My Trip to Trinidad and Tobago

I’ve been traveling so much that I have a backlog of stories to share so I’m going to start with the first destination of my recent around-the-world trip … Trinidad and Tobago!

I got invited to this Southern Caribbean destination and I accepted for a couple of reasons: number one, I had never been and number two, they had an interesting concept. They asked all five of the journalists to poll their readers/followers to create an itinerary for them – that’s why I told everyone my destination in advance. Usually, I like to make it a surprise and let people guess my Twitter (@JohnnyJet) and Facebook clues. Well, it turned out all of us practically received the same advice so instead of running around separately we tackled the island together. Fortunately the group was really cool so it made it even more fun. Below are my new best friends who operate worthy websites and twitter handles.

  • Background of Trinidad and Tobago

To get to Trinidad is kind of a trek from Los Angeles. I flew American Airlines four and a half hours to Miami and then another three to Port of Spain which is its capital. Trinidad and Tobago are two separate islands 21 miles (33km) apart but they are considered one country and officially called the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

I had mixed feelings about going because a couple of people told me it’s unsafe and to be very careful – one of those was my dad who’s never been.

Flying in I was shocked at how many lights there were along the mountainous hillside. With a full moon it was absolutely picturesque but my camera didn’t capture the moment. It turns out there were so many lights because Trinidad has a population of 1.2 million people and most live near the capital. The island of Trinidad is 1,841 square miles (4,768 km) — roughly 50 miles (80 km) in length and 37 miles (59 kilometers) wide.

Tobago has just 54,000 people for their 120 square mile (300 km) island. And it’s 25 miles (41 km) long and 7.5 miles (12 km) wide. The craziest thing is from Trinidad you can see Venezuela as it’s just 6.8 miles (11 kilometers) away but very few locals that I met had ever visited. I heard there’s a ferry every Wednesday but that’s it.

We landed after midnight and I was the first off the plane so I had no line at passport control. The friendly agent was pretty slow so the ones lagging behind had to twirl their thumbs. After clearing customs I walked outside then jumped in my ride’s car. There’s nothing like a balmy 78 degrees in mid-January. And that was at night! During the day the temperature was 90F. Here’s the current 10-day weather forecast.

On the 20-minute drive to the Hyatt Regency my driver gave me the rundown and history of the island. Basically Trinidad is multiethnic. The Caribs and Arawaks were the natives before Christopher Columbus and his crew showed up in 1498. The island changed hands between the British, French, Dutch and Courlanders, but eventually the British made the two islands a single crown colony in 1889. In 1958 Trinidad and Tobago obtained self-governance and in 1962, independence from the British Empire. In 1976 it became a republic. Yeah, I was falling a sleep too when I heard it but it’s important info. A couple other interesting facts is the nation lies outside the hurricane belt and Nicki Minaj is from here. The latter was just to make sure you are still with me. My driver did warn me that the area where the hotels are located is indeed dangerous at night so don’t go walking around. For history of Trinidad and Tobago check out Wikipedia.

RELATED: Hyatt Regency Trinidad | What To Do In Trinidad | Where To Eat In Trinidad | Tobago

Johnny Jet

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Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

25 Comments on "My Trip to Trinidad and Tobago"

  1. Hi there,

    Glad to know that you decided to visit my beautiful country.

    Just a couple comments on some of your info.

    It’s not “Tobagan” but “Tobagonian”

    Not a lot of people live in the capital, Port-of-Spain. Many people live in the surrounding suburbs.

    Saying that very few locals have visited Venezuela is a rather sweeping and quite inaccurate statement. I know many, many people who have visited Venezuela and most of them have been there several times.

    Please don’t think me rude or critical. When it comes to my country,it just hurts my little heart to see inaccurate information spread on the web. On top of that, as a journalist I suppose you’ll be happy to have someone put the facts straight.

    Thank you for reading this and I wish you all the best on your future trips.

    • Thank you for the comments. I will change it now

    • Hello

      I am from Trinidad and Tobago and now reside in the U.S. It is indeed a dangerous. Corrupted place I could never live there again I may visit but that is it

      • Honestly, Trinidad is not that dangerous. Every and anywhere you go has areas in which there is a lot of crime and areas where crime is at lower rates. Obviously, you won’t go walking around Port of Spain, or anywhere are midnight. Lastly, around the Hyatt hotel is not dangerous in terms of murderers or thieves, but there may be a lot of cars.

      • The US is dangerous.

  2. I will be coming down to Trinidad for Carnival in a week and a half, so I am going to read up on your website for some good tips.

  3. I don’t know why people say going to Trinidad and Tobago is very dangerous.
    Compared to New York, Los Angeles or Sao Paolo, Trinidad and Tobago is much safer. I’ve been to Trinidad and Tobago a couple of times and I always feel welcome. The people are friendly, the weather is good and there are always things you can do. My friend Alex and I always charter a yacht when we go to the Caribbean. That’s one way to get the most out of your Caribbean vacation. Trinidad and Tobago is one of our favorite destinations. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we do…

  4. Hi there,
    Trinidad & Tobago is one of the most beautiful places that I have had the opportunity to visit.
    I went on the advice from a friend from Medical school. The people are friendly, food is awesome and the weather is great. I have since visited many times and I am sure will do so again. While there I traveled to Venezuela and the majority of the other passengers were Trini’s. In terms of crime, there is no comparisons to the crime rate in T&T with that of the USA in cities. I feel MUCH safe walking down the street at night in Port-Of -Spain than I do in NY or Bridgeport CT.

