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contents Trinidad

Tobago

Where to…

Where to…

What to…

What to…

n Stay — the best places for your style and budget 13 n Dine — plus local treats to try! 18 n Lime & party 24 n Shop — from essentials to souvenirs 26

n Stay — the best places for your style and budget (or getting hitched!) 100 n Dine — plus local treats to try! 108 n Lime and party 109 n Shop — from essentials to local souvenirs 110

See n our favourite beaches — get some Vitamin Sea 30 n our favourite sites (by region) 34 Experience n eco escapes & ocean adventures 46 n arts & culture 56 n festivals — including Carnival! 60 n sports — football, cricket, tennis, swimming, cycling & more! 68

see n our favourite beaches n our favourite sites Experience n eco escapes n ocean adventures n diving n Tobago’s biggest festivals n sports

T’dad Maps

Tobago Map

72 Advertiser listings

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Calendar of Events 84 Visitor info Getting to T&T Getting around in T&T Travel basics T&T in a nutshell T&T history at a glance

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111 116 118 124 126 127 130

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Republic Bank

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welcome

Come and discover Trinidad!

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If you’re hungry for even more info, make sure to check out our website (discovertnt.com), plus past editions which — like this one — are available for download to your desktop or favourite mobile device. Just search for us in your device’s App Store, or on Magzter.com. Happy travels!

A forest bridge near Biche

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chris anderson

rinidad is anything but a Caribbean cliché. This is a cultural, festival, and sporting centre; bliss for naturalists and eco adventurers; a foodie haven; and a hub for regional industry and commerce (including shopping). However you choose to spend your time in Trinidad, we’ll help you make the most of it.


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MESSAGE

From The Tourism Development Company (TDC)

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ou may have heard about this dual-island destination’s incredible biodiversity, with fantastic opportunities for spotting over 400 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles as you hike through the rainforest to pristine waterfalls and rivers. You may have also heard about Tobago’s beautiful beaches and amazing dive sites. We’re sure you’ve heard about the colour, rhythm, and splendour of our national festivals like Carnival and Phagwa, and that you’ll find the tastiest street food in the Caribbean, right here — doubles, conch cocktails, bake and fish, and much more! Now, international sporting bodies and their fans and supporters will have the opportunity to experience the true Caribbean in Trinidad & Tobago, while also accessing state-of-the-art training and competition facilities. With a goal of attracting and hosting international sporting events, the destination recently commissioned three world-class sporting facilities for swimming, cycling, and tennis. The Aquatic Centre in Couva boasts two Olympic-sized swimming pools, a 25m diving pool, recreational facilities, and permanent seating for 700 spectators. Also located in Couva is the new Cycling Velodrome, a 100% indoor facility with controlled temperatures, wooden high-performance cycling track, inner circle concrete warm-up track, and fixed seating capacity of 2,500. To the east is the Racquet Sports Centre in Tacarigua, which boasts one indoor court with a seating capacity of 1,500, 6 outdoor courts, as well as restaurant and dining facilities. Whether you’re here for sports or leisure or a little bit of both, we know you’ll find what you’re looking for right here. Welcome to Trinidad and Tobago — two unique islands…two unique experiences.

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Credits

Editor: Caroline Taylor Consulting editor: Jeremy Taylor Editorial & design assistant: Shelly-Ann Inniss Designer: Bridget van Dongen Consulting designer: Kevon Webster Business development : Denise Chin, Yuri Chin Choy, Helen Shair-Singh Production: Joanne Mendes, Jacqueline Smith General manager: Halcyon Salazar Trinidad Cover: The stunning Blue Grotto in the Gasparee Caves. NB: No swimming is permitted without the permission of the Chaguaramas Development Authority. Photo: Wendell Stephen Jay Reyes Tobago Cover: A baby leatherback turtle makes its way to the sea. Photo: Giancarlo Lalsingh A publication of Media & Editorial Projects Ltd. (MEP) 6 Prospect Avenue, Maraval, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago T: (868) 622-3821 F: (868) 628-0639 E: info@discovertnt.com W: discovertnt.com

Connect with us online:

ISSN 1680-6166 © 2016-17 Media & Editorial Projects (MEP) Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the prior written consent of the publisher.

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where to stay

courtesy kapok hotel

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usiness travellers and those looking for upscale, full-service hotels near the capital and San Fernando will find a range of great properties offering everything they’ve come to expect — wifi, conference facilities, restaurants, spas, pools, gyms, and more. Nature lovers will also find soothing escapes near many of Trinidad’s main eco attractions, and far from the madding crowd!

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courtesy hyatt regency trinidad

Around Port of Spain

HOME-GROWN BRANDS The stylish Kapok boutique hotel (St Clair, close to the Savannah) is one of the leading independent hotels and conference centres around the capital. Among the most popular guesthouses, B&Bs, and self-catering options are The Allamanda (Woodbrook); Crosswinds Villa Bed & Breakfast (Santa Cruz); Forty Winks Inn (Port of Spain); Culture Crossroads Inn (St James); and the Coblentz Inn and L’Orchidée Guesthouse* (Cascade).

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courtesy courtyard by marriott

INTERNATIONAL BRANDS In the heart of Port of Spain, you’ll find the elegant Hyatt Regency Trinidad; the Radisson is directly opposite. A little further west is the Courtyard by Marriott, near the dining and entertainment attractions of MovieTowne. And just north of the capital, overlooking the Queen’s Park Savannah, is the Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre.

Near the airport For those needing a base in the east or near the airport, head to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites (Trincity) and the University Inn at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine.

In the southland

In and around San Fernando, the independent Tradewinds and Royal hotels are always in demand.

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Birders and naturalists head to places like the renowned Asa Wright Nature Centre* (north of Arima); the Hacienda Jacana (Talparo); Pax Guesthouse* at Mt St Benedict (Tunapuna); Petrea Place at the Pointe-à-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust; Xanadu Resort (near Lopinot); and Acajou, Le Grand Almandier* and Mt Plaisir, near the nation’s turtle-watching capital of Grande Rivière. * These properties are participants in the EarthCheck programme

Prices & availability

Hotel rooms average US$165–260 a night, and guesthouses $75–105. Availability is usually good, except around Carnival and major conferences or events, where prices can increase significantly.

Acajou hotel

Spa time

If you’re staying at hotels like the Hyatt and Hilton, you’ll find an array of opportunities for pampering right on site. You can also find a variety of spa and beauty treatments at The Face & Body Clinic’s four branches (Port of Spain, San Fernando, Chaguanas, and in Tobago).

All rooms and suites are air conditioned and outfitted with modern facilities for your every comfort including internet access and direct dial telephone. Enjoy a meal at our restaurant which specialises in a variety of tasty Caribbean and International cuisine, or just sit back and relax at our bar and lounge or around our swimming pool. Our new building includes conference facilities as well as an ideal settingfor wedding receptions, cocktail parties and other special functions. Other facilities include our complimentary gym and business centre with email and internet access, ideally suited for business or vacation. We also offer special group and long term rates.

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chris anderson

Escapes into nature


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dining

oodies may well be stumped for choice here. With African, Indian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Syrian-Lebanese, and other influences, the island’s culinary scene is distinct, dynamic — and delicious!

MovieTowne, Port of Spain); Smokey Joe’s (continental, Woodbrook); Tiki Village (Asian, St

courtesy zanzibar

Top chefs serve up delectable dishes — sometimes traditional, sometimes daring fusions — in stylish settings, which range from sleek and modern new builds, to architectural gems steeped in history. Some of the most popular and celebrated venues for sit-down meals and fine dining are: the Hyatt’s Waterfront Restaurant (Caribbean/international, Port of Spain); Kaizan Sushi (Asian,

courtesy tiki village, kapok hotel

The restaurant scene

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Breakfast wrap

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courtesythe g spot food truck

Clair); and Zanzibar (international, MovieTowne, Port of Spain); as well as Aioli (Mediterranean, Maraval); Angelo’s (Italian, Woodbrook); Apsara (Indian, Port of Spain); Bacco (Italian, San Fernando); Buzo (Italian, Woodbrook); Chaud (international fusion, St Ann’s); Jaffa at the Oval (international, Woodbrook); Joseph’s (Lebanese, Maraval); Krave (Mediterranean, Marabella); Prime (steakhouse, Port of Spain); Rizzoni’s (Italian, Port of Spain); Samurai (Japanese, Port of Spain); Texas de Brazil (steakhouse, Port of Spain); Town (international, Woodbrook); Veni Mangé (Caribbean creole, Woodbrook); and Zazou (French, Maraval). For quick and healthy sandwiches and salads, there are Subway outlets nationwide. And for something a little different, try the G Spot Food Truck (Port of Spain).


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When in Trini…

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ou’ll find creative iterations of some of these local favourites at fine dining restaurants, but they’re perhaps best served up at more low-key spots on the roadside, by the beach, and at creole eateries. Some hot-spots are St James, Woodbrook, Curepe, Long Circular Road, Maracas Bay, and Debe (especially for Indian food).

Here are some favourites you should try: n Buljol: shredded saltfish mixed with onions, tomatoes and olive oil, often served with coconut bake n Bake-and-fish: the tradition is shark but, for environmental sustainability, we strongly suggest substituting flying fish, mahi mahi, squid/calamari, carite, tilapia, wahoo, lionfish — or a vegetarian option — to go with the fried leavened bread (bake). We promise it will taste just as good, and be much better for our ecology! n Callaloo: soup made from dasheen leaves, coconut milk, ochroes, pumpkin, and sometimes salted meat or crab n Chow: fruit (like mango, pineapple or plums) pickled in vinegar, salt, and pepper n Corn soup: a split peas-based soup with corn and dumplings n Doubles: soft, fried, flour-and-split-pea shell (barra) filled with curried chick peas n Pastelle: seasoned meat, lentils or soya with olives, capers, and raisins in a cornmeal casing and steamed in banana leaves — a Christmas staple n Pelau: a one-pot dish of rice, pigeon peas, and meat, often cooked in coconut milk n Roti: a hefty flour wrap (often with ground split peas) filled with your choice of curried vegetables and/or meat.

courtesy the tourism development company

Tip: Authorised vendors display food badges that certify official health inspection and approval.

Coconut bake and buljol

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liming & o what is “liming”, exactly? All it really means is passing time and enjoying yourself, with company, in whatever way you like. Trinis take this so seriously that they have made this into an art, and a science — so much so that the word even appears in the New Oxford American Dictionary!

Hard lime, or soft lime…

Whether you’re limin’ hard (like partying), or limin’ soft (probably chillin’ in a bar or lounge), you’ll find that each community has its favourite bars and haunts. There are, however, certain epicentres that inspire pub crawls and club-hopping for those with the resources: Woodbrook (especially Ariapita Avenue, or “De Avenue”); Western Main Road (St James); St Clair; MovieTowne (Port of Spain and Chaguanas); Trincity Mall; and Grand Bazaar.

Look out for…

n Woodbrook & “De Avenue”: 51° Lounge; Aria Lounge; Club Royal Caribbean; Coco Lounge; De Nu Pub; Drink! Lounge & Bistro; Hereford’s Bar; More Vino; NuvoSera; Smokey and Bunty’s; Studio Lounge; and Zanzibar Restaurant n Around Port of Spain: HAZE; Katalyst Night Club; KAVA; Luce Lounge (at the Hilton); Martin’s Piano Bar; Paprika Restaurant & Bar; the Queen’s Park Oval; Sails Restaurant & Pub (Chaguaramas); Trotters; the Tzar Nightclub; and Vas Lounge

courtesy movietowne

n Heading east: Sandbaggers (Trincity); and Trevor’s Edge (St Augustine) n Around San Fernando: Hi RPM; Privé Nightclub, Lounge & Bistro; and Space La Nouba.

Fireworks at Fiesta Plaza, MovieTowne

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Drinks on “De Avenue”

Mega fetes (parties)

Special events that are too big for these spaces often happen in school and community grounds (like the Queen’s Park Savannah, Skinner Park in San Fernando, or the Eddie Hart Grounds in Tacarigua); sporting arenas (like the Hasely Crawford Stadium and other football stadia, or the Queen’s Park Oval); and seaside venues like the O2 Arena and Pier 1 in Chaguaramas.

Liming parlance, par excellence

CNN, MSN Travel and others have ranked the “undulating” Trini accent as among the world’s sexiest. “Sex on a pogo stick”, in fact. If you feel like carrying some of that sex appeal back home, try mastering some of these Trini words: n Bacchanal: multi-purpose word covering any conflict, chaos and confusion n Bazodee: state of (mostly love-induced) disorientation n Ent: “Not so?” Used especially for emphasis … ent? n Maco: noun and verb — to be nosy, or the person who is! n Steups: a sucking of the teeth — the equivalent of rolling one’s eyes n Tabanca: acute withdrawal, especially after a break-up (or a vacation!).

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courtesy the tourism development company

partying


shopping Distinctive local buys

Alcohol & beverages

Think local beers, award-winning local rums (like Angostura 1919), and the world-famous Angostura Bitters.

Cocoa & chocolate

T&T produces award-winning cocoa and chocolate. Try products from Cacique, Cocobel, Ortinola Great House, and the Trinidad & Tobago Fine Cocoa Company. Trinitario, the variety of cocoa developed here, is used by French luxury chocolate manufacturer Valrhona, and many others.

Hand-made chocolate

If you’ve fallen in love with our food, then pastelles, roti skins, seasonings, spices, pepper sauces, and chutneys are things that you might want to load up on. For the brave, try the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper (once ranked as the world’s hottest pepper by the Guinness Book of Records).

Art, music, books, fashion & more

Steelpans are a popular take-away, from the miniatures available at souvenir shops to a fullfledged tenor pan (contact Pan Trinbago, pantrinbago.co.tt). If you want to get some local fashion, music, art, and literature, see our Arts & Culture section for which names and brands to look out for.

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courtesy green market santa cruz

courtesy cocobel

Foodie favourites


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UNIQUE STYLE. YOUR WAY. The Falls at Westmall Upper Level 868.633.4736

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Head to‌ The malls

Trinidad has five major air-conditioned shopping malls: the Falls at West Mall (Westmoorings); Grand Bazaar (Valsayn); Gulf City (San Fernando); Long Circular Mall (St James); and Trincity Mall, plus many smaller shopping plazas and mini-malls. courtesy dreamstones

Downtown

Make a beeline for Frederick and Charlotte streets (Port of Spain); High St (San Fernando); and Main St (Chaguanas).

Specialty markets

The Green Market Santa Cruz offers fresh local produce, meals, artisanal items and more each Saturday morning. Once a month, UpMarket showcases local artisans at the Woodbrook Youth Centre.

courtesy gulf city mall

Seasonal markets & trade fairs

Travelling trade fairs from India offer bargains on Indian fashion and jewellery. And each year around Carnival and Emancipation Day, the Queen’s Park Savannah hosts a number of vendors selling local and international art, craft, and fashion. Gulf City Mall decorated for Christmas

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courtesy the tourism development company

chris anderson


beaches

Our favourite: Las Cuevas

There are many reasons why this beach is our favourite. It’s a long (2km/1.25 miles), sheltered, looping beach that’s calmer and better for swimming than most on the north coast, especially at the bay’s eastern end. It’s also quieter and less crowded. There are caves for sheltering or exploring; beautiful flowering trees; and the convenience of an on-site snack bar, bathroom and changing facilities, parking, and lifeguards on duty. But most impressively, this is the nation’s first Blue Flag beach. This means it meets strict criteria around water quality; environmental education, information, and management; and safety. Two tips: get there early if you’d like to park inside, and bring repellent as a precaution against any biting insects.

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chris anderson

Maracas Bay is one of the most popular beaches in Trinidad

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More of our favourites THE NORTH COAST

Turtles nest on this coast in season (March– September), so please don’t drive on the beaches n Blanchisseuse: the waters are rough here, but there are hiking trails to the nearby waterfall, into the rainforest (a favourite for birders), and along the north coast, with good kayaking in the nearby Marianne River. Surfing is good November–April n Grande Rivière: the second largest leatherback turtle nesting ground in the world. Good for river bathing and kayaking, as well as hikes into the forest. Perfect for a weekend eco escape. Accessed via Toco n Macqueripe Bay: a small and calm bay in Chaguaramas, great for swimming and snorkelling, with recently renovated bathroom/ changing rooms, a car park, children’s play park — and a zip-lining course overhead! Entrance fee n Maracas Bay: Trinidad’s most popular beach — great food, good stretch of sand, surfing if the conditions are right, lifeguards, and gas station nearby. At press time, the facilities were undergoing a significant overhaul n Paria Bay: good for ocean kayaking, with waterfalls and rocky pools nearby. Accessible only by boat or via hiking trail from Blanchisseusse (see our Eco Escapes section) n Tyrico Bay: close to Maracas’ amenities, but a calmer, smaller, quieter alternative

THE EAST COAST

Swim with caution on this coast, as the Atlantic currents are strong. Turtles also nest here in season n Balandra Bay: sheltered and good for swimming n Manzanilla: perfect for sunbathing and jogging, bordered by the distinctive “Cocal” (coconut forest). Facilities and lifeguards in specific areas n Mayaro: glorious stretch of beach — the longest in the island — perfect for long walks, kite-surfing, sun-bathing, and camping. Shells of “chip chip”, like clam shells, protect small oceanic organisms. A popular weekend getaway spot n Salybia Bay: popular for surfing (November–April), and ideal for swimming June– September. There’s a fringing reef offshore. Beach facilities have recently been built

tHE SOUTH & SOUTHWEST COASTS

n Columbus & Cedros Bays: stunning and pristine bays in quiet fishing villages on the southwestern coast, with views of Venezuela on a clear day. Cedros has the widest beach on the island at low tide. Good for bathing, biking, and kayaking n Quinam Beach: probably the most popular beach on the south coast, good for swimming (though the beach disappears at high tide). There are amenities, lifeguards, and trails into the woods.

