Trinidad and Tobago is a twin-island country with a population of just over 1.3 million and it is located in the Caribbean, off the northern edge of the South American mainland. The country used to be governed by the British Colony until it gained Independence in 1962 and subsequently became a Republic in 1976. It comprises of two small islands which is governed by one Government body, headed by a President.
Trinidad and Tobago is known for its Carnival and is the birthplace of steelpan, limbo, and the music styles of calypso, soca, parang, chutney, chutney soca, soca parang, rapso etc.
Best time to visit
Typically, the best time to visit is for carnival which is either late February or early March. Every year at this time foreigners go to experience the culture. Trinidad and its sister island Tobago are popular tourist destinations (ranking #6 in the top 10 travel destinations in 2017 according to Vogue). Read full article here.
You can go to the Queens Park Savannah which is usually the main judging point for all mas bands. In order to get a good spot to spectate be sure to arrive early because a lot of the streets are blocked off from Carnival Sunday. Carry your sunblock and umbrellas if necessary as well as sufficient water, drinks and food. On Carnival Monday the Bands gather so that masqueraders and truck drivers can journey along the route which are to be taken for the next day. Tuesday is the main day where the Bands compete and are judged based on different criterias such as style, design, and originality of the costumes.
This picture was taken at the Maracas Lookout which is approximately 15 minutes away from the beach. People make a pit stops here to catch some fresh air or take pictures. Optionally, they may indulge in the sweets on sale from the nearby Vendors.
Popular foods are: Bake & Shark, Doubles, Roti, Callaloo, Souse and KFC.
Bake & Shark
Bake & Shark is a sandwich that can be dressed in lettuce, cucumber, shadon beni (eryngium) sauce, mustard, ketchup, cabbage, tomatoes, pepper sauce or whatever your heart desires. Condiments to go with the bake and shark are endless so you can choose based on your likes.
Another delecacy enjoyed by the Trinidad and Tobago people which is made of 2 barras (the dough) and seasoned channa (chick peas). It is common to have for breakfast and also it the equivalent of finger foods. They should be eaten while hot hence the reason most people have them on the spot. Below is what a typical doubles stand looks like followed by a picture of the actual doubles.
Getting To Tobago
The fastest way to get to Tobago is by plane which takes approximately 30 minutes. You would get a plane from the Piarco International Airport. Alternatively, you could take a Ferry from the dock of Port of Spain but this takes about 3 hours one-way.
Things To Do In Tobago
Be sure to taste a meal of Curry Crab and Dumplings! A favourite dish from Tobago. Go to Club Shade, the most popular Club in Tobago. The best time to go is either Friday or Saturday night. Hotel accommodation would also have to be made prior to your arrival. Stay at Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort. Before departing the airport purchase some sweets such as Bene Ball, Fudge, Preserved Mango and Plum.
Buccoo Reef, Tobago
There are glass bottom boats at Pigeon Point Bay which takes to to the Reef. Arrange with one of the boat operators to take you. They will then inform you of the cost and times the boat would be leaving and returning to shore. All boats usually have a tour guide to guide you along the journey. When you arrive at Nylon Pool, (a shallow area in the middle of the ocean), you would have the opportunity to snorkel or go for a swim.
Picture source: Google
Summary of Top 5 Things To Do While in Trinidad And Tobago:
Go to Maracas Bay.
Take part in Carnival. Ideally, the best option is to register play mas with a recognized Band such as Tribe. Most Bands offer bookings online so that you can book prior to your trip.
Visit the sister isleTobago and stayat least 1 night. Spend the day at the beach.