Expat Exchange

Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

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Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 17, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

What do I need to know before moving to Port of Spain?

Live in Port of Spain? Answer this Question

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Port of Spain, they said:

"We were limited to what the realitor wanted to show us, mainly West Morings. My husband talked to people at work (other expats and locals) and they told us about different areas. We insisted in viewing the other areas we knew of. (Like the US, realitors are looking at their best interest; not yours. They want to show you where they have rental properties, need I say more...) Secondly, Drive to work and back during your work hours once you find the area you like. Adjust the hours or the location depending on your choice. Everyone complains about traffic, but Houston's traffic is the same if not worse with 6 lanes on every road," commented one expat who made the move to Port of Spain.

How do I find a place to live in Port of Spain?

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We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"We do not have children going to the international school, so that opened our options where to live. We chose Moka, Maraval by the golf course. It's green and mountainouse. It's a 10 minute drive to the city or a 15 minute drive to the Carribean, Maracus Beach. The houses are newer and larger. You get more for your money. **Fresh Fruit / Vegetable stands on corners. You won't find that in West Morings," mentioned another expat in Port of Spain.

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Port of Spain?

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"4 Bedroom / 3.5 Bath with a pool and small yard. Yes, there are also nice townhomes with plunge pools available in the area," commented one expat who made the move to Port of Spain.

What is the average cost of housing in Port of Spain?

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If you are thinking about moving to Port of Spain, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Yes, the housing is double and maybe even triple in some areas. Average housing is $4000 US to $7000 US. Furnished housings go for more when available. **Utilities are cheaper than Houston. Cable / Internet and Electric are 1/4 the price we paid in the states," explained one expat living in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

How do I meet people in Port of Spain?

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When we asked people living in Port of Spain about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"There is plenty of night life in Port of Spain. Some renown clubs/lounges are Zen,Katalyst, Alchemy, 51, and Aura, just to name a few. There is a American Women's association, and also maybe a Latin American Women's association. During carnival, there are MANY fetes to go to which take place 2-3 months prior to carnival. Average price to a fete is $50 US," added another expat in Port of Spain.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What should I bring when moving to Port of Spain?

Live in Port of Spain? Answer this Question

People living in Port of Spain were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"Originally we were supposed to have a furnished home... With that in mind we packed enough for 2 weeks to live in a hotel. There's not much we brought that we shouldn't have. Things that I wish I would have brought... 1) Bedding: If you like 1000 count sheets like I do, they are hard to find. If you find them they are expensive and not the quality as the ones in the states. Plus, bedding sets are hard to find and there is no variety. 2) Summer clothes: Clothes are expensive and everything looks the same. You pay about $50 US for a sun dress that you would buy for $15 - $20 US. 3) Spices: You are limited to local spices and seasonings. Some grocery stores sell imported items, but you are limited to what they provide," said another expat in Port of Spain.

Will I be able to find a job in Port of Spain?

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When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Port of Spain, they reponded:

"Trinidad being right next to Venezuela, basically runs on Oil. So there are many expat's working here for many foreign companies," remarked another expat living in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

What is life like in Port of Spain?

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When we asked people living in Port of Spain what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Trinidadians are not known for extreme work ethic. But known more for lime'in (Trini chilling/hanging out)," added another expat in Port of Spain.

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What do expats in Port of Spain appreciate most about the local culture?

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"I love the tropical weather. We live near the bay, and I love to watch the birds and ships go in and out. The Trinis are a happy, fun-loving, music-addicted culture - people burst into song in the grocery, always have time to chat and spare a laugh. Social life is very family-oriented, though, and while many Trinis are friendly on the surface, getting to know them more deeply isn't the norm. They tend to socialize with their own extended families. I have yet to be invited to a Trini's house for dinner that wasn't a business function, although I've had them over. Ex-pats socialize with each other, though," added another expat in Port of Spain.

What do expats find most challenging?

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"The pace. Everything takes more time - driving, getting any work done, dealing with any bureaucracy. And the systems make no sense. Efficiency is like a dirty word. My A/C technician calls to say he'll be here in half an hour and shows up two hours later. I just waited a day and a half for the guy to show up to fix my garage door. And the last time he fixed it - he was here for 3 days!!! I watch my neighbor remodel (not build, just remodel) his house - it took 16 months!! Every time I looked over there, the workers were taking a break! Trash is everywhere - I watch huge bunches of it wash out to sea after every storm. There's no recycling, no sense that the environment is something to be protected, not just used. Water shortages every year, power outages, the cable goes out regularly. They cut off our phone for no reason - the bill was paid - and I spent 2 hours on the phone getting it reinstated. It didn't come back on for a month," commented one expat who made the move to Port of Spain.

What are the schools in Port of Spain like?

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"It's generally a good school. My main concern is that most of the students are Trinidadian. I thought this would be a good thing, helping us to integrate with this society, but I was very surprised at how reserved Trinidadians were (not their first impression, though, which is quite friendly). So even though my children are very extrovert and friendly, we are finding that their classmates are not encouraged to socialise with non-Trinidadians. Only with their extended family members or old family friends. Very difficult and isolating when you don't share any sort of background with them. Trinidadians are still curteous, but certainly won't "mix". We are considering moving school because of this, as social connections for an expat is very important and I don't want my children (which are noticing already) to be affected. We hear that the other International School, which is mostly expat, is more aware of the importance of these social connections," remarked another expat living in Port of Spain with children attending Maple Leaf International School.

"Contact the school and make an appoitment to visit before enrolling and ask as many question ask you may have to the principal," said another expat in Port of Spain with children at St. Andrews private school.

"Think twice and look at the other options on offer in Trinidad. The American and Canadians both have good internaional school's in POS.Also some of the local schools are very good," remarked another parent with kids at British Acadamy Port Of Spain in Port of Spain.

"None if you are an expat coming from the US there is no other school to attend so your choice is limited to this one. For others If you are looking for a cultural experience forget it its non existant in this school it just a typical american school catering for the american populace," explained one expat living in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Expats Port of SpainExpats in Port of Spain

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Trinidad & Tobago Index Port of Spain Index
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Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Trinidad & Tobago on our Trinidad & Tobago forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Trinidad & Tobago Network Contribute
Help others in Trinidad & Tobago by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Trinidad & Tobago.

Expat Healthcare Advice in Trinidad & TobagoHealthcare & Health Insurance in Trinidad & Tobago

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Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Trinidad & Tobago.

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