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Lying nine miles from the coast of Venezuela, Trinidad is a Caribbean hotspot and the southernmost connect in the Antillean islands cluster. Trinidad is part of the two-island state known as Trinidad & Tobago. Yet, although these two sister islands are connected in their administration and geographical proximity, they can be starkly different in character. Port of Spain is the capital of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the country's third-largest municipality, after Chaguanas and San Fernando. The city serves primarily as a retail and administrative centre and it has been the capital of the island since 1757. It is also an important financial services centre for the Caribbean and is home to two of the largest banks in the region.
 
Trinidad's chronicled history dates back thousands of years, but the region caught the Europeans attention only in the 15th century. Columbus christened the land La Trinidad, in honor of the Holy Trinity. In the late 18th century, the British Empire conquered Trinidad from the Spanish, and ended about three hundred years of continuous Spanish rule.
 
In recent times, Trinidad has grown into a major tourist destination owing to its prosperity with oil. The flourishing petroleum industry has turned Trinidad into a near perfect destination for classy business tourists. Therefore, a whole industry is now in place on the island industry to take care of these travelers. Trinidad is a wealthy and prosperous island that hosts cruise ships from all over the planet to moor at its scenic capital, Port-of-Spain.
Port-of-Spain is a cultural and visual feast for any cruise fanatic. The city is well known for its vivid and upbeat festivals, including the annual Carnival fiesta. It is nice melting pot of varied cultures, featuring popular African, European, Indian, and Asian dining choices and architecture.
 
The land surrounding Port-of-Spain and Trinidad has been spared from the massive over-development that has characterized other ports. Instead, there are plenty of beaches that that have kept their purity intact and offer, casual and elegant dining options in friendly local restaurants, and a great assortment of activities and events that allow the entire faily to experience this Caribbean hotspot.
 
Docking & Local Transportation
A new and modernized dock awaits you at Port-of-Spain, capital of Trinidad. From this multi-million dollar cruise-ship complex, transportation options are plentiful, ensuring that visitors can effectively begin their Trinidad adventure immediately upon arrival.
On Foot: Port-of-Spain can be explored on foot and includes a varied sampling of colonial architectural styles, including the "Magnificent Seven" row of mansions. Carnival is an amazing spectacle of dazzling costumes and gaiety. Hundreds of sequined and feathered masqueraders parade through the cities to the sounds of calypso and furious steel-band competitions. Pitch Lake, a wonder of the natural world, is an expansive deposit of asphalt with a surface like elephant skin.
 
Port-of-Spain is a very easy walk -- just several blocks -- to Trinidad's downtown, centered on Independence and Frederick Streets. If you head up Independence Ave. from the waterfront, turn left on Frederick Street and take it until it ends, you'll reach the Queen's Park Savannah, Magnificent Seven, Botanical Gardens and Zoo -- but this is a much longer walk of about 20 to 30 minutes.
 
By Taxi: Taxis are easily available in the Port of Spain. They can be identified by their license plates, all of which begin with the letter "H." Taxis in Trinidad are not metered, so be sure to agree on a price before you get in. There are fixed rates from the port to the major tourist attractions; for example, a cab for up to four people to Maracas Bay costs $90 for dropoff, pickup and a few hours at the beach, while a ride to the Savannah will cost $15. Government-regulated cabs have license plates that start with the letter H and can be hailed at the port (taxi dispatchers can assist you) or at the taxi stands you'll see scattered around downtown and by the Queen's Park Savannah.
 
By Car: There are no national car rental agencies at the port, but a few local agencies have offices nearby. If you do choose to rent a car in Port of Spain, remember that driving is U.K.-style on the left, and traffic can be very heavy. If you have a short day in port, you're probably better off taking a taxi or tour to destinations outside the city.
 
Hanging Around
Inside the port facility are several souvenir and clothing shops and stalls, as well as duty-free shops. It's a good place to pick up souvenirs, as the stores downtown mostly cater to locals. There's also a tourist office, but you'll find the red-shirted tourist board representatives throughout the port and downtown, handing out maps and directing cruise travelers to the city's main attractions. A taxi dispatcher can help you get a cab and tell you the fixed rates for popular destinations.
 
