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Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago are two islands that make up a small Caribbean nation often called ?T & T? or the ?Rainbow Country?. The colors of the flowers and plants will make you feel as if you are in the midst of a perpetual rainbow. It is only recently that Trinidad and Tobago became seriously interested in developing tourism. This nation is very commercialized with oil and gas companies and often plays host to business groups.

Port-of-Spain is the capital of Trinidad and is not the place for you if you want to get away from a crowded city. However, the hotels and restaurants here are very cheap. In the surrounding countryside, things are calmer and give you an opportunity to see the more than 700 varieties of orchids that bloom here and the more than 400 species of birds. This is truly a naturalist?s paradise.

The currency is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar, but US and Canadian currency is accepted in Port-of-Spain. You need to have a passport and a return ticket to enter the country. Whatever you do, don?t throw away the carbon copy of the immigration card you receive when you arrive. You?ll need this when you depart as well. Although English is the official language, there are so many people living here from all over the world, that you might here any language being spoken. 

Attractions

As with any Caribbean country, the main attractions are the beaches. However, in Trinidad most of the beaches are not developed and are in remote locations. In and around Port-of-Spain there are five popular beaches: Maracas Bay, Las Cuevas Bay, Blanchisseuse Bay, Balandra Bay and Manzanilla Beach.

There are also many good beaches on Tobago, but because few tourists come to this island, you will probably have the beach to yourself. Pigeon Point is excellent for swimming and sunbathing, but you have to enter through a private coconut plantation, for which you have to pay a fee. Black Bay is great for snorkelling and other beaches, such as Great Courland Bay and Turtle Beach are known for their crystal clear waters. The nesting turtles at Turtle Bay are a spectacular sight.

Deep sea fishing, scuba diving, golf and tennis are activities that will take up your time if you are so inclined.

There are many attractions in Port-of-Spain, such as the National Museum and Monument, the Red House on Woodford Square, Central Market, the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Emperor Valley Zoo, just to name a few. Around the island you can visit the Asa Wright Nature Center, Fort George and the Caroni Bird Sanctuary.

On Tobago, the ruins of Fort King George are a popular tourist attraction, as are the ruins of Fort James in Plymouth. Take a trip to Little Tobago to see the birds or go snorkelling off Buccoo Reef.

Accommodations and Dining

Although there are many expensive lodgings on both islands, such as the Blue Haven Hotel on Tobago and the Asa Wright Nature Centre Lodge on Trinidad, for the most part the lodgings are reasonably priced or downright cheap. Carnetta?s Inn, on Trinidad, have elegantly decorated rooms, each with a private bathroom, for only $60 US per night. On Tobago, and example would be fully equipped cottages at Sandy Point Village for only $77 US for a double suite.

The same price ranges exist in dining and with the many to choose from you can have any type of cuisine that you want.

Shopping and Nightlife

Shopping in Port-of-Spain will enable you to buy luxury items from all over the world at low prices. Trinidad is one of the cheapest places to shop in the Caribbean and you can certainly purchase the calypso shirts commonly seen here. The Art Gallery is the place to purchase local art and the Market is a very modern shopping mall with over 20 of the best stores on the island.

You can also enjoy shopping when you visit Tobago. The local market, in Scarborough,  is the best place for local crafts and if you are interested in buying ?batik?, the Cotton House Fashion Studio has the largest collection of batik clothing for you to choose from.

Port-of-Spain is the hotspot on Trinidad for nightlife with many bars and pubs to choose from. Trotters is busy every night of the week and in La Romain, HiRpm, is known for its pop-rock nights. Since Trinidad is the home of calypso and the steel band, you should expect to hear a lot of this music.

On Tobago, Buccaneer?s Beach Bar is one of the most charming places for nightly entertainment and Bonkers is the best place for reggae, soca and jazz.

 

 

 

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