Things to do in Trinidad and Tobago

Attractions in Trinidad and Tobago are as abundant and rich as its oil reserves and much more pristine. Many choose to get lost in the decadence of Carnival or Port of Spain's nightlife, while others marvel at the island's natural wonders. These include the Gasparee and Aripo cave systems, full of stalagmites and stalactites; the Hollis Reservoir; and the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, which is a treasure trove for bird watchers.

Maracas Bay is the island's most celebrated beach, but the competition is fierce. Port of Spain is home to some charming colonial architecture. Perhaps the most notable building is The Mount St Benedict Monastery, established in 1912, said to be the oldest and largest monastery in the Caribbean.

A ferry connection to the smaller, more relaxed Tobago opens up a host of beach and water attractions. Tobago is less developed and crowded than Trinidad and the place to go for peace and natural beauty. The most spectacular beach on Tobago is widely acknowledged to be Pigeon Point, but there are many other beautiful places, including Campbellton Bay, Englishman's Bay, Bacolet Bay, and Castara Bay.

Off the east coast of Tobago, across from Speyside, the uninhabited, bird sanctuary island, Little Tobago, beckons travellers with popular activities in and around the island, including hiking, snorkelling, and glass-bottomed boating.

Away from the glorious beaches, the best place to explore Tobago's rainforest is Main Ridge Forest Reserve, said to be the oldest protected forest in the western hemisphere and home to more than half of the island's prodigious birdlife.

Those wanting a touch of culture during a Tobago holiday can visit Fort King George and the nearby Tobago Museum. Between rainy and dry seasons, October to December and April to June, are the best times for a holiday in Trinidad and Tobago, allowing travellers to avoid crowds and rain.