What to Pack for Your Trini Vacation


So you’ve  decided to ditch the dreary negative-degree weather back home, and take a trip to sunny T&T – we’d say you make the right choice! Our culture is as warm and welcoming as the radiant sunlight that’ll meet you at the airport, and as pure as the delicate blue skies overhead.

We’re so happy you’re here – but what did you pack? Many tourists are often left wondering how to transition from snow and sleet to sun-kissed mountainsides and sandy beaches. The 30-degree average temperature of our beautiful tropical climate can be extremely disorienting during your first few days in Trinidad and Tobago.

So let’s get to it – First Capital Apartment has a guide to help you pack efficiently for your Caribbean Dream Vacation. We’ve got you covered (or uncovered depending on the tan-envy you’re trying to evoke when you get back home). See what we did there?

1. Tan for Days!

You already know! There’s no way you’re coming to Trinidad and Tobago and don’t end up visiting a beach, or two…or three.

What do I pack? Um…A swimsuit? Just kidding – here’s our tip: less is more.

In Trinidad and Tobago, and many other Caribbean Islands, your body, your skin and your shape is celebrated. Men and women alike are encouraged to “free-up” themselves at the beach. So ditch the sleeves for a skimpy swimsuit with a light, easy cover-up that’s perfect for when that Caribbean sun starts biting. We guarantee a tan for days, that’ll leave your family and friends back home reeling with envy.

Shop Local! So, you’re the only person on the team who forgot their swimsuit….or you’ve decided you’re in for a bit of shopping – what now? Here is our top pick for local swimsuit shopping.

Chandra Maharaj Designs – Chan was born in Brazil but raised in sweet T&T. Her aesthetic is influenced by the diverse and vibrant culture of our beautiful islands. She designs swimsuits for all shapes and sizes and has even evolved into designing ready-to-wear and high fashion garments. Check out her swimsuit collection on her website.


Where to go? Our top pick for beach goers in Trinidad is Las Cuevas . A hidden gem just minutes from the famous Maracas Beach, Las Cuevas is the Caribbean’s first Blue Flag certified beach – a slim, private, stretch of sand and sea, waiting for you! We’d recommend going during the week because chances are, you’ll have the beach all to yourself! There are washrooms and changing room facilities on site and if you really want the Trini experience, stop at Maracas Beach first to pick up some bake and shark! Las Cuevas is ideal for snorkeling, sunbathing and simply relaxing in the cool, crisp Caribbean Sea.

2. Legs Out!

You’re in the land of sun, sun and SUN – so let your legs out!

What do I pack? Rain or shine, shorts are a must, so pack a few. In T&T there’s a wonderful mix of warm breezes and cold beers and we recommend you do yourself a favor and forget about your jeans for a few days. Trinis LOVE a good short pant and we’ve got a few tips for styling.

  • Pair them with a crop top or simple vest for a more casual look.
  • Wear an oversized tee or baggy shirt for classy comfort.
  • Be effortlessly fashionable: skip the two-piece altogether and rock a romper!

You’re showing skin….so SHOW the skin! Whether you’re going to The Falls at West Mall for some high-end shopping, out for a night on Ariapita Avenue or catching the local food scene around the Queen’s Park Savannah – let your skin out to play. You’ll thank us later.


Shop Local! Here’s our local designer spotlight – you may know her as one of the winners of Project Runway. Trinidadian born designer, Anya Ayoung-Chee not only represented our island at the Miss Universe Pageant in 2008 but went on to “make it work”, reigning victorious at New York Fashion Week during Project Runway’s ninth season in 2011.

Check out the shots above for just a taste of her designs – get your short, shorts our, and be inspired!

3. Catch the Wind

Maxis are not just what we call buses in T&T – it’s also the name of a must-have clothing item for your Caribbean Vacation.

