Port–of–Spain is the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago. It lies off the coast of Venezuela and consists of two central islands and 21 smaller islands. The city is famous for its Calypso music and pristine sand beaches. Forest-covered mountains and fertile plains cross its northern and central regions. Its tropical woodlands are home to many rare plants and birds. Oil and petroleum products are its primary industry. In the southwest part of Port-of-Spain, oil has oozed up through rocks to create Pitch Lake, a 285 foot (87 m) deep tar lake that is the world’s primary source of asphalt.
When To Go:
If you are planning a vacation in Port-of-Spain, the perfect time to go is between April and December. Lodging and hotel rates are least expensive during these summer months. It is also around these months when most travelers from Europe want to escape the chilly winter climate with a Caribbean getaway. Avoid the Carnival season months (February – March), as this is the time when hotel and flight rates can skyrocket.
The least expensive travel season in Port-of-Spain is the island’s wet season. The rainy season arrives in the middle of May, and the Atlantic tropical storms may touch the city amid the yearly sea tempest or hurricane season, which ordinarily lasts from June until November.
Here is a list of the amazing things to do as well as the wonderful attractions to explore when in the city of Port-of-Spain:
Maracas Bay is home to one of the beautiful beaches in Port-of-Spain. It offers an attractive mixture of fauna and flora. On the way to this beach, be sure to see the view of Maracas Bay. It is ideal for enjoying the tranquil nature of the bay. Located on the shores of the Caribbean, Maracas Beach or Bay is the most popular and most frequented beach in Trinidad and Tobago. It has a stretch of beautiful golden sand, lined with palm trees and various stalls and kiosks, complete with traditional delicacies.
The trip to and from Maracas Bay across the mountains is a unique experience with gorgeous views of the sea and the tropical and subtropical vegetation of the region. The beach itself is superb and is equipped with lifeguards as the waves here always intense. Whistle immediately if you go too far into the high surf. Kids are not allowed to swim here because of the unsafe waves. However, the water is always a comfortable temperature. Maracas Bay is located about a half hour drive away from the Port-of-Spain, and the coast road is picturesque. You can stop anywhere and take pictures. In some places, the view is hidden by lush vegetation, but if you head to the official viewpoint, you’ll have an excellent view. A few meters away is a large car park where souvenirs and drinks are sold.
Royal Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens is a serene spot in the center of the city. It holds many different types of trees from all over the world. It is beautiful and well kept; admission is free, and there are many squirrels and birds that roam the area. It is an ideal place to enjoy a family picnic during weekends or to hang out with friends. It is primarily an expansion of the adjacent Queen’s Park Savannah. While the Savannah is a huge verdant field, the Botanical Gardens is less frequented by travelers, making it a very serene place to spend an afternoon.
A large portion of the trees bloom at some point during the year, and some of them are incredible. It can be a great change of pace for runners, on the off chance that you have been doing laps around the Savannah. At the same time, if you go to the Botanical Gardens expecting blooms, you are sure to be surprised. The venue does not focus its presentation on flowers, but it is more centered on trees and the lush vegetation. Some of the ornamental plant collections were shipped here from other tropical cities.
Queen’s Park Savannah
The Queen’s Park Savannah is in a very central location, and you can walk here from almost anywhere in town (St James, Wood brook, St Ann’s, and Belmont). This park constitutes one of the most lush areas in the city and is a recreational center for various exercise activities (jogging, walking, and cycling). The park is surrounded by several of the city’s historic buildings. Remember that after a tour of this park, you can proceed right next to the zoo, which is just a stone’s throw away from this enchanting savannah. It is a great place to enjoy the outdoors.
You can practice any sport, as well as relax or enjoy a family picnic day. There is enough room to play sports like rugby or soccer. Sometimes, it is even used as a helipad!
In the afternoon, a great number of people gather here to relax, enjoy the manicured lawns, or grab fresh coconut water from sellers who frequent the park every afternoon. Some teens come here to play cricket. Cricket is a popular sport here in Port-of-Spain. It is played by the young and old alike. It was originally brought here by British settlers. Be sure to include a visit to this park in your itinerary, especially in the evening when there are cultural and local shows to see.
Dattatreya Temple and Hanuman Statue
This sanctuary was built by skilled architects and designers from India. It is well worth a visit to appreciate the meticulous structural elements of the primary temple and to learn about the beliefs of Trinidad Hinduism. Inside you can see the 85-foot image of Hanuman, revered by his faithful devotees. There are also huge elephant statues that monitor the sanctuary’s entryways. This is a religious attraction, so dress appropriately (shorts and sleeveless blouses are not allowed), and shoes should be left outside the sanctuary.
You can take pictures of the statue and the sanctuary’s outer surface and grounds, yet permission is required to take photographs of its interior, especially when temple activities are going on. The Dattatreya Temple and Hanuman Statue is about thirty minutes away from the Port-of-Spain.
Even from a distance, you can clearly see the bright pink building. Visitors are advised by the caretakers to go around the statue from left to right to help bring happiness to their spirit. The temple looks marvelous from outside, and there is plenty of open space in the middle of the hall. On the side, you’ll see many small but multi-colored altars.
National Museum and Art Gallery
The National Museum and Art Gallery provides a balanced depiction of the island country as well as a chance to learn more about its interesting history. While visiting, you’ll learn about the historical backdrop of the nation, with strong influences from early settlers from Africa, India, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. You’ll stroll through antiques from local villages; learn about the nation’s road to freedom, the fauna that populates the island, and see frontier building designs, as well as the origin of Carnival. You can also see a small, yet delightful show of contemporary art and modern artists from Trinidad and Tobago. Everything is well-presented throughout the museum and art gallery.
