girl walking alone at the edge of the water on a beach for things to do in trinidad

Fun Things to do in Trinidad and Tobago: Sister Islands in the Caribbean

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Last Updated on July 18, 2023

What to do in Trinidad and Tobago

water and floating lillypads in Trinidad - some of the fun things to do in trinidad and tobago

One of the most fascinating and surprising countries that I’ve visited was Trinidad and Tobago. I immediately fell in love with the combination of the Caribbean lifestyle, Indian heritage, and European legacy.

There are so many amazing and fun things to do in Trinidad and Tobago.

What is it that makes Trinidad and Tobago so irresistible but still a not-so-known travel destination?

Read on why you should definitely include a visit to Trinidad island and the 2-island state in your upcoming travel plans.

Trinidad & Tobago consists of 2 islands. The larger island is Trinidad which holds the capital Port of Spain and the business hub of the country. Many travelers overlook the large Trinidad island and head straight to the smaller island to enjoy the beaches on Tobago.

–but there are so many places to visit in Trinidad and Tobago that skipping either island is a mistake!

Plan your itinerary with the help of this list of things to do in Trinidad and Tobago

Best Things to Do in Trinidad and Tobago

girl walking alone at the edge of the water on a beach for things to do in trinidad

Trinidad has no shortage of things to do and places to visit to make your Trinidad itinerary PACKED FULL of fun activities. No matter where your interests lie or what sort of activity level you desire, there will be something perfect for you!

Keep reading for some of the best suggestions on what to do in Trinidad and Tobago on your next Caribbean vacation!

Celebrate Carnival

lots of people in yellow and orange dancing at carnival in trinidad
Carnival Parade in Trinidad, Image Source

Known as the biggest street party on Earth, Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival is celebrated on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday every year. The carnival festivities start after Christmas and lead up to Ash Wednesday with high-energy parties and cultural competitions. It is definitely one of the best things to do in Trinidad.

closeup of a lady in a pink outfit with her hair up at Carnival in Trinidad
Carnival is one of the best things to do in Trinidad!

Carnival is the largest festival in Trinidad and Tobago with thousands of people attending each year. It was introduced by the French and was strongly influenced by the culture of African slaves who turned it into a vibrating party.

Especially the music (Soca, Pan, and Calypso) was strongly influenced by the African community on Trinidad island.

Carnival season usually starts in January and finishes at Ash Wednesday. The most important events within the Carnival season in Trinidad include Steel Pan competitions (“panorama”), Kings & Queens competitions, and parties.

J’Ouvert Day during Trinidad Carnival

The official start is J’ouvert”, where people wear old clothes, cover themselves in colorful paint or mud, and dance in the streets from beginning at 3 am and for the rest of the day in a liberating celebration of freedom from the constraints of the past. The red and blue devils blowing out fire are typical of Trinidad’s J’ouvert.

Mardi Gras Day

lady in bright feathery outfit at Carnival in Port of Spain Trinidad
Fun Carnival Costumes

The most important day of Trinidad’s carnival is Mardi Gras, Carnival Tuesday where women parade around in the most colorful and spectacular costumes. Months of preparatory work goes into each costume since they are unique from year to year.

Dancers and music groups take over the street and fill it with a positive energy nobody can resist.

Going to Carnival is by far one of the top things to do in Trinidad island. You will want to plan your Trinidad and Tobago visit around these festivities so that you can participate and PLAY carnival!

If you want to attend the carnival, read this in-depth guide on “How To Play Carnival in Trinidad & Tobago” from a dedicated Trinidad and Tobago travel blog.

Groove with Steel Pan Musicians

people in yellow outfits playing steel pan drums at Carnival in Trinidad
Steel Pan Ban at Carnival in Trinidad, Image Source

Venture into any neighborhood on the islands and you are bound to find a panyard. They allow you to wander in, buy local beer and enjoy the music as the musicians practice for performances. The ultimate steel pan party is at Carnival.

Book here: Trinidad Steel Pan experience tour

A panorama is a music competition of steel bands in Trinidad and Tobago which are usually held during carnival.

