- We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Trinidad and Tobago because of the high levels of serious crime.
- Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Trinidad and Tobago for the most up-to-date information.
If you are travelling to Trinidad and Tobago through the United States of America, or if you are transiting in Honolulu or other US points of entry, you are required to meet US entry/transit requirements. Make sure you check with your nearest US Embassy or Consulate your visa requirements well in advance of your travel. You should also read our travel advice for the United States of America.
Trinidad is listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an area where yellow fever is endemic. Some airlines may require passengers to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate before being allowed to board flights out of the country. If in doubt, check with your airline.
If you have visited Trinidad in the last six days prior to your date of return to Australia, Australian Customs Officials will ask you to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate on entry into Australia.
Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Safety and security
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General Advice to Australian Travellers.
Civil unrest/political tension
You should avoid demonstrations, protests and large gatherings as they may turn violent.
We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Trinidad and Tobago because of the high levels of serious crime. Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
The number of violent crimes, including assault, sexual assault, kidnapping and murder, continues to increase. Armed robbery is common, particularly in major urban centres. Home invasions are also common. Avoid downtown Port of Spain at night as tourists have been robbed at gunpoint. Visitors can be inadvertently affected by gang and drug-related crime. Daylight attacks, including the use of firearms, have occurred at popular tourist sites, hairdressing salons, licensed premises and in car parks of supermarkets and shopping malls. Robbery and theft levels tend to rise significantly in the lead up to and during Christmas and until Carnival seasons, which is usually in February/March. Visitors should appraise themselves of areas which have a high level of crime, including the suburb of Laventville in Port of Spain. Other areas to avoid include Morvant, Sea Lots, Belmont, the inside of the Queens Park Savannah and scenic rest stops after dark.
Serious crimes against tourists and foreigners, including rape and armed robbery, have been reported in Tobago. Isolated areas are particularly dangerous, especially at night. Avoid visiting isolated beaches such as Englishman's Bay and King Peter's Bay due to the high risk of crime. Travellers should ensure that a high level of security is in place at their accommodation, including in private villas.
Robberies have occurred when travelling from Piarco Airport. There have been incidents of violent theft by gangs who follow cars travelling from the airport and attack their victims when they reach their destinations. You should avoid travel on the Beetham/Churchill Roosevelt Highway airport route late at night. If your vehicle breaks down or you are in an accident on this highway, you should remove yourself from the area to a safe location before you seek assistance. Robberies, assaults and carjackings have occurred when travellers have stopped on this section of road. Shared, route and maxi taxis should be avoided as they pick up additional passengers along the route. Crimes including rapes, assaults and robberies have taken place inside shared taxis. There have also been reports of attempts to illegally block traffic along Lady Young Road, which is an alternate airport route close to the city of Port of Spain. You should take care and exercise caution when using these roads.
Petty crime including bag snatching, pick-pocketing and theft from cars is common, especially near tourist attractions in both Trinidad and Tobago. Visible items left in unattended parked cars are prime targets for smash-and-grab style theft. Public transport, such as maxi-taxis, should be avoided if possible in favour of safer means of transport, such as taxis affiliated with major hotels.
Due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.
Money and valuables
Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work in Trinidad and Tobago.
Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.
As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering and theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.
Driving in Trinidad and Tobago can be hazardous due to poorly maintained roads, local driving practices and traffic congestion. Conditions on rural and mountain roads are particularly hazardous. Driving at night should be avoided other than on major highways.
Shared, route and maxi taxis should be avoided. Private taxis are available at airports and hotels and should be used. See under Safety and security: Crime.
For further advice, see our road travel page.
Please refer to our air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.
When you are in Trinidad and Tobago, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and possession of even small quantities of illegal drugs, including marijuana, may lead to imprisonment. When departing, visitors are thoroughly screened for drug possession.
Penalties for some serious crimes, including murder and treason, include the death penalty.
Homosexual acts are illegal.
Public nudity in non-designated areas and indecent language, such as cursing, can lead to arrest.
It is illegal for civilians to wear army or police camouflage clothing.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
Your doctor or travel clinic is the best source of information about preventive measures, immunisations (including booster doses of childhood vaccinations) and disease outbreaks overseas. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our Travelling Well brochure also provides useful tips for travelling with medicines and staying healthy while overseas.
The standard of medical facilities in Trinidad and Tobago is limited. Costs at public hospitals range from free for general problems to very expensive for complicated procedures. At private hospitals, where treatment can be very expensive, patients are required to make a down payment in local currency. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation to Miami may be necessary, costing from $A30,000.
Tobago has one decompression chamber which is located in Roxborough.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Trinidad and Tobago is high. You should exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.
Trinidad is considered an endemic area for the mosquito-borne illness yellow fever. Although there have been no recent human cases, the yellow fever virus may be present in animals and can be transmitted by mosquitoes to humans. It is recommended that travellers consider yellow fever vaccination prior to travel and be aware that some countries (including Australia) require evidence of yellow fever vaccination from travellers who have been to Trinidad in the preceding six days. Note this advice does not apply to travellers whose itineraries are limited to the island of Tobago.
Dengue fever, another mosquito-borne illness, occurs commonly in Trinidad and Tobago, especially during the rainy season (June to December). We recommend that you take measures to avoid mosquito bites, including using an insect repellent at all times, wearing long, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.
Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including hepatitis A) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. We encourage you to discuss your vaccination requirements with your doctor before travelling. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed cases of avian influenza in birds in a number of countries throughout the world. For a list of these countries, visit the OIE website. For more information see our travel bulletin on avian influenza.
Where to get help
In Trinidad and Tobago, you can obtain consular assistance from the:
Australian High Commission, Port of Spain
18 Herbert Street, St Clair
Port of Spain
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Telephone: (1 868) 822 5450
Facsimile: (1 868) 822 5490
If you are travelling to Trinidad and Tobago, for whatever reason and however long you will be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency-whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
If you are unable to contact the High Commission in a consular emergency, you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 (outside Australia) or 1300 555 135 (within Australia).
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
The hurricane season is June to November when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services may occur. Monitor local media reports and follow the instructions of local emergency officials.
If you are travelling to Trinidad and Tobago during hurricane season, you should contact your tour operator to check whether tourist services at your planned destination have been affected.
The direction and strength of hurricanes can change with little warning. You can check the latest information on hurricane or severe weather conditions at the National Hurricane and Tropical Prediction Center, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency and the Humanitarian Early Warning Service.
In the event of an approaching hurricane, you should identify your local shelter. Flights in and out of affected areas could be delayed or suspended. Available flights may fill quickly. You should contact your airline for the latest flight information. The hurricane could also affect access to sea ports in the region. In some areas, adequate shelter from a severe hurricane may not be available to all who may choose to stay. You should familiarise yourself with your hotel or cruise ship evacuation plans. You should carry your travel documents (passport, picture IDs) at all times or secure them in a safe, waterproof location. We also suggest that you contact friends and family in Australia with updates about your welfare and whereabouts. For further information, see our Severe Weather page.
Earthquakes: Trinidad and Tobago are subject to earthquakes. You can find out further information on earthquakes from Trinidad and Tobago's Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management.
If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Australians are advised to respect wildlife laws and to maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife, including marine animals and birds. You should only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens' advice.
If you are planning on placing your children in schools or childcare facilities overseas we encourage you to research the standards of security, care and staff training within those establishments. You should exercise the same precautions you would take before placing children into schools or childcare facilities in Australia.