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sights

ith four distinct coasts (plus offshore islands), this is an island with range. Tour operators offer full-day, half-day and customised tours. For eco adventures, book a registered tour operator or guide (see gotrinidadandtobago.com and visittobago.gov.tt). For easy day trips and sightseeing — and if you feel confident on the road — you could rent a vehicle, pick up a Discover T&T map, and go exploring on your own!

Around Port of Spain Historic buildings

Jag cz/shutterstock.com

If you’re into history and cultural preservation, you’ll be interested in the work of the National Trust (nationaltrust.tt, 225-4750/277-6105). In addition to their mandate to preserve buildings of historical importance (churches and cathedrals, mosques, mandirs, colonial-era mansions and estates, museums, and much more), they also arrange heritage tours, lectures, exhibitions, and film screenings to promote awareness and appreciation.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic) Blue emperor butterfly

Recently refurbished and standing at the eastern end of the Brian Lara Promenade downtown, the Cathedral was built between 1816 and 1832. Designated as a minor basilica, one of its most distinctive features is its stained-glass windows, which depict Trinidad’s history.

Angostura museum and Barcant butterfly collection The Holy Trinity Cathedral (Anglican) Angostura (east Port of Spain) offers tram tours introducing you to the history and making of their world-famous bitters and celebrated rums. You can also view their collection of Trinidad’s butterflies, including the beautiful blue emperor. Tours (two hours) begin at 9:30am and 1:30pm, Monday–Friday; advance booking required: 623-1841.

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Completed in 1818 in the Gothic revival style, with its hammerbeam roof made of local wood, this is one of several historic buildings overlooking Woodford Square: the Hall of Justice (northern side); to the west, the Old Fire Station and National Library (the Station

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Stollmeyer’s Castle

was originally built in 1897, then refurbished and integrated into the new Library); the Red House (originally built in 1844, formerly the seat of Parliament, but currently being restored — work has been slowed by the discovery of First Peoples remains and artefacts dating to 430–1400 AD); and the remains of the razed Greyfriars Church.

Holy Rosary Church (Catholic)

The “Magnificent Seven”

These colonial-era homes on the northwestern edge of the Savannah are in varying degrees of repair and use, reflecting their diverse histories and ownership. From south to north: Queen’s Royal College (1904, boys’ secondary school); Hayes Court (1910, Anglican Bishop’s residence); Milles Fleurs (1904, law association headquarters); Roomor (private home); the Roman Catholic Archbishop’s residence (1903); Whitehall (1907); and Killarney or Stollmeyer’s Castle (1904).

Also undergoing restoration works, this Gothic revival church near the eastern end of Park Street dates back to 1866. Like the Cathedral downtown, its stained glass is absolutely stunning.

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to see


Fort George

stephen broadbridge

Built in 1804, this “virgin fort” (which never saw military action) offers a magnificent panoramic view from 335m (1,100ft) above sea level. On a clear day, you can see to south Trinidad, and west to Venezuela. Open 10am–6pm, admission free

Spectacular view from Fort George

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The National Museum & Art Gallery

Headquartered on upper Frederick Street, the Museum houses new collections, retrospectives of the island’s major artists (including the works of 19th-century artist Jean-Michel Cazabon), period installations, mineral and marine displays, ethnic artefacts, and the Sports Foundation Gallery. The Museum has small branches in Fort San Andres (South Quay), and the Museum of the T&T Police Service (Old Police Headquarters on St Vincent Street). Admission is free, and guided tours are available. Open Tuesday–Saturday 623-5941/0339

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Queen’s Park Savannah

This is a hub of recreational activity. Originally part of the Peschier family’s Paradise Estate, a portion of land in the centre remains a burial ground; it was converted into a city park in 1817. The Caribbean’s oldest recreation ground — and reported to be the world’s largest roundabout at approximately 3.5km/2.2 miles and 260 acres — the Savannah is popular for sports, kite-flying (especially around Easter), walking, joggers, and food/drink vendors.

Royal Botanical Gardens and Emperor Valley Zoo

The Gardens (est 1820) — a favourite for picnics and walks — are home to one of the oldest collections of exotic plants and trees in the western hemisphere. Founded in 1947, and recently upgraded, the Zoo’s nearly 7.2 acres house hundreds of animals (both endemic and exotic birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles, including two rare white Bengali tigers born in 2015). There’s an outdoor café, enclosures, and paths for animal viewing. Zoological Society of T&T: 622-5344

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Chaguaramas

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he Chaguaramas National Heritage Park is managed by the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA, 225-4232). There’s controversial construction along the main waterfront and significant traffic in and out on weekends, but it remains popular for beach-goers, boaters, cyclists, foodies, golfers, hikers, history buffs, partiers, and those wanting an accessible escape into nature, even if only to laze under magnificent samaan trees or amble along the Boardwalk.

Bamboo cathedral and old tracking station

A relaxing, easy walk under a beautiful stretch of arching bamboo forest — unless you plan to trek uphill on the gravelly path to the top of Morne Catherine and the abandoned World War II tracking station (a popular spot for astronomers and star-gazers).

Military and aviation museum

Located on the Western Main Road next to the coastguard training ground and the heliport, it chronicles the military history of the country from 1498 to the present. 634-4391 or 722-8765

giselle de roché

Down the islands (DDI)

For those who don’t own or rent holiday homes on these islands, the CDA and other operators offer tours. In order, heading west, they are: n the Five Islands — of which there are actually six. Nelson Island was used to quarantine indentured immigrants n the Diego Islands n Gaspar Grande, with the stunning Gasparee Caves n Monos and Huevos n Chacachacare, with its salt pond, lighthouse, chapel, and defunct leprosarium. Holiday home on Huevos

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stephen broadbridge

With no cars allowed, the bamboo cathedral is popular with cyclists, walkers, joggers, and hikers

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Keshorn Walcott Toco Lighthouse

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The north & northeast Walk out onto the rocky outcrop at Galera Point, beyond the lighthouse (built in 1897, and named after the island’s double Olympic medallist in javelin), and you’ll experience something beautiful and unusual. Here, at this northeastern-most point of the island, two bodies of water meet: the navy blue Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the turquoise Caribbean Sea to the north. There is a distinct demarcation in colour between them. The site is also sacred to the island’s First Peoples, whose ancestors are said to have jumped to their deaths here rather than be recaptured by the Spanish after the 1699 Arena Uprising; and to Orisha devotees, who celebrate the Olukun Festival of the ocean here each February.

Lopinot Historical Complex

Mount St Benedict

Peace and rejuvenation await at the Caribbean’s oldest Benedictine monastery. Its 600 acres are perched 245m (800ft) above the Central plains in Tunapuna, offering stunning views, walking and hiking trails, bird-watching from the terraces, a tea house, delicious yoghurt made by the monks, and holy masses. There is a guesthouse on site.

Zoology Museum

Based at the University of the West Indies (St Augustine), the zoological specimens here include the Banwari Man — the human skeleton found lying in a crouched burial position in 1969, and the oldest evidence of human activity on Caribbean soil. Banwari Trace, where it was found, has yielded artefacts belonging to the Ortoiroid people, dating back to 5,000 BC. To reserve a tour (8am–4pm, Monday–Friday): 662-2002 ext 82231

Lopinot (near Arouca) was originally developed as a cocoa estate by a French count who arrived in Trinidad in 1800 after fleeing the Haitian Revolution. It still maintains its distinctive mix of European, African, East Indian, and First Peoples, heritage (some still speaking Spanish, French, or patois), and at Christmas time the area comes alive with parang and pastelles. Year-round, visitors come for river limes, birdwatching, hiking to the nearby caves, dining at Café Mariposa, and weekend retreats (there’s a guesthouse on site). A museum comprises the former tapia estate house, prison, and slave quarters. Legend has it that on stormy nights under the full moon, the Compte de Lopinot appears, galloping across the savannah on a black horse. Just a ghost story, right? Well, Ghost Hunters International (of the USA’s SYFY Channel) reported in 2011 that they’d found more evidence of paranormal activity here than anywhere else in the world …

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Lopinot

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chris anderson

The Keshorn Walcott Toco Lighthouse


stephen broadbridge

Hanuman Murti

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Waterloo Temple in the Sea

Hanuman Murti (statue) & Dattatreya Yoga Centre Donated by an Indian swami, this 26m/85ft statue of Hanuman (the Hindu monkey god of strength) is reputed to be the tallest of its kind outside India. It towers above the adjoining Dattatreya Yoga Centre in Carapachaima.

Waterloo Temple in the Sea

Forbidden by colonial officials to build a Hindu temple on land, Siewdass Sadhu tirelessly built his “floating mandir” some 150m (500ft) out into the Gulf of Paria instead. He laboured for 25 years, but sea erosion prevented him from completing it before his death. In 1994, the government completed it for the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the island’s first Indian indentured immigrants. Though the structure is most impressive at high tide, the exposed mud flats at low tide are great for bird-watching. The causeway opens 6am–6pm, and the temple itself at the caretaker’s discretion

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Nyla singh

Central Trinidad


In the south This natural wonder is the largest asphalt lake in the world. But, since it is a giant lake of self-replenishing bitumen (oozing up from a geological fault), it does look a bit like a 100-acre car park. Most of the surface is firm enough to walk on, though some spots are too soft for traffic. Natural springs, reputed to have healing properties, appear at the centre during the rainy season. You can also smell the gases escaping from bubbling puddles on the surface. The lake (75m/250ft deep) has been commercially mined since 1959, and its asphalt exported around the world. Before that, however, it was a sacred site for the First Peoples, who believed that a tribe had once been swallowed up by the lake as punishment for eating hummingbirds, which hosted the spirits of their ancestors. A small museum houses artefacts recovered from the lake, which has been called a “slow-motion black hole”, with “feelers” stretching out for miles. La Brea Pitch Lake Tour Guides Association: 651-1232

San Fernando Hill

Taking its name from the First Peoples (for whom it was a sacred site), the hill rises above the hubbub of industry below, offering views of the city, the southwest peninsula and — on a clear day — up the west coast to Port of Spain, and the mountains of eastern Venezuela. It was saved from further scarring from quarrying by being declared a National Park in 1980. Open daily, free of charge, 9am–6pm

Reflections in a pool in the Pitch Lake

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nyla singh

Pitch Lake


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eco escapes

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owhere else in the Caribbean is like Trinidad. That’s not hyperbole — the island’s unique environment combines a South American continental legacy with Caribbean island features. Tropical rainforest cloaks the north, central, and southern mountain ranges, from which waterfalls and rivers cascade. There are brackish mangrove swamps; sprawling savannahs; and coasts that meet four distinct bodies of water. Coral reefs are found off the northwest and northeast coasts, and have produced the arid islands off Chaguaramas. With a dizzying degree of biodiversity per square mile, thousands of species call these habitats home.

stephen broadbridge

They include: n Amphibians: 30+ species n Birds: 400+ species (more than any other Caribbean island) n Butterflies: 600+ species n Fish: 400+ marine species and 40+ freshwater species n Flowers: 2,100+ flowering plant species (almost 200 orchids) n Mammals: 100+ recorded species (over 60 of them bats) n Reptiles: 90+ species (including 40+ species of snake and 5 marine turtle species, among them the endangered giant leatherback) n Trees: 370 species of trees (including native purpleheart, mora, and crappo).

Closeup of mushrooms growing in the forest

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& adventures Here, we’ll tell you how you can discover them.

Kevin Sammy

Responsible turtle-watching

Giant leatherback turtle nesting

Turtle-watching

Tour operators (and some hotels) can arrange necessary permits and access. They’ll surely tell you: n to be quiet, and not to touch or disturb nesting turtles or hatchlings in any way n not to use lights (including flash photography), and not to drive on nesting beaches — the weight of the vehicle can crush eggs buried in the sand.

Each year between March and September (sometimes longer), you can see turtles nesting across the region. But Trinidad’s Grande Rivière serves as the second largest nesting site in the world for the ancient and endangered leatherbacks. Green and hawksbill turtles also come up along the north and east coasts; Matura is another critical site. The turtles, their eggs, and their hatchlings are all vulnerable and Turtles face a number of threats — illegal legally protected. poaching, natural predators, indiscriminate fishing nets, sargassum seaweed, plastics and litter, and disorienting artificial light (they follow the light of the moon). Contact the Turtle Village Trust (turtlevillagetrust.org, 271-3040/667-8471), Nesting females return to the shores on which an umbrella body for the islands’ leadthey were born each year, assiduously digging ing turtle conservation groups — Nature their nests before laying their eggs, camouflagSeekers; the Grande Rivière Nature Tour ing the area, and returning to the open sea. Six Guide Association; the Matura to Matelot to eight weeks later, the hatchlings emerge and (M2M) Network; the Fishing Pond Turtle scamper through the sand to the shoreline. The Conservation Group; and SOS (Save our females that survive to maturity will make the Sea Turtles Tobago). You can donate to long trek back, to begin the cycle anew. Though their efforts, or adopt a turtle. they come ashore in greatest numbers late at night — and especially during the full moon — they also come ashore in the day, even at popular beaches.

Help save the turtles

From the sea, to the sea

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nyla singh

At least once a decade, conditions at the Ortoire River in Mayaro become perfect for a bioluminescence show. Where salt and fresh water mix, a chemical reaction from a kind of plankton causes the river to light up with “cold� blue light. The last major sightings took place over several weeks in 2014.

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For the birds…

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f you’re a birder — or just truly enjoy the natural world — you’ll enjoy these special places in the mountains and the wetlands. Peak birding season is November–May, though you’ll never be short of sightings. Sir David Attenborough filmed many bird sequences from his acclaimed documentary The Trials of Life here in Trinidad.

Asa Wright Nature Centre

courtesy theo ferguson, yerette

You can spot nearly 170 species of birds at the 1,500 acre Centre, perched in the mountains of the Northern Range. This was once a working coffee, cocoa, and citrus plantation that was bought in 1947 by Dr Newcombe Wright and his wife Asa. The New York Zoological Society established a research station here in 1949, and after Newcombe’s death, Asa sold the land on condition that it remain a conservation area. The non-profit trust was set up in 1967, and the Centre named in her memory. Today, the Centre’s veranda, restaurant, and reception are open to day visitors, while guests at the eco lodge enjoy greater access to the estate, including Dunston Cave — perhaps the most easily accessible habitat for a colony of rare oilbirds anywhere in the world. There’s a gift shop, and also a freshwater pool on site. 667-4655

Nariva Swamp & BushBush Sanctuary

The local celebrity at this legally protected wetland — recognised in the 1996 Ramsar Convention as a one of international importance — is undoubtedly the rare endangered manatee (or sea cow), which can grow to 3m/10ft in length and 900kg/1,985lbs! Not to be outdone are the anacondas, anteaters, caimans, capuchin and red howler monkeys, cascadura, macaws, owls, parrots, porcupines, and toucans, among others. Too many of them are vulnerable or endangered. You will need a tour guide and permit to explore the swamp — by kayak or boat (in the wet season), or on foot in the dryer months.

Pointe-à-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust

Nearly 90 species have been recorded in this unique eco centre — the only one in the world located within an oil refinery complex — including the scarlet ibis, the rare blue and gold macaw, and five endangered waterfowl species. Visitors can see these beautiful birds up close in the enclosed breeding areas (thousands of birds have been bred and released back into the wild over the years), or watch free-roaming wildlife as they explore the Trust’s 32 hectares. Wooden walkways take you right around two freshwater lakes. There’s a learning centre and an eco lodge on site. Reservations are required to visit. 658-4200 ext 2512

Ruby-topaz hummingbird

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chris anderson

Blue-grey tanager perched in a blooming poui tree

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stephen broadbridge

A flock of scarlet ibis fly home to roost in the Caroni Swamp

Winston Nanan Caroni Swamp & Yerette — Bird Sanctuary Home of the hummingbird Like Nariva, this 60sq km (23sq miles) is a legally protected Ramsar site that’s home to anteaters, caimans, racoons, snakes, and some 100 species of birds — including Trinidad’s stunning national bird, the scarlet ibis. These creatures live in the tidal lagoons, marshland, and mangrove forest where the Caroni River, Madame Espagnole River, and Gulf of Paria meet. Boat and kayak tours typically depart about 4pm to catch the flocks of ibis coming back into the Sanctuary to roost.

