The two islands lie off the northern edge of South America near Venezuela.
Columbus encountered Trinidad in 1498, but only saw Tobago on the horizon.
Little Tobago, a mile from Tobago’s coast, is known as ‘Bird of Paradise Island’. It was once noted as the only wild habitat of the greater bird of paradise outside of New Guinea.
Approximately 96% of the country’s inhabitants live on Trinidad. The rest reside on Tobago.
For many, the annual carnival is the ultimate creative expression of the islands.
Claims to fame include the calypso and limbo dances, which come from African music and dance forms. Trinidadian music and dance underwent a renaissance from the 1970s and once again is an important part of the country’s cultural scene.
Trinidad & Tobago form one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the Caribbean. Tourism, the oil and gas industry and manufacturing are important in its economy.
Football and cricket are popular. Dwight Yorke played for various English football clubs including Manchester United.
Trinidad & Tobago joined the Commonwealth in 1962.
It made its debut at the London 1934 British Empire Games and has attended every Games since then, apart from the 1950 and 1986 instalments.
The country’s first medals came during the Vancouver 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. At Kingston 1966, Trinidad & Tobago won five Gold, two Silver and two Bronze medals.