Trinidad and Tobago bird watching holidays

“Explore the forests, swamps, sanctuaries and islets of both islands, which shelter 460 bird species, guided by the region's most knowledgeable and passionate ornithologists.”

Highlights

Asa Wright Nature Centre, with 159 bird species | High elevation birds on way to Blanchisseuse | Red-bellied Macaws at Nariva Swamp | Oilbirds at Dunstan Caves | Aripo Savannah | Arena Forest | Waders at Waterloo Mudflats | Roosting Scarlet Ibis at Caroni Swamp | Main Ridge Forest Reserve, with 210 bird species | Glass-bottom boat tour to Little Tobago Bird Sanctuary | Snorkel at Angel Reef | Full day island tour of Tobago

Description of Trinidad and Tobago bird watching holidays

Trinidad’s Asa Wright Nature Centre is the oldest nature centre in the Caribbean islands and one of the region’s top spots for bird watching; around 159 species have been observed here, with some 450 species recorded on the two islands. This Trinidad and Tobago bird watching holiday is based mostly at the Centre, with daily field trips to different habitats and a few days spent in neighbouring Tobago. Trinidad sits just seven miles from the South American mainland, giving it one of the highest densities of bird species in the world. This incredible biodiversity, along with the delicious food, comfortable lodging, superb local guides and welcoming, English speaking residents makes this the perfect place to combine nature and relaxation on holiday.

This Trinidad and Tobago bird watching holiday is suitable for experienced ornithologists and novice birders, thanks to the high number of bird species, the accessibility of the birding sites and the possibilities for year-round viewing. The country has endemic and rare birds, and species of special interest.

Away from the Asa Wright Nature Centre, you can visit the Caroni Swamp – where thousands of scarlet ibis – Trinidad’s national bird – come to roost. Trinidad’s diverse habitats also include remote beaches and tropical rainforests. A 20-minute flight away, tiny Tobago’s Main Ridge Forest Reserve is the oldest protected forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere, having been protected since 1776. Trails through the forest with a birding guide reveal a number of colourful species; this can be followed up with a glass-bottom boat trip to the protected islet of Little Tobago, where red-billed tropicbirds can be seen soaring over the coral reefs below. Tobago is particularly tranquil, it’s a great place to switch off completely.

Best time to go on a bird watching holiday in Trinidad and Tobago

The high season is from 15th December to 1st May, with the period between Christmas and Easter the most expensive time to travel. Temperatures are fairly consistent all year round, ranging from around 29°C during the day to 23°C at night. December to April are the driest months, although when the rain falls, it tends to do so in short, 30-minute bursts.
Trinidad and Tobago are located south of the hurricane belt, and so hurricanes rarely occur here.

Carnival is a big event here, particularly in Trinidad, and falls in February or early March. To observe leatherback turtles laying their eggs, visit between March and August. Tiny hatchlings emerge a few weeks later, in May to September.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made at a time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Our top tip:
Don't be put off by the rainy season. Storms tend to be short and sharp, and fewer visitors means yet more opportunities to see birds.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Activity level:
Moderate.
Accomm:
7 nights at Asa Wright forest lodge, 4 in 4* beachfront hotel (or accommodation of choice).
Solos:
This trip can be tailor made for solo travellers at extra cost.
Included:
Accom., transport, listed activities, tour guides, most meals, local and international flights.
Meals:
Excludes three lunches only.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Tailor made holiday

This trip can be tailor made to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. Sites and accommodations can be arranged to suit you and your budget. This is a comfortable trip that will suit those who enjoy immersing themselves in new cultures and environments before relaxing in comfort in characterful local accommodation!

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Trinidad and Tobago bird watching holidays

On this holiday you will be based at Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad, which has become a model for sustainable development and ecotourism projects in the Caribbean winning many prestigious national, regional and international awards. The Nature Centre is an actively participates in the life of the surrounding local communities and all of the Centre’s employees, including the birding guides come from the nearby villages. Their mission statement is “To preserve a part of the Arima Valley in its natural state; to create a conservation and study area; and to protect the wildlife therein for the enjoyment and benefit of all persons of this and succeeding generations”. Since its inception in 1967, the Centre has functioned as a wildlife sanctuary and a centre for conservation, research and education, as well as being a fantastic nature lodge. Operated as a non-profit trust, all the funds obtained from visiting guests are directly invested in conservation programmes, so just by staying here you will be helping directly to their efforts.