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Theo and Gloria Ferguson welcome bird-lovers into their home three times a day for tea, a tour, and the chance to get close to 14 species of hummingbirds — and many other bird species too! 663-2623

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For the adventure... To the sky — go zip-lining

To the bat caves (at Tamana)

Massive colonies of bats — thousands from 12 different species — call the limestone cave systems in Mount Tamana (the highest of the Montserrat Hills) home. Each evening before dusk, they depart the caverns en masse. It

courtesy zipitt

A fairly recent and exhilarating addition to the Chaguaramas National Heritage Park is a series of seven zipline courses over Macqueripe Bay, and five canopy walks/net bridges. They’re open Tuesday–Sunday. Bikes are also available for rental. 303-7755

is an exhilarating experience … unless you’re afraid of bats! Make sure to go with a reputable, experienced guide who can ensure both your safety and minimal impact on the natural environment.

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chris anderson

Blue Basin gorge

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Hike to the mountains … These are some of the island’s most popular hikes, listed alphabetically. Those marked “intense” should be tackled by advanced hikers only. Go with a reputable guide, and remember that old saying: take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. n Edith Falls (Chaguaramas): a 30–40 minute hike to a 76m/250ft waterfall. Gentle n El Tucuche (Northern Range): Trinidad’s second tallest mountain. A gruelling hike to the summit (in fact, there are two peaks!) takes 2–4 hours via Hobal Trace in Maracas Valley. (Very) Intense n Fondes Amandes (St Ann’s): the Community Reforestation Project provides forest tours that range from quick and gentle to more intermediate n Madamas Bay (north coast): it’ll take you roughly 3 hours from Matelot or 5 hours from Blanchisseuse. A beach, river, waterfall, and turtles (in season) await. Intense n Maracas Falls (Northern Range): 30–45 minute trek; Trinidad’s tallest waterfall (91m/299ft). Gentle n Paria Bay (north coast): it’ll take you roughly 2 hours from Blanchisseuse to Turtle Rock then Cathedral Rock/Paria Arch. A pristine white sand beach, turtles (in season), and nearby waterfall are your reward. Also accessible via Brasso Seco. Intermediate n Saut d’Eau (north coast): a 3-hour, downhill trek from Paramin brings you to the secluded beachfront. Gather your strength, because the ascent back up will test your mettle! Intense n Rio Seco Falls (Salybia): part of the Matura National Park, a 45–60 minute hike brings you to the falls, and a natural swimming pool. Gentle n Turure Water Steps (Cumaca): after about 60 minutes, you’ll be bathing in the pools at these unique natural limestone “steps”. Intermediate

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jermaine cruickshank, courtesy machel montano

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arts & his is a hugely creative society. In a nutshell, and in alphabetical order, here is a taste of the arts scene in Trinidad. For much more — including how a steel pan is made — visit our website at discovertnt.com!

A scene from the locally shot movie, Bazodee

Fashion & jewellery

n Fashion: check out CLD, Ecliff Elie, Adrian Foster, House of Jaipur, Heather Jones, K2K, the Lush Kingdom, Meiling, Millhouse, Claudia Pegus, Pilar, The Cloth, and the Wadada Movement n Jewellery: Chris Anderson, Gillian Bishop, Janice Derrick, Akilah Jaramogi, Rachel Rochford, Rachel Ross, Jasmine ThomasGirvan, and others create breath-taking hand-crafted jewellery in precious metals and stones.

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Film & cinema

The film industry has long been earmarked for growth, and incentive and rebate programmes have made the islands an attractive location for filming. Work by locally-based and Caribbean diaspora artists are on show at the annual T&T Film Festival (see our Festivals section). Some home-grown features also get runs at local cinemas (the most popular of which are MovieTowne in Port of Spain and Chaguanas; Caribbean Cinemas 8 in Trincity and San Fernando; and the Digicel Imax in Port of Spain). The UWI Campus Film Classics and European Film Festivals host special screenings of regional and foreign indie films.

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culture Literature & books

n For book lovers: book launches, readings and lectures take place at the National Library, the universities of the West Indies and Trinidad & Tobago, the National Museum, at bookstores (like Paper Based and Nigel R Khan), and during the Bocas Lit Fest (see our Festivals section) n Good reads: look out for works (spanning fiction, plays, poetry, local history, culture, and the environment) by Nobel laureates VS Naipaul and Derek Walcott, plus Michael Anthony, Gerard Besson, Lloyd Best, Angelo Bissessarsingh, CLR James, John La Rose, Earl Lovelace, Ian MacDonald, Elizabeth Nunez, Judy Raymond, Monique Roffey, Sam Selvon, Amanda Smyth, Julian Kenny, and former prime minister Eric Williams n Publishers: a handful of companies produce books and magazines, including Paria Publishing and MEP (our publishers, who also produce magazines like Caribbean Beat, and books of Caribbean interest under book imprint Prospect Press).

n Soca — calypso’s up-tempo progeny born in the 70s and incorporating Indian musical influences — is the islands’ party music. Some hits have become international sensations n Calypso and soca are the building blocks for a range of other fusion forms.

CHUTNEY & TASSA

n Chutney: born of Hindi folk songs and instrumentation (like the sitar and dholak drums). There’s also a hybrid with soca (called, you guessed it, chutney soca!) n Tassa is a drum-driven music central to the Muslim festival of Hosay, but the drums are fused with other musical forms and celebrations year-round.

Music

Nickolai Salcedo of Kin Sound System

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scott homer

CALYPSO & SOCA

n Calypso dates back to pre-Emancipation times, when slaves created songs as a form of praise or derisive social commentary, and rose to international popularity in the 1930s– 50s


PARANG

This is Trinidad’s Christmas music, with origins in Venezuela, and featuring instruments like the cuatro, box bass, and maracas, and lyrics usually sung in Spanish.

STEELPAN

This Trinbagonian invention, pioneered in Port of Spain in the 1930s, is the only acoustic musical instrument created in the 20th century. It’s traditionally made from oil drums, which are cut, tempered and beaten into notes — as distinct from the more modern iteration, the G-Pan. Carnival time is peak season for pan. Steelbands now exist all over the globe, from the US to Japan and Australia.

AND SO MUCH MORE…

Indigenous music is only the beginning. Some of the most distinctive groups include fusion bands 12theband, Freetown Collective, jointpop, Kin Sound System, and Orange Sky; the Indo-Caribbean music of Mungal Patasar & Pantar; the Orisha songs of Ella Andall; and the rapso of 3canal and Ataklan. There are also local rock, jazz, and raggae artists. Groups like the Marionettes, Southernaires, Lydians, and Love Movement present western classical, opera, and Broadway, and are particularly popular at Christmas time.

Name-dropping

butch & allan limchoy, courtesy the marionettes chorale

Tony and Grammy winning singer/actress Heather Headley; Grammywinning singer/songwriter Angela Hunte; award-winning rap/hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj; and the late, celebrated performer Geoffrey Holder are all Trinidadian.

Curtain call for “Christmas with the Marionettes” at Queen’s Hall

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Theatre & dance

Visual arts

Productions of both local and foreign musicals, plays, and experimental performances are staged by commercial, university, and community theatre companies.

Art galleries in Trinidad exhibit both new work and collections of historical importance. See: the seven galleries of the National Museum, and spaces like 101 Art Gallery, Alice Yard, Fine Art, Horizons, Medulla, Softbox Studios, Studio 66, among others. The Art Society of T&T: 622-9827

THEATRE

DANCE

Schools and companies present in a range of styles — regional folk dance (including the indigenous limbo, bongo, and bele), ballet, jazz, modern, and Indian classical, plus experimental multi-media productions.

VENUES

Look for shows at Queen’s Hall, the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA), Central Bank Auditorium, Little Carib Theatre, Trinidad Theatre Workshop (Port of Spain); the CLR James Auditorium and University of the West Indies (UWI) in the east; and Naparima Bowl and SAPA (the southern campus of the NAPA) in San Fernando.

VENUES

RENOWNED ARTISTS

Look out for MP Alladin, Sybil Atteck, Ralph and the late Vera Baney, Pat Bishop, Isaiah Boodhoo, Edward Bowen, Carlisle Chang, Leroy Clarke, Chris Cozier, Ken Crichlow, Jackie Hinkson, Boscoe Holder, Paul Llanos, Dermot Louison, Che Lovelace, Shastri Maharaj, Wendy Nanan, Lisa O’Connor, Shalini Seereeram, Peter Sheppard, Irénée Shaw, Sundiata, Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, and Noel Vaucrosson, to name but a few; and the 19th-century painter Michel-Jean Cazabon.

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chris anderson

Indian classical dance


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festivals n alphabetical order, here are some of the island’s most treasured festivals.

The five-day Trinidad & Tobago Literary Festival brings together readers, writers, poets, and publishers from the Caribbean diaspora each April for book launches, discussions, performances, readings, workshops, and the presentation of annual prizes for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Outreach events continue through the year, both at home and at overseas book festivals. bocaslitfest.com

Emancipation

The public holiday is celebrated on 1 August to commemorate the end of slavery in the British colonies (1838), but events take place before and after the big day. Enjoy art exhibitions, film screenings, lectures, performances (music, dance, and theatre), religious observances, trade shows, and a vibrant street procession. The Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village at the Queen’s Park Savannah is the centre of the activities. Emancipation Support Committee: 6285008

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Safiya St Clair competes at the Bocas Lit Fest’s 2016 Poetry Slam

Hosay

This Trinidadian incarnation of Islamic Muharram observances takes place over three nights (Flag Night, Small Hosay, Big Hosay). The festival commemorates the martyrdom of Hussain (the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, from whom the festival’s name comes), and the later murder of his brother Hassan. In a lively procession on the final day, ornate tadjahs (replicas of Hussain’s tomb) are first carried through the street, then cast into the sea. St James is perhaps the most popular venue for observances, but festivities also take place in Cedros, Couva, Curepe, and Tunapuna. The date varies each year according to the moon, but is expected to fall in October for 2017.

Indian Arrival Day

This national public holiday (30 May) commemorates the arrival of the first indentured labourers from India on the Fatel Razack in 1845. More than 140,000 Indians were recruited over the next 70 years to work Trinidad’s plantations after Emancipation (1838). Communities re-enact the arrival of this first group on beaches around the country. There are also awards ceremonies; cultural shows and performances; religious services; and more. The Divali Nagar site just outside Chaguanas hosts many of the key celebrations. National Council of Indian Culture: 671-6242

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courtesy bocas lit fest

Bocas Lit Fest


In a church of the same name in Siparia stands a dark-skinned statue of the Virgin Mary as La Divina Pastora (the Divine Shepherdess). Many miracles have been attributed to her by ardent devotees. For her feast day (the third Sunday after Easter), the “Miracle Mother” is decorated by Catholics with flowers, dressed in white, and processed through the streets, followed by celebrations open to all. On the Thursday night and Friday before Easter, Hindu pilgrims visit the church with acts of devotion — recognising her as Siparee Mai (mother of Siparia), Durga, and Lakshmi. Most of all, she is just “mother”. The church welcomes all wishing to pay their respects.

Phagwa (Holi)

Each March, the Hindu community recognises the beginning of the Indian spring and the Hindu New Year in a joyful explosion of colour. Participants — Hindus and non-Hindus alike — spray each other with different shades of the vegetable dye abir. The Aranguez Savannah is a popular venue for this celebration of birth and renewal.

Prime Minister’s Best Village Competition

Culminating each September, this national competition keeps folk traditions alive in local communities as counties vie for various titles. Some of the nation’s finest performing arts professionals make their start here. The competition encompasses indigenous arts and crafts, Carnival traditions, cuisine, dance, drama, folklore and storytelling, music, sports, and the selection of a Best Village Queen, La Reine Rivé.

Phagwa revellers dance at sunset

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chris anderson

La Divina Pastora & Siparee Mai


stephen broadbridge

Ramleela and Divali

Ramleela is a nine-day, outdoor festival dramatising the life of Rama, with colourful costumes … and an explosive finale! The best-known productions are held in Couva and Felicity. Soon after, Hindus honour Mother Lakshmi — goddess of light, beauty, riches and love — and commemorate the return of Lord Rama from exile. The beautiful flickering deyas, which are lit across the country by Hindus and non-Hindus alike for Divali (a public holiday), illuminate his path. Though dates are set according to the moon, celebrations are expected to take place in October for 2017. Many events are held at the Divali Nagar site near Chaguanas.

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courtesy santa rosa first people’s community

Chief Ricardo Bharath Hernandez preparing for the smoke ceremony at the First People’s Heritage Week

Santa Rosa Festival and Trinidad & Tobago Film First People’s Heritage Week Festival (ttff)

With origins in both Trinidad’s First Peoples and Catholic traditions, the Santa Rosa Festival in Arima commemorates the death of Santa Rosa de Lima, the Roman Catholic patron saint of the “New World”. It begins with the firing of a cannon on 1 August from Calvary Hill, and ends with a procession on the Sunday following the feast day of Santa Rosa (23 August). A statue of the saint is carried through the streets by members of the island’s Santa Rosa First Peoples Community (led by the Carib Queen), alongside Roman Catholics. Other observances include sharing traditional Amerindian foods, cultural and spiritual rituals and commemorations, as well as church services. In October, the Community celebrates First Peoples Heritage Week across the country, which includes academic conferences, ritual smoke and water ceremonies, street processions, and other events recognising and celebrating the island’s First Peoples. 664-1897

Now the second largest of its kind in the region, the ttff showcases a range of dramatic, documentary, short, and animated films from or about Trinidad & Tobago, the Caribbean, and the diaspora. It also hosts educational initiatives and development programmes (like the Caribbean Film Mart and producer’s lab), plus community film screenings all year long. ttfilmfestival.com

For much more about Trinidad’s culture, festivals, and traditions, visit our website at discovertnt.com!

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courtesy k2k alliance & partners

carnival

A masquerader from K2K Alliance & Partners’ “Searching for Shangri La”, the 2016 band of the year (medium)

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he Carnival season is like one large buffet. You can sample all of it over multiple courses; just some of it, by confining yourself to a few things which appeal to you; or none at all (which means leaving the restaurant altogether, to keep the analogy going). But the point is, there’s no right way to do Carnival. The very impulse and origins of the festival defy the idea of any established order or authority, anything which forces you to conform. Here we’ll introduce you to how the season unfolds. Once you get a sense of what’s on offer, decide what you want to indulge in, and — as we say here — “play yuhself”!

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Party. Party hard. Party soft. Party some more …

Though the powers that be seem to have decided that Carnival band launches won’t happen earlier than July (for now), this means a long fete (party) season that kicks into high gear after Christmas. The fetes are something of a buffet too: there are more affordable, low-key “cooler fetes” (where you can bring or buy your own food and drink), and more upscale, exclusive, food and drink all-inclusives for which people fork out big money for entry (and wardrobe). The most popular fetes usually feature the biggest soca stars as headliners.

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jermaine cruickshank, courtesy machel montano

Machel Montano performs at CIC Fete

Take in a different kind Catch the pan jumbie … of show …

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stephen broadbridge

Speaking of headliners, you can catch both living legends and the stars of the moment at a range of shows — including their own. There are a handful of vintage calypso tents; intimate concert events (like Under the Trees); huge concerts by soca stars (like Machel Montano and KES) and party promoters. There are more theatrical events like 3canal’s annual Carnival show and the Canboulay Riots Re-enactment (staged the Friday morning before Carnival, commemorating the 1881 Carnival-time uprising against British colonial authorities). On the Friday night before Carnival, the Soca Monarch final is a combination of party and competition, featuring some of the best soca artists in the region. And Champs in Concert features all the winners in a show just after Carnival.

For some, Carnival is pan. Full stop. Steelpan aficionados hit the panyards of their favourite steelbands for weeks as they practise for the Panorama finals (Carnival Saturday). Those successfully adjudicated on site early in the season advance to the semi-finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah two weeks before Carnival. Real pan lovers will be in the Grand Stand, or on the drag/track that leads to the Savannah stage — bands practise and fine-tune as they go.

