Siblings Trinidad and Tobago are vastly different. Larger, boisterous Trinidad parlayed its oil-boom riches into one of the region’s most industrialised economies. And while its famous and lively Carnival is one of the world’s great street parties, the destination’s bountiful countryside, with vast forest preserves and marshland, remains off the chart for many travellers.
Sleepy Tobago, on the other hand, just 21 miles away, is a haven for those seeking the quintessential Caribbean vacation with cozy resorts, picture-postcard beaches and a stunning marine environment. Since both islands were once part of the South American mainland, they offer a far more diverse variety of plant and animal species than those found elsewhere in the Caribbean.
The famous Trinidad Carnival typically falls in February, but those who arrive at other times can still enjoy the lively beat of calypso and soca music, and the city’s many nightclubs offer a lively mix of the throbbing island beat. Despite its proximity to Venezuela, life on Trinidad is defined more by its colonial roots – African, Indian, Chinese, British and French – than by Latin American culture. The island’s ethnic diversity is particularly evident in Trini food.
Escape the capital to the beaches along the north coast, or the vast forest in the interior. The Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge draws birdwatchers with its oilbirds, the only nocturnal fruit-eating birds extant. At the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, boat tours bring visitors within viewing distance of the rare scarlet ibis, and the Nariva Swamp features howler monkeys. Divers will find the world’s largest known brain coral, as well as rocky canyons and deep caves populated with barracudas, dolphins, whale sharks, orange ball anemones, porpoises and manta rays.
Airports: Piarco International Airport, Trinidad (POS), 17 miles from the capital, Port of Spain. Crown Point Airport Tobago (TAB), 7 miles from the capital, Scarborough.
Gateways/Flying Times: British Airways fly directly from Gatwick to Piarco International and to Crown Point, Virgin Atlantic fly directly from Gatwick to Crown Point. London to Port of Spain: 10 hours 55 minutes. London to Tobago: 11 hours 5 minutes.
Average temperature High/Low: Summer 31.2/22.9 degrees C. Winter 30.2/20.8 degrees C. Average Humidity: Summer 84%. Winter 80%. Average Rainfall: Summer 1,553.7mm. Winter 316.2mm. Approx. Sunrise/Sunset: Summer 0556/1825. Winter 0625/1815.
Choose from Chinese, Lebanese, French, Italian, Indian, Thai and Local cuisine. Choices range from fine dining establishments to small family restaurants and roadside vendors.
Entertainment available includes-Nightclubs. Discos. Local entertainment in hotels featuring steel bands, limbo and calypso. Theatres. Dinner/Dances. Live music. Cinemas.
In Trinidad: Gasparee Caves. Maracas Bay. Las Cuevas. Paria Waterfalls. Maracas Waterfalls. Mt. St. Benedict. Lopinot Complex. El Dorado Shiv Mandir. Asa Wright Nature Centre. Cleaver Woods. Aripo Caves. Caroni Bird Sanctuary. Manzanilla Beach. Point Lisa Industrial Estate. Water Wheel. Pointe-a-Pierre Wid Fowl Trust. Devils Woodyard. Pitch Lake. La Vega Garden Center. Chaguaramas Military History and Aviation Museum. Jinnah Mosque. Caroni Arena Reservoir. River Estate. Caroni Sugar Estate and Factory.
In Tobago: Fort King George. Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool. Fort Benett. Courland Monument. Mystery Tomb. Franklyn Waterfall. Witches Grave. Tobago Forest Reserve. Fort Cambleton. Pirates Bay. Flag Staff Hill. Water well. Little Tobago. Louis Dor Nurseries. Argyle Waterfall. Richmond Great House. Fort Granby. Adventure Farm and Nature Reserve. Botanical Gardens. Fairyhaus. Grafton Estate. – Caribbean Tourism Organization