Overview of Island
"The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is located in the southern Caribbean, northeast of the South American country of Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles. It is located between 0° 2' and 11° 12' N latitude and 60° 30' and 61° 56' W longitude. It is said to be about 5,128 sq. kms.
Capital: Port of Spain
Language: English, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (Hindu dialect), Creole French, Creole Spanish
Both Trinidad and Tobago were originally settled by Amerindians of South American origin. Trinidad was initially settled by pre agricultural archaic people at least 7,000 years ago making it the earliest settled part of the Caribbean long before Christopher Columbus reached Trinidad in 1498.
Tobago changed hands between Spanish, British, French, Dutch and Courlander colonizers. These European influences are reflected in the names of cities and places throughout the islands. From 1776 the Spanish government encouraged Roman Catholics with land offers and tax incentives to go to settle in Trinidad. Most of these settlers were French with their African slaves and they transformed the population, economy and society. Plantations were established and corn and sugar growth with subsequent trade took roots. In 1797 Britain seized the Island from Spain and a true slave trade and society were founded. After slavery was abolished Britain then brought in cheap labour in the form of indentured workers from India and this continued until 1917. Other immigrants came as rescuers off foreign slave ships and thereafter Trinidad became a country comprised of persons from Madeira, China, Syria Lebanon, Venezuela and UK.
Tobago was united to Trinidad by Britain while retaining a subordinate legislature and separate taxes in 1889 when the sugar trade collapsed. Following much unrest due to objection to then current rule, constitutional reforms were made that led to some form of self-government. Confusion persisted and in 1956 the first elected leadership headed by Eric Williams was formed. He is said to have practiced 'pragmatic socialism' which made Trinidad and Tobago the wealthiest Commonwealth Caribbean nation. Trinidad and Tobago attained independence in 1962 and became a Republic within the Commonwealth in 1976.
The discovery of oil brought prosperity to many individuals and the country as a whole, and the economy quickly developed and industrialization and the private sector expanded rapidly. Eric Williams was repeatedly elected until his death in 1981, at a time when the economy started to decline due to the drop in oil prices, and dislike for the party grew due to wide spread corruption. Successive government permeated this unsettling trend with the economy sea-sawing, along with the growing public demands for a change over focus on trade.
Unlike many Caribbean Islands Trinidad is not reliant on tourism but has a diversified industrial base including the production of rum, beer, margarine and oils, cigarette, plastics and building materials. Asphalt is a major item of export for The Republic and is used both on Island and internationally. Additionally, its main port plays a vital role on world shipping routes and is a centre of trade within the West Indies.
On the other hand, Tobago benefited from the growth of tourism and has many commercial buildings. It highlights its reef system and other historical landmarks in its promotion to develop a sustainable tourist product.
The main ethnic diversity of Trinidad and Tobago includes East Indian 35.4%; African descent 34.2%, mixed 15.3%, mixed African/East Indian 7.7%, and other 7.5%."
Things to do
Bird watching at Caroni Swamp
Do the "House of Angostura" tour
Go turtle watching at Grand Riviere
Take a trip "Down de islands"
Visit the Pitch Lake
Where to stay
If you’re looking for an authentic escape to the Caribbean, then we have the beachfront all-inclusive Tobago Hotel for you. Tucked away on the shore of its own palm-fringed beach, Turtle Beach by rex
Chancellor Hotel & Conference Centre
Come and experience the allure and elegance of the Chancellor Hotel, which offers a carefully crafted mixture of old world charm with modern amenities.