The steelpans or steel drums are the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago and are a legacy of the African culture. As African drum music was banned by the French colonialists, they took pans and oil barrels to make music. 

lady watching a bunch of people at Steeldrum Rehearsal in Trinidad
Steel pan drum experience

Hundreds of steel pan drum bands exist on Trinidad island and each band can have over 100 members. They all gather together for the annual musical competitions during carnival.

During the panorama, the bands come in and play in front of the crowds and the jury. They play an arrangement of a current calypso. The sound is very particular and will definitely make you dance.

They are open to the public and you can buy your ticket at the entrance door. People usually pay good money to watch a panorama.

But no worries: many Trinidadians take a panorama as an opportunity to lime, chilling in the park, where the panorama is taking place.

You definitely want to attend a panorama to experience the steelpan!

Hike to a Waterfall

peaking through the trees and bushes at a very tall Maracas Waterfall -tallest in Trinidad
Maracas Waterfall, the tallest in Trinidad

Hiking through the rainforest is pleasurable, but hiking a waterfall is a delightful experience. The island of Trinidad is full of waterfalls and beaches and every single one is stunning! There are dozens of waterfalls to be discovered. The waterfalls of Trinidad are the perfect hiking destination.

The hikes and the waterfalls themselves differ a lot throughout the island and there seems to be a waterfall for every taste.  

Here are some of the waterfalls you shouldn’t miss when traveling to Trinidad and Tobago.

beautiful waterfall over rocks in trinidad

Trinidad Waterfalls

  • Maracas Waterfall: Even though it has Maracas in its name, this waterfall is not located at Maracas Beach or the bay. You need to take the Eastern Main Road, opposite the Mosque in St. Joseph. Abercomby Street becomes the Maracas Royal  Road. After approx. 8km you turn to Waterfall Road and drive to the end of the road at the car park. From here, it’s only a 2,4 km hike to the waterfall
  • Avocat Waterfall: Close to the peaceful Las Cuevas Bay and only a short hike through the rainforest, you’ll arrive at the 100-foot (30-m) Avocat falls, a sight so beautiful it might as well have been plucked from your dreams. It’s pure bliss to swim in the large pools around the falls.
  • Angel Falls: is located in the foothills of the El Tucuche mountains and the waterfall is about 15 m high. The water does not fall directly into a plunge pool but cascades along the rock into 2 basins. It is perfect for non-swimmers and kids. Looking up from the rocks, the reason Angel Falls gets its name becomes very clear: sunlight shines through the mist at the waterfall’s top, and an almost celestial glow is produced against the backdrop of the lush surrounding vegetation. Getting to Angel Falls requires a one-hour hike from Zorro Trace just off the North Coast Road, between Maracas and Las Cuevas.
  • Paria Waterfall: Only experienced hikers can get here, but the waterfall is absolutely worth it. The hike starts in Blanchisseuse and takes you along the breathtaking shoreline and beautiful Paria Bay. It’s in total 3-4hours to the waterfall
  • Rio Seco Waterfall: Probably the most scenic waterfall in Trinidad island, even though it is not the tallest. It is most loved for its wide deep basin filled with emerald green water, which is ideal for swimming and photography. The hike to Rio Seco is only 35 minutes and the path is very clear.

Tobago Waterfall

  • Argyle Waterfall: On Tobago, follow the lush tropical forest to the island’s highest waterfall, the Argyle. This waterfall is 175 feet high.

Book here: Trinidad waterfall tour

Birdwatching & Exploring Wildlife

Red Ibis in Trinidad

Are you wondering what to do in Trinidad and Tobago for animal lovers? How about some birdwatching?

For many years, birdwatching was one of the main reasons why travelers visited Trinidad island. Even though birdwatching is quite a niche in the travel sector, Trinidad island manages to attract birders from all over the globe due to its extremely large variety of bird species.

After all, there are more than 500 recorded bird species.

Trinidad is an attractive birding destination all year round. The most prominent sites for birdwatching are the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, the Asa Wright Nature Centre, and the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust.

Buy your Birdwatching Tour in Trinidad

finding a red ibis while Bird watching in Trinidad - one of the popular things to do in trinidad

Caroni Bird Sanctuary

The Caroni Bird Sanctuary is located in the largest mangrove in Trinidad and is only 9 miles from the capital Port of Spain. This is THE PLACE to see the beautiful scarlet ibis, the scarlet-red national bird of Trinidad and Tobago.

It is a magical experience to watch the scarlet ibis fly over to Venezuela at sunset.

You can also spot boas in the trees, as well as different snails and crab species. Other bird species that can be seen in the Caroni Swamp (there are more than 100 species here!) are the tropical screech, common potoo, flamingos, osprey and the red cap mask cardinal.

They have glass bottom boats so that you can cruise through the sanctuary and get close to the ibis, flamingo, and many other birds, wildlife, and vegetation.

Asa Wright Nature Centre

The Asa Wright Nature Centre is nestled in the mountains and rainforest of the northern part of the island and is very popular for its numerous hummingbirds and its diverse flora including wild orchids.

Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust

Another choice for viewing wildlife in Trinidad is the Wildfowl Trust which is located in a wetland habitat within an oil refining complex.

girl looking through binoculars while she is Birdwatching in Trinidad

Whichever birding or wildlife tour you decide to take in Trinidad, you will enjoy it and get an eye FULL of nature and its inhabitants. Take lots of photos to make everyone jealous back home!

Visit Fort George

Drive up to Fort George to admire the view and the beautiful vista of Trinidad and maybe even the coast of Venezuela on a clear day!

The British started building this fortification in 1804 to defend the sea and retired it in 1846, so it had a short occupation and is still in good shape. The green cannons will surely catch your eye against the backdrop of the deep blue water of the Gulf of Paria.

Journey south to Explore South Trinidad

elaborate and fancy front of pink buildings at Dattatreya Yoga Centre in South Trinidad

After spending a couple of days enjoying Trinidad’s lovely beaches and breathtaking waterfalls in the north area and around Port of Spain, make sure you head south to discover Trinidad culture and all the fun things to do in South Trinidad. Only after you experience the way of life & traditions in Trinidad can you then head to the little island of Tobago to find the beautiful beaches on the sister island.

Pre-book your tour to South Trinidad here

Dig Pitch Lake in La Brea

lady scooping up some black substance at Pitch Lake in La Brea as one of the fun things to do in South Trinidad
Playing at Pitch Lake in South Trinidad Island

The Pitch Lake is located in the South of Trinidad island near the village of La Brea. It is one of the best things to do in Trinidad island!

If you want to make the most of your time, I recommend booking a tour in advance.

Pre-book your tour to the Pitch Lake here

Asphalt Lake is one of the largest natural deposits of asphalt in the world, being one of only three natural asphalt lakes in the world.

It was created thousands of years ago when the Caribbean continental plate was forced under another one. Since its discovery, more than 10 million tons of asphalt have been extracted. Its pitch was even used to asphalt Westminster bridge and the terminal of JFK airport.

Visiting the Pitch Lake of La Brea (pitch in Spanish) village is a fun activity. Although the smell is quite terrible, many people swear that swimming in the lake has a very therapeutic effect.

You can also play a bit by putting a stick through the liquid asphalt and removing the liquid tar. Guides will even tell you about the prehistoric trees and other objects that had been found in this pitch lake.

brown and black Pitch Lake largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world in South Trinidad

Although you can walk on the black, viscous, and semisolid pitch surface, getting a guide is definitely recommended. There are just too many stories of people that got caught in the pitch lake and couldn’t get out anymore…

The guide is available at the entrance door of the pitch lake or Book your tour here.

Find Inner Peace at Beautiful Hindu Temples

long brick walkway for the Entrance to Temple in the Sea in Trinidad
Temple in the Sea, Trinidad

Besides colorful festivals and the food, the Indian influence becomes obvious when driving on the roads of Trinidad island. The Indian temples are full of intricate details and often very colorful. My recommendation is that you must visit the Temple in the Sea, which is as cool as it sounds. This is well on its way to being one of the most beautiful Hindu temples in the world.

