An introduction to Trinidad & Tobago
Less than half a day’s flight from here, lie two sun-kissed islands in the Caribbean Sea, yet only a few miles from mainland South America. English speaking, compact, beautiful and bird-filled Trinidad and Tobago await, a true natural history paradise. Over 430 species of bird have been recorded, over 100 species of mammal, 55 species of reptile, 23 amphibians, over 630 species of butterfly not forgetting at least 2300 types of flowering plants. WildWings continue to work with the world-famous Asa Wright Nature Centre plus Pax Guest House on Trinidad. On Tobago we offer Blue Waters Inn, set on it’s own beach and the delightful Cuffie River Nature Retreat, set in the cool of the island’s forests. We can tailor-make your dream combination of properties on both islands. Frequent flights operate direct from London Gatwick to both Trinidad and Tobago with British Airways and there are seasonal charters to Tobago too. We can now also offer the island of St Lucia, which BA stop at, to and from Trinidad, on certain days of the week.
The islands offer an easy introduction to many of the bird families of South America, with generally easy to see species of each. The winter half of the year these birds are increased by overwintering migrants from North America. Much exotica is included, birds like motmots, jacamars, honeycreepers, trogons, tanagers and of course those ultimate of gems, the hummingbirds. These can be watched from literally feet away feeding on flowers in front of your face. Sit quietly on a forest path and, with patience, you may encounter a mixed flock moving through the undergrowth, often pursuing ants. The evening cruise into the Caroni Swamp will leave you with lasting memories of the Scarlet Ibis flying in to roost. Whilst at the Nariva Swamp, witness the chattery roosting Red-bellied Macaws, in the Royal Palms, as the tropical sun sets behind them. Marvel at the strange Oilbird as they sit out the day in their cave homes. Tropical flora abounds, including orchids and other beautiful flowers. Butterflies are headed by the spectacular electric blue morphos as they float through the forests. Photographic opportunities are excellent.
The historical Pax Guest House is centrally situated for access to most of the best birding hot spots on the island. Perched on the Northern Range, offering far-reaching views of secondary and primary rainforest to the north and the Caroni Plains to the south. From the Guest House’s Hummingbird Terrace you can see 12+ species that frequent the garden flowers and feeders, honeycreepers and tanagers also coming into the garden from the forest for food. The Avian Terrace, just off the main dining room, is an excellent viewpoint for the many species of raptor that cruise overhead. The gardens and estate grounds warrant a good few days birding. The property is a past favourite with both Sir David Attenborough and Bill Oddie, and has won a number of tourism awards over the years. We now offer either a week’s stay at the Guest House (with all meals), from only £1585pp with the option to add your own locally guided birding excursions or the famous inclusive week-long birding package, usually guided by Kenny or other top local bird guides, from £2099pp. This package includes many days out and around the island, visiting nearly all the key habitats.
The world-famous Asa Wright Nature Centre, also in Trinidad, is set in full primary rainforest and offers many additional species including an Oilbird colony at the Dunston Cave, located on their private estate. We offer air-inclusive package to this property too, at a fraction of the price of many of the birding tours on the market. The property has a resident team of bird guides, and a wide choice of optional birding excursions to the key sites around the island.
The paradise neighbour island of Tobago offers birders some superb bonus species not found on Trinidad including the White-tailed Sabrewing and Blue-backed Manakins, both forest species, whilst on uninhabited Little Tobago, you can sit on the cliffs and watch tropical seabirds including tropicbirds swirl around you.
The ideal birding holiday would be a week at Pax including the Birding Package, three nights at Asa Wright exploring the forest trails, and four nights relaxing, with more birding of course, on Tobago. Prices from £3195 per person (full board at Pax & Asa Wright, bed and breakfast at Blue Waters, all in rooms with private facilities). The choice is yours and we are happy to advise you to suit your requirements. Needless to say, the islands are also a wonderful honeymoon destination.
Trinidad and Tobago are also ideal for groups and clubs, free, or reduced-cost places may be available for group organisers (minimum 10 paying persons).
WildWings offer the most flexibility and best value to these enchanted islands.
We guarantee you a wonderful time whatever your level of interest in birds and natural history or if you want to just lie in the sun in tropical surroundings. Our hoteliers and guides greatly look forward to welcoming you. Contact Sarah-Jane Thompson at WildWings for your quote and booking.
“ Very helpful guides always present on the veranda – impressive”
‘Fabulous part of the trip’
civilised place, the veranda is an excellent spot. The guides were splendid,
they always responded to requests and some sought out new things for guests of
their own initiative’
“ Thanks to Sarah-Jane, everything went like clockwork, no problems with anything. Her knowledge of the area really helped when we phoned making the initial enquiries. It could not have been improved – an excellent holiday”
‘I had a wonderful time, which could only have been improved if I stayed a couple of extra nights in each hotel’
‘St Lucia was an excellent additional stopover, all the island and many regional endemics seen’
‘A very nice place to stay!’
‘Our room was splendid plus the restful sound of the waves swashing up the beach. Newton George was excellent, knew the whereabouts of things it would have taken us months to find’
“A beautiful setting with excellent meals and nicely furnished room’
"We enjoyed this nature centre on our four day stay. The onsite guides were excellent”.
‘A lovely location facing the sunrise over Little Tobago, with House Wrens and Tropical Mockingbirds seranding us. We greatly enjoyed the open-sided restaurant and it’s visiting birds, and the relaxed atmosphere.”
“This was staying in a comfortable house than a hotel. Regina made us feel at home and breakfasting with hummingbirds was wonderful. Desmond was a good bird guide who had a Potoo up his sleeve as a finale.”
‘We were so pleased we opted for our own itinerary and not go as part of a big group….we both thoroughly enjoyed our time in T n T’
‘Oda and staff were excellent. They made our stay most comfortable. Our bird guide Darren was courteous, informative and wow what a bird spotter!!”