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'The Birds of Trinidad & Tobago'

What makes this trip special?

Birders hiltop retreat

Birders hiltop retreat

PAX Guesthouse

A characterful but simple birders retreat set on a monastic estate in the mountains of the northern range with nature trails and a raptor viewing terrace. A great base from which to visit other parts of the island but note that some rooms are not en-suite.

Pointe-a-Pierre, Waterloo & Caroni swamp

Pointe-a-Pierre, Waterloo & Caroni swamp

West coast (birding)

Bird at Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust, an attractive park reserve home to a variety of waterbirds, the tidal mudflats of Waterloo and the RAMSAR wetland of Caroni swamp to catch the spectacular scarlet ibis fly in to roost.

Asa Wright Nature Centre

Asa Wright Nature Centre

Asa Wright (birding)

Asa Wright Nature Centre is Trinidad's premier birding lodge. Over 170 bird species have been recorded from the main house verandah and well-laid out trails including the White-necked jacobin and the Collared Trogon

Cuffie River Nature Retreat

Cuffie River Nature Retreat

Cuffie River (birding)

Cuffie River is a superb locally-owned lodge in a tranquil natural setting located on the edge of the Tobago Forest Reserve. Flowering plants, fruit tables and nectar feeders are teeming with birds and the resident guide is very knowledgable about avifauna

Little Tobago island & The North Coast

Little Tobago island & The North Coast

Tobago (birding)

The bird sanctuary of Little Tobago Island, accessed by glass-bottomed boat from the mainland, is home to the Red-billed tropicbird and Brown and Red-footed boobies. Birding along the North Coast, species such as Yellow-Crowned Night Heron and Plain Antivireo can be seen.

Gilpin Trace

Gilpin Trace

Tobago Forest Reserve (birding)

Tobago Forest Reserve is the oldest protected rainforest in the western hemisphere, a haven of flora and fauna. On its Gilpin Trace trail, the rare, near-endemic White-tailed Sabrewing hummingbird can be seen.

Itinerary map for Trinidad & Tobago 'The Birds of Trinidad & Tobago' holiday

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse)
  • 2 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse)
  • 3 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse)
  • 4 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse)
  • 5 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse)
  • 6 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse)
  • 7 Asa Wright Nature Centre
  • 8 Asa Wright Nature Centre
  • 9 Asa Wright Nature Centre
  • 10 Cuffie River Nature Retreat (Moriah)
  • 11 Cuffie River Nature Retreat (Moriah)
  • 12 Speyside
  • 13 Speyside
  • 14 Speyside
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'The Birds of Trinidad & Tobago'

DAY 1
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Trinidad Birding

You are met at Piarco airport and transferred to Pax Guest House on the Mount St Benedict monastic estate or a more comfortable hotel in Port of Spain if you prefer, for 6 nights. Either base provides easy access to all points of the island. You will be accompanied by private local birdwatching guides on Days 2-7 and 12-14.

DAY 2
BLD

Mount St Benedict

At 7am your guide collects you for an orientating day of birdwatching at Pax and the Mount St Benedict estate. On their hummingbird trail 11 hummers have been recorded including Long-billed Starthroat, White-chested Emerald, Green Hermit, Tufted Coquette, Copper-rumped and Ruby-topaz Hummingbird. Up to 12 raptors can be readily seen from the Avian Terrace, including Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Common Black, Grey-headed and Double-tooth Kite, White and Short-tailed Hawk. The Alben Ride has fl ycatchers and seedeaters.The forested hills produce Violaceous and Whitetailed Trogon, White-fl anked Antwren, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Buff -throated Woodcreeper, Golden-headed and White-bearded Manakin, Rufous-breasted Wren, Long-billed Gnatwren, Tropical Parula, Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Blue Dacnis, Trinidad Euphonia and White-shouldered Tanager.

DAY 3
BLD

Aripo

Birdwatching at Aripo Agricultural Research Station: open savannah, wet pastures, hedgerows and isolated trees. Typical here are Savannah Hawk, Wattled Jacana, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, White-headed Marsh and Pied Water Tyrants, Grey Kingbird, White-winged Swallow and Red-breasted Blackbird. In season: wintering American shorebirds. In the heat of the day retreat to the cool of the Heights of Aripo TnT’s highest mountain at 3000ft, in search of White Hawk, Common Black Hawk, Violacious and White-tailed Trogons, Purple Honeycreeper, Turquoise and Speckled Tanagers.

DAY 4
BLD

Point-a-Pierre, Waterloo & Caroni Swamp

Today you visit the Point-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust which runs a breeding programme for Scarlet Ibis and Whistling Duck. Other species include Saff ron Finch, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Red-capped Cardinal, Blackcrowned Night Heron, Grey-necked Wood Rail, Anhinga, Osprey and Ringed Kingfi sher. Then the tidal mudfl ats at Waterloo which off er Neotropic Cormorant, Brown Pelican, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Tricoloured, Striated, Little Blue and Great Blue Herons, Snowy and Great White Egrets, Semipalmated Plover, both Yellowlegs, Semipalmated, Solitary, Spotted and Western Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, and Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns. In the late afternoon travel by boat (shared with others) at Caroni Swamp for mangrove specialities: Grey Pottoo, Black-crested Antshrike, Bicoloured Conebill, Straight-billed Woodcreeper and stunning displays of Scarlet Ibis.

