Trinidad and Tobago

At Home in Trinidad and Tobago   Less than half a days’ air journey from the U.S., lie the two beautiful, sun-kissed Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Compact, English speaking, exotic and filled with beautiful flora and fauna, Trinidad and Tobago are situated in the Caribbean Sea – a true natural paradise! Trinidad and its little sister, Tobago are the Caribbean archipelago odd couple. Trinidad, also dubbed ‘The Rainbow Country’ because of its thick floral growth, is the more densely populated island of the two and is a thriving, cosmopolitan Caribbean island having strong regional influences. Tiny Tobago on the other hand, is slow-paced, laid back and more undeveloped.   Trinidad – the founder of steel drum music, calypso and of course the limbo – was once only visited by businesspeople traveling to the Port of Spain. The island concentrated more on natural gas, oil and the other iron and steel industries rather than trying to boost tourism. But, all that has now changed. Trinidad is one of the world’s hottest tourist destination spots, with its renovated airport and a more spruced-up capital. The island’s elegance and cultural hodgepodge is far better than that of most of the other islands in the southern Caribbean.   On the contrary, Tobago, its sister island, is just as sleepy as ever – but this is what makes it so charming! Over the years, immigrants and Caribbean real estate investors from all over the world have come to this island, and today Tobago is a fascinating mélange of races, creeds and cultures.

Trinidad and Tobago Real Estate, Economy and Infrastructure   The official currency of Trinidad and Tobago is the Trinidad & Tobago Dollar (TT$). 1 TT$ = 100 Cents.   The twin Caribbean Island nation of Trinidad and Tobago has one of the most industrialized and diverse economies in all of the English-speaking Caribbean. With its large reserves of natural gas and petroleum, heavy industry is well developed and includes nitrogenous and methanol fertilizers, petroleum products and the iron and steel industries.   Land, sea and air transportation links are extremely good and telecommunication links with Europe and the Americas are modern and up-to-date. During the 1970’s, high world oil prices contributed in a big way towards the rapid expansion of this Caribbean island’s economy, with the GDP growing by a whopping 73% from 1970 to 1977. These were the thriving years in Trinidad and Tobago and a great deal of the country’s infrastructure was modernized and developed during this time. However, in the year 1988, the higher levels of public expenditure and the depressed oil prices led to a long period of economic shrinkage but, this period lasted only until 1993.   For investors considering investing in Trinidad and Tobago real estate, there are lots of choices. Luxury villas for sale in Tobago situated in the best locations and most are fully furnished. Villas start from US $475,000 and go up to US $750,000. For Caribbean real estate investors looking for something more affordable, then there are affordable holiday villas and condominiums in Trinidad and Tobago that start at about $350,000. Commercial real estate property is also widely available and affordable.   For an affordable and fun vacation or second home, the beautiful sister islands of Trinidad and Tobago will keep you coming back for more!

Trinidad and Tobago Activities, Dining and Entertainment   There is so much to see and do in Trinidad and Tobago that it would take you more than just one vacation to see it all!   The Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago have mastered the art of polishing all those attractive elements of the complete fine dining experience. When you take into consideration that fine dining in Trinidad and Tobago is a lot cheaper than spending an evening in perhaps France or any other metropolitan city, you’ll realize just how developed these islands are.   Foreign and local cordon bleu cooks have mastered the art of seasoning over the past 500 years. Gourmet chefs have now refined the crude Caribbean approach to cuisine by introducing a gourmet subtlety, which results in mouthwatering and universally delicious dishes that harbor a distinct Caribbean flavor.   Nightlife does not only consist of fine dining and eating outside. If it’s a party you’re looking for, then the Trinidadians seriously know how to party and to have a good time! Tobago, on the other hand is a lot less active, but is still very similar to Trinidad. Trinidad’s music, Soca, has evolved with the times to match the current pace of life. Soca is different from rave music in only two distinct ways: the melodies are a lot sweeter and it isn’t called rave music. From having a couple of drinks at the local pub to clubbing all night to going for a live concert, the nightlife in Trinidad is dynamic and vibrant.

