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Country Information

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Exercise increased caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. 

Do not travel to:

  • Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain due to crime.  

Violent crime, such as murder, robbery, assault, sexual assault, home invasion, and kidnapping, is common. 

Gang activity, such as narcotics trafficking, is common. A significant portion of violent crime is gang-related.

Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Trinidad and Tobago:

  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.

  • Be aware of your surroundings.

  • Do not display overt signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewelry.

  • Be extra vigilant when visiting ATMs. 

  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.

  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Trinidad and Tobago.

  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.

  • Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Port of Spain

Violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of Port of Spain. 

U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travelling to the following areas:  Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queens’ Park Savannah.  After dark, U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travelling to downtown Port of Spain, Fort George overlook, and all beaches.   

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Last Update:  Reissued with updates to the Risk Indicators

... [READ MORE]

Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:
6 months or the duration of stay at the time of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page per entry stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not for stays under 90 days
VACCINATIONS:

Routine vaccinations required.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
Currency over $5,000 USD must be declared
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Currency over $5,000 USD must be declared

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Port of Spain

15 Queen's Park West
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago

Telephone: +(868) 622-6371

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(868) 622-6371, then press 1.

Fax: +(868) 822-5955

Destination Description

See our Fact Sheet on Trinidad and Tobago for information on U.S.-Trinidad and Tobago relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago website for the most current visa information.

Dual nationals should obtain a U.S. passport prior to departing the United States to avoid significant delays when returning.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Trinidad and Tobago.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Crime: Violent crime, including assault, kidnapping for ransom, sexual assault, home invasions, and murder, is common throughout Trinidad & Tobago. Avoid traveling alone, particularly after dark or in secluded areas. 

Avoid the following places after dark:

  • Beaches
  • Downtown Port of Spain
  • Fort George
  • Queen’s Park Savannah

Tourists are particularly vulnerable to pick-pocketing and armed assaults in these locations. Criminal activity often increases before and during holiday periods.

Exercise caution at waterfalls and on isolated beaches in Tobago due to muggings. Violent home invasions have occurred in Tobago, in particular in the Mt. Irvine, Buccoo Bay and Bacolet areas. Criminals may use copied sets of house keys to gain entry to residences. If you rent a property, ensure that adequate, 24-hour security measures are in place.

Review the Crime & Safety Report for Trinidad and Tobago.  

Victims of Crime:  Report crimes to the local police at 999 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(868) 622-6371.  

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Emergency telephone numbers:

  • Police: 999
  • Fire: 990
  • Ambulance: 990 or 811
  • Coast Guard: 634-4440
  • Anti-Crime Hotline: 555 or 800-TIPS
  • Kidnapping Hotline: 623-6793
  • Children’s Authority: 996 or 800-2014

See this page for a list of private air and regular ambulance services in Trinidad and Tobago.

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

Scams: Financial scams are common in Trinidad and Tobago. Scammers target people worldwide, and victims risk financial loss and personal harm. Scams often begin with internet postings, particularly on online dating websites, or unsolicited emails. Never provide personal or financial information to unknown parties via email, telephone, mail or fax. See our webpage on International Financial Scams for more information.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

It may be illegal to take pictures of government and military facilities. Get permission before taking such pictures.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Trinidad and Tobago are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

It is illegal to carry ammunition when arriving, departing, or transiting through Trinidad and Tobago. Individuals found with as little as one bullet, a previously discharged bullet casing, or spent ammunition used in items such as jewelry or keyrings on their person or in their luggage at the airport have been detained, charged, and fined.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Camouflage Warning: It is prohibited to import any camouflage-pattern material without approval from the Ministry of National Security. Wearing camouflage clothing in public is prohibited. Camouflage uniforms may be worn if you are in Trinidad and Tobago on official military business.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Trinidad and Tobago law criminalizes same sex-sexual activity, with penalties of up to 25 years in prison. However, this is rarely enforced except in conjunction with serious offenses such as rape. Immigration law also bars the entry of homosexuals, but this is also rarely enforced.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Most sidewalks are impassible for wheelchairs, due to the deep gutters that run alongside most roads. Many sidewalks are also narrow and uneven. Cars parked on sidewalks, uncovered manholes, and other obstacles may force persons with mobility issues onto the main roadways in what can be very dangerous traffic conditions.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Medical care is below U.S. standards. While care at some private facilities is better than at most public health facilities, patients may need to prove ability to pay before receiving assistance, even in emergencies. Patients requiring blood transfusions are expected to arrange for at least the same amount to be donated on their behalf. Physicians and nurses have been known to go on strike, straining public and private medical services. Ambulance service is limited and often has slow response times due to low availability and high demand.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.  


Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Many care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to ensure the medication is legal in Trinidad and Tobago. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are present:

  • Zika
  • Chikungunya
  • Dengue
  • Yellow Fever


Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Swimming Safety: Do not enter the water at unmarked, unpatrolled beaches. Tides and undercurrents can be dangerous, and waves can exceed five feet in height.

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: It is illegal to use mobile phones while driving, except in hands-free mode. The penalty for talking or texting while driving is USD $240 or three months of imprisonment. Police administer breathalyzer tests at unannounced checkpoints and conduct traffic stops if they suspect someone is driving while intoxicated.

Roadside assistance exists but is limited and may involve lengthy delays. Drunk drivers are a particular concern on the weekends, especially after dark. Drive defensively and be careful on narrow and winding roads near beach areas and small towns.

Traffic Laws: Traffic moves on the left. Most vehicles are right-hand drive, but left-hand drive vehicles are permitted. Rental cars are available and are generally right-hand drive. U.S. driver's licenses and International Driving Permits are valid for up to 90 days after arrival. Seatbelts are required for drivers and front seat passengers, and violators may be fined.

Public Transportation: Unmarked taxis and “maxi taxis” (minibuses) may stop abruptly in the middle of the road or veer across several lanes of traffic to pick up or drop off passengers. Only use private taxis in Port of Spain. For travel between cities, use private taxis or full-sized inter-city buses.

Vehicle Accident Procedures: Contact local authorities immediately. If safe, render aid or assistance and remain on the scene until authorities arrive. Make sure to file an accident report with local police station nearest the accident site within 24 hours.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Trinidad and Tobago’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Trinidad and Tobago’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Trinidad and Tobago’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners arriving aboard a private vessel must register any firearms with local customs authorities. Mariners planning travel to Trinidad and Tobago should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Trinidad and Tobago. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: March 6, 2019

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Port of Spain
15 Queen's Park West
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
Telephone
+(868) 622-6371
Emergency
+(868) 622-6371, then press 1.
Fax
+(868) 822-5955

Trinidad and Tobago Map