A rental car is essential, when staying in Tobago. Many hotels and villas are in quite isolated areas and a rental car gives you freedom to go wherever and whenever you want so that you don't allways have to rely on taxis. It is a great way to tour the island, lots of nice places to see, but beware...roads can be in quite horrible condition plus narrow and winding. Many locals drive like maniacs too. But I have to say that locals do help when there's a tough spot for example mud on the road or a really narrow place. There's allways someone showing you how to pass it without any harm.
We rented a car from Sherman's and didn't have problems. Can recommend their services to others.
And by the way, you don't need an international drivers licence as we thought. European and American licences will do.
And a last word of warning...Petrol stations are very few on the island, especially on the north side. If you're driving to Speyside or Charlotteville, check your fuel meter in Roxborough, because the last petrol station is there when going north!Related to:
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Everybody does it, the locals I mean. They stand on the side of the road and indicate with their thump the direction they wish to go from the next junction. It is a good way of getting around for them and doesn't cost much.
But as a tourist, you should be careful. The locals know each other, but you don't. You have no way of knowing who you're giving a ride to or getting a ride from. It may be a pleasant experience, but then again you never know. But it is said to be polite to give a lift to women and children.
But to be fair, there are lots of nice locals you can trust. We got a ride from two local rastafarians and had a great time; reggae music blasting from the radio and the driver singing along. Pay what you feel like, no problems, they said. They gave us their phone number and we called them again, when we needed a ride.
Taxis are a good way to get around in Tobago if you're not willing to learn using the local transportation system, which can be complicated to understand. Generally taxis are reliable (not the cars exatcly...or at least they don't allways look so reliable), but do ask the price beforehand. Taxis cost about 60 TT for a journey from Crown Point to Stonehaven, not cheap but not that expencive either. Usually you can pay in US dollars as well. Some taxi drivers are very informative, tell good stories and show you houses of famous people. Sam, an elderly gentleman, from Pigeon Point taxi (located opposite the bank and Coco Reef hotel in Crown Point) is a real gem. Full of information. Some taxi drivers do tours too.
Rent a car across the street from the airport and drive all over the island. You won't get lost. The roads are windy in places but in good condition.
We usually get a jeep but you could use a car just as well.Related to:
Private Taxi's - another option
Private Taxi's are another legitimate way of travelling around Port of Spain. There are several reputable companies including: Piarco Airport Taxi Co (669-0282), Kalloo's Taxis (622-9073 ) etc.
These are private taxis that will have Number Plates starting with "H" - i.e Hire Car.Related to:
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Maxi Taxis or Shared Taxis
This form of Transportation is only for BUDGET and RISK TAKING travellers, and should be avoided if you are European looking or clean cut.
There are two types of travel Options:
1. Maxi Taxi's - are mini buses that normally service Routes that are well utilised by the locals. They are always stopping to drop-off and pick-up new passengers along the road. There are no designated Bus stops. You can flag them down with your hand anywhere.
Depending on how far you are going it could cost you between $3TT and $10TT.
2. Group Taxis - these are ordinary cars that pool passengers, but have the number plates with "H". There are many cars with plates starting with "P" -private, that operate illegal taxi businesses.
DO NOT get into any Group Taxi with "P" plates, as kidnapping is a lucrative Crime in trinidad. Though to date (dec05) few foreigner have ever been kidnapped.
Down-town Port of Spain has designated streets with Cab Ranks for particular routes. They are:
***Port Of Spain to MARAVAL Route ****- these taxis leave from the Corner of Duke and Charlotte Street. Rank is on Duke Street (nb. this is very close to Laventille - which is a VERY dangerous area - use caution)
***Port Of Spain to ARIMA (central)*** - Corner of Brain Lara Prominade and Henry Street, Rank on Henry Street.
***Port Of Spain to ST ANN's route***- Corner of Woodford Square and Frederick Street.
***Port Of Spain to ST JAMES route*** - Corner of Tragareet Road and Park Street, Rank is on Park Street.Related to:
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4WD Car Rentals
Best way to get around in Tobago is by rental car.
Rental cars are cheap to rent. (40 - 60 dollars a day.)
We asked for a day andpaid for that day only. And they came to pick up the car 4 days later.
(They didn't hire itso they didn't need it....the caribbean way.)
And filling up the car is a relief, as it was about 0,35 eurocents for a liter of gas (similar to euro95).Related to:
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Rental car in Tobago
Roads are in fairly good condition and for the most part drivers are surprisingly cautious of oncoming traffic. Blind curves can make for a harrowing journey at times, but getting around the island would be much more difficult without a car. It was well worth the $265/8 days. Rocky's Rentals out of Crown Point was terrific, meeting us at the ferry in Scarborough with a car. Rocky even gave us a free cell phone in case we had any trouble. Don't assume that just because there is a gas station at your destination that it has gas available! No one in Charlotteville seemed surprised that there wasn't any...except the tourists.Related to:
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These vans run continually around Trinidad. For instance a cab from Maraval to Maracas Bay would run you $25US but if you stand on the side of Saddle Road and wait for the white van with the yellow striping, you can get there for $1US. Same deal coming back, although if you go very far down toward POS you'll hit another zone and it'll go up another buck.
