Thinking of visiting Trinidad and Tobago? Doing so during the legendary carnival season will blow your mind. It is one of the best and biggest festivals in Caribbean, and a most fantastical revelry you will not want to miss.
The rich history of the Trinidad Carnival dates back to when slavery was still widespread, and the slaves were banned from attending the fancy parties and balls of their masters. Instead, they improvised by creating their own event by designing elaborate costumers and revelries ensued in their quarters. Following Emancipation, the formers slaves then challenged the owners of plantations to host their own public carnivals. Over two centuries later, the carnival has evolved into an extravagant, billion-dollar event for Trinidad and Tobago.
The carnival features an astonishing number of masquerades, sometimes reaching as much as 3,000. A King or Queen usually leads the carnival bands, and some of them compete on the Carnival Sunday or the Dimanche Gras to win the prestigious title of King or Queen of the Carnival. The grand parades, music, and costumes will captivate you with their magnificence, as the streets of Trinidad and Tobago pulsate with electrifying energy.
Don’t miss J’ouvert, which takes place during the early hours of the carnival. Be ready to get smacked everywhere with powder, paint, mud, and even chocolate! Instead of trying to avoid it, be ready to get down and dirty in the true spirit of the carnival. For the best Trinidad and Tobago Carnival experience, don’t just be a spectator – join one of the bands who offer packages with crazy costumes!
‘Join in on a centuries-old street party that is at the heart of Trinidad and Tobago’s culture’
The carnival is held every year on the Monday and Tuesday right before Ash Wednesday.
Ground zero for all the activities during the Trinidad and Tobago Festival will be at the Port of Spain, Trinidad. However, there will be numerous crazy street parties in San Fernando, Chaguanas, Mayaro, Tobago, and Arima. You can join in on the revelries anywhere here, but most festival goers know that most insane street parties will be in the towns and communities nearby.
Taxis and Ubers are the best way to get around. But for the carnival itself, walking around by foot is the only way especially if you are participating in the parades. The parade routes are no joke so if you intend to join in, make sure you’ve started working out ahead of time. There is also a water taxi connecting the Port of Spain with San Fernando and Chaguaramas, which is a much more relaxing alternative compared to the busy, traffic-ridden roads.
Being one of the biggest festivals in the world, it’s no surprise that hotels in the area increase their rates like crazy during the carnival. If you’re on a budget, the best places to book a hotel would be in the Port of Spain, or further out to San Juan, Piarco, and Chaguanas.
Trinidad and Tobago may be lesser-known destinations compared to its Caribbean neighbors, but the dual-island nation has a vast number of experiences to enjoy. From majestic, historical fortresses to charming colonial homes and breathtaking white-sand beaches, there’s something for everyone to see and do.
Spend a day at Pigeon Point Beach, a postcard-perfect tropical beach framed by chunky coconut palms. Take a tour of a cocoa estate, which finishes off with a lip-smacking chocolate and rum sampling. Indulge in authentic Trini street food of bake and shark. Get involved in one of the many eco-tour activities which can take you through misty rainforests, lush mangroves, and magnificent plantations.
End your days by going liming. That’s T&T speak for hanging out with friends and drinking, whether it’s at a rum bar, on a street corner, or at the beach.
The Trinidad Carnival will be held on March 4 and 5, 2019.
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