Caribbean Tourism

Getting There

Air

North America: Air Canada and BWIA from Toronto to Port of Spain. BWIA and American Airlines from Miami and New York to Port of Spain.
Europe: BWIA from London to Port of Spain. British Airways from London Gatwick to Tobago. Several charters, including Air Caledonian from London Gatwick to Tobago and Condor from Frankfurt and Munich.
South America: To Port of Spain, Aeropostal from Caracas via Porlamar, BWIA from Caracas daily; BWIA, Air Caribbean and Suriname Airways from Georgetown, Guyana; Suriname Airways from Paramaribo.
Caribbean: BWIA, Liat, ALM, Air Caribbean, American Eagle and Helenair connect Trinidad and Tobago with other Caribbean islands including Antigua, Barbados, Curaçao, Grenada, Jamaica (Kingston), St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Air Caribbean, which operates the domestic shuttle Trinidad-Tobago, is now offering services from Barbados, Grenada and Guyana, with Miami planned. New York, Toronto and London may follow. BWIA launched a new regional service in 1999, BWee Express, with new 50-seat Havilland Dash-8 aircraft, with flights from Trinidad to Tobago, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent.


Airport Information

Airports Piarco International, 16 miles southeast of Port of Spain. If intending to take the bus to Piarco airport, allow plenty of time to ensure arriving in time for checking in. Try to avoid overnight connections at Piarco airport. Airline schedules ensure that it is possible to arrive at Piarco after the check-in counters have closed until next morning, so you cannot go through to the departure lounge. Sky cap has 24-hour left luggage service. There is a restaurant upstairs open 24 hours. There is seating under three covered areas but it is not comfortable for an overnight wait. If you are in transit always check that your bags have not been off-loaded at Piarco, most are not checked through despite assurances. To eat at the airport, there is the Pizza Boys restaurant upstairs in the terminal building and a variety of fast food outlets downstairs, including KFC. Indian delicacies, like ‘doubles’ or roti, can be had at informal food stalls to the right as you exit the terminal.

Tobago’s Crown Point airport is within walking distance of the hotels in the southwest. There are a few shops and a bank with an ATM across the road from the teminal. Crown Point airport is also uncomfortable for a long wait, often with no food available after you have been through immigration control. There are a few shops, snack bars and a bank outside the terminal building but only a small duty free inside.

Airlines offices BWIA is at 30 Edward St (T6252470, 6255866/8, F6252139), opens for reservations at 0800; be prepared for a long wait, particularly for international tickets. BWIA at Piarco airport, T6693000 (open later than Edward St office); also at Carlton Centre, San Fernando, T6579712/6485, and at Crown Point airport, Tobago, T6398741/2. Air Caribbean for flights between the two islands, 1 Richmond St, T6232500, F6238182. American Airlines, 90 Independence Square (T6235008, F6690261, Piarco, T6644838/47312). Air Canada is at 88 Independence Square (T6252195, F627304, at Piarco T6644065). LIAT, 30 Edward St, T6252470, at Piarco airport T6645458, on Tobago at Crown Point airport, T6390484. Suriname Airways, Cruise Ship Complex, Wrightson Rd, T6274747. There is a 15 percent VAT on airline tickets purchased in Trinidad and Tobago.

Sea

A weekly 250-passenger and cargo ferry service run by Windward Lines Limited sails from Trinidad to Güiria, Venezuela on Tuesday, returning from Güiria on Wednesday, arriving Trinidad Thursday. This service alternates with a ferry to Margarita (Pampatar), every other week, with 12 hours in Margarita. On Thursday it sets off for St Vincent, Barbados and St Lucia, arriving there Saturday 0800, returning Sunday, getting back to Trinidad Tuesday. Check in two hours before departure in Trinidad (one hour in other ports). The schedule is printed in two daily newspapers, times vary depending on the Güiria or Margarita crossing, occasionally there is a stop in Bequia, everything stops for Carnival in Trinidad. For information and tickets contact Global Steamship Agencies Ltd, Mariner’s Club, Wrightson Rd, PO Box 966, Port of Spain, T6242279, 6252547, F6275091. For a round trip to St Lucia the fare, including tax, is US$134 (one-way US$100), return fare to Barbados US$124 (US$90), to St Vincent US$109 (US$79) and to Güiria US$87 (US$67), to Margarita US$97 (US$74). Cabins, aircraft seats and convertible berths are available.

