Canada issues ‘Cautionary Travel Advisory’ for Trinidad and Tobago

Canada Airport

Travelers to Trinidad and Tobago are advised to exercise a high degree of caution due to an uptick in violent crimes, including armed robberies, assaults, and sexual assaults, particularly in the capital city of Port of Spain. Tourists, including cruise ship passengers, have increasingly become targets of these criminal activities.

The island nation has witnessed a worrying rise in kidnapping-for-ransom incidents since 2018. Vigilant in and around the docks in Port of Spain, where shootings, kidnappings, and other gang- and drug-related violence are prevalent. The risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time is ever-present.

Airport in Trinidad And Tobago

Petty crimes such as pickpocketing, bag-snatching, and theft from cars are common occurrences. These crimes of opportunity tend to spike during major events like the annual Carnival celebrations in February or March, the Christmas holidays, and the Tobago Jazz Festival. Travelers are advised to avoid deserted beaches and isolated areas after dark, refrain from walking alone at night, avoid displaying affluence, and ensure that personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

Specific areas in Trinidad, such as Laventille, Beetham Gardens, Sea Lots, Corcorite, Carenage, Morvant, Savannah Park, Fort George, La Brea (Pitch Lake), and Las Cuevas Beach, are known for high criminal activity. Foreigners are particularly targeted in these areas. Travel outside Port of Spain after dark, especially along the Beetham Highway, is discouraged due to incidents of carjacking, assault, and robbery.

Home invasions are common and can turn violent. Travelers staying in private or commercial accommodations should ensure that windows and doors are securely locked and remain aware of their surroundings at all times.

The threat of terrorism looms, with potential targets including public gatherings, government buildings, places of worship, airports, and other transportation hubs. s.

Demonstrations and labor strikes are not uncommon and can turn violent unexpectedly. Travelers should avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Credit card and ATM fraud are prevalent in Trinidad and Tobago. Travelers should exercise caution when using debit or credit cards and be wary of card readers with unusual features.

Water shortages are a regular occurrence, especially during the dry season from February to June. These shortages can lead to protests and extended periods of water scarcity.

Road safety is a concern, with rural roads in the mountainous northern region and on the island of Tobago being narrow, poorly maintained, and congested. An increased security presence is noted on either side of Trinidad’s Beetham Highway.

Public transportation, including taxis, maxi-taxis, and buses, is widely available, with official vehicles having licence plates starting with H. Travelers should ensure that they use registered taxis and establish fares before embarking on a journey.

An inter-island ferry operates between Trinidad and Tobago, although cancellations may occur with little or no notice. A water taxi service is also available between Port of Spain and San Fernando.

Travelers are encouraged to stay informed and exercise caution while visiting Trinidad and Tobago, keeping in mind the potential risks and taking necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.