Rainforest beach along the Caribbean coast of Tobago

General Information

Airports: Tobago - ANR Robinson International Airport (TAB)
Trinidad - Port of Spain International Airport (POS). (see our Airport page)
Climate: Tropical (see our Weather page)
Currency: Trinidad & Tobago (TTD). (see our Currency page)
Ethnic Mix: Tobago - 93% African descent
Trinidad - 40% African, 40% Indian, 18% Mixed, 0.6% European; 0.4% Chinese
Government: Democratic multi-party republic. (see next tab)
Industry: Tobago - tourism
Trinidad - leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas
Land Mass: Tobago - 26 miles / 42km x 7½ mi / 10km - 116 sq mi / 300km2
Trinidad - 1,833 sq mi / 4,748 km2
Language: English + Tobagonian Creole (see our Humour page)
Location: Tobago - Latitude 11°N, Longitude 60°W. Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) are the most southerly islands in the Lesser Antilles chain of the Caribbean archipelago. Tobago lies 21 miles northeast of its much larger industrialised sister-island, Trinidad. Trinidad is just 7 miles (11km) from Venezuela.
Major Towns: Tobago - Scarborough; Plymouth, Charlotteville
Trinidad - Port of Spain, Chaguanas, San Fernando
Population: Tobago - 61,000; Trinidad - 1.34 million
Religion: Tamp;T total - 33% Protestant, 22% Roman Catholic, 18% Hindu, 5% Muslim. Having a lower population of Indian descent, Tobago is very much more Protestant than the national figures suggest. (see Worship tab)
Shopping: Very limited shopping on Tobago. Many shops are closed on Sunday. Supermarkets are normally open 8am to 8pm. General shopping hours: 8am-4.30pm Monday to Friday; 8am-12pm Saturday.
Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise - 06:00am; Sunset - 06:30pm
Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time (AST). 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) / 5 hours behind British Summer Time (BST).

The two islands comprising the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago have been united since the end of the 19th century (see our History pages for more detail). They are more commonly known as 'T&T'. Trinidad & Tobago joined the West Indies Federation in 1958, attained independence from Britain in 1962 and became a republic in 1976.

The government of T&T is based in the national capital, Port-of-Spain, in Trinidad. Both the parliament and legal system are based on the British model. The president is the constitutional head of state, with executive power vested in a prime minister and a cabinet drawn from the largest parties. Parliament consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Since 1980, Tobago has had its own 15-seat House of Assembly - the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) - and achieved full internal self-government in 1987.

It is said that Tobago lives in the shadow of its sister Trinidad and in many ways this is true. The two islands couldn't be more different economically, culturally and ethnically. It might be said that they represent an inappropriate pairing. Trinidad is a hustling, bustling petroleum producer, sixteen times larger than Tobago. Trinidad's population of nearly 1.4 million bears more noticeable ethnic and cultural link to India. Tobago often seems a neglected backwater in comparison.

The relaxed vibe of Tobago makes it the ideal "get away from it" destination. Sadly, many of us still need to keep in touch with home or office. Thanks to the wonders of modern telecommunications, you will not be cut off from the world in Tobago.

The primary landline service in T&T is the government-owned Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd (TSTT). There are two digital cellular services: Bmobile (owned by TSTT) and Digicel. Both have roaming agreements with major international service providers so should work with all 3G/4G cellphones.

Both Digicel and Bmobile offer 4G service. However, the hilly geography of Tobago means that the quality of service is variable, to say the least.

Rather than paying exhorbitant roaming charges, visitors with an unlocked cellphone may wish to consider buying a cheap 'throw-away' pay-as-you-go SIM card from one of the local providers. There are numerous cellphone outlets in the more populated southwest of the island. the most convenient for most people may well be the Gulf City Mall in Lowlands, where both Digicel and Bmobile have outlets.

The international country code for Trinidad and Tobago is 1-868. So, when dialling from the UK,dial 001-868 plus the local number. From North America, dial 1868 plus the local number.

The standard power supply in Tobago is 110v 60Hz with Type B (American 3-pin) plugs and sockets, as illustrated to the right. This type of socket also takes the standard two-pin-flat Type A (unearthed/ungrounded) plugs.

North American visitors will have no need for electrical adapters and can ignore the rest of this article. British and European travellers should assume that they will need a standard international plug adapter if they intend to take any electrical accessories to Tobago.

240volt 60Hz power is also available on Tobago. However, we know of very few properties that have dual-system electrics. Nevertheless, UK visitors may wish to contact the owner/manager of their hotel or rental villa to see if UK-friendly power sockets are available.

Even if 240v power is not available, UK visitors will be able to use most electrical accessories. Hairdryers and travel kettles should work - but they will not get quite as hot as usual and/or take a lot longer to get there. Visitors with 110v accessories must not, under any circumstances, use such items on the 240v 3-pin plug connection without an appropriate transformer.

It is important to check all devices that you intend to take on holiday, including laptops, tablets and smartphones. If the charger/device states something like "100-240V, 50/60 Hz' it will work perfectly in Tobago, as anywhere else in the world.

Most Tobagonians are deeply religious. The Christian faith predominates with Protestants forming the largest group. This includes Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodist, Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Baptist). Even the smallest village is likely to have at least one small church or chapel. In recent years, an increasing number of Trinidadians of Indian descent have moved to Tobago, increasing the number of Hindus and Muslims on the island.

Visitors are guaranteed a huge welcome at services. Allowances will naturally be made if visitors do not dress quite as formally as others in the congregation, but you must avoid shorts, sleeveless shirts or T-shirts, etc.

The following list is far from comprehensive, but it does cover the main denominations.

Anglican: St.Andrew's Anglican, Bacolet Street, Scarborough
Church of God: Logwood Park Church of God, Glen Road, Scarborough
Methodist: Scarborough Methodist, Corner Fort & Main Street, Scarborough
Moravian: Bon Accord Moravian Church, Milford Road, Bon Accord
Muslim: Hampden Road, Lowlands
Roman Catholic: St.Joseph's Roman Catholic, Bacolet Street, Scarborough
Seventh Day Adventist: Seventh Day Adventist, Rockly Vale, Scarborough