Tucked away in the far southern reaches of the Caribbean, just north of Venezuela, the two picturesque islands of Trinidad and Tobago are sure to be a traveler’s delight. This idyllic paradise is a treasure trove of amazing sights, ranging from dense tropical rainforests to white-sand beaches fronting the crystal-clear aquamarine sea. Not to be overlooked is the islands’ historical and cultural hub, Port of Spain. There truly is something for everyone in Trinidad and Tobago.
© Shriram Rajagopalan
Less frequently visited by tourists as its more southerly neighbor Trinidad, Tobago boasts mile-after-mile of pristine shoreline. Snorkeling is a popular diversion in Tobago’s coastal waters, especially at Buccoo Reef, long regarded as a prime snorkeling destination by visitors and locals alike. Glass-bottomed boat rides allow visitors to experience the reef’s splendid array of fish and coral from two distinct perspectives; however, more experienced divers should also pay a visit to nearby Speyside Reef. Located just off Tobago’s east coast, Speyside is home to the world’s largest colony of brain coral. This incredible formation measures approximately 10-feet long and comprises millions of coral animals, making it a sight to behold.
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Back on land, visitors can check into chic yet affordable lodgings at the charming Blue Waters Inn, nestled along the scenic shoreline of Batteaux Bay. With cozy one-, two- and three-bedroom suites featuring kitchenettes and ample living space, the inn is the perfect home base for any Trinidad and Tobago adventure. Guests should definitely take time to enjoy all the resort has to offer, from windsurfing, kayaking and deep-sea fishing to simply relaxing under the brilliant sun.
© Ketzirah Lesser & Art Drauglis
Not all of Trinidad and Tobago’s amazing sights are along the coastlines, however. The islands’ interior is full of remarkable places to visit as well. Consider a trip to Aripo Caves, a subterranean wonderland boasting a sublime assortment of stalactites and stalagmites, before stopping for a leisurely swim in the sulfur pools at Pitch Lake, the largest deposit of natural asphalt anywhere on Earth. Meanwhile, the Asa Wright Nature Centre showcases the two islands’ remarkable biodiversity, including 400-bird species, 97 types of native mammals, 55 kinds of reptiles and an astonishing 2,200 species of flowering plants. Amazingly, several of the aforementioned flora and fauna cannot be found elsewhere, making the Nature Centre a definite must-see.
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Situated on the northwestern coast of Trinidad, Port of Spain is a lively metropolis bustling with activity year-round. At the National Museum and Art Gallery in the heart of downtown, visitors can admire dazzling works by Trinidadian artists and explore exhibits showcasing the two islands’ colorful heritage. Some of the city’s other must-see attractions include the Magnificent Seven, a collection of stately mansions dating back to the turn of the twentieth century, and Fort George, a military fortification built in 1804 and providing spectacular views of the downtown area and its environs. Additionally, the Royal Botanic Gardens of Trinidad and Tobago are home to a breathtaking variety of endemic trees found nowhere else on Earth, making each of these attractions a definite must-see.
For an authentic taste of Trinidad and Tobago, visitors should stop at Coloz, a charming neighborhood eatery located at One Woodbrook Place in Port of Spain. This family-owned restaurant serves up a buffet of classic Trinidadian fare, such as seasoned kingfish with tamarind sauce, with the selection varying from one day to the next. Although Coloz only serves lunch – except on Wednesdays, when dinner is also served – it is definitely worth a visit.