When you live and work in Trinidad and Tobago you can expect a dual experience that’s unmatched anywhere in the region. Trinidad is considered to be the commercial and entertainment centre of the Caribbean. In contrast Tobago is a prime tourism and ecological destination. Together, the two islands are the perfect mix of business and pleasure.
The country’s festivals, music, customs, cuisine, religions and ethnicities all contribute to its rich and unique cultural diversity. The nation has a passionate and colourful cultural history spanning five centuries – the result of several European interests clamouring for colonial rights to the islands.
Port of Spain in Trinidad is well-known for offering myriad options for nightlife and entertainment. There are a number of bar bistros and lounges along Ariapita Avenue which offer a unique Caribbean experience as well as at the nearby Movietowne.
The cultural diversity of Trinidad and Tobago is further reflected in the variety of local food choices that range from East Indian influenced to local Creole cuisine. Local chefs on both islands are known for combining such diversity with a taste of international cuisine and blended into a unique fusion of eclectic flavors.
Each year, thousands of domestic and international visitors convene on the island of Tobago over nine days to experience the best of local and international jazz-inspired music. The Tobago Jazz Experience has featured some of the world’s most popular artistes including John Legend, Anita Baker, Hugh Masekela, Earth, Wind & Fire, Diana Ross, Keyshia Cole, Jennifer Hudson and Jill Scott.
You can shop just about anywhere on both islands, from main streets boasting small variety shops and family-run businesses to multilevel shopping malls. Shopping Malls include Trincity Mall, Valpark Shopping Plaza, Gulf City (San Fernando and Lowlands, Tobago), Fiesta Plaza Movie Towne, The Falls at West Mall, and Long Circular Mall.
The diverse cultural and religious backgrounds of the people allow for many festivities and ceremonies throughout the year. Famous for its pre-Lenten celebration - Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival, described by those who have experienced it as the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’, is a festival bursting with vivid colour, exquisite costumes, calypso music and the pulsating steelbands.
Indigenous art forms include soca (a derivative of calypso), parang (Venezuelan-influenced Christmas music), local East Indian ‘chutney’ music and the famous African limbo dance. Popular local artistes such as Machel Montano, David Rudder, Bunji and Liam Teague have also received international recognition.
There are several art galleries in Port of Spain that feature the works of well-known local artists such as Leroy Clarke, Jackie Hinkson and Boscoe Holder. Also, the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) is a permanent home for the development of the country’s performing arts and ensures that music, theatre and dance art forms continue to thrive in Trinidad and Tobago.
The people of Trinidad and Tobago are passionate about sports and the tropical climate of the islands encourages both land and waterborne activities.
Choose from a range of pastimes including track and field, cricket, football, cycling, boating, yachting, game fishing, windsurfing, scuba diving, parasailing, rally racing, dirt-biking, dragon boat racing, tennis, golf, hiking, hashing, kite-surfing and kayaking.