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The serene island of Tobago is home to the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere. It really is the last of the unspoilt Caribbean. Once you behold her beauty, you will understand why Tobago was Robinson Crusoe's isle and why our European settlers fought over her ownership more than any other Caribbean island. This strip of elongated land, just 41 by 14 kilometres, abounds with natural allure - palm-lined beaches, lush rain forests and pristine coral reefs teeming with rich marine life.
Contrasts of rolling hills against wave-beaten shores create a stunning backdrop for the island's unequalled beauty. The South (Windward) Coast is washed by the dark green, wave-whipped Atlantic and is lined with vibrant fishing villages, while the North (Leeward) Coast provides Tobago with some of its finest beaches. In the main, the eastern landscape of the interior rises steeply into tall peaks and rolling hillocks, providing shelter for the oldest protected forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere.
A perfect complement to bustling Trinidad, Tobago is a true jewel of the Caribbean Sea, whose sparkle will live in your memory long after you have left her shores.
When first-time visitors come to the Caribbean, they may expect to find a laid-back paradise of pina coladas and poolsides. Trinidad challenges the status quo; breaks the mold. You can chart your own adventure with our help of course, and discover the unexpected with a vast choice of festivals, fun events and a host of other adrenaline-generating activities.
Port of Spain, our bustling capital city, is filled with an enchanting myriad of art galleries and restaurants. At the National Museum you can delve into the culture of our country and its diverse people.
If you prefer to be more laid back and take your time discovering our treasures, we also have our share of quiet quality. Once part of the South American mainland, Trinidad, with its boot-like shape measuring 37 miles (80km) by 50 miles (60 km), boasts an ecological and geographical diversity unmatched in the region.
The gorgeous, sandy beaches along our North Coast provide the perfect atmosphere for seclusion, rest and recreation. Dominated by densely forested peaks, the northern interior offers excellent hiking trails framed by canopies of lush, indigenous rain forest, while the low, predominantly agricultural plains of Central Trinidad strike a fascinating contrast.
Our East Coast is home to protected wetlands and miles of beach frontage lined by groves of coconut palms, known to locals as the 'Cocal'. The island's 'Industrial Capital' is a hilly, friendly base from which to explore the island's modern oil towns, picturesque fishing villages and calm, deserted beaches.
Trinidad and Tobago's population figures now stand at about 1.3 million. Most Trinbagonians are of African or Indian descent, comprising 40% of the population each, while the rest of the ethnic mix trace their history back to European, Chinese or Middle Eastern ancestry. This diversity is reflected in the religious mix as well - Christianity is the largest faith, followed by Hinduism, Islam and the traditional African faiths.
Trinidad and Tobago was "discovered" in 1498, when the Spanish explorer, Christopher Columbus, landed on our shores. In reality, we were already "found" and occupied by the indigenous Amerindian tribes of the Arawaks and Caribs.
Trinidad remained in the hands of the Spanish from the 15th Century until the British captured it in 1797 - we then became a British colony in 1802.
Tobago, by contrast, was ruled at one time or other by a myriad of European powers, including the Spanish, Dutch, French and British. Tobago, too, was decreed a British colony in 1814, and the Crown enjoined us administratively in 1889. Trinidad and Tobago achieved independence from England in 1962 to become the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.