The Caribbean’s southernmost island country, Trinidad and Tobago, is actually made up of two main islands, clumped together underneath one flag, but with vastly different things to offer when it comes to tourism. If you are headed to Trinidad and Tobago but only have time to hit one island, which should you choose? Here’s an overview of each so that you can decide where to spend all your sunny days.
Beach winner: Tobago
Tobago is the more well known vacation destination, but that’s likely because Tobago is replete with the quintessential white sandy beaches that vacationers expect when heading to the Caribbean. Englishman’s Bay is one of Tobago’s most famous strands but you may also have seen its beaches on the big screen before: Tobago was the filming location for the 1960 film Swiss Family Robinson. The Robinsons’ beach from the film is Richmond Bay, while the pirates’ beach is Mount Irvine Bay.
Culture winner: Trinidad
Not to be outdone by its northerly counterpart, Trinidad is also a wonderful place to visit. Trini is much bigger, located further south and closer to Venezuela, and relies on industry to sustain its economy. While Tobago is the obvious choice in terms of white sand beaches, Trinidad holds plenty of the island nation’s culture, history and wildlife. Trinidad is where you’ll find Port of Spain, the nation’s capital and a remnant of Spanish colonialism. From here, you can visit the National Museum and Art Gallery to learn more about Trinidad’s history and art culture, see artifacts from WWII and see artist renditions of major cultural festivals like Carnival. Port of Spain also has several urban green spaces and a vibrant and bustling nightlife, which isn’t surprising since Port of Spain is the birthplace of our favorite rap goddess, Nicki Minaj. For direct access to all of Port of Spain’s gems, we recommend the, located in the Saint James district.
Diving winner: Tobago
Tobago is also well known for diving locations because it still has a thriving coral community, unlike Trinidad which is too close to the Orinoco River for coral to grow. You can also dive the famed Maverick Ferry, which sank to a depth of 30 meters near Rocky Point. Oddly enough, the ferry was submerged on purpose to create a home for marine life, as well as a diving locale for visitors.
Dining winner: Trinidad
Trinidad is also ideal for serious foodies who like to expand their palate with food tours. With thefood tour, visitors are able to explore 19th-century Spanish architecture while tasting pastries, a baked fish sandwich (a local breakfast favorite), as well as tea, wine and dessert. If you’re looking for something a bit spicier, try the food tour for flavorful, after-dark dishes like pork sandwiches, doubles, roti and ice cream.
Hotels winner: Tobago
As far as accommodations, there are plenty of places to stay in Tobago, from all-inclusive resorts to private villas, so you’ll have plenty of options when deciding. If you’re looking for a villa with access to community spaces, we recommend. But if you’re traveling on a budget, check out to book a private inland apartment.Golf is also a main attraction on Tobago, as the island hosts two main golf courses at Tobago Plantations and , two fantastic places to unwind during your stay.
Wildlife winner: Trinidad
If you want to check out some local wildlife, head south of Port of Spain to the. While there, take a flat-bottom boat tour through the swamp to look for some of the 100-plus species of birds, boas, caimans and crabs that live a protected life in Trini’s largest mangrove swamp. Then, continue south to Couva and stay in your own budget apartment at .
Have you visited Trinidad or Tobago? Tell us about your trip in the comments, including which of the two islands you think is most worthy.
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