  5. trinidad & tobago is d best an a trini carnival hmm nothing can compare

  6. Roger Humphreys | February 18, 2014 at 3:56 am | Reply

    don’t knock it until you have tried it, ive been in Trinidad a month so far with another month to go, Tobago in-between, great country, great people, and great food, at the end of my term here, I shall plan the next visit, and it wont be long before I am back here. the crime rate is high here, but only in the big city, mainly port of spain, but london is the same, new York is the same, so is most other countries you go to. Trinidad is no exception. good luck to Trinidad and all who live there.

  7. No shread of doubt that Trinidad is indeed a beautiful country with fantastic scenery, great food, and many wonderful, friendly people. But lets face the facts, crime is out of control. The extremely high murder statistics speaks for itself.

  8. our nation is a blessing country an a nice island to live in

  9. i knw trinidad and tobago is a nice country.
    i am from Ghana and i would Like to knw if i could visit trinidad and tobago with Visa free since we a are common wealth countries

  10. Is Trinidaf and Tonago for three girls in there. 30’s travelling together? We plan on renting a house.

  11. Michael Abraham | February 11, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Reply

    Hi I am a Trinidadian 100% I have been all over Trinidad even to some of the worst parts in laventille, morvant, sea lots, and enterprise during the day of course mostly because of work. I am also kind of ‘white’ and many times other uneducated Trinis assume I am a tourist. It is so annoying how they approach me trying to hustle me until I open my mouth and put them in their place. In other words I have seen both sides of the spectrum. Trinidad and Tobago is a paradise to me. I have never been robbed at gunpoint but I have definitely seen bandits eye me down twice in my 35 yrs. I dress in rags most of the time so that helps a lot. My car was broken into 4 times, 3 while surfing (since I stoped locking the doors it has stopped). Long story short, if u are a tourist, just stick with good friends who know the country and you will have the best time guaranteed. Otherwise, don’t come here. Too many blasted vultures looking for a hustle

  12. Its really good to know people love tobago.Has the best beaches and sites

    Tobago is the best

  13. Trinidad and Tobago can be nice if you have lots of money, if you are just visiting. I would not recommend living here. Most of the people living here are in denial, and have quite “primitive” views. Lots of them have never even been off the island. Many cannot afford education, drug use is rampant, prostitution, and homelessness. The police are corrupt, you actually have to pay them to get attention, most of the time. There is always an exception to the rule. Most people have a mean mug, or tricky smile. The business owners are mostly snobs, they are scared of being robbed. The poor people are uneducated mostly, and ignorant as the rich ones. There are open drains, narrow streets, almost no rules. People are allowed to rob others through their business in broad daylight. They pay the police dept and the politicians. They talk about bribes as a normal day in their life. ” I will pay the accountant bribe, the politician, the police, the ministry etc”.Many people don’t even have running water, lights, and live live cave men and women. watch the evening news, and hear how the people talk, even the news casters. Not their fault, just how it is. It is a primitive country. Not in a good way, cause there is pollution,in the beaches, all over. The government lies even on their reports to the world. They cipher money into their pockets. Look at the current Prime Minister, he is rather primitive, he will make this place worse. I live here now, worked, do business, feed the poor, cleaned the sick, seen alot. I have been abused, tricked, and met some people that are an exception to the rule, some kind, simple folks, some educated open minded people that admit Trinidad is corrupt, dangerous, primitive, in denial, not a place to live. Soon I will be leaving this place. I will always send help for the ones left behind. They need it.

  14. Well we must remember that like the USA, Trinidad and Tobago have a migration ofimmigrants from different countries and islands coming on to the island and some are ‘The Good,The Bad and The Ugly’
    Then there is the work situation. There is so many elements to look at. I will say the same problem here in America is the same there on a difference scale.

  15. I lived in Trinidad for 4 years and I am now in Canada. I would say I fought to get out of that country. I lived in 2 of the upperclass areas while I was there and it was still Trinidad. Indeed dangerous and corrupt. Most business owners pay their accountants to bribe the vat people, pay the police for anything they want, pay politicians, bribes are a way of life there and criminals are free there to run businesses. This is so true ask any Trini. The jobs are sweatshops and Slave factories. Roads are like the flintstones. A lot of people that love it and live in it are very primitive they stare at you and point their fingers they yell to talk and have bad manners. Tricking people is a way of life for them. The beaches are polluted and food prices are sky high. It’s dirty. Anyone that chooses to live there is primitive or scared to leave. Or they are getting a lot of money so they choose to stay. All the money in the world would not keep me there. Beware of Trinidad also most of the population are mentally disturbed. Racist and no opportunities unless you bribe or sweat all day long.
    You will hear of killings all day everyday and so much more. Trinidad is the worst.

  16. Trinidad cannot be compared to USA or Canada or U.K. No comparison it’s a dirty island filled with danger and corruption and no equal rights. Slavery still exists ask the workers in all the stores in the malls that sell all knock offs and ask the people that are literally live in slaves

  17. Trinidad is a primitive. The natives will stare at you and try to trick you. Most need mental help if they don’t want to migrate or they are running so much crime and can’t do it in a first world country. Trinidad is like the Congo jungle literally.
    Even worse beware of this island and the inhabitants

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