Tour 1: The Perfect Combo
Islands we will visit: Barbados, Dominica, St.Lucia, Trinidad
This is a unique tour - Birding The Islands Ltd is the only tour operator to focus on these three spectacular Lesser Antillean islands and combine this with a trip to Trinidad
About this tour
We've specifically chosen these 4 islands as we believe they offer the ideal Caribbean birding experience. Together these islands will provide you with the opportunity to be dazzled by the most beautiful of the Lesser Antillean endemics and be treated to incredibly close views of a host of brilliantly colourful south american species, and to do so at a relaxed "Caribbean-esque" pace while revelling in our island way of life. Enjoy coconut water straight from the shell, dine on local delicacies on balconies overlooking sparkling turquoise waters and enjoy a cocktail while strolling along some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This type of tour is perfect for couples where one partner is a bit more "birdy" than the other. While the keen birder heads out to delight in a breathtaking and colourful tropical endemic, their other half, should they prefer, can relax on the beach, go for a dip in the pool, snorkel the coral reefs that line the island shores, or relax on verandas surrounded by hummingbirds and the calls of the rainforest stretching out before them. On this trip everybody wins!
November 22nd - December 5th 2018: now accepting bookings for this tour - 6 spaces left! Please click here to learn how you can reserve your space on this tour or to request additional information about this tour.
Barbados - "Gem of the Caribbean Sea"
Photos L to R (click on image to scroll): Barbados is famous for it's beautiful beaches; The resplendent Green-throated Carib (photo©Sam Barone); Graeme Hall Nature Reserve's "Egret Island" boasts 3 species of nesting egret: Cattle, Snowy and Little; Marine turtles are commonly seen in Barbados's crystal clear waters(photo©Ryan Chenery); Magnificent Frigatebird (photo©Sam Barone)
Barbados is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the planet, and from the moment you first catch sight of her out of the plane window, it's easy to see why. Her coastline is defined by vast stretches of sun-kissed white-sand beaches and groves of swaying coconut trees, while in the sparkling turquoise seas that surround her, fisher folk ply their trade in brightly-coloured vessels with such wondrously fitting names as Island Gal and De Dancin Dolphin.
Exploring the largest mangrove wetland on the island - home to the dazzling Green-throated Carib, skulking Night Herons and a breeding population of Golden Warblers (an endemic and vibrant subspecies of Yellow Warbler); traveling deep into the heart of the island to lily ponds so remote , we locals refer to them as being "behind God's back" to track down the secretive Masked Duck; joining volunteers with the Barbados Sea Turtle Project for a nighttime beach survey of Green and Hawksbill Turtle hatchlings; being perched high atop the rugged wave-battered cliffs of the northern coast, where remote grasslands support a thriving population of Grassland Yellow-Finch and minute Antillean Crested Hummingbirds.
St. Lucia - "The Island of Extremes"
*Photos L to R (click on image to scroll): The magnificent Gros Piton, one of two majestic peaks which dominate the St.Lucian skyline; The most beautifully plumaged of the Amazonas and St.Lucia's national bird - the St.Lucia Parrot (Amazona versicolor) pictured here flying over the Des Cartiers Rainforest (photo © David Petts); One of our scheduled stops is renowned for Brown Booby and Red-billed Tropicbirds (photo of Brown Booby ©Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet); The charming St.Lucia Warbler (photo © David Petts); Pilot Whales are one of 20 species of whale and dolphin recorded off of St.Lucia
There are few islands in the Caribbean with such a wondrous variety of diverse habitats as St. Lucia. From its mountainous interior and lush rainforest positively teeming with tropical flora and fauna, to its dry coastal woodlands and palm fringed coasts, despite its relatively small size, St.Lucia has much to discover. It's unique qualities even extend beyond the natural world to the intriguing mixed cultural and historical ancestry of its people, exemplified in the intriguing language of patois still spoken by many locals.
Exploring the islands breathtaking coastline at dawn and being treated to the spectacular aerial displays of a thriving colony of Red-billed Tropicbirds ; birding a remarkable ridgeline in the shadow of Les Pitons mountains and enjoying close encounters with dainty St. Lucia Warblers and splendid St. Lucia Orioles; setting sail in the rich waters of the Caribbean Sea on a quest for ocean Giants - a resident population of majestic Sperm Whales; delving into the sprawling expanse that is the Des Cartiers Rainforest in order to hone in on the country's national bird - the incredibly beautiful St. Lucia Parrot (while also seeking out a few other treasures that inhabit this bountiful forest - such as Green Iguanas and Tree Boa)!
Dominica - "The Nature-lover's island"
Photos L to R (click on image to scroll): The endemic and highly gregarious Jaco or Red-necked Parrot is likely to be heard first and seen later (photo ©Bertrand Baptiste);The island is home to numerous indigenous regional species such as this elegant Red-legged Thrush(photo ©Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet); The forests of Dominica are punctuated by spectacular flowering plants like this heliconia; Our encounter with the extremely rare Imperial Parrot will be one of the highlights of the entire trip (photo ©Bertrand Baptiste)
This country is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and abundant wildlife, and quite incredibly even boasts a river for every day of the year. It's untouched, dense interior is characterized by thunderous waterfalls, deep river valleys and a seemingly endless expanse of lush tropical rainforest.
Journeying deep into magical montane and elfin forest in order to share precious moments with two of the rarest species in the world - Imperial Parrot and Red-necked Parrot; exploring the lowland forests that line the island's black volcanic sand beaches in search of the spectacular Red-legged Thrush, Blue-headed Hummingbird and Antillean Euphonia; setting sail out into the rich waters of the Caribbean Sea on a quest for ocean Giants - Dominica's resident population of majestic Sperm Whales; heading out on nightly forays into the lands surrounding the hotel in search of Antillean Nighthawk and the ghost-like local dark race of Barn Owl
Trinidad - "The South American Island of the Caribbean"
Photos L to R (click on image to scroll): Surely one of South America's iconic species - the Channel-billed Toucan (photo ©Sam Barone); The dazzling Green Honeycreeper is regularly seen from the verandah of Asa Wright Lodge - (photo ©John Dyson); Violaceous Euphonias flit amongst the trees outside our cottages (photo ©Sam Barone); The Silver-beaked Tanager is one of 13 species of tanager in Trinidad (photo ©Sam Barone); A striking bird - the Masked Cardinal (photo ©John Dyson); The site of hundreds of Scarlet Ibis coming in to roost in Caroni Swamp is unforgettable (photo ©John Dyson)
Trinidad is truly fabulous - the only place where West Indian birds and animals overlap the ranges of Amazonian species. The island's proximity to South America, coupled with the fact that in the past it was physically a part of the landmass of the continent, helps explain the huge variety of South American species which can be seen here, and nowhere else in the Caribbean. It is a very very special island indeed.
Breakfasting on the balcony of the Asa Wright Eco-Lodge and scanning the surrounding Arima Rainforest for toucans, bellbirds, white hawks and parrots; being at arms-length from as many as 14 species of hummingbirds attracted to the vibrant tropical flowering plants of the Lodge Gardens; exploring rainforest trails in search of manakin leks and stepping back in time by entering a stream-fed cave - home to a colony of prehistoric oilbirds; sitting on the deck of a flat canvas boat, enjoying a cocktail, or a cup of tea and watching in astonishment as the dark green hues of surrounding mangroves are slowly transformed into pastel pinks and vibrant reds as wave upon wave of Scarlet Ibis return at dusk to roost in the heart of the Caroni Swamp.
To find out more about this tour including Detailed Itinerary and Pricing, please click here