Things To See and Do
Beginning soon after Christmas and lasting until Ash Wednesday, the Circus of Trinidad is well known for its charm and festiveness. The whole island turns into a tremendous party as local people wear elaborate costumes and bands play live music to 100s of 1000's of dancing revelers. You are able to request bookings to go to one of several parties around the evening before Circus Monday (the highlight from the festival).
 
Trinidad is less known for its beaches than a number of its other characteristics, yet still it has more shore land than any other island in the western world Indies. Though a majority of them are isolated, they're still accessible and beautiful. Maracas Bay, nearly twenty miles from Port-of-The country, features a protected cove, bathrooms, plus some food facilities. Manzanilla Beach, around the eastern coast of Trinidad, has awe-inspiring sea sights, and top picnic facilities. To escape the shore-going crowds, head to Las Cuevas Bay. An attractive beach with limited tourist amenities. Las Cuevas is located near its northern border Coast Road of Trinidad.
 
The Travel Center, situated at 16 Damian St. in Woodbrook, offers many led around the area and it is surrounding waters. Visitors can take a 2-hour tour to view the primary highlights in Port-of-The country, or have a longer four-hour Saddle Road tour that introduces you to the attractive mountain scenery found near Maracas Bay. If you prefer a complete guided experience with Trinidad, go ahead and take Island Circle Tour, an eight-hour journey that whisks you off to the Gulf of Paria, Pointe-a-Pierre, and San Fernando. Revel in the coconut farms at Mayaro Beach, plus much more.
 
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Capital of the nation, this bustling business center boasts many fine examples of colonial-style architecture as well as a few popular tourist attractions. Architectural highlights include the impressive Renaissance-style Red House Parliament in Woodford Square, and the "Magnificent Seven," a group of elegant mansions along the sprawling green space of Queen's Park Savannah. Near this park, visitors will also find the Botanical Gardens bordering the president's grand residence, and the National Museum and Art Gallery with exhibits on local art, history, and culture.
 
Attractions in Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago are two islands joined as one nation with very different characters. Close to Venezuela, Trinidad is the busier of the two and the southernmost of all the West Indian islands. In the bustling capital, Port of Spain, on Trinidad's northwest coast, travelers will find some impressive examples of colonial and Renaissance-style architecture, as well as an eclectic cultural mix of Creoles, Africans, Amerindians, Europeans, and East Indians. Popular palm-fringed beaches are nearby and three forest-cloaked mountain ranges dissect the island, creating some striking landscapes. Naturally beautiful Tobago is Trinidad's less-developed younger sister. Rainforests, reefs, and beautiful white sand beaches are the prime attractions here with many opportunities for snorkeling and diving. Although the economy of Trinidad and Tobago is driven mainly by oil and natural gas production, rather than tourism, the islands attract many independent travelers who appreciate the unpretentious ambiance and dramatic topography. In particular, both islands are renowned for their excellent birding with many avian species from nearby South America enriching the biodiversity. Trinidad and Tobago is also famous for its Carnival. Held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, this flamboyant festival is an extravaganza of colorful costumes, limbo competitions, and contagious calypso and soca rhythms.
 
Maracas Bay, Trinidad
About 40 minutes drive northeast from Port of Spain, Maracas Bay is one of Trinidad's most famous beaches. A deep bay protects this palm-fringed strip of golden sand, one of the most beautiful beaches close to the city. From Port of Spain, the scenic drive through mountainous rainforest provides breathtaking views of lush peninsulas jutting into the sea. Food vendors and showers are available by the beach.
Maracas Bay is the most popular beach for Port of Spain locals looking to spend a day in the sun and the surf. For tourists hopping in and out of the capital, it also makes the best beach trip. On Trinidad's northern coast about 45 minutes away from the capital, Maracas Bay is sandwiched between a picturesque cove and a quiet fishing village. In between, lifeguards oversee weekend crowds. You won't be the only one on the beach and there's no shortage of provisions. Snack bars all claim to sell the best "bake and shark," the Trinidadian specialty. Parking and restrooms are plentiful. Arrive via North Coast Road, a winding journey through the town of Maraval.
 
Pigeon Point, Tobago
Many consider the white-sands and aqua seas of Pigeon Point to be the most beautiful beach on Tobago. Also known as the Pigeon Point Heritage Park, this popular stretch of coral-sand coast requires an entrance fee and encompasses snack bars, shops, change rooms, and thatch-covered seating. Sun loungers are also available for rent. Boats leave from here to tour nearby reefs.
 
