A stay at the Asa Wright Nature Centre is most memorable as you are immersed in nature and birding. The property is a former estate, the owner's (Asa Wright) home serves as the main public building. A great-room style dining room has been added to the almost century-old Main House with its gracious living room, extensive Verandah, front office, staff offices and two guest rooms. Those with limited mobility have first request on rooms in the Main House.
Guest rooms are in casitas widely scattered above and below the main building. Rooms all have private bath and ceiling fans, a few of the smaller rooms have air-conditioning though with mountain breezes, this is often not necessary to use. Hair dryers are located in the rooms (though sadly sometimes these go on a walkabout, if you don't see one, ask the Front Desk). Most of the rooms are spacious and all are decorated with tropical fabrics, comfortable furnishings and storage is planned with a birder's needs in mind. Most rooms are in duplex units, a few are in tri or quad configuration. Several have porches or patios. Common to all are lovely plantings just out the door which bring birds in like magnets. Barred Antshrikes often serve as your alarm clock, and Tufted Coquettes enjoy colorful hedgerows of Vervain.
There is WiFi and a small gift shop in the main house, also two public rest rooms and a small natural history museum. Electric plugs are the same as in the USA. Coffee and tea are available at all times.
The Birder's Bar on the Verandah is a popular gathering place. The Verandah stretches the full length of the building and has impressive views of lush forest and the Arima Valley below. At 1200 ft. elevation, cool breezes and shade of the forest are welcome after field trips and hiking. Guests pace themselves, and we find many return in subsequent years, just wanting more time on the Verandah. This famed and treasured Verandah can serve as a gracious place to relax, or as a joyous place of action for avid birders. The parade of birds at dawn is simply remarkable. Each year our "Big Sit" event from the Verandah tallies (from a chair by the bird bar) 70 species!
Trails leave from all sides of the Centre. The driveway is a wide-open, excellent footing choice for a walk on your own, birds and blooms abound. The more adventurous can select from a number of trails. Interested in gardening? Ask to see the gardens and coffee-growing areas.
Caligo Ventures travel planners know the property well, please contact us for questions. All room assignments are done by Centre staff but we pass your requests on to them for their planning. January to March is the busiest season (great time to get away from winter). April, and October, November and December are quieter, with excellent rates for good value. Turtle Season brings guests from around the world, April to July.
Photo credits: Hugh Simmons