Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

Trinidad and Tobago

  • Reviewed: 27 March 2019, 10:50 NZDT
  • Still current at: 24 July 2019

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Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to violent crime.

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Terrorism
Terrorist attacks are possible in Trinidad and Tobago. New Zealanders in Trinidad and Tobago are advised to pay close attention to personal security at all times. Keep informed of potential risks to safety by monitoring the media and other local information sources about possible security threats. We recommend following any instructions issued by the local authorities and exercising vigilance.

Violent crime
There is a high level of violent crime in Trinidad and Tobago, including armed robbery, sexual assault and murder, particularly in the inner city neighbourhoods east of Port of Spain’s city centre, downtown Port of Spain (including the docks), Sea Lots, Belmont, Laventille, Morvant, Beetham, Barataria, Queens Park Savannah and Lady Young Road. Foreigners have been victims in the past. Tourists and foreigners are often affected by petty crimes, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching and car theft, which increases during holiday periods such as Christmas and Carnival.

There have been reports of tourists being robbed at gunpoint in downtown Port of Spain and attacks occurring in daylight hours, including at popular tourist sites. Gang and drug-related violence, such as shootings and kidnappings, can be indiscriminate and affect bystanders.

We advise New Zealanders to exercise caution and maintain a high level of security awareness at all times. Avoid travel outside major populated areas at night. While the crime rate is lower in Tobago, all isolated areas, including beaches such as Englishman’s Bay, King Peter’s Bay and Bacolet, can be particularly dangerous and should be avoided, even during daylight hours. 

Violent crime, including rape, assault and robbery, has taken place in shared or “route” taxis. We recommend only using hotel or private taxis which take you door-to-door.  

Driving at night should be avoided outside major cities and you should avoid travelling on the Beetham Highway airport route late at night. Violent robberies have occurred when travelling from Piarco Airport and there have been incidents where visitors have been followed from the airport to their destination and robbed. There have been reports of attempts to stop and rob vehicles by blocking traffic or depositing debris on the road. Exercise vigilance when leaving the airport.

Foreign nationals have been violently attacked in their homes. New Zealanders are advised to assure themselves their accommodation has appropriate security measures in place, including at private villas.

Civil unrest
New Zealanders in Trinidad and Tobago are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests and large public gatherings as even those intended as peaceful have the potential to turn violent with little warning. Pay close attention to personal security and monitor the media for information about possible safety or security risks.

Carnival
Criminal activity and violent crime is known to increase during Carnival time (from January to April each year) and New Zealanders should exercise heightened caution during this time.  On 8 February 2018, Trinidad and Tobago authorities announced the arrest of individuals who planned to carry out terrorist-style attacks during Carnival 2018.

General advice
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.

New Zealanders travelling or resident in Trinidad and Tobago should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Trinidad and Tobago are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips


The New Zealand High Commission Bridgetown, Barbados is accredited to Trinidad and Tobago

Street Address Lower Collymore Rock, Bridgetown, BB11000,Barbados Postal Address PO BOX 676, Lower Collymore Rock, Bridgetown, BB11000,Barbados Telephone +1 246 622 7800 Fax +1 246 622 7808 Email NZHCBarbados@mfat.govt.nz Web Site https://www.mfat.govt.nz/barbados Hours Mon - Thur 7:45am - 4.00pm Fri 8.00am - 1pm

New Zealand Honorary Consulate New Zealand Honorary Consulate Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago

Street Address 31 Alberto Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago Telephone +1 868 623 3829 Mobile +1 868 680 8664 Email dkelshall@savannahcomputing.com

See our regional advice for the Caribbean

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Accredited New Zealand High Commission Barbados

Street Address
Lower Collymore Rock, Bridgetown, BB11000,Barbados

Telephone: +1 246 622 7800

Fax: +1 246 622 7808

Email: NZHCBarbados@mfat.govt.nz

Website: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/barbados

Hours: Mon - Thur 7:45am - 4.00pm Fri 8.00am - 1pm

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