FCO TRAVEL ALERTS

THE SOS GROUP
SOS-BANNER-SWADV

BodyGuard / Medical Courses from the SOS GROUP

Click on the Logo !

STREIT Armored Cars

Streit-Armored-Logo

Global Leader in Armored Transportation !!!

ADT Home Security
The Security Website : ADT Alarm Systems

For Specialised ADT

Home Security Solutions

Please Click HERE

SIRAS ACADEMY

Siras-Academy-RSBanner-

Close Protection Courses from the SIRAS ACADEMY

Click on the Logo !

University of St Andrews

St_Andrews_CT_Course_Banner

Terrorism Studies Course from The University of St Andrews ENROLLING NOW !!

TTF DIRECTORY

THIRTYTF_LOGO

 

Aviation Security Directory from TTF

Click on the Logo !

Travel Security Advice

Sub Menu

Banner
Travel Security Advice for Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad_and_Tobago_National_Flag

trinidad_mapTrinidad_Overview

 


 

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:  

Trinidad and Tobago is a developing nation in the Caribbean composed of two islands.  The islands gained independence from the British in 1962.  The country is one of the most prosperous in the Caribbean, largely as a result of petroleum and natural gas industries.  Tourist travel is mostly to the smaller of the two sister islands, Tobago.  Tourist facilities are widely available.  Read the Department of State Background Notes on Trinidad and Tobago  for additional information.



REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION:

Americans living or traveling in Trinidad and Tobago are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Trinidad and Tobago.  Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

The U.S. Embassy is located at 15 Queen's Park West, telephone 868-622-6371, Consular Section fax 868-822-5555.  American Citizen Services public hours of operation are 8:00 AM – 11:30 AM, and 1:00 PM through 3:00 PM, Monday - Friday, except U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago national holidays.  For additional information, you may send  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS: 

A valid passport is required of U.S. citizens for entry to Trinidad and Tobago.  The U.S. passport card alone is not accepted for entry to Trinidad and Tobago or for direct air travel from Trinidad and Tobago back to the U.S.  U.S. citizens do not need a visa for tourism or business-related visits of 90 days or less.  Work permits are required for compensated and some non-compensated employment, including missionary work.  Visas may be required for travel for purposes other than business or tourism.  For further information concerning entry, employment and customs requirements, travelers may visit and contact the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago website, 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC  20036, telephone (202) 467-6490, or the Trinidad and Tobago Consulates in Miami or New York City.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information Sheet.



SAFETY AND SECURITY: 

American citizens traveling to or residing in Trinidad and Tobago should avoid large crowds and demonstrations.  While non-violent demonstrations occur on occasion, widespread civil disorder is not typical.  The downtown area of Port of Spain experienced four bombings in 2005.  While no similar incidents have occurred since that time, the perpetrator(s) have not been arrested and their identities and motive remain unknown.  Americans visiting or residing in Port of Spain are advised to exercise caution, especially in crowded urban areas.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website,

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas.  For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s information on A Safe Trip Abroad.



CRIME:  

Incidents of violent crime continue to rise on both islands and affect local and expatriate communities, and tourists.  Visitors and expatriate residents in Trinidad and Tobago should exercise caution and good judgment as in any large urban area. Particular caution should be exercised when traveling after dark from Trinidad's Piarco Airport as incidents have been reported involving armed robbers trailing arriving passengers from the airport and accosting them in remote areas of the airport parking lot, on the highway leading from the airport to downtown Port of Spain, and outside the gates of residences.  Areas of metro Port of Spain to avoid include Laventille, Morvant, Sea Lots, South Belmont, scenic rest stops (after dark), walking across the Queen’s Park Savannah, and downtown Port of Spain (after dark), as tourists are particularly vulnerable to pick pocketing and armed assaults in these locations.  Holiday periods, especially Christmas and Carnival, often see an increase in criminal activity.

Violent crimes, including assault, kidnapping for ransom, sexual assault and murder, have involved expatriate residents and tourists, including U.S. citizens.  The perpetrators of many of these crimes have not been arrested.

