I recently went to Trinidad and Tobago for a good friends’ wedding, and these are a few pictures of the good times I had there. I did have a DSLR with me, but it was often more convenient and less hassle to use my phone so I just instagrammed a lot. Trinidad is such a beautiful island, as is Tobago which I managed to visit as well. But above all else, the people were the thing I can recommend most about both places. Friendly, helpful and always cracking a joke at every opportunity. Words can’t really do it justice, it’s one of those ones where you have to see it for yourself.
Just in case you are planning to visit, here are a few things to do or take into consideration:
1. If you are travelling from the UK, you don’t need a visa to go there. The exchange rate is currently about £1 to $10tt.
2. Make sure you visit Tobago as well. There’s literally no point leaving without doing that. Airbus return from Trinidad to Tobago is currently $300tt and if you don’t want to fly back on the flight times you are given, it’s very easy to transfer your ticket to a standby one (at no extra cost), and go on the next flight, either direction. You do need your passport.
3. In Tobago I recommend Bago’s Beach Bar at Pigeon Point for great Roti (Beef, Shrimp, Lamb, Chicken, etc). Also Jet Skiiing at Pigeon Point. I was told that Tobago is known for a particular Crab and Dumpling dish as well so if you have a chance to taste that do. Unfortunately I only found that out after the fact. In Tobago, Store Bay is the closet beach to the airport, literally a 5 minute walk, and a very beautiful beach to chill at. The water is so clear and blue!
4. Port of Spain is like Trinidad’s version of London; very busy and full of places to eat, shop and hang out.
5. Make sure you try Coconut Water and Snowcones if you have the chance. I didn’t when I could have :'(.
6. Most travel is by Taxi. They don’t cost even a quarter as much as in England (you can travel a decent amount of miles for $40tt i.e. 40p. Yes really!), however, they have specific routes they go like buses here. Occasionally you can hustle a driver to go beyond his planned route, but for extra cost. You might have to get off and change to a different taxi at taxi stands to complete your journey depending on where you’re going. If you want to know how to connect to places, just ask the driver or people around; everyone’s pretty helpful. When you want to get off, just tell the driver and he stops. It’s a good idea to ask people who know Trinidad well about how much a taxi should cost because there’s some hustlers out there yo! Once they hear your accent, it’s a wrap…if you’re not smart. If you get a taxi from a taxi stand, you’ll probably be sharing with other people. Sometimes you have to hustle for your spot. It’s whoever jumps in first! That’s the fastest I ever saw people move over there – when hustling for a space in a taxi. Everything else was too calm, lol.
7. The driving on the roads is mad. Pray to whoever you need to.
8. Dogs are free to roam the streets. They even know how to cross the road in a convenient manner. They won’t run up to you, but they might walk alongside you calmly as if you are having a conversation. They know how to listen to instructions, so if you say ‘go!’, 9 times out of 10 they will acquiesce. 1 out of 10 times they will look up at you hurt as if you just slapped them with their very own paw.
10. Food to try (most of which you can get from street vendors, so ask someone who the best ones are): Doubles, Pholourie , Snowcones, Coconut water, Crab, Roti, Souce, Bake & Shark (Richard’s Bake & Shark is at Maracas Beach is highly renown and recommended and was where we feasted on two different occasions. Loved it). I found this website with a nice and concise list and explanation of these Trini specialities and more: http://www.tntisland.com/localdishes.html
11. Beaches to visit: Maracas Beach – the drive there is up, over and through some very steep mountains so make sure the driver is confident (!), but the views as you drive up and the beach are stunning, Las Cuevas – we didn’t visit here but were told it is very nice too.
12. Prices of things in general: compared to London, very cheap. Regardless of how long you go for, you shouldn’t need an exorbitant amount of money. If you decide to say at a guest house instead of a hotel near the centre however, be mindful of the fact that you will need taxis to get about, and if you’re a bit off ends, they will charge more to come to your door – this is where the hustle factor comes in because they can pretty much say anything if they think you’ll fall for it because you have no other options. I’m speaking from experience here, but I can happily report that I wasn’t taken for a mug again – I think God convicted him, amen. Basically, try to be as close to a main taxi stand or somewhere where taxis scout for customers, as much as possible.
13. If you need somewhere to stay, I recommend Shalom House B&B in Valsayn, housekept by the very lovely and funny Mr and Mrs Hercules (I know, I know). A very good price for lodging and the best creative breakfasts ever! 🙂 (LinkedIn Link)
14. I hear the best time to go to Trinidad is in February when there’s carnival and that it’s the best carnival in the entire Caribbean…according to the Trinis of course :P. Musical specialities are Soca, and Parang which has a kind of Latin feel. There’s Soca Parang as well. Trinis love it. I thought it was a vibe too. It’s less harsh sounding than some other Caribbean islands music, mentioning no names…
Anyway, onto the pictures. Hover over them to see the descriptions, and click on one to go into a slideshow to see the larger image 🙂 :
For more pictures check my other blog www.iseeicatch.tumblr.com