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In addition to pan and soca, there are countless competitions for Carnival’s myriad artforms. n Calypso wars culminate in the Calypso Monarch competition at Dimanche Gras on Carnival Sunday. There are also crowns for different calypso styles — including the entirely improvised extempo — and for the juniors n Spectacular individual costumes, junior and senior, compete for the titles of king and queen of the bands n Kiddies Carnival features some of the best designs of the season n Stick-fighting (“bois”) competitions take place across the country n Traditional and ol’ mas characters such as the Dame Lorraine (a man in a dress with stuffed bosom and bottom, satirising bulky colonial matrons), the ominous Midnight Robber with his grandiloquent speeches, and the talkative Pierrot Grenade compete at events through the season.

“The Dying Swan - Ras Nijinsky in Drag as Pavlova” charted new territory in the 2016 King of Carnival Competition

“Make a ritual of the sunrise”… For some, it’s pan. For others, it’s J’ouvert that is the centrepiece of their Carnival. At 4am on Carnival Monday, the “reign of the Merry Monarch” begins as thousands of people gyrate through the streets, disguised in the

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trappings of “dutty mas” — oil, grease, paint, mud, cocoa, clay, old clothes, or provocative costumes delivering stinging socio-political commentary. Traditional bands feature characters like jab jabs, blue devils, bats, and more.

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maria nunes

Witness battles for supremacy


“Pay de devil”…

As the sun sets on Carnival Monday evening, another kind of Carnival tradition unfolds in the hills of Paramin. The annual competition pits fearsome blue devils against each other at Fatima Junction. They swarm the streets and the hillsides dancing, chanting, beating their biscuit tins, blowing their whistles, and demanding payment from spectators with their cries! Just remember, this is a performance …

Learn more

Play a mas

Chances are, you know how this all ends on Carnival Tuesday: thousands have filled the streets of Port of Spain (and other towns across the country) from as early as 7am, en route to the Queen’s Park Savannah or Socadrome stages. Many are dressed in full costume — some in flashy BBF (bikinis, beads, and feathers) bands, some as traditional characters, some in inspired fusions of the traditional and the fashion-forward. Others are out to spectate, and “take a jump” with a passing band. The most tireless will go till after the sun goes down … then hobble to work (or the beach) come Ash Wednesday …

warren le platte

Check out our website at discovertnt. com for a range of Carnival information — its origins and history, how a steel pan is made, and a calendar of events for 2017. For schedules and info, visit the websites of the National Carnival Commission (ncctt. org), Pan Trinbago (pantrinbago.co.tt), the National Carnival Bands Association (ncbatt.com), and Trinidad Carnival Diary (trinidadcarnivaldiary.com).

A blue devil at Canboulay Riots Re-enactment

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sport Athletics

The island has a long history of excelling at athletics. Local and international stars meet in action at the annual Hampton Games. National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad & Tobago: 679-3276

Cricket

courtesy the tourism development company

The Queen’s Park Oval is the capital of the nation’s cricket activities for Twenty/20, one-day, and test matches. T&T Cricket Board: 636-1577

Cycling & mountain biking The Easter International Grand Prix and National Championships are highlights of the racing calendar. A new world-class National Cycling Velodrome (Couva) opened in 2016; the Arima Velodrome is another focal point. Mountain bikers will want to head to Chaguaramas, Santa Cruz, and the northern range. A 1,000km biking and hiking trail along the north coast is also under development. Go with a reputable guide or biking group. T&T Cycling Federation: 679-8823

The West Indies cricket team celebrates at the Queen’s Park Oval

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d i s c o v e r t n t. c o m


Dragon boat racing

This sport took off in Trinidad 10 years ago for Chinese Bicentennial celebrations; the national team since has won several medals at the World Championships. Regattas are organised by the T&T Dragon Boat Federation, mainly in Chaguaramas (Trinidad) and Pigeon Point (Tobago).

Football (soccer)

T&T has hosted the FIFA World (men’s) Under-17 championships and Women’s Under-17 FIFA world championships. It is also the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup finals (2006). The Hasely Crawford (Port of Spain), Manny Ramjohn (Marabella), Larry Gomes (Arima), Ato Boldon (Couva), and Marvin Lee stadia are the main venues. T&T Football Federation (TTFF): 623-9500

Golf

Trinidad has three 18-hole courses (St Andrew’s Golf Club in Moka; Millennium Lakes in Trincity; and Petrotrin’s Pointe-à-Pierre Golf Club), and three nine-hole courses (Chaguaramas; Usine St Madeleine; and Brechin Castle in Caroni). T&T Golf Association: 629-7127

Horse-riding

Dressage and show jumping instruction is available from Saddle Valley Stables and Valmont Stables (Santa Cruz); Goodwin Heights Stables and Jericho Stables (St Ann’s); Sandy Hill Stables (Freeport); and Horses Helping Humans (hippotherapy, Maracas). For trail riding, contact Hidden Valley Stables (Chaguaramas) or Bonanza Farm Riding School and Country Club (Arima).

Motor sports

Rally and drag racing are both popular, with locations in south and central Trinidad like Couva and Preysal. Events are hosted by the T&T Rally Club (like the Championship Series and International Rally) and T&T United Drag Racing Association.

Swimming & aquatics

A new world-class National Aquatics Centre opened in 2016. It is intended to be a hub for local sports including water polo and diving, and to attract international swim events as part of a sports tourism thrust. Amateur Swimming Association: 643-2813

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courtesy the tourism development company

The Soca Warriors are seeking their second World Cup berth as they play “hexagonal” qualifiers through 2017


chris anderson

Dragon boat racing is very popular

Tennis

The recently completed National Tennis Complex (Tacarigua) is the centrepiece of the sport, while there are also public courts at Nelson Mandela Park (St Clair), and courts for hourly rental at the Trinidad Country Club (Maraval) and some hotels. T&T Tennis Association: 625-3030

Name-dropping …

n Stephen Ames: former world top 25 golfer with four major PGA titles, including victory over Tiger Woods at the Players Championship (2006) n Ato Boldon: four-time Olympic medallist (2 silver, 2 bronze for 100m and 200m, 1996 and 2000), and 200m World Championship gold medallist (1997). Now a commentator with NBC in the US n George Bovell III: nation’s first Olympic medallist in swimming (2004 bronze in 200m individual medley), among several other international medals n Hasely Crawford: nation’s first Olympic gold medallist, winning men’s 100m (1976)

70

n Brian Lara: star cricketer and world record holder for the highest test match score (400 not out, 2004) and highest first class score (501 not out, 1994) n Keshorn Walcott: two-time Olympic medallist (gold in 2012, bronze in 2016). He’s the youngest male athlete (and the first black one) to win a gold medal in javelin; the first individual track and field athlete ever to win World Junior and Olympic titles in the same year; and he holds the North, Central American and Caribbean junior record n Rodney Wilkes: nation’s first Olympic medallist (weightlifting silver in 1948, bronze in 1952).

Learn more …

To learn more about Trinidad’s sporting scene — basketball, bodybuilding, hashing, hockey, horse racing, kayaking, martial arts, netball, sport fishing, sailing, surfing, yoga, and more — visit our website at discovertnt.com; the Sporting Company of T&T (sportt-tt.com); and the T&T Olympic Committee (ttoc.org).

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caristock

Dolphin-boarding is a new watersport gaining popularity in Chaguaramas


Ma

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Ma ra

Ba y

cas Bay Tyr ico B Las ay Cu eva s

trinidad Diego Martin

Santa Cruz

Chaguaramas Monos Scotland Bay

PORT OF SPAIN

Map Key (applies to all maps)

St Jo s

ria rat a

Gaspar Grande

ep h

Lopinot

Ba

Chacachacare

Mo rvan t

Huevos

Paramin

Tu

Gas Station

Waterfall

Hospital

Bird Watching

Sailing & boat tours

Turtle Nesting

Golf Course

Fort

Shopping Centre

Scuba Diving

Airport

Lighthouse

Place of interest

Surfing

Beach with Restrooms

Food Available

Swamp

Caves

Museum

Lifeguard on Duty

a

gu

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San Juan El Socorro

A

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Caroni Bird Sanctuary

Police Station

a

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p na

Piarco

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Jerningham Junction Cunupia

Chaguanas

Planned Highway

Highway

Longdenville Carapichaima

Waterloo

Freeport

Pt Lisas

Couva

Major roadway

Gran Couva

California

Location of Republic Bank ABM

Tortuga

Claxton Bay

Pi Gasparillo

Pointe-à-Pierre

Bus

Vistabella

SAN FERNANDO Pitch Lake Vessigny

La Brea

Fyzabad

Cap De Ville

Oropouche Lagoon

Granville

Los Bajos

Cedros

Palo Seco

Erin Bay Icacos Pt

72

Icacos

Debe Penal

Siparia

San Francique Quinam Bay

d i s c o v e r t n t. c o m

New Grant

Princes Town

St Mary’s

Mon Desir

Pt Fortin

Ste Madeleine

Barrackpore

India Wal


Saly bia

Bay

map Grande Riviere

Galera Pt

Toco

Matelot Blanchisseuse Redhead

Rampanalgas

Brasso Seco Asa Wright Nature Centre

Balandra Bay Salybia

Hollis Reservoir

a

Saline (Sally) Bay

Matura

ca ou Ar

Arima

Valencia Matura Bay

Cumuto

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Guaico San Rafael

Sangre Grande

Cunaripa Coryal

Talparo

Caroni-Arena Reservoir

Manzanilla

Todds Road

Biche Brasso

Manzanilla Bay Navet Dam

Tabaquite

Nariva Swamp and Bush-Bush Sanctuary

iparo

sy Corner Poole

St Joseph Rio Claro

Mayaro

Tableland

an lk Devil’s Woodyard

Basse Terre

N

Mayaro Bay

Guayaguayare Rushville

Galeota Pt

Moruga

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Maraval

St

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Jam aica

St Mary’s Sports Grounds

St V

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St James Police Baracks

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One Woodbrook Place

Nelson Mandela Park

Bell Ham e Sm ilto ythe nH old er S Den T a ylor S t nis M t aha bir S O’C onn t or De Pet Ver ra S teu t il St Ana Pet St ra S t Gall us S Ana t St Albe rto Pole Carew St Gall St us S Ros t alin Broome St Albe oS t rto Luis Ros St alino Havelock St Alfre St do S Luis t Ca S

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Mooneram

Brunto n Rd

Long Circular Mall

Clare nce S t

Ethel St

Pujadas St

Dengue St

Bournes Rd

Salaz ar St

Laza re S t

Rom eo S t

Ba yR d

Coro natio n Luck put St Math ura

Link Cocorite, Westmoorings, Chaguaramas

Finla nd

Digicel Imax

Fatima Sports Grounds

HI GHWAY

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Patna St bral Kathle e Ca g r o en St Ge Ranjit K umar S Ange t lina Quam ina Churc h St WEST ERN Carlt MAIN on Av RD e

St James Medical Complex

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Hasely Crawford Stadium

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John S Donald Techinal Instit

www.republictt.com Taxi Stands

5

St Anns/St James/Queens Park Savannah

1

Ariapita Avenue/ Chaguaramas/Carenage

6

Belmont

10

2

Cascade

7

Diego Martin/Petit Valley

Curepe Tunapuna/ Arima/Sangre Grande

11

San Juan

3

Maraval

8

Wrightson Rd/Long Circular

12

Chaguaramas

4

Cocorite

9

Chaguanas/San Fernando

13

POS General Hospital

d i s c o v e r t n t. c o m

N


Maraval & Maracas

Cadiz Rd

Industry

Woodford St

Sackville St London St Government Campus Plaza

F OF

PAR

IA

St Charlotte

Ob se rva to ry

Henry St

Pembroke St

Abercromby St

2

Water Taxi

Charlotte St

Duke St Hall of Justice City Hall Red Knox St House Woodford Sq Hart St National Library

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3

ly

4 Prince St

5

Queen St

6

N LARA PROMENADE 11 INDEPENDENCE SQ/BRIA 10 7

South Quay

8

12

9

13

Eastern Main Rd

GUL

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St Vincent

Edward St

Melbourne St Richmond St

Shine St

Charles St

In Wa terna ter fron tional t Ce nt

Oxford St

t olk S Norf

Park St

Victoria Sq

Com ple x

New St

1

Ph

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Fr ase rS t

General Hospital

Gordon St

Frederick St

Dere St

Dundonald St Chancery Lane

Borde St

Melville

Port of Spain

Keate St

Chacon St

hip

Scott Bushe St

D

Stone St

R

Fire Station

ise S

Victoria Ave

Cipriani Boulevar d

Sa ck v

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Lapeyrouse Cemetery

Memorial Park

NAPA National Museum

St

RD

Albion St Stanmore Ave

St Kitc he ne r Bu ller

Ga tac re S t

St Cor neli oS t

Fitt

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Me Mc thue nS Do t na ld St WR IG HT SO N Licensing Office

Cru

QUEEN’S PARK WEST

TR AG AR

Fre nch St

Mur ray St

Carlo s St

Ba de nP ow ell

Jerningham Ave

Warner St

Herbert St

A Sm dam ith Sq

Picton St

Rust St

RD

Marli St

Flament St

Gray St

Alcazar St

Maraval Rd

Erthig Rd

Alexandra ET E

St Alfr edo St

Palmiste St

Sweet Briar Rd

TR AG AR

arlo s St Mur ray St

QUEEN’S PARK SAVANNAH

Queen’s Royal College

ular Circ ont Belm

Archer St

Mary St

g Rd Youn Lady

Morvant, Barataria, Churchill Roosevelt Highway

Magnificent Se ven Maraval Rd

Hilton Hotel

EAST ARK ’S P EEN QU

Hayes St

St Clair Medical

Co ble nt zA ve

Lad y Chanc el lor Rd

Queen’s Hall

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Cotton Hill

Lam my St

bold New

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Emperor Valley Zoo

Cascade

Horticultural Society

Nook Ave Prime Min ister’s and Diplom Residence atic Centre La Fantas ie President’s House

Botanical Gardens

Flood St Jackson Flood St Sq

n’s Park val

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Cas cad e

Prada S t

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St

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Scott S t

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le R Sadd

Ellerslie Plaza psey S t

t St Vallo St m llia i W

St Ann’s

Terminus/City Gate

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N

The Dragon's Mouth

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Pt Cumana

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Five Islands

Chagville

Carenage Bay

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Glencoe

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Cocor

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Petit Valley

Blue Basin

www.republictt.com

Carrera

A

Diego Martin

River Estate & Waterwheel

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Diego

Petite Gourde

A

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Western Main Rd

G

Tracking Station

North Post

Bagatelle

rk Pa

Ft George

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St Clair

St Ann's

Maraval

St Andrew's Golf Course

North Coast Rd I ndep endence Sq

Laventille

Belmont

Queens Park Lady Young Savannah

Wr igh tso nR d PORT OF SPAIN

Woodbrook

St James

Rd

Paramin

Rd

Gasparee Caves

A

Morne Catherine

Edith Falls

Chaguaramas Golf Course

Macqueripe Bay

R Main

Gaspar Grande

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Teteron Bay

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Casca de

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Huevos

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Maracas Bay & North Coast

Santa Cruz


Port of Spain

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Bay

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Eastern Ma in Rd

NGC National Science Centre

ARIMA

Guanapo Gorge

Santa Rosa Race Track

D'Abadie

Rd

San Fernando

Trincity Mall

Cleaver Woods

Cave

La Laja

Sombasson

R

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Aripo

Cumaca

A

Sangre Grande

Wallerfield

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Turure Water Steps

Hollis Reservoir

R

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Grand Matelot Pt

S

a

Cumaca

N

Trail Coast North

Madamas

Grande Madamas Tacaribe Bay Bay

N

i

El Cerro del Aripo (941m)