Caroni Bird Sanctuary, Trinidad
Caroni Bird Sanctuary, just south of Port of Spain, is a nirvana for nature lovers. This series of mangrove-lined waterways is the nesting place of the Scarlet Ibis, the national bird of Trinidad and Tobago. Afternoon boat tours cruise the estuaries in search of these spectacular flame-colored birds as they descend on the trees in large flocks. The area is rich in biodiversity and visitors may also spot many other species of wildlife such as herons, egrets, cormorants, tree boas, anteaters, and caimans. Fishing and photography tours are also available. Address: Butler Highway, Caroni, Trinidad Official site: www.caronibirdsanctuary.com
 
Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge, Trinidad
A paradise for birders, the Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge encompasses 1,500 acres of dense forest in the Arima and Aripo Valleys. Hummingbirds, Woodcreepers, Pygmy Owls, Trogons, and the rare nocturnal Oilbird are just some of the avian species spotted at this former cocoa, coffee, and citrus plantation. Income from guests funds conservation of the surrounding forest, new land purchases, and environmental educational programs. Address: Spring Hill Estate, Trinidad Official site: www.asawright.org
 
Little Tobago Island
On the east end of Tobago, across from Speyside, Little Tobago Island is an uninhabited bird sanctuary with several kilometers of trails. The most spectacular views are from the hills overlooking the seaward direction where Red-footed Boobies and Frigate birds swoop in large flocks. Glass-bottomed boats whisk visitors to the island, revealing the coral reefs below as they circle past the smaller Goat Island in Tyrrel's Bay. Tours often include snorkeling on the nearby reef and a hike to the island's peak.
 
Mount St. Benedict Monastery, Trinidad
Rising above the Northern Range Hills over Tunapuna, the red-roofed church tower of Mount St. Benedict Monastery is one of the most striking landmarks east of Port of Spain. Benedictine monks established this community in 1912, and the monastery is the largest and oldest in the Caribbean. Founded on the principles of self-sufficiency and hospitality to strangers, the monastery complex encompasses religious buildings, a farm, an apiary, a home for the aged, a rehabilitation center, a vocational school, and guesthouse. Hiking and birding opportunities abound in the surrounding forest, and the monastery is famous for its yogurt, jams, and jellies filled with locally-grown fruit. Official site: www.mountstbenedictabbey.org

Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust, Trinidad
The middle of an oil refinery may seem an odd place for a nature sanctuary, but this is one of the best bird viewing spots in Trinidad. Surrounded by lush tropical foliage, the 30-hectare sanctuary encompasses an interpretive center and nature trails along lily-topped lakes where visitors may spot species such as the Scarlet Ibis, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, and White-cheeked Pintail. The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust protects the sanctuary and operates rehabilitation and captive breeding programs for endangered species. Address: San Fernando, Trinidad -- Official site: www.papwildfowltrust.org
Main Ridge Forest Reserve, Tobago

Rich in biodiversity, the Main Ridge Forest Reserve is purportedly the oldest legally protected forest in the Western Hemisphere. The reserve harbors more than half of the island's bird species, including the Blue-backed Manakin, Collared Trogon, and many species of hummingbirds. Hiking through the lush foliage, nature lovers may also spot frogs, lizards, snakes, and butterflies. The road through the reserve from north to south, near the eastern end of Tobago, is one of the more scenic ways to see the forest. At the top of the ridge, visitors will find hiking trails and freelance guides.
 
Fort King George and Tobago Museum, Tobago
Built in the 1780's overlooking Scarborough Bay, Fort King George offers both a good view of the town and a park-like tranquility with some magnificent trees. Still surviving are remnants of the original brick and stone walls, an early prison, the officers' mess, several cannons, and a lighthouse. Fort King George is the most well-preserved fort on the island. Also on the grounds, The Tobago Museum displays collections of antique maps, African Art, Amerindian artifacts, coins, and shells.
 
Zoos & Gardens
North from the capital may be the Royal Botanical Gardens of Trinidad (868/622-4221). A 70-acre garden that's open every single day from 6am to 6pm, your garden is stuffed with beautiful trees and flowers. Within the garden may be the President's House, the place to find the mind of Trinidad and the family. Incorporated within this fascinating garden may be the Emperor Valley Zoo (868/622-3530). A great spot to take children, the zoo includes a great range of exotic plants and creatures, an excellent aviary, along with a tropical jungle atmosphere.
 
The Queen's Park Savannah or, more usually, just the Savannah is a large park in the middle of the city. It has a circumference of 3.5 km and is a popular spot around sunset for joggers and walkers. With one-way traffic circulating clockwise, it claims to be the world's largest roundabout or traffic circle.
 
Emperor Valley Zoo: Animal-lovers and families can have a great day out at Trinidad's zoo , located adjacent to the Royal Botanical Gardens and across from the Queen's Park Savannah. The zoo houses hundreds of local and foreign birds, mammals, reptiles and fish, including monkeys, tigers, crocodiles and flamingoes. There's a cafeteria on-site and plenty of places for picnicking. (It's open daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
 
National Museum and Art Gallery: The diverse exhibitions at Trinidad's main museum include displays on early Amerindian history, the technology of the oil industry, Carnival, steel pan music and the island's geology, flora and fauna. Admission is free. (It's open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. It's located at 117 Frederick Street.)
 
Caroni Bird Swamp: The 20-square-mile mangrove wetland that makes up the Caroni Bird Swamp is home to more than 200 species of birds. The big-name attraction there is the Scarlet Ibis, a bright red bird that's the national bird of Trinidad, even gracing the country's coat of arms. Visitors take tours through the waterways on motorized canoes and may see snakes, anteaters, caimans and a wide variety of birds. The best time to visit is at dusk, when the scarlet Ibises come home to nest for the night, but most cruise travelers visit in the morning, when bird viewings are possible but not as plentiful. It's a half-hour drive from Port of Spain.
 
Las Cuevas
About seven miles past Maracas, Las Cuevas beach offers a slightly less crowded alternative. You can still find vendors selling fresh seafood and fruits. It's a bit of a walk from the parking lot to the beach, though nothing unmanageable for adults and children. The water can be somewhat brutal. On rough days, young children and inexperienced swimmers may prefer to enjoy the beach from the sand or simply wade in the shallow surf.
 
Blanchisseuse Bay
Drive seven miles more along the North Coast Road and you'll come to Blanchisseuse bay. All your driving will pay off, if you're looking for a romantic retreat or just a secluded spot to sunbathe in peace. Don't expect any facilities; you give up bathrooms when you run from the crowds. You have palm trees and a lagoon and a river marking off the beach's eastern end. Ask the fishermen to take you out in for a boat ride; the view of the coast, alone, is worth the trip.
 
Additional Considerations
The North Coast Road's three beaches are your main options within a reasonable distance of Port of Spain. Should you venture a bit further to the eastern coast of the island, your choices begin to increase. There you will find rocky promontories framing black or beige sand. Grande Riviere has black sand that glows at night due to phosphorescent plankton.
 
Hiking: Trinidad's mountain ranges and rainforests make for great hiking, with opportunities to see birds and wildlife, explore caves and swim in natural pools by waterfalls. Short day-hikes are within driving distance of Port of Spain, but you'd do best to hire a guide for the best experience within a limited port call. Try The Pathmaster, Caribbean Discovery Tours or Banwari Experience.
 
Shore Excursions
Best Highlights Tour: For a twist on the typical city tour, book the "Port of Spain Highlights and Angostura Distillery" tour; it begins with a bus ride through town past the Parliament Building and Magnificent Seven and includes a quick visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens and a photo stop at the Lady Young Lookout. The highlight of the trip is a tour of the Angostura Bitters Distillery, complete with a complimentary beverage.
 
Best for Beach Bums: Drive past Trinidad's city highlights, as well as countryside areas, on your way to Maracas Beach. You'll have a few hours there to swim, soak up the sun or try a Bake & Shark lunch. Changing facilities and showers are available.
 
Best for Nature Lovers: The "Rainforest Adventure and Asa Wright Tour" takes you to Trinidad's 200-acre wildlife sanctuary, an hour's drive from Port of Spain. There, you'll go on a guided walk through a tropical forest to see birds (more than 400 varieties live there) and exotic trees and flowers. If you're lucky, you might see a toucan!
 
Best for Religious Travelers: A unique, slower-paced tour is the "Trinidad Highlight's and Mount St. Benedict Monastery" excursion. It starts like the other highlights tours with a drive through the city, with a brief stop at the gardens and a lookout, before heading to the hilltop Roman Catholic monastery, the oldest Benedictine monastery in the region. A guided tour of the church and guesthouse will enlighten visitors about the history and culture of the monks, and it's followed by tea, coffee, fruit punch and homemade bread, served on the terrace where you can spot tiny, beautifully colored birds.
 