2332475e5a1e59a862e40945ae4f43ec--anya-ayoung-chee-project-runway-dressesWhat do I pack? Maxi Dresses are not just fashionable, they’re versatile and represent all the ease and comfort of the Caribbean lifestyle. They can be dressed-up for a classy night out, or dressed-down with a simple pair of sandals. We guarantee when you step out in a well designed maxi-dress, you’ll turn heads as T&T’s warm Caribbean breeze brings life to the light, airy fabric.

Pair your dress with a broad hat, over-sized sunglasses and chunky jewelry or let the outfit stand alone with a smart clutch and mismatched bangles. As Trinis say, “yuh cookin with gas!” (Translation: You’re taking things to another level; it’s a great idea; now you’re talking!).

Shop Local! Anya is another favorite for maxi dresses but for our local pick we have to go to Shari from Shop Shari 

Shari is inspired by vibrant prints and creates captivating statement pieces that include her signature maxi dresses. Her brand is inclusive, catering to all ages, shapes and sizes, all while maintaining comfort in fashion. Ladies, your curves have never looked better! Check our her Instagram profile for all her latest designs. You won’t be disappointed.

And there you have it – we hope your packing get’s a little easier after reading our tips. At the very least, come to Trinidad and Tobago with an empty suitcase and we’ll fill it up with the best in locally designed, Trinbagonian clothing.

First Capital Apartments have got you covered! We’ve got your packing sorted.

For reservations, check our our home page, or fill our the form on our contact page for more information about our self-catered apartments.




First Capital’s Favorite Food Finds

“Ah hungry! Just put food on de table!”

First Capital Apartments is nestled in the hills of St. Joseph – the first capital of Trinidad and Tobago. Stepping away from the sun, sea and sand, our beautiful island holds a host of multi-cultural experiences for those willing to seek them out.

Our cuisine for example is just one of the many outlets from which our rich history, our diverse and magnificent history can be experienced. From the purest of indigenous roots, to the defiant African slaves; from the Spanish, Dutch and British colonial settlers, to the innovative Indian, Chinese and Portuguese indentured laborers – our society holds within it a rich cornucopia of hybridized culture which you can experience!

As we in T&T like to say, “All ah we is one family”.

So come, relax & sit at our table. First Capital Apartments is here to break down some of our favorite food finds, just minutes away from our cozy apartments. Now’s not the time to count calories because here’s our guide to the perfect Trini breakfast, lunch and dinner.

1. Breakfast: T&T Doubles

Doubles is by far one of the most popular street foods in Trinidad and Tobago. Breakfast, lunch or dinner – you name the time of day and we guarantee that there will be a crowd of people munching away at some hot, tasty doubles.

A Bit of History: The origin of this popular delicacy has been disputed over many decades in T&T. However, the coining of the term “doubles” has been traced back to 1937. Emamoul Deen and his wife Rasulan of Princes Town started a business in 1936 selling fried channa (chick peas). This soon evolved into curried channa with chutney (a sweet-spicy sauce). He then introduced a single bara (fried dough) with the curried channa. His customers would ask him to “double-up” on the bara hence the name “doubles” evolved and Deen’s doubles became the pioneering brand.

Doubles MapWhere can I find it? The nearest and by far the most popular location in northern Trinidad is the Curepe Junction, a major transportation hub, just minutes from First Capital Apartments. There you will find a range of street vendors to pick from – we recommend going with whichever vendor has the biggest crowd! [Click the Map to get to the Navigation!]

How much will it cost? One doubles will run you about $5.00 TTD and most adults eat about two. The vendors usually only accept local currency – so stock up on some change! Generally there is an “eat first, pay later” system. The vendors will keep track of how many you eat, but more often than now there is a trust that customers will pay for what they’ve eaten.

doubles blogTips for your Trini Experience: There is a line for “take away” and a separate section for those who wish to eat “on the spot”. We recommend for the true Trini experience you try having one “on the spot” with “slight pepper” This means that you’ll have all the toppings, including a little pepper which will add just the right about of “kick”!

2. Lunch: Trinidadian Roti

Buss Up Shut, Dhal Puri, Curried Goat, Pumpkin and Tomato Chokha – these may sound like gibberish but any true Trini will know what it means. Lunch-time on our sunny Caribbean paradise is usually signaled by two things: (i) blazing, hot twelve o’clock sun and (ii) the smooth, mouth-watering aroma of a bubbling pot of curried channa and aloo (chick peas and potato).chicken and roti1

A Bit of History: Hailing from the another wave of indentured laborers, roti is a staple of Indian cuisine on the island and “roti shops” are a cornerstone of community life. Usually run in a “mom and pop” style, these shops sometimes have take-away options, or homey dining areas where Trinbagonians can sit for a quick meal.

In the Caribbean, roti is commonly eaten as an accompaniment to various curries and stews. The traditional way of eating roti is to break the roti by hand, using it to sop up sauce and pieces of meat from the curry.download

The “wrap roti” is the commercialization of roti and curry together as a fast-food or street-food item in the Caribbean. This wrap form of roti originated in southern Trinidad. It was first created in the mid-1940s in San Fernando. The wrap was convenient as the meal could be eaten faster and while on the go, as well as keeping one’s hands from getting dirty. In Trinidad and Tobago, various wrapped roti are served, including chicken, conch, goat, beef and shrimp. Vegetables can also be added including potato, pumpkin and spinach as well a variety of local condiments; pepper sauce (hot sauce) and mango chutney being the most popular.

roti mapWhere can I find it? Just 8 minutes away from First Capital Apartments you will find a well known roti shop called “Juman’s Roti Shop”. It is located in the nearby community of Curepe, where many locals walk from their homes to purchase roti. Some even line up before the store opens but we recon if you call in and place your order, you’re sure to get your serving. [Click the Map to get to the Navigation!]

How much will it cost? Juman’s offers a wide range of options from about $35.00 TTD and up. The cost will depend on the type of roti you are ordering, the filling (type of meat) and the size of portion. All prices are listed as you enter so no need to worry.

jumansTips for your Trini Experience: Parking on the street may be a bit crowded around lunch time so we recommend you get a driver to drop you at the door and park offsite. As an alternative, you can park on any of the adjoining streets and take a stroll!

Here’s an added tip – check out this video for other roti shops you can try! Juman’s is even on the list. Have an adventure, you’ll be surprised just how many roti shops there are in Trinidad.

3. Dinner: Trinidadian Roast Pork

Trinidad Roast Pork also known as ‘Crispy Skin Pork’ or ‘Trinidad Chinese Roast Pork’ has its roots in (you guessed it!) the coming of Chinese indentured laborers to the island.

20090328crispy-300x199A Bit of History: The first “shipment” of 192 Chinese immigrants arrived in Trinidad on a ship named Fortitude on October 12, 1806. Since then there have been four different waves of Chinese Immigrants both during and after slavery was abolished. The Chinese immigrants forged their legacy and became successful butchers, shopkeepers, carpenters and market gardeners. They brought with them their customs, traditions, games, religion and artifacts.

As with all Trinbagonian culture, over the decades, many customs have become hybridized as different cultures intermingle and evolve. This has led to the creation of Trini-Chinese cuisine in the form of golden, crispy, bubbling, buttery roast pork. Do you need any more convincing?

Pork MapWhere can I find it? Just 10 minutes away from First Capital Apartments you will find a small establishment called “Quan Kep’s Pork Shed“. The business hails from Princes Town, south of Trinidad and in recent years has established a small satellite location near the Grand Bazaar Shopping Mall. [Click the Map to get to the Navigation!]

How much will it cost? Their most popular dish is the “roast pork sandwich” which is $20.00 TTD however they also offer fries with their roast pork, Trinidadian Geera Pork, Trinidadian Pudding, Pork Wantons and Trinidadian Chinese-Style Chicken. Other items range from $20.00-$45.00 TTD and they offer both cash and debit/credit card payment options – so get a bit of everything!

10700246_375775489252332_6428607025427579433_oTips for your Trini Experience: Make sure to go on weekends (Fridays or Saturdays) as they only open on during the evening time We recommend that you go at about 7:00pm and have some dinner! If you check the contact information on their Facebook page (linked above) you can call in your order before hand, or simply order when you arrive. The wait is only about 10-15 minutes depending on the crowd.

