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Trinidad, Tobago and Saint Lucia

Wonderful birding on THREE very different Caribbean islands!

2025 Dates
  • 20 Apr - 03 May 2025
Duration14 Days
2025 Price
£6495 pp
£950 single supplement. Deposit £1500

pre-flight airport hotel and lounge are inc.

Max Group Size12

Join Heatherlea on our updated classic Caribbean holiday! We combine Trinidad and Tobago, the traditional holiday for birding this part of the world, with Saint Lucia, where six endemics and around a dozen other Antillean specialities make for a great experience. Our carefully designed, well-planned, and very popular itinerary offers a rewarding and exciting holiday as we seek a big list of neotropical species. This unique trip offers an ideal way to bird the southern Caribbean! Although walking is limited in the humidity, our days are generally pretty busy, starting with optional early morning birding around our accommodation most days. We enjoy good local food, and give you an additional authentic feel of the unique culture of each island. In 2025, we stay at two centres on Trinidad, one alongside the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea, with the unforgettable experience of seeing giant Leatherback Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs; and the second in a secluded, historic plantation house - the famous and newly-renovated Asa Wright Centre.

Heatherlea on Saint Lucia
As your transatlantic flight approaches the island, it is the enormous 'Pitons' which catch the eye. Two huge, heavily-forested mountains, these dominate the western side of Saint Lucia, and form an exotic backdrop to the first part of our holiday. We spend three nights at a comfortable hotel a short transfer away from the airport, and birdlife here is notably different from Trinidad and Tobago. Our days are spent birding for the six island endemics and a range of Antillean specialities, in the company of charismatic and entertaining local guides, though several of our targets can be found within the extensive grounds of our hotel. Birding is always rewarding here!         

Heatherlea on Trinidad at the world-famous Asa Wright Centre
Recently renovated, reopened, and ready to entertain, each day at Asa Wright begins with birding from the famous balcony, and many days we will be blissfully happy with ‘lifers’ before breakfast! Birding in the immediate vicinity of Asa Wright is superb, and some days we will birdwatch in the forest close to the Centre, with some free time to explore the trails in safety under your own steam. Optional early morning walking can be rewarding, and with dawn just after 6am, and nightfall at 6pm, expect to establish a rhythm around these times. We usually depart on excursions around 8.30 am. Asa Wright offers comfortable open-air wildlife viewing, early morning coffee, evening rum punch (not too strong!) and a good choice of appetising food at breakfast and dinner. We have visited this exceptional place many times, and our good relationship with the Centre and their highly experienced guides makes for great fun as well as diverse birding with new species always likely to be seen at any time. 

Heatherlea on Tobago
Three nights on Tobago, in a comfortable beach-side hotel, gives us plenty of time to collect some superb new birds not found on the other islands, and to take a glass-bottomed boat trip to visit the bird colony on nearby Little Tobago. We will target exotic species not present on Trinidad, plus a few more South American birds which help complete a comprehensive birdlist. Spectacular scenery, particularly during our visit to Little Tobago, means an unforgettable visit to a genuine Caribbean paradise with picture-postcard views every day.

This is not an exhaustive tour of the three islands, though we cover a lot of ground while featuring classic Caribbean birdwatching amid beautiful scenery!



Enjoy your complimentary pre-flight overnight hotel before your holiday begins. Full details from our office! Read more about our Pre-flight Service here!

Day 1: Sun 20 April 2025
After relaxing in our VIP Airport Lounge, we take the scheduled morning flight with British Airways from Gatwick to Saint Lucia, and transfer to our comfortable hotel on a historic 60-acre former sugar plantation, boasting elegantly decorated cottages and villas nestled on a secluded natural history site. Our local guide will lead a guided stroll of this remarkably preserved 18th Century plantation house and expansive grounds - steeped in history and with many features and machinery of the 1700s working plantation still in-situ, or take a stroll down to the private beach and slip into the placid waters of the Caribbean Sea before our welcome dinner. We will almost certainly be adding new birds from the minute we arrive! We spend the next three nights at the Balenbouche Estate.

Days 2 - 4: Mon 21 April– Wed 23 April 
We travel to key places such as the primary forest towering trees, tree ferns, bromeliads and orchids of the Des Cartiers Trail, and the dry, broad-leaved Atlantic forests of the island’s north. We may also visit the Vieux Fort wetlands, as well as relaxing in the lush, tropical surroundings enjoying the views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Soufriere and Les Pitons. We will be searching for the six island endemics among other key species - St Lucia Parrot, St Lucia Oriole, St Lucia Black Finch, St Lucia Warbler, and St Lucia Pewee. Other Antillean specialities/near endemics include St Lucia Nightjar, Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, Purple-throated Carib, Green-throated Carib, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, White-breasted Thrasher, Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Pearly-eyed Thrasher, Gray Trembler, Caribbean Elaenia, Black-whiskered Vireo, Lesser Antillean Swift, Antillean Euphonia, Lesser Antillean Flycatcher and Lesser Antillean Saltator. None of these birds is found on Trinidad or Tobago, so Saint Lucia is an exciting birding destination on this outstanding itinerary. Our itinerary is full of birds, though we find time to relax over a candlelit dinner on the veranda of the hotel, accompanied by the soothing sounds of Lesser Antillean Whistling Frogs.