Beaches
Near to Port-of-The country lies beautiful Maqueripe Bay, having a protected beach that's a great spot to go scuba diving. Maracas Bay, roughly ten miles in the capital, is really a lovely beach too, but remember that harmful power are frequent here, so go swimming with caution
 
Eating Out
 
With the increasing global popularity of Caribbean food, one of the exciting movements in local cuisine is the emergence of haute cuisine where traditional, even grassroots, dishes are done gourmet-style. In Trinidad's burgeoning gourmet food industry, you will find casual dining restaurants, steakhouses and some international cuisine.You will also find a fusion of fine dining restaurants boasting French, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Spanish and Thai food. These are primarily located in Port-of-Spain on Ariapita Avenue or "restaurant strip" as it is commonly known, Woodbrook, St Clair and around the Queen's Park Savannah.
 
Street Cuisine
Trinidad's cuisine is an adventure and for the best experience, you may have to take the unbeaten path.
 
A street vendor will serve some of the most memorable and unique foods you will eat on the island. If you think the vendor looks a little dodgy, you can politely ask for a food handlers badge but if there's a line-up of locals, you've picked the right spot. St James, on the western edge of Port of Spain, is the place for nightlife and street cuisine. In the wee hours of the morning the town is abuzz with vendors selling barbecue and jerk meats, roti, homemade ice cream, Creole corn soup, ital (vegetarian) food, fruit punch (not the hotel variety) and much more.
 
Around the Queen's Park Savannah, you can treat yourself to coconut water and coconut jelly (scooped from a freshly cut coconut), boiled or roasted corn, Indian delicacies or oysters, served in a glass with a dash of lime and spicy cocktail sauce. Another popular street fare is the snow cone (shaved ice topped with syrup and condensed milk), great for beating the tropical heat.
 
In Trinidad, people say if you want to raise money, hold a barbecue or a curry-que. The point being that if you involve food in the event, you are sure to make money. This fact has led to the growth in the number of food festivals held on the island. Some are done for charitable purposes while others aim to showcase the island's diverse cuisine.
 
Unusual Cuisine -- Bake and shark, now synonymous with Maracas Bay, is the flagship of Trinidad's unusual cuisine. Deep-fried pieces of shark are nestled between two slices of fried bake (fried dough) and topped with your choice of condiments and relishes. You can choose from tomatoes, cucumbers, pineapple, ketchup, mustard, tartar sauce, tamarind sauce, garlic sauce, oyster sauce and pepper sauce.
 
Pepper sauce (hot peppers blended with vinegar and herbs) for most Trinidadians goes with everything! Expect everything you eat on the island to be a little spicy and don't be surprised if pepper sauce is offered with your meal. For the safety of your taste buds, always ask how hot the sauce is, and proceed with caution.
 
Fruit chows are part of every Trinidadian childhood. They are usually made with seasonal fruit such as mango, plums and pineapple. The half ripe or ripe fruit is cut up and mixed with limejuice, garlic, pepper, cilantro, oil, salt and black pepper. Chow can be used as a relish or dip but mostly it is eaten as a snack on its own.
Souse, is usually made with pig trotters or chicken feet. The meat is boiled and served cold in a salty brine seasoned with lime, cucumber, pepper, and onion slices.
 
Chip-chip is a tiny shellfish similar in taste to clams. It is usually curried or used in a spicy cocktail.
Conch is a dark, edible marine snail, usually served curried or in souse.
 
Cascadura or cascadoo, as it is commonly known, is a rare freshwater fish covered with large plates of bony, dark scales. Usually curried, it holds a special place in local folklore. According to legend, once you eat cascadura, you will always return to Trinidad.
Wild meat is highly sought after during hunting season (October 1st to the end of February). Locals stew or curry agouti, iguana, manicou (opossum), lappe, quenk (wild hogs) and tatoo (armadillo).
 
