Port of Spain, on the northwest coast of Trinidad island, is the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago.
A bustling and friendly city, Port of Spain is a great place to spend a couple of days and is the hub for the Trinidad's famous carnival.
The main shopping area is between Frederick Street and Charlotte Street, running south to Independence Square (Brian Lara Promenade). As well as the bricks-and-mortar shops, there are numerous stalls on the street selling everything from fruit to CDs.
In the evening Independence Square is full of locals liming - hanging around, chatting to their friends and sampling food from the stalls scattered throughout. Wandering through here is a great way to get a feel for what Trinidad is about.
Overview of Port of Spain
Westerly view from Botanic gardens at Port of Spain
Piarco International Airport is about 45 minutes from the center of Port of Spain. Allow more when flying out if your trip coincides with the evening rush hour as many people commute from the area around the airport to downtown Port of Spain.
The airport is served by:
- American Airlines
- Caribbean Airlines
- British Airways
- Continental Airlines
- Copa Air
...and several others.
From Tobago there are 14 flights a day on Tobago Express, which is operated by Caribbean Airlines. Flights are on a De Havilland Dash 8, cost US$24 each way and last about 20 minutes. Despite the great frequency of flights these can get booked out very easily.
There is a Wednesday ferry from Venezuela. See Trinidad.
From Scarborough, Tobago there are hydrofoils that take 2 1/2 hours and conventional ferries that take 5 1/2 hours to Port of Spain.
- The beaches.
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Cotton Hill. Established in 1818, these are one of the oldest gardens in the Caribbean. 700 trees of which 13% are indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago.
- Carnival. The Trinidad Carnival is one of the best in the world and hotels can be guaranteed to fill up when it is held and double their rates! Taking place in the days before Lent it is a mixture of parades and music and calypso competitions. Participants wear elaborate costumes and parade dancing through the streets to the sounds of a steel band or a soca band. Each year on Carnival Sunday a competition is held to award the King and Queen of Carnival.On Carnival Monday and Ash Tuesday, the bands compete to win the "Band of the Year" title. Everyone takes part, from young to old and rich to poor.
- The Queen's Park Savannah or, more usually, just the Savannah is a large park in the middle of the city. It has a circumference of 3.5 km and is a popular spot around sunset for joggers and walkers. With one-way traffic circulating clockwise, it claims to be the world's largest roundabout or traffic circle.
Many different styles are available.
A local flour and chick peas delicacy called Doubles (available all over the island, even just outside the airport). There are several stalls on Independence Square can get these for 3TT each - make sure to get their early though as they tend to sell out pretty quickly.
American fast food chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Burger King (try the totally local fast food chain Royal Castle!)
To eateries like - Benihana and many others available at Trincity Mall, 15 mins from Piarco Airport
To restaurants at hotels like The Trinidad Hilton to the only revolving restaurant in the Caribbean at the Crowne Plaza.
Just remember Trinidadians and Tobagonians like foods more spicy than North Americans or Europeans! Be careful with the hot sauce, because it is really hot!
Beer is a little expensive, priced around 9 TT (1.5 USD) at grocery stores and 15 TT (2.5 USD) at restaurants for a 275mL bottle.
- Angie's Bed and Breakfast, St.Ann's Road, St.Ann's,Port of Spain, ☎ 868 627 0710. From $60.
- Carnetta's House & Inn, 99 Saddle Road, Maraval, Port of Spain, (email@example.com, fax: 868 628 7717), . From $70.
- Copper Kettle Grille, 66 Edward Street, Port Of Spain, ☎ 868 625 4381. From $31.
- D Islands Inn, 7 Anderson Street, St. James, . Private and secure.
- Monique's Guest House, ☎ 868 628 3334 (fax: 868 622 3232), . From $70.
- Par May Las Inn, 53 Picton Street, Newtown,, ☎ 868 628 2008 (fax: 868 628 4707), . From $56.
- S&D Guesthouse, 4 La Puerta Court, Diego Martin, Port of Spain, ☎ 868 684 2494. From $40.
- Samise Villa Bed & Breakfast, 47 St. Anns Road, St. Anns, Port of Spain, ☎ 868 682 9589 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 868 369 3836), . From $35.
- Tony's Guest House, Papnis Drive, Petit Valley, ☎ 868 763 4230 (fax: 868 632 0440). From $30.
- Carlton Savannah, 2-4 Coblentz Ave (to the west of the Savannah), ☎ 868 621 5000 (email@example.com, fax: 868 621 5001), . checkout: 13.00. Excellent rooms but rather boring restaurant, bar and overall ambience. US$200.
- Courtyard by Marriott Port of Spain Spacious accommodation, free high-speed Internet, a full-service restaurant and other convenient amenities and services. Invaders Bay, Audrey Jeffers Highway - Reservations: 1 868 627 5555  US$160.
- Hilton Trinidad & Conference Center. Lady Young Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad. Tel: 1-868-624-3211.. Newly renovated, this hotel boasts hosting President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the whole US delegation during the 2009 Summit of the Americas.
- Kapok Hotel, 16-18 Cotton Hill (just off the Savannah near the Botanical Gardens), ☎ 868-622-5765 (fax: 622-9677), . Almost a Port of Spain tradition, having just celebrated its 40th anniversary (2010). US$180.
SIM cards are easily available.
Trinidad has a bad reputation (it has a shocking high murder rate), but if you are sensible and stick to the main areas, you shouldn't have a problem and will find the locals incredibly friendly. Avoid any ostentatious display of wealth, and don't wander down dark backstreets at night on your own, and you shouldn't experience any problems at all.
Wear sunblock, even in early morning or late afternoon, since Trinidad is very close to the equator.
- Canada, ☎ (868) 622 6232 / 868-O-CANADA (fax: (868) 628 2930), .
- Suriname, ☎ (868) 628 0704 (AmbSurPDE@opus.co.tt, fax: (868) 628 0086).
- United States, ☎ (868) 622-6371-6 (fax: (868) 822-5905), .