Traveling to Port of Spain? Here’s What You Should Know

The Caribbean archipelago has more than 7,000 individual islands in an area of about a million square miles. From these islands, the Caribbean has 12 dependent territories and 13 sovereign island nations.

What makes the Caribbean so special is the year-round warm weather — ideal for tourists who want to relax and explore the beautiful landscape that the region offers.

One of the many destinations you could visit when you plan a memorable vacation to the Caribbean is Port of Spain, the chief port and capital city of Trinidad and Tobago. This tourist location is ideal for people looking for history, fun and festivals.

Where is Port of Spain?

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You’ll find Trinidad and Tobago’s Port of Spain between the choppy waters of the Gulf of Paria and the foothills of the Northern Range Mountains. It serves as a home to approximately a third of the population of Trinidad island.

How to Get to Port of Spain

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If you are coming from the United States, you could hop on a flight to Port to Spain from various international airports. New York and Miami, for instance, has at least one non-stop flight per day going to Trinidad and Tobago.

When you’re flying to Trinidad and Tobago to visit Port of Spain, you’re going to arrive at Piarco International Airport, an airport that’s 45 minutes away from the country’s capital city.

What’s the Weather Like in Port of Spain?

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The weather in Port of Spain varies. The wet season in this city is usually overcast. On the other hand, the dry season is mostly cloudy. What’s common, however, is that the weather is hot and windy year round. Many visitors from the US come to Port of Spain during late winter to enjoy the city’s warm and stunning beaches.

Where to Stay in Port of Spain

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The capital city has a range of accommodations that fit every type of traveler. Whether you’re traveling on a budget or have plenty of cash to spare, Port of Spain has the room you need.

Here are a few high-end and budget hotel establishments that you could book:

Carlton Savannah

You can find this four-star accommodation near Our Lady of Lourdes. The rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi, a private bathroom, an in-room safe and air conditioning.

Carlton Savannah has a bar that offers refreshing drinks. The hotel also has other amenities, such as a lounge area, a restaurant and a swimming pool with a poolside bar.

Hilton Trinidad & Conference Center

This hotel is well-known for hosting former U.S. President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the entire delegation during the Summit of the Americas in 2009. Situated on a hilltop, Hilton Trinidad & Conference Center offers spacious accommodations and spectacular views of the Northern Range Mountains and the city of Port of Spain.

This accommodation comes with a range of amenities, including indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, renovated tennis courts, bars and restaurants, a swimming pool with a games corner, a mini-spa facility, a 5,000-square-foot fitness center and more. You’ll surely enjoy your stay in this hotel, as guest rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and large work desks.

Maracas Bay Hotel

This budget hotel is your place to stay if you want to hang out on the beach more often. This affordable accommodation features air-conditioned rooms that offer breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. During sunset, you could marvel at the sun’s red radiance as you enjoy a drink at “Aqua,” the hotel’s cozy bar.

Monique’s Guest House

Founded by Monica and Michael Charbonnè, this budget accommodation lets you experience the charm and warm hospitality of the Caribbean. The spacious guest rooms come equipped with air conditioning, TV sets and ensuite bathrooms. The guesthouse also offers additional services for guests, including daily maid service, internet access and hotel transfers.

Tourist Attractions in Port of Spain

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Photo by David Stanley via Flickr Creative Commons

Apart from the scenic beaches, the capital city has many must-see tourist spots. When looking for things to do in Port of Spain, be sure to visit the following:

Queen’s Park Savannah

Located right in the middle of Port of Spain, this tourist attraction features 260 acres of rolling turf. Queen’s Park Savannah is perfect for nature lovers and strollers who want to get away from the city’s bright and bustling vibe. Apart from serving as a preferred meeting point for athletes, you’ll find stunning Spanish architecture along with interesting buildings and shops that surround the public park.

Independence Square

This scenic walkway is home to many restaurants and historical churches. Independence Square is the perfect place to while away your time, check out the city’s interesting architecture, learn more about the local culture and grab a tasty snack.

Not sure where to begin your tour?

Pay a visit to Port of Spain’s old Fire Station Tower constructed back in 1896 and the century-old Union Building. If visiting churches is your thing, check out the country’s beautifully crafted cathedrals like the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, St. John Baptist’s Church and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Movie Towne

The red, blue and yellow walls of Movie Towne is where you’ll find entertaining movies, fast food and retail shops all rolled into one convenient location. This Hollywood-inspired shopping mall is a top entertainment complex filled with fancy brands, games and a wide range of options to amuse both locals and tourists alike.

Movie Towne features top-of-the-line theaters that screen the biggest hits in Hollywood, which you can enjoy while sitting in a comfortable reclining chair. Outside the movie hall, the complex has a Mediterranean style courtyard with over 20 retail stores to satisfy your shopping desires. If you’re bringing kids with you to Port of Spain, be sure to take them to the mall’s fun arcade games.

Royal Botanical Gardens

Once you’re done exploring the urban jungle, take a nature break in Port of Spain’s Royal Botanical Gardens. This 61-acre expanse has more than 700 trees. You’ll find many picnic tables in the area, which is ideal if you want to spend more time together with your family.

Festivals and Other Events Held at Port of Spain

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If you’re visiting Port of Spain regularly, do check out the events happening in this city. A few events worth checking out are:

Trinidad Carnival

Rio de Janeiro isn’t the only city that knows how to throw a wild and spectacular party.

Port of Spain’s Trinidad Carnival is a vibrant celebration that you don’t want to miss. The carnival, which typically starts on the Monday preceding Ash Wednesday, features a series of events, including:

  • The Panorama Competition where the steel pan, Trinidad’s invention, takes the spotlight
  • Dimanche Gras, a competition that awards the King and Queen of the Trinidad Carnival
  • J’Ouvert, an event where crowds dance in the street to greet the sunrise (Note: Expect to get dirty during this celebration, as the locals will likely cover you in oil, mud and chocolate. Don’t worry, though, as this is all part of the fun.)
  • The Masquerade where bands dance and march with their costumed followers

Given that there’s so much to do and see, you should remember two things: bombard your friends with tons of photos of the carnival and prepare for the best time of your life.

Santa Rosa Carib Festival

This festival, which locals hold in the last week of August, celebrates the indigenous Amerindians, also known as the first Trinidadians. Santa Rosa Carib Festival pays homage and respect to their traditions of cultural practices and prayers.

Oshun River Festival

Also happening in August is a festival that pays tribute to Yoruba, a goddess of bounty, fertility and beauty. You’ll find live performances of people singing, dancing, showcasing elaborate costumes and playing the drums — all to appease the goddess.

This travel guide should help you decide where to go in Trinidad and Tobago’s Port of Spain. You’ll definitely enjoy everything this capital has to offer: tall buildings, incredible scenic beaches, neon lights and a festival that will have you partying like there’s no tomorrow.

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