Foreign travel advice

Trinidad and Tobago

Summary

Over 30,000 British nationals visit Trinidad and Tobago every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

There are high levels of violent crime in Trinidad, including murder, especially in parts of the capital Port of Spain. A British national was murdered after being robbed at gunpoint in the Mt D’Or area of Mt Hope in Trinidad on 10 April 2016. Robbery and other crimes targeting tourists have also occurred elsewhere in Trinidad and Tobago. See Crime

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Trinidad and Tobago. 

There is a risk of mosquito-borne illnesses in Trinidad and Tobago from dengue and chikungunya fever. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

UK health authorities have classified Trinidad and Tobago as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Trinidad and Tobago is rarely affected by hurricanes, but severe tropical storms can occur, which can result in localised flooding and landslides.

You can contact the emergency services by calling 999 (police), 811 (ambulance) or 990 (fire).

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Safety and security

Crime

Trinidad

There is a high level of gang related violent crime in Trinidad, particularly in the inner city neighbourhoods east of Port of Spain’s city centre, Laventille, Morvant and Barataria. This crime tends to occur within local communities but can sometimes affect visitors. A British national was murdered after being robbed at gunpoint in the Mt D’Or area of Mt Hope in Trinidad on 10 April 2016.

There’s a higher risk from opportunistic crime during the festive period and carnival season.

If possible, avoid travel outside major populated areas late at night and before dawn. There have been incidents of violence and fatal accidents caused by erratic driving to and from Piarco International airport, particularly on the Beetham/Churchill Roosevelt highway and Lady Young Road.

Always drive with windows closed and doors locked.

Use hotel or pre-booked taxis and drivers who work with set fares. Private taxis in Trinidad and Tobago are unmetered and unmarked but can be identified by vehicle registration plates beginning with ‘H’. They can take the form of either a private car or ‘maxi taxi’ minibus. Some vehicles with ‘P’ registration plates offer informal taxi services illegally. Crimes including rape, assault, robbery and theft have taken place in private cars and maxi taxis.

You should maintain at least the same level of security awareness as you would in the UK and make sure your living accommodation is secure. Don’t carry large amounts of cash or wear eye-catching jewellery. Use a hotel safe to store valuables, money and passports. Don’t walk alone in deserted areas even in daylight. Take care when withdrawing money from ATMs.

There has been at least one instance of violent sexual assault in the Chaguaramas/Macqueripe area. This occurred in the middle of the day and close to a road.

Theft from vehicles and property occurs in parts of downtown Port of Spain and other towns/cities. Take particular care around the port area or downtown, especially at night, and avoid straying into areas affected by gang violence. There have been robberies, some involving firearms, at tourist sites, including Fort George, the Pitch Lake, Las Cuevas beach and at supermarket car parks, shopping malls, nightclubs, restaurants and business premises.

Tobago

Most visits to Tobago are trouble free, but tourists (including British nationals) have been robbed. The inability of the authorities to catch and prosecute offenders remains a concern. Incidents of violent crime in Tobago are rare.

You should maintain at least the same level of security awareness as you would in the UK and make sure your living accommodation is secure. Don’t carry large amounts of cash or wear eye-catching jewellery. Use a hotel safe to store valuables, money and passports. Petty theft from cars is common.

Villas, particularly those in isolated areas, should have adequate security, including external security lighting, grilles and overnight security guards.

Don’t walk alone in deserted areas even in daylight. This includes beaches like Englishman’s Bay, King Peter’s Bay and Bacolet beach unless you are in an organised group. Consult your tour operator if in doubt.

Be vigilant at all times and carry a mobile phone with roaming capability for use in emergency.

Road travel

The standard of driving in Trinidad and Tobago is mixed. High speed road accidents on the main highways in Trinidad often result in fatalities. Some roads are narrow and winding, and the surface of a low standard. Take care when driving.

If possible, avoid travel outside major populated areas after dark, especially routes to and from Piarco International airport. There have been incidents of violence and fatal accidents caused by local erratic driving standards to and from the airport, particularly on the Beetham/Churchill Roosevelt Highway.

If you don’t have a vehicle, use hotel taxis to get around, particularly after dark. 

Air travel

Safety concerns have been raised about INSEL Air. The US and Netherlands authorities have prohibited their staff from using the airline while safety checks are being carried out. UK government officials have been told to do the same as a precaution.

Terrorism

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Trinidad & Tobago. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.

Although there have been no recent attacks in Trinidad and Tobago, more than 100 Trinidad and Tobago nationals have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight along with Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and are likely to pose a security threat on return.

There’s also a threat from individuals who may have been inspired by terrorist groups, including Daesh and al Qaeda, to carry out so-called ‘lone actor’ attacks targeting public events or places.

On 30 January 2017, the Ministry of National Security of Trinidad and Tobago confirmed that it works closely with international partners – especially the United States, Britain and Canada – in strategic areas such as intelligence and information sharing on people who are found to be associated with any terrorist group, whether locally or internationally.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Local laws and customs

Drug traffickers face severe penalties. Marijuana/ cannabis is illegal and can carry a custodial sentence. The authorities make thorough checks. Pack all luggage yourself and don’t carry items for anyone else.

Certain homosexual acts are illegal under the laws of Trinidad and Tobago.

It is an offence for anyone, including children, to carry or dress in camouflage clothing.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

British nationals do not need a visa to visit Trinidad and Tobago. Visitors are generally given 90 days to remain in the country but extensions can be obtained from the Passport and Immigration Department, 67 Frederick Street, Port of Spain.

You must be in possession of a valid return ticket and have sufficient funds for your stay in Trinidad and Tobago. Further details on these and other entry requirements can be found on the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’s Immigration Division website or by contacting the High Commission of Trinidad and Tobago in London.

Passport validity

In accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements, from November 2015, only machine-readable travel documents are accepted for entry into and exit out of Trinidad and Tobago.

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Trinidad and Tobago.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Trinidad and Tobago.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

In some areas of Trinidad and Tobago medical facilities can be limited. Private clinics are able to treat most ordinary problems, but medical evacuation to Miami or elsewhere may be necessary in more serious cases. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

UK health authorities have classified Trinidad and Tobago as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Mosquito-borne dengue fever is endemic to Latin America and the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in Trinidad and Tobago. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

The 2013 UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic estimated that around 14,000 adults aged 15 or over in Trinidad & Tobago were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 1.5% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage in adults in the UK of around 0.25%. Exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 811 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. 

Natural disasters

Earthquakes

Earthquakes are a potential threat and tremors are felt occasionally. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, visit the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Hurricanes

The Caribbean hurricane season normally runs from June to November. Trinidad and Tobago is rarely affected by hurricanes but can experience severe storm conditions. Visitors to the Caribbean can monitor local and international weather updates from the National Hurricane Centre. See our Tropical cyclones page for advice about what to do if you are caught up in a hurricane.

Seismic activity

There has been an increase in seismic activity in the eastern Caribbean region in April 2017. You should monitor the alert level of the underwater volcano ‘Kick’em Jenny’, located 5 miles off the coast of Grenada. Observe any maritime exclusion zones and follow the advice of the local authorities in the event of increased activity.

Travel advice help and support

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send us a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.