Known for putting on "The Greatest Show on Earth," carnival season on the two-island Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago is one heck of a reason to join the fete (party) with a little limin' (relaxation) afterwards.
Any other time of the year, things are pretty mellow and people live the good, slow life like that found on various tropical paradises. Come carnival season it’s a whole different scene from north to south. Unless you’re extremely conservative, there is a place for everyone in the carnival. Don’t feel like jumping with a band? Step to the side and watch as masqueraders dance in the street. All spectators are welcome here. Perhaps you’re thinking all this is just for adults and that a more child-friendly environment is needed. Worry not, for there is a children’s carnival as well. Kids (not as scantily dressed or intoxicated as their adult minders – thank heavens) dance to Soca sounds and Calypso tunes too. In the children’s carnival, groups of grade school students compete for best band during their short decorative road march.
Back to the adults again…whether you wind your body up or down onto the gritty Port-of-Spain streets along side steel bands playing in trucks, you’re going to work up a sweat. Don’t fight it. Take it from someone who’s been there. Keep a wet cool cloth handy to wipe your face so that you can keep to the pace of the people moving all throughout the streets. Plenty of water, coconut juice are recommended. If beer keeps you hydrated and moving – then go for it! I admit, “The Greatest Show on Earth” can be a little hedonistic, but for a possibly once-in-a-lifetime event, I say a trip to TnT is all worth it.
The days leading up to the carnival are always filled with shows and performances that don’t involve the high-energy levels of the road march. Many are educational and funny and simply a good way to while away a non-stop carnival-packed vacation. When all is said and done, head away from Trinidad and over to Tobago where the real holiday relaxation can begin.