Burglaries of private residences are common.  Robbery is a risk, particularly in urban areas and especially near ATMs and shopping malls.  Visitors should avoid wearing expensive jewelry or displaying large amounts of money in public.  One victim was targeted for driving an expensive new car.  In some cases, robberies of Americans have turned violent and resulted in injuries after the victim resisted handing over valuables.

In Tobago, the media have reported an increase in the incidence of violent crimes, including attacks on expatriate residents and tourists in their residences, at least two of which involved the use of machetes.  While local authorities have announced increased measures to fight crime, the U.S. Embassy advises that when making reservations at private accommodations, visitors should ensure that 24-hour security is provided.  There have been reports of home invasions in the Mt. Irvine/Buccoo Bay, and Bacoletareas, and robberies occurring at the waterfalls and on isolated beaches in Tobago where visitors are not in a group.  Visitors to Tobago should ensure that all villas or private homes have adequate security measures.

Visitors to Trinidad and Tobago are also advised to be cautious when visiting isolated beaches or scenic overlooks where robberies can occur.  In Trinidad, for example, there are isolated strips of beach at Las Cuevas, just beyond Maracas Bay, where visitors have been robbed of valuables. Visitors should not walk alone or in unfamiliar areas.  Valuables left unattended on beaches and in other public places are vulnerable to theft.  Visitors should avoid neighborhoods known for high crime rates.  When in doubt, consult the establishment where you are staying to identify areas to be avoided.

Taxis available at the major hotels or through pre-arranged pick-ups with reputable companies are generally safe and reliable.  The U.S. Embassy urges caution in the use of the small buses or vans in Trinidad, known as "Maxi Taxis" (full-size inter-city buses are usually safe).  Unmarked shared taxis authorized to pick up passengers will have the letter 'H' as the first letter on their license plates.  Some shared taxis and maxi taxis have been linked to petty crime and serious traffic accidents.  Valuables including travel documents should not be left unattended in parked cars, especially in parking lots, as several thefts have been reported.



INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME: 

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance.  The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred.  Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. 

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Trinidad and Tobago is:  Police 999 or 555, Fire 990, Ambulance-Trinidad 811, Ambulance-Tobago 639-4444, and Coast Guard (yachting emergencies) 634-4440.

Please see our information on Victims of Crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.



CRIMINAL PENALTIES: 

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law.  Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses.  Persons violating Trinidad and Tobago laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.  Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Trinidad and Tobago are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.  Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States. 

Please see our information on Criminal Penalties.



SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:  

Trinidad and Tobago is prone to occasional earthquakes, though no major earthquake has hit in recent history.  Tobago has suffered extensive damage from only two hurricanes since 1963.  In 2004, parts of Tobago were severely affected by flooding and mudslides from Hurricane Ivan and several other major storms that followed soon thereafter.  General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.

Travelers are cautioned against wearing military or camouflage clothing in public, as it is against local laws to do so, unless they are in Trinidad and Tobago on official military business.

Please see our Customs Information.



MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: 

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before traveling.  Medical care is limited compared to that in the United States.  Care at public health facilities is significantly below U.S. standards for treatment of serious injuries and illness, with limited access to supplies and medications.  While care at some private facilities is better than at most public health facilities, patients may be expected to prove their ability to pay before assistance is given, even in emergency situations.  Patients requiring blood transfusions are expected to arrange for at least the same amount to be donated on their behalf.  Physicians and nurses may go on strike, causing serious strain on both public and private medical resources.  Ambulance service is extremely limited both in the quality of emergency care and in the availability of vehicles in many parts of the country.

According to the Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Health, monkey deaths in 2008 on the island of Trinidad were laboratory confirmed as caused by yellow fever.  Although no human cases have been reported since 1979, the virus appears to be permanently embedded in forested areas of the central/south region of the island of Trinidad.  Evident outbreaks among monkeys may appear every 10-20 years after long periods of epidemiologic silence.  CDC continues to recommend yellow fever vaccine for travel to Trinidad & Tobago.

