Asa Wright Nature Centre
On Trinidad our tours are based at the world-famous Asa Wright Nature Centre, a charming eco-lodge located on a 2,000-acre tract of rainforest high in the Arima Valley of the island’s Northern Range. It lies 1200 feet above sea level in a lush habitat known as Evergreen Seasonal Forest. Formerly the Springhill Estate, the grounds have returned to a wild state from once extensive coffee, cocoa, and citrus plantations. Some of these plants are still maintained alongside the natural second-growth which has taken over and festooned the abandoned plantation vegetation with vines and a host of epiphytes. The whole effect is one of being deep in a tropical rainforest. A walk on the Centre’s extensive network of trails complements unparalleled viewing from the verandah, while the on-site Dunston Cave is home to one of the most accessible Oilbird caves in the world, allowing visitors to see this rare species with ease.
The Centre’s world-class naturalist guides offer daily morning and afternoon walks, as well as nightly evening programs. Guides are also on hand to help you identify species as you enjoy your morning coffee or tea and evening rum punch on the Centre’s famed verandah. The Asa Wright Nature Centre has been prized by birders for nearly 50 years … it doesn’t get much better than this!
Blue Waters Inn
The Blue Waters Inn is a delightful island resort right on the beach on Tobago, with picturesque vistas across private Batteaux Bay to Little Tobago Island. The Inn offers swimming, kayaking, casual snorkeling, and diving, while the on-site restaurant’s signature dishes include fresh-caught lobster and kingfish, crisp coconut shrimp salad, and Caribbean flying fish wraps. The Inn also offers easy access to the Main Ridge Forest Preserve, the oldest bird sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere, and is also just a short boat ride away from Little Tobago Island, home to breeding colonies of seabirds and beautiful vistas. There is also a short trail on the property, and both Trinidad Motmot and Rufous-vented Chachalaca are plentiful.
The Blue Waters Inn has been thoroughly renovated and offers boutique-style air conditioned rooms with private baths and either porches or patios.
Cuffie River Nature Retreat
The Cuffie River Nature Retreat is an intimate, 10-room eco-lodge located in the lush and remote Runnemede Valley on Tobago. A mountain stream runs through the property. Rooms are modern with fresh ventilation, and are surrounded by forested mountains, cool streams, and a raised-deck swimming pool. This peaceful eco-lodge is a very birdy place! Enjoy a total rainforest experience while still relaxing in a comfortable, resort-like environment. Arrive to a frenzy at the lodge’s feeders, marvel at dinner guests that may include White-tailed Nightjar and Common Potoo, and stroll the grounds in search of the nearly 100 species of birds that have been spotted here. Rufous-tailed Jacamar nest in banks alongside the driveway and can be quite tame. Feeders attract Ruby Topaz Hummingbird, White-tailed Saberwing, 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.
The retreat proudly operates under a green initiative and offers easy access to Tobago’s historic Main Ridge Forest Preserve and the town of Speyside, from which you can enjoy a short jaunt over to Little Tobago Island.
Mt. Plaisir Estate Hotel
Mt. Plaisir Estate Hotel is a lovely and small beachfront resort located in the village of Grand Riviere on Trinidad. Guests here enjoy quiet vistas overlooking the Caribbean, with lush rainforest rising up 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. Grand Riviere is the last stronghold of the endangered Trinidad Piping-guan (year-round), as well as the world’s densest congregation of nesting Leatherback Sea Turtles (seasonal, late March to early August). We can book a local birding guide for outings from the hotel.
Relax and enjoy gourmet local cuisine while dining alfresco at the hotel’s cozy restaurant. Expect a laid-back Caribbean pace of life. In the evenings, drift off to sleep to the sounds of crashing waves.