Trinidad and Tobago: a wildlife and nature lover's paradise

With a climate more tropical than the Caribbean, green hills, white beaches and clear waters, these islands are ripe for exploration

By National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Published 8 Apr 2019, 23:43 BST

Located at the southernmost tip of the Caribbean, this twin island state not only differs from the rest of the Caribbean, but each of the islands also differs from each other. This makes for a diverse and engaging destination. Both Trinidad and Tobago boast a climate that's even more tropical than the Caribbean. Temperatures range from 22-33C, with only two seasons: wet and dry. Plus, given that thousands of years ago it was attached to South America, it will come as no surprise that climate-wise these two beautiful islands have a lot in common with countries like Brazil and Argentina.

There's a huge and wonderful array of wildlife on the islands. In an area totalling just 1,979sq miles, visitors are likely to encounter 45 species of freshwater fish, between 400 and 500 types of marine fish, 49 types of amphibians, 93 reptiles, 433 birds, and 100 species of mammals. It certainly calls to nature and wildlife enthusiasts everywhere.

Trinidad and Tobago has always been associated with hummingbirds.  In fact, the indigenous Amerindians gave Trinidad its original name, Iere, which means the 'Land of the Humming Bird'.  This name is entirely appropriate, as both islands are home to 17 species, with one found only on the island of Tobago.

Turtle watching is another not-to-be-missed opportunity, and something that so often appears on travellers' bucket lists. From March to early September, these prehistoric behemoths gather in their hundreds on the eastern beaches of Trinidad and the Western side of Tobago. Leatherback turtles can reach up to an astonishing 7ft long and weigh up to a tonne! In fact, the Grande Riviere Beach in Trinidad is known for having the highest concentration of turtles nesting on any one night in the world.

Saying that visitors can 'get wild' in Trinidad and Tobago may conjure up images of Carnival — the festival for which the destination is best known. However, it's so much more than that. Trinidad and Tobago has one of the best mixes of high-octane and soft adventure in the Caribbean, suitable for all the family. Visitors can make the most of activities such a hiking, biking, birdwatching, kayaking, abseiling and once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as goat and crab racing.

For those wanting to explore all the rolling hills and pristine beaches Trinidad has to offer, there are a range of hiking trails of varying levels of difficulty, and the island's Northern Mountain Range is a favourite with hikers the world over due to its variety of trails, waterfalls, rivers, streams and caves.

Ziplining is fairly new to the islands, and the view above Trinidad's historic Macqueripe Bay is simply breathtaking. This short stretch of beach was once the site for US submarines stations during the Second World War, when the Americans occupied Trinidad's northwestern peninsula.

Tobago, meanwhile, boasts The Main Ridge Rainforest — another must for nature buffs and the oldest protected nature reserve in the Western Hemisphere.


Explore Nat Geo

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • History & Culture
  • Science
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Space
  • Adventure
  • Video

About us


  • Magazines
  • Disney+

Follow us

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2023 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved