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Trinidad and Tobago, republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, comprising the southernmost of the Caribbean islands, namely, Trinidad and Tobago and adjacent islets situated off the coast of Venezuela.
Trinidad is situated north of and opposite the mouth of the Orinoco River and is separated from the South American coast by the Gulf of Paria. Trinidad is traversed roughly from east to west by three ranges of hills. The highest point, El Cerro del Aripo, is 940 m (3,084 ft) above sea level. The island has only one natural harbor, at Chaguaramas on the western coast, but the entire Gulf of Paria provides safe anchorage. The northern coast is rocky, the southern coast is steep, and the eastern coast is exposed to heavy surf. In the southwestern part of Trinidad is the famous 42-hectare (104-acre) Pitch Lake, which yields large quantities of asphalt.
Tobago is 32 km (20 mi) northeast of Trinidad. The island of Tobago is of volcanic origin and is, in actuality, a single mountain mass that reaches an elevation of 550 m (1,804 ft) above sea level at its summit.
Trinidad and Tobago has earned a reputation as an excellent investment site for international businesses and has one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in Latin America. The country is a regional financial center, and tourism is a growing sector, although it is not proportionately as important as in many other Caribbean islands.
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