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Trinidad & Tobago
October 30, 2014
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Map of Trinidad & Tobago
National Flag
National Flag
Facts about Trinidad & Tobago
Airport
Trinidad - Piarco International (POS)/Tobago - Crown Point Airport (TAB)
Annual Rainfall
70 inches
Area
Trinidad 1864 sq miles
Tobago 116 sq miles
Area Code
868
Banks
Monday-Thursday 8am-3pm/Friday 8am-5pm
Capital City
Trinidad - Port of Spain
Tobago - Scarborough
Co-ordinates
11N, 61W
Currency
TT$/US$ widely accepted
Departure Tax
TT$100
Dimensions
Trinidad - 37 miles x 50 miles
Tobago -  41 x 14 km
Dress Code
Casual cotton in the daytime, elegantly casual at night, camouflage clothing illegal
Driving
Left, International license required, seatbelts mandatory
Drugs
Illegal
Electricity
115V/230V, 60 cycle
Exchange Rate
TT$1 - US$6
Highest Point
Trinidad - Mount Aripo (3085 ft)
Tobago - Pigeon Peak (2000 ft)
Language
English
Medical
Police emergency 999
Fire/ambulance 990
Nudity
Illegal
Population
Trinidad 1 243 860/Tobago 54 084
Public Transport
Buses serve the more popular routes on both islands
Shopping
Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm
Smoking
No smoking in public places
Taxis
Private taxis are available, fixed fares for specific distances.  Maxi taxis are colour  coded for the routes they service
Telecommunications
Phone cards, cellular phones with roaming, internet access
Temperature
Average 80F
Time Zone
Atlantic Standard Time
Tipping
10% sometimes included
Water
Potable, bottled available
ABOUT TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
History
Both Trinidad and Tobago were originally settled by Amerindians from South America. Trinidad was the earliest settled island of the Caribbean, having been inhabited for at least 7000 years. Amerindians that settled Trinidad from South America gradually moved up the Lesser Antillean chain of islands. When Europeans arrived on the island, it was occupied by various Amerindian groups, including the Nepoya, Suppoya, and the Yao. At this time, Tobago was occupied by the Island Caribs and Galibi. The Amerindian name for Trinidad was Kairi or Iere which means 'The Land of the Hummingbird'¯. Tobago's cigar-like shape gave it its Spanish name 'cabaco'¯, and its Amerindian names of Aloubara meaning 'black conch'¯ and Urupaina 'big snail'¯. Christopher Columbus first landed on Trinidad on 31 July 1498, and named it after the Holy Trinity. He also sighted Tobago and named it Bella Forma, but did not make landfall. Trinidad was first settled by the Spanish in the 1530s to gain control of the Orinoco. Sir Walter Raleigh arrived on the island on 22 March 1595 and captured the Spanish settlement. During the 1700s, Trinidad, Mexico and Central America belonged to the viceroyalty of New Spain. The Dutch had established themselves in Tobago in the 16th and 17th centuries, and produced tobacco and cotton. On 4th November, 1783, the Spanish King Charles III granted free lands to Roman Catholic foreign settlers and their slaves in Trinidad, once they were prepared to swear allegiance to the Spanish king. As a result, immigrants from Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Italy and England arrived to settle on Trinidad. After the French Revolution, farmers and their slaves from Martinique settled on the island to grow sugar and cocoa. The very mixed island population increased rapidly. Trinidad became a British crown colony, with a French-speaking population and Spanish laws in 1802. Cocoa dominated the economy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and this was followed by petroleum. Indentured servitude saw the arrival of African, Indian, European, Middle Eastern and Chinese people. Trinidad and Tobago gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1962, and became a republic in 1976. Meanwhile, Tobago changed hands between the British, French, Dutch and Courlanders (from modern-day Latvia). Trinidad and Tobago were combined into a single colony in 1889. Several museums and forts on both islands attest to their tempestuous past. In 1990, the Jamaat al Muslimeen attempted to overthrow the government. Yasin Abu Bakr, (formerly known as Lennox Phillip) led 114 men, and they held the country's government hostage for six days before surrendering.

Geography
Trinidad and Tobago are located in the south-eastern Caribbean, and Trinidad is just 7 miles off the coast of Venezuela. There are two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and 21 smaller islands, including Chacachacare, Monos, Huevos, Gasparee, Little Tobago, and St Giles Island. The islands are a mixture of mountains and plains, with the highest point being in the Northern Range of Trinidad at 3085 ft above sea level. The climate is tropical, with a dry season for the first six months of the year, and a wet season for the second half of the year. Both Trinidad and Tobago are outside of the main hurricane belt. Oil sands and mud volcanoes are especially common in the area of the Trinity Hills, and both islands boast lush tropical rainforest.

Economy
Trinidad's economy is driven mainly by the petroleum industry. Tourism and manufacturing play a lesser role. Tourism is, however, a fast growing sector, particularly in the form of ecotourism, and it is the mainstay of the economy on Tobago. Trinidad has one of the largest and most popular carnivals in the world. "No Smoking" in public places is in effect in this twin island nation. Agricultural produce includes sugar cane, citrus and cocoa. Trinidad & Tobago is the fifth largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the world. Tobago has the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere. Pitch Lake in the south-west of Trinidad is the largest of its kind in the world. Not only is Trinidad and Tobago famous for its pre-Lenten Carnival, but also as the birthplace of steelpan, calypso, soca, and limbo.

Religion
The islands of Trinidad and Tobago are a melting pot of many different religions. Roman Catholics make up 26% of the population, and Hindus 22%, making these the two largest denominations. Anglicans make up about 8% of the population, Muslims 5%, and Seventh-day Adventists 4%. Presbyterians, Jehovah's Witnesses and Methodists are also scattered throughout the islands. The fastest growing religious groups are two African religions, the Shouter or Spiritual Baptists and the Orisha, plus various evangelical and fundamentalist churches.

Language
English is the official language. A local dialect is used for informal communication. Hindi, French, Spanish, and Chinese are also spoken in some areas.

Sport
Cricket is one of the most popular sports of Trinidad and Tobago, and many top cricketers have come from this twin-island nation. The national football team qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Horse racing is also very popular in Trinidad, plus goat racing and crab racing in Tobago. Because these islands are outside of the hurricane belt, they are popular with international yachtsmen, especially during the hurricane season. There are several repair centers and marinas to service this trade. Various world class athletes have also hailed from this twin island nation.

Entry Requirements
All visitors are required to have a valid passport, valid for at least six months longer than the intended stay. A return ticket is also required. Residents of some countries are required to have visas. Both Trinidad and Tobago have regular scheduled international and regional flights from the USA, Canada, the UK and neighbouring islands. There are also frequent lights between the two islands and there is a ferry service. The ferry service is operated daily, and transports passengers, vehicles and cargo between Port of Spain and Scarborough. The crossing takes approximately 2.5 hours, and the return fare is about US$16.
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