Paria

r

Rd Aripo

d i s c o v e r t n t. c o m G

Matelot

E

Matelot Bay

a in

Matura Bay

Saline Bay

M Toco

Balandra

Cumana Bay

N

Rampanalgas

Cumana

Toco

Salybia Bay

Galera Pt

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Matura

Salybia

Rio Seco

Grande Riviere

Sangre Grande & East Coast

ain Rd Paria M

Ro ad

north east

Valsayn

Curepe Arouca

Lopinot

La Pastora Caura

H

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Brasso Seco

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San Fernando

Rd

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Mt St Benedict Monastery

La Veronica

T

Asa Wright Nature Centre Dunstan

R

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El Socorro

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Sa nJ ua n

ico Tyr

Bar ata ria

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St Jo se ph

B vas ue

Maracas Falls

O

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El Tucuche (936m) N

ay

Blanchisseuse

ra B Yar

Rincon

rt No Las Cuevas

Rd st oa hC

B use isse nch Bla

Saddle Rd

Santa Cruz

sC La

La Fillete

La Fillette Chupara Pt Pt

C

y Ba

Port of Spain

ria Pa

Cau ra R oyal Roa d

iere Riv nde Gra Bay

Ta ca r igu a Lopinot Rd

i ouc sS San

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Rd

M

a in

d i s c o v e r t n t. c o m

Williamsville

a Tab

Rd

Bargain

e quit

Piparo

Tabaquite

Brasso

Flanagin Town

Busy Corner

Brickfield

Tabaquite Tunnel

L R A N T C E Navet Dam & Reservoir

Brasso Venado

E N G R A

Navet

Cuche

n

N a pa rim

a a M

Killdeer River

y a ro

Biche

Navet River

Cu

d R rn he ut So

n

N

Rd

m Plu

an Mit

Rd

Plum Mitan

Nariva Swamp & Bush Bush Wildlife Sanctuary

THE COCAL

Brigand Hill Lighthouse

Lower Manzanilla

Upper Manzanilla

Mayaro

Manzanilla Pt

Pt Radix

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yar

Mayo

Tortuga

MONSTERRAT HILLS

La Vega Garden Centre a M a in R d C ou v Pepper Gran Village Couva

Chicklands

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SANGRE GRANDE

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Ma

San Fernando

Rd

Mundo Nuevo

Cunaripa

M

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Pointe-à-Pierre Wildfowl Trust Pointe-à-Pierre

rn

Todd's Rd

Tamana Bat Caves

CaroniArena Dam & Reservoir

Cumuto

cia R d

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Claxton Bay

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Freeport

Friendship Hall

Talparo

Rd

Brechin Castle

So

St Mary's

Hanuman Murti

ORANGE ESTATE

CARONI PLAIN

San Rafael

ro

Pt Lisas Industrial Estate

hway

pa

California

tler Hig

l Ta

Couva

Uriah Bu

Chase Village Potteries Carapichaima

R

Longdenville

Piarco International Airport

d

R

Cunupia

St Helena

Piarco

rc h i l l -R o o s e v e l t Highw a y

Trincity Mall

n

Chaguanas

C

hu

Valencia

Hollis Reservoir

ai

Waterloo

Divali Nagar

Caroni

Valpark Shopping Plaza

ARIMA

Blanchisseuse & North Coast

c

Valsayn

Tunapuna

Curepe

Lopinot

R

ma ca

M

Temple in the Sea

ddle R

Grand Bazaar

R

El Socorro

San Juan

r a c a

n

Caroni Swamp and Bird Sanctuary

PORT OF

Port of Spain

central C a u r a

r s te

Southern Main Rd

ca

d R

78 Ea a in R d

Highway

ino Lop

ou

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an

Ar

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Toco M

v

Nari er a Riv

Solomon Hochoy

Bay oR d

M


Chatham South

Erin

Bonasse

Rd

d i s c o v e r t n t. c o m Palo Seco

r

-E

Siparia

Quinam

d in R

Trace

Oropouche Lagoon Banwari

Morne Diablo

Penal

Debe

La Lune

Rock Rd

e

Tableland

oT ab aq uit

IN TR

ILL H ITY

S

Galeota Pt Guayaguayare Bay N

Guayaguayare

Ortoire River

Mayaro

Naparima-Mayaro Rd

TRINITY HILLS WILDLIFE SANCTUARY & RESERVE

Rio Claro

Nariva Swamp

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Basse Terre

Moruga

Devil's Woodyard Mud Volcano Sixth Company

Indian Walk

Third Company

Barrackpore

Princes Town

d

south

Erin Los Iros Pt

Erin ( San Francique)

d

an

ern nF Sa

aria

Sip o-

Fyzabad

Mon Desir

La Romaine

St Madeleine

N a pari ma R

Pointe-à-Pierre Wildfowl Trust

lar

Ri oC

Sangre Grande

Mayaro-Guayag

Icacos

Fullarton

Columbus Bay

Pt Fortin

Vessigny

Pitch Lake La Brea

SAN FERNANDO

Pointe-à-Pierre

Tabaquite

uayare Rd

Cedros Bay

Granville

Chatham North

Gulf of Paria

h

ut

So

Rd nk

Solomon Hochoy Highway

Tr u

Cunapo Rd

er n

Port of Spain

Mayaro Bay

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advertiser TRINIDAD ACCOMMODATIONS

CONTACT INFO

Facilities

Price

Courtyard by Marriott Invaders Bay, Audrey Jeffers Highway, Port of Spain

T: (868) 627-5555 W: courtyardportofspain.com

A, D, H, HF, K, I, M, R, S

$$$

Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre Lady Young Road, Port of Spain

T: (868) 624-3211 W: hiltoncaribbean.com/destinations/trinidad.html

A, D, H, HF, I, M, R, T, S, SA

$$$

Hyatt Regency Trinidad 1 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain

T: (868) 623-2222 W: trinidad.hyatt.com

A, H, HF, I, M, $$$ R, S

Kapok Hotel 16-18 Cotton Hill, St Clair

T: (868) 622-5765 E: stay@kapokhotel.com W: kapokhotel.com

A, D, H, HF, I, K, M, R

$$$

Royal Hotel 46-54 Royal Road, San Fernando

T: (868) 652-3924 E: info@royalhoteltt.com W: royalhoteltt.com

A, D, H, I, M, HF, S, R

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The Allamanda 61 Carlos Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain

T: (868) 622-1480 E: theallamanda@yahoo.com W: theallamanda.com

BB, I, K, S

$

The University Inn & Conference Centre 30 St Augustine Circular Road, St Augustine

T: (868) 662-9635 E: theuniversityinn@sta.uwi.edu W: theuniversityinn.com

A, BB, D, H, I, M

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Accomdation key A B BB C D G H HF I K M

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Air-conditioned rooms On/very close to beach Bed & breakfast, guesthouse, or inn Apartments, cottages, or villas Facilities for the disabled Golf course Hotel Health facilities (gym, spa, etc) Internet/wifi access Kitchenette/self-catering facilities Meeting/conference facilities

R S SA T

Restaurant Swimming pool Service animals allowed Tennis facilities

Average price per night (USD) $ 65–100 $$ 101–150 $$$ 151–225 $$$$ over $226

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listings CONTACT INFO

Belleviste Apartments 3, 64A Store Bay Local Road, Crown Point

T: (868) 639-9351 A, B, C, I, E: bellevisteapartments@gmail.com K, S W: belleviste.com

Facilities

$$

Price

Crown Point Hotel Crown Point

T: (868) 639-8781/3 E: reservations@crownpointbeachhotel.com W: crownpointbeachhotel.com

A, B, H, I, M, R, S

$$

Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort Tobago Plantations Estate, Lowlands

T: (868) 660-8500 E: info@MagdalenaGrand.com W: magdalenagrand.com

A, B, D, G, H, HF, I, M, R, S, T

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Plantation Beach Villas Stonehaven Bay Road, Black Rock

T: (868) 639-9377 E: plantationbeachvillas@gmail.com W: plantationbeachvillas.com

A, B, C, G, I, K, S

$$$$

Summerland Suites Roberts Street, Bon Accord

T: (868) 631-5053/5 E: summerland@summerlandsuites.info W: summerlandsuites.info

A, C, K, S

$

The Seahorse Inn, Restaurant & Bar Grafton Beach Road, Black Rock

T: (868) 639-0686 E: seahorseinntobago@gmail.com W: seahorseinntobago.com

A, B, BB, I, R

$

The Villas at Stonehaven Stonehaven Bay, Black Rock

T: (868) 639-0361 E: reservations@stonehavenvillas.com W: stonehavenvillas.com

A, C, D, K, I, M, R, S

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Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort Crown Point

T: (868) 639-8512/3 E: tropikistbeachhotelresort@ gmail.com W: tropikist.com

A, B, H, I, M, R, S

$$$

courtesy magdalena grand beach & golf resort

TOBAGO ACCOMMODATIONS

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TRINIDAD DINING

CONTACT INFO

CUISINE

Price

Kaizan Sushi MovieTowne (Port of Spain) and Price Plaza North, Chaguanas

T: (868) 623-5437 or 222-4441 E: info@kaizansushi.com W: kaizansushi.com

Appetising Japanese cuisine with an extensive selection of Sushi and other Asian inspired dishes

$$

Smokey Joe’s 91 Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook 96 Frederick Street, Port of Spain 26 Maraval Road, Newtown

T: (868) 221-1224 E: smokeyjoesrestaurant@ gmail.com W: smokeyjoestt.com

A la carte menu featuring artisan brick oven pizzas, gourmet burgers, pastas, salads, steaks, and more

$$

Subway 47 restaurants nationwide

W: subway-tt.com

International sandwiches

$

Zanzibar Fiesta Plaza, MovieTowne and Price Plaza North, Chaguanas

T: (868) 627-0752 or 672-1376 W: zanzibartt.com

Caribbean and international cuisine

$$

TOBAGO DINING

CONTACT INFO

CUISINE

Price

Seahorse Inn Restaurant & Bar Grafton Beach Road, Black Rock

T: (868) 639-0686

Local, Caribbean, and international cuisine

$$$$

Average price of entrées (USD) $ $$ $$$ $$$$

under $10 11–20 21–25 over $25

TRINIDAD TOURS

CONTACT INFO

TYPE OF TOUR

Caribbean Discovery Tours 9B Fondes Amandes Road, St Ann’s, Port of Spain

T: (868) 620-1989 E: caribbeandiscoverytours@ yahoo.com W: caribbeandiscoverytours.com

Ecological, cultural, and historical tours

TOBAGO TOURS

CONTACT INFO

TYPE OF TOUR

Frankie Tours & Rentals Mt Irvine Beach Facility carpark

T: (868) 681-3717 or 394-4553 E: info@frankietours.com W: frankietours.com

Beach, rainforest, jeep safari, and island tours

Plantation Beach Watersports T: (868) 620-7245 Mt Irvine Beach E: islandgirltobago@gmail.com W: sailtobago.com

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Catamaran cruises, snorkelling, and more

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Magnificent poui tree in full bloom at the Queen’s Park Savannah

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Calendar

F

or more on many of these celebrations, see our Festivals sections and our website (discovertnt.com). Some event dates are also subject to change. See the local press, as well as gotrinidadandtobago.com and visittobago.gov.tt, for the latest!

JANUARY

MARCH

n 1 (public holiday) : New Year’s Day n 28: Chinese New Year (year of the rooster) n Harvest Festivals (Tobago): various villages n Carnival Educative Arts Festival & Carnival Caravan (Tobago)

n Harvest Festivals (Tobago): various villages n Caribbean Institute of Astronomy’s Annual Star Party (Chaguaramas, Trinidad) n Phagwa (Holi) n 16–19: Trinidad & Tobago Open Golf Tournament n 30 (public holiday): Spiritual Shouter Baptist Liberation Day — commemorating the 1951 repeal of the colonial-era Shouters Prohibition Ordinance (1917), which banned this Christian and Orisha syncretic religion. The Baptists are also referred to as Shouter Baptists and Shango Baptists n Tobago Game Fishing Tournament n Turtle nesting season begins

Carnival events, including Panorama, Kings and Queens costumes, calypso and soca competitions, stick-fighting, traditional carnival characters and more. For more, see our Trinidad Carnival section n Tobago Carnival Regatta n Talk Tent (calypso and comedy) n Harvest Festivals (Tobago): various villages n 6–8: Energy Conference and Tradeshow 2017 n 24: Soca Monarch Finals n 25: National Panorama Finals (Medium & Large) n 26: Dimanche Gras n 27 & 28: Carnival Monday and Tuesday — J’ouvert and Parade of the Bands

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Phagwa celebrants throw abir in the air

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FEBRUARY


of events 2017 APRIL

n 1: Jazz Artists on the Greens (jaotg.com) n 7–9: Rally Trinidad n 14–17 Easter Weekend (public holidays Friday & Monday) n Goat and Crab Races during Easter Weekend, Mt Pleasant & Buccoo (Tobago) n 26–30: Bocas Lit Fest — the Trinidad & Tobago Literary Festival n Harvest Festival (Tobago): Goodwood n Pt Fortin Borough Day (Trinidad) — a full week of J’ouvert, mas, pan and parties leading up the big street party n Tobago Jazz Experience n La Divina Pastora (Siparia, Trinidad)

MAY

n Maypole Festival (Tobago) n Salsa Fiesta (Trinidad) n European Film Festival (Trinidad) n 5–7: Republic Bank Decibel Entertainment Conference & Expo n 30 (public holiday): Indian Arrival Day n Harvest Festivals (Tobago): Delaford, Belle Garden, Mason Hall, Whim

courtesy richard lyder/massy rainbow cup

JUNE

Rainbow Cup International triathlon

n Ganga Dhaaraa: Hindu river festival honouring the descent of India’s sacred River Ganges (Blanchisseuse, Trinidad) n 10: Rainbow Cup International Triathlon (Tobago) n 15 (public holiday): Corpus Christi n 17: Annual Yoruba Village Drum Festival (Trinidad) n 19 (public holiday): Labour Day — marked by trade union marches and gatherings in Fyzabad (Trinidad) n TCA (public holiday): Eid-ul-Fitr — the most widely recognised of our Islamic observances, Eid marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, celebrated in homes and mosques n St Peter’s Day Fisherman’s Festival n WeBeat Festival (St James, Trinidad) n Junior Tobago Heritage Festival n Harvest Festivals (Tobago): Lambeau, Bloody Bay, Roxborough St Peter’s Day Fisherman’s Festival n Junior Tobago Heritage Festival n Harvest Festivals (Tobago): Lambeau, Bloody Bay, Roxborough

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Calendar

july

SEPTEMBER

n Mango Festival n Motor Rally (Tobago) n Tobago Heritage Festival n South Caribbean Open Golf Tournament (Tobago) n J’ouvert in July (Trinidad ) n Great Fete Weekend (Tobago) n Harvest Festivals (Tobago): Castara, Black Rock n Trade & Investment Convention (Trinidad)

n Angostura Rum Festival n Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival (ttff) n Trinidad & Tobago Restaurant Weet n 24 (public holiday): Republic Day — marks the adoption in 1976 of a new republican constitution (in which a President replaced the Queen as the head of state, and the islands became a republic within the Commonwealth), and the first meeting of the republican parliament n Derby Horse Racing Classic (Trinidad) n Maracas Open Water Classic (Trinidad) n Republic Day Cycling Classic (Trinidad) n Parang season begins

n 1 (public holiday): Emancipation Day n Arima Borough Day (Trinidad) n Castara Fisherman’s Fete (Tobago) n Santa Rosa Festival (Trinidad) n Great Race (Trinidad to Tobago) n Oshun River Festival (Trinidad) — marked by Orisha devotees celebrating the goddess of love, fertility and inland waters n Pan on d’ Avenue (Woodbrook, Trinidad) n Harvest Festival (Tobago): Speyside n 31 (public holiday): Independence Day — commemorates the islands’ independence from Britain in 1962, featuring a parade of the protective services; national awards; and fireworks

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The Moriah Ole Time Wedding is a staple at the Tobago Heritage Festival

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AUGUST


of events OCTOBER

NOVEMBER DECEMBER

n 2–8: Tobago International Cycling Classic n 9–16: Santa Rosa First People’s Heritage Week n Hosay (Trinidad) n Blue Food Festival (Tobago) n Steelpan & Jazz Festival (Trinidad) n Harvest Festival (Tobago): Patience Hill n Ramleela Festival (Trinidad) n TBC (public holiday): Divali

n International Surf Festival n Scarborough Cup Golf Tournament (Tobago) n Tobago Christmas Caravan n Harvest Festivals (Tobago): Plymouth, Black Rock, Les Couteaux, Moriah, Scarborough, Montgomery

Tassa drummers play in front of a tadjah at Hosay

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aarti gosine

n Christmas with the Marionettes Chorale (Trinidad) n Paramin Parang Festival (Trinidad) n Assembly Day (Tobago) n 25 (public holiday): Christmas Day n 26 (public holiday): Boxing Day


visitor Getting to T&T

n Aeropostal, American Airlines, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Condor, United Airlines, Copa, JetBlue, LIAT, Surinam Airways, Conviasa, WestJet, and Virgin Atlantic service T&T from hubs in New York, Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Toronto and London. Charter flights also operate

Arriving by sea (yachts & sailing boats)

n Trinidad: Piarco International Airport (27km/17 miles from Port of Spain) n Tobago: ANR Robinson International Airport (10km/7 miles from Scarborough)

n Arriving yachts should have a clearance certificate from the last port of call, and the vessel’s registration certificate (or authorisation for use) n In Trinidad, check in with Customs & Immigration at CrewsInn in Chaguaramas n In Tobago, check in with Customs & Immigration in Scarborough or Charlotteville n Chaguaramas in Trinidad is the hub of yachting activity, with sheltered anchorage (Yachting Association) and strings of maintenance and repair yards, marinas and essential services

