Trinidad & Tobago nature holiday

“A tailor made fortnight to discover the birdlife and beauty of Trinidad & Tobago, with naturalist guides and small, characterful accommodation.”

Highlights

Trinidad: Port of Spain | Point-a-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust | Caroni Swamp | Nariva Swamp | Bush Bush Nature Reserve | Asa Wright Nature Centre | Grande Riviere | Tobago: Cuffie River Nature Retreat | Gilpin Trace Trail with local guide | Little Tobago Island | Free days to relax

Description of Trinidad & Tobago nature holiday

This 15 day Trinidad & Tobago nature holiday explores the birdlife and beautiful scenery of these two islands, staying in a variety of small, charming hotels and lodges that are surrounded by nature. The suggested itinerary for this tailormade holiday is a well balanced mix of private tours accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, and excursions in a small group with the naturalist guide resident at the accommodation. There are also some free days so you can spend your time as you choose.

Trinidad & Tobago have several notable birding spots, including the Caroni Swamp, where vivid scarlet ibis fly in to roost each night, the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust, Gilpin Trace and Little Tobago Island. You will also have the opportunity to stay at the islands’ best natural history accommodation, including the world famous Asa Wright Nature Centre, and the Pax Guest House, a characterful but simple birders retreat on a monastic estate outside Port of Spain.

The dry season in Trinidad & Tobago is in September and then runs form December to April, with bright, clear days and barely any rain. Travelling now is a great chance to escape the norther hemisphere’s cold winters, which is why this is the most popular time to visit. Come in January and February and you’ll be able to see islanders preparing for the annual Carnival, which takes place two days before Ash Wednesday, in Port of Spain and beyond.

Travel outside the dry season and you’ll still enjoy lots of sun, but should expect some cloudy days. There may be some rain, but usually only sharp, short showers, usually in the early morning or afternoon, which refresh the landscape and ensure they’re green and full of flowers. Migrant birds arrive now to escape the southern winter and you may also see leatherback turtles laying eggs on the beaches, from March to August.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Trinidad & Tobago nature holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

In this itinerary we use a number of lodges who are dedicated to making a positive impact on their environment.

PAX, the oldest guesthouse in the English-speaking Caribbean, is a popular birders lodge set high on a hilltop in the grounds of a Benedictine monastery. It aims to provide visitors with first-hand experiences of local flora and fauna. There are various nature trails leading around the 600 acre forested estate and a large avian terrace overlooking the rainforest, an excellent spot for raptor viewing.

Cuffie River Nature Retreat, a locally owned and run lodge set on the edge of the oldest protected rainforest in the western hemisphere is committed to operating in a sustainable manner as possible and dedicates an entire page of its website to its green initiatives. When building the retreat care was taken to insure there was minimal impact to the surrounding forest. The buildings themselves incorporate bio-climatic features – floors and external walls are made of clay tiles and brick which do not absorb the suns heat and therefore keep rooms cool. There is no A/C as French doors and windows are used extensively through the property allowing for natural light and air to circulate. Rather than use chlorine, the rain-fed water system uses a charcoal filter and the swimming pool salt. There is a composting system and the retreat grows as much produce on-site as possible - whatever they cannot grow is sourced from surrounding villages.

Asa Wright Nature Centre was established as a not-for-profit trust in 1967 by a group of naturalists and bird-watchers to protect and conserve the local environment, the first of its kind in the Caribbean. The entrance fees included in the tour price go toward the conservation of these protected areas.

Community

As an in depth specialist tour operator to Trinidad & Tobago responsible tourism is at the very heart of what we do. To us, this means much more than a simple donation to a charity for each client. We try to build long and constructive involvements with local guides, guest houses, wildlife lodges, and hotels, in the course of which we, and our clients, can make lasting wide-ranging contributions to the wonderful places and people we engage with. In this itinerary we use several lodges that fit with this philosophy perfectly, employing local guides and bringing long-term benefits to the local community. We are the first tour operator in the UK to form a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance to work towards the implementation of best management practices in sustainable tourism. In real terms this means that we are working with hotels who are making a positive impact on their local community – socially, environmentally and economically.

The best person to introduce you to a country is someone who lives there. Undoubtedly the best way to experience the true magic of Trinidad is with a local guide. You can sit back and relax while the guide shows you around and takes care of the driving. They are a font of local knowledge–the islands are small and there is not much that misses their attention. We have known most (if not all) of our guides personally for many years. You will find that most of them are very well known around the islands, especially on Tobago. Locals call out as the car passes, exchange a few words and a drawled “Aaaaall-right!” – the universal greeting on Tobago.

3 Reviews of Trinidad & Tobago nature holiday

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Reviewed on 30 Apr 2019 by

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


Leatherback turtles nesting and the many birds.

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


Lots of suncream and insect repellent are essential. It's hot so don't expect to rush around like you might in the UK. Don't expect accommodation to be to quite such high standards as the UK - we found lights missing bulbs for example. You need to relax and go with it, no problems were major. Everyone was very friendly and helpful.

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


The guides were all local and without exception excellent. Many of the accommodation venues were conservation focussed and hopefully our payments will help to maintain these wonderful places for future visitors. T&T are only just beginning with recycling etc. so I am not convinced that our trips reduced environmental impact.

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


Excellent. Well put together with the right length of time in each place and the right order of places to stay. Local support first class.

Reviewed on 17 Apr 2019 by

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


There were lots of memorable moments. Highlights included seeing turtles come up onto the beach at Grande Riviere to lay their eggs, visiting Yerette humming bird garden, going along to rehearsals of a couple of steel pan bands in Port of Spain and spending time on the beautiful beach at Pirates Bay near Charlottesville, Tobago.

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


Take a good set of binoculars - the birds are truly amazing (and we are not really birders...). Take plenty of mosquito repellent for walks in the rainforest and elsewhere. Time your visit so that you get to see the turtles. If you want to visit the pitch lake (we did), be aware that is entails quite a long car journey from Port of Spain.

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


The guides and drivers were all local people who were extremely informative and very helpful. By visiting Grande Riviere we were able to support the turtle conservation programme and also the new chocolate making initiative. Likewise, staying at ASA Wright meant we were supporting their education programme. As far as reducing environmental impact is concerned, we did do a fair bit of driving to get from one place to the next so I don't think we helped reduce carbon emissions in any way. Our impression is that, as a country, Trinidad and Tobago has not really embraced the notion of re-cycling but we tried to do our bit by re-filling water bottles etc.

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


We had a great holiday.

Reviewed on 09 Feb 2017 by

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


there was a highlight nearly every other day because we were moving around and we had so much to see and experience

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


double up on insect repeliant !

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


it was very locally based, very much eco friendly which is what we wanted

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


Excellent, informative, very knowledgeable guides and rangers

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