Trinidad and Tobago travel advice

Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)

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Risk level

Trinidad and Tobago - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to violent crime.

Island of Tobago - Take normal security precautions

Take normal security precautions in the island of Tobago

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Safety and security

Crime

Island of Trinidad

Violent crime, including armed robberies, assaults and sexual assault, occurs frequently on the island of Trinidad, especially in the capital, Port of Spain. Tourists have been targeted.

Since 2018, incidents of kidnapping for ransom have increased. 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 also occur. There is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag-snatching and thefts from cars, occurs. Crimes of opportunity tend to increase during the annual Carnival celebrations in February or March, the Christmas holidays and Tobago Jazz Festival.

  • Avoid deserted beaches and isolated areas after dark. On certain beaches, security is only provided from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Don’t walk alone at night
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash or show signs of affluence
  • Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Never leave personal belongings, such as money, credit cards, cell phones and other electronics, unattended, especially on beaches
  • If possible, stay in hotels or villas with guards and security cameras.

Criminals target foreigners. Remain highly vigilant in:

  • Laventille
  • Beetham Gardens
  • Sea Lots
  • Corcorite
  • Carenage
  • Morvant
  • Savannah Park
  • Fort George
  • La Brea (Pitch Lake)
  • Las Cuevas Beach

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. Gangs have followed cars leaving Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport to rob travellers at their destination.

Home invasion

Home invasions are common and may turn violent. If you are staying in either private or commercial accommodations:

  • be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • and ensure that windows and doors are securely locked

Be aware that police response often takes time.

Island of Tobago

Violent crime, including armed robberies, assaults and sexual assault, occurs on the island of Tobago. Incidents against foreigners, including Canadians, have occurred.

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, also occurs. Tourists have been targeted.

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Avoid unpatrolled beaches and isolated areas, especially after dark
  • Ensure that your personal belongings, passport and other travel documents are secure at all times

Terrorism

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 and tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Be particularly vigilant during religious holidays and if attending public events. Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places and exercise caution.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations and labour strikes occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to essential services, traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Fraud

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

Overseas fraud

Swimming

Coastal waters can be dangerous.

In certain areas, sharks pose a risk to swimmers.

  • Avoid unsupervised beaches
  • Follow the instructions and warnings of lifeguards
  • Respect the flag warning system, which provides notice of water conditions and safety risks on beaches

Water shortages

Water shortages occur regularly in Trinidad and Tobago. They are more frequent during the dry season, February to June. The shortages can occur for extended periods of time and can lead to protests.

Road safety

Road conditions are good on highways on the island of Trinidad. Rural roads, in the mountainous northern region and on the island of Tobago are generally narrow, poorly maintained and congested.

Security presence has increased on either side of Trinidad’s Beetham Highway. If you encounter difficulties along Trinidad’s Beetham Highway:

  • don’t stop until you see a patrol car or reach the nearest police station
  • report traffic accidents to the nearest police station.

Public transportation

There is a large public transportation system of taxis, maxi-taxis, smaller and larger buses.

All official public transportation vehicles have licence plates starting with H. Public buses are painted red, white and black.

Buses

Buses are operated by the government of Trinidad and Tobago. They service both urban and rural areas.

Registered Taxis

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

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 (shared)

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.

Ferries

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.

Port Authority - Trinidad and Tobago

Water taxi

A water taxi operates between Port of Spain and San Fernando. Purchase tickets at water taxi terminals.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

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 the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

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 at least three months beyond the intended stay.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

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 foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: not required for stays up to 30 days
Student visa: required

Tourists receive a stamp indicating the period they are allowed to stay in the country.

Visas – Ministry of National Security

Other entry requirements

You must show proof of a return or onward ticket, and that you will have enough funds for your stay.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

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.

Risk

  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

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.

Rabies

In this destination, rabies may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Chikungunya

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue
  • In this country, dengue is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.
Zika virus

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

HIV

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.

Travel health and safety

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.

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Laws and 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.

Drugs

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.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Camouflage clothing

It is illegal for civilians to wear army or camouflage clothing.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

The laws prohibiting sexual acts between individuals of the same sex were ruled unconstitutional. Charges will no longer be laid under these laws.

However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in Trinidad and Tobago society.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Driving

Traffic drives on the left. Most vehicles are right-hand drive, but left-hand-drive vehicles are permitted and identified as such.

All children below the age of 5 must sit in the back seat.

Visitors are allowed to drive for 90 days with a valid Canadian driver’s licence. If you plan to stay beyond 90 days, you should apply for an International Driving permit prior to arrival in Trinidad and Tobago.

International Driving Permit

Drinking and driving

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.

Dual citizenship

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.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Trinidad and Tobago.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Trinidad and Tobago, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Trinidad and Tobago court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Trinidad and Tobago to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

Useful links

Money

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.

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Natural disasters and climate

Hurricane season

Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.

Trinidad and Tobago regularly experience heavy rains during the hurricane season, leading to severe flooding and landslides.

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

Useful links

Earthquakes

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.

Alerts and more information about seismic activity – Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

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

Consular assistance

Port of Spain - High Commission of Canada
Street Address3-3A Sweet Briar Road, St. Clair, Newtown, 190131, Trinidad and TobagoPostal AddressP.O. Box 1246, Port of Spain, Trinidad and TobagoTelephone1 (868) 622-6232 (6-CANADA)Fax1 (868) 628-2930Emailpspanconsular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.international.gc.ca/country-pays/trinidad_tobago-trinite_tobago/port_of_spain-port_d_espagne.aspx?lang=engFacebookHigh Commission of Canada to Trinidad and TobagoTwitter@CanadaTandTOther social mediaCanada in Trinidad and Tobago

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Trinidad and Tobago, in Port of Spain, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

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, expressed 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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