Trinidad and Tobago travel info
Electrical current is in Trinidad and Tobago 110 to 120 volts, 60hz. Two-pin flat blade plugs are used as well as three-pin plugs in the North American style.
English is the official language in Trinidad and Tobago.
The unit of currency is the Trinidad and Tobago Dollar, or TT Dollar (TTD), which is divided into 100 cents. Most ATMs and stores will accept international credit cards; US dollars cash and credit cards are accepted by most establishments. Money can also be changed at bureaux de change offices. Banks are open from Monday to Friday.
Most hotels and restaurants in Trinidad and Tobago usually add a 10 or 15 percent service charge to the bill. If this is not the case, a 10 percent tip is expected for good service.
A yellow fever vaccination is required for those entering Trinidad and Tobago from infected areas, and it is recommended that all travellers to Trinidad are vaccinated against yellow fever anyway. Those who are only visiting Tobago do not need a yellow fever vaccination. Vaccinations for hepatitis A and hepatitis B are also recommended for all travellers. Insect protection is advised, as there is an increasing risk of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease.
Medical facilities are limited in Trinidad and Tobago and medicines may be in short supply. Emergency evacuation to a nearby country will likely be required for serious injury or illness. Proof of ability to pay is often required before treatment is given, even in emergencies. Medical insurance with provision for evacuation is strongly advised.
Most visits to Trinidad and Tobago are trouble free, but there is an increasing incidence of crime against tourists on both islands. In Trinidad, visitors should be especially vigilant in downtown Port of Spain (particularly at night), and when travelling from Piarco Airport, where gangs have been known to follow cars and attack the occupants at their final destination. There has been an increase in robberies at tourist sites, including Fort George and the Pitch Lake, and these attacks can be violent; visitors are warned not to resist muggers and robbers who are also targeting foreigners at car parks outside places such as shopping malls and restaurants. Travellers should take precautions such as not wearing flashy jewellery and storing valuables in hotel safe deposit boxes.
The people of Trinidad and Tobago are friendly and hospitable and generally happy to assist tourists. However, visitors should keep in mind that it is polite to greet a stranger before asking a question. Nude or topless bathing is frowned upon and, though the legislation came into force to decriminalise possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis, anyone with more than 30 grams of cannabis, or more than five grams of cannabis resin, commits an offence and is liable to a fine of TTD 50,000. Severe penalties remain in place for other drug-related offences, including attempting to export narcotics.
Male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal, and there is legislation in place that bars LGBT individuals from entering the country. These laws are rarely enforced and there is growing local support for LGBT rights, but public displays of affection between same sex couples may attract negative attention. LGBT travellers should exercise caution.
The economy of Trinidad and Tobago has been growing steadily over the past few years and foreign investment is on the increase. A firm handshake starts and ends a meeting. Formal attire is common but not always strictly necessary; it is worth finding out about the dress code for the relevant sector of business. Business cards are generally handed out and received immediately after introductions. Business hours are generally 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with about an hour taken over lunch.
Visitors arriving in Trinidad and Tobago are allowed to bring in the following goods without paying duty: 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 250g tobacco; 1.5 litres of spirits or wine; gifts; and perfume for personal use. Alcohol and tobacco products are allowed only for passengers over the age of 17 years.
The international dialling code for Trinidad and Tobago is +1 868. To dial out from the islands the prefix is 011, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01127 for South Africa). Mobile networks are in operation on the islands, with fairly wide coverage; visitors will find WiFi at hotels, bars and restaurants.
Passport & Visa
Visitors require documents for return or onward travel and a fixed address for the period of their stay. Since 23 January 2007 all US citizens travelling to and from Trinidad and Tobago by air require a valid passport; this requirement has been extended to include all land and sea border crossings as well. It is highly recommended that travellers' passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
The wearing of camouflage clothing, or the possession of camouflage bags in Trinidad and Tobago is illegal for anyone not in the military services. Visitors wearing such items will be asked to change and the camouflage items will then be confiscated. Failure to comply with this rule will result in detention and possible fines.
US citizens must have a valid passport for the duration of their stay. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days for touristic purposes.
UK visitors must have a passport that is valid for six months from the day they arrive. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days for touristic purposes.
Canadians must have a passport that is valid for three months beyond their intended stay. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days for touristic purposes.
Australians must have a passport that is valid for six months beyond their intended stay. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days for touristic purposes.
South Africans nationals require a passport valid for duration of stay, but do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days.
Irish nationals require a valid passport for duration of stay, but do not require a visa.
New Zealanders must have a passport that is valid for six months beyond their intended stay. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days for touristic purposes.
Trinidad and Tobago Tourism: www.gotrinidadandtobago.comEmergencies: 999 (Police); 990 (Fire/Ambulance).
Embassies / consulates in other countries
Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 467 6490.
High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7245 9351.
High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 232 2418.
High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 460 9688.
Embassies / consulates in Trinidad and Tobago
United States Embassy, Port of Spain: +868 622 6371.
British High Commission, Port of Spain: +868 350 0444.
Canadian High Commission, Port of Spain: +868 622 6232.
Australian High Commission, Port of Spain: +868 822 5450.
South African Embassy, Port of Spain: +868 622 9869.
Irish Honorary Consul, Port of Spain: +868 628 2385.
New Zealand High Commission, Ottawa, Canada (also responsible for Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago): +1 613 238 5991.