DAY 5
BLD

Valencia Stretch & Cumaca Valley Mnts

Search for montane forest species such as toucans, bellbirds, woodpeckers, Zone-tailed Hawk, Blue Dacnis, White-fl anked Antwren, Collard Trogon and Green Kingfi sher.

DAY 6
BLD

East Coast

Today you go birding down the pristine east coast to Manzanilla and Nariva Swamp. Opportunity to see Redbellied Macaw, either at dusk or dawn, depending on where the birds are roosting when you visit.

DAY 7
BLD

Blanchisseuse and the Lalaja Road

Bird the Arima/ Blanchisseuse Road and the Lalaja Road for forest-dwelling species of the Northern Range which include Channel-billed Toucan, Double-toothed Kite, Black-tailed Tityra and Ornate Hawk Eagle, Golden headed Manakin, Blue-headed Parrot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Slaty-capped Flycatcher, Red-legged Honeycreeper, and Speckled and Hepatic Tanagers. End the day with a transfer to Asa Wright Lodge, your base for the next 3 nights.

DAY 8
BLD

Asa Wright Nature Centre

A day based at Asa Wright. This morning one of the lodge’s naturalist guides will take you on an orientating tour (shared with others). The rest of the day is free for independent birdwatching on their trails. Its birds of greatest interest include White-necked Jacobin, Collared Trogon, Bluecrowned Motmot, Chestnut Woodpecker, Great Antshrike, Bearded Bellbird and Oilbird. In addition to the birds you may come across Agouti, Tegu Lizard and Trinidad Squirrel.

DAY 9
BLD

Second day for independent birding in the grounds of Asa Wright. As you are staying for 3 nights you will be shown the Oilbird colony at Dunston Cave. Optional natural history field trips are available locally at extra cost with different sites visited on different days e.g. to Toco in search of the Trinidad Piping-guan and in season (Apr–Jul) evening visits to watch turtles nest.

DAY 10
BLD

to Tobago

Final morning’s birding at Asa Wright then transfer to the airport for a short flight to Tobago where you will be met and transferred to the Cuffie River Nature Retreat. Your base for 2 nights.

DAY 11
BLD

Cuffie River Nature Retreat

A day based at Cuffie River. The resident naturalist guide is very knowledgeable about the avifauna and escorts guests on the trails (shared with others). There are also productive nectar feeders and well-stocked feeding tables for independent birding.

DAY 12
BL

Arnos Vale and Grafton Estates

On Arnos Vale Estate you can see Red-crowned Woodpecker, Blue-crowned Motmot, Rufous-Tailed Jacamar, White-winged Becard, Rufous-Vented Chachalaca, Yellowbreasted Flycatcher, Barred Antshrike, and Green-rumped Parrotlet. Then to Grafton Estate for White-Fringed Antwren, White-tipped Dove, Stripe-breasted Spinetail and Scrub Greenlet. Transfer to Blue Waters Inn for 3 nights.

DAY 13
BL

Little Tobago Island

Today you bird the North Coast for Yellow- Crowned Night-Heron, Plain Antvireo, Laughing Gull, Great Black and Short-tailed Hawk, Least and Royal Tern and Streaked and Brown-crested Flycatcher. Then travel by glassbottomed boat (45min) to Little Tobago Island where a trail overlooks the nesting ground for Red-billed Tropicbirds, and wheeling displays of Brown and Red-footed Boobies, Royal, Bridled, Sooty and Sandwich Terns and Magnifi cent Frigatebird.

DAY 14
BL

Gilpin Trace

Today you visit Gilpin Trace, a trail in the Tobago Forest Reserve, where one of the rarest hummingbirds the near-endemic White-tailed Sabrewing is found. It is also a good location for Blue-Backed Manakin, White-throated Spadebill, Rufous-breasted Hermit and White-necked Jacobin. Then bird along Merchiston Road before returning for some free time at Blue Waters Inn.

DAY 15
B

A morning free before your transfer to the airport for a flight to Trinidad in time for onwards flights home.

Guide prices for 'The Birds of Trinidad & Tobago'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Guide price 2 people sharing £3,155 £3,295 £3,620
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Trinidad and Tobago
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
  • excursions as described
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • travel insurance
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally

Customer reviews for 'The Birds of Trinidad & Tobago'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average customer rating 97%

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Yerette, Caroni Swamp, Piping Guan, Tours from Speyside

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Snorkelling with turtles (Little Tobago trip from Blue Waters Inn). The food at Cuffie River was exceptional. Relaxing on the verandah at Asa. The overall Asa Wright experience, people were very friendly and was in a wonderful location.

