WELCOME to the birthplace of the calypso and the steelpan and where carnival is something to remember. Trinidad and Tobago's rich culture and ethnic diversity is reflected in our numerous festivals, including the spectacular annual Carnival celebration. Carnival is celebrated the week before Ash Wednesday and is among the largest and most popular in the world. As a tourism destination Trinidad and Tobago has much to offer from traditional sun, sea and sand holidays, to excellent diving, adventure and ecotourism.
Trinidad and Tobago are the two most southerly islands in the Lesser Antilles chain of the Caribbean Islands. Trinidad, the main and larger of the two islands is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the East, Columbus Channel on the South, the Gulf of Paria on the West, and the Caribbean Sea on the North and comprises an area of 1,864 square mile (roughly the size of Rhode Island), 60 miles long and 36 miles wide. Venezuela is Trinidad's closest neighbour, only seven mile divides them at their closest point.
Tobago, Trinidad's sister island is only 1/16th the size of Trinidad and lies 21 miles northeast of Trinidad. Tobago has an area of 116 square miles. Fishing and tourism are the principal occupations. Tobago has miles of scenic beaches and there are many resort hotels, lagoons and undersea coral gardens with tropical fish. The most popular of these is Buccoo Reef.
Piarco International Airport (POS)
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago have a cosmopolitan society with an estimated population of 1.3 million. People of African descent make up about 40% of the population. About 40% are of Asian Indian background, and the remainders are of European, Middle East, Chinese or mixed ancestry. This mingling of races has given richness to the national life, unusual in this part of the hemisphere.
The varied population of Trinidad has also introduced a variety of religions. Christianity, Hinduism and Islam exist peaceably side by side. There are Angelican and Roman Catholic cathedrals, Muslim mosques, and Hindu temples, as well as Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist churches.
Trinidad and Tobago has a warm, sunny climate year round. The average daytime temperature is about 28 degrees Celsius. Our islands have two main seasons, the Dry season from January – May and the Rainy season from June to December. In the Rainy Season, mornings are usually sunny, followed by rainy afternoons and fair nights. During this time, our general rainfall pattern is interrupted by days of brilliant sunshine.
Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Great Britain on August 31, 1962. It became a Republic on August 1, 1976. The Head of State is the President. Executive power is vested in the Prime Minister and Government following democratic elections every five (5) years.
The local currency is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar. US dollars are widely accepted at an approximate rate of TT .30 to US.00 and you can find rate information at local banks, or the daily newspapers. Euros and the Pound Sterling (GBP) are not as widely accepted as US dollars. Traveller's cheques and international credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and malls. Automated Teller Machines are located at the airport, banks, malls, cities and towns.
There are substantial reserves of petroleum and natural gas. Heavy industries such as iron and steel, methanol and nitrogenous fertilizers are advanced. The economy is based on petroleum, natural gas, chemicals, manufacturing, tourism, food processing and beverages.
The international dialing code for Trinidad and Tobago is 1-868 followed by seven digits. On the islands, use the seven digits alone.
Banks are open on Monday to Thursday, 8am-2pm and Friday, 9am-12 noon and 3-5pm. Banks located in shopping plazas and malls are the exception to this rule with business hours from 10am to 6pm.
The principal banks are Citibank, First Citizens Bank, Intercommercial Bank, Republic Bank, RBTT Bank Limited and Scotiabank.
As a rule, the day starts at 8am and ends at 4pm, from Monday to Friday at most Government Departments and private business. Shops open from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday - except for stores in malls, which are open from 10am to 7pm.
Driving is on the left-hand side.
110/220 volts. If this voltage is different from your home country, some hotels offer adaptors to their guests or adaptors can be purchased from local hardware and electrical stores.
Trinidad and Tobago have been influenced by cultures from around the world, which lends local cuisine a flavourful blend of international style. Savour the mouthwatering spices of India, Africa, China, the Middle East and Europe in the distinctive Caribbean Style. Some favorite local dishes include roti, doubles, shark and bake, pelau, callaloo, crab and dumpling and a host of other mouth watering dishes.
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