TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Coat of Arms
President Anthony Carmona
»Port of Spain
»Trinidadian, Tobagonian, Trinbagonian
»Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
»5,131 km2 (171st)
» Per capita -$31,264 (39th)
» Per capita -$21,933
»Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TTD)
»Eastern Caribbean (UTC-4)
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a twin-island country of the northern edge of South America, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles.
Usually considered part of the Caribbean, it shares maritime boundaries with other nations including Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west. The country covers an area of 5,128 square kilometres (1,980 sq mi) and consists of two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, with numerous smaller landforms.
The two main islands are divided into nine regions, and one ward. Sangre Grande is the largest of the country’s nine regions, comprising about 18% of the total area and 10% of the total population of the country. The nation lies outside of the hurricane belt.
The island of Trinidad was a Spanish colony from the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498 to the capitulation of the Spanish Governor, Don José Maria Chacón, on the arrival of a British fleet of 18 warships on 18 February 1797.
During the same period, the island of Tobago changed hands among Spanish, British, French, Dutch and Courlander colonizers. Trinidad and Tobago (remaining separate until 1889) were ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens.
The country Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence in 1962, becoming a republic in 1976.
Trinidad and Tobago are known for its Carnival and is the birthplace of steelpan, limbo, and the music styles of calypso, soca and chutney.
Trinidad and Tobago is one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the Caribbean and is listed in the top 40 (2010 information) of the 70 High-Income countries in the world. Its GDP per capita of USD $20,300 (2011) is one of the highest in the Caribbean.
In November 2011, the OECD removed Trinidad and Tobago from its list of Developing Countries. Trinidad’s economy is strongly influenced by the petroleum industry. Tourism and manufacturing are also important to the local economy.
Tourism is a growing sector, although not as proportionately important as in many other Caribbean islands. Agricultural products include citrus and cocoa.
Recent growth has been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG), petrochemicals, and steel. Additional petrochemical, aluminum, and plastics projects are in various stages of planning. Trinidad and Tobago is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas, and its economy is heavily dependent upon these resources but it also supplies manufactured goods, notably food, beverages, and cement, to the Caribbean region.
Graphical depiction of Trinidad and Tobago’s product exports in 28 colour coded categories.
Oil and gas account for about 40% of GDP and 80% of exports, but only 5% of employment.
The country is also a regional financial center, and the economy has a growing trade surplus. The expansion of Atlantic LNG over the past six years created the largest single sustained phase of economic growth in Trinidad and Tobago. It has become the leading exporter of LNG to the United States, and now supplies some 70% of U.S. LNG imports.
Trinidad and Tobago has transitioned from an oil-based economy to a natural gas based economy. In 2007, natural gas production averaged 4 billion cubic feet per day (110,000,000 m3/d), compared with 3.2×106 cu ft/d (91,000 m3/d) in 2005.
In December 2005, the Atlantic LNG’s fourth production module or “train” for liquefied natural gas (LNG) began production. Train 4 has increased Atlantic LNG’s overall output capacity by almost 50% and is the largest LNG train in the world at 5.2 million tons/year of LNG.
Trinidad and Tobago is ranked 68 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of -0.00689059
Top 5 Products exported byTrinidad and Tobago
- Petroleum Gas (41%),
- Ammonia (19%),
- Refined Petroleum (14%),
- Iron Reductions (8.0%),
- Nitrogenous Fertilizers (4.8%)
Top 5 Export destinations of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago are an exercise in beautiful contradiction. In Trinidad, pristine mangrove swamps and rain forested hills sit side by side with smoke-belching oil refineries and ugly industrial estates.
Tobago has everything you’d expect from a Caribbean island, with palm trees and white sand aplenty, yet it’s relatively unchanged by the tourism industry.
Combined, this twin-island republic offers unparalleled bird-watching, first-class diving, luxuriant rainforests prime for hiking, waterfall swimming and cycling, and electric nightlife, with the fabulous Carnival easily the biggest and best of the region’s annual blowouts.
- Asa Wright Nature Center is a birdwatching center of the world. There are cottages to stay in, but one doesn’t need to be an overnight guest to visit. Knowledgeable guides will lead you through this former cocoa plantation, pointing out interesting species of birds, lizards, and other animals that you may encounter on the way.
- Overview of Maracas Bay
Carnival celebrations – Steelpan, soca music, calypso, all birthed in T&T is celebrated in the festival of Carnival occurring on the two days just before the Catholic season of Lent.
- Caroni Bird Sanctuary – Afternoon tour usually and starts around 4pm. Call any of the tour operators to reserve a spot in the boats that traverse the Caroni Swamp to get a breathtaking view of the national birds in flight at sunset.
- Mount Saint Benedict is a Catholic monastery located high in the Northern Range, near the village of Arima. Visitors are warmly welcomed.
- Nature trails – small waterfalls & streams for bathing
- Pitch Lake In La Brea, South Trinidad. There is a beach nearby, so this can be a dual tour/sea bathing outing.
- Toco/Matelot/Grand Riviere – superb scenery, some beaches, leatherbacks which come up every night to lay their eggs during esting season.