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Trinidad and Tobago

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

Exercise increased caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to crime and terrorism. 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.   

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Embassy Messages
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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:

A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for stays under 90 days. 

 

VACCINATIONS:

Routine vaccinations required.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

$5,000USD.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

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ALL /
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

Questions pertaining to visas should be directed to the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago.

Dual national U.S. citizens are strongly advised to obtain a U.S. passport prior to departing from the United States, as failure to do so can lead to significant delays when attempting to return.
Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

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

Safety and Security

Crime: Violent crimes, including assault, kidnapping for ransom, sexual assault, and murder have involved expatriate residents and tourists, including U.S. citizens. The perpetrators of many of these crimes have not been arrested. It is highly recommended that female visitors and residents avoid traveling alone, particularly at night or in secluded areas. 

Scenic rest stops and public parks including Fort George, downtown Port of Spain, the interior and perimeter of Queen’s Park Savanah, and all beaches should be avoided after dark. Tourists are particularly vulnerable to pick-pocketing and armed assaults in these locations. Holiday periods often see an increase in criminal activity.

In Tobago, violent crime is an issue, including attacks on expatriate residents and tourists in their residences, many of which involve the use of machetes. There have been reports of home invasions in the Mt. Irvine/Buccoo Bay, and Bacolet areas, and robberies occurring at the waterfalls and on isolated beaches in Tobago where visitors are not in a group. If you rent a villa or private home, the Embassy urges you to ensure adequate, 24-hour security measures are in place. Visitors residing at these facilities have encountered intruders in the middle of the night who entered their rented, private residences with copied sets of the actual keys.

The 2015 OSAC Annual Crime Report provides a comprehensive overview of crime in Trinidad and Tobago.  

Scams: Financial scams are common in Trinidad and Tobago. These scams target foreigners worldwide, and pose risks of both financial loss and personal danger to their victims. Scams are often initiated through internet postings and unsolicited emails. Never provide personal or financial information to unknown parties via email, telephone, mail or fax

Victims of Crime: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

We can:

  • Replace a stolen passport.
  • Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
  • Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
  • Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.  

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Trinidad and Tobago is: Police 999, Fire Service 990, Ambulance Service 990 or 811, and Coast Guard 634-4440. SCIEMS is a private ambulance service and can be reached at 694-2404. The Anti-Crime hotline is 555 or 800-TIPS. The kidnapping hotline is 623-6793.

Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

For Further Information:

 

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: 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. In these instances, it is advisable to obtain permission before taking 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 or even previously discharged bullet casings in their luggage have been detained at Piarco Airport, 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, request that the police or prison officials notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.

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

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: Although Trinidad and Tobago law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity, with penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment, the government generally has not enforced such legislation, except in conjunction with more serious offenses such as rape. Immigration law also bars the entry of homosexual persons into the country, but this legislation is not enforced. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) travel, please read our LGBTI Travel Information page.

See State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 for more detailed information.

Accessibility: Most sidewalks are impassible for wheelchairs, due to the deep gullies that run alongside most roads. Additionally, cars parked on sidewalks, uncovered manholes, and other obstacles force persons in wheelchairs onto the main roadways in what can be very dangerous traffic conditions.

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

Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.

 

 

Health

The U.S Embassy does not pay medical bills for travelers: 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.

Medical care is below U.S. standards: While care at some private facilities is better than at most public health facilities, patients may be expected to prove their ability to pay before assistance is given, even if emergency care is needed. 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, causing strain on public and private medical services. Ambulance service is often extremely limited in response time due to low availability and high demand.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

Zika Virus: 
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

Chikungunya, Dengue, and Yellow Fever are present on the island.  Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

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

Marine hazards: Do not bathe at unmarked, unpatrolled beaches. Tides and undercurrents can be dangerous, and waves can exceed five feet in height.

 

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: It is against the law in Trinidad and Tobago 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 imprisonment. Trinidad and Tobago police administer breathalyzer tests at unannounced checkpoints and conduct traffic stops when driving under the influence is suspected.

Roadside assistance exists, but is limited and may be subject to lengthy delays. The Beetham Highway, a main thoroughfare in and out of the city, is dangerous if your vehicle has broken down. If your vehicle is still drivable you should get out of the area before seeking help.

Intoxicated drivers on the road are a particular concern on the weekends, especially after dark when many people are going to or returning from social events. Drivers should take extra precaution on narrow and winding roads leading in and out of beach areas and small towns in Trinidad and Tobago. As always, defensive driving is strongly encouraged.

Traffic Laws: Traffic moves on the left in Trinidad and Tobago. Most vehicles are right-hand drive, but left-hand drive vehicles are permitted. Rental cars are available, and are generally right-hand drive. A U.S. driver's license and/or an International Driving Permit are valid for up to 90 days after arrival. Seatbelts are required for drivers and front seat passengers, and cars may be pulled over and drivers fined for not wearing seatbelts.

Public Transportation: Unmarked taxis and “maxi taxis” make frequent, rapid stops in the middle of the roadway or veer across several lanes of traffic to pick up or drop off passengers. It is recommended that you use only private taxis for transportation around Port of Spain, and only private taxis or full-sized inter-city buses for travel between cities.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. The Ministry of Works and Infrastructure is responsible for road safety in Trinidad and Tobago. We also suggest that you visit the website of Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Tourism.

Vehicle Accident Procedures: Contact local authorities immediately. If it is safe to do so, render aid or assistance and remain on the scene until authorities arrive. 

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.

Marine Safety and Oversight: Visitors arriving aboard a private vessel must register any firearms with local customs authorities. Failure to declare firearms or making false customs declarations is a serious offense. There is a small community of private boat owners who stay in Trinidad temporarily during the hurricane season. There have been incidents in which vessels were boarded and the occupants assaulted and robbed. Sailors should report any incidents to the Coast Guard and local police. 

Last Updated: February 22, 2018
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