On this tour, you will visit various bird sanctuaries and national parks, many of which do not normally benefit from visits from mainstream tourism. The entrance fees we pay to enter these go directly to sustaining them. Wherever you travel, you will be accompanied by well-trained and experienced local guides, who are familiar with their environment and are responsible for protecting it, offering advice on how to preserve the delicate balance of nature. They are also of course, best placed to know where to find the various species of birds.

For instance in Tobago, your guide Newton George comes from the village of Speyside, adjacent to your hotel and is probably the island’s most knowledgeable birding guide. With 34 years experience as one of only two Forest Reserve Rangers on the island, he retired from this position in 2004 and now leads bird watching tours on a full time basis. His environmental credentials are without question and among his many claims to fame is establishing the Red Billed Tropic Bird viewing site on Little Tobago, which was featured in David Attenborough’s Trials of Life.

We run our small office, in an energy efficient manner. We recycle everything possible, including ink cartridges and purchase recycled paper.

We choose all the accommodation that we use very carefully, for their location and their operating systems and work very closely with them. We visit every property regularly, to ensure that standards are kept, that they remain sympathetic to the environment, that whatever possible is done to be more energy sufficient and just to keep in touch.

We always recommend that guests eat out in local restaurants, try the street food from vendors and take part in the local culture, thus spreading holiday spending throughout the local community.

Reviews of Trinidad and Tobago bird watching holidays

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 03 May 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


It was a birding holiday so the birds were simply amazing and I took 7500 pics!
Also snorkelling in a warm sea coming back from a lovely day on Little Tobago
island was memorable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't worry about mosquitoes or bites as we had none. Take lots of shirts as it is
humid and diet before you go as the food was excellent.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not sure. We ate locally a couple of times and bought water and fruit. Most of
our money was spent on water, beer and tips but spent very little else out was all inclusive. I hoped we helped.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was excellent. The holiday provider was a good choice and considering the
complexity of flights, trips and 3 different venues there were no glitches
our errors whatsoever and our security was never compromised.
Waiting to see if op wants to comment 5.5.16 Rosy

Reviewed on 07 Aug 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Early evening on the veranda at Asa Wright, chatting to the other visitors and very knowledgable guides while enjoying the humming birds.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for the nasty nibbling chiggers - long trousers tucked into your socks!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The local staff were incredibly friendly and could not have been more helpful, especially at Asa Wright.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent holiday, lots of birds and wildlife with amazingly knowledgeable guides.

Reviewed on 21 Dec 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Our expectations for this bird watching holiday were fully realised. The birds were wonderful, the guides excellent.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We found that we had too many full day tours booked from Asa Wright. We actually cancelled one and cut another short. We were actually more that happy to spend time relaxing at Asa Wright. However, do not miss the Nariva Swamp and the crimson ibis coming in to roost.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We hope that our presence helped the people of Trinidad and Tobago to realise the importance of eco-tourism. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to see many animals, if any. Hunting is rife on both islands. We found it distressing to see men going out hunting with guns, dogs and machetes. It is a way of life that needs to be abandoned if they want tourism to thrive.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was an excellent holiday, magical in fact. We tacked on an extra week at the end at a small resort on the northern coast of Tobago. A week here was a little too long. Three days would have been better as there is not an awful lot to do and it was expensive. However, we fed the birds on our balcony and were richly rewarded, even attracting some agouti when we left fruit out for them! Delightful

