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Trinidad is 1,864 square miles in area (4,828 square kilometers), and Tobago is 116 square miles (300 square kilometers).At its closest point, Trinidad is some seven miles from the coast of Venezuela on the South American mainland. It has three mountain ranges, roughly parallel to each other, running east to west in the north, central, and south parts of the island. The central part of the island is more flat and is where sugar cane is grown.
Trinidad was named by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage to the New World.On the morning of 31 July 1498, he saw what appeared to him as a trinity of hills along the southeastern coast.The East–West corridor is an urban–industrial conurbation from Port of Spain, the capital, in the west to Arima in the east. Afro-Trinidadians and other Creoles predominate in urban areas and in the north of Trinidad; Indo-Trinidadians live mostly in the central and south parts of the island. According to the 1990 census, the total population was 1,234,400.San Fernando in the south is Trinidad's second city. The two major ethnic groups are Blacks (39.59 percent of the population) and East Indians (40.27 percent). At present, Trinidad is multilingual, with inhabitants speaking standard and nonstandard forms of English, a French-based creole, nonstandard Spanish, and Bhojpuri. Arabic, Yoruba, Bhojpuri, Urdu and other languages are used in religious contexts, and the traditional Christmas music called parang is sung in Spanish.
The island was called Iere, meaning "the land of the hummingbird," by its native Amerindian inhabitants.Tobago's name probably derived from tabaco (tobacco in Spanish).