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Trinidad at non-Carnival time - mistake?

Ellicott City...
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Trinidad at non-Carnival time - mistake?

I booked this trip because Trinidad is a Caribbean island that I haven't been to before. I have no interest in Carnival, that's not my scene. I assumed (I know, I shouldn't have!) that it would have nice beaches and the usual tourist stuff. Now I'm reading more and more that I was wrong. I love the beach, tropical scenery, and wildlife (preferably monkeys rather than birds and butterflies). So, how can I make the most of this 5 day trip?

We'll be staying at the Hilton in Port of Spain, and I'd prefer not to try to remember to drive on the other side of the road. Are there organized tours, like those for cruise passengers, that would include a few hours at the beach?

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: Trinidad at non-Carnival time - mistake?

Someone recently, like in the last week, asked about a tour to Maracas Bay, the beach that most tourists go to. Look at previous topics ... there aren't that many that are recent.

The place with the better beaches is the sister island of Tobago. You can take the ferry from the port (about two plus hours - you might get seasick) or fly to Tobago (a 20 minute flight and not that expensive). Ask the front desk at the Hilton about getting to Tobago. If you go by plane you can actually walk from the airport (5min) to one of the many popular beaches - the Store Bay beach.

Trinidad itself has its fair share of wildlife treks. Visit the Asa Wright Sanctury - you should see some monkeys in addition to birds. Again ask the front desk about it.

Edited: 14 January 2013, 02:33
Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Trinidad at non-Carnival time - mistake?

Can you cancel your Hilton reservation and just spend the time in Tobago? Sounds like it might fit better. It might not be Trinidad that was the mistake, maybe it is were you are staying. You can stay right at Asa Wright, there are other lodges that are more nature oriented as well. Someone I know stayed at Hacienda Jacana and loved it.

Or do as suggested, and do day trips.

Trinidad
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3. Re: Trinidad at non-Carnival time - mistake?

I haven't seen monkeys around. Heard them couple times in forest but never saw them.

Not everyone is into Carnival. Many people from Trinidad head over to Tobago for Carnival long weekend.

Is it for Carnival week you would be here?

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Trinidad at non-Carnival time - mistake?

It is a pity that you have made the same mistake that many foreigners do. The islands in the Caribbean have different economies, different lifestyles, etc., and Trinidad is certainly not a true tourist island in the sense of tourism. I can say this from my tourist experience. As someone mentioned, you should take a few arranged tours in Trinidad. Driving by yourself will not familiarize you with all that you should see and the areas that you should travel through and the driving is not as safe as it is in North America. Maybe two days in Trinidad and three days in Tobago will be your best bet. It is very cheap to go over to Tobago. $16vs.$48. If you can change plans at the Hilton, head to Tobago. You can do some research on Tobago before you leave home and read some of the reviews on the hotels there. Barbados has a monkey problem. They are everywhere on the island. You will even see them on the grounds of some of the hotels. There are lots of organized tours now in Trinidad and Tobago. If you check some of the other forums, you will see some of the recommended tour companies.

Edited: 15 January 2013, 16:20
Willemstad, Curacao
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5. Re: Trinidad at non-Carnival time - mistake?

Go some days to Tobago if you can arrange that.

Otherwise you may take some trips to Maracas, Toco (for beach) or Scotland Bay , Caroni Swamp, Pitch lake. Visit Mt Asa center and monastry st benedict. You can do a few hikes. Wander around POS. If you do everything relaxed than you can spend your days very easily in Trinidad.

6. Re: Trinidad at non-Carnival time - mistake?

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