Port Of Spain Travel Information
Local time in Trinidad and Tobago is GMT -4.
Electrical current is in Trinidad and Tobago 110 - 120 volts, 60hz. Two-pin flat blade plugs are used as well as three-pin plugs in the North American style.
English is the official language in Trinidad and Tobago.
A yellow fever vaccination is required for entry for those entering Trinidad and Tobago from infected areas, and it is recommended that all travellers to Trinidad are vaccinated against yellow fever anyway; those only visiting Tobago do not need a yellow fever vaccination unless arriving from an infected area. Vaccinations for hepatitis A and hepatitis B are also recommended for all travellers. Insect protection is advised, as there is an increasing risk of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease.
Medical facilities are limited in Trinidad and Tobago and medicines may be in short supply. Emergency evacuation to a nearby country will likely be required for serious injury or illness. Proof of ability to pay is often required before treatment is given, even in emergencies. Medical insurance with provision for evacuation is strongly advised.
Most hotels and restaurants in Trinidad and Tobago add a service charge to the bill, usually 10 or 15 percent. If this is not the case a 10 percent tip is expected for good service.
Most visits to Trinidad and Tobago are trouble free, but there is an increasing incidence of crime against tourists on both islands. In Trinidad be especially vigilant in downtown Port of Spain (particularly at night), and when travelling from Piarco Airport where gangs have been known to follow cars and attack the occupants at their final destination. There has been an increase in robberies at tourist sites, including Fort George and the Pitch Lake, and these attacks can be violent; visitors are warned not to resist muggers and robbers who are also targeting foreigners at car parks outside places like shopping malls and restaurants. Take precautions like not wearing flashy jewellery and storing valuables in hotel safe deposit boxes.
The people of Trinidad and Tobago are friendly and hospitable and generally happy to assist tourists, but keep in mind that it is polite to greet a stranger before asking a question. Nude or topless bathing is frowned upon in Trinidad and Tobago and certain homosexual acts are illegal. Wearing camouflage clothing is illegal. The penalties for possession of drugs are severe and thorough checks are often done at borders. If invited to a home, it is customary to bring a gift.
The economy of Trinidad and Tobago has been growing steadily over the past few years and foreign investment is on the increase. A firm handshake starts and ends a meeting. Formal attire is common but not always strictly necessary; it is worth finding out about the dress code for the relevant sector of business. Business cards are generally handed out and received immediately after introductions. Business hours are generally 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with about an hour taken over lunch.
The international dialling code for Trinidad and Tobago is +1 868. To dial out from the islands the prefix is 011, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01127 for South Africa). Mobile networks are in operation on the islands, with fairly wide coverage. There are several internet cafes on the island in the main town centres.
Visitors arriving in Trinidad and Tobago are allowed to bring in the following goods without paying duty: 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 250g tobacco; 1.5 litres of spirits or wine; gifts; and perfume for personal use. Alcohol and tobacco products are allowed only for passengers over the age of 17 years.
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