Asa Wright Nature Centre — Trinidad
The world-renowned Asa Wright Nature Centre is nestled in the Arima Valley on a former cocoa-coffee-citrus plantation, surrounded by tropical rainforest. Located at 1,200 feet in the mountains of the Northern Range, the Centre is a magical natural history destination for tropical ecology particularly prized by birders, photographers and a growing number of butterfly and dragonfly enthusiasts. Accommodations are in cozy cottages each with a private bath. Rooms are in duplex or quad buildings with private entrances scattered among lush gardens around the central Main Lodge, the charming historic residence of Asa Wright on the former Springhill Estate. The Main Lodge building houses the dining room, office, gift shop, a comfortable “living room”, a small museum, and access to the famous Verandah. Enjoy locally-sourced traditional Trinidadian cuisine lovingly prepared by the Asa Wright kitchen staff, and presented buffet-style.
Blue Waters Inn — Tobago
The Blue Waters inn is a small, 35-room island resort right on the beach on Tobago, with picturesque vistas across private Batteaux Bay to Little Tobago Island. Unwind as Magnificent Frigate birds peacefully glide above the Caribbean. Venture by boat to Little Tobago Island, searching for soaring Red-billed Tropicbirds, Red-footed Boobies, Audubon’s Shearwater, and Sooty Terns.
Relax in comfortable, air-conditioned rooms with private baths, and indulge in fresh seafood and local cuisine at Blue Water Inn’s delicious restaurant. The Inn is two-storied and all rooms face the ocean with patio or balcony seating right out your door – the beach is just a few steps away.
The Inn offers swimming, kayaking, paddle-boarding, casual snorkeling, and diving. A professional dive shop is located on the property. There is also a short trail on the property’s acreage, on which both Trinidad Motmot and Rufous-vented Chachalaca may be found. Like to explore? Walk to some of the finest remains of a turn of the century sugar mill on the way into the friendly town of Speyside, where the pace of island life still prevails.
Cuffie River Nature Retreat — Tobago
Cuffie River Nature Retreat is an intimate 10-room ecolodge set in the lush and remote Runnemede Valley on Tobago. The lodge is two-storied, with modern rooms, fresh-air ventilation, and is surrounded by forested mountains, cool streams, and a raised-deck swimming pool. Enjoy a total rainforest experience while still relaxing in a comfortable, eco-friendly environment.
Arrive to a frenzy at the lodge’s feeders and stroll the grounds in search of the nearly 100 species of birds that have been spotted here. Indulge in carefully prepared, local cuisine, served family-style, as the eerie call of the Common Potoo fills the open-air dining room at dinner. Feeders attract Ruby Topaz Hummingbird, Trinidad Motmot, White-tailed Sabrewing, and Barred Antshrike, just to name a few species. And be sure to be at a good viewpoint at sunset as noisy flocks of parrots, parrotlets, and noisy chachalacas return to their evening roosts.
Mt. Plaisir Estate Hotel — Trinidad
Mt. Plaisir Resort Hotel is a laid-back, small boutique beachfront hotel located in the village of Grand Riviere on Trinidad. From spacious, air-conditioned rooms with private baths, guests enjoy quiet vistas overlooking the Caribbean, with lush rainforest rising behind the hotel. This stretch of Trinidad’s coastline is rugged – more for inspiration than swimming; it has been called the Oregon Coast of the Tropics. Dine by candlelight with local cuisine prepared by a gourmet chef using locally-sourced, classic Trinidadian seafood.
Birders flock to Mt. Plaisir in search of the rare, endemic Trinidad Piping Guan, known locally as the Pawi. It is estimated that fewer than 500 Pawi remain on Earth. And they feed almost exclusively on abundant wild nutmeg trees surrounding Grande Riviere.
Grande Riviere is one of the world’s best location to see nesting Leatherback Turtles, largest of the sea turtles, an incredibly impressive sight. Between late March and early August, witness one of Earth’s most dramatic events - the mass nesting of colossal Leatherback Turtles. Or later in the season, watch a stream of baby turtles headed for the freedom of Caribbean waters. Each spring and summer, thousands of these prehistoric creatures emerge from the waves to lay their eggs on the beaches of Grande Riviere. You will intimately observe the nesting process alongside local researchers from the non-profit Turtle Village Trust.