Every Friday morning a boat carrying racing pigeons leaves for Güiria, Venezuela. Contact Francis Sagones, T6320040; or talk to Siciliano Bottini in the Agencia Naviera in Güiria for sea transport in the other direction. Fishing boats and trading vessels ply this route frequently and can often be persuaded to take passengers. Be careful to get your passport stamped at both ends of the journey. A Trinidadian, Adrian Winter Roach, travels at least once a week with his boat El Cuchillo, and charges US$60 one way, US$100 return, he can be contacted in Venezuela through the Distribuidora Beirut, Calle Valdez 37, Güiria, T/F81677. Lots of shipping lines have a service going north, go to Queen’s Wharf and ask to speak to the captains. For Guyana, try Abraham Shipping Company Ltd, 10 Abercromby St, T6241138/1131, they handle 90 percent of the Guyana and Suriname trade.

Yachts

Ports of Entry: Chaguaramas, Trinidad, and Scarborough, Tobago. In Chaguaramas, take the boat to the Customs dock (open 24 hours, overtime 1600-0800 and weekends and holidays) to clear on arrival in Trinidad and fill in combined Customs and Immigration form. Overtime for after hours, weekends and holidays is high, so it pays to arrive during normal working hours. Crew will be admitted for 90 days; a 90-day extension costs US$30 per person.

Departure by Sea: Clear out with Customs and Immigration. Pay port fees of US$8 for each month that the boat was in Trinidad and Tobago waters. To go from one island to the other clear out with Immigration and in on the new island. Clear Customs only when making final departure from the country. New arrivals must be signed aboard the vessel as crew by Immigration in Chaguaramas.

Departure by Air: Boats can be left in storage; yacht yards will help with paperwork, present it to Customs and clear with Immigration within 24 hours of departure for exemption from departure tax. When returning to Trinidad by air, go to third party line at airport to get paperwork to take with baggage to Chaguaramas Customs to clear. Arriving outside office hours leave boat parts for weekday review. Arriving guests should have return ticket and letter to Trinidad Immigration stating vessel name and official number.

Marinas: The Trinidad marinas are all west of Port of Spain along the coast to Chaguaramas. There has been a huge increase in facilities in the 1990s, principally to take advantage of Trinidad’s location outside the hurricane belt. Trinidad and Tobago Yacht Club (TTYC), Bayshore, T/F6374260, a private club, leases members’ slips to visiting yachts when available, 60 in-water berths, security, restaurant, bar, laundry. Point Gourde Yachting Centre, T6275680, F6254083, opened 1996, 65 in-water berths, full service marina.

Trinidad and Tobago Yachting Association (TTYA), Chaguaramas, PO Box 3140, Carenage, T/F6344376/4210/4519, a private members’ association with moorings and anchorage available to visiting yachts, full service haul out yard, 15-ton marine hoist, moorings, repair shed, bar, laundry. Power Boats Mutual Facilities, Chaguaramas, PO Box 3163, Carenage, T6344303, F6344327, haul-out and storage, 50-ton marine hoist, 23 in-water berths, boat storage, marine supplies, fibreglass repairs, welding, woodworking, apartments, grocery, restaurant, laundry. Peake Yacht Services, Chaguaramas, T6344423, F6344387, full service marina, 150-ton marine hoist, capable of beams to 31 feet, 21 in-water berths, boat storage, 10-room hotel, restaurant, Mini-Mart, laundry, skilled maintenance, recommended. Industrial Marine Services (IMS), Chaguaramas, T6344328, F6344437, full service haul-out and storage yard, 70-ton marine hoist, paint shop, chandlery, sail maker, fibreglass repair, welding, woodworking, sandblasting, restaurant, laundry. Crews Inn Marina, Chaguaramas, Tardieu Marine will lift and dry storage. Humming-bird Marina has a restaurant. For groceries there is Hi-Lo at Crews Inn as well as many small shops, restaurant and bank with ATM. All locations charge a fee to anchored boats for use of shoreside facilities.


More . . .

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Tourist Information

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