Lighthouse Restaurant - type of Cuisine: international with a West Indian tang
Imagine open-air dining on a covered deck under a real working lighthouse while the sun sets across a peaceful bay. Yachts sway gently in the harbour, sprinkling lights from their masts over the rippling sea. Yet the food outshines the ambience. Starting with Salmon Napoleon to Honey Lacquered Breast of Duck or Steak au Poivre topped only by oven-roasted lobster, each dish flavoured with a sincere West Indian tang. Leave with the memory of warm chocolate torte, coconut crème brûlée or double chocolate mousse.The Lighthouse . . . relish the view, savour the food, remember the moment. Mondays-Sundays, 7am-11pm. Point Gourde, Chaguaramas Bay; Reservations: (868) 634-4384 Ext. 424. Website: http://www.crewsinn.com/lighthouse.asp
 
Solimar -- Set in a romantic covered garden with fountains and waterfall, Solimar provides an ambience to perfectly complement the cuisine prepared by Chef/Owner Joe Brown. Joe, with experience from working in 10 countries worldwide, provides an eclectic style of cooking. Food festivals and daily specials are an intrinsic part of Solimar’s offerings, and the wine list is unrivalled on the island, with over 75 offerings including some rare French Gran Crus and a vertical listing of Opus One. The bar, overseen by our award-winning bartender, Roger, offers exotic cocktails and perfectly prepared classics. Solimar, truly international. Truly the restaurant of the Caribbean. 6 Nook Avenue, St Ann’s; Next to the Normandie Hotel, 6km/3 3/4 miles northwest of the city center, St. Ann's, Trinidad tel./fax: 868/624-6267
 
Tamnak Thai Restaurant -- Tamnak Thai offers the best cuisine that Thailand has to offer. Situated on the historical and prestigious Queen’s Park Savannah, the restaurant has an enchanting patio and beautifully adorned private dining areas. Chefs Thiwa and Chaikeaw preside over the kitchen. With their culinary flair and attention to detail, patrons are guaranteed a memorable dining experience. Service is courteous and professional. Tamnak Thai has earned its reputation for being the premier restaurant in Trinidad and Tobago. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays- Fridays and on Sundays. On Mondays and Saturdays for dinner only from 6pm. Reservations are recommended. All major credit cards are accepted. Free valet parking. Level 2, #13 Queen’s Park Savannah East, Port of Spain; tel. 868/625-9715
 
T.G.I. Friday’s, the first American casual dining chain, is now in Trinidad. It’s been created with a comfortable, relaxing environment in which you can enjoy quality food served by friendly waiters and waitresses, and beverages served by bottle-flipping bartenders. Friday’s offers an unsurpassed menu selection of food prepared to perfection which includes the original potato skins and Jack Daniel’s grill, and the traditional N.Y. buffalo wings, hamburgers, salads, pastas and a big variety of flavourful alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The restaurant is in the heart of Port of Spain, with a magnificent view of the historical Queen’s Park Savannah. website: http://www.tgifridaysec.com.cn/
 
Apsara is the only authentic Indian restaurant in Trinidad and Tobago. Chefs Ramsingh and Nimal work tirelessly to ensure that diners experience the very best cuisine their homeland has to offer, from tantalizing tandooris to world-famous Rogan Josh. Specializing in mainly Northern Indian Cuisine, Apsara has an extensive menu suitable for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. The ambience is unparalleled. Attention to detail is evident at every turn. Friendly, courteous staff ensure professional service at all times. Open for lunch and dinner Mondays-Fridays. Saturdays from 6pm for dinner. Reservations are recommended. All major credit cards are accepted.. Level 1, #13 Queen’s Park Savannah East, Port of Spain; tel. 868/623-7659

Think world-class cuisine. Lobster crêpes sautéed in garlic butter, seafood spinach fettuccine, veal scaloppini, steaks — just some of our tantalising offerings. Flavours is reputed for artistically presented, moderately priced, gourmet Caribbean dishes, flavoured with scintillating seasonings. Every mouthwatering meal is an all-sensory experience. Its tastefully serene setting and tasty nouvelle cuisine are perfect for business encounters, family dining and romantic interludes. Flavours On The Avenue, corner of Ariapita Avenue and Cornelio Streets. Opening hours (Monday to Saturday): lunch, 11:30am-4:30pm; dinner, 6pm-10pm. For reservations, please call 628-8687.  40 Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook; tel. 628-8687
 
