Travel planning: getting to Trinidad & Tobago

Photo by Derek Felix, courtesy Caribbean Airlines

Important info for planning your trip to Trinidad & Tobago

So you’re ready to plan your travel to Trinidad and Tobago. Whether you’re gearing up for a leisurely vacation, an eco adventure, or a business trip, here’s some information to get you started.

• How do I get to Trinidad & Tobago?

By air — airports, flying times, and airlines

Several major airlines make regular and chartered flights to Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport (code: POS) and Tobago’s ANR Robinson International Airport (code: TAB), and the Tourism Development Company (TDC) and Tobago House of Assembly are actively working to increase flights to both islands.

  • Airports
    • Trinidad: Piarco International Airport (27km/17 miles from Port of Spain)
    • Tobago: ANR Robinson International Airport (10km/7 miles from Scarborough)
  • Flying time
    • The direct flying time from London, UK to Port of Spain is about 9.5 hours; from New York City, USA is about 4.5 hours; and from Miami, Orlando or Ft Lauderdale in Florida, about 3.5 hours
  • Scheduled flights are operated by
    • Aeropostal, Air Canada Rouge, American Airlines, AVIANCA, Avior, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Condor, Conviasa, Copa, JetBlue, LIAT, Martinair (cargo only), Monarch (discontinued in April 2015 until further notice), Rutaca Airlines, Surinam Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines, United Airlines, Venezolana, Virgin Atlantic, WestJet. Others offer charter flights.

Cruise lines, yachts, and sail boats

Cruise lines

Several cruise lines visit Trinidad and Tobago, mostly out of Miami between November and April, including Carnival Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, Costa Cruises, Fred Olsen, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Holland America, MSC Cruises, MV Adriana, NYK Cruises, Oceania Cruises, P&O, Princess Cruise Lines, Regent, Seven Seas Cruise Lines, Saga Travel, Seabourn, Silver Whisper, Windstar, and World Odyssey.

Yachts & sail boats

With its well-serviced marinas and boatyards, Chaguaramas, Trinidad is the hub of yachting activity, with strings of maintenance and repair yards and marinas. There are no official anchorage sites in Tobago, but Mt Irvine Bay, Grafton Beach, Store Bay and Englishman’s Bay are popular locations. On the southeast coast, Anse Bateau is a good anchorage and fuelling point.

A cruise ship docks in Port of Spain. Courtesy Port Authority of Trinidad & Tobago

A cruise ship docks in Port of Spain. Courtesy Port Authority of Trinidad & Tobago

• What do I need to get in?

Entry requirements

  • A passport valid for three–six months beyond intended stay
  • Non-residents require documentation of return or onward travel and a valid local address
  • Visas are generally not required for visits up to 30 days. For business and leisure related visits of up to 90 days, visas are not required for citizens of the United States, Caricom countries (except Haiti), European Union states and countries in the British Commonwealth, except for: Australia, Cameroon, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda.
  • Visitors arriving in Trinidad and Tobago within five days of leaving an area with yellow fever must present a vaccination certificate.
  • For yacht arrivals, clearance certificate from last port of call and vessel’s registration certificate (or authorisation for use) required when checking in with Customs & Immigration at CrewsInn in Chaguaramas, Trinidad; or Scarborough or Charlotteville in Tobago.
  • For more information, visit the Immigration Division of Trinidad & Tobago.
The Ocean View Lounge at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad

The Ocean View Lounge at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad

• Where to stay?

There are a number of hotels, guesthouses, self-catering and bed & breakfast establishments in Trinidad & Tobago. Accommodation options range from major international hotel chains like the Hilton, Hyatt, Radisson, and Marriott, to small family-owned Bed & Breakfast establishments. The hardest times to get a room in Trinidad are over Carnival, and around the Jazz Festival in Tobago. For more, see our accommodation sections for Trinidad and for Tobago.

• What to pack?

  • Driving licence and passport: all U.S. citizens (including infants and children) need a valid passport to travel to and from Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean (excluding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). This policy also applies to foreign nationals of Canada, Bermuda and Mexico
  • Sunblock: Trinidad and Tobago are near the equator. You need to ensure that your skin is protected against the sun’s rays. Avoid going out in the middle of the day. The average daily high temperature is 31C (88F).
  • Insect repellent: particularly during the wet season (June–December)
  • Clothes: swimsuits, shorts, light t-shirts/vests, jeans, sun hat, shoes. Smart casual is the best way to dress. If visiting for business, pack a few short sleeved shirts/blouses and cool, lightweight slacks or skirts. If on vacation pack lots of shorts and t-shirts. Topless bathing is not encouraged on the beaches, and men should not go barebacked in public places.
  • Trainers/Sneakers: if you are planning to take a trip around the island or if you plan to visit the forest add a pair of lightweight, long trousers and long sleeved top
  • Toiletries: cosmetics & make-up, perfume/cologne, hair products, shower and/or shaving gel, deodorant, hand sanitizer. NB. Check your airline for any special regulations regarding toiletries and liquids in hand baggage
  • Carrying bag: for carrying your valuables around
  • Electrical adaptor or transformer (if applicable): Electricity in Trinidad and Tobago is 115 Volts, alternating at 60 cycles per second. If you travel to Trinidad and Tobago with a device that does not accept 115 Volts at 60 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter
  • Luggage: Remember to call the airline to find out about baggage weight restrictions.

Import & export allowances

At present, the import of local and foreign currency is unlimited, once it is declared upon arrival. Export of local currency cannot exceed TT$200, and foreign currency export cannot exceed the equivalent of TT$2,500 per year. The following items can be imported without incurring any customs duty, as long as the carrier is over 17 years old:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
  • 1.5 litres of wine or spirits in opened bottles
  • A “reasonable quantity” of perfume
  • Gifts up to the value of US$200.
Water lillies at Tobago Plantations. Photo by Chris Anderson

Water lillies at Tobago Plantations. Photo by Chris Anderson

• Responsible travel: how do I reduce my carbon footprint?

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but (non-carbon) footprints… Both climate change and globalisation can hit developing island nations particularly hard. Here’s what you can do to safeguard the islands’ natural and cultural treasures, and promote responsible travel and sustainable development:

  • Buy local: buy local CDs, books and DVDs from authorised retailers (not pirated copies); and purchase locally produced food and souvenirs (not any made from endangered species)
  • Fly carbon neutral: most airlines (including Caribbean Airlines) allow you to offset carbon dioxide emissions from your flight
  • Mind your gas (petrol): choose the smallest vehicle to suit your needs when renting (or buying) a car; drive within the speed limit; don’t let your car idle; keep your tires inflated; try to carpool; and when you can, walk or cycle
  • Recycle: Ace, iCare, Carib Glass, Piranha, Plastikeep, Recycling in Motion (RIM), and Solid Waste Management Company Ltd (SWMCOL) process plastic, glass, aluminium, paper, cardboard and electronics (e-waste); some sponsor receptacles around the islands or will collect your recyclables. The International School of Port of Spain also runs a recycling programme, as does the Boy Scouts Association (St. Ann’s)
  • Reduce: turn off electrical devices when you don’t need them; avoid plastic bags and styrofoam; buy and consume only what you need; reuse when you can.

• General tourist & visitor information for destination T&T

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