Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a twin island country situated off the northern edge of the South American mainland, lying just 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Grenada. Bordering the Caribbean to the north, it shares maritime boundaries with other nations including Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west.
The island of Trinidad was a Spanish colony from the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498 to the capitulation of the Spanish Governor, Don José María Chacón, on the arrival of a British fleet of 18 warships on 18 February 1797. During the same period, the island of Tobago changed hands among Spanish, British, French, Dutch and Courlander colonizers, more times than any other island in the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago (remaining separate until 1889) were ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens. The country Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence in 1962, becoming a republic in 1976.
Trinidad and Tobago is the third richest country by GDP (PPP) per capita in the Americas after the United States and Canada. Furthermore, it is recognized as a high-income economy by the World Bank. Unlike most of the English-speaking Caribbean, the country's economy is primarily industrial, with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals. The country's wealth is attributed to its large reserves and exploitation of oil and natural gas.
Trinidad and Tobago is known for its Carnival and is the birthplace of steelpan, limbo, and the music styles of calypso, soca, parang, chutney, chutney soca, chut-kai-pang, cariso, extempo, kaiso, parang soca, pichakaree, and rapso.