Both islands offer an eclectic mix of traditions and cultural influences. Trinidad is the home of the steel band which adds to the islands’ delightful party spirit. During the islands’ Carnival the air pulses with the calypso beat, and limbo dancing is practiced by locals and visitors alike.
The islands’ capital, Port of Spain is a mix of the modern and the traditional as Bazaars vie for space with tall skyscrapers in the historic streets of Port of Spain, against a backdrop of verdant mountain slopes.
Trinidad is an island of volcanoes, nature reserves, and glorious sandy beaches that offer active sunshine filled days and nights that will sate the needs of any party animal. While the slower paced the tiny island of Tobago, with its protected rainforest and beach resorts, offers world-class beaches and watersport activities.
- 1 Explore the beautiful Island beaches:
- 2 Experience adventure watersports:
- 3 Enjoy a spot of West Indies Cricket:
- 4 Explore Trinidad’s caves:
- 5 Hike through natural rainforests:
- 6 Kayak and explore the Peninsular west of Port of Spain:
- 7 Bird spot at Little Tobago:
- 8 Mountain-bike across Tobago’s interior:
- 9 Take a sulfur bath at Pitch Lake:
- 10 Watch turtles on Tobago:
- 11 Do a little shopping on Trinidad and Tobago:
- 12 Experience Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago:
- 13 Nightlife on the island of Trinidad:
- 14 Visit the President’s House and Royal Botanical Gardens:
- 15 Fort St George:
- 16 Mount St. Benedict Monastery, Trinidad:
- 17 How to get to Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Explore the beautiful Island beaches:
Turtle Beach is where, apart from bathing and snorkeling, you will find the island’s brown pelicans. Snorkeling opportunities are of the very best at Man O’War Bay. Other idyllic island beaches to explore and enjoy are to be found at Bacolet Bay, Pigeon Point, and Store Bay.
Experience adventure watersports:
Every beach on Tobago offers excellent water sports facilities but most particularly at Speyside and Buccoo Reef, along the southwest coast of the island. Here some of the best reefs in the Caribbean offer exciting dive sites, and glass-bottomed boats offer great tours to those less inclined to head underwater. There are also excellent opportunities for deep-sea fishing.
Enjoy a spot of West Indies Cricket:
In Port of Spain stands Queen’s Park Oval the venue for the very best in national and international cricket. Brian Lara’s cricketing career was launched here, and from time to time football matches challenge the popularity of the national game.
Explore Trinidad’s caves:
If you love to explore amid stalactites and stalagmites, then you should head for the Aripo Caves. The caves lie within El Cerro del Aripo, Trinidad’s highest mountain. If you are a committed Speleologist, then the Tamana Caves will enthrall you and most especially if bats fascinate you, as here hang 11 different species. After the Tamana Caves, you can head for the Gasparee Caves at Gaspar Grande.
Hike through natural rainforests:
There are long and challenging hiking trails in Tobago’s Main Ridge Forest Reserve. Take a trail past the three-tiered Argyle Falls or on the northern tip of the island make your way up Flagstaff Hill to the viewpoint with its dramatic panoramic views. Little Tobago also offers excellent hiking opportunities.
Kayak and explore the Peninsular west of Port of Spain:
Head for Williams Bay for the best in calm water kayaking or you can book a tour to kayak your way to a lighthouse. You can also opt to kayak the cave systems and take in a former leper colony. There are so many options available to those keen to explore from the water.
Bird spot at Little Tobago:
From the picturesque beach settlement of Speyside, you can head on to Bird of Paradise Island (Little Tobago) a bird sanctuary that offers sightings of the T&Ts national bird the Scarlet Ibis, or you can opt to visit the Caroni Arena Reserve on Trinidad where bird spotting is exciting and rewarding.
Mountain-bike across Tobago’s interior:
The best biking trails are in the Adventure Nature Reserve and the Main Ridge Forest Reserve. Travel on two wheels through glorious landscapes and lush forests with like-minded and equally fit bikers for a company under the guidance of experienced and knowledgeable guides. No matter what you level of ability, there is a Mountain biking adventure to suit you among the many excursions on offer.
Take a sulfur bath at Pitch Lake:
This self-replenishing asphalt lake is worth a visit even if you don’t fancy submerging yourself in sulfur filled waters in the surrounding pools. It is a rare phenomenon and the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world.
Watch turtles on Tobago:
If you are a lover of all that nature has to offer, it is worth joining a guided tour to watch leatherbacks as they come ashore to Black Rock. If you visit the islands between March and August, it is more than likely that you will be able to observe the hawksbill turtle’s strange and magical mating rituals along the northeast coast of the island.
Do a little shopping on Trinidad and Tobago:
Port of Spain’s Frederick Street offers the best opportunities for shopping. There are steel drums, woodcarvings, and leather goods as well as real value jewelry made of quality gold and silver.
Experience Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago:
Trinidad and Tobago Carnival at Queen’s Park Savannah / Photo Credit: REUTERS / Andrea De Silva
Carnival season begins two days before Ash Wednesday, and it is then that the two islands come alive with the music of calypso and steel bands. Every night of Carnival is a party night, and there is always something outstanding scheduled for each evening. If you are in Tobago, most performers can be found at Shaw Park, Scarborough, and Roxborough.
Nightlife on the island of Trinidad:
If you are a party animal and need to be right in the center of the bright lights, then you will find much to entertain you in the many nightclubs and hotels of the island. “The city that never sleeps” is to be found at St James, West of the Port of Spain where vibrant, intoxicating bars and clubs party to the early hours.
Visit the President’s House and Royal Botanical Gardens:
In this vast area named Queen’s Park Savannah are the Royal Botanical Gardens and The Emperor Valley Zoo as well as some luxury mansions that include the President’s official residence. There is something of interest in every nook and cranny of this glorious mix of man-made and natural wonders.
Fort St George:
Built in the 1780s to the west of Port of Spain, high above the city, overlooking Scarborough Bay, is Fort St George with its signal box, said to have been designed by an African prince. The remnants of the brick and stone walls remain of the early prison and the officer’s mess. The Tobago Museum is also at the fort where you can see antique maps and Amerindian artifacts. The fort affords a great view over the city and beyond to the mountains of Venezuela.
Mount St. Benedict Monastery, Trinidad:
Mount St Benedict Monastery is one of the most remarkable Parts of the Port of Spain’s landmarks. Benedictine monks established this the oldest monastery in the Caribbean in 1912. The Benedictine principles of self-sufficiency and hospitality are still in full sway today. The monastery has a small guesthouse and is famous for its home-made yoghurt, and local fruit jams and jellies. It is an ideal spot from which to start or end a hiking tour through the surrounding forest.
How to get to Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Caribbean Airlines offer flights direct from New York to Port of Spain.
British Airway flies from London with a brief stop in Antigua before landing on Tobago.
American Airlines flies direct from Miami to Port of Spain.
Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport is 17 miles (27km) east of Port of Spain.
Tobago’s Crown Point International Airport is 4 miles (7km) west of Scarborough.
If calypso and steel bands, glorious beaches, vibrant nightlife and a plethora of adventure activities are what you seek, then you can do no better than to holiday on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Whether you choose a luxury resort or budget hotel, or even a private guesthouse, Trinidad and Tobago offer an easy-going holiday lifestyle that just cannot be equaled.