St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago – easy birding in the Caribbean
The perfect introduction to the birds of the Caribbean and South America on these relaxing islands.
We are delighted to be returning for our third visit to Trinidad and Tobago, this time with the addition of the beautiful island of St Lucia. We start by exploring the dramatic landscapes of this island including the Vieux Fort Wetlands and Grand Anse beach for Leatherbacks.
Flying on to Trinidad, we will stay at the renowned Asa Wright Nature Centre and Lodge. Here, it is possible to see 20-30 birds local to the area from the veranda before breakfast! Over 170 bird species have been recorded at this former coffee, cocoa and citrus plantation situated in a valley in Trinidad’s northern mountain range. Natural secondary growth has filled the abandoned plantation areas with vines and a host of epiphytes with the result that the feeling is one of being deep in a tropical rainforest.
We then take the short flight to Tobago, the smaller of the two main islands of this Caribbean country. Our local guide will show us some of the many highlights of this stunning island, known for its friendly atmosphere. We will visit the Tobago Forest Reserve, a haven for more than 200 species of bird, including Blue-backed Manakin and Blue-crowned Motmot, alongside more than 100 species of butterfly. We will also visit the Little Tobago Bird Sanctuary, where we will tour the marine reserve by glass-bottomed boat and have the option of snorkelling on Angel Reef.
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Please note that holidays change, although sometimes only slightly, from year to year and previous trip reports may not reflect the planned itinerary, or other holiday details, for the current trip. Please ask us if you would like to know of any significant differences.
12 – 25 April 2018
Laurie Jackson with local guides
Single Room Supplement – £525
Return flights – London Gatwick to St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and return to UK. Local transport as specified in itinerary. Twelve nights’ accommodation, full board basis.
Drinks and refreshments. Gratuities. Travel insurance.
Day 1 – Fly to St. Lucia, arriving in the afternoon and transfer to hotel.
Day 2 – We visit the Soufriere Desbott Trail for an opportunity to see many endemic species, as well as the town of Soufriere, the Diamond Botanical Gardens and the Sulphur waterfall.
Day 3 – Visits to the coastal dry forest and the rainforest in the east of the island for all the St. Lucia endemics.
Day 4 – A tour of the north east coast including Grand Anse beach, which is one of the most important beaches in the Caribbean for nesting Leatherback Turtles.
Day 5 – We have a free morning before our onward flight to Trinidad
Day 6 – We explore the trails at Asa Wright Centre in the morning before an evening trip to the east coast to see the Leatherback Turtles.
Day 7 – We travel over the Northern Range to the seaside village of Blanchisseuse.
Day 8 – We visit Dunstan Caves to see the Oilbirds in the morning before an afternoon boat trip to mangrove forest where our day will end with the spectacular flight of Scarlet Ibis returning to their roosts at dusk.
Day 9 – Our morning will be spent exploring the trails at Asa Wright before heading towards Tobago.
Day 10 – Today we will discover the history, flora, fauna and bird life at Cuffie River.
Day 11 – A day visiting sites around April Island, including lunch on the beach at a local restaurant.
Day 12 – We visit Speyside and take a glass-bottom boat trip to Little Tobago Bird Sanctuary, with an opportunity for snorkelling at Angel Reef on the way.
Day 13 – A morning to enjoy the surroundings before our flight home, arriving in the UK on Day 14.
Please note that the itinerary may be changed to suit the weather or other practicalities or at the discretion of the leaders.
Our accommodation during this holiday will be at good hotels/lodges all with en-suite accommodation. On St Lucia we stay at the Fox Grove Inn. On Trinidad our first base will be the famous Asa Wright Nature Centre where we stay for four nights enjoying the early morning tea/coffee, followed by breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, rum punch and dinner. Finally, on Tobago we stay at the Cuffie River Nature Retreat for four nights. Some lunches may be picnics.
Meals provided during the stay will be a mixture of local and international dishes. Requests for special diets can be accommodated.
We will ensure that our travelling is as comfortable as possible.
The group flights are with British Airways from London Gatwick.
12 April depart London Gatwick 10.00, arrive St. Lucia 13.45
16 April depart St. Lucia 14.45, arrive Trinidad 15.50
20 April depart Trinidad 16.25, arrive Tobago 16.50
24 April depart Tobago 18.05, arrive London Gatwick 09.30 (25 April)
St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago are five hours behind of UK time.
It is unlikely that other direct flights are available but it is possible to add on flights to and from Gatwick if needed.
You must have a valid passport for this trip (valid for at least six months after the end of the holiday). Visas are not required for holders of UK/EU passports. For holders of other passports it is essential that you check with your embassy or consulate and obtain the necessary documents prior to travel.
We will be travelling in the ‘dry’ season and therefore should expect fine clear days with little or no rain and slightly cooler nights. In Trinidad and Tobago, temperatures are nearly constant all year round averaging 29C in the day and 23C at night. St Lucia is slightly cooler.
The walking is generally easy to moderate, but there may be some wet or uneven ground and some slopes, although nothing strenuous.
You will need to have a reasonable level of general fitness and be prepared for the usual precautions and conditions when travelling in the tropics.
Biting insects such as mosquitoes are likely to be present in some areas and prevention against bites is needed.
Yellow fever is present in some areas of Trinidad (not Tobago or St Lucia). Please consult your doctor to check if vaccination is recommended for you. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required if arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission (no requirement if taking group flights from UK).