Valpark Chinese Restaurant, the best fine dining restaurant along the east-west corridor. In existence for the past 25 years, it keeps getting better with age! Dining is elegant, comfortable and functional. Our staff is professionally trained, courteous and friendly. Our cuisine is authentic Cantonese with all the frills. We also offer succulent steak dishes and exquisite buffets. We provide full service every day of the week — including public holidays — with live entertainment nightly. So for a wonderful experience in authentic Chinese cuisine, come to Valpark Chinese Restaurant. 1 Morequito Avenue, Valpark Shopping Plaza, Valsayn tel: +1 868 662 4540
 
Sisters Allyson and Rosemary welcome you to their restaurant, a traditional West Indian home filled with local art and plants, creating a warm and friendly atmosphere in a beautiful tropical setting. Veni Mangé is "the home away from home"! Fodor’s - the king of guidebooks - says, "the best lunches in town are served at Veni Mangé". We specialize in creative Caribbean cuisine and offer a varied menu, which changes daily and combines typical Caribbean cooking with the influence of French cuisine (Allyson is a qualified Cordon Bleu cook). A vegetarian selection and exotic fresh tropical juices and cocktails are always
67A Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies. Tel: 1 (868) 624-4597 e-mail: veni...@gmail.com, website: http://www.venimange.com/
 
Night life
When the sun sets over this magical island paradise, head to French Street and visit the Mas Camping Pub. Here there is also a lively bar where traditional Calypso music is performed every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the year. Having a cheap cover along with a great atmosphere, it should not be skipped. Moon Over Bourban Street on Southern Landing in Westmoorings, features live music, and standup comedy on some nights.
 
Shopping
Port-of-The country is known for its huge assortment of luxury products offered at reasonable prices. Guests can shop till they drop for various goods, including fine linens, jewelry, brass goods, and watches from all over the world. For that epitome of luxurious goods, mind to Stecher's within the Gulf City Complex for diamonds, fragrances, and exotic jewelry. If you're looking for native goods, then head towards the Market at 10 Nook Ave. Here you'll find more than twenty stores selling traditional Trinidad clothing, artwork, and accessories.
One of the largest bazaars of the Caribbean, Port-of-Spain has luxury items from all over the globe, including Irish linens, English china, Scandinavian crystal, French perfumes, Swiss watches, and Japanese cameras. Even more interesting are the Asian bazaars, where you can pick up items in brass. Reflecting the island's culture are calypso shirts, sisal goods, woodwork, cascadura bracelets (made from the scales of the cascadura fish), silver jewelry in local motifs, and saris. For souvenirs, visitors often like to bring back figurines of limbo dancers, Carnival masqueraders, or calypso singers.
 
Stechers, Gulf City Complex (tel. 868/657-6993), is the best bet for luxury items -- crystal, watches, jewelry, perfumes, Georg Jensen silver, Lladró, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Limoges, and Royal Albert. You can find other branches at Long Circular Mall and West Mall. You can also pay a last-minute call at their tax-free airport branches or at the cruise-ship complex at the Port-of-Spain docks.
 
Y. De Lima, 83 Queen St. (tel. 868/623-1364), is a good store for watches, but the main focus is local jewelry. Its third-floor workroom will make whatever you want in jewelry or bronze. You might emerge with anything from steel drum earrings to a hibiscus blossom brooch.
 
Art Society of Trinidad & Tobago, 26 Taylor St., Woodbrook (tel. 868/622-9827; www.artsocietytt.org), showcases island artists who work in various media, including painting and sculpture. The best of the islanders' artistic statements are showcased here, and something new and fresh is always on exhibit, from "Shango-Baptist imagery" to paintings reflecting the East Indian backgrounds of its creators.
 
Lovers of Caribbean art also flock to the 101 Art Gallery, 101 Tragarete Rd. (tel. 868/628-4081; www.101artgallery.com), in Port-of-Spain. This is the best showcase for the hottest local talent. Local artist Sarah Beckett's work is so influential that her abstract oils appear on regional stamps. Often you can meet some of the artists here, especially on Tuesday evenings during openings.
 
The Market, 10 Nook Ave., St. Ann's (tel. 868/624-1181), is one of the most fashionable shopping complexes on Trinidad. Some 20 boutiques represent the best jewelers, designers, and art dealers on the island. You'll find a wide assortment of clothing, cosmetics, bags, shoes, china, tableware, handicrafts, and accessories. The complex forms an interconnected bridge among the Normandie Hotel and Restaurant, and the restaurant Vidalia.



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