Solo Travel in Trinidad
If you read the FCO advice for Trinidad, it would probably deter from you visiting this island. Although there is crime here and there are areas that you should avoid which are advised on their website, if you pre-order a taxi to collect you from the airport, stay in reputable accommodation and use a tour guide instead of going out alone, then you can still enjoy this cosmopolitan island which has a very diverse nation. If you are planning a trip to Trinidad & Tobago, this solo guide will help.
Solo Travel in Tobago
You may feel more comfortable travelling solo in Tobago which has a safer feel and is usually the more popular choice with travellers. Prepare to get some attention from Caribbean men here but if you say that you’re not interested, they will leave you alone. Castara is the nicest place here for solo females and if you’re friendly to the locals, they will be too. Just say good morning or good evening and people smile back at you.
Travelling solo in Trinidad and Tobago is full of eco adventure, snorkelling, diving and gorgeous little islands. These islands in the southeastern region of the Caribbean offer something different for the solo traveller.
Trinidad is the entertainment capital of the Caribbean and is made up of many races making it one of the most cosmopolitan islands in this region. This blend of culture is evident in the country’s cuisine with curry on the southern end of the island and sushi and wine bars on the west and major religious festivals here are celebrated by everyone on the island.
Restaurants and bars in both Tobago and Trinidad have late opening hours with a wide selection of local and western dishes. You’ll find many bars along the Brian Lara Promenade but choose company for this area.
If you like crafts and farmers markets head to Queen Market in Santa Cruz on the weekends and Woodbrook for the popular “Upmarket” held the first Saturday of each month. Don’t forget to see the “Cocoa Lady,” at the Green market in Santa Cruz who makes the best cocoa tea on the island and hand-made chocolates filled with local fruits, nuts or coffee.
For wildlife lovers, both Trinidad and Tobago have many species of butterflies or for turtles visit Grande Riviere Bay between March and September to see leatherback sea turtles nesting. Located on an abandoned cocoa estate is Edith Falls, where you can see howler monkeys, parrots and a waterfall on the 30 minute hike.
See hummingbirds at The Royal Botanic Garden then head to The Magnificent Seven, a group of mansions at the corner of Queen’s Park Savannah constructed from limestone, marble and even a Venetian-style palazzo. The Parliament building has a fascinating mural of its island’s history and should definitely be seen if you go to the capital.
Make sure you visit the Waterloo Sea Temple on the west coast which has an interesting story. For some Trinidadian culture, Cleaver Woods is 45 minutes east of the capital and is a nature reserve dedicated to Trinidad’s original inhabitants – the Amerindians where you can see a traditional Amerindian House.
Trinidad is geared up for eco adventure and has so much nature to explore. See the mud volcano at Devil’s Woodyard, the largest natural asphalt lake (Pitch Lake) at La Brea, and Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl trust for birdwatching and hiking.
Hike to Mount St. Benedict Monastery for a great view. For nature lovers visit the Asa Wright Nature Centre, a cocoa-coffee-citrus plantation or hike in the rainforest-covered northern range with waterfalls, rivers, streams and limestone caves.
There are so many eco activities to choose from whether you prefer the thrill of zip lining in Macqueripe Bay, kayaking in the wetlands of central Trinidad or the western peninsular of Chaguaramas where you take boat tours past mangroves.
If you love the beach, Maracas beach is the most popular. Head along the north coast road for good seaside spots and picturesque villages. Blanchisseuse Bay is also a popular spot or choose Vessigny Beach in the south west for beach parties and bus excursions. Lifeguards patrol most popular beaches on the weekends, and the rugged north east coastline is a surfers paradise, within easy reach of the capital.
When in Trinidad, do as the locals do and join one of their weekend party cruises to Scotland Bay during the day, but be prepared for loud music and a rum-fuelled trip.
If you fancy something a bit quieter instead, you can cruise around Trinidad’s smaller islands instead, admiring the plush holiday homes as you sail. There are several little islands off the coast from the former prison island of Carrera to Gasparee Island with its own caves.
