There is no better introduction to birding the New World tropics than a trip to Trinidad and Tobago. The islands contain a diversity of easily-accessible habitats that allow unparalleled access to some of the world’s most beautiful birds.

Trinidad, only seven miles off the coast of Venezuela, contains an abundance of species found in northeastern South America, while Tobago’s avifauna is more aligned to the Caribbean.

On Trinidad our tours are based at the world-famous Asa Wright Nature Centre (AWNC), a charming nature lodge located in a lush 2,000 acre tract of rainforest high in the Arima Valley of the island’s Northern Range. From the Centre’s famed verandah, surrounded by vibrant orchids and bromeliads, visitors often see up to 40 life birds before breakfast that include a colorful array of tanagers, hummingbirds, and honeycreepers. Visitors traverse the sanctuary’s well-maintained trail system, as well as explore the island on day trips to see plentiful wildlife highlights, including the Scarlet Ibis of Caroni National Park, nesting Leatherback Turtles, and the Centre’s own Oilbird population.

At Scenic Grand Riviere, seek out endemic Trinidad Piping-guan or seasonally, giant Leatherback Turtles right from the delightful, laid-back Mt. Plaisir Lodge.

On Tobago, enjoy either the secluded and intimate Cuffie River Nature Retreat, deep in Tobago’s highland rainforest, or the newly-renovated beachfront Blue Waters Inn on the island’s northern coast, perfect for birding, snorkeling, and relaxing. Guests staying at either lodge enjoy a glass-bottom boat trip to nearby Little Tobago Island in search of nesting sea birds, as well as a birding hike up into Gilpin Trace.

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Photo credits: Banner: View from AWNC Verandah, Ann Sealey