Reviewed on 13 Mar 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Birds birds birds! We travelled in Feb/March 2015 to Trinidad and Tobago through Responsible Travel. We had a 2 week trip and saw 191 different species of birds. In a trip like this where so much is new and exciting the opportunity to see so many new things became the pleasure of trip. The guides were extraordinary. All of them were skilled, dedicated and knowledgeable, and were able to locate what they were looking for. They also went to great lengths to ensure that each member of the party ( mostly 4 sometimes 6 people) saw every bird if possible. Sunshine, smiles and friendly greetings from local people all contributed to making this an enjoyable trip. We were aware of possible personal security issues but we had no bad experiences of this type.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If possible try to visit Asa Wright on Trinidad first. We felt that doing it this way round familiarised us with many species, and also gave us a relaxing end to the holiday at the Blue Waters Inn on Tobago. We are not beach people but we loved sitting on the deck in the shade at the hotel watching the sea, enjoying the breeze and watching the birds at the hotel. By then many were familiar friends,
very habituated to people and unafraid, giving us close and delightful encounters. (Such as the ruddy turnstones who wandered into
our room!)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I did feel that Asa Wright in particular is very conservation conscious. They have long-term policies to reduce their environmental impact and improve facilities for wildlife

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We had a wonderful holiday- a great balance of birding and relaxation. We loved our enter holiday Caribbean break now feeling inspired to do another similar trip!

Reviewed on 04 Dec 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Birding with Newton George in Tobago was brilliant. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the local birds almost seems to conjure them out of the trees.

In Trinidad seeing the Scarlet Ibis at Caroni Swamp was stunning.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Well worth going in the rainy season - rain storms are usually short lived and the
number of visitors are much lower than they would be in high season.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - At Asa Wright all guides used were from local village.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Reviewed on 10 Jan 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The morning at Yerette Hummingbird Sanctuary has to be the most memorable part of this trip. Just being surrounded by hundreds of these tiny birds and learning so much about them was fantastic. Theo Ferguson is a great ambassador for them.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make sure you have a day at Asa Wright Nature Centre. We had trips booked on every day there and so never really spent time just soaking up the atmosphere and wildlife at the Centre.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All of our bird guides were local people which was great. We stayed in hotels owned by local people and contributed to the economy. I don't think we reduced environmental impact much, I need to do my carbon offset! Being interested in birding and wildlife helps conservation, showing people that you care about their environment makes them value it more.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We realised a lifetime ambition to have Christmas in Trinidad and Tobago. It was a wonderful experience and we will remember some lovely people from the islands who helped make it a holiday of a lifetime.

Reviewed on 27 Feb 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


A days bird watching with Kelton Thomas. He can whistle the birds out of the
forest.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We much preferred the more relaxed way of life in Tobago. Stay in a small guest
house. We spent a wonderful week in the Cuffie River Nature Resort. Excellent
food, lovely large rooms. This is a good area for easy walks and the place is
teeming with birds and the odd snake !

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes definitely. We stayed in small guest houses and used local transport.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Comparatively short flight to Trinidad and Tobago. All arrangements worked
beautifully except that in Tobago it took four or five daysplus an email to the
UK for the man arranging our trips to contact us

Reviewed on 04 Feb 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The first sight of all the humming birds on the verandah at the Asa Wright Centre. It was amazing to see so many birds, some as
close as 2 ft away. You could spend hours there, taking photo's,& looking for any different species that may drop by.The other
highlight was seeing the Scarlet Ibis, coming in to roost at Caroni Swamp, in their thousands.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make sure you have insect repellent for sand flies,as they were biting in Tobago. Had a few mosquito's in Trinidad, but seldom did
we see them!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It benefitted local people as all the guides, & taxi transfers were guys who had lived in the area all their lives.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The entire holiday ran very smoothly, very well organised. Being a birding holiday meant you were with like minded people, who
were all very nice, but didn't talk solely about birds. It was our first birding holiday, & we were very satisfied.

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Staying in the rain forest in two places in Trinidad. The trees, plants, flowers, animals and wonderful birds, combined with really friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff and guides.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't forget to advise of any particular needs you have well in advance. The dry season is always dry!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


In a small way, by buying locally made products whenever we could and staying in accommodation part of the trip that was not part of a 'chain' and at the Asa Wright centre.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Really superb. Exceeded expectations and very few quibbles, which were minor in nature anyway.

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