The staff provides lots of information and are well educated on every subject and sites that can be seen in this cultural and art museum. They are all friendly and offer interesting answers to questions posed by guests. The visit is free, and the historical center is housed in a lovely learning institution. It is an ideal place to visit during the stormy season. Photographs are prohibited, and you must get a locker (free) to leave your personal things behind.
Brian Lara Promenade (Independence Square)
The Brian Lara Promenade (Independence Square) is a long rectangular promenade park with walking paths and streets standing side-by-side, equipped with a pedestrian walkway in the center. The cleared center with well-tended lawns has seats and tables with chess boards and pieces provided. On the left side of the square, there are gift shops, a pharmacy, and an excellent pastry and bake shop, all near the famous Crowne Plaza.
It is worth strolling around this area and getting to know all of its impressive features. At the downtown end, there are rows of fast food and modern coffee shops. There are some street vendors selling flowers, T-shirts, gems, tabloids and newspapers, and some shopping centers within this prominent square. Despite the presence of tall structures and impressive skyline, the face of poverty and hardship is still visible from one side of the square.
Western Main Road
The Western Main Road, otherwise known here in Port-of-Spain as St. James, is a part of the city that is always alive and ideal for the carefree spirit. By day, it resembles a standard Caribbean business region and primary street. At night, the road becomes vibrant, and is home to a mixed bag of rum bars, restaurants, food bistros and food trip corners that you won’t find in extravagant restaurants. If you are looking for street food and genuine Trinidad and Tobago cuisine and culture, this is the perfect spot for you. The typical scene includes groups of people lining up for some good food while drinking beer. Beer is very common here, especially for men.
The atmosphere here at the Western Main Road is always busy, loud, and lively. Cars go to and fro, stopping and parking outside the bars, some of which have wide, open spaces for unwinding and drinking beers and cocktails. Creole and international cuisine-themed restaurants can also be found here, along with the abundant burger shops and grill stalls from one end to the other. You can discover almost everything here when it comes to commercialized entertainment. From restaurants to shops, you’ll find whatever you are searching for.
Emperor Valley Zoo
The Emperor Valley Zoo is a small but diverse zoo. It is located right across from the Queen’s Savannah Park and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Some animals are well placed, simulating their natural habitat and arranged for convenient observation (e.g., otters). The animal complex is still being maintained and currently being expanded. It has lions, tigers, giraffes, monkeys and a great number of birds. The snakes and other reptiles have smaller spaces, but are still worth visiting.
All in all, it is well kept and neat, although the aquarium can get quite warm.This Zoo is great for kids and family, organized and well-maintained and for 30 T&T dollars, you can see a variety of local animals. It is a real environmental classroom, where kids can learn a lot about the animal kingdom. At the snake house, you can learn about the reptiles and the zoo is also home to a couple of giraffes from Africa that have found comfort in their small home. The mandrels are super smart and beautiful. There is also a ride in which you can easily take 2 hours watching varieties of terrestrial animals, birds and some fish within in the zoo. This small zoo has some interesting animals and is good entertainment for the family, even if it lacks a bit of maintenance to certain areas. A visit here is a must if you’re in Port-of-Spain.
Bedrock Mini Golf and Game Centre
The Bedrock Mini Golf and Game Centre is an ideal place to escape your daily routine, and to keep cool and relaxed while having fun with friends and family. You can enjoy a few beers while playing in pairs, and the managers and staff will treat you wonderfully and deliver tapas or snacks at the half of the game. Then, you can bowl and have a great time with super-cheap prices and different kinds of recreational activities while staying inside the massive entertainment complex.
This spot is ideal for youngsters to chill and swim in the pool while the adults have a fabulous time putting the small green. You may also delight in playing Guitar Hero or getting active and moving as you play the Kinect and Wii gadgets. Although the games do not stand par to the universal guidelines of mini golf, it is a rustic and genuinely entertaining version of mini golf that can only be found in Port-of-Spain. Kids enjoy their stay here because of the variety of things to do and discover. Do not miss a visit and enjoy your game.
This is genuinely the way 3D films are intended to be viewed. Powered by a gigantic screen, fantastic sound, the cinema features convenient and numbered seats and clean 3D glasses. The Digicel IMAX movie experience in Port-of-Spain offers a lot of dining choices too. It has ample parking areas in a secured area, so your vehicle is always safe. The only downside is there is only one theater with this modern technology. Still, it is worth trying, even if the price of the IMAX movie viewing experience is quite steep.
If you wish to shop and watch movies with your family while in Port-of –Spain, Movie Towne is the place to be. It is Port-of-Spain’s largest shopping center, with unique shops, US brand fast foods, and excellent restaurants. The restaurants are quite expensive, but they also offer fast food options such as Burger King, Subway. Located in the Woodbrook area, it is an excellent choice for shopping and hanging out.
Another interesting feature of this place is its very striking façade, with its attractive use of colors and theme. This mall provides plenty of excellent options for entertainment while in Trinidad and Tobago. It has a huge food court, shops, a casino, cinema and a small park and game arcade designed for children. The cinema is more spacious and has enough leg room area to stretch and relax while watching a movie. Do not forget to visit the cinema and the Excellent Store where you will find a great variety of products and good prices.
Port-of-Spain is a city of great diversions. On one side, you can explore the crystal clear beaches, preserved Hindu temples, historic museums combined with an art gallery, safe promenade areas. On another, there is the thrilling IMAX movie experience in full surround system, modern and complete shopping complex, and recreational centers. Being the primary source of amusement and entertainment in Trinidad and Tobago, it has succeeded in its effort to provide wholesome fun and a variety of things to do and enjoy in almost every important corner of the city. If you are looking for a truly entertaining holiday in the Caribbean, do not hesitate to visit the Port-of-Spain in Trinidad and Tobago.