Entering T&T

Cruise ships

Airports

n You will need to show a passport valid for three months beyond your intended stay n Non-residents must have documentation for return or onward travel and a local address n Visas are generally not required for visits up to 30 days, but double-check with your airline or travel agent before leaving

n Several cruise lines visit Trinidad and Tobago, mostly out of Miami between November and April, including Carnival, Crystal, Fred Olsen, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America, MSC, Oceania Cruises, MV Adriana, P&O, Princess, Regent, Seven Seas Cruise Lines, Saga, Seabourn, NYK Cruises, and Windstar

Airport transfers

n Unless you are being met privately, take an authorised taxi from the airport to your destination, confirming the fare in advance (a list of fares is displayed in the arrivals area). If in doubt, check the taxi dispatcher n Authorised private taxis have licence plates beginning with “H” (for “Hire”), and are not metered

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courtesy port authority of trinidad & tobago

Scheduled carriers


info

Getting around in T&T NB: Public taxis (bearing “H” number plates) are not metered, so confirm the fare in advance n Private taxis: available at the airports and through the larger hotels. Companies are also listed in the Yellow Pages n “Route taxis” (cars registered as taxis) and maxi-taxis (12- to 25-seat mini-buses with brightly coloured bands) work specific routes, picking up and dropping off passengers anywhere along the way. They have designated stands in Port of Spain, San Fernando, Chaguanas, Scarborough and other main towns n Maxi-taxis’ colour bands refer to their area they service: Black: San Fernando to Princes Town and Mayaro Blue: Tobago Brown: San Fernando to Point Fortin Green: Port of Spain to Chaguanas and San Fernando Red: Port of Spain to Arima, with connections to Blanchisseuse to Matelot Yellow: Port of Spain to Chaguaramas

derek felix, courtesy cal

Taxis

Buses

n Local and international rental companies operate in both islands and at both airports

can be booked online, are $100 return (adults); $50 (children under 11); while children under three and senior citizens (65+) travel free. If travelling with a vehicle, the cost is $200 one way, or $350 return n Trinidad Water Taxi: this west-coast service is operated by the National Infrastructure Development Company (nidco. co.tt). Single journeys are 30–45 minutes. Adult tickets are $15 (adults), while infants under the age of one travel free, and senior citizens (65+) travel free on off-peak sailings

Ferries

Air bridge

n The Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC, ptsc.co.tt) operates buses from Port of Spain to most towns, sometimes on an “express” basis, and from hubs in Chaguanas, San Fernando and Scarborough. Tickets ($2–12) or travel cards must be bought before boarding

Car rentals

n Inter-island ferry service (Port of Spain– Scarborough) operated by Port Authority (ttitferry. com) on the T&T Express and T&T Spirit ferries (2.5hrs). Tickets, which

n Caribbean Airlines (6257200, caribbean-airlines. com) operates several flights a day between Trinidad and Tobago. Tickets are US$48 for a round trip (20 minutes each way)

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visitor Travel basics

Money matters

n Money: ABMs (ATMs) and credit/debit cards are routinely used n Currency: Trinidad & Tobago dollar (TT$); US$1= approximately TT$6.8 (floating exchange rate) n Taxes: 10% room tax + 10% service at hotels; 12.5% VAT (value added tax) on most goods and services

Driving

n Driving: on the left. Seatbelts are required by law n Speed limits: Trinidad 80kph (50mph) on highways, 55kph (34mph) in settled areas; Tobago 50kph (32mph) n Driving permits: visitors can drive for up to 90 days on a valid foreign/international licence

Utilities

n Electricity: 115v/230v, 60Hz n Water: tap water is safe to drink (boil to be doubly sure); bottled water is widely available

Communications

n Country phone code: +1 868 n Landlines: provided by Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT), Flow, and Digicel Play. Prepaid international phone cards are available n Mobile telephones: bmobile (TSTT) and Digicel operate on GSM networks; SIM cards are available for unlocked phones n Mail: TTPost operates the national mail service; FedEx, DHL, UPS and others provide courier service

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Media

n Press: there are three daily national newspapers (Trinidad Express, Trinidad Guardian, Newsday), several weeklies and one tri-weekly; Tobago is served by the Tobago News n Radio: over 30 FM stations, one AM station n Television: 17 local stations (some are available only via cable or on one island); cable and satellite; most hotels and guesthouses provide foreign cable channels

Safety

Take practical precautions when travelling: note emergency numbers; always lock your room/ house/vehicle (including windows); don’t wear expensive jewellery, and conceal/secure valuables; move in groups where possible; avoid deserted locations, and be aware of your surroundings. If you’re on the road, buckle up, and drive defensively

Emergency contacts

n Ambulance (public hospitals): 811 n Coast Guard: 634-4440 n EMS (emergency medical services): 6244343 (north Trinidad), 653-4343 (south/ central Trinidad), 639-4444 (Tobago) n Hyperbaric medical facility (decompression chamber, Roxborough, Tobago): 6604369 n Fire Services: 990 n Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM): 640-1285 (Trinidad), 660-7489 (Tobago), opdm.gov.tt n Police Service: in Trinidad, 999 or 555; in Tobago, 639-2520 or 639-5590

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info n Division of Tourism, Tobago: 639-2125, visittobago.gov.tt n Immigration Division: 625-3571 (Trinidad), 639-2681 (Tobago), immigration.gov.tt n Tourism Development Company: 6757034, tdc.co.tt, gotrinidadandtobago.com n Tourist information offices: 639-0509 (Crown Point Airport); 635-0934 (Cruise Ship Complex, Tobago); 669-5196 (Piarco Airport)

Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Industry Certification (TTTIC) Industry stakeholders (e.g. accommodation providers, tour guides/operators, vehicle rental and ground transport providers, and dive facilities) that are part of the TTTIC programme have been audited by the Trinidad & Tobago Bureau of Standards and are fully endorsed by the TDC and the THA. Approved providers display the TTTIC logo. The most up-to-date list can be found on the islands’ official tourism portals (see above).

View of Port of Spain from Chancellor Hill

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Tourism contacts


visitor

t&T in a nutshell Capital Highest points

n National capital: Port of Spain n Tobago capital: Scarborough

Climate

n Tropical. Dry season January–May, wet June–December n The islands are just south of the main hurricane belt n Temperature range: 72–95°F (22–35°C); average 83°F (29°C)

n Trinidad: El Cerro del Aripo (940m/3,085ft) n Tobago: Main Ridge (549m/1,860ft)

Location & coordinates

n 11°N, 61°W n Tobago and Trinidad are 33km (21 miles) apart n Trinidad is 10km (7 miles) from Venezuela

Size

n Trinidad: 4,828km2 (1,864 sq miles); 105 x 80km (65 x 50 miles) n Tobago: 300km2 (116 sq miles); 48 x 16km (30 x 10 miles)

Time zone

n Atlantic Standard Time year-round (GMT/ UTC -4, EST +1)

chris anderson

Sustainable tourism tips

n Buy local goods and souvenirs n Mind your gas (petrol): choose the smallest vehicle to suit your needs when renting (or buying) a car; drive within the speed limit; don’t let your car idle; keep your tires inflated; try to carpool; and when you can, walk or cycle n Recycle: use bins and collections by Ace, Carib Glass, Caribbean Tech Disposals, the EMA (Environmental Management Authority)’s iCare, Piranha, Plastikeep, Recycling in Motion (RIM), and SWMCOL (Solid Waste Management Company Ltd) n Reduce: turn off electrical devices when you don’t need them; avoid plastic bags and styrofoam; buy and consume only what you need; reuse when you can

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info

Government

n Trinidad & Tobago is a parliamentary democracy; elections have been held regularly since self-government in 1956 n President: Anthony Carmona n Prime Minister: Dr Keith Rowley n Ruling party: the People’s National Movement (PNM) n Official opposition: United National Congress (UNC) n Opposition leader: Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Official language

n English

Population & demographics

n Population: 1.2–1.3 million (approx. 50,000 in Tobago) n Ethnicities: 35% are of Indian descent, 34% of African descent, 23% mixed n Religions: 22% Roman Catholic, 32% Christians of other denominations (including Anglican), 18% Hindu, 5% Muslim n Urban populations: Port of Spain 37,000 (nearly 600,000 between Chaguaramas and Arima); Chaguanas 84,000; San Fernando 49,000; Scarborough 17,000

Economy

Oil and gas account for about 40% of GDP and 80% of exports, but only 5% of employment. Major resources: oil and natural gas Major industries: petroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, ammonia, urea, light manufacturing and assembly Major services: tourism, conference and convention facilities, financial services, construction Key indicators (2015): GDP per capita approx. US$19,000; unemployment rate 3.5%. The economy was projected to contract 1.5% for 2016, after contracting 2.1% in 2015

PURCHASE YOUR

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visitor T&T history at a glance c 15,000–1,000 BC: islands part of South America; settled by Amerindians or First Peoples 1498: Christopher Columbus lands in Trinidad on July 31, claims island for Spanish and names it after Catholic Holy Trinity 1596: Tobago claimed by British 1627–50: Courlanders settle Tobago’s west coast near Plymouth, and Dutch the east 1699: Trinidad First Peoples rebel against Capuchin missionaries (Arena Uprising) 1757: Trinidad’s Spanish governor moves capital to Port of Spain from St Joseph 1768–9: first Tobago Assembly established; Scarborough becomes island’s capital 1776: oldest forest reserve in western hemisphere designated in Tobago 1781: French seize Tobago, convert it to sugar colony 1783: Spanish governor Chacón’s Cedula de Población entices Catholic white and free coloured settlers to Trinidad with land incentives; rapid development begins 1790: great fire of Scarborough destroys much of downtown; hurricane ravages island 1797: Trinidad captured by Sir Ralph Abercromby’s British fleet 1801: massive slave uprising in Tobago quelled 1806: first Chinese workers imported to Trinidad 1807: slave trading abolished in British empire 1808: great fire of Port of Spain destroys much of the city

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1814:

Tobago ceded to British under Treaty of Paris 1816: six companies of free blacks from the United States (mainly Baptist) settle in southern Trinidad, and one in Tobago 1834–8: slavery abolished in the British Empire, leading to apprenticeship (1834) then emancipation (1838) 1834–1917: indentured labour imported to Trinidad from other islands, China, Portugal, Syria, Lebanon, and India 1857: first oil well drilled in Trinidad near Pitch Lake 1858–84: Trinidad governor criminalises Carnival activities 1881: Canboulay Riots in Trinidad 1884: Hosay Riots in Trinidad; Tobago’s sugar industry collapses 1889–98: Tobago merged with Trinidad; Tobago Assembly disbanded 1903: Water Riots in Port of Spain; Red House burns down 1908: commercial oil production begins in southern Trinidad 1914: first calypso recorded in Trinidad 1925: first national elections (limited franchise) 1931: Piarco International Airport opens 1935–41: first steelpans emerge in Laventille, Trinidad 1937: oilfield and labour strikes led in southern Trinidad by Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler 1940: Crown Point Airport opens in Tobago; national airline British West Indies Airways (BWIA) commences operations 1941: Chaguaramas peninsula leased to United States for 99 years; American military remain through World War II

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info 1945: 1951: 1956: 1958: 1960: 1962: 1963: 1970: 1974: 1976: 1980:

rapso imaging

1981:

public emergence of steelbands; universal suffrage implemented repeal of ordinance prohibiting activities of Spiritual “Shouter” Baptist faith self-government under Eric Williams’ People’s National Movement (PNM) islands join Federation of West Indies Trinidad campus of University of the West Indies (UWI) established islands leave Federation, gain independence from Britain; Dr Eric Williams becomes first prime minister Hurricane Flora devastates Tobago; Chaguaramas returned to Trinidadian control “Black Power” uprising in Trinidad Garfield Blackman (Ras Shorty I) releases first soca album new republican constitution Tobago House of Assembly restored; islands enjoy economic prosperity George Chambers (PNM) succeeds Williams as prime minister

1983: oil prices fall, crippling local economy 1986: National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) unseats PNM in national elections; Tobagonian ANR Robinson becomes prime minister 1990: attempted coup by Afro-Islamist Jamaat al Muslimeen 1995: coalition government between United National Congress (UNC) and NAR unseats the PNM; Basdeo Panday becomes prime minister 2007: Caribbean Airlines replaces BWIA as national carrier; record oil prices fuel economic boom 2010: UNC-led coalition government (People’s Partnership) ousts PNM at general and local elections under Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the country’s first female prime minister; Caribbean Airlines completes purchase of Air Jamaica; country struggles with stagnating economy in the wake of the global financial crisis 2015: oil prices crash, causing economic slowdown; PNM, under Dr Keith Rowley, wins general elections

Ruins of the satellite dish at the old Chaguaramas tracking station

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welcome

P

ristine beaches, delicious and distinctive cuisine, colourful festivals, rejuvenating eco escapes and adventures — including world-class diving … Whether you’re here for a long, leisurely break, or a quick stop on your cruise itinerary, we’ll help you make the most of your time.

caristock

If you want to discover even more, make sure to visit our website (discovertnt.com) for a wealth of Tobago information. You can also get Discover T&T on your favourite mobile device — this and past editions are available to download for offline viewing. Just search for us in your device’s App Store. Happy exploring!

Pigeon Point

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where courtesy the villas at stonehaven

In the thick of things: Tobago’s southwest

If you base yourself near Crown Point, most everything is close by. You’ll also find a variety of accommodation options.

Around Crown Point

Among the most popular are Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort (all-inclusive); the Crown Point Beach Hotel; Belleviste Apartments (self-catering); the Coco Reef Resort & Spa (all-inclusive); Summerland Suites (self-catering); and the Kariwak Holistic Haven.

Caribbean coast Several developments line Stonehaven and Great Courland bays in Black Rock, including the elegant Villas at Stonehaven (perched on the hillside); the Plantation Beach Villas; the

BELLEVISTE A PA R T M E N T S 20 self-contained apartments with private balconies and sea views. Fully furnished, air conditioned with cable TV and Wi-Fi. Large swimming pool. Belleviste Apartments are within walking distance of ANR Robinson International Airport, Store Bay and Pigeon Point. Taxis and public transport easily available. CROWN POINT, TOBAGO Email: bellevisteapartments@gmail.com • Website: www.belleviste.com Tel: (868) 639-9351 • Fax: (868) 631-8475

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to stay Seahorse Inn, Restaurant & Bar; and three all-inclusives — Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort (adults only), Grafton Beach Resort, and Turtle Beach by Rex Resorts. courtesy magdalena grand beach & golf resort

Atlantic coast

There are two in-demand all-inclusives in the area. In Lowlands, stunning grounds host the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort and Tobago Plantations. Further east in the capital, Scarborough, is the Blue Haven Hotel.

EXPERIENCE THE UNFORGETTABLE GETAWAY TO

great location ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Airport store bay beach pigeon point beach entertainment & nightlife

call for details Administrative Office 78-79 la clave Street, Lange Park, Chaguanas, Trinidad Tel: (868) 671-9143, 671-0631 Fax (868) 665-9236

your ideal location at CROWN POINT, TOBAGO, W.I. Tel: (868) 639-8512-3 Fax: (868) 639-9605

tropikistbeachhotelresort@gmail.com • www.tropikist.com

Set on seven acres of beautifully landscaped grounds overlooking Store Bay, Crown Point Beach Hotel offers studio,cabana and one bedroom apartments, all with ocean views and kitchenettes. The Simmer Down Restaurant and Bar, caters for your entire food and beverage requirement. Recreational facilities include swimming pool, tennis courts, table tennis, shuffleboard and complimentary wifi.

Crown Point Beach Hotel Limited Tel: (868) 639 8781/3 | Fax: (868) 639 8731 reservations@crownpointbeachhotel.com www.crownpointbeachhotel.com

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n Speyside, in the northeast, is ideal for divers and birders, who’ll have easy access to Little Tobago. Popular spots include Blue Waters Inn and Top Rankin Guesthouse. n Nature lovers escape to properties like the Cuffie River Nature Retreat (near Runnemede), Footprints Eco Resort (Culloden), Top o’ Tobago Villa and Adventure Eco Villas (both in the hills above Arnos Vale), and Villa Being (near Arnos Vale).

courtesy adventure eco villas

For nature lovers … and divers!

Price & availability

For much of the year, there is decent availability. Peak season is November–April, with highest demand around Carnival, Easter, and the Tobago Jazz Experience. Most long weekends and school holidays are also busy periods. The average rate for guesthouses is US$60–70, and US$175–255 for hotels and resorts.

