The warm climate in this country is always welcoming and envelopes you with the sense of home, that is Trinidad and Tobago. The different natural parks give you downtime to explore and just let time pass you by. The Asa Wright Nature Center is the center of attraction for bird enthusiasts where you get to see different species like the hummingbirds and in addition there is the Emperor Valley Zoo, which has different species of animals in just one setting. Lastly, keep the serenity by going to the Englishman’s Bay, which is a secluded beach which is one of the country’s most visited attractions.
Important and Interesting Facts about Trinidad and Tobago
- It’s a twin island country off the northern edge of South America, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles.
- Usually considered part of the Caribbean, it shares maritime boundaries with other nations including Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west.
- The two main islands are divided into nine regions, and one ward. Sangre Grande is the largest of the country’s nine regions, comprising about 18% of the total area and 10% of the total population of the country. The nation lies outside of the hurricane belt.
- The country’s economy is primarily industrial,with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals. The country is also one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean, due to its large reserves of oil and gas.
- Trinidad and Tobago lie on the continental shelf of South America, and is thus geologically considered to lie entirely in South America.However, the West Indies are generally considered to be part of North America, and as the language and cultural links of Trinidad and Tobago are not to South America but to the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean nations, the nation is often treated as part of North America.
- About 40 minutes drive northeast from Port of Spain, Maracas Bay is one of Trinidad’s most famous beaches. A deep bay protects this palm-fringed strip of golden sand, one of the most beautiful beaches close to the city. From Port of Spain, the scenic drive through mountainous rainforest provides breathtaking views of lush peninsulas jutting into the sea. Food vendors and showers are available by the beach.
- Many consider the white-sands and aqua seas of Pigeon Point to be the most beautiful beach on Tobago. Also known as the Pigeon Point Heritage Park, this popular stretch of coral-sand coast requires an entrance fee and encompasses snack bars, shops, change rooms, and thatch-covered seating. Sun loungers are also available for rent. Boats leave from here to tour nearby reefs.
- Caroni Bird Sanctuary, just south of Port of Spain, is a nirvana for nature lovers. This series of mangrove-lined waterways is the nesting place of the Scarlet Ibis, the national bird of Trinidad and Tobago.
- A paradise for birders, the Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge encompasses 1,500 acres of dense forest in the Arima and Aripo Valleys. Hummingbirds, Woodcreepers, Pygmy Owls, Trogons, and the rare nocturnal Oilbird are just some of the avian species spotted at this former cocoa, coffee, and citrus plantation. Income from guests funds conservation of the surrounding forest, new land purchases, and environmental educational programs.
- On the east end of Tobago, across from Speyside, Little Tobago Island is an uninhabited bird sanctuary with several kilometers of trails. The most spectacular views are from the hills overlooking the seaward direction where Red-footed Boobies and Frigate birds swoop in large flocks.
- Rising above the Northern Range Hills over Tunapuna, the red-roofed church tower of Mount St. Benedict Monastery is one of the most striking landmarks east of Port of Spain. Benedictine monks established this community in 1912, and the monastery is the largest and oldest in the Caribbean.
- The middle of an oil refinery may seem an odd place for a nature sanctuary, but this is one of the best bird viewing spots in Trinidad. Surrounded by lush tropical foliage, the 30-hectare sanctuary encompasses an interpretive center and nature trails along lily-topped lakes where visitors may spot species such as the Scarlet Ibis, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, and White-cheeked Pintail. The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust protects the sanctuary and operates rehabilitation and captive breeding programs for endangered species.
Cool and Funny Facts about Trinidad and Tobago
- The Pitch Lake in South Trinidad is the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world.
- Trinidad and Tobago Carnival has been consistently ranked as one of the top ten Carnival celebrations in the world
- The Steelpan: The only new acoustic instrument to be invented and accepted worldwide in the 20th century originated in Trinidad and Tobago.
- The people of Tobago are called Tobagonians and those from Trinidad are called Trinidadians or Trinis. Together the people of Trinidad and Tobago are referred to as “Trinbagonians.”
- The dances “limbo” and “calypso” were created in T&T.
