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Port of Spain

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Travel Guide Caribbean Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad Port of Spain

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Introduction

Port-of-Spain

Port-of-Spain

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Port of Spain is the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, on the island of Trinidad. The city serves primarily as a retail, administrative and financial services centre. It is also a major Caribbean shipping hub, exporting agricultural products and asphalt.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Downtown
  • Laventille and Gonzales
  • Belmont
  • North of downtown
  • Woodbrook
  • St. Clair
  • St. James and Mucurapo
  • Queen's Park Savannah

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Sights and Activities

  • International Waterfront Center, Wrightson Rd. A major skyscraper development designed to revitalise the city's waterfront with the Hyatt Regency Trinidad at its heart. This is the only section of Port of Spain's waterfront which is accessible to the public. edit
  • National Academy for Performing Arts (City side of the Savannah. Can't miss it.). Opened at the end of 2009, the construction of this building led to numerous allegations of corruption. The design is supposed to represent Trinidad's national flower but it has been much criticised as being out of keeping with the environment. "Copulating slugs" was perhaps one of the politer descriptions. edit
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Cotton Hill. Established in 1818, these are one of the oldest gardens in the Caribbean. 700 trees of which 13% are indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago.
  • The Queen's Park Savannah or, more usually, just the Savannah is a large park in the middle of the city. It has a circumference of 3.5 kilometres and is a popular spot around sunset for joggers and walkers. With one-way traffic circulating clockwise, it claims to be the world's largest roundabout or traffic circle.

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Events and Festivals

Trinidad Carnival

This annual Carnival celebration takes place in the Lenten season, 46 days before Easter. It originated as a costumed event among mostly African and French Creole plantation workers, and is similar to the carnivals held in Brazil. Calypso, soca, and steelpan music dominates, and musical competitions create excitement and intrigue. There are numerous cultural festivities in the days leading up to the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, when the culminating parades and dancers take to the streets.

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Weather

The climate is tropical, with mostly warm/hot and humid conditions and temperatures around 30 °C during the day and around or slightly above 20 °C. There are two seasons annually: the dry season for the first six months of the year, and the wet season in the second half of the year. Winds are predominantly from the northeast and are dominated by the northeast trade winds. Unlike most of the other Caribbean islands, Port of Spain's southern location means they are generally not within the hurricane zone, and rarely suffer from hurricane damage.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max31 °C31.5 °C32.3 °C33 °C33.1 °C31.5 °C31.3 °C31.7 °C32.2 °C32.2 °C31.5 °C31.1 °C
Avg Min20 °C20.2 °C20.7 °C22 °C23 °C23.3 °C23 °C23 °C23.1 °C22.6 °C22.3 °C21 °C
Rainfall42.9 mm39.8 mm16.9 mm27.7 mm67.5 mm155.6 mm193.6 mm244 mm190.5 mm143.3 mm210.5 mm75.7 mm
Rain Days1110661120211916151813

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Getting There

By Plane

Flights arrive at Port of Spain's Piarco International Airport (POS), 27 kilometres from Port of Spain. Operated by First Citizens Bank, Trinidad Piarco Airport is home to a single bank that comes complete with bureau de change services and ATM machines. Around 10 airlines serve Trinidad, with destinations being Caracas, Miami, San Juan, London, Saint Lucia, Antigua, Barbados, Fort Lauderdale, Georgetown (Guyana), Sint Maarten, Kingston, New York, Paramaribo, Toronto, Houston, Isla Margarita, Panama City, Atlanta, Curacao, Grenada and Saint Vincent.

By Bus

There is a coach from the airport at Piarco weekdays only and it costs 4 TT. The coach will drop you off at City Gate.

By Boat

Ferries run between the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, between Port of Spain, Trinidad and Scarborough, Tobago. Cost of the ferry is TT$ 50 one-way for the fast ferry and TT$37.50 for the conventional ferry. Fast ferry sailing time is under 2 hours. The conventional ferry takes 5 1/2 hours. Schedules change frequently, and can be found at the Port of Port-of-Spain website.

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Getting Around

A high-definition PDF map can be found by following this link

By Car

Taxis are expensive, with a minimum price for a journey within Port-of-Spain being US$10. There are no standard color coded markings for taxis in Port-of-Spain e.g. yellow taxis and by all appearance resembles private motor vehicles. However, all vehicles for hire will have an license plate starting with H instead and you should not be surprised if one stop by and ask if you want a ride. Remember to check if it is a taxi!

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Eat

Western Main Highway at St James is a popular night spot with a long stretch of bars and eateries. There are also many food stalls selling Rotis, Doubles, and other local delicacies. A local flour and chick peas delicacy called Doubles (available all over the island, even just outside the airport). There are several stalls on Independence Square can get these for 5TT each - make sure to get their early though as they tend to sell out pretty quickly. American fast food chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Burger King (try the totally local fast food chain Royal Castle).

Ariapita Avenue, in the Woodbrook neighborhood of Port-of-Spain, is a popular dining and nightlife area with a good selection of mid-range restaurants.

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Drink

Beer is a little expensive, priced around 9 TT (1.5 USD) at grocery stores and 15 TT (2.5 USD) at restaurants for a 275mL bottle. The local brew consist of Carib and Stag (lager). Rum is widely available and the local distiller Angostura is among one of the top producers in the region with its Royal Oak line.

For non-alcoholic drinks, Trinidians in general favor a sweeter flavor.

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Work

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Learn

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet and e-mail is available in lots of inexpensive cybercafes around the island, and most hotels have access and will charge you a small fee for use, usually a few TT for an hour.

Wi-Fi access is available in a few places such as Piarco airport, Movie Towne and select hotels and restaurants. It is free of charge right now but this is subject to change. EVDO and EDGE broadband access are also available, but may require contracts and a service commitment. Some hotels and guest houses provide free high speed internet. Always inquire if you don't see it listed on their web site, as it may have been added recently.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Trinidad's international area code is 868 under the North American Numbering Plan. From the U.S. and Canada, it's no different than calling other states and provinces (1+868), but costs more.

Trinidad and Tobago currently has two active operating mobile telephone carriers - bmobile and Digicel. They both operate under the GSM standard, with bmobile using the 1800MHz frequency band, and Digicel using the 850MHz and 1900MHz frequency bands. There are roaming agreements with GSM carriers such as AT&T (ex Cingular) in the US, however the cost to roam may be prohibitive and calling within Trinidad may incur international toll charges. One can purchase a prepaid SIM card and GSM phone from Digicel or bmobile stores for as little as TT$100 and use that card in an unlocked GSM phone for the duration of their stay. You can also purchase a phone with SIM for that price. CDMA (Verizon) phones will work in Trinidad and Tobago. They will appear to be active due to TSTT's EVDO data only network, but you can make or receive calls on the CDMA network.

There are payphones around the island which use pre-paid cards available from most shops and supermarkets. If you are lucky enough to find a working payphone, you can use either 25 cent coins or calling cards with an 800 number to access them.

Post

The postal service is run by the Trinidad and Tobago Postal Corporation, TTPost. Postal rates are available on the TTPost website. Post offices are located close to the center of town in many places with red drop-off boxes in some places. Thanks to restructuring of the postal service, TTPost has become comparable to the postal service in many developed countries and is generally reliable.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 10.659567
  • Longitude: -61.478912

Accommodation in Port of Spain

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Port of Spain searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Port of Spain and areas nearby.

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This is version 21. Last edited at 8:49 on Aug 2, 17 by Utrecht. 22 articles link to this page.

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