Some of the most prominent Hindu temples on Trinidad island are the following:

  • Dattatreya Yoga Centre in Carapichaima with 85 ft. Hanuman Murti statue, the tallest outside India
  • Temple in the Sea in Waterloo close to the Dattatreya Yoga Centre
  • Triveni Mandir in Gasparillo in South Trinidad
  • Lakshmi Narayan Mandir Temple in central Trinidad
white peak of the tower closeup of Temple of the Sea Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago offers a wonderful mosaic of religious diversity with large and active Christian, Muslim, and Hindu faith communities. The Hindu temples, Dattatreya and Temple in the Sea on Trinidad are open to the public and are striking. Both temples offer a peaceful atmosphere for contemplation.

Book here: Temple of the Sea & Trinidad Hindu Culture

Keep your itinerary list going with these ideas for some fun activities to do in Trinidad!

Go Liming

Liming is the easiest of all activities in the twin-island nation. It is simply hanging out and socializing with friends, drinking rum punch, and dining. Liming is a part of Caribbean culture and you can experience it at a rum bar, on the beach, or on a street corner.

Visit Trinidad for the Water Activities

footsteps leading to the water on the sandy beach in trinidad

On both Trinidad and Tobago island, there are many great water activities!

Scuba diving, parasailing, windsurfing, sailing, and sea kayaking are all available, as well as snorkeling, wakeboarding, and more.

Many of these fun things to do in Trinidad island are family friendly and courses are available for all skill levels.

For those heading under the surface, there are numerous reefs and wrecks to explore. There are also glass-bottom boat tours if you want to enjoy the water while staying dry.

Surf the Trinidad waves

Surfer on a wave in Trinidad
Photo by Karl Callwood on Unsplash

Surfing is an off-the-beaten-path sport in Trinidad and Tobago and while both the islands offer reliable waves year-round, the winter months from November to March are the best times to catch big waves. There are also various surf schools that train you —or for those who need a refresher. Surf gear is limited on Tobago, so ensure you have all the essentials, easily found throughout Trinidad.

View the island from the Maracas Overlook

Trinidad outlook onto beaches and green nature

Include this site-seeing trip on your Trinidad itinerary.  Journey over the Northern Range to the Maracas Outlook on the way to Maracas Beach. 

We took this trip up the mountain with a quick look at the view at the top, but our stay was cut short because the area was populated by lots of bugs at that time and we were not prepared for them.

Enjoy the Beaches on Trinidad Island

Maracas beach watching the waves

Who says that all the beautiful beaches are on Tobago island?

Indeed, Trinidad has many gorgeous beaches too. They all have a very different vibe and character. Hanging out on the beach will quickly become one of your favorite things to do in Trinidad island.

Maracas Beach

The popular Maracas Beach, also the most famous beach in Trinidad, is known for its party mood. However, when we were there, we were the only ones on the beach! We loved the seclusion of this beach. Were we dreaming? Maybe it was the rain forecast that kept everyone away, but we were glad for it and enjoyed our little piece of paradise.

We tried one of the ‘Bake’ Sandwiches. Maracas is known for its delicious “Bake’n Shark” sandwiches. (Nowadays most sandwiches have kingfish or flying fish for sustainability reasons).

There are plenty of activities that make this beach the perfect get-away like body-surfing, jumping, and boogie-boarding.

When heading to Maracas Beach, you’ll surely pass along the Maracas Bay viewpoint, where you can enjoy delicious fresh fruit snacks.

Las Cuevas Beach

yellow lifeguard stand on the beach in trinidad at Las Cuevas Beach

Las Cuevas Beach is right next to Maracas Bay, but has a more laid-back and pristine vibe than the sister beach. Waves may be quite strong sometimes but the natural surrounding invites long walks along the beach.

It’s the perfect place to spend a lazy, relaxing day swimming and reading books about adventure.

Blanchisseuse Beach

girl walking alone at the edge of the water on a beach for things to do in trinidad

The beaches near Blanchisseuse are among the most scenic beaches on Trinidad island. They are quite secluded and if you decide to go for a hike from Blanchisseuse you may end up finding a totally empty beach near Paria Bay.

