• Trinidad and Tobago
    © Richard Semik / 123RF
  • Trinidad and Tobago
    © Richard Semik / 123RF
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Trinidad and Tobago

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
Those who travel to Trinidad and Tobago will discover small islands of white sand beaches, coconut trees and ti-punch. The scene is thus set. Whereas Trinidad is renowned worldwide for its spectacular carnival, Tobago is nicknamed the "genuine Robinson's island". Actually, the island is home to 210 bird species, 123 butterfly species and countless other plant and animal species. Diving freaks will be taken in by the sea floor abounding in multi-coloured fish and corals, while visitors on land will be stunned by the shimmering colours of bougainvilleas, giant fig and mango trees. A paradise on earth recommended for all those wishing to rest in the day and dance at night.

Our Editorial team's advice

It is advisable to book your hotel room well in advance when coming for the Trinidad carnaval, a highly-prized and tourist event. During this celebration, cruise ships stop over at Trinidad. It is mainly during this period that British travel operators offer stays and cruises to Trinidad and Tobago.$$$

pros

  • +The carnaval of Trinidad is the most popular in the Caribbean Islands.
  • +Two islands that complement each other: stay with nature inTrinidad and lounge about inTobago.
  • +Discover an endemic fauna and flora...
  • +a diversity of landscapes, beaches, mountains...

cons

  • -It is not easy to prepare your trip from the UK: no tourism office, few direct flights from London, very few travel guides for this destination which is virtually not programmed by tour operators!

Traditions

Made up of over forty different ethnic groups, the population of Trinidad and Tobago is naturally cheerful and laid-back. Dancing, music and satire, the main attractions of the carnaval are part and parcel of the daily life of the people. A British heritage, cricket has remained a national sport loved passionately by the people. Like the santeria at Cuba or the voodoo cult at Haiti, the xango cult remains dynamic. An Afro-American syncretism, blending Anglican, Catholic, Protestant and Indian rites, this practice equally incorporates ceremonial rites from West Africa.

Food

Like the local people, the cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago derives from a multiplicity of backgrounds: Creole, Indian, Eastern... Meanwhile, the Creole cuisine, a blend of African and European recipes, is the most widespread. The food products forming the basis of meals are fish, crustaceans, poultry, pork and numerous exotic vegetables growing on the island: bananas, cristophines, cassava, yams... Like on all islands of the Caribbean, you will find a wide variety of fruits: coconuts, bananas, mangoes, guava... Pepper and spices strongly season the dishes. Local drinks are rhum, punch and beer.

Souvenirs

Add to your shopping basket "local coloured" clothing like Indian saries or calypso shirts, copper items, rhum, spices, basketworks, traditional cloth dolls... You will also find a good number of duty-free products like porcelain or crystal, at very interesting prices. In Trinidad, shops open from 8h to 16h, Monday to Thursday, from 8h to roughly
18h on Friday, and from 8h to 13h on Saturday. In Tobago, they are open from 8h to 16h, from Monday to Friday, and 8h to
12h on Saturday. On both islands, you will find shopping malls open during the week and all day Saturdays.