Trinidad Travel Guide, Gap Year Volunteering and Tours
Trinidad and Tobago are vibrant destinations to visit, there is a rich culture, friendly locals, spectacular scenery, rainforest and also stunning beaches. These islands are spectacular and a great eco tourism destination - thousands of people take vacations here every year and there is something for everyone, families and solo travelers.
Things to Do, Travel Packages & Holidays in Trinidad
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Trinidad & Tobago Travel Guide
- Capital: Scarborough
- Population: 50,000 (estimate)
- Country Size: 300km2
- Language: English and Tobagonian Creole
- Currency: Trinidad and Tobago Dollars (TTD)
Lots of major international airlines fly to Tobago including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Monarch. You can also cross from Trinidad or visit the country via a cruise.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Trinidad and Tobago benefits from a warm sunny climate all year round due to is Caribbean location. Average temperatures are around 30⁰C (84-86⁰F)Tobago has two annual seasons; wet season (July-November) and dry season (December-June) and lies outside of the hurricane belt. Expect warm weather all year round. The yearly average temperature is around 28 - 30 degrees.
Best Things to Do in Trinidad & Tobago
Most people think of Tobago as a luxury travel destination, but there are so many activities available like volunteering on community and conservation projects. You can go snorkelling, scuba diving, visit beautiful white sandy beaches beaches, join a horse trail, go trekking in nature tails, go mountain biking, bird watching, whale watching excursions, kayaking, explore rainforest or just kick back and relax at one of the many resorts.
There is a lot more to this island than just beaches and scenery too, we highly recommend exploring villages like Castara, Charlotteville and Scarborough. Tobago is much more relaxed and tranquil compared to Trinidad and you will get a really authentic experience due to the lower tourism numbers compared to other countries in the region.
You can easily navigate this island by public bus, taxi or even hiring a car.
Top Reasons to Visit Trinidad & Tobago
Let’s take a look at why should consider visiting.
Tropical Paradise & Friendly People
Trinidad and Tobago really is what most people picture as paradise… blue water, blue skies and golden beaches situated in front of the thick green tropical forest. Local people are famous for their hospitality and you will find everyone you meet very welcoming. This is also an English speaking country which can make visiting easier.
Trinidad and Tobago is very developed and you can find all the things you would find in a normal destination e.g. libraries, police stations and medical centres. If you have any medical emergencies you will be taken to the main hospital in Scarborough which has modern facilities. Most places, even outside the large resorts are well equipped with bars, restaurants and free wifi.
Good Value Accommodation
You can find cheap budget bed and breakfasts right up to luxury hotels. You will also get much better value for money here compared to nearby destinations like the British Virgin Islands and Barbados.
So Many Places to Go
Although Trinidad and Tobago might look small on a map there are lots of places you might want to add to your itinerary and also ways to experience the local way of life.
When you think of Tobago, you might think about a Caribbean culture and beaches. But there is more to this country and there are options for all budgets and interests, from luxury beach holidays to more independent packages. Attractions on the island aren’t as famous as other destinations in the region but you can lots of exciting activities and adventures available e.g. hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, swimming (incredible during a tropical rain shower ) or simply sunbathing.
If you book a package holiday or tour daily adventures can include visiting idyllic beaches, waterfalls, and hidden jungle pools and jungle treks. Taking a trip to the neighboring islands of Little Tobago and St Giles is worthwhile. Another special place for tourists is the ‘nylon pools’ which is a famous long expanse of shallow reefs, white sands and turquoise waters.
Guide to Volunteering in Trinidad & Tobago
Despite the islands small size on a map, you will be surpised by how much you can do here and there are so many worthwhile ways to spend a holiday like volunteering to help the environment, communities, nature and wildlife. Large international organisations like Habitat for Humanity have been working on the ground in this country for a number of years helping disadvantaged people by improving housing and infrastructure. Despite being a wealthy nation, not all the money is distributed evenly and an estimated 20% of the population live below the poverty line or in inadequte conditions. There is also a need for people to work to help animals like exotic birds and sea turtle conservation. You might also like to view more opportunities to volunteer in the Caribbean.
How You Can Help
There are lots of projects open to international participants including:
Conservation Volunteer Projects in Trinidad & Tobago
Tobago is blessed with incredible natural beauty and there is a stunning unspoilt rainforest which has been a protected area since 1776. The ocean around Tobago is very clean and crystal clear, you will get to see tropical fish like made famous in the film finding nemo, sharks and manta rays and also sea turtles. Due to increasing tourism and human activity there is an ever present need to help protect both land and sea areas for wildlife like sea turtles who lay their eggs on the coastal regions.
There is a need for people to help with rainforest and wildlife conservation efforts in Trinidad, this is a spectacular country with beautiful nature and there are various protected areas in the country. If you are looking for a unique experience where you can work alongside local people protecting the rainforest and helping biodiversity then these placements will appeal to you. One example organisation is the Asa Wright Nature Centre located in the spectacular Arima Valley, they recruit international participants around the year to help with tasks like looking after exotic birds, gardening, restoring trails, giving educational talks and keeping the local environment clean.
Volunteer with Animals in Trinidad & Tobago
Another popular program is to help giant sea turtles. International and local organisations are working to research and help protect leatherback sea turtles and make sure they have safe locations to nest their eggs. Some projects are located on Trinidad's Matura Beach area which is a stunningly beautiful - you will get to live close to the ocean and white sandy beaches. Tasks can include day and night beach patrols, tagging turtles, monitoring the area, turtle countrys, beach cleans.
Turtle hatching season generally runs from March to September and some local organisations ask for a minimum stay of at least 4 weeks. You will be able to help with research, beach cleans and patrols both day and night. It will be a really special experience when you get to see turtles on the beach nesting and have the knowledge that you are help. If you have an interest in wildlife there are also placements available in the Manura jungle where you can learn about and help the local howler monkeys.
Community Volunteer Projects in Trinidad & Tobago
You will get to work alongside staff and other volunteers from all around the world and get a unqiue cultural experience on a community project helping people. These placements are perfect if you are studying for a degree and would like hands on experience, or if you just care about communities and are keen to actively help. You will meet some amazing people who have a genuine passion for taking care of the country and seeing a bright future for youth. This will be an experience you won't forget in a hurry, and even if you only stay a few weeks, you'll be able to help in some small way.
- Escape the tourist resorts
- Do something worthwhile
- Not much compares to seeing wild animals and helping them
- See different places on the island away from the touristy areas
Location of Projects
Most conservation projects are based around the town of Buccoo but there are other locations you might be based and living too like the community of Black Rock.
How to Apply
You can search projects or organisations and apply to volunteer in Trinidad today. Some organiations charge a sign up fee to participate, whilst others are free. Some placements are structured where you get:
- Airport pick-up and transfer to project
- All food and accommodation
- Training materials and science equipment
- Pre-departure support and services
- Comprehensive training necessary for research techniques
- 24-hour in-country support and a 24-hour emergency phone line
Eligibility & Requirements
To work as a volunteer in Trinidad no previous experience is required for general placements but you must be willing to work hard and want to make a difference. Usually organisations will require you to be aged 18+ but there are family projects available and specific trips for 16-17 year olds.
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