But please be careful with the strong tides! The beaches near Blanchisseuse are characterized by a rugged shoreline.

Chaguaramas Beaches

trees on a mountain and blue water in the distance on the Beautiful island of trinidad

Even though the beaches of Chaguaramas peninsula may seem very attractive due to their proximity to the capital and their surrounding forest, you should keep in mind that the peninsula hosts the main harbor of the country and several large factories, so petrochemical and oil industries may contaminate these beaches.

Macqueripe Beach

rock jutting out of the water at Macqueripe Beach in Trinidad

The only exception is Macqueripe Beach, which is tiny but very secluded and thus protected from the oncoming pollution. Even though there is an entrance fee this beach can get quite busy.

On clear days you can even spot Venezuela. There is a fun activity of zip-lining at Macqueripe Bay as well.

Beaches of South Trinidad

relaxing in a hammock over the sand at Vessigny Beach in South Trinidad
Vessigny Beach in South Trinidad

The most popular beaches in the Northeast are Balandra Bay, Sans Souci, and Grande Rivière. The south of Trinidad island is usually calmer than the northern part of the island. Vessigny Beach has a laid-back vibe.

Further south, you’ll have the beautiful beaches of Columbus & Cedros bay which are absolutely stunning with views of Venezuela.

Enjoy Trinidad Street Food

sandwich with breaded Bake'n Shark street Food in Trinidad-2
Enjoying the street food at Maracas Beach: Bake and Shark

Trinidad, and especially Maracas beach, is known for the street food called Bake and Shark.  It is a Trinidadian fast food of fried flatbread and yes…shark meat, although recently they have been substituting other meats.  Additional fresh ingredients like lettuce, coleslaw, pineapple, and other condiments are also set out to top the street food “BAKE” dish.

Explore other Trinidad Street Food HERE

Drink a refreshing coconut from a roadside vendor

Man chopping the top off of a coconut on the side of the road
Things to do in Trinidad include drinking a coconut from a straw from a roadside vendo

A trip to Trinidad and Tobago is not complete until you stop by a roadside vendor to grab a refreshing coconut. This is common on many Caribbean islands, and Trinidad is no exception.

Sip on the coconut water as you soak up the Caribbean sun on one of the many relaxing beaches on Trinidad island.

Visit former Plantations & Cocoa estates

small white house surrounded by green trees at the Lopinot Cocoa Plantation in Trinidad

If you’re interested in history, a visit to a former plantation on Trinidad island is definitely a must!

Trinidad and Tobago have a significant slavery history and I think it’s important to learn about what happened decades ago. After all, it makes us understand cultures and see current problems from a different point of view.

The land of Trinidad island is very fertile, thus loads of different fruits and vegetables grow here in a large scale. The French people started the sugar industry which was finally exploited by the British.

After slavery was abolished, the British brought laborers from the East Indies, China and the Madeira in 1845. It was the sugar cane industry that is mainly responsible for Trinidad’s melting pot as we still experience it today.

Sugar Heritage Village

display of food on a table at Super Heritage Village in Trinidad

The most prominent plantation is the Sugar Heritage Village in Couva/Point Lisas which aims to preserve the memory of T&T’s sugar cane industry by incorporating sporting, recreational, environmental, educational, and commercial facilities.

The Sugar Heritage Village can be visited today but is still under construction.

It includes a Heritage Village, a museum, a cultural center, sporting facilities, a petting zoo, restaurants, and guest houses. It is recommended to visit at least one plantation as one of the best things to do in Trinidad Island to understand history.

Chocolate producers

whte house in the distance with fence surrounding the yard at Chocolate Shop in Trinidad

Cocoa beans were another important export of Trinidad island. Still, nowadays some of the best cocoa is grown on the 2-island state.

There are several chocolate shops that make unique chocolate creations, but you can also visit one of the numerous cocoa estates which respect a fair-trade, ethical business model.