Days 4 - 10: Wed 23 April – Tues 29 April
Enjoy some final birding on Saint Lucia then take the short flight to Trinidad, and transfer to the area of Grande Riviere, staying at Mount Plaisir, for two nights, where giant Leatherback Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. We enjoy local birding for the first look of the elusive, enigmatic, and endemic Trinidad Piping Guan (or Pawi), with other birding highlights including Grey-headed, Plumbeous and Swallow-tailed Kites, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Channel-billed Toucan, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Silvered and White-bellied Antbirds and Black-tailed Tityra. We then journey to the warm, lowland Aripo Savannah and Arena Forest before transferring to the Asa Wright Nature Centre, high in the rainforest where we spend the next four nights.

The Centre is in a typical valley of Trinidad’s Northern Range, where coffee, cocoa and squash plantations are still maintained, and where natural secondary growth has festooned the abandoned plantation areas with vines and a host of epiphytes. The resultant effect is of being deep in a tropical rainforest, with the comforts of our well-appointed lodge around us – a great feeling. Above all you will experience the overwhelming presence of the tropical rainforest; a kaleidoscope of bird life, butterflies and wild flowers, all set against the impenetrable tangle of the forest. We awake each day to the raucous noise of Crested Oropendola and a host of other exotic sounds. One of the world’s most enjoyable birding experiences awaits each morning on the verandah, with great views and huge variety of tropical bird life. We will soon be used to Bananaquit, White-necked Jacobin, Great Kiskadee, Tufted Coquette, Barred Antshrike and Green Honeycreeper, to name just a few. Hummingbirds are inches away on the feeders, tanagers and bellbirds, toucans, manakins and trogons are seen most days. The sheer delight of so many stunning new birds, and the riot of noise and colour is truly unforgettable – one of the world’s most impressive birding spectacles.

At the centre we explore some of the trails which criss-cross this wildlife sanctuary in the company of our very capable local guide. We might see Violaceous Trogon, Channel-billed Toucan, Chestnut Woodpecker, White-bearded Manakin darting and displaying, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Bay Tanager, Golden-headed Manakin, Bearded Bellbird and many more. We visit the famous Oilbird colony in Dunstan Cave, using torches to see these fascinating nocturnal birds roosting. This strange bird lives and breeds in dark caves during the day, coming out at night to feed on fruit, which it plucks from trees while in flight. We also look for the rarest of the island’s impressive birdlife, including skulking and secretive Scaled Antpitta and Little Tinamou.

For the rest of our stay we make trips away from the centre, for a stunning programme of exceptional birding. We enjoy a full day birding across the Northern Range. We look for Turquoise, Swallow and Speckled Tanagers, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White-tailed Trogon, Ornate Hawk-eagle, Black, Grey and White Hawks and Bat Falcon, and hopefully see the localised Trinidad Motmot or Blue-headed Parrot.

Another day sees us visit the Aripo Savannah - a protected area of vegetated wetlands holding large stands of Moriche Palms surrounded by rolling hills and framed by the Northern Range mountains. We seek key species like Red-bellied Macaw, Epauletted Oriole, Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Red-breasted Meadowlark, Yellow-chinned Spinetail along with grassquits, seedeaters, doves and waders before heading east to Nariva Swamp. This is a vast and scrawling wetland complex that encompasses both fresh water and brackish water habitat, boarded by dense forest mangrove, marshes and lagoons. The landscape is characterised by a network of winding waterways, channels and open water expanses all of which provide a variety of niches but different species to thrive. We look for waders, Pinnated Bittern, caracaras, antbirds, kingfishers, and more macaws before having dinner in the field and seeking owls and nightjars en route back to base.

Another highlight is our visit to Caroni Swamp, an extensive mangrove holding rare wildlife in its interior. Here our day ends with the spectacular flight of flocks of bright red Scarlet Ibis coming to roost, surely one of the natural world’s most dramatic moments. Birds may also include Long-winged Harrier, Anhinga, Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns, Striated and Tricolored Herons, Bicoloured Conebill, Red-capped Cardinal, Black-necked Stilts, Greater Flamingo, Laughing Gull, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Clapper Rail, American Pygmy and Ringed Kingfishers and Common Potoo, but there’s more: Spectacled Cayman, Ruschenberger’s Tree Boa and Silky Anteaters, this is an exceptional experience! