Trinidad and Tobago

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About

Maracas Bay

  • Trinidad and Tobago consists of two Caribbean islands off the northeastern coast of Venezuela
  • It is one of the most prosperous countries in the Caribbean, it is also the most industrialized
  • English is the official language, using British spelling
  • Trinidad and Tobago is a multi-religious nation, consisting mostly  of Roman Catholic and Hindus
  • The islands are 34 km apart, with air service as well as ferry service several times a day; the islands are quite different in appearance and culture, making it like two destinations for the price of one
  • Trinidad is lively, full of music and activity and energy.
  • Tobago is  more peaceful, with wonderful clear water and white-sand beaches
  • Tobago is quite small, ranging only about 48 km by 16 km
  • Trinidad is larger, spanning about 105 km by 80 km.  It has a beautiful mountain range along the northern coast, and smaller ranges of hills in the centre and south of the island, with flat or rolling plains between.
  • The population is about 1.2 million overall, with only 50,000 on the island of Tobago.
  • The islands were first inhabited by Arawak and Carib people, who settled from the South American mainland
  • Founded by Christopher Columbus and under Spanish rule, large numbers of French settlers established cocoa plantations in Trinidad and imported slaves to work for them
  • The British seized the island in 1798, and abolished slavery
  • Trinidad and Tobago were united in the 1880’s.
  • In 1962, the islands achieved independence from England and became the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 1976.


FACTS

    • Trinidad was named by Christopher Columbus, who discovered this island during his third voyage to the New World in July, 1498
    • The people of Tobago are called Tobagonians and those hailing from Trinidad are called Trinidadians or Trinis. Together, the people of Trinidad and Tobago are referred to as “Trinbagonians.”
    • Port of Spain is the capital of Trinidad and Scarborough is the capital city of Tobago
    • Languages spoken: English and French Patois.
    • Popular musical forms are Calypso and Soca
    • Renowned for its pompous carnival celebrations and popular dance form, the Limbo.
    • The literacy rate of Trinidad & Tobago exceeds 98% as a result of education being free from Kindergarten to University.
    • The people of Trinidad & Tobago are very religious and saying grace before every meal is considered proper
    • The law of the island states that all children between the ages of 5 and 16 must go to school
    • Cricket is the national sport of Trinidad & Tobago. Soccer however is the second most popular sport in the island
    • Trinidad and Tobago is a multi-cultural democracy housing African, Indian, Asian, French and Dutch descents.

Avg. Costs

Cumana Bay

  • Shark and Bake – 25 TT
  • Cold soft jelly coconut water — available along the roadsides — costs about 3-4 TT

 

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Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Steel Drums in Royal Botanical Garden

  • It is recommended to stay out of East Dry River, Belmont, and Laventille; as well, in Port of Spain, areas east of Charlotte Street are becoming increasingly unsafe
  • Dial 999 from any telephone for the police, however it should be noted that the police do not always respond to calls
  • Dial 990 for the fire department
  • Dial 811 for an ambulance.

 

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Climate

Tobago

  • Trinidad and Tobago, experience a  pleasant maritime tropical climate
  • In Trinidad, the annual low temperature is 26°C, with a maximum temperature of 34°C
  • They have a high humidity especially during the rainy season, with an average of 85%-87%.
  • Trinidad receives an average of 2,110 mm. of rain per year, usually concentrated in the months of June through December
  • During the dry season, drought plagues the island’s central interior
  • Tobago’s climate resembles Trinidad’s but is slightly cooler.
  • In Tobago the rainy season extends from June to December as well; the annual rainfall is 2,500 mm.

Places to See

Waterfront Port of Spain

Maracas Beach

  • Located on the Island of Trinidad, on the north side, about an hour drive from Port of Spain
  • Protected by a deep bay
  • One of the most well known beaches on the island and considered the most beautiful
  • The beach is mostly known for it’s Bake and Shark Huts
  • Bake and Shark is a Trinidadian native dish, consisting of deep-fried shark stuffed with deep-fried batter, called “Bake”

 

 

Queen’s Park Savannah

  • A large open area north of the city center, coined as “the world’s largest roundabout”
  • Over 180 years old and occupying 260 acres of land, it’s the oldest recreation ground in the West Indies
  • Originally owned by the Peschier Family, part of the Paradise Estate, it was procured and turned into a city park by Governor Sir Ralph Woodford in 1817
  • A small central portion of the land remains a burial ground of the members of the Peschier Family
  • It’s a venue for big concerts as well as a center of activity for various carnivals
  • During the day there are trucks parked on the side of streets selling coconuts, roasted corn, oysters and shark and bake
  • The park is home to the renowned Queens Royal College, Hayes Court, Mille Fleurs, Roomer and the Empoeror Valley Zoo and Botanical Gardens
  • The zoo opened in 1952 occupying 2.5 acres of land
  • Zoo hours: 9:30am to 6pm
  • Zoo admission fees: $0.65 for adults and $0.30 for children ages 3 to 12
  • The Botanical Gardens were opened in 1812
  • Gardens Hours: 6am to 6pm
  • Gardens admission: FREE

View Map

 

 

Fort George

  • Visit Fort George for outstanding views of the city
  • Located about 10 minutes from the Western Main Road
  • Constructed in 1804
  • The dungeon still has many cannon and cannonball exhibits on display
  • Fort hours: 10am to 6pm
  • Fort Admission: FREE

View Map

 

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Dates

  • 2012: Feb. 20-21
  • 2013: Feb. 11-12

Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• Greetings in a casual setting men will just nod heads toward one another
– Within a business setting a handshake is common
– Women will greet each other with a hello
– If more familiar they will kiss on the cheek or hug
– Between men and women casual is just a head nod
– In a business setting a handshake is common
• Tend to have a very direct style
– If criticized they will deflect it with a self deprecating joke
• An arms length of personal space is common
– They do not tend be very touchy during conversation

Business Etiquette:
• They are very American influenced
• Make appointments in advance
– Follow up with a confirmation in writing
• During negotiation there is usually no bargaining
– Rude or unacceptable to ask about the possibility of bargaining
– Be courteous and professional at all times
• Titles are commonly used with their surnames until permission is given to use first names
• No specific ritual around the giving of business cards
– Treat it with respect
• Dress etiquette is conservative
– Men – business suit or long sleeve shirt and tie with tailored pants
– Women – conservative suits or dresses

Contributions (1)

  • Nikita says...

    You can buy US and TT dollars to take on your trip, however the majority of places will only take TT dollars. When paying for items in the airport or possibly on the resort you can use US dollars.

    Posted on Thursday, August 30th 2012 at 1:27 pm

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