And there you have it – breakfast, lunch and dinner courtesy First Capital Apartments. Of course these are just a few local options for you – so stay tuned to our blog for more food finds just for you!

If you need our help renting a vehicle, please don’t hesitate to ask. We know a few reliable drivers who’ll be happy to show you around our nearby food hubs.

For reservations, check our our home page, or fill our the form on our contact us page.



Free Welcome Basket with Booking!

Already decided? Jump ahead and reserve your room!


First Capital Apartments is pleased to announce its first monthly special for the year.

With bookings during the month of February, all guests will receive a FREE welcome basket, filled with groceries to get your stay off to a great start.

We’ve had guests from all over the world: from Japan, to the United States; fromMonthly Special Germany, to the United Kingdom, Sweden and even our Caribbean neighbors! They’ve all been a pleasure to host but we’ve noticed one similarity over the years: the desire for a stress-free, hassle-free settling-in period after their journey.

We can definitely relate to this! Whether it’s an hour-long island hopper flight from our neighbor isles, or a ten-hour trek across the globe; all our guests want, is to drop their bags and begin their relaxing Caribbean vacation. So we’ve decided to take our hospitality up a notch.

Forget the hassle of finding a grocery, forget the pressure of obtaining transport and carrying bags and bags of supplies. We’ll take care of it.

For the month of February, with ALL bookings, our guests will open the doors to their self-catered apartments to find an ample supply of locally sourced fruits, breakfast products and snacks. This will help you settle in without the frustration and anxiety of figuring out your next meal. So have one on us!

Here are just a few of our local products that will be featured in your welcome basket:

1. Hong Wing Coffee: premium-coffee-01

This local brand of coffee was started by Hong Wing and Sons, “the original coffee manufacturers of Trinidad and Tobago” according to their website. The business was established since 1921 with their original products being roasted ground and whole bean coffee.  What started as a small family business has grown to be recognized as the leaders in ground coffee in Trinidad and Tobago. The business has been thriving for 95 years, and Hong Wing has branched into new trends of coffee in Trinidad and Tobago including flavored coffee grounds (French Vanilla, Island Coconut).

2. Local Fruits: Lavorare-nei-Caraibi-a-Trinidad-Tobago

These options will vary seasonally, but among the fruits supplied in our welcome baskets you will find locally grown portugals, mangoes, bananas, five-fingers (star fruits), guavas, pineapples and paw-paws! Make sure and gobble these quickly though because they’re sourced fresh off the trees and have a tendency to become over-ripe within a day or two.

Many of these fruits can be eaten fresh, or made into a local delicacy, “chow” which can be made by cutting or peeling the fruits and adding salts, pepper and other seasonings. Interested? Ask our house manager for help or check our this quick video:

There’s no better way to start your island vacation, than to literally taste the paradise through our locally grown, organic fruits.

3. Local Chocolates from Trinidad & Tobago

A true hidden gem of our nations, Trinidadian cacao is known to be the highest quality in the world and is used to make some of the best tasting chocolates internationally. In fact, at our island’s university, The University of the West Indies, there’s an entire unit called the Cocoa Research Centre dedicated to researching cocoa and preserving its lineage.


For years however, Trinidadian chocolate was only available from European chocolatiers, but many local artisans are beginning to pick up the trade, and even sell their chocolate internationally. In every welcome basket we try to support these local businesses by offering a sample of their chocolates to our guests. Read more about local chocolatiers in Trinidad!

All our welcome baskets will vary depending on the products available and season, but no matter what, we guarantee that all guests will feel welcome, safe and well taken care of. You matter to us and we know how challenging it can be settling into hotels that often lack that personal, local touch. So let us take care of you! Take advantage of our FREE Welcome Basket with your booking during this month!

PrintReservation Inquiries can be made right here on our Website. Finally don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and like our Facebook Page to stay updated on our other specials!