TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Capital | Port-of-Spain
Population | 1,228,691 (July 2010 est.)
Area | 5128 SQ KM
Official Language | English
Holidays | Independence Day, 31 August (1962 – from the UK)
Currency | Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD)
Time Zone | UTC -4
Best Time to Visit | mid-April to mid-December
Connecting with the Culture | Partying the night away, two days before Ash Wednesday, at Carnival. Spotting birds at Trinidad’s Caroni swamp. Diving off Buccoo Reef off Tabago. Exploring Trinidad’s wild and rural east coast – a mix of lonely beaches, rough Atlantic waters and mangrove swamps.
Read | A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul which deals with the country’s multi-ethnic culture.
Listen | to calypso
Watch | Hosay Trinidad, about the observance of Shi’ite Muharram rites on Trinidad
Eat | callaloo (thick green soup made with okra, onions, spices and the leaves of the dasheen plan, peppers and seasoning)
Drink | ginger beer or sorrel (made from the blossoms of a type of hibiscus and mixed with cinnamon and other spices.
In a Word | Carnival!
Characteristics | Twin islands, cricket matches, white-sand beaches, bird watching enthusiasts.
Surprises | The oddest attraction in Trinidad is Pitch Lake, a continually replenishing lake of tar, which is the world’s single largest supply of natural bitumen; Tobago has only 4% of the country’s population