Port of Spain is a bustling city nestled on the island of Trinidad as well as the renowned natural harbor Gulf of Paria. The city is both the center of retail and capital of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. With its towering buildings and congested streets, Port of Spain may emanate a familiar hectic atmosphere that’s associated with other major metropolitan areas, but this Caribbean city also possesses a relaxed yet refreshing spirit that sets it apart from its counterparts. Port of Spain is especially vivacious and colorful during the spring when it hosts Carnival to signal the coming of the season of Lent.
Featuring culturally significant institutions, gorgeous parks, and an impressive downtown area, Port of Spain offers an abundance of activities and sights to admire. The National Museum and Art Gallery displays exclusive historical collections to educate visitors about the Caribbean twin island country and its capital city. In addition to housing magnificent works of art, the gallery’s exterior also holds immense artistic value since it was built in the architectural style of the British West Indies’ Victorian colonial era.
In the heart of Port of Spain is Queen's Park Savannah, the city’s most expansive green space. With lots of local vendors and food carts, historic structures, and plenty of walkways scattered throughout, Queen's Park Savannah is a wonderful family-friendly spot to spend an afternoon. Moreover, other points of interest including the Royal Botanic Gardens; Queen’s Hall, a majestic performing arts venue; and the Emperor Valley Zoo which are situated just north of the park.
During the couple of days preceding Ash Wednesday, Port of Spain holds huge, exuberant celebrations as part of Carnival. The festivities show off the city’s vibrant culture with Calypso, Soca, and Rapso music as well as an annual steel pan competition. Accordingly, Carnival fêtes also feature dancing, flamboyant costumes, and joyous masquerades.
Maracas Beach is located northbound of Port of Spain with about an hour’s worth of driving. Surrounded by an imposing mountainous region, this picturesque beach presents visitors with opportunities to sunbathe and swim. Furthermore, Maracas Beach is known for its Bake and Shark huts that serve its namesake food, a popular Trinidadian specialty dish. Bake and Shark is breaded and deep-fried shark meat.
A half an hour’s drive eastward of the capital city is the town of Tunapuna which hosts Carnival annually. The regional Carnival committee at Tunapuna organizes unforgettable stick fighting competitions, a steel band, and both conventional and traditional masquerades for the yearly festivities.
On account of Port of Spain’s rich history, the architectural style of the homes and properties vary greatly. The selection of vacation rentals in this capital city range from quaint, colonial style houses to modern, deluxe suites with a waterfront view. For thrifty visitors traveling in sizable groups, there are also apartments offering modest double and triple rooms.
Port of Spain has a robust network of roads and highways that facilitate travel between the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Popular forms of transportation include privately owned minibuses, taxis, and cars. Since taxis can be pricey, it is recommended to rent a car, but visitors must first apply and receive a valid international driver’s permit.
There are also buses owned by the state and operated by the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC). Port of Spain is home to Trinidad’s major bus terminal that has routes covering most of the island.
Moreover, there is a daily ferry service run by the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT) that provides transportation between Port of Spain and Scarborough, Tobago’s largest city.
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