While Trinidad & Tobago is not yet a popular surfing destination, it’s definitely one to watch – and visit!
Located at the very southern end of the Windward Island chain, the islands have a small but dedicated surfing community. You’ll find the best beaches to surf on the north and northeast coast of Trinidad, particularly in the small village of Sans Souci where many of the villagers are keen surfers.
What makes surfing in Trinidad & Tobago so appealing is that both islands have a huge amount of undiscovered coastline to be explored. Plenty of amazing new surf spots await in Trinidad! Unfortunately, though, this means that there are few surf camps at the moment.
We’re sure some more will pop up in a few years as Trinidad grows in popularity, but for now, we’ll just talk about the fantastic locations Trinidad (and neighboring Tobago) has to offer!
1. Surf Balandra
Hidden in a lush, green garden and overlooking the ocean, Surf Balandra runs surf camps from January until the end of March. Improve your surfing skills while discovering the Caribbean’s best kept surfing secret!
2. Blanchisseuse Beach
At just over a kilometer long, this beautiful, secluded beach is home to large waves making it a peaceful haven for surfers.
3. Las Cuevas Beach
A beautiful white sand beach with calm blue waters, remember to bring insect repellent with you when you come here! But if you can tolerate the bugs, this is a stunning, tranquil beach.
4. Tyrico Bay
Known as Tyrico Bay, Tyrico Beach is not actually a bay as it is situated at the eastern end of the popular Maracas Bay. Tyrico Bay is the ideal place to surf, as it is uncrowded but still close enough to the food and amenities of Maracas Beach.
5. Salybia Bay
Located on the northeastern tip of Trinidad, the beautiful bay is often confused with Saline Bay. At low tide, you can walk out onto the reef flat and witness fascinating marine life such as hermit crabs and chiton. The picturesque beach is also a great place for surfers and has amenities such as changing rooms, toilets, and lifeguards.
6. Mount Irvine
Although located in Tobago, Mount Irvine is still worth a mention for just how infamous it is. Its incredible, heart-racing waves are courtesy of swells from the Caribbean striking a coral reef off Rockly Point on Tobago’s northwest coast.
7. Sans Souci
For the last two years, the Surfing Association of Trinidad & Tobago (SATT) has organized the Zoom Break Surf Off every March at Sans Souci, a beach break on the north coast. While there are better waves in Trinidad, huge crowds still gather for the event making for a lively atmosphere and a place to watch great surfing.
Suitable for beginners and experienced surfers alike, Toco is a beach that is sandy with pebbles and has a hillside decorated with fruit trees. The ideal time to visit is between March and November. Just look out for rocks and rips!
9. Grande Riviere
Situated on the north coast of Trinidad about 62.2 miles away from the capital city, Port of Spain, Grande Riviere is a small village with a beach that is very popular with surfers.
The beach is also one of the most important Leatherback turtle nesting beaches in the world. Therefore, the beach is closed at night during the nesting season, but you can still hit the beach during the day!
Approximately 30 minutes away from Port of Spain, Maracas Beach is probably the most popular beach in Trinidad. Lifeguards patrolling the beach means you can surf with confidence, and the changing facilities and picnic tables on the beach mean it has everything you could ask for during a day at the beach.
If you want to do something different, you can also rent sit-on-top kayaks or fish on the small concrete jetty.
Below, you’ll find all the information you’ll need on how to get around the island, as well as how much meals typically cost.
Meal Price Range
Small, basic meals usually start at around $7 USD in Trinidad. Meanwhile, meals at mid-range restaurants will start at around $20 USD, and dining at high-end restaurants will cost anywhere from USD 70 to $100 USD.
There are plenty of places (particularly around the beach) where you can rent equipment. Board rental usually starts at around $15 USD for half a day.
Prepaid SIM Cards
SIM cards can usually be purchased from a Digicel kiosk at Piarco airport located in the duty-free area. Digicel is the best choice for a SIM card, and you can also purchase them at malls and stores throughout Trinidad. Prepaid packages usually start at around $30 USD.
While there are a few public transport options in Trinidad & Tobago, the best way to get around is definitely by car. You can rent a car at Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport (POS), but if you don’t plan on exploring the island you’ll still be able to get around via taxi.
Taxis look like regular passenger cars, except all their license plates will start with the letter ‘H.’ You can catch a taxi from your hotel, but this will probably be more expensive.
If you walk to one of the taxi stands marked on the street corners or if you hail a cab directly from the street you should get a cheaper fare. Taxis in Trinidad are not metered, so be sure to agree on a price with the driver before you get into the vehicle.
To give you an idea of how much you should be expected to pay, one-way trips are usually around $1 USD. Route taxis that follow a specific route are also available in Trinidad & Tobago. Tickets are available in most bus terminals, and some drivers don’t accept cash or credit cards.
Meanwhile, if you want to catch the bus this is provided by Trinidad’s Public Transport Service Corporation. Buses follow set routes, but they do not have a set timetable which makes them a bit unpredictable.
The bus service is cheap, however, and routes start in Scarborough’s bus terminal (a short walk from the ferry terminal) and run to Crown Point, Plymouth, and most villages on the island. They start running from around 6 am.
If you want to explore Tobago too, the Port Authority of Trinidad & Tobago offers express ferries for cross-island travel. The journey only takes just under three hours with a one-way fare costing about $8 USD.
There is a cheaper alternative ferry service that costs around $6 USD but this trip takes nearly six hours. Trinidad’s ferry dock is located in Port of Spain and Tobago’s is located in Scarborough.
If you plan to bring a vehicle with you, you must check in three hours before the ferry departs. However, if you are not bringing a vehicle with you then you can check in two hours before.
Octane-95 gasoline costs around $5.75 (TTD) per liter. Meanwhile, the average global price of gas is currently $8.02 (TTD).
Types of Risks
There is a high level of gang-related violent crime in Trinidad, especially in and around the city center of Port of Spain, in areas such as Laventille, Morvant, and Barataria. While this crime mainly tends to occur within local communities, tourists can sometimes fall victim to it too.
Tourists are mainly the victims of robbery. To avoid this, we recommend not walking alone in deserted areas, even in daylight, and try to avoid traveling beyond major populated areas late at night and early hours of the morning.
We also recommend avoiding carrying large amounts of money or wearing flashy jewelry. You should also be careful when withdrawing money from ATMs.
Theft from vehicles and property also occurs in parts of downtown Port of Spain, as well as other towns and cities. You should always make sure your accommodation is secure, and select safe accommodation you would feel leaving valuables, money, and passports in. I
f you’re renting a car, be careful when driving at night and avoid straying into areas affected by gang violence. Make sure your windows are closed and doors locked when driving.
Serious crimes such as rape, murder, kidnapping for ransom, assault, robbery, and theft have also occurred in private cars and maxi taxis. This is why it’s so important to make sure you’re getting into a legitimate taxi.
There have also been incidents of violence and fatal accidents caused by drunk driving to and from the airport, particularly on the Beetham/Churchill Roosevelt Highway.
We also recommend bringing a basic pharmacy kit that includes ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, earplugs, gauze, alcohol, mosquito repellent, and as much antibiotic ointment as you can.
How to Prepare
Below, you’ll find all you need to know about vaccines, surfing forecasts, and what the VISA requirements are, wherever you’re traveling from.
Citizens from 100 countries including the US, UK, and EU can enter Trinidad & Tobago without a VISA for up to 90 days. However, citizens from Australia and New Zealand will need a VISA before arrival.
You should make sure you’re up-to-date on all routine vaccinations before traveling to Trinidad, such as Chickenpox (Varicella), Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis, Influenza, Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), and Polio.
Hepatitis A vaccination is also recommended for unvaccinated travelers over a year old going to Trinidad & Tobago. Infants 6 to 11 months should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. This dose will not count towards the routine 2-dose series.
Travelers allergic to a component of the vaccine or who are younger than 6 months old should receive a single dose of immune globulin which – depending on the dosage – should protect you for up to 2 months.
Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all unvaccinated travelers going to Trinidad & Tobago.
Any infants aged 6 to 11 months who are traveling internationally should get 1 dose of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to protect them from measles. This dose will not count towards the routine childhood vaccination series.
Being vaccinated against Typhoid is also recommended for most travelers, especially if you’re staying with friends or family, or visiting smaller cities and rural areas.
A vaccination against Yellow Fever is also required if you’re traveling from a county with a high risk of YF virus transmission, or if you’ll be spending more than 12 hours in an airport located in a country with a risk of YF virus transmission.
Yellow Fever vaccination is also recommended for travelers over 9 months of age who are traveling to densely forested areas of Trinidad.
Language and Currency
While English is the official language of Tobago, other languages spoken there include Trinidadian English Creole, Trinidadian Hindustani, and Tobagonian Creole.
The currency of Trinidad is the Trinidad & Tobago Dollar (TTD$).
Checking Surf Forecast
The climate of Trinidad & Tobago is tropical with hot temperatures all year around. The average temperature is about 32 °C or 88 °F. The rainy season lasts from June to December and is followed by a relatively dry season from January to mid-April.
September and October are the warmest months, while January and February are the coolest. The northeast trade winds blow all year round and stop it from feeling too hot.
The best time to surf is from December to April when NE trade winds create a wind swell ranging 4-8ft and long period N-NE groundswells reach the coast, creating 4 to 6ft waves. From June to October, there are smaller wind swells, as well as unpredictable large hurricane swells that create great surfing conditions.
Due to the volatility of the weather in Trinidad, it’s best to check a surfing forecast a week before your trip. This is so you can get a better understanding of the waves and what gear to pack. We recommend checking out Surf-forecast.com for the surfing forecast in Trinidad.
For insurance that provides detailed coverage for surfers, we recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance. Their travel insurance packages are inexpensive and, most importantly, protect surfers.