Dengue fever presents significant risk in urban and rural areas.  Precautions against insect bites are recommended such as wearing long sleeved shorts/trousers, the use of bed nets and insect repellants which contain DEET, picaridin (KBR 3023), Oil of Eucalyptus/PMD, or IR 3535.

Ciguatera poisoning is prevalent and results from eating reef fish such as grouper, snapper, amberjack, and barracuda.  The toxin remains even when fish is well cooked.

Marine hazards include corals, jellyfish, sharks, and sea urchins.  Heed posted warnings at organized beaches, and do not bathe at unmarked, unpatrolled beaches.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Trinidad and Tobago.  Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s website For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website.  Further general health information for travelers is available from the WHO .



MEDICAL INSURANCE:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. 

Please see our information on medical insurance overseas.



TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: 

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.  The information below concerning Trinidad and Tobago is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic moves on the left in Trinidad and Tobago.  Most vehicles are right-hand drive, but left-hand drive vehicles are permitted.  Rental cars are available, and are generally right-hand drive.  A U.S. driver's license and/or an International Driving Permit are valid for up to 90 days after arrival.  Seatbelts are required for drivers and front seat passengers, and cars may be pulled over and drivers fined for not wearing seatbelts.

Trinidad has several good four-lane highways and one controlled-access highway.  However, road quality decreases quickly on secondary roads.  Rural roads are narrow and often have deep drainage ditches on either side.  Some are in poor repair, and are frequently congested.  Night travel should be avoided other than on major highways.  Roadside assistance exists, but is limited and may be subject to lengthy delays.  The Beetham Highway, a main thoroughfare in and out of the city, is dangerous if your vehicle has broken down.  If your vehicle is drivable get out of the area before seeking help.  The Ministry of Works and Transport is responsible for road conditions and safety in the country.  Emergency ambulance services exist but may take prolonged amounts of time to reach the site of an accident and may not provide service in rural areas.

Trinidadian drivers may use hand signals to indicate turning, stopping, or slowing, which do not necessarily correspond to hand signals used in the United States.  Trinidadian drivers are generally courteous, but can be flexible with the rules of the road.  For example, cars traveling north on a two way street may cross into the southbound lane to stop and let passengers out.  Visitors need to be attentive and alert.  Intoxicated drivers on the road are a particular concern on the weekends, especially after dark when many locals are going to or returning from social events.  Drivers should take extra precaution on narrow and winding roads leading in and out of beaches and small towns in Trinidad and Tobago.  As always, defensive driving is strongly encouraged.

The country has an extensive system of taxis, maxi-taxis (vans) and some larger buses.  Although the larger inter-city buses are generally safe, the maxi-taxis have been linked to many road accidents and some instances of crime.  Fares should be agreed upon in advance.  Taxis will often stop at any point along the road to pick up or discharge passengers, often with little or no warning.

Please refer to our Road Safety page, and the Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Tourism home page for more information.



AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: 

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Trinidad and Tobago’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Trinidad and Tobago’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page .

MARINE SAFETY AND OVERSIGHT:

Visitors arriving in Trinidad and Tobago aboard a private vessel must register any firearms with local customs authorities.  Failure to declare firearms or making false customs declarations is a serious offense.  U.S. citizens have been jailed and fined for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, attempting to export ammunition, making false customs declarations and not declaring their firearms.

There is a small community of private boat owners who stay in Trinidad temporarily during the hurricane season.  There have been incidents in which vessels were boarded and the occupants were assaulted and robbed.  Sailors should report any incidents to the Coast Guard and local police, and are encouraged to check with the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard and yacht facility managers for current information.



CHILDREN'S ISSUES: 

For information see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

This replaces the Country Specific Information for Trinidad and Tobago dated March 4, 2009, to update sections on Entry/Exit Requirements, Crime, Medical Facilities and Health Information, and Maritime Safety and Oversight.

 


 

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office also has information regarding Trinidad and Tobago HERE......

Looking for an Embassy ?, You can also check out our World Wide Embassies Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens)........

Regards

The SW Team.........

 

Direct Gov Travel News and Alerts