Under the radar and unforgettable, this dual-island nation beckons with natural wonders and rich culture
The dual-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago is about as far south as you can get in the Caribbean, and unless you’re a scuba diver, it may not be on your short list of destinations. But it should be, regardless of whether or not you dive.
Less than 10 miles off the coast of Venezuela, energy company executives know Trinidad as a business destination, while scuba divers from across the world come to Tobago for its diverse sea life and massive coral formations. It’s only recently that leisure travelers are getting to know ‘Trinbago,’ as it’s often called.
The lush tropical forests teem with wildlife, steel drums lure with the call of Calypso music and island cuisine marries the best of its cultural influences from India, Spain and Latin America for divine flavors.
With all the usual makings of a Caribbean vacation – sun, sand and surf – a rich and diverse culture and history, and an authenticity that’s almost unique, we’ve got 10 reasons you’ll want to book a ticket to T&T today.
Groove with steel pan musicians at a panyard
The Invaders, a steel pan band, make music in their panyard in downtown Port of Spain — Photo courtesy of Sally Walker Davies
Venture into any neighborhood in the capital, Port of Spain, or frankly any neighborhood in either island, and you’re bound to find a panyard. The steel pan is the only musical instrument invented in the 20th century, and it was invented in Trinidad and Tobago.
Originally, the pan was made from used 55-gallon oil drums, with the bowl of the drum marked with shapes that correspond to various notes. There are more than 200 steel bands throughout the two islands, where on any given night the sounds of Calypso mixed with modern pop music float through the air.
Most yards allow you to wander in, buy a local beer and enjoy the music as the musicians practice for performances and the ultimate steel pan party, Carnival.
Hike to a waterfall
The hike to Argyle Falls is worth it, with three levels and multiple pools to explore — Photo courtesy of Sally Walker Davies
Hiking through a rainforest is pleasurable enough, but throughout Trinidad and Tobago, the payoff can be finding a waterfall. On Tobago, follow a lush tropical forest to the island’s highest waterfall, Argyle. The triple-cascade delight is 175 feet high, and is proof that the higher you climb, the more spectacular the reward.
The calm pool at the lowest point is enticing, and the flora-festooned path to the second level offers a misty curtain and a number of natural rock tubs in which to cool off. On the very top of Argyle, the pool is the deepest, the smallest – and best of all – the one where you can get your Tarzan on, with sturdy vines available to swing out over the water.
Rum punch, one of the beverage options when liming in Trinidad and Tobago — Photo courtesy of Sally Walker Davies
Liming may be…