace Williams
Dr. Eric Eustace Williams: Considered to be the Father of the Nation, Dr. Williams founded the People’s National Movement in 1956 and served as its leader for 25 years consecutive years. The formation of this political party was the beginning of the age of organised party politics in Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Williams subsequently became the Chief Minister of the country from 1956 to 1959, Premier from 1959 to 1962 and, on the attainment of Independence in 1962, Prime Minister until his death in 1981.
Hasely Crawford: Trinidad and Tobago’s first gold medalist at the Olympics. He won in 1976 for the 100-meter dash.
Keshorn Walcott: Won Olympic Gold in the Javelin throw in 2012. He is the first Caribbean male athlete, as well as the first of African descent, to win the gold medal in a throwing event at th Olympics. At only 19 years old he is the youngest Olympic gold medallist in the men’s javelin as well as the first athlete in any track and field event to win World Junior and Olympic titles in an individual event the same year. The Toco Lighthouse was also renamed after him in 2012.
Kwame Ture: The Trinidadian activist was a leader in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, and the Pan-African Movement. He is credited with coining the phrase “Black Power.”
For those who want to learn more about the history and culture of Trinidad and Tobago, you spend some time at the National Museum and Art Gallery, Trinidad in Port of Spain. You can learn about the indigenous, colonial, and recent history of the islands as well as the artistic movements that helped shape this cultural mecca.
Those looking to enjoy the natural wonders of Tobago can sign up with the Peter Cox Nature Tours. With several tour options, including waterfall hikes and bird-watching tours, there is plenty to experience as you explore the natural wonders of Tobago.
Those who want to see some of Trinidad and Tobago’s local wildlife, as well as wildlife from the Caribbean region, can head to the Emperor Valley Zoo in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Home to ocelots, parrots, and an aquarium, the zoo features tropical animals from all reaches of the Caribbean. This is a great experience for those who don’t want to undergo the hiking that comes with a lot of wildlife tours.
The best way to recover from a natural disaster is to have a plan in place before the event. The Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society, an original offshoot from the British Red Cross, works hard to make sure the nation is prepared for any eventual and potential disaster. You can make a donation to help make their workload a little easier.
The multi-national nonprofit Food for the Poor works in Trinidad and Tobago to help combat the economic downturn. The have partnered with local charities to increase the overall impact. Food for the Poor has also helped build homes for those who need them most.
Capital: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Scarborough, Tobago Population: 1.3 million Language: English Currency: Trinidad and Tobago dollar Religion: Protestant, Roman Catholic National Bird: Scarlet Ibis National Flower: Chaconia National Dish: Crab and Callaloo, a leafy green dish cooked with a variety of spices Motto: “Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve” The National Flag: The flag has a red background with a black stripe and running from the top left corner to the bottom right. On either side of the black stripe is a slimmer white stripe. The red represents fire, the black represents earth, and the white represents water.