The dual islands of Trinidad and Tobago are the southernmost of our Caribbean islands, and although together they make up one nation, the true beauty is in their difference. Whether you are looking for a boutique bolthole, a holistic retreat or a beachfront resort with all the facilites, these contrasting twins have something to suit everyone.
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Trinidad is the busier of the two, with an explosion of steel drums, calypso and soca welcoming you to the vibrant capital, Port Of Spain. Tourism is not a high priority thanks to the island's oil and gas wealth, so if you want to experience an authentic slice of Caribbean life, this is the place to come. The cultural mix means that there are plenty of festivals, with Corpus Christi, Divali, Easter and Holi all celebrated with equal fervour. Trinidad’s Carnival is the biggest in the Caribbean, and testament to the island’s well known party stamina, but that’s not to say that the island can’t be tranquil. Away from the capital city’s textile shopping and street food, the often deserted beaches and turquoise waters provide stunning picture postcard vistas. With more exotic plants and birds than on any other Caribbean island, Trinidad is rich in natural attractions. At the Asa Wright Nature Centre, crested oropendolas and white-bearded manakins flit about the echoing tropical rainforest, while leatherback sea turtles come to nest at Grande Riviere and Matura Beach on the northeast coast from March to August. The island also boasts an eclectic mix of Indian, African and Creole cuisine, where pepper sauce goes with everything.
Sun soaked Tobago is Trinidad’s wistful, sleepy sister, an island of intoxicatingly laid-back resorts, wide golden beaches and majestic beauty. There are swaying coconut palms, bone white beaches and sapphire waters, but there is also the jungle capped Main Ridge, charming ramshackle villages and plenty of hidden coves. As you would expect on such a small island, the restaurant scene is limited, and the hotels are your best bet, with the pink mint ice cream at Kariwak Village a must! Beach barbecues with locally caught seafood are commonplace, and El Pescador is a great spot to watch the fishermen bringing back fresh lobster and snapper. If you don't mind hunting your own, the islanders will happily gear you up with a spear gun, snorkel and mask so you can head below sea to catch a barracuda. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches, with golden white shores on the Caribbean side and darker volcanic sands on the Atlantic coast. Bloody Bay on the northern coast is one of the most sheltered, a deserted and glorious spot that typifies what Tobago is all about.
Asa Wright Nature Centre
This amazing nature centre was established in 1967 by a group of naturalists and bird watchers to protect the region’s diverse tropical wildlife. The rainforest is home to a vast number of species, including 460 birds and over 600 butterflies, and many of our clients come to Trinidad simply to visit this impressive centre.
Explore Port of Spain
We love the buzz of Trinidad’s capital and obviously the carnival here is one of the best, but this is also one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Caribbean. Once just a small seaside port, Port of Spain now houses many historic landmarks, great shopping opportunities and a wonderful range of restaurants.
Go turtle watching
Turtle watching on the north coast of Trinidad is a spectacular experience and well worth getting yourself out of bed early for. Seeing a turtle hatch is an amazing sight but it only happens seasonally, so do let us know if this is something that you’re interested in.
Take a sailing trip on Island Girl
If you’re after a relaxing day at sea, you won’t be disappointed on this catamaran trip. With plenty of swimming and snorkelling opportunities, you’ll get to see the largest brain coral in the Caribbean and possibly a few dolphins. You’ll be well fed and watered throughout the day, just don’t forget the sunscreen.
The picturesque town of Scarborough is also home to a bustling market, which can be found just across the road from the harbour. The market is most lively on Fridays and Saturdays, selling a wide variety of crafts, fruit and vegetables and many local herbal remedies.
Waterfalls and chocolate
According to local legend, swimming in the Argyle Waterfall makes you look 10 years younger – although we’re not sure it’s worked on any of the Caribtours team! If after a refreshing swim you get a bit peckish, visit Tobago’s first chocolate factory, set up in 2005. Owner, Duane, has been instrumental in rejuvenating the cocoa industry on the island. For something a bit special, why not let us organise a private rum and chocolate tour.
Trinidad and Tobago... It's a twin thing
Rarely mentioned individually, Trinidad & Tobago do suffer a tad from a plural identity. It's almost as if distinguishing one island from the other might induce separation anxiety...
Having grown up in Trinidad, our travel adviser Fiona knows just about all there is to know about Trinidad & Tobago. She'll give you the inside track on the islands, what's hot and what's not. She'll recommend the best local places to eat and will even convince you that a goat racing festival can be fun! If you fancy partying at the biggest carnival in the Caribbean, or you want to experience the Tobago jazz festival which now draws in some big global names, Fiona will help you plan your perfect trip.
Flying time from the UK is approximately 9 hrs (add an hour for a touchdown in Antigua or Saint Lucia). British Airways Departures 5 times a week from Gatwick to Trinidad (via Saint Lucia). Weekly departures from Gatwick to Tobago via Antigua. Virgin Atlantic Non-stop departures from Gatwick to Tobago, twice a week between January - March and weekly from April onwards.
4 hours behind GMT and 5 hours behind BST.
Trinidad & Tobago Dollar. Selected banks, shops and tourist facilities will accept Access/Mastercard, Diners Club, American Express and Visa.
A full British passport is required for Trinidad & Tobago and it should be valid for 6 months after the return date of your holiday. Visas are not required for British citizens. No special health documentation is necessary for residents of the UK who have not recently visited parts of the world where cholera or yellow fever is a problem.
It is illegal to wear any camouflage clothing anywhere on the islands. Any camouflage clothing found by customs will be confiscated and returned on departure.