GET TO KNOW OUR ISLAND
The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, took the decision to close the country’s international borders to all travellers and suspend all commercial flights into and out of the country as of midnight, Sunday, March 22nd, 2020.
Trinidad & Tobago
With a year-round temperature averaging between 22.7 to-31.3C / 75-92F, comfortable, light cotton clothing is recommended during your stay.
Long-sleeved shirts and long trousers are recommended as protection against mosquitoes during tours through the mangrove and rainforests. Dining in the evening is generally elegantly casual attire. Most places have a dress code in effect.
Military camouflage or camouflage clothing of any kind is illegal, reserved solely on the island for the military forces. Public nudity is also prohibited on the island.
A walk through the Aripo Savannas
Trinidadians take nightlife and entertainment seriously. Trinis are “Limers” and the word “Liming” is equivalent to ‘Hanging Out’ whether with one person or a group of friends. There is a multitude of roadside food and drink vendors, bars, nightclubs, lounges and VIP clubs with sizzling cocktails to keep you entertained all night. If the need for a concert, play or movie arises, you’re covered too.
Port-of-Spain at night
The large shopping centres of Trinidad are in the capital city Port-of-Spain, the City of San Fernando and the Borough of Chaguanas. Shopping malls are also located in areas such as Valsayn, Trincity, West Mall, St. James, Sangre Grande and Arima. In the inner city of Port-of-Spain there are rows of shops on Frederick, Charlotte and Henry Streets.
A visit to the market or markets in the inner cities provides an ambiance of lively trade where an abundance of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and other locally produced items are on offer. Across the island are several Green Markets and Farmers’ markets. The San Antonio Green Market is another popular spot and is nestled in the Santa Cruz Valley. An array of locally produced items and haberdashery items are available, as well as handmade jewellery– whether from natural materials such as wood and pearls or from gold and silver. All of which can also be used as beautiful souvenirs.
Locally-made wine / Photo Credit: Damian Luk Pat
Electrical outlets in Trinidad and Tobago supply electricity between 110/220 volts. Standard two-prong plugs can be used, however; it is advisable to travel with an adapter as a precautionary measure. Adapters can also be purchased at local electronic stores.
Trinidad and Tobago are on AST – Atlantic Standard Time / Atlantic Time (Standard Time).
The country does not observe Daylight Savings Time, which means that the country is 5-hrs behind UTC/GMT in the summer and 4-hrs behind UTC/GMT in the winter.
The local currency is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar. US dollars are widely accepted at an approximate rate of TT$6.8 to US$1. You can find rate information at local banks, or the daily newspapers. Euro and the Pound Sterling (GBP) are not as widely accepted as US dollars. International credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and malls. However, travellers’ cheques are not accepted. ATMs are also widely available, but bank fees will apply. Applicable taxes are as follows: Value Added Tax (VAT) 12.5%, 10% hotel taxes and 10% service charge.
The international code for Trinidad is + 1-868, followed by the seven-digit phone number. There are two primary telecommunications service providers:
It is advisable to check with your local service provider to find out more about the cost of international roaming. Wi-Fi is widely available at hotels, restaurants and shopping centres and at various hotspots throughout the island. Free Wi-Fi access is available in bzone areas across the island. To register for bzone Wi-Fi access, click here.
Visitors are always advised to be aware of their surroundings. It is advisable – as it generally is everywhere – to adhere to the following safety tips:
- Avoid carrying around large quantities of jewellery or money.
- Store expensive items in your hotel safe.
- Avoid isolated areas after dark.
- Lock cars at all times.
- Use an official tour guide for excursions.
- Licensed taxis have a number plate that begin with ‘H’.
- Ask your hotel reception/tourist office representative for assistance.
The official language of Trinidad and Tobago is English, however, there are sections of the population that speak other languages, including “patois” (a dialect version of French), Spanish, Hindi and Chinese.