Trinidad Island is the largest and most heavily populated of the islands in the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago (popularly known as “T&T.”). It is the most southerly island in the Caribbean Sea and it is located about seven miles off the northeast coast of Venezuela. It is separated from the continent of South America by the Gulf of Paria and lies near the mouth of the Orinoco River.
Port-of-Spain the capital has become a major port of call for Caribbean cruise lines and is one of the most commercial and industrial hub centers in the Caribbean, more business travelers than tourists are drawn here. Trinidad Island is approximately 1840 square miles in size( approximately 80km (50 miles) long and 65km (40 miles) wide), it’s largest city is San Fernando, and it is home to more than a million people, the people are part of the attraction on Trinidad, the most cosmopolitan island in the Caribbean.
Trinidad is completely different from the other Caribbean islands, which is part of its charm and appeal. The island does have beaches, but the best of them they’re out of the way and hard to find and are far away from the capital. Far removed from the traffic jams of the capital, you can explore the abundance of fauna and flora growth. It’s estimated that there are some 700 varieties of orchids alone, plus 400 species of birds.
The history of Trinidad and Tobago has an interesting colonial history and produced a rich cultural heritage. Trinidad is a very multicultural island with a blend of many nationalities. Trinidadians are a mix of African descent, East Indians, and others including Western European and Middle Eastern descent. This blended culture made it referred as the “Rainbow Country.”
The Arawaks, Caribs, and other Amerindians prospered here on the island before the the third expedition of the explorer Christopher Columbus set foot on Trinidad on July 31, 1498 naming it the Holy Trinity, while The Amerindians called it Ieri, the land of the Humming Bird. Columbus spotted the island he named for the Holy Trinity referring to the three major peaks there. However, it was not colonized by the Spaniards until 1532 before Spain established Trinidad’s first European community, and held it longer than they did any of their other real estate in the Caribbean. When the Spaniards discovered no precious metals on Trinidad, the Amerindians were enslaved and shipped off to work on other Caribbean settlements.
By the 17th century, the island once again suffered from invasions, this time from the Dutch and the French.
Tobago was captured by a British naval expedition in 1642 and captured Trinidad in 1797, and was formally ceded to the British Crown in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens and the islands became a British colony.
By 1814, Tobago, which had changed hands several times, was also a British possession.
On April 6, 1889, Tobago was joined with Trinidad and became united as one territory under the name Trinidad and Tobago.
Both islands remained united politically by the British hands until the two-island nation declared its independence on Aug. 31, 1962. In 1833, slavery was abolished and decades after that, Muslim and Hindu Indians arrived in Trinidad and were made to work in place of the slaves in British plantations. Today still the British influence remains visible, apparent through the British dialect and the islanders’ fondness for cricket.
Trinidad’s Grand Carnival Celebration”:
Called the “world’s most colorful festival,” the Carnival of Trinidad is the oldest and the greatest of all festival such as Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday,” New Orleans, Venice or Brazil. The Carnival of Trinidad is a spectacle of dazzling costumes and gaiety. In Trinidad, Carnival is not celebrated for one day but for a whole season leading up to the Christian season of Lent!! Trinidad’s Carnival is a season of joyous, hundreds of bands of masqueraders’ parade through the cities on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, bringing traffic to a standstill and is well known for participant’s colorful costumes and exuberant celebrations. The island seems to explode with music, fun, dancing, fetes and parades. Carnival in Trinidad is extraordinary!! So give it a visit and come to enjoy a fantastic day in Trinidad. This beautiful island makes a great place for a holiday any time of the year.