About Trinidad and Tobago (TT)
Despite its Caribbean location and tropical climate, the dual-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago (TT) is not a terribly popular destination for tourism. Located off the northern coast of Venezuela, the industrialized nation is known primarily as a location of industry and commerce, which has left a lot of the territory unexplored by foreign travelers. This is both good and bad. It’s good because you won’t be competing with large crowds for services and amenities. It’s bad because the islands aren’t geared toward tourism, and thus, those services and amenities aren’t as common as those found on neighboring Caribbean islands.
Nevertheless, Trinidad and Tobago offers a wealth of natural and man-made attractions, although Tobago is considered to be the “better”, if not smaller, of the two islands. The one thing both islands have in common is mountainous terrain and a number of mostly empty beaches.
The most efficient and convenient way to explore is to rent a car in Trinidad and Tobago, which are readily available on both islands. Neither island is terribly difficult to navigate, for one thing, because they’re not very big. On the other hand, the roads are not in top condition, and local drivers aren’t the easiest bunch of motorists on the planet.
But Trinidad and Tobago car rentals are very affordable, and you’re far better off with your rental car than relying on slow public transit and unreliable taxis. The main thing to watch out for aside from potholes on major roads is petty crime. Rental car license plates are designated with either a P or an R, and frequently targeted by thieves, robbers, and carjackers. So you’re far better off in developed areas, and like most Caribbean locations, it’s highly recommended to avoid driving at night.
Choosing your car
The best deals on cheap car rentals in Trinidad and Tobago are found with the top car hire vendors. Get the best rates from National, Thrifty, Budget, Sixt, Europcar, Alamo, and Avis. Choose from minicars, economy hatchbacks, compact through fullsize premium 4-door sedans, estate wagons, SUVs, and 7-12 seater minivans.
Tips and advice
Taxis in Trinidad and Tobago are the leading cause of accidents and fatalities, due in part to a lack of law enforcement. Taxi drivers are known to stop suddenly, make sudden U-turns, and generally engage in reckless behavior. When you see a taxi on the road, stay as far away as possible.
In keeping with the theme of lawlessness, jaywalking appears to be a national pastime in Trinidad and Tobago, particularly in the major cities of Port of Spain and San Fernando. Know that hitting a pedestrian is probably worse than being involved in any kind of fender-bender.
Also be advised that the majority of local drivers are supposed to have insurance, but most do not. Therefore, it’s up to you to avoid collisions.
Roads are not particularly well marked. Rent a car with GPS and adopt a touch and feel approach to reaching your destination.
The major roads in Trinidad and Tobago are supposed to be paved. Whether or not that’s actually the case will mostly depend on location — the further from the developed areas, the greater the likely hood of encountering dirt roads.
Inter-Island ferry service operates a total of three roll-on/roll off ferryboats: the T&T Spirit and T&T Express have 200 vehicle capacity, and the Superfast Galicia is vehicle-only and holds up to 200 cars. Check with your car hire provider about ferry boat restrictions, if any.