Caribbean Tourism

Communication

Jamaat-Al-Muslimeen

On 27 July 1990 Trinidad was shaken by an attempted overthrow of the Government by a Muslim fundamentalist group, the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen, led by the Imam Yasin Abu Bakr. The rebels held the Prime Minister, A N R Robinson, eight of his Cabinet and other hostages, until their unconditional surrender on 1 August. A total of 23 people were killed in the...

Culture

The most exciting introduction to the vivid, cosmopolitan culture of this Republic is, of course, Carnival, or ‘De Mas‘, as locals refer to the annual ‘celebration of the senses’. Background reading is a help for a visit at any time of the year. Some authors to investigate are CLR James, Samuel Selvon, Shiva Naipaul, all now deceased, as well as Shiva’s...

Tobago

Tobago is not as bustling as Trinidad but tourism is booming. Nevertheless, it is ideal for those in search of relaxation. The tourist area is concentrated on the southwest end and about six miles from the capital, Scarborough. There are small hotels and guest houses scattered all around the island, however, offering peace and quiet in beautiful...

South of the Capital

Driving south from Port of Spain you see rice fields, herds of water buffalo, buffalypso (bigger animals, selectively bred for meat), Hindu temples and Moslem mosques. There are boat trips to the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, the home of scarlet ibis, whose numbers are dwindling as the swamp in which they live is encroached upon. The boats leave around 1600 so as...

The South Coast

The South Coast On the coast is the fishing village of Moruga, which is reached by a fascinating drive through the Trinidad countryside. Every year around the middle of July they have an unusual celebration of Columbus’ 1498 landing on the beach. Fishing boats are decked out as caravels, complete with the red Maltese cross. Columbus, a priest and soldiers are met by...

San Fernando

San Fernando on the southwest coast is a busy, hot city, as yet not spoilt by tourism but spoilt by just about everything else and not especially attractive. An expressway connects Port of Spain with San Fernando, making it a 30-minute drive (one hour by taxi). In its neighbourhood are the principal industrial-development area of Point Lisas and the Pointe-...

Port of Spain

Sights You can see most of the sights of Port of Spain by walking around the town centre. For further afield, however, there are taxis, buses, route taxis and maxi taxis, see Essentials section at the beginning of the chapter for an explanation of how they work and appropriate fares. Port of Spain lies on a gently sloping plain between the Gulf of Paria and...

The North Coast

North of Port of Spain is Maraval, just beyond which is the 18-hole St Andrews golf course at Moka (there is also a swimming pool, US$3 for non- members). The North Coast Rd branches left off Saddle Rd (which runs through Maraval back over the hills to meet the Eastern Main Rd at San Juan), leading to Maracas Bay, Las Cuevas and Blanchisseuse (see Beaches...

East of Port of Spain

The east corridor from Port of Spain is a dual carriageway and a priority bus route through the industrial and residential suburbs. At St Joseph, which was once the seat of government, is the imposing Jinnah Memorial Mosque. North of St Joseph is the Maracas Valley (nothing to do with Maracas Bay), which has a 300 ft waterfall about two miles from the road...

Communication

Phoning from USA: Area Code 868 Telephone Services The main Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd (TSTT) office on Frederick St operates international telephone, cable, telex and fax. The service for international calls has improved greatly, with direct dialling to all countries. The fax, telex and telegraph service shuts from 2300 Saturday...