- Trinidad and Tobago’s Dr Joseph Lennox Pawan achieved international acclaim for the discovery of the transmission of the rabies virus by vampire bats.
- The Trinidad Moruga “Scorpion” Pepper has officially been ranked as the world’s hottest.
- Tobago is believed to be the location of the book “Robinson Crusoe” Written by Daniel Defoe, and is also believed to be the place Robert Louis Stevenson had in mind when he wrote “Treasure Island.”
- Tobago has the largest recorded brain coral in the world.Measuring 10 by 16 feet, the world’s largest piece of brain coral can be found at the popular diving and snorkeling spot, Speyside. Interestingly, Trinidad & Tobago is home to 300 different species of coral, with Tobago offering over 45 certified diving sites.
- Trinidad is home to the largest Hanuman Murti statue outside of India.Standing 85 feet tall, the red and pink statue of the Hindu deity represents wisdom, righteous and strength. You can find it at the majestic Temple in the Sea at Waterloo on Trinidad.
- Goat racing is one of the island’s most popular but unusual sports where jockeys run alongside goats, guiding them with a nine-foot leash and whip. The sport has been taking place on Tobago since 1925, with Buccoo being the hub of the action. This is where you’ll find an enormous Goat Racing Stadium and Complex. Although the Tuesday after Easter is the official Goat Racing Day on Tobago with thousands of attendees, races happen frequently throughout the year.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Trinidad and Tobago
- When Trinidad was explored by Columbus in 1498, it was inhabited by the Arawaks; Carib Indians inhabited Tobago.
- Trinidad remained in Spanish possession, despite raids by other European nations, until it was ceded to Britain in 1802. Tobago passed between Britain and France several times, but it was ultimately given to Britain in 1814. Slavery was abolished in 1834.
- Between 1845 and 1917, thousands of indentured workers were brought from India to work on sugarcane plantations. In 1889 Trinidad and Tobago were made a single colony.
- Partial self-government was instituted in 1925, and from 1958 to 1962 the nation was part of the West Indies Federation. On Aug. 31, 1962, it gained independence and on Aug. 1, 1976, Trinidad and Tobago became a republic, remaining within the Commonwealth.
- While the country is a stable democracy and enjoys the highest living standards in the Caribbean thanks to oil revenue, tension between East Indians and blacks has underlined much of political life. In 1970 the tension was the underlying cause of riots, protests, and an army mutiny for the end of foreign influence over the economy. These events prompted a state of emergency which lasted for two years.
- Cuisine is ethnically marked. A typical Creole dish is stewed chicken, white rice, red beans, fried plantains, and homemade ginger beer. Indian food consists of curried chicken, potatoes, channa (chick peas), white rice, and roti , an Indian flatbread. Chinese food is typically chow mein. However, all of these are simultaneously regarded as national dishes and food metaphors are made to stand for the nation.
- Marriage practices differ according to ethnicity and class, although for both blacks and Indians kinship is bilateral in structure. For the middle and upper classes, formal marriage with religious sanction is the norm. Legal recognition for Hindu and Muslim marriages came very late in the colonial period. In the past, East Indian women were betrothed in arranged marriages at young ages.
- “Trinidad time” refers to habitual lateness and “jus’ now” means “in a little while” but in practice can mean hours. On city streets it is common for men to verbally harass women and women generally lose status if they reply. In country districts, it is expected that one salutes passers by with a “good morning” or “good aftimiernoon.”
- An impressive literary tradition exists among writers who have mainly made their names and reputations abroad, including C.L.R. James, Ralph de Boissie`re, V.S. Naipaul, Shiva Naipaul, Samuel Selvon, Earl Lovelace, Ismith Khan, Ramabai Espinet, and Michael Anthony. Calypso must count as oral literature.
- Carnival is Trinidad’s most noteworthy performance art, attracting tourists, emigrated Trinidadians, and scholars from abroad. Masquerade designer Peter Minshall is one of the best known internationally. He was artistic director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and the 1994 World Cup opening ceremony in the United States.
- Funerals and all-night wakes, called “sit-ups,” are important social occasions. Obituaries are read on the radio. Cremation at the Caroni River is practiced for Hindu Trinidadians.