The sister islands of Trinidad and Tobago both exude the same holiday feel that makes a Caribbean vacation so special. But if you want an urban and edgy atmosphere with a surprisingly relaxed twist, the bigger island of Trinidad is your paradise. Here, you can literally feel the hustle and bustle of modern city living in its cruise ship harbor, the bazaar shopping atmosphere of its capital city Port of Spain, and the gyrating bodies dancing to the beat of reggae, soca and Calypso music in its numerous (and we mean really numerous) bars and legendary February carnivals. When it's time to unwind, you can also do just that. Go to the town of Arima and the nearby Mount Saint Benedict, where the Benedictine monks who run this monastery will bake you bread and serve you tea. Then, you'll truly understand the more relaxed and tranquil side of Trinidad.
The legendary beaches of Trinidad should be your first stop. Near Port of Spain, the beaches along the North West Peninsula are pretty well-developed. You have an array of choices -- Bombshell Bay, Chagacabana Beach and Williams are just a few. Maracas Beach in the North Coast is also popular with surfers. After hitting the beach, go bird watching at the Asa Wright Nature Center. You can also take the kids to the Emperor Valley Zoo, where Red Howler monkeys native to the island roam free. Paramin Village and the City of San Fernando are also worth exploring.
The rich cultural history of Trinidad is evident in its cuisine. Creole, East Indian and Chinese food can be had in the city's restaurants, cafes and eateries. There are many dining establishments in Port of Spain, notably along the Queen's Park Savannah, the Brian Lara Promenade and the Cipriani Boulevard. There are also gastronomic delights along Chacon Street, Frederick Street, Independence Square and the Woodbrook area. Of course, you'll find good food wherever you go Trinidad, including at it many beaches and resorts like Las Cuevas Bay and Maracas Bay.
Floral shirts, beaded necklaces, carnival figurines, and even high-tech gadgets can be had in the shopping bazaars of Port of Spain, particularly on Charlotte Street and Frederick Street. The marine terminal also has gift shops for those making a stop by cruise ship. The town of Chaguanas along the Chaguanas Main Road is also another place for good buys.