Where to go in Trinidad and Tobago to learn about the chocolate-making process:

  • Velaja Estate in central Trinidad
  • Manchuria Estate in Brasso Seco
  • San Antonio Cocoa Estate 
  • Lopinot, 10km in the north of Arouca. The estate house has been made into a small museum and is surrounded by a very scenic park. The village of Lopinot is quite secluded and absolutely tranquil. When in Lopinot you can’t leave without visiting the Mariposa Gardens.
  • Mariposa Gardens. This family house turned into a restaurant is a true oasis of peace with hundreds of colibris flying around. They only serve food with fresh herbs and fruits straight from the surrounding garden. They incorporate cocoa beans in many of their meals and it is definitely one of the most creative and delicious meals on Trinidad island.

Love the Trini Fashion in Port of Spain

lady wearing an elaborate costume of feathers of different colors in the Shopping mall in Port of Spain

The fashion scene of Trinidad is one of the most surprising things when visiting the island.

Indeed, the fascinating cultural mix resulted in a unique, bold, and vibrant fashion scene that is hard to find in the rest of the Caribbean. Most of the local Trinidad designers can be found in Port of Spain.

The fashion of T&T is wearable and most of the items combine bright colors. The fashion of T&T is a celebration of life and the cultural melting pot mixing ethnic designs from many cultures. Of course, the Carnival of Trinidad is always a major source of inspiration for new designs.

Many efforts have been made to support local fashion designers.

Book your Port of Spain tour here

In this context, the Fashion Week of Trinidad & Tobago was created in 2008 and showcases local designers. In 2013 the Trinidad Fashion Company Limited (FashionTT) was created in order to facilitate and stimulate the export of the work of fashion designers of T&T.

Some of the hottest brands from Trinidad are Meiling, Heather Jones, Claudia Pegus, the Cloth by Robert Young, Zadd and Eastman Designs, House of Jaipur, and the Wadada Movement.

Visit Tobago Island

aerial view of beach and water on Tobago Island near Trinidad
Visit Tobago Island

A visit to the 2-island state wouldn’t be complete without visiting the “little” sister island of Trinidad: Tobago. There is a ferry from Trinidad to Tobago that makes this trip so easy!

In Port of Spain, there is a direct Trinidad to Tobago ferry. You can also go on a guided tour.

Check day trips to Tobago here

Many authors have written about the differences between the 2 islands and apparently Tobago is the perfect complement of Trinidad island.

Tobago is all about the laid-back Caribbean vibe, pristine beaches, no hustling, whereas all the executive businesses, industries, and city life are stationed in Trinidad. The pace of life is calmer in Tobago and there seems to be a peaceful co-existence with nature.

Tourism is also the most important sector in Tobago while this tiny island only holds 4 % of the Trinidad & Tobago population.

Tobago is famous for its gorgeous beaches and some of the most popular ones are Pigeon Point, MT Irvine, Bucco, Grange, Story Bay and Canoe Bay.

Day Trip to Tobago beaches

sandy beach with boardwalk in the distance in tobago
“Pigeon Point, Tobago” by neiljs is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

There are a lot of beautiful beaches in Tobago, but Pigeon Point beach is the most beautiful beach in Tobago with white sands and aqua blue water. It is also known as Pigeon Point Heritage Park and this popular stretch of coral-sand coast requires an entrance fee. The beach has all the amenities like snack bars, shops, change rooms, sun loungers, and thatch-covered seating.

You can go on snorkeling trips to Buccoo Reef and swim at Nylon Pool as well from here.

Book here: Many Tours To Bucco Reef & Pigeon Point

The Perfect Guide to Things to do in Trinidad and Tobago

Hopefully, you found some useful information in the Trinidad Guide. There are so many things to do in Trinidad and Tobago that you could have a very long vacation to the sister islands and keep active the whole time. There really are too many to mention, so this is just a general guide for you to discover all that Trinidad and Tobago has to offer.

Did I miss one of your favorite Trinidad activities or a great Trinidad site to see? Tell me in the comments!

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I actually plan on going to Trinidad next year, so this will be super helpful!

I only ever thought there were beaches here to enjoy, thanks for the inspiration of all the other things – particularly discovering the cocoa beans!

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