Trinidad and Tobago
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Latest updates: The Health tab was updated - travel health notices (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Island of Trinidad - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in the island of Trinidad due to violent crime.
Island of Tobago - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in the island of Tobago.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Trinidad and Tobago. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago arrested 13 individuals who planned to carry out an attack at Carnival, which took place February 12 and 13, 2018.
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- public gatherings and festivals, such as Carnival
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- diplomatic missions
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places and exercise caution.
The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is an annual event held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
The Carnival draws a large number of visitors. Crowding at key sites may attract pickpockets and bag snatchers.
If attending any related events, expect enhanced security, including security screening and restrictions on bags and backpacks.
Be aware of your surroundings, don’t leave belongings unattended and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Island of Trinidad
Violent crime, including armed robberies, assaults and sexual assault, occur frequently on the island of Trinidad, especially in the capital, Port of Spain. Tourists have been targeted.
Cruise ship passengers should be very careful when walking around the docks in Port of Spain. Shootings, kidnappings and other gang- and drug-related violence occur. There is a risk of you being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Petty theft and other crimes of opportunity tend to increase during the annual Carnival celebrations in February or March and during the Christmas holidays.
Remain highly vigilant in Laventille, Beetham Gardens and at popular tourist sites such as Fort George, La Brea (Pitch Lake) and Las Cuevas Beach, where criminals have targeted foreigners. Gangs have followed cars leaving Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport to rob travellers at their destination.
Avoid unpopulated areas, such as scenic lookouts, especially after dark.
Avoid visiting isolated and unpatrolled beaches due to the risk of crime. On certain beaches, security is only provided from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ensure that your personal belongings, passport and other travel documents are secure at all times. Do not carry large amounts of cash or show signs of affluence. If possible, stay in hotels or villas with guards and security cameras.
If possible, avoid travel outside Port of Spain after dark, especially along the Beetham Highway. Criminals have targeted cars stopped on this road and victims have been carjacked, assaulted and robbed. Drive with windows closed and doors locked, since thefts can occur at traffic lights or in slow-moving traffic.
Home invasions are common. If you are staying in either private or commercial accommodations, you should be aware of your surroundings at all times and ensure that windows and doors are securely locked.
There is little visible police presence in most areas of Trinidad.
Island of Tobago
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, and tourists have been targeted. Ensure that your personal belongings, passport and other travel documents are secure at all times. Avoid unpatrolled beaches and unpopulated areas, especially after dark.
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Demonstrations, while rare, do occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
Strikes also occur and may cause disruptions to essential services throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
Marches occur, but are usually peaceful and approved by the police.
Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Road conditions are good on highways on the island of Trinidad, but less so on secondary roads, particularly in the mountainous northern region and on the island of Tobago. Rural roads are generally narrow, in disrepair and often congested.
Security presence has increased on either side of Trinidad’s Beetham Highway. If you get encounter difficulties along this route, do not stop until you see a patrol car or reach the nearest police station. Report traffic accidents to the nearest police station.
There is a large public transportation system of taxis, maxi-taxis (12- and 25-seat banded small buses) and larger buses.
All official public transportation vehicles have licence plates starting with H. Public buses are painted red, white and black.
The airport is served by the Airport Taxi Drivers’ Cooperative. These taxis are not shared. Make sure to establish the rate before driving away. Fares increase after 10 p.m. After dark, only use registered taxis. Taxi services from hotels are more expensive than public or route taxis.
Route taxis are shared cars that stop to pick up or drop off passengers. An official route taxi licence plate starts with H. Fares must be posted in the taxi, and the driver will display his taxi badge.
Maxi-taxis are painted white with two coloured bands that indicate the area they service. Fares are posted on the door or at the front of the maxi-taxi, and the driver will display his taxi badge.
An inter-island ferry operates between Trinidad and Tobago. Cancellations may occur with little or no notice. Check the status of your travel with the Port Authority.
A water taxi operates between Port of Spain and San Fernando. Purchase tickets at water taxi terminals.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of Trinidad and Tobago. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for the expected duration of your stay in Trinidad and Tobago.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required (for less than 90 days)
Business visa: Not required (for less than 30 days)
Student visa: Required
Tourists receive a stamp indicating the period they are allowed to stay in the country, which is usually 90 days.
You must show proof of a return or onward ticket, and that you will have enough funds for your stay.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is recommended depending on your itinerary.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Medical services and facilities
There are five public health facilities that offer free medical services to the public. Private hospital care can be very expensive.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. You should never carry a stranger’s baggage.
It is illegal for civilians to wear army or camouflage clothing.
You must register firearms with customs at the point of entry.
Trinidad and Tobago law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Those convicted can face lengthy prison sentences.
LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Trinidad and Tobago.
Traffic drives on the left. Most vehicles are right-hand drive, but left-hand-drive vehicles are permitted and identified as such.
Visitors are allowed to drive for 90 days with a valid Canadian driver’s licence.
Persons found guilty of drinking and driving face heavy fines. Police use randomly placed roadblocks on major roads to check for drunk drivers and use breathalysers to test drivers on the spot.
Seat belts are mandatory for drivers and front-seat passengers. Failure to comply may lead to a fine.
All children below the age of 5 must sit in the back seat.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Trinidad and Tobago.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
The currency is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TTD).
You can convert Canadian currency at all major banks or currency exchanges (Bureaux de Change) in Trinidad and Tobago.
ATMs are common throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Only use ATMs located inside a bank, supermarket, airport or large commercial building during business hours.
Leave copies of your bank and credit card numbers with a family member in case of emergency.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.
These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings - United States’ National Hurricane Center
Trinidad and Tobago regularly experience heavy rains during the hurricane season, leading to severe flooding and landslides.
Trinidad and Tobago is located in an active seismic zone.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management and the University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Centre provides information and advice in the event of an earthquake.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 999
- emergency health services (provided by National Emergency Ambulance): 811
- Tourism Policing Unit, located at Crown Point Police Station, 1-868-639-0020
- fire and alternate ambulance services: 990
- Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management: 511
- Tobago Emergency Management Agency: 211
Port of Spain - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Port of Spain and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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