The island of Trinidad is quite different from its neighbors in the southern Caribbean. The island, about the size of Delaware, is an industrialized nation with an economy that rests securely on oil and natural gas production. Cruise ships dock in Trinidad’s capital, Port of Spain, a regional center of business and finance complete with skyscrapers.
Venture into and beyond Port of Spain, and you can find the cultural mix and historic attractions that make Trinidad a fascinating cruise destination. Start with a short ride from the dock to the Queen’s Park Savannah, a lovely park ringed by the “Magnificent Seven,” a collection of historic mansions; the Royal Botanical Garden, with an amazing collection of exotic plants; and the Emperor Valley Zoo, with everything from toucans to tortoises.
Trinidad is a bird-lover’s paradise, with more than 400 species. The Asa Wright Nature Center, a former plantation, is now a rainforest enclave that is home to toucans, cuckoos and parrots as well as an array of butterflies and reptiles. For the chance to see a scarlet ibis, as well as caimans and anteaters, visit the Caroni Bird Swamp.
Trinidad’s sister island of Tobago is known for its serene beaches, but getting there from Trinidad requires a five-hour round-trip ferry ride, which does not accommodate the schedule of most cruise ship calls. However, Trinidad’s Maracas Bay, an hour’s drive from Port of Spain, has a gorgeous, sandy beach lined with palm trees. For lunch, try a Bake ‘n’ Shark: a fry bread sandwich with grilled pieces of shark.
Still, you may want to spend your time on Trinidad enjoying the urban vibe of Port of Spain, with its incredible cultural diversity. Around the Queen’s Park Savannah, in the malls along Frederick Street or on Ariapita Street’s Restaurant Row, you’ll find a terrific mix of restaurants featuring authentic Trinidadian, Indian, Creole and Chinese food.
For a true souvenir of Trinidad, pick up a bottle of Angostura Bitters, which is distilled on the island from a very secret recipe of alcohol, herbs and spices.
To reserve your spot on a southern Caribbean cruise that calls on Trinidad, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.