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A specially arranged early morning birding excursion to see Leatherback turtles and the rare Trinidad Piping Guan. The settings of all 3 lodges gave good birding opportunities within walking distance.

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Our guide was superb - informative, entertaining and patient.

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Birding.

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Difficult to say as so much of it was so special. Would have liked more time in Georgetown to see a Hoatzin and the same time elsewhere even at Karanambu, if they improve the guides.

Seasonal information for 'The Birds of Trinidad & Tobago'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse) 29°C rainfall 67mm
2 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse) 29°C rainfall 67mm
3 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse) 29°C rainfall 67mm
4 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse) 29°C rainfall 67mm
5 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse) 29°C rainfall 67mm
6 Mount St Benedict (PAX Guesthouse) 29°C rainfall 67mm
7 Asa Wright Nature Centre 28°C rainfall 121mm
8 Asa Wright Nature Centre 28°C rainfall 121mm
9 Asa Wright Nature Centre 28°C rainfall 121mm
10 Cuffie River Nature Retreat (Moriah) 28°C rainfall 108mm
11 Cuffie River Nature Retreat (Moriah) 28°C rainfall 108mm
12 Speyside 28°C rainfall 135mm
13 Speyside 28°C rainfall 135mm
14 Speyside 28°C rainfall 135mm

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'The Birds of Trinidad & Tobago'

Days 1 - 6

PAX Guest House

Tunapuna

High on a hill in the grounds of a Benedictine monastery, Pax Guest House has the mountains and forests of the Northern Range at its rear and wide views over the plains to the south. It is well sited for day trips to most parts of the island.

There are 19 guest rooms, dining and sitting rooms, and balconies overlooking the gardens. Nature trails lead around a 600-acre estate. The hospitality is genuine and the ambience is peaceful. Rooms. Pax is famed for its high teas in late afternoon. The manager, Gerard, makes a fine rum punch at sundown.

Rooms are simply furnished, many with antique furniture made by the monks and with ceiling fans. Some have private bathrooms, but most just have sinks in the room, with separate men’s and ladies’ showers and WCs a few steps across a corridor. The whole property is rather a 1950s time wharp - in need of renovation.

PAX Guest House
Days 7 - 9

Asa Wright Nature Centre

Arima Valley
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Average rating 4.6 (48 ratings)

Asa Wright, surrounded by the forests of the Northern Range, is a world famous destination for birdwatchers. Over 170 bird species have been recorded at this former coffee-cocoa-citrus plantation established from early work in the area by Dr William Beebe. Many species can be seen from the verandah of the main Victorian house or along numerous trails on the estate.

The lodge has 24 en suite bedrooms, mostly in cottages in the gardens near the main house. All have private verandahs.

There is an oilbird colony that can be visited by guests staying for 3 nights or more. The property is spread over a hillside with numerous steps to reach some rooms. There are a couple of rooms in the main house for less able visitors.

Asa Wright Lodge gets very booked up in high season so you need to reserve well in advance.

Asa Wright Nature Centre
Days 10 - 11

Cuffie River Nature Retreat

Moriah
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Average rating 4.8 (36 ratings)

This is a super locally owned eco-lodge for those who enjoy walking and natural history situated on the edge of the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere with well stocked fruit tables and nectar feeds to attract the birds. There are 10 very spacious, high ceilinged, guest rooms each with two queen-size beds, private bathrooms and balconies looking onto the lush vegetation, plus a nice swimming pool. All are large, the superior rooms have ceiling mounted fans (rather than fans on stands) and are situated in the quietest part of the building. Whatever ingredients they can't grow themselves the owner, Regina Sanchez, buys from surrounding villages. Their award winning local guide, Desmond Wright can escort you on  5 trails, 3 are good birding trails, others are for admiring the scenery including a splendid 50ft waterfall.

Cuffie River Nature Retreat
Days 12 - 14

Blue Waters Inn

Speyside
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Average rating 4.1 (55 ratings)

Set in the semi-private and stunning Batteaux Bay in Speyside, Blue Waters Inn is a resort style property with 38 rooms in total.

Spacious Blue view standard rooms and Deluxe Blue View Studios  all have sea views. The Deluxe Blue View Suites are free standing buildings.  Likewise the Deluxe blue view bungalows also face the beach but have two bedrooms. Blue view Bungalow 9 is also similar to the suites, but has the addition of a patio with an outdoor beach shower and an outdoor grill.  The Villa Blue is the same but with two double bedrooms.

On site there is a  restaurant, bar and dive shop, free use of kayaks, wind-surfers, sun tanning beds, tennis court, TV room/library and a number of nature trails in the grounds.  There is a small swimming pool the depth of which starts at 3 ft. with a step down to 7ft.

Blue Waters Inn