Updated: Nov 9, 2020
"The Best Festival in The World", Trinidad Carnival
A Newbies Guide to the "Original Carnival" in Trinidad & Tobago
Welcome to my first Wine! Join me on this voyage as I experience one of the most historic and ionic festivals globally.
Trinidad Carnival... An Unbelievable Experience!
Heading to Trinidad Carnival for the first time, I had no idea what I was in for. I was told things about the celebration but unless you experience it yourself, you will never really understand how incredible this tradition and culture truly is!
“Trinidad Carnival is an experience that cannot be put in words?"
Here is a glimpse into what I learned and what you should know.
1. An Energy Like You've Never Felt.
When I first heard about everything that goes on at Trinidad Carnival, I asked how will have the energy to walk, dance and wine for two full days, after multiple days of fetes, all on little to no sleep?
And then you land in Trinidad....
You notice an energy you’ve likely never experienced before!
You will feel so much excitement and general love from everyone around you. It’s something I can’t explain but I guarantee you’ll hear everyone say.
From the early fetes to the end of Las Lap, the music, the vibe and the energy together creates a feeling you've never felt elsewhere.
And then comes Carnival Tuesday.....
You put your costumes on, you gather with the other masqueraders, you hear the Soca sounds, you see all the elaborate colors, you feel the positive carefree vibes, you are filled with energy!
2. All Are Accepted.
To my surprise Trinidad was one of the most diverse countries I have ever visited. Influences that come from Indian, African, Portuguese, Amerindian, Spanish, Chinese, and so many other beautiful cultures, have come together to make up this country.
It is probably why Trinidad Carnival is one of the most incredible celebrations on earth!
Not only is country made up of so many backgrounds, tourist who come in to celebrate Carnival come in from all countries, all walks of life, all backgrounds, all cultures, all bodies, all ages. All are welcome and so many come together to leave all their worries behind.
Trinidad has been built up around Carnival and the locals are so inviting, so proud to share their traditions with the all who visit. All ages; young and old, embrace ALL who come to celebrate their culture!
With all the diversity here and all the love for their country, it is no wonder why there is no judgement at Carnival.
It is a celebration so diverse, inviting all to embrace the true self, with love and energy all around!
3. You HAVE to Plan Early!
Now, that you have an understanding of the vibe at Trinidad Carnival, its no wonder why the event brings in so many visitors each year.
Over 40,000 visitors come in from all over the world for the opportunity to experience the culture of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival.
With all these visitors coming at the same time, in a country who's total yearly visitors is only around 120,000, you may understand why you have to plan early. With limited accommodations and a high influx of tourist, things book early. Some as early as a year in advance.
Here is a list of things you will need to book to ensure you are prepared for Carnival.
Carnival Band / Costume
Car / Transportation
Tobago (if looking to check out)
Carnival Glam (if looking to have hair, make-up or spray tan done)
For a print out version of this list, click here.
For more info how to book & when to plan, check out "Top 7 Things You Need To Do To Plan An Epic Trip toTrinidad Carnival"
4. It's An Investment Worth Making
If you started your research on my list above, you're probably overwhelmed but I'm here you ease your mind.
Here's a general breakdown of some of the average costs you should plan for (in USD):
Hotels, ~$400 - 500/night
Flights, ~$700 (depends from where)
Carnival Band, $500 - $2000
Personal Driver, $50-100 per day
Fete's, $50-100 per fete
Food (food typically inexpensive)
Glam, $40-200 (depends on what you want)
Tobago (roundtrip flight $60 + hotel, $200/night)
Depending on how you plan your trip, your total cost can be upward to $3000-7000 USD.
It's worth it, plus there's extras you can get with some of your purchases.
Band - includes Carnival entry and costume, plus many include everything you need for 2 full days and more.
Fetes - many include all you can eat and drink.
Hotels - many offer free breakfast and shuttles.