Country Facts – Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago are the most southern islands in the Caribbean, located a mere seven miles off Venezuela’s north eastern coast.  They form an independent nation and Republic within the Commonwealth. The nation shares maritime boundaries with Guyana, Venezuela and Barbados, and its Capital is Port of Spain on the island of Trinidad.

Of the two islands, Trinidad is the largest and most populous whilst Tobogo is a lot smaller and contains only about 6% of the population of 1.3 million.

Although English is the official language, Spanish is also commonly spoken, a hangover from the days when it was a Spanish colony, there are other language spoken to a smaller degree.

The country has a human history going back at least 7,000 years, as Trinidad was one of the first of the Caribbean islands to be inhabited by the Amerindians of South America.  Today, the country is genuinely multicultural with influences from South America, Africa, India, Spain, China, Latvia and England.

Trinidad and Tobago has a warm, sunny climate year round. The average daytime temperature is about 28 degrees Celsius.  The islands have two main seasons, the Dry Season, from January to May and the Rainy Season, from June to December. In the Rainy Season, mornings are usually sunny, followed by rainy afternoons and fair nights. During this time, the general rainfall pattern is interrupted by days of brilliant sunshine.

The currency is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar, and about six TT dollars will buy one US dollar. There is a TT$100 departure tax for anyone leaving the islands, with the exception of Trinidad and Tobago citizens aged over 60, for whom the tax is waived.

Caribbean Airlines is the national airline, and as each planes carries the image of a hummingbird on its tails, is also one of the world’s most distinctive airlines.  The main airport is Piarco International Airport on Trinidad.  Caribbean Airlines services many of the island nations of the Caribbean, plus several cities in South America and cities in Canada and the United States.

Trinidad and Tobago gave the world Calypso music and, interestingly, their steel drum is the only acoustic musical instrument to be invented during the 20th Century.  Soca, Rapso and Chutney are other music styles to come out of Trinidad and Tobago.

People go to Trinidad and Tobago mainly for its beaches, of which there are many.  There is plenty of eco tourism on both islands, such as animal reserves, historic buildings, rain forests and cave systems, plus there are excellent dive sites around Tobago such as Buccoo Reef on the south west corner of the island.

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