Trinidad and Tobago


Trinidad & Tobago, the sister Islands are quite different. Trinidad, on one side, has traditionally depended on its industrial base for wealth and employment. Tobago, on the other side, is a laid back Island where tourism is very important. We will therefore describe mostly Tobago.
Tobago is really the last of the “unspoilt Caribbean.” This strip of elongated land just forty-one by fourteen kilometres abounds with natural allure: palm-lined beaches, lush rain forests and pristine coral reefs. Tobago is thirty-five kilometres away from its bigger sister Island, Trinidad, the most southerly island of the Caribbean. Tobago offers a striking contrast in landscapes and people. The pace of life here is slower and away from the established, but not crowded, resorts at the western end of the island there are plenty of secluded coves and bays in which to idle away the hours in the water and the sun in the classic Caribbean fashion. Tobago lies south of the hurricane belt, therefore not touched by them. The island is surrounded by the tranquil Caribbean Sea on its North Coast with the less calm Atlantic Ocean on its southern and western sides. Tobago - a secret Caribbean hideaway where mangos, sea spray, and citrus scent the air. From wide-eyed school kids to gnarled old fishermen, there is a quality of welcoming here that the visitor doesn't easily forget. Ancient rainforests, mind-blowing coral reefs, and foot-tapping calypso, in Tobago... it's all good!


Originally named 'Tobaco' by the Aboriginals, after the long-stemmed pipe they used to smoke what we call tobacco, Tobago was a natural resource of wealth. Fertile soil, a wide variety of flora and fauna, the diverse terrain and an ideal location were some of the elements that made the island a prized gem for the Europeans. Christopher Columbus first spotted Tobago while sailing from Trinidad on August 13th 1498, and other explorers soon followed. Subsequent to this, over a period of approximately 250 years, there were numerous upheavals during the quest for the ownership by the Spanish, British, Dutch, Courlanders, French, and even the Americans. Today, the diverse community of Tobagonians has blended the influences of the past to create an existence that does not reflect a single over-riding influence, but forms a unique heritage all its own.
In 1876, Tobago became a Crown Colony and in 1889, became a ward of Trinidad. Tobago gained full independence from the British on August 31st, 1962 and became a Republic on September 24th, 1976.


Tobago’s culture is as diverse as the various countries that colonized it. About 40 per cent of the population is of black African descent. A further 40 per cent can trace their ancestry back to India. The remainder is European, Chinese or a combination of all four groups and the languages you’ll hear will be English, French, Spanish and Hindi. It's quite a mixture. Its main towns, Scarborough and Plymouth, are really large villages where there’s always a friendly smile for visitors.



To See

A spectacular sight in Tobago is the Buccoo Reef, a large area of sea fan, stag horn and white brain coral just below the surface. The south-western tip, Crown Point, is low-lying coral limestone, and off the coast there is a coral lagoon bounded by the beautiful Buccoo Reef. There are several smaller islands around the coast of Tobago which are ideal reserves for wild life. Most notable of these is "Little Tobago", a bird sanctuary for the world-famed "Bird of Paradise".
If Tobago had to be nicknamed, it would probably be called "Nature Island." Custom-made for the eco-traveller, with pristine underwater and land-based beauty, this tiny untouched island is one of the best-kept secrets in the Caribbean. In addition to spectacular weather, great scenery and relatively uncrowded turquoise-blue beaches, Tobago is famous for its glass-bottomed boats that you can safely board to explore the underwater treasures without getting wet.

Usefull Information

Airports: Crown Point International Airport.

Area: 300 km2 (16 square miles). Tobago is 41 km long and 14 km at its greatest breadth.

Business: Banks are open Monday to Thursday, 8am-2pm; Friday, 9am-12noon and 3-5pm. The principal banks are Citibank, First Citizens Bank, Intercommercial Bank, Republic Bank, Royal Bank and Scotia Bank.

Capital: Port of Spain, on Trinidad Island of the country. The main city of Tobago is Scarborough, with a population of just over 1,000.

Climate: Tobago boasts a warm, tropical marine climate, with constant cool breezes from North East trade winds. There is a dry season for the first six months of the year, while the months from July to December account for the rainier periods of the year. The weather is cooler than the wet season and less humid. The rainy season means the island is at its prettiest - lush and green, prices are at their lowest, and tourists are few.

Clothing: Cool and casual in the day. Swimwear is for the beach and pool only. Cover up for business, shopping and dinner. It’s illegal to sunbathe topless in Tobago. Mosquito 
repellent & bite cream is recommended, particularly in the wet season - they bite during and after a rain burst, and as the sun starts to set.

Currency: Trinidad & Tobago Dollar - TT$.

Customs: Duty-free allowance: 1,136l of liquor, 200 cigarettes/50 cigars, gifts up to TT$1200 a year for persons 17 years and older. Travellers must declare currency which exceeds TT$20,000. or USD$5,000.The import of local currency is unlimited, provided declared on arrival. The export of local currency is limited to TT$200.

Economy: Unlike Trinidad’s highly industrialized economy, Tobago relies heavily on the service sector. Tourism, agriculture and fishing are Tobago’s major revenue-earners.

Electricity: 110 and 220 volts, 60 cycles.

Entry & Departure requirements: Please refer to the official Trinidad & Tobago tourism website (link below) or ask us.

Health: Medical facilities are limited and medical personnel prone to striking. Proof of ability to pay is often required before treatment is given, even in emergencies. Medical insurance with provision for evacuation is strongly advised.

Holidays: New Year’s Day (01JAN), Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day (MAR), Good Friday, and Easter Monday (MAR-APR), Corpus Christi (MAY), Indian Arrival Day (MAY), Labour Day (JUN), Emancipation Day (AUG), Independence Day (AUG), Republic Day (SEP), Christmas (25-26DEC).

Language: English but French, Spanish and Hindi widely spoken. Locals also use a local Creole dialect, which is an intriguing mix of patois and extracts from European colonizers, especially the French and Dutch and Amerindian ancestors.

Political status: Independent nation; republic within the Commonwealth.

Population: 1,065,842.

Religion: Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Muslims and Jews are all represented.

Security: Most visits to Trinidad and Tobago are trouble free. Visitors travelling in Trinidad and Tobago are advised to take common-sense precautions and avoid large gatherings or any other event where crowds may congregate and should exercise normal caution and good judgment when visiting Trinidad and Tobago.

Shopping: Shops open 8.30am-5pm. Payment cards widely accepted.

Taxes & Service charges: Value Added Tax (VAT) of 15% is added to most consumer goods. A hotel tax of 10% is added to the nightly rates, and a service charge of 15% is added at most restaurants. Tipping is generally 10%, unless a service charge is already included on your bill.

Telecommunications: the international dialling code for Trinidad and Tobago is +1 868 followed by seven digits. On the islands, use the seven digits alone.

Time: GMT – 4 hrs. Trinidad & Tobago Time does not operate Daylight-Saving Time.

Transportation: Tobago is very rural. Few establishments outside the more built-up Crown Point area are within easy walking distance of more than one or two restaurants, shops or beaches. First-time visitors should start their holiday with an official guided tour of the island to get a complete overview of the Island. Public transport is extremely limited in Tobago but taxis are relatively cheap A self-drive rental is by far the best choice for true convenience and flexibility and driving is on the left.



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