The Caribbean island state consisting of the two islands Trinidad and Tobago is part of the southern Antilles and is located only a few kilometres from the coast of Venezuela. The smaller island of Tobago stretches about 35 kilometers northeast of the main island of Trinidad. Together with other small islands off the coast of Venezuela, the two islands form the independent state of “Trinidad and Tobago”. Due to the geographical location of the islands, the region has an average annual temperature of 29°C and pleasant water temperatures that invite you to travel to the island state all year round.
Economic Centre: Trinidad
Rich in oil and gas, the main island of Trinidad has developed into one of the most important economic islands in the Caribbean. Although the island has not focused on tourism, travelers from all over the world are familiar with the carnival held in the strongholds of Port of Spain, which is also the island’s capital, and San Fernando.
Trinidad is crossed by three parallel mountain ranges in an east-west direction. With a height of 940 meters the highest mountain of the island, the Cerro del Aripo, is located in the Northern Range, a dense rain and mountain forest region. Trinidad is also a great destination for bathing holidaymakers, as the bays in the north of the island invite you to a relaxing beach holiday. On the palm-fringed beaches of the east coast, holidaymakers can enjoy the warm sunbeams and watch the romantic sunset on the Atlantic Ocean.
Tobago, the tourist stronghold
Surrounded by green rain forests and waterfalls in the interior of the island as well as shallow sandy beaches along the coasts, Tobago has developed into the tourist centre of the island state. The exotic paradise is adorned by coconut palms, small fishing villages and extensive coral reefs running along the southwest coast. On the northwest coast there are beautiful bays with sandy beaches, which are also suitable for snorkeling or diving.
While Trinidad aims for economic and industrial success, Tobago has been dependent on tourism revenues since the collapse of the sugar industry. With its numerous bars, restaurants and various entertainment possibilities, the city of Crown Point in the southwestern part of the island is particularly popular with tourists.
Typical elements of the country
Unique is especially the music of the so-called steelbands, who play on Steel Pans a music invented on the island state and typical for the island. Both locals and tourists can take part in the weekly Sunday School festival, which takes place every Sunday evening in Buccoo. The region can also be visited by visiting the fascinating Buccoo Reef underwater nature reserve.
The two islands have similar flora and fauna, which can be traced back to the history of the island state. Some animals can be observed here that do not even exist on the other Caribbean islands, such as the ocelots and the agouti.
About Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago is a Caribbean island state comprising the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The islands are the southernmost of the Lesser Antilles and lie off the coast of Venezuela.
Christopher Columbus reached the island of Trinidad on 31 July 1498 and named it after the Trinity because of its three prominent mountain peaks. The name of the island Tobago derives from the word tobacco. It was also discovered by Columbus.
In 1797 the British took control of Trinidad. In the 2nd World War Trinidad was the largest allied military base in the Caribbean, since it played an essential role in the submarine combat in the Atlantic and in the Caribbean Sea. It was during this time that the foundations were laid for the island’s current infrastructure and industry.
In 1958 Trinidad and Tobago became independent from Great Britain as part of the West Indian Federation, whose capital was Port-of-Spain. The Federation broke up in 1962 and on 31 August Trinidad and Tobago finally became independent. In 1987 Tobago was granted internal autonomy. Pitch Lake in Trinidad is the largest natural asphalt deposit in the world.
The Steel Pan (Steel Drum) is the national musical instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. The instrument was invented in the 1930s. The British colonial rulers banned the locals from drumming on African percussion instruments. Therefore, the lower class of Trinidad looked for new possibilities of musical expression. Thus the first steel pans were created from discarded oil drums, which were abundant in Trinidad due to the oil industry. The Steel Pan is one of the few acoustic musical instruments invented during the 20th century and has enjoyed great popularity in North America and Europe ever since.
They received their names from Christopher Columbus. The discoverer was reminded of the Holy Trinity when he saw the three mountain peaks of Trinidad. Tobago is named after the herb that the locals smoked: Tobacco.