Chacachacare is the closest island to Venezuela and boat taxis from Power Boats at Chaguaramas take you to here or Scotland Bay and pick you up later on.
You need a permit from one of the forestry Division offices to go turtle viewing on Matura or Grande Riviera with a guide. Single entry is TT$ 5.
From November to April be careful of rip tides and strong winds in Maracas Bay.
Although both islands have a different pace of life, Tobago knows how to really slow it down and is seen as the more quintessential island being smaller than Trinidad.
Tobago has two coastlines, the Caribbean coastline and the rugged Atlantic side with a scenic drive along the Caribbean coast from Bloody Bay to Charlotteville, a quaint seaside town with a fort which overlooks Man-O-War Bay.
The Caribbean coast is perfect for diving and snorkelling and there is a Bioluminescent Bay where you can kayak at night amongst the glowing organisms. Pigeon Point Heritage Park has an award-winning beach near the famous coral Buccoo Reef with an entry fee of TT$ 20.
The Atlantic side has more historic places of interest with The Old Court House, Fort Granby, and Fort King George. Visit Roxborough for colonial architecture and Tobago Cocoa Estate, and Arnos Vale Waterwheel, the site of a sugar factory with ruins of an old British sugar mill. There are plenty of waterfalls to discover with Argyle being the highest at 54m.
There is more wildlife than you can count on the island of Tobago and the Main Ridge Forest Reserve is a protected forest reserve and perfect for the outdoor solo who loves hiking and biking.
Pigeon Peak is the highest peak on the island with different routes for fitness and it’s worth hiring a guide for the trails. Hop across to Little Tobago Island known as Bird of Paradise Island, one of the most important sanctuaries for seabirds in the West Indies.
Tobago’s capital Scarborough is named after the English town but stay in one of the beach areas instead for a more holiday-feel. Castara Bay is one of the nicest bays on the island and has a nice vibe for solo females with a safe area for swimming.
There’s entertainment for solos too with Buccoo being the goat racing capital of the world and a steel band play here every Sunday, or take a boat ride from Crown Point Beach Hotel or Coco Beach as a way to meet others.
TIP – Book in advance if you’re travelling to Tobago in the peak season.
Although most people go to Tobago and skip Trinidad, it’s definitely worth spending time in both islands. With tourism not being high on the country’s agenda, make sure you do all your pre-planning before.
Where To Stay in Trinidad & Tobago
In Trinidad and Tobago, you won’t find the international hotels or all-inclusive resorts that you can find on other Caribbean islands. On both islands, you’ll find guesthouses and B&Bs where hosts have opened their homes to tourists. The island of Tobago has more of a holiday feel to it with beachfront resorts and villas.
Plus there’s Airbnb which offers rooms with a local and rental accommodation in Trinidad and Tobago on a short-term basis. You can stay in a private room in a local's house or rent their whole villa or apartment. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.
All of the places to stay in Trinidad and Tobago below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement.
* To book, check prices or availability for all accommodation in Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad – The Valley Oasis Inn: $
This 3-star B&B nestled in the hills in northern Trinidad has a relaxed, friendly vibe and is perfect for a peaceful stay. There are breathtaking views of the mountains and even a small pool. Rooms come with a seating area, a kitchenette and dining area and a cable TV. Breakfast is included and the host can give you tips for what to do on the island and arrange car hire and airport pick ups for you too. Choose from a deluxe double room or a family room.
- Prices from £58 / $80 per night for a deluxe double room
- To book, check prices or availability for: The Valley Oasis Inn
Trinidad – Piarco Village Suites: $$
If you’re looking for accommodation with warm hospitality, the owners at Piarco Village Suites will make you feel instantly at home. The rooms are comfortable and have cable TV and air conditioning. Breakfast is included and they offer an airport shuttle service. Apartments have their own kitchenette so you can choose to cook your own meals or head to the nearby mall for restaurants. Choose from a double or triple room or a one-bedroom apartment.
- Prices from £84 / $116 per night for a double room
- To book, check prices or availability for: Piarco Village Suites
Tobago – Our Sanctuary: $
Our Sanctuary is a great budget option with welcoming hosts that make you feel at home. There’s a shared kitchen and a terrace so you can mingle with the other guests. It’s a short drive to the nearest bay and you’re close to the mall and restaurants too. Vish and Patricia are really accommodating and can arrange to pick you up and drop you off at the airport. Choose from a single room with a bathroom, a queen room or superior queen room, a king room or an apartment.
- Prices from £24 / $33 per night for a queen room
- To book, check prices or availability for: Our Sanctuary
Tobago – Blue Waters Inn: $$
For those searching for somewhere steps away from a golden beach, this 4-star property in Speyside, Tobago is nestled within lush grounds within its own private bay. All rooms offer gorgeous ocean views and a balcony. Dine at the water’s edge, swim in the turquoise waters or try kayaking or snorkelling instead. You can even learn to dive at the on-site PADI centre. Choose from a superior ocean view room or a one-bedroom bungalow with sea view.
- Prices from £182 / $250 per night for a superior oceanwide room
- To book, check prices or availability for: Blue Waters Inn
Tobago – Castara Retreats: $$$
Castara Retreats has been carefully designed so that each accommodation feels as though you are naturally living in the landscape and it feels tucked away in the Tobago rainforest. Made up of treehouse lodges, each angled for a beautiful view of the ocean and Castara Bay, this place feels as though you are in the thick of nature. You can dine in the resort’s restaurant or cook your own food in the open-air kitchen listening to the parakeets.
All rooms come with fans and each accommodation has a view of the ocean so you can just open your curtains in the morning and see the sea and the village. The locals are friendly and you really feel part of the community here. Choose from a two-bedroom villa with ocean view, a superior apartment or a superior two-bedroom apartment. Read my full review or click the link below for prices
- Prices from £205 / $282 per night for a two-bedroom villa with ocean view
- To book, check prices or availability for: Castara Retreats
Getting Around Trinidad & Tobago
There are bus services on both islands but Tobago’s bus system is more frequent and easier to get around than Trinidad. There are lots of privately owned, Government registered, safe, air-conditioned maxi taxis.
Unlike other bus systems you don’t purchase your ticket onboard and instead buy tickets from local shops before you wait for your bus, but the bus times can be unreliable. Tickets come in bunches of TT$ 2’s so you may have to estimate how much your fare would be. The bus from Scarborough in Tobago to Castara costs TT$ 8.
There are taxis and shared taxis which pick other people up along the way and you generally have to wait for them to be full before they depart. The maxi taxis are different colours depending on the directions they run. Those with red stripes run from east to west and yellow, green and blue run in other directions.
There are no designated stops so you can flag them down anywhere. Look for ‘H’ for hire on the number plate. You can even hire taxis to take you to the tourist sights and wait for you to bring you back.
To get around Trinidad there’s a ferry that runs to the south of the island in Trinidad and only takes 20 minutes instead the hour it takes by car.
From Trinidad to Tobago you can either fly on Caribbean Airlines which have several flights a day and cost US $25 for the 25 minute flight, or take the boat from Port of Spain to Scarborough in Tobago which although it is only meant to take 2 hours, it has been known to take a lot longer.
The journey from Trinidad to Tobago is rougher as it goes against the current compared to a smoother ride on the way back. Prices are quoted in TT$ (If you fly in-between the islands, you can take bottles of water through security).
From the Airport
Arrange your transfer before if you can or find a licensed cab in the airport run by the airport and refuse a lift from people offering transport outside the terminal. From Port of Spain in Trinidad, a taxi will cost you approx TT$ 200 or you can take the bus into Port of Spain for TT$ 5 for the 30-minute journey.
You can rent a car from the airport terminal too. From Tobago airport, a taxi costs approx TT$ 300 or catch the bus towards Scarborough for TT$ 6 for the 25-minute ride.
N.b Hoppa operates a cheap airport shuttle that will take you to the city centre or your hotel.
How long do I need?
You could easily spend a week in Tobago so to combine both islands, look at staying for at least 10 days or two weeks. Below is a weather chart of the annual weather in Trinidad & Tobago to help you plan your trip.
Where can I go from here?
Barbados – 1 hour
Grenada – 45 mins
St. Lucia – 1 hour
- Can I drink the water? Yes but you may prefer bottled water, especially after a storm.
- Is tipping expected? The tip is usually included within your bill but is not expected.
- Fixed price or barter? Fixed price.
- Any ATMs? There are ATMs in the major cities. Sometimes the ones in Trinidad airport are out of order and the ATM in Tobago airport only takes credit cards.
- Which side of the road do they drive? Left.
- Good for vegetarians? There is such a variety of food due to the mix of nationalities but you simply have to try the ‘doubles.'
- Any seven wonders of the world? No.
This is accurate at time of writing but we appreciate things can change. Please let us know if you experience anything otherwise. Thanks…
Budget – £60+ a day
Capital – Port of Spain
Population – 1.341 million
Language spoken – English, also Spanish, Hindi, Patois.
Local Currency – Trinidadian Dollar
Flying Time to Trinidad & Tobago – 11 hrs from UK
Best Time to Go – Dec to Jan & June to Aug.
UNESCO Sites in Trinidad & Tobago
Events and Festivals in Trinidad & Tobago
Did you know? Trinidad’s carnival is one of the most spectacular carnivals in the Caribbean and is held in February or March each year.
They speak English
Sunarise Tours in Tobago (contact through Castara Retreats)
Acajou Hotel in Tobago
Monitoring Ocelots with EarthWatch
Where to Stay
Book your Hotels
Treat Yourself at Villa Being in Tobago
Mind Body & Soul
Yoga and Tai Chi at Kariwak Village
Spa Treatments at Anise Resort & Spa
I found your site very helpful, especially the solo travelling in T & T. I have read horrible things online in preparation for my trip in May 2017 and was hoping you could ease my anxiety (which your site has already helped with). I will be travelling with my boyfriend (half Trini), his dad (from Trinidad), his two brothers and their significant others. We will be staying 4 days at a family members house in San Fernando and then travelling to Tobago. Since I will be staying with trusted locals do I have anything to worry about? My boyfriend has told me not to dress flashy, not to swear, not to wear camo etc. But I was wondering if you had any tips or words of encouragement. I am discouraged after my readings.
I should mention I am of Caucasian and Native descent, I only bring this up as some biased stories I have read say residents of Trinidad and Tobago resent white travelers? I don’t want to believe that.
Hi Shayna, thanks for the kind comments. I stayed with Airbnb for part of my time in Tobago and the husband was a bit over-friendly. I was firm and said that I wasn’t interested but I couldn’t believe that he was married and trying to flirt with me. I would say just don’t be too friendly with the guys in case they get the wrong idea but if you’re with your boyfriend you should be fine. I didn’t wear any jewellery or dress too flashy either – always a great precaution x
I have been to Tobago 3 times now as a solo traveller and have experienced everything from warm and welcome locals. Yes a couple of guys are over friendly but they mean no harm, they just want to ensure everyone on their island experiences a good time. They do amazing tours and all at a very very reasonable prices. The tour guides do compete with each other, but they are all so nice. Ive been fortunate to meet some really nice people hence why I come back and I’ve seen some amazing sites, I have made some excellent memories in Tobago and will ensure I return. It’s a holiday I always feel so refreshed from when I get home. As for the comments about that they are biased against white people…now that’s wrong completely. I will be honest and I have found white people to be so rude to them which is maybe why the biasedness may of been the case. But your in another country, treat people how you like to be treated, have respect for other countries everyone does things differently. Explore their culture as they have alot to offer, they re island is amazing. Treat them and their island with respect and they will treat you just as good…
Thanks for your comments Karen. You are right that the locals are warm. That’s a shame that people have been so rude to the locals. I completely agree with you for treating people how you like to be treated x