Close your eyes and picture yourself standing on a spacious veranda overlooking the cool, crystal blue Caribbean Sea. Imagine absorbing the tranquil ambiance and natural scenery surrounding you while safe and secure in the warm embrace of your new partner for life.
The sounds of local birds and ocean waves provide the melody for your new life. Together you exhale as you breathe in the sweet fragrance of nature as it should be. Your senses tingle as your stomach growls from the smell of a delectable traditional island breakfast wafting through the air. “This has got to be heaven,” you whisper as you accept your morning kiss.
A wonderful fantasy? It doesn’t have to be. After all, you’ve planned every detail of your wedding and now it’s time to focus in on your honeymoon. So, if the above scenario has you wanting to go now, then book the next flight to the twin island nation known as the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, where a tropical island paradise awaits to romance you.
Mutually, these two islands boast lush green landscapes, as well as a wealth of history, culture and tradition. Individually, you can plan out your lazy days and fun-filled nights since their uniquely different personalities are quite evident. One island brochure quaintly states, “Trinidad bustles. Tobago takes its time. Trinidad shouts. Tobago whispers. Trinidad is cosmopolitan. Tobago is an unspoiled, quietly proud Eden.”
As vibrant and enterprising as Tobago is laid-back, Trinidad (located seven miles from the coast of Venezuela) is a study of music, color, commerce and culture. The diverse population, including Africans, Spaniards, Chinese, Indians and Arabians, is cleverly assimilated in the eclectic mannerisms native to Trinidadians.
Calypso lays its claim to Trinidad as its birthplace. The first steel band was created more than 50 years ago in the island’s capital city, Port of Spain, and is the one instrument that fuels the Calypso beat; it has given root to the popular sound that creates the winter festival known as Carnival. Many countries have their version of this celebration, but the original (and some would argue the best) Carnival can be found in Port of Spain during the month of February. It climaxes the two days before Ash Wednesday.
Carnival is only one of the many attractions Trinidad covets. Guests to the island can visit the many historical and cultural spots that abound. Among them are the Magnificent Seven Mansions adjacent to the Queen’s Park Savannah, which provide a testament to the vast wealth and economic strength that existed on the island by the turn-of-the-century.
Outside the capital, the island’s bountiful countryside is filled with vast forest preserves and marshland. You can visit the tallest Hanuman Murti statue outside of India, standing at 85 feet, or see the nesting leatherback turtles from March to September at Grande Riviere Beach. The Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge, a 700-acre former plantation, draws birdwatchers with its oilbirds, the only living species of nocturnal fruit-eating birds; while at the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, boat tours bring visitors within viewing distance of the rare scarlet ibis, which is best spotted at sunset.
Like the other islands that make up the Caribbean, Trinidad (as well as Tobago) will whet your appetite and feed your soul with the best of island cuisine. A variety of local dishes can be found at an array of hotels and restaurants.
With a culture-filled soul and a satisfied belly, enjoy the heart of Trinidad — its music, shopping and spacious parks. A shopper’s paradise, you can buy the finest jewelry, fashions, arts and crafts, and spirits to remind you of your visit.
Tobago’s soft beaches and alluring coves have enticed yachtsmen to throw in their anchors since Christopher Columbus dropped the first anchor some 500 years ago. Famous for its simplistic beauty, one can enjoy the traffic-less, crowd-less sounds of the island.
Amazingly, the energetic calypso beat renowned in Trinidad fades into the rhythm of the sea and gentle winds of Tobago. Located 28 miles off the coast of Venezuela, the simple, unspoiled character of the island is its trademark. Tourists can enjoy this island paradise with their choice of either close-to-nature accommodations or upscale top-shelf amenities and service.
The quieter of the two islands, Tobago is an eco-tourist’s heaven and a diver and snorkeler’s dream. Boasting some of the best diving spots around, a collage of exciting sights awaits the daring diver. An underwater production is staged by the various marine life, with a sunken ship and outstanding coral reefs as their props.
This lush, volcanic island is a mere 116 square miles and is nestled happily outside of the hurricane path. The flora and fauna that flourish is vastly different than any other Caribbean paradise. It is the perfect location for the golf enthusiast, with one of the top 15 PGA-rated golf courses located in the Caribbean. The challenges of the fairways are a club and flag away.
The traveling eco-tourists can find their heaven on earth in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago. The southernmost link in the Antillean chain, Trinidad and Tobago share their ecological origins with continental Latin America. Inhabited by 430 different species of birds, 620 species of butterflies and at least 2,300 differing flowering shrubs and plants (not to mention 700 kinds of orchids), the flora and fauna of the islands are unmatched. Ranked among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of the number of species of birds per square mile, the birds also share their space with 100 different mammals and 70 different reptiles.
