Trinidad and Tobago lies between latitudes 10-11 N and longitudes 60-61 W. Trinidad is just 10 miles east of the Venezuelan mainland and has continental flora and fauna. The island was separated from Venezuela only 11,000 years ago during the last Ice Age. Tobago has more of an Antillean affinity due to its longer separation.

Trinidad measures 55 miles long by 40 miles with an acreage of 1,754 sq. miles, while Tobago measures 26 by 7.5 miles, totally 116.25 sq. miles.

The island of Trinidad has three mountain ranges; the Northern Range, the Central Range, and the Southern Hills, all running in an east-west direction. The highest point in the Northern Range, El Cerro del Aripo rises to over 3,000 feet, and is formed mostly of phyllite, quartzite, and some limestone. It has a rather poor soil on the whole. Elfin woodlands, rain forest and mountain forests characterize the vegetation of this area.

These hilly ranges are interspersed by rich alluvial plains such as the Caroni floodplains and belt of savannahs.

The southern plains are home to more deciduous type forest, and fringing our coast and draining our hills are two main swamps. To the west is the brackish water Caroni Swamp, to the east, the freshwater Nariva Swamp. The south-westerly region drains into the Los Blanquizales Swamp.

Tobago, famous for its fringing reefs and blue-green waters, has only one range running north-east to south-west across the island, with its highest point (Pigeon Peak) rising to over, 1,800 feet. The eastern end of the island is fringed by several islets, including Little Tobago island, home to the now extinct Greater Bird-of-Paradise. There is a belt of rainforest on eastern Tobago, but the rest of the island could be described as being dry, deciduous forest. Xerophytic and scrub vegetation characterized some coastal areas on the island. Rock type is predominately limestone. Tobago boasts the oldest legally protected reserve in this hemisphere -- the main ridge Pigeon Peak Reserve, established in 1765.

The variety of habitats gives rise to the quantum and diversity of species on the islands, and acts as a gateway to the tropical ecology on the South American mainland.

The climate of Trinidad and Tobago is mainly seasonal, with wet and dry seasons, each lasting about six months annually. The dry season last from November to May, with rain in the remaining months. The islands are swept by north-east trade winds that dump over 140 inches of rain annually, particularly in the most easterly regions. The more dry and scrubby areas to the West receive an average of 40 inches annually.