The oil-rich twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago are the southernmost island in the Caribbean. The smaller Tobago island is more beautiful, safe, and worthy of spending time on than the bigger Trinidad island. So, if you are short on time, just visit Tobago island. There are 30 USD one-way flights between Trinidad’s POS airport to Tobago’s TAB airport.

Day 1 – Port of Spain

Stroll through Queen’s Park area, checking out places like Stollmeyer’s Castle, Free Botanical Garden, 30 TTD Zoo, and Ariapita avenue.

Stollmeyer's Castle
Stollmeyer’s Castle
Trinidad Zoo
Trinidad Zoo
Trinidad Zoo
Trinidad Zoo
Trinidad Zoo
Trinidad Zoo
Trinidad Zoo
Trinidad Zoo
Chinatown
Chinatown

If you go during the carnival season, then you can see drum practice at Invader’s Panyard and Phase 2 Steel Orchestra.

Day 2 – Ecological tour

The guided tour started with a stop at Fort George. You can book it here.

View from Fort George
View from Fort George

Then it continued to Maracas Beach on the North side of the island. We wasted ~30 mins here ordering food at one of the most popular restaurants here. I had a vegetarian bake here. Those in our group who tried the famous “Bake and Shark” told me that it was not worth the long wait either. And we couldn’t get a chance to swim on the beach because of this delay.

Maracas Lookout
Maracas Lookout
Maracas Beach
Maracas Beach

Then we visited the Caroni Bird sanctuary for an evening 4 PM tour. We got to see the Scarlet Ibis, the national bird of T&T. The tour lasts ~2.5 hours. And one gets to see a lot of native animals & birds of Trinidad and Tobago.

Small crabs spotted in Caroni Swamps
Small crabs spotted in Caroni Swamps
Scarlet Ibis
Scarlet Ibis (each red dot is a single Scarlet Ibis)

Day 3 – Waterfall tour

I did a guided waterfall tour with Nicholas Walker. He is an extremely knowledgeable but eccentric guide. The tour was from 7 AM to 4 PM. Do come with your bathing suit, ready to take a dip in the water pools.

Our first stop was Blue Basin Waterfall in the Diego Martin region. It is a gorgeous waterfall, but nothing compared to follow-on stops. In the hindsight, skipping it would have been fine.

Blue Basic Waterfall
Blue Basic Waterfall

Our second stop was Avocat Waterfall. It is one of the most gorgeous waterfalls that I have ever seen. Getting here is not easy. One has to drive on an unpaved road for ~3 Km. And then hike for ~20 mins. The hike involves crossing the river multiple times, so, wear water shoes.

Our third stop was Three Pools Waterfall. Getting to the first pool is easy here. However, the second and the third are a bit tricky to get to as it requires walking on the side of a cliff while holding a cable. The views at the end are worth it.

First of the Three Pools
First of the Three Pools
Second of the Three Pools
Second of the Three Pools
Third of the Three Pools
Third of the Three Pools

Our final stop of the day was Yarra beach. It wasn’t radically different from the Maracas beach. And after multiple freshwater pools, I had no desire to take a dip in the ocean’s salt water.

The gorgeous drive of Blachisseuse
The gorgeous drive of Blachisseuse

In the evening, I took the last flight from POS airport to TAB airport on Tobago island. The flight is only 20 mins long and usually leaves earlier than scheduled. The flight costs about 200 TTD one-way. Alternatively, one can take the ferry for 75 TTD one-way.

Day 4 – Nylon Pool and Argyle Falls

I started the day by doing a 4-hour cruise to the world-famous Nylon Pool and Buccoo Reef. The tour departs at 11 AM and 2 PM daily. Do not book this tour in advance. You will save money by directly going to Store Bay Beach. And booking directly for 150 TTD. The tour on any website online costs 3-6 times more!

Views from the day cruise
Views from the day cruise

The first stop is Buccoo Reef. Do note that due to COVID-19, the boat no longer provides snorkel masks and one is expected to carry one’s own!

Bucco Reef as seen from the glass bottom boat
Bucco Reef as seen from the glass bottom boat

The second stop is Nylon Pool.

The famous Nylon Pool of Tobago
The famous Nylon Pool of Tobago

And the final stop is No Man’s Land. While they do have food to buy here, there wasn’t much in terms of vegetarian options.

No man's Land
No man’s Land

After the cruise, I took a 2 TTD bus from Crowne Point to Scarborough and then a 12 TTD shared taxi to Argyle Waterfalls. The falls close at 5 PM. And I reached the entrance at around 4:20 PM. It takes ~15 mins to walk to the falls. But it is worth it. Do note that there is a 60 TTD entrance fee for this waterfall. This waterfall is the most accessible of all the waterfalls that I visited.

Argyle Falls
Argyle Falls
The fearless fish of Argyle Falls
The fearless fish of Argyle Falls

Day 5 – Highland Falls

I started the day with Highland Waterfalls. To get there take a 10 TTD shared taxi from Crowne Point to Scarborough and then an 8 TTD shared taxi to Les Coatue Health center. Highland Waterfalls is a tricky hike. One has to just walk upstream along the river. I would recommend downloading offline directions with the Maps.me app in advance.

Highland Falls
Highland Falls

Afterward, I visited Pigeon Point Beach. It is a gorgeous beach with several water sports activities.

Pigeon Point Beach
Pigeon Point Beach

Food to try

As a vegetarian, I don’t get enough distinct food choices that I would make this section for every country that I visit. However, Trinidad and Tobago is one of those places that indeed has a great set of local vegetarian food options.

  1. Double – For 6 TTD, one can try Trini’s variation on Indian Chana-bhatura called “double”. This is usually only available during breakfast hours.

    Trinidad doubles
    Trinidad doubles
  2. Aloo Pie (Potato pie) – Another Indian cuisine-inspired dish that’s a staple of Trinidad food
  3. Snow cones – Try snow cones for 10 TTD

    Snow cone
    Snow cone
  4. Angostura Bitters drink

    Angostura Bitters
    Angostura Bitters
  5. Sorrel drink

    Sorrel drink
    Sorrel drink

Things I didn’t do

  1. Santa Cruz Food market – this is open only on Sunday mornings, 7 AM-noon.
  2. Rincon Pool – It is 1.5 hours to 2 hours one-way hike. I ended up prioritizing other pools over this one.
  3. Mud Volcano – It seems to require a full-day commitment to getting to.
  4. Gasparee Caves – I have seen some of the best caves in Belize and Puerto Rico, so, this was not high on my priority list.

Note:

  1. One can get from the airport to the city of Port of Spain via an hourly bus that costs 4 TTD. It takes you to the South Quay stop in the city that’s still a bit far from the more fancy Queen’s Park area, and you can use TTRideShare/Taxi for the last leg of the journey. The bus does not run on the weekend, and one has to use MaxiTaxis at that time. The MaxiTaxi requires one change and would cost about 8+10 TTD.
  2. Use Republic Bank’s ATM for fee-free transactions.
  3. Do not trust public bus schedules. Even the schedules listed here are not guaranteed to be active!
  4. Trinidad and Tobago is a great place for vegetarians to travel to. Due to the strong East Indian influence, there are amazing vegetarian food choices available at the corner of every street. Try Aloo Pie and Double.
  5. If you are driving then don’t go directly from Arima to Blanchisseuse as the road is terrible. Take the longer but safer route that gives via Port of Spain and Maravel.