Trinidad and Tobago Climate

The Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago are situated in the tropics and both enjoy an overall pleasant tropical climate, which is influenced by the northeasterly tradewinds. In Trinidad, the average temperature year round is about 85°F. Humidity levels are high, especially in the rainy season, which starts in June and extends until December. During the summers, the island central interior experiences drought. The climate in Tobago is very similar but slightly cooler. The rainy season here also starts in June and extends to December. Both the islands are located outside the Hurricane belt and there have been no major storms in recent times.   Casual wear is acceptable throughout the island, and shirts with short sleeves are usually accepted for social and business gatherings. However, beachwear must be confined to the poolside and beaches.   Trinidad and Tobago Location and Travel   The twin Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago form the southernmost islands of the Caribbean archipelago. Geologically, they are an extension of the South American continent. The 7-mile straits of the Gulf of Paria separate Venezuela and Trinidad.   The national airline of Trinidad and Tobago is BWIA, which flies daily to the other Caribbean Islands and to many towns in the North and South American coasts. It also operates daily from Miami, New York and London. Piarco International Airport is the main airport and is situated roughly 25km east of Port of Spain. Crown Point is another international airport and is situated 13 km from Scarborough. There are daily flights that are run by Caribbean Star and operate from Port of Spain to Crown Point. Tobago Express is another flight that links Tobago to the Port of Spain.   If you want to travel by sea, then the main ports are in Scarborough and Port of Spain. Some of the cruise liners that stop over at Port of Spain are Silversea and Princess. There is daily ferry service from the Port of Spain to Scarborough. The journey will give you the opportunity to experience some of the most breathtaking views of the two islands.   Traffic drives on the left. In Trinidad, the road network between the major towns is good, but traffic during the peak hours can be quite difficult. The roads in Tobago are narrower than the ones in Trinidad, but are improving drastically and most parts of the island are easy to reach. You should have no problem driving around Tobago during the day or night.   Bus service on the islands is generally overcrowded and unreliable. If you are uncomfortable traveling by bus, then you can probably travel in shared taxis, which are available inside as well as out the Port of Spain. In Tobago, bus service is more regular. Hiring a private taxi is more expensive, but it allows you to go where exactly you want to. The fastest and most affordable way to get around the islands is by Maxi Taxi and Route Taxi, which run through standard routes in Trinidad.   Motorcycles and cars are easily available in Port of Spain and Scarborough and rented through hotels or at the airport. Trail bikes have become quite popular in Tobago, but if you are an inexperienced rider, then you should probably consider renting a moped. In Tobago, there are several places where you can rent bicycles.   If you’re visiting Trinidad and Tobago, keep in mind that foreign currency can only be exchanged at specific authorized banks and a few hotels. There are ATM’s throughout the islands. Major credit cards are widely accepted by most shops, banks and other tourist facilities. Traveler’s checks are also widely accepted all over the islands. Trinidad and Tobago Culture and History   When Christopher Columbus discovered Trinidad and Tobago in 1498, the only inhabitants were the Arawaks and the Carib Indians were the only residents in Tobago. The Caribbean Island of Trinidad remained a part of the Spanish Colony in spite of being continually raided by other European nations. It was ceded to Great Britain in the year 1802. Tobago, on the other hand, has been shuffled between Britain and France many times, but was eventually handed over to Britain in 1814. The abolishment of slavery took place in the year 1834. From 1845 to 1917, thousands of enslaved workers were brought from India to work on the sugarcane plantations. However, in the year 1889, the islands of Trinidad and Tobago were made a single colony.   The sister islands of Trinidad and Tobago have two completely different tones. Trinidad is the fun, upbeat Caribbean Island, while Tobago is more relaxed and laid back. Nevertheless, both these islands have similar cultural flavors and their diverse and rich cultures make them a wonderful place to visit. Festivals and music are the biggest means of cultural expression on these Caribbean islands, but the arts also contribute a lot towards the culture.   The culture of these two islands reflects the influences of Indian, Amerindian, British, Portuguese, Caribbean, American, African, French, Chinese, Spanish and Venezuelan cultures.   Carnival is the most popular cultural festival on the two islands, and steel band and calypso music is world famous. The yearly carnival celebrations take place throughout the Caribbean, but it originated in Trinidad. Every year with the onset of this festival, the streets are filled with locals and tourists who mingle to celebrate while watching the parades.   The Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago have a great musical history that has been influenced deeply by the music, which was performed by Africans who were brought into the islands as slaves. But due to the wildness of the celebrations, drums, which were the main elements of Trinidadian music, were banned during the festival. This move forced the locals to come up with new ways to include rhythm into their music.   The tambour-bamboo was a method of playing music on a cut bamboo. Eventually this instrument was also banned and the style gradually faded away. Over the years, steel band music slowly replaced tambour-bamboo and this style has now become so popular that it is known all over the world.   One of the most interesting aspects about these two Caribbean islands is their unique ethnic backgrounds. While most of the other Caribbean islands are largely populated by the descendants of African slaves, Trinidad and Tobago are home to immigrants from the East Indies, who also came to these islands as enslaved workers. This gives the two sister islands a characteristic culture unlike any other Caribbean island.  

                                                                  Flag                                                    Coat of Arms

Motto “Together we aspire, together we achieve”                              Anthem “Forged From The Love of Liberty”   Capital Port of Spain   Official Languages English   Government President George Maxwell Richards Prime Minister Patrick Manning   Parliamentary Democracy Republic Independent from the United Kingdom since 31st August, 1962   Area 5,128 km² (172nd) 1,979 sq mi Water negligible Population 2005 Estimate: 1,305,000 (152nd)    Density 207.8 /km² (47th) 538.6 /sq mi   GDP (PPP) 2005 Estimate Total: $18.352 billion (113th)   Per Capita $19,700 (46th)   Currency East Caribbean dollar (XCD)   Time Zone (UTC-4)   Internet TLD .tt   Calling Code +1-868

Maps

Trinidad and Tobago Islands