Trinidad’s dynamic and vibrant beat nestles comfortably alongside the more serene Tobago, which offers the chance to take a step back and relax. The twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago offers visitors the best of two worlds. The proximity of the islands to South America has resulted in an unusually diverse fauna, particularly the islands’ birdlife, with no other area in the West Indies, and few areas of comparable size in tropical America, matching the islands’ spectacular species diversity.
On Trinidad we stay four nights in the grounds of the historic Mount St Benedict Monastery. From here we follow trails up to Mount Tabor, walk lowland forest tracks in the Arena Forest and visit the island’s Atlantic coast where we can see Red bellied Macaws, Yellow-crowned Parrots plus an array of birds of prey, herons and Howler Monkeys in the Nariva swamp and wetlands. We’ll take a boat trip on the Caroni Swamp into extensive mangroves to view the spectacle of Scarlet Ibis and Egrets as they fly in to roost in their hundreds. Our second stay on Trinidad is in the Northern Range at the world famous Asa Wright Nature Centre, a leader in conservation through education and research. Here, with the centre’s expert guides, we discover local trails and see many of the island’s speciality species of birds and wildlife including huge Tegu Lizards, Channel-billed Toucans and Bearded Bellbirds, to name but a few. Our stay also includes a special walk to the Dunstan Cave to see the mysterious nocturnal Guacharos (Oilbirds). We can swim in the natural pools and from the centre’s “Terrace” we will enjoy the early morning bird activity at close quarters.
We take a short flight from Trinidad to Tobago, where we spend four nights in Speyside on the north eastern corner of this beautiful island. Our days will be spent walking in unspoilt mountain rainforest and on coastal trails, some swimming and snorkelling off idyllic beaches, taking a glass bottomed boat to the nearby island of Little Tobago to see nesting seabirds such as Red-billed Tropicbirds and Brown Boobies. We’ll also discover a little of the island’s history including Scarborough’s Fort King George, dating from 1770 with its museum and cannon emplacements.