Port of Spain, Trinidad
Trinidad, perched way down at the tail end of the Lesser Antilles, is known worldwide for calypso, steelpan, and soca music as well as the biggest Carnival this side of Rio. The capital city of Port of Spain — where you’ll find the cruise terminal — is also a hub of Caribbean banking and finance. So the city has a skyline filled with high-rise buildings, unexpected in such a small island nation.
What We Love
Panyards: Trinidad’s Carnival takes place in the weeks before Lent, but the calypso and soca bands practice year-round in local “panyards.” Many of them welcome visitors to their outdoor rehearsals.
Magnificent Seven: This row of majestic colonial homes includes eccentric structures like Stollmeyer’s Castle, Whitehall, and the Bishop’s Palace, all of them erected in the early 20th century.
Best Known For
Queen’s Park Savannah: This sugar plantation turned public park is surrounded by the city’s leading cultural institutions: the National Academy for the Performing Arts, National Museum, Queen’s Concert Hall, Emperor Valley Zoo, and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Asa Wright Nature Centre: Perched in the lush mountains east of the city, this patch of pristine tropical forest is the place to see native Caribbean birds, reptiles, and butterflies in the wild.
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Who It's Best For
Music Lovers: There’s nothing like hearing the sound of a steelpan band creating calypso melodies on the island in which the genre was born.
Foodies: The city’s diverse ethnic mix means you can dine on excellent Indian, Créole, South American, Middle Eastern, and Chinese cuisine.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Men at Work: Port of Spain’s ongoing construction boom and busy waterfront means the city can sometimes feel like a giant industrial site.
Trinidad Is a Very Large Island: You’ve got to drive a long way across boring, pancake-flat terrain to reach worthwhile sights like Nariva Swamp, the Dattatreya Hindu temple, and bubbling, tar-filled Pitch Lake.
Joe Yogerst is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Travel + Leisure.