Tobago maintains the most ecologically conscious atmosphere to date. By 1964, the rain forests of the main ridge became a protected reserve-the first in the Western hemisphere. Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool, the grounds of the Arnos Vale Hotel, the Grafton Caledonia Wildlife Sanctuary, the Adventure Farm and Nature Reserve, the Botanical Gardens in Scarborough, the wetlands of Bon Accord Lagoon and the offshore islands of Little Tobago and St. Giles are just a few spots to view the natural inhabitants of the island.
Whether you visit the islands as an eco-tourist or as a newlywed, you are sure to create the ultimate memory of a lifetime. A choice for your honeymoon respite or host of your wedding day plans, the joy of weddings is second nature to these twin islands. If a traditional “old-fashioned Tobago wedding” is on your list, stovepipe hats, waistcoats and tails await your arrival.
From your “I do’s” to your “goodnight,” Trinidad and Tobago offer it all. The many hotels that populate the islands offer great packages, as well as lush surroundings for you to hold your ceremony or your after glow. Local restaurants and other establishments take pleasure in respecting and helping you realize your wedding dreams.
Flamboyant or not, the possibilities to create the day of your dreams are a planning session away. You can tie the knot amid the famous old-time wedding statues at the historical Fort King George or opt for the scenic shadow of a giant waterwheel, in a designer restaurant nestled in the forest.
Better yet, simply say “I do” on the beach where the blue Caribbean waters lap at your feet and the almond trees provide a cool canopy. Or be daring and seal your commitment in an underwater ceremony. It’s guaranteed that anything you dream can be made a reality as you soak up the romance on Trinidad and Tobago.
Once you’ve jumped the broom, take the time to experience the islands. Make one of your stops Pigeon Point, where you can spend lazy days on one of the most idyllic beaches in the Caribbean. For a more intimate rendezvous, travel the north coast where you’ll find coves that offer undisturbed perfection.
Brush the sand off and head out for a snorkeling and scuba diving adventure. Sea creatures like angelfish, parrotfish, triggerfish, butterfly fish and grunts beg you to join their dance. Visit Buccoo Reef, King’s Bay, Man-O-War Bay and more for a scenic below and above wonderland straight out of the movies.
No matter what you choose to do, your wedding or honeymoon on the twin sister islands of Trinidad and Tobago will be full of romance and recreation. From cozy bungalows to surf-filled days, plan a memorable trip.
Entry Requirements A passport valid for three months longer than your stay and a return ticket is required for entry. Depending on your country of origin, an entry visa may also be necessary.
Language English is the official language. However, many natives speak Creole.
Getting There Airline options include national carrier Caribbean Airlines, which flies from North America, South America, the Caribbean and Europe. Caribbean Airlines exclusively operates the air bridge, connecting Trinidad and Tobago with daily 20-minute flights. Airlines with direct flights to Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport include Aeropostal, American Airlines, Avior, Continental, Conviasa, JetBlue, Lait Star, Polamar, Suriname Airways and WestJet. Airlines with direct flights to Tobago’s Crown Point International Airport include British Airways, Condor, Liat Star, Martin Air and Monarch.
Getting Around Town Cars, mopeds and motorcycles are available for rent in Port of Spain and Scarbourough. Official taxis have a registration “H” on the license plate, while private vehicles have a “P.” Note: Between 10pm and 6am there’s a 50% surcharge on Trinidad’s regular taxis. Inter-island travel can be done by ferry via the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. The express ferry takes about 2.5 hours while the car ferry takes about 6 hours.
Things to do in Trinidad
Hiking: Gasparee Caves, Maracas Bay, Las Cuevas, Paria Waterfall & Bay, Maracas Waterfall
History and Culture: Mount St. Benedict, Lopinot Complex, El Dorado Shiv Mandir, Point Lisas Industrial Estate, Water Wheel & Eco Sanctuary, Chaguaramas Military History and Aerospace Museum, Jinnah Mosque, Caroni Sugar Estate and Factory
Nature and Wildlife: Asa Wright Nature Centre, Cleaver Woods, Aripo Cave, Caroni Bird Sanctuary, Manzanilla Beach, Pointe-à-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust, Devil’s Woodyard, Pitch Lake, La Vega Garden Center, Caroni-Arena Reservoir, River Estate Museum
Things to do in Tobago
Culture and History: Fort King George, Fort Bennet, Courland Monument, Mystery Tomb, Fort Campbellton, Richmond Great House, Fort Granby,
Nature and Wildlife: Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool, Witch’s Grave, Tobago Forest Reserve, Pirate’s Bay, Flagstaff Hill, Louis d’or Nurseries, Botanical Gardens, Grafton Estate
Hiking: Argyle Waterfall, Rainbow Falls, Adventure Farm and Nature Reserve, Tobago Forest Reserve