Trinidad and Tobago is the most southerly of the West Indian island states. The country is situated roughly eleven kilometres off the Venezuelan coast. The twin islands share maritime boundaries with Grenada, Barbados, Guyana, and Venezuela. Trinidad -- by far the larger of the two main islands -- covers an area of just under five thousand square kilometres. Tobago has an area of only three hundred square kilometres. The official language is English; however, Trinidadian Creole or Tobagonian Creole, two English-based Creole languages, are widely spoken.
Trinidad and Tobago used to be a British colony and gained its independence from the United Kingdom in the mid-twentieth century. Nowadays, the country is a member of the Commonwealth and the United Nations. More than a million people live on the islands. The biggest ethnic group is African, with around forty-seven percent, followed by the Indian ethnic group with thirty-five percent. Port of Spain, with a population of thirty-seven thousand people, is the capital, but only the third-biggest city in Trinidad and Tobago. It is an important financial centre for the Caribbean and the hub for the Trinidad’s world-famous carnival.
Both islands have airports with regular international flights. The island of Trinidad is served by Piarco International Airport located in Piarco, around thirty kilometres east of the capital Port of Spain. The Island of Tobago is served by the A.N.R. Robinson International Airport in Crown Point. There are regular air links between the both main islands, as well.
Trinidad and Tobago is one of the richest and most developed countries in the Caribbean. Tourism and manufacturing are important for the national economy, but the most important sector remains the oil industry. The climate of Trinidad and Tobago is tropical with a high humidity. The coolest months are January and February, with average maximum temperatures around twenty-eight degree Celsius. The warmest months are May, September, and October, which have average maximum temperatures around thirty-three degrees Celsius.
There are numerous hotels and holiday apartments on both islands. Many accommodations that are more expensive are located along the southern coast of Tobago and the western coast of Trinidad. Trinidad and Tobago hostels can be found on both islands. Most of the budget places such as Trinidad and Tobago hostels are located in the north of Trinidad. In Tobago the hostels are spread out on the island.
Even if Trinidad and Tobago are one country, the landscapes on the twin islands are very different. In Trinidad, unspoiled mangrove swamps and hills covered by rainforest are right next to oil refineries and unpleasant industrial estates. However, beautiful beaches are available on the northern coast. Tobago offers everything you'd expect from a Caribbean island -- beautiful white sandy beaches, palm trees, and crystal-clear water. So far, the tourist industry has had minor influence on the landscape and nature. It is also a first-class destination for bird-watching. Around a hundred thirty species of birds and fifteen varieties of hummingbird populate the islands, many more than on any other Caribbean island. Sport enthusiasts will love the excellent opportunities to dive, to hike, and to cycle. One of the most beautiful spots on Trinidad is Pirate's Bay; it is north of Charlottesville and a first-class location for snorkeling or spending a relaxing day on the untouched beach. Nylon Pool is one of the most visited attractions. This natural ground coral pool with crystal-clear water has a sandy bottom in the middle and is a perfect spot for snorkeling.
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