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trinidad

Geography

Trinidad and Tobago is located in Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela.The  Geographical coordinates are 11 00 N, 61 00 W. It has the total area of: 5,130 sq km including  land area of 5,130 sq km and water of0 sq km.

It is an archipelagic republic consisting of 23 islands in the southern Caribbean between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela. They are southeasterly islands of the Lesser Antilles, located close to the South American mainland.

Covering an area of 5,128 sq km (1,979 sq miles), the country consists of the two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and 21 smaller islands – including Chacachacare,Monos, Huevos, Gaspar Grande (or Gasparee), Little Tobago, and St.Giles Island. Trinidad is 11 km(7mi) off the northeast coast of Venezuela and 130 km south of the Grenadines. The island measures 4,768 km² (1,841 sq mi) in area (comprising 93.0% of the country's total area) with an average length of 80 km (50 mi) and an average width of 59 km (37 mi). The island appears rectangular in shape with three projecting peninsular corners. Tobago is 30 km northeast of Trinidad and measures about 298 km² (115 sq mi) in area, or 5.8% of the country's area, 41 km (25.5 mi) in length and 12 km (7.5 mi) at its greatest width. The island is cigar-shaped in appearance, with a northeast-southwest alignment.

Geologically, the islands are not part of the Antillean arc. Rather, Trinidad was once part of the South American mainland and is situated on its continental shelf, and Tobago is part of a sunken mountain chain related to the continent. The islands are now separated from the continent of South America by the Gulf of Paria; Dragon’s Mouth, a 19-kilometer-wide northern passage; and Serpents’s Mouth, a 14-kilometer-wide southern passage.

Trinidad is traversed by three distinct mountain ranges that are a continuation of the Venezuelan coastal cordillera. The Northern Range, an outlier of the Andes Mountains of Venezuela, consists of rugged hills that parallel the coast. This range rises into two peaks. The highest, El Cerro del Aripo, is 940 meters high; the other, El Tucuche, reaches 936 meters. The Central Range extends diagonally across the island and is a low-lying range with swampy areas rising to rolling hills; its maximum elevation is 325 meters. The Caroni Plain, composed of alluvial sediment, extends southward, separating the Northern Range and Central Range. The Southern Range consists of a broken line of hills with a maximum elevation of 305 meters.

There are numerous rivers and streams on the island of Trinidad; the most significant are the Ortoire River, 50 kilometers long, which extends eastward into the Atlantic, and the 40 kilometer-long Caroni River, reaching westward into the Gulf of Paria. Most of the soils of Trinidad are fertile, with the exception of the sandy and unstable terrain found in the southern part of the island.

Tobago is mountainous and dominated by the Main Ridge, which is 29 kilometers long with elevations up to 640 meters. There are deep, fertile valleys running north and south of the Main Ridge. The southwestern tip of the island has a coral platform. Although Tobago is volcanic in origin, there are no active volcanoes. Forestation covers 43 % of the island. There are numerous rivers and streams, but flooding and erosion are less severe than in Trinidad. The coastline is indented with numerous bays, beaches, and narrow coastal plains.

Tobago has several small satellite islands. The largest of these, Little Tobago, is starfish shaped, hilly, and consists of 1.2 km² of impenetrable vegetation.

Capital        Port-of-Spain

Languages   English,Others are Hindustani, Caribbean, Spanish, Tobagonian Creole English, Trinidadian Creole English, Trinidadian Creole French

Currency     Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TTD)

Climate

Trinidad and Tobago, both enjoy a generally pleasant maritime tropical climate with a high relative humidity,influenced by the northeast trade winds. In Trinidad the annual mean temperature is 26 °C, and the average maximum temperature is 33 °C. The humidity is high, particularly during the rainy season, when it averages 85 to 87 %. The island receives an average of 211 centimeters of rainfall per year, usually concentrated in the months of June through December, when brief, intense showers frequently occur. Precipitation is highest in the Northern Range, which may receive as much as 381 centimeters. During the dry season, drought plagues the island's central interior. Tobago's climate is similar to Trinidad's but slightly cooler. Its rainy season extends from June to December; the annual rainfall is 250 centimeters. The islands lie outside the hurricane belt; despite this, Hurricane Flora damaged Tobago in 1963, and Tropical Storm Alma hit Trinidad in 1974, causing damage before obtaining full strength.

The coolest months are January and February, when the average minimum temperature is about 68° F (20° C). The warmest months are April, May, and October, which have an average maximum temperature of about 89° F (32° C). In general, mean temperatures range between 77° F (25° C) in February and 85° F (29° C) in April. Temperatures vary significantly between day and night, and the climate along the coast is tempered by sea breezes.

There is a main dry season from January to May and a lesser dry season (Petite Carême, or Indian Summer) in September and October. The prevailing winds are the northeast trades. The islands are outside the main hurricane zone, but Tobago occasionally is struck by a disastrous hurricane (e.g., in 1867 and 1963).