Tour 1: The Perfect Combo
Islands we will visit: Barbados, Dominica, St.Lucia, Trinidad
This is a unique tour - Birding The Islands is the only tour operator to focus on these three spectacular Lesser Antillean islands and combine this with a trip to Trinidad
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 Sanctuary's "Egret Island" boasts 3 species of nesting egret: Cattle, Snowy and Little; Marine turtles are commonly seen in Barbados's crystal clear waters; 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. It would be a shame not to take advantage of this idyllic tropical setting all around us, it would be a shame not to take advantage - and thus this promises to be a birding trip with a difference. Our priority is to lead you to the remote habitats which are home to the many wonderful tropical species to be found on these islands, but during your free time relax and soak in this idyllic Caribbean lifestyle . Take a stroll along the white sand beaches outside your beachfront hotel, go for a dip in the crystal clear waters or at the end of a terrific day of birding enjoy a cocktail while gazing out at a glorious sunset. Here you truly will be Birding in Paradise.
Exploring the largest mangrove wetland on the island - home to the dazzling Green-throated Carib, skulking Night Herons and a breeding population of Caribbean Coot; 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 GYF and the minute Antillean Crested Hummingbird.
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); We time our arrival on the island to coincide with that of migrating pods of whales, among them spectacular Humpbacks; The island is home to numerous indigenous regional species such as this elegant Red-legged Thrush(photo ©Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet); Across Dominica lush, verdant forests descend to idyllic tropical beaches - providing the opportuntiy to see several forest dwelling species out of context; The island's forests come alive with such dazzling species as this Purple-throated Carib (photo ©David Petts)
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
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 3 species of Booby and Red-billed Tropicbirds (photo of Brown Booby ©Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet) An incredible variety of colorful flowering species (such as this Heliconia) grow throughout the island's forests; The charming St.Lucia Warbler (photo © David Petts)
There are few islands in the Caribbean with such a wondrous variety of diverse habitats. From its mountainous interior and lush rainforest positively teeming with tropical flora and fauna of every imaginable description, 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 spoken by 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 ridge line in the shadow of Les Pitons mountains and enjoying close encounters with dainty st.lucian warblers and splendid st.lucoan Orioles, delving into the sprawling expanse that is the Des Cartiers rainforest in order to hone in on the country's national bird - the beautiful St.lucian Amazon and seek out a few other treasures that inhabit this bountiful forest - such as Green Iguanas and Tree Boa!
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); Regularly seen from the verandah of Asa Wright Nature Centre - the Violaceous Euphonia (photo ©Sam Barone); The Silver-beaked Tanager is one of 13 species of tanager in Trinidad (photo ©Sam Barone); The lush tropical rainforests of the Arima valley; The beautifully plumaged Purple Honeycreeper (photo ©Sam Barone); The island boasts 22 species of resident raptor including the magnificent Swallow-tailed Kite (photo ©Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet)
Trinidad is truly fabulous - the only place where West Indies 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 often nowhere else in the Caribbean. It is a very very special island indeed.
Breakfasting on the balcony of the Asa Wright ecolodge and scanning the surrounding Arima Rainforest for toucans, oropendolas, white Hawks and macaws, being at arms length from as many as 14 species of hummingbird 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 vast cave network - home to a colony of prehistoric oilbirds, sitting on the deck of your boat, enjoying a cocktail, or a cup of tea and watching in astonishment as the dark green hues of the 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