What? Carnival began over 200 years ago. The Carnival is influenced by Nigerian (Egungun), French and Spanish folklore and the mixing of colonizers and slaves.
Where? The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is the southernmost nation in the Caribbean archipelago. Trinidad is the main larger urban island. Tobago is smaller and is known for its easy-going lifestyle and amazing beaches. Trinidad and Tobago’s main exports are petroleum, pitch (asphalt) and entertainment.
Who? Trinbagonians (Trinidadians and Tobagonians) have ancestors who were the indigenous inhabitants of the islands – the Caribs. Other Trinis have Nigerian, Ghanaian, Indian and Chinese ancestry from slavery. And others came from England, France and Spain as slave owners or from Syria and Lebanon to flee wars.
When? Trinidad Carnival is on the Monday (Lundi Gras) and Tuesday (Mardi Gras) before Ash Wednesday every year.
Why? Trinidad Carnival celebrates unity and bacchanal (good times)!
Climate: Trinidad and Tobago is tropical with an annual average temperature of 28 degrees Celsius. There is a Dry Season from January to May, and Rain Season from June to December.
Population: A little over 1 million people
Official Language: English
Capital City: Port of Spain
Official Currency: Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TTD)
ATM Access: PLUS, Cirrus, Visa, Master Card, Discover Card
Major Banks: RBC Royal Bank, Scotia Bank, Republic Bank (T&T, Ltd.)
Public Safety: The safest time to visit Trinidad and Tobago is during Carnival. At this time police presence is felt everywhere. During other times, please remember to be vigilant. Do not flaunt your money or else Trinidadians will think you want to share it with them! It is best to walk in pairs or small groups at night. Do not wander to unfamiliar neighbourhoods. Always ask us at Carifrique for advice. You can also ask your guesthouse or hotel manager for advice.
Other advice: Trinidadians are fun-loving people who enjoy ‘liming’ (hanging out) with friends and family after work and on weekends. Trinidadians will tell you exactly how they feel about politics, relationships, music, etc.
Food and drink: Trinidad and Tobago food is influenced by Nigerian, Ghanaian, Indian, French, Spanish, Lebanese and British styles. You can buy safe and delicious food at busy street stalls or in local restaurants. There are 4 and 5-star restaurants in hotels. You can find Japanese fusion, Korean and Chinese food in central Port of Spain. Rum is the most popular local alcoholic beverage. Bottled water, fruit juices and soda pop can be bought in convenience stores and grocery stores.
Cultural, Religious and Heritage Festivals: Trinidad and Tobago is a very culturally-diverse country. The main religions are Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. Throughout the year there are many cultural and religious festivals.
Beaches: Trinidad and Tobago are tropical islands with clean public beaches. The most famous beaches are Maracas, Las Cuevas, Blanchisseuse, Mayaro, Pigeon Point, Black Rock and Turtle Beach.
Diving: Tobago has the world’s largest Brain Coral. Divers in Tobago can see marine life including turtles, fish, hard or soft coral and sharks (depending on the season). Please ask us for more details.
Best live music: Listening to steel pan at a pan yard is the ultimate cultural experience. The steel pan instrument originated in Trinidad and Tobago. We can arrange pan yard tours. Panorama is the yearly steel pan competition during Carnival. It is a truly amazing experience. Please ask us for more details.
Clubbing: Port of Spain has bars and clubs that open nightly. The most popular clubs and bars are on Ariapita Avenue. Friday and Saturday are the busiest nights.
Shopping: Trinidad and Tobago has 4 large malls, many plazas, boutiques and outdoor farmer’s markets. We can arrange private shopping tours, fittings and meeting designers. Please ask us for more details.
Historical and cultural tours: Trinidad and Tobago do not have UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are forts, villages and sites from former British, French, Spanish and Carib civilizations. Please ask us for more details.
Eco tours: Trinidad and Tobago 7-day eco tours include turtle-watching, hiking, bird-watching and natural wonders.
Cooking Lessons and Food Tour: Enjoy an exciting 7-day Trinidad and Tobago Food Tour. You will take cooking lessons to learn unique Trinidadian tastes. You will also eat at Trinidad’s most famous restaurants.
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