Blanchisseuse beach
Blanchisseuse beach © Andy

Trinidad and Tobago, known colloquially as 'TNT', consist of the two southernmost Caribbean islands. While the two islands are vastly different in character, together they offer visitors the best elements of the Caribbean experience.

Trinidad is home to the bustling capital, Port of Spain, which is sophisticated, cosmopolitan, and culturally diverse. The capital's vibrancy is reflected in its main attraction, the annual Carnival. Locals spend most of the year preparing for the lavish February fling which is a pastiche of calypso music and dance, food, dazzling costumes, and marvellous floats.

Port of Spain is a place of contrasts, where colonial architecture exists is the shadow of modern, high-rise towers and the constant bustle of local colourful markets and bazaars provide an alternative experience to the one found in the plush shopping malls. This, alongside the patchwork of Gothic cathedrals, mosques, and Hindu temples, testifies to the diversity of cultures that call the islands home.

Those looking for a more peaceful experience can leave the frenetic city behind and explore Trinidad's beautiful north coast beaches or hike through the forested peaks of the interior. Along the east coast, nature lovers will find protected wetlands and coconut groves, while down south on this rectangular island are some enchanting fishing villages nestled near secluded beaches.

A daily domestic ferry service connects Trinidad to its more laid back, little sister island, Tobago, renowned for being one of the last slices of unspoilt Caribbean paradise. Tobago is a typical tropical wonderland of palm-fringed beaches, verdant rainforests, and sparkling coral reefs. It also boasts a nature-lover's treasure trove of birds, butterflies, flowering plants, and shrubs.

There are over 100 different mammals and around 70 types of reptiles roaming the island, too, most famous of which is the giant leatherback turtle which nests on the magnificent north beaches. To the south, the Atlantic beats against a coast studded with fishing villages, while the hilly interior is coated with one of the world's oldest rainforest reserves.