Trinidad and Tobago are often seen as the perfect combination of the different kind of lifestyles available in the Caribbean. Trinidad, the larger of the two islands, is the birthplace to calypso and the steel drum, and is typically seen as the party island with its annual carnival. Tobago, on the hand, is seen as more laid-back, and the perfect spot for nature lovers or those looking for a spot to relax. Each of these islands combine to make one of the most unique tourists spots around.
The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is an annual event held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. While traditionally associated with the native calypso music, more recently soca music, which takes influences from cadence, funk, and soul, has started to become the most celebrated type of music at the festival. Colorful costumes and different competitions, like stick-fighting, limbo, and musical competitions, make up a large part of the festival. Every year, many individuals and groups compete to be crowned the Calypso Monarch in a competition that’s aired on live television.
For those looking to learn more about the region’s culture, in the country’s capital city, Port of Spain, is The National Museum and Art Gallery. This museum houses over 10,000 items including local paintings and sculptures and artifacts from the Carnival. The late German artist Luise Kimme, who lived on the island for over thirty years after relocating in 1979, also has her works on show at the The Kimme Museum in Tobago. Here, you’ll be able to see her famous life-size sculptures made from oak, cedar, lime, cypress, and bronze, that depict the lives of the locals.
The Tobago Forest Reserve is the oldest protected rainforest in the Western hemisphere. Because of it’s relatively small size, the area is able to be much more easily managed than similar areas. This means that Government-appointed guides are able to guide groups of tourists through the area for a fee. The country is famous for the array of unique birds that call the area home, around 250 in total, and bird watching walks are a popular attraction. In fact, some guides are so knowledgeable about the local wildlife that they’re able to call down rare and exotic species from the canopy by imitating their calls.
Have you visited the country before? Let me know which island was your favourite in the comments below.