AnofOasis of Serenity Oasis Serenity

Ideal for Families, al for Families, Reunions and nions and Intimate mate ddings Weddings

Sail away with Sail the away with the Island Girl, be Island spoiledGirl, by be spoiled by professional crew, all-inclusive our professionalourcrew, all-inclusive Day SailsCruises. and Sunset Cruises. Day Sails and Sunset ChartersOccasions for Special Occasions Also Charters forAlsoSpecial & Corporate Events. & Corporate Events.

www.plantationbeachvillas.com plantationbeachvillas.com info@plantationbeachvillas.com plantationbeachvillas.com Tel: (868) 639-9377 68) 639-9377 Black Rock, Tobago Rock, Tobago

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Beach Watersports Plantation Beach Plantation Watersports www.sailtobago.com www.sailtobago.com islandgirltobago@gmail.com islandgirltobago@gmail.com Tel: (868) Tel: (868) 620-7245 (SAIL)620-7245 (SAIL)

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DISCOVER, EXPLORE, DREAM Discover the beautiful and unique Island of Tobago. Discover the beautiful rainforest, natural waterfalls, Nylon pool and so much more. Discover nature at its finest with rare and beautiful orchids, butterflies, and birds. Discover relaxation at one of our three pools, beach, spa and fitness center. Discover new and delicious food selections at one our three restaurants and cafe.

Discover Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Tobago’s finest oceanfront resort.

Tobago Plantations Estate, Lowlands, Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies Phone: 868-660-8500 • info@MagdalenaGrand.com W W W .M A G D A L E N A G R A N D . C O M


There are several options for investing in property here: buying a timeshare or into a development (averaging US$500,000– $1 million); buying land and building yourself (land averages US$60,000–$200,000); or purchasing traditional single-family homes (averaging US$160,000 to upward of US$4 million). The market in recent years has seen falling prices, so there are deals to be had. Foreign buyers are required to obtain a licence, which allows for purchasing up to an acre in certain locations. Property taxes were reintroduced in 2016, and there is a 5–10% stamp duty on most real estate transactions, plus applicable legal fees. Agencies like the well-established Abraham Tobago Realty and Caribbean Estates, Lands & Villas can help you buy your piece of paradise.

courtesy Caribbean estates, lands and villas

Buying your place in the sun

Getting married

courtesy yaisa tangwell

With a variety of stunning backdrops to choose from, Tobago has become a popular wedding destination. Several resorts (some with breath-taking grounds, views, or access to beautiful beaches) and wedding service providers will guide you through the process. Many offer custom packages to make your special day (and honeymoon!) absolutely perfect. For more: visittobago.gov.tt

Wooden path through the mangroves at Tobago Plantations

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Water lillies at Tobago Plantations

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dining Fine dining

Tobago’s best restaurants pair delectable food — local, international, and fusion — with ambience and charm. Many are set in locations steeped in history (shells of colonial waterwheels, sugar mills, and plantation houses), or take advantage of spectacular mountainside views or refreshing seaside perches.

Bars and other pit-stops by beaches, roadsides, and hotel developments offer up tasty favourites. Local stalwarts include crab-anddumpling; “blue food” (ground provisions); fresh fish (mahi mahi is among the most sustainably caught); oil down (breadfruit and

courtesy seahorse inn

Quick or casual dining

salted meat are the main ingredients); coconut bake (often served with saltfish buljol); and a multitude of sweets (benne balls, toolom, paw-paw balls, tamarind balls, sugar cake, cashew cake, cassava pone …). Try condiments like chows and chutneys, and wash it all down with freshly squeezed local juices.

Popular places to dine

Look out for the Pavilion Restaurant (international cuisine, Black Rock, 639-0361); the restaurants at the Magdalena Grand (international, Lowlands, 660-8500); the Seahorse Inn, Restaurant & Bar (local, Caribbean, and international, Black Rock, 639-0686); Ciao Café (Italian, Scarborough, 639-3001); the Fish Pot (Caribbean/international, Pleasant Prospect, 635-1720); Jemma’s Seaview Kitchen (Caribbean creole, Speyside, 660-4066); Kariwak (local, Crown Point, 639-8442); La Tartaruga (Italian, Buccoo, 639-0940); the Salsa Kitchen (tapas, Scarborough, 639-1522); and Shore Things Café (Caribbean/international, Lambeau, 635-1072).

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nightlife & Entertainment

Bars & happy hours

Some of the most popular bars rub shoulders with the restaurants at major hotels and developments like the Magdalena Grand, Crown Point Hotel, the Seahorse Inn, Restaurant & Bar, and the Villas at Stonehaven, so you may not need to go far! Others like BarCode (Scarborough), D’Lime (Castara), Jade Monkey Casino Bar & Grill (Crown Point), Time to Wine (Shirvan Plaza, near Scarborough) are regular haunts for classic and exotic drinks, yummy food, and good times. Several also feature happy hours.

Live shows & entertainment

Year-round, The Shade (Bon Accord) is the place to be. Never to be overlooked, Sundays are a no-contest with the famous Sunday School street party in Buccoo.

Movies

The multiplex MovieTowne cinema at Gulf City Lowlands is your best bet. Each September, you can also catch local and regional flicks at the T&T Film Festival.

Gaming

Popular choices include the Crystal Palace Casino (Scarborough), the Royalton at Crown Point Hotel, or Sunset Palm Club in Mt Irvine.

courtesy the shade nightclub

There’s live entertainment (and sometimes karaoke) at least a few nights a week at many bars and restaurants, especially in Crown Point, and particularly around festival times (Carnival, Jazz Experience, Great Fete, and Heritage Festival). The recently opened Shaw Park Complex is also a location of choice for shows and performances.

Partying

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shopping Popular local souvenirs

Favourites like miniature steel pans, locally made shoes, jewellery, fabric, sculptures, ceramics, preserves, and cosmetics can be found at beachside craft stalls including Store Bay and Pigeon Point; the Scarborough Market; Batiki Point (Buccoo); Shore Things (Lambeau); Planet Ceramics (Pigeon Point); the Scarborough Esplanade; Forro’s Homemade Delicacies (Scarborough); at the airport; and at many resorts and hotels.

Some Tobago-born or -based visual artists to look out for include Jim Armstrong, Kevin Ayoung-Julien, Marcia Des Vignes, Edward Hernandez, David Knott, Earl Manswell, Jason Nedd, Michael Spencer, Rachael and Martin Superville (of The Art Gallery in Lowlands), and the late Luise Kimme (whose work is displayed at the Kimme Museum aka The Castle in Bethel). If you’re in the market for local fashion, check out Cee Wee Designs, Ashley Christmas, Movement Bago, Tobago Gyul, and Yesa Designs.

What not to buy

Please don’t buy anything made from endangered or environmentally sensitive species (eg coral, sea turtles, conch, some snakes, some birds). If in doubt, ask the vendor. If the answer is dodgy, don’t buy it.

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A Tobago Gyul design on the catwalk

Chocolate & sweets

Seek out products from the award-winning Tobago Cocoa Estate (in Roxborough, and at some local retailers), and Tobago Chocolate Delights, next door to Shore Things in Lambeau. For traditional Tobagonian treats, the vendors at the airport can supply you with packages that travel well.

Groceries, markets, & malls

For routine grocery items, there are Pennysavers supermarkets in Canaan and Carnbee, while the Scarborough Market is popular for fresh fish and produce on Fridays and Saturdays. For specialty and gourmet food items, head to Morshead in Mt Pleasant. Gulf City Mall in Lowlands is a one-stop shop for most retail items.

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Jael Dirpaul of Lime.tt

Art & fashion


beaches

One of our favourites: a view of placid Parlatuvier

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chris anderson

Here are our top five for 2017 — plus many of our other favourites (in alphabetical order).

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Our top five

Bloody Bay

Leeward coast, near Parlatuvier Everything about this near-unspoilt, sheltered, and peaceful bay — from the approach to its golden sand, clear turquoise waters, and the lush green forest nearby — is sheer beauty. Recently constructed amenities and lifeguards are on site. As for the name, a sign on site gives an explanation, but there are three working theories: a battle circa 1666; a slave uprising 100 years later; and pigment from red dyewood trees …

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Englishman’s Bay

Leeward coast, past Castara We hesitate to write about how wonderful this beach is, lest its distinctive charm, seclusion, and peace be disturbed … Largely obscured from the road by vegetation, its crescentshaped bay features about a half mile of powdery golden sand and calm turquoise waters (but note that it shelves off and becomes deep very quickly). There is craft shopping and an onsite restaurant.

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Pigeon Point

Crown Point People flock to Pigeon Point for its white coral sand; calm, warm, and shallow water — protected by Buccoo Reef (glass-bottom boat tours leave from here); and many on-site conveniences, including thatch huts with picnic tables, eateries, water-sports businesses (surfing, kite-surfing, wind-surfing, paddle-boarding, kayaking), souvenir shops, restrooms, changing facilities, and parking. And of course, there’s the iconic jetty with its thatched cabana that has graced many a postcard (and selfie!). Though consequently one of the island’s busiest beaches, there’s a fair amount of real estate and breathing room, as the beach area extends around the headland to the lagoon. Admission $20

Speyside, Windward coast These are two great beaches in Tobago’s dive capital, both sheltered by the nearby islands and coral reef systems. Glassbottom boat tours to Angel Reef, Goat Island, and Little Tobago depart Batteaux Bay at Blue Waters Inn. Speyside has water-sports facilities (many geared to diving), accommodation options, and several good restaurants (including the iconic Jemma’s Seaview Kitchen). Pigeon Point

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chris anderson

Speyside and Batteaux Bay

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Store Bay

Crown Point Its accessibility, small size, calm and clear waters, and robust range of amenities are among the reasons that it’s so often packed. The bay is great for swimming and snorkelling — especially under the coral cliffs at the southern end. On-site bars and eateries serve up local creole favourites, fast-food staples, and something beastly cold with which to wash it all down. There is also secured parking, changing rooms and toilet facilities, and an array of local craft stalls. Some vendors can be aggressive, but a firm and polite “no thanks” should be all you need. Glass-bottom boat tours depart here for Buccoo Reef, the Nylon Pool, and No Man’s Land.

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More of our favourites

n Back Bay: secluded small bay with golden sand, with a little pool (during high tide) that nature seemed to make just for two. NB: take extra care due to the isolation of this beach n Canoe Bay: arguably Tobago’s calmest and shallowest beach. Rarely crowded, with good facilities, including bar and cabanas. Admission $15 n Castara Bay: a stunning, quiet, and unspoilt beach with calm water and fine golden sand in a thriving fishing community. Twice a week, enjoy bread baked in old-fashioned dirt ovens. A restaurant and craft stalls are on site, and a small waterfall nearby

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n Grange Beach (“The Wall”): a long, thin, and generally calm beach n Mt Irvine: two beaches divided in the centre by a headland — Old Grange and “Little Irvine”. There are excellent facilities, water-sports, surfing in season n Pirate’s Bay: a stunning pink sand beach with crystal-clear water, accessed via dirt track and 150-odd steps from the end of the Charlotteville seafront, or by sea n Stonehaven Bay: a lovely, long, dark-sand beach with dramatic rocky outcrops, and facilities (including several hotel/villa developments) nearby.

Two if by sea…

Just about halfway up the Caribbean coast is quiet and idyllic Cotton Bay. It’s a popular stop for boat tours up the coast, though it can be accessed by a hiking trail. Up north near Charlotteville is the intimate and romantic Lovers’ Bay. You’ll need a tour guide, or to hire a trustworthy local fisherman, to take you there — with a firm commitment to bring you back too so you’re not stranded!

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Nyla singh

Lover’s Bay is a hidden gem accessible only by boat


T

sights

obago is small enough for much of it to be seen in a day, especially if you start out early. Tour operators offer a range of full-day and half-day tours, plus specialised itineraries based on your interests. For eco tours and adventures, make sure to book with a registered tour operator or guide (see gotrinidadandtobago.com and visittobago.gov). For easy day trips and sightseeing — if you feel confident on the road — you could rent a vehicle, pick up a Discover T&T map, and go exploring on your own!

Four of our favourites Flagstaff Hill

This site in northwestern Tobago was an American military lookout and radio tower during World War II. The view is panoramic, encompassing the St Giles Islands and Charlotteville.

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Scarborough Botanical Gardens

Relax among brilliant flamboyants, silk cotton trees, and avenues of royal palms while enjoying its extensive grounds and captivating views.

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to see Plymouth

Take in the Courlander Monument, a striking sculpture commemorating 17th-century settlers from Courland; Fort James; and the Mystery Tombstone with its cryptic inscription: “She was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it, except by her kind indulgences to him.”

Fort King George & the Tobago Museum

Formerly a critical point of defence, the fort offers a stunning view of the harbour, capital, and Windward coast from 140m (460ft) above sea level. The site includes a military cemetery, the old chapel and cellblock, and the Tobago Museum, which displays Amerindian artefacts, colonial relics, military memorabilia, and fossils from Tobago’s distant past. Open M–F, 9am– 4pm, 639-3970

View from Fort King George

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chris anderson

If you like forts, here are two more: n Fort Milford: built in 1777, a perfect spot for watching the sun dip below the horizon on the Caribbean coast n Fort Bennett: look out over Stonehaven Bay from a little pavilion.

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evergreen

W

hy are eco escapes and adventures one of the main reasons that people come to Tobago? Because of the incredible diversity per square mile that you’ll find. Like Trinidad, Tobago was once joined to the South American mainland, inheriting a continental legacy of flora, fauna, and topography that make both islands distinct from their Caribbean neighbours. As a result, Tobago has won four World Travel Awards — two for being the world’s leading eco-tourism destination.

The lay of the land (and sea)

stephen broadbridge

Tobago’s southwest is flat, undulating, and coral-based, with limestone cliffs and white-sand beaches. The northeast features coral-crusted rock formations, while the rainforest reserve of the mountainous Main Ridge is full of waterfalls, rivers, and streams. Rising to 876m (1,890ft), it encompasses the oldest protected rainforest in the western hemisphere. There’s also swampland and mangrove, and a variety of reefs offshore.

In these rich ecosystems, you’ll find: n Birds: 200+ recorded species n Butterflies: 130+ species (including the impressive blue emperor) n Coral: 300+ species (including the largest live brain coral — about 3m/10ft by 5m/16ft, recorded off Speyside) n Fish: 80+ species of tropical reef fish n Mammals: 12 kinds of mammals, including 17 bat species n Reptiles & amphibians: 5 marine turtle species (including the endangered giant leatherback); 25 snake species (none of them poisonous); 14 frog species; and 6 lizard species.

Red-crowned woodpecker

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eco escapes If you’re in Tobago between March and September, this is something you must add to your itinerary. It is magical and humbling to witness this ancient sea ritual. Each season, five species of marine turtles come ashore to nest. Their adorable offspring hatch 6–8 weeks later, and make a mad dash for the open sea. The most common here are the giant leatherback, hawksbill, and green. All (and their eggs) are legally protected. While many of Tobago’s beaches see nesting turtles each year, leatherbacks come ashore primarily on the southwestern coast, and hawksbills on the southeast. For tours and information, contact SOS Tobago (Save Our Sea Turtles Tobago, 3287351), or a reputable tour guide. Many resorts on nesting beaches can also arrange for guides, or notify you either when nesting turtles have been sighted, or when clutches of baby turtles are being prepared for release into the ocean.

A hawksbill turtle hatchling makes its way to the sea

Things to remember:

n Do not touch or disturb nesting turtles or hatchlings. Try to be quiet and unobtrusive, and do not use flashlights or flash photography. Lights, noise and activity can disorient both turtles and hatchlings n Do not drive on nesting beaches; the weight of the vehicle can crush eggs buried in the sand.

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giancarlo lalsingh

Turtle-watching


courtesy being with horses courtesy elspeth duncan

courtesy being with horses

If you love animals, the sea, and have a soft spot for rescued horses with moving back-stories, then you’ll want to check out Being With Horses. Founded in 2008 and run by German-born Veronika La Fortune and her husband Lennon, they offer sunset swim-ride sessions, trail rides, picnic rides, and horseback weddings. The team also operates Healing with Horses, which offers therapeutic riding to differently-abled children. Book early, as they’re often full up! 639-0953, being-with-horses.com • healing-with-horses.org

courtesy being with horses

courtesy being with horses

Horse-riding

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Boons for birders & naturalists Dozens of hummingbirds, tanagers, and bananaquits swoop in to feed on fruits and sugared water when owner Ean MacKay rings a bell. A trained guide dog can take you on a tour among the trails of this 12-acre property in Arnos Vale. 639-2839

Argyle Falls At 137m (450ft) above sea level near Roxborough, these are Tobago’s highest falls, with three refreshing pools. How high you climb is up to you! Certified guides also offer special tours. Admission $60 adults, $30 children • 660-4152

Argyle Falls

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chris anderson

Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve


Corbin Local Wildlife Park Grafton Caledonia Bird & Wildlife Sanctuary

Kevin sammy

Covering 20 acres near Mason Hall, overlooking Hope Bay, this flagship project of the International Natural Forestry Foundation (INFF) opened in 2015. It combines forest hiking trails, a lily pond, enclosures and captive breeding areas (housing rescued animals and threatened species for release back into the wild). Nature lovers will enjoy the park’s array of native flora and fauna — trees, shrubs, birds, reptiles, mammals, and more. 327-4182

This former cocoa plantation became a wildlife sanctuary after 1963’s Hurricane Flora. There’s a small visitors’ centre and winding trails frequented by the “king of the woods”, or mot mot. Daily 4pm feedings guarantee excellent bird sightings.

Tobago’s national bird, the cocrico

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Once a haven for imported Birds of Paradise from New Guinea — which were later wiped out by hurricanes — the island is now a bird sanctuary. Glass-bottom boat tours depart Blue Waters Inn.

Main Ridge Forest Reserve

These 14,000 acres are the oldest protected forest reserve in the western hemisphere (declared in 1776). Tours typically start at Gilpin Trace, ranging from a gentle 45-minute hike (to a small waterfall), to a day excursion into the interior. Other popular treks are the Atlantic, Blue Copper, and Niplig trails.

Tobago Cocoa Estate

In the hills above Roxborough, owner Duane Dove makes premium chocolate from cocoa grown on his estate. He also twins it with aged rums. A falconer with trained hawks helps to police the cocoa fields. There’s free chocolate at the end of the guided tour, and a chance to buy more. 390-2021

Sorting cocoa beans

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courtesy tobago cocoa estate

Little Tobago

Kevin sammy

Misty morning in Tobago’s Main Ridge Forest Reserve


ocean Bioluminescence In the Bon Accord Lagoon, the water lights up with bluegreen light under the right conditions (around the new moon). It’s caused by millions of phytoplankton, which emit flashes of light to startle predators. Radical Sports: 631-5150

The Buccoo Reef/Bon Accord Lagoon Complex is the island’s first Ramsar Site, recognised as a wetland of international importance. Plans were announced in 2015 for an underwater sculpture park. Though one of the island’s most popular tours and the largest of the island’s reefs, it is not in peak condition. The smaller Angel Reef, near Speyside, is perhaps the best reef in Tobago. Glass-bottom boat tours depart Pigeon Point and Store Bay. Stand-up-paddling in Tobago’s crystal waters

The Nylon Pool A stop at this warm, metre-deep sandbar is often paired with a trip to Buccoo Reef and No Man’s Land. Its name is said to have come from Princess Margaret, who claimed the water was as clear as her nylon stockings.

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Water-sports

Kite-surfing, kite-boarding, kayaking, standup-paddling, surfing, sailing … If these are your thing, head to Pigeon Point, Mt Irvine, Charlotteville, and Little Rockly Bay. Or check out the Island Girl (620-7245); Frankie’s (681-3717); the Tobago Kite-boarding Organisation (3313775); Radical Sports (631-5150); and Stand Up Paddle (681-4741).

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courtesy Stand up paddle

Buccoo Reef


A wind-surfer making use of the perfect conditions at Pigeon Point

caristock

adventures

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diving Underwater Garden of Eden

Tobago has some of the best diving in the Caribbean. A wide variety of marine life, especially in the offshore reef systems, is supported by the convergence of nutrient-rich outflows from the Orinoco River, the Guyana current, the Southern Atlantic, and the Caribbean Sea. There are some 300-odd species of coral documented in Tobago’s plankton-rich waters — fire, star, plate, sea fans, sea whips, staghorns, elkhorns, and the largest living brain coral in the world. Living among them are 700-odd species of reef fish; rays (southern, roughtail, lesser electric ray, spotted eagle ray, and the stunning giant manta rays); moray eels; invertebrates (crabs, shrimp, and octopus); sharks (tiger, bull, nurse, reef, blacktip, hammerheads, and lemons); and their favourite prey like jacks, barracuda, wahoo, tarpon, and tuna. Between December and May, if you’re really lucky, you might just catch sight of magnificent whale sharks — especially off Speyside.

When you’re ready to take the plunge…

First of all, hire one of the PADI/SSI-certified Association of Tobago Dive Operators (ATDO, tobagoscubadiving.com) vendors. The gentler waters of the south (including Store Bay) are ideal for novice divers, but appealing to intermediate and advanced ones as well. Popular dives include Flying Reef, Mt Irvine Wall, Arnos Vale, Englishman’s Bay, Diver’s Dream and Diver’s Thirst, and — for experts — the Maverick wreck (sunk in 1997), off Mt Irvine. Drift diving the Columbus Passage in the south is also a phenomenal experience. In the north, Speyside and Charlotteville attract more experienced divers; the visibility is greater, the water deeper, and the marine landscape richest. Popular dives include Keleston Drain (where you can see the world’s largest living big brain coral), Japanese Gardens, London Bridge, Bookends, the Sisters rocks, St Giles Island, and — popular with beginners — Black Jack Hole and King’s Bay. As always, we encourage care in these delicate ecosystems, especially with fragile coral. Be mindful of damaging them, and certainly do not remove any.

Season: year-round (the island is south of the usual hurricane belt) Best visibility: April–August (average: 50–120ft/15–37m) Average water temperature: 24–29°C/75–84°F Depth: 30ft–110ft/9–34m (deeper dives are not recommended). Diving in Speyside

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stephen broadbridge

At a glance


culture & festivals Dasheen and other root crops take centre stage each October in Bloody Bay, L’Anse Fourmi, and Parlatuvier as they pay homage to the versatility and utility of “blue food”. Some varieties of dasheen can turn blue or indigo when cooked, hence the term — which now is used to describe all root crops, including sweet potato, cassava, and yam. For the festival, all of the dasheen plant is used to prepare bread, cookies and sweets, ice-cream, and even lasagne! A culinary competition and cultural shows are also highlights.

Carnival

The Carnival pre-season kicks off early before Christmas, with a launch featuring a street parade in Scarborough of traditional mas characters (including speech bands — a cast of costumed characters who speechify in rhyme). The first party is the Soca Spree, typically with Machel Montano as the headline act, followed by events like Soca Under the Samaan Tree; the THA’s Inter-department Queen and Calypso Show; and the Roxborough Afro-Queen & Windward Calypso Show. If nothing else, make sure to visit the panyards of Tobago’s top steelbands, like Dixieland, Redemption Sound Setters, and Katzenjammers. Come J’ouvert (very early Carnival Monday morning) in Scarborough, mud mas is the focal point. Later in the day and on Tuesday, “ole mas” and costumed bands take over the streets of Scarborough and Roxborough.

Cocktail preparation at the Culinary Festival

Meet a Calypso Rose

Born in Bethel, Linda MacArthur “Calypso Rose” Lewis was the first woman to win the national Road March title in 1977 (“Tempo”) and 1978 (“Soca Jam”), forcing the Calypso King competition to be renamed Calypso Monarch when she danced away with the 1978 crown. In 2016, she was named Artist of the Year at the prestigious World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Spain. A documentary film has been made about her: Calypso Rose: Lioness of the Jungle.

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courtesy division of tourism & transportation

Blue Food Festival


Carnival Regatta

The “festival of wind” is held at Pigeon Point near to Carnival (typically February), featuring four sailing categories: Optimists and Bum Boat sailing, dynamic Windsurf, and Kite-Surfing classes.

Culinary Festival

Each May/June at Pigeon Point, this free event offers up dishes and signature cocktails from around the world, especially those native to Tobago. The island’s best chefs, cooks, and bartenders demonstrate their skills in culinary and mixology contests.

Dragon Boat Festival

Each June at Pigeon Point, senior and junior teams from T&T compete over a weekend for dragon boating supremacy. Count on good food and music too.

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Fisherman’s Festivals

Fisherman’s festivals take place in the coastal villages during the year, with the most significant on St Peter’s Day (29 June); he’s the patron saint of fishermen. After morning church services, the festivities begin: eating, drinking, and partying into the night. The biggest celebration takes place in Charlotteville, with smaller festivities up and down the coast.

Goat & Crab Racing Festival

Each Easter, Buccoo hosts the Family Day and Goat & Crab Races. The animals hurtle down a special 110m (360ft) track to the finish line, hustled on by barefoot “jockeys” who sprint behind their charges, holding the colourfully attired goats on long ropes, and the crabs on short strings. Beforehand, the goats are given special diets and training regimens (including swimming) to build stamina. The showdown happens each Easter Monday and Tuesday at Mt Pleasant, as well as Buccoo (the main location). There’s a repeat at the Heritage Festival (July).

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stephen broadbridge

Goat racing is popular at Great Fete as well


Heritage Festival

courtesy toucan/tha

Running from mid-July to Emancipation Day (1 August), this is one of the biggest events on Tobago’s calendar. Celebrating 30 years in 2017, its mandate is the preservation and celebration of Tobago’s folk traditions and culture. Each year there is a new theme. The festival takes you from village to village each evening, with communities showcasing dance, drama, music, and culinary traditions. Drag yuh bow, Mista Fiddla!

Etienne Charles performs at the Tobago Jazz Experience

Great Fete

A five-day beach party each July/August at Store Bay, Pigeon Point, and Mt Irvine.

Great Race

First held in 1969, each August this speedboat race (about 185km/115 miles) starts at the Port of Spain waterfront early in the morning and ends in Scarborough two to three hours later. Naturally, a rollicking beach party ensues.

Harvest Festivals

Once an annual thanksgiving for the year’s harvest, these vibrant celebrations are a fixture of community life. One or more villages host a Harvest Festival one Sunday each month. Days begin with church services, followed by preparing and feasting on delicious local dishes.

Signature presentations include: n the Ole Time Tobago Wedding in Moriah, featuring groom in stovepipe hat and tailcoat and bride with trousseau on head, processing slowly with the distinctive threestep “brush back” n Folk Tales & Superstitions — learn about the Les Coteaux jumbie, and about Gang Gang Sara and the Witch’s Grave in Golden Lane n the Plymouth Ole Time Carnival, featuring African stick-fighting and a cast of masquerade characters, Ju Ju warriors, Jab Jabs, and devils n the Pembroke Salaka Feast, which also features African-derived sacred dances (like the reel, jig, and salaka) that are indigenous to the area.

Jazz Experience

Each April jazz takes over with events (some free) in Speyside, Signal Hill, Scarborough, Castara, and Pigeon Point. The event showcases some of the best in local and regional music alongside international stars. John Legend, Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson, Kool & the Gang, Angie Stone, Janelle Monae, Chaka Khan, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Mary J Blige, Sting, Diana Ross, Erykah Badu, India.Arie, George Benson, Lauryn Hill, and Maxwell have all performed in the past.

For much more about Tobago’s culture, festivals, and traditions, visit our website at discovertnt.com!

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sports Cricket

Shaw Park (Scarborough) hosts regional firstclass fixtures as well as local league games. T&T Cricket Board: 636-1577

Cycling

International professional competitors are drawn to the International Cycling Classic (September/October).

Football (soccer)

Tobago United play T&T Pro League matches at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet. In 2015, the inaugural Tobago Football Legends Challenge featured 64 football stars from top UK clubs and Yorke himself playing local teams in a six-a-side competition. T&T Football Federation (TTFF): 623-9500 • T&T Pro League: 645-4489

Golf

Sailing & yachting

Peak time is the dry season (December–May), with stronger and more consistent winds. The annual Carnival Regatta is a staple on the calendar for sailors. Most north coast bays offer good daytime anchorage. Tour operators also provide sightseeing sailboat tours and diving trips. T&T Sailing Association: 634-4519 • Island Girl Sail Charters: 620-7245

Sport-fishing

There are two offshore seasons: October–April for marlin, sailfish, wahoo, tuna, and dorado; and May–September for barracuda, kingfish, bonito, and snapper. Many other pelagic species, like blue marlin, also patrol Tobago’s waters, especially around Charlotteville. There’s inshore, river, mud flat, and fly-fishing too, plus major tournaments like the International Game Fishing Tournament, and those hosted by the T&T Game Fishing Association through the year (632-6608). Conservation is critical, so reputable competitions and charters use the tagand-release system.

Mountain biking

Easy coastal tracks; tours taking in historical sites, waterfalls, and beaches; and intense treks into the mountainous Main Ridge … Mountain Bike Magazine called the island a “mountain biker’s island paradise”. Make sure to ride with a guide. Mountain Biking Tobago: 639-9709 • Slow Leak Tours: 332-5872 

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Playing golf at Mt Irvine

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courtesy tourism development company

There are two 18-hole, championship-standard golf courses. At Mt Irvine Bay Resort is a 127acre, 6,793-yard course set in an old sugar and coconut plantation overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Tobago Plantations Golf Club (660-8500), also established on a former sugar cane estate, is a par-72, 7,005-yard course with stunning Atlantic Ocean views.


Peak time is November–April, but swells can kick up during the hurricane season too. Lessons and board rentals are available at Mt Irvine, which is where the T&T Surfing Association (surftt.org) holds the Tobago Pro Open event. Bacolet is another popular spot.

Triathlon

Competitions and training events, such as the Rainbow Cup international triathlon (mid-year), are held throughout the year. T&T Triathlon Federation: triathlon.co.tt • The Rainbow Triathlon Club: 632-5560

The Rainbow Cup is a popular triathlon

Name-dropping…

n Lalonde Gordon: 2012 Olympic bronze (men’s 400m) and silver (men’s 4x400m relay) medallist n Josanne Lucas: the island’s first female World Championship medallist (400m hurdles, 2009) n Claude Noel: Roxborough native and the nation’s first boxing World Champion, lifting the WBA’s World Lightweight title in 1981. The island’s highway is named after him n Renny Quow: the island’s first medallist (bronze) in the men’s 400m at the World Championships (2009) n Akeem Stewart: 2016 winner of paralympic gold (javelin) and silver (discus) medals; and world record holder for men’s javelin F44 n Dwight Yorke: football star and leading striker for UK teams like Manchester United and Aston Villa; captained the national team to an impressive debut at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where T&T made history as the smallest country ever to qualify.

Learn more…

To learn more about Tobago’s sporting scene — basketball, body-building, dragon-boat racing, hashing, hockey, horse-racing, kayaking, martial arts, motor sports, netball, tennis, yoga, and more — visit our website at discovertnt. com; the Sporting Company of T&T (sportt-tt. com); and the T&T Olympic Committee (ttoc.org).

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courtesy richard lyder/massy rainbow cup

Surfing


Authentic festivals

and events, A unique history, Tropical rain forest, Exhilarating watersports, uncrowded beaches, revitalized chocolate industry and amazing eco-holidays. LIVE THE CULTURE,

style

for more info visit www.tobagostyle.travel


tobago Map Key (applies to all maps) Police Station

Gas Station

Waterfall

Hospital

Bird Watching

Sailing & boat tours

Turtle Nesting

Golf Course

Fort

Shopping Centre

Scuba Diving

Airport

Lighthouse

Place of interest

Surfing

Beach with Restrooms

Food Available

Swamp

Caves

Museum

Lifeguard on Duty

Planned Highway

Highway

Parla En glis Ba hm an's Ba y

Major roadway

Location of Republic Bank ABM

Cas tara B

Parr

ay

Kin gP ete r's

N

Castara

Ba y Mt Dillon

Cull ode nB

ay

Runnemede Culloden

Cuffie River Natu Retreat

Moriah

Hil

Arnos Vale Bay

T Great urtle Beac h Courl and B ay Ft B Stone haven ennett Bay

Pt on ge

Pi Store Bay

Bon Accord Lagoon

Mt Irv

Buccoo Bay

Crown Point

132

Rd

Scarborough Mall

Patience Hill Signal Hill

Gulf City

e ud Cla

el H No

Mason Hall

Rd de hsi t r No

Bethel

Mt Irvine Buccoo

ANR Robinson Intl Airport Canoe Bay

Les Coteaux Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve

Grafton Sanctuary

Milford Rd Ft Milford

Arnos Vale

Ply m ou th

Black Rock

ine Ba y

Sh i rva n R d

BUCCOO REEF & NYLON POOL

Plymouth

y wa igh Lambeau

Little Rockly Bay

Rockly Bay

Craig Hall Mt St George Barbados Bay

SCARBOROUG

Ft King George Bacolet Bay Bacolet Point

LOWLANDS

d i s c o v e r t n t. c o m


map St Giles Islands

Sisters Rocks

Man-o'War Bay

Pirate's Bay

Flagstaff Hill

Charlotteville

atuvier ay

L'Anse Fourmi

Bloody Bay

Speyside Parlatuvier

rot Hill

ure

IN MA

GH

King's Bay Delaford Argyle Falls

Rainbow Waterfall

Belle Garden

Richmond Glamorgan Pembroke

W

Goat Island Little Tobago

Tyrrel's Bay

RVE ESE TR S E R FO GE RID

llsborough Dam

Blue Waters

w i nd

ar

d

Rd

Roxborough Bellevue

Prince's Bay Richmond Great House Carapuse Bay

Tobago Cocoa Estate

King's Bay

Delaford Bay

Richmond Island

Goldsborough Goodwood

Pin fol Gr dB an ay by Po int

www.republictt.com

d i s c o v e r t n t. c o m

133


Discover Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide 2017