By FerryThe Port...
The Port Authority maintains ferry service every day except Saturday between Trinidad and Tobago, although flying is preferable because the seas can be very rough. The ferry leaves once a day (from St. Vincent Street Jetty in Port-of-Spain and from the cruise-ship complex in Scarborough); the trip takes about five hours. The round-trip fare is TT$60. Cabins, when available, run TT$160 (round trip, double occupancy).
Taxis in Trinidad & Tobago are easily identified by their license plates, which begin with the letter H. Passenger vans, called Maxi Taxis, pick up and drop off passengers as they travel and are color-coded according to which of the six areas they cover. Rates are generally less than $1 (US), which is $6 (T&T) per trip. (Yellow is for Port-of-Spain, red for eastern Trinidad, green for south Trinidad, and black for Princes Town. Brown operates from San Fernando to the southeast - Erin, Penal, Point Fortin. The only color for Tobago is blue.) They're easy to hail day or night along most of the main roads near Port-of-Spain. For longer trips you will need to hire a private taxi.
Public transport in T & T is...
Public transport in T & T is excellent - check out any guide book for details about the colour-coded 'maxi-taxis' (minibuses, which run about one every 30 seconds on popular routes) and 'route taxis' (shared rides in licensed and unlicensed cars) - both are very inexpensive means of getting around, used by most Trinis. Private taxis (for single journeys or day/half-day trips) seem to vary enormously in price - in general, the more informal the negotiations with the driver, the better. I can strongly recommend Derrick (Tel. 669-0083 or 751-1127) - a young guy who recently started in the charter-taxi business. His rates were very reasonable, he was reliable at turning up for appointments, and we spent quite a bit of social time together as well!
Coming from the north...
Coming from the north Caribbean Star has flights from Grenada.
In the south BWIA, offers daily flights from Caracas to Port of Spain
There is a public transport system with air-conditioned buses.
The Maxi buses are color coded depending on the area being travelled, these can be used.
Taxis are available at prices close to that offered by the buses for quicker travelling and for small parties.
Very easy to get around in...
Very easy to get around in Trinidad by route-taxis, maxi-taxis and buses. The route-taxis and buses are our preferred way to travel in Tobago, we like to ride the bus meeting locals, with better views of the whole route, even though the bus schedule for the whole island as posted at the main terminal in Scarborough is quite short and sweet, we still managed to tour the whole island and had a good time chatting up with nicest locals everywhere we went.
Most Major airlines service...
Most Major airlines service the Trinidad route, and Tobago has several independent carriers. The national airline is Bwia Ltd. or Bwee.Their web site is www.bwee.com
The best way to get around if you are not renting a car in Trinidad is by Maxi Taxis. These 12 and 24 seater mini buses ply most routes in Trinidad and the hub is at City Gate in South Quay.From there you can get a maxi taxi to take you to any part of Trinidad, the most expensive fare being $1.50US.
The bus system is good also and can be accessed at City Gate.For route taxis, there are stands scattered all over Port of Spain.Just ask a native for directions and the price so you won't be over charged.
There is a new taxi service that is substanially less that taking the hotel taxis called 628-taxi. They are good to use if you need to get picked up or dropped off at a certain place, just call them and make arrangements .
Also, the PTSC bus service in Trinidad and Tobago host "know your country tours" using public buses that take you on tour to various places of interest for a fraction of the price of the tour companies. The buses are air conditioned, with comfortable air plane type seating and these tours are a great value for money. Check the bus station for a brochure of tours available and prices.
In Tobago the best bet is to rent a jeep. The roads leading to Charlotteville are narrow and winding,so be careful when driving there. Other than that, Tobago is easy to navigate and the roads are good.
If you choose to hire a taxi the fares are pretty expensive,but route taxis are avaiable and a cheaper alternative.
If you want to get to Tobago from Trinidad or vice versa you have two options plane or boat. The flight is 15 mins long on Bwee and costs $50.00US. The boat ride is 7 hours long, and costs a little less than 10.00US.Related to:
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It's an island. Well, two...
It's an island. Well, two islands to be correct. By plane or by boat. By plane: BWIA or British Airways from London.
Check out others Like Condor at your travel agency.
You can rent-a-car or take a bus. In Trinidad you have the so-called Maxi-Taxi. Hop on and hop off, it's an easy way to get around in the cities but if you want to see the island, rent a car. In Trinidad it's better to not travel alone at night. If you do have to travel at night call a taxi or make sure you have a rentalcar. During daytime it's not an issue. Just use your healthy-right-mind.
For Tobago I recommend to rent a car or go by public transportation, because the taxis have the tendency to let you 'overpay' your fair. Here again don't travel alone by night. When you like to go biking you can also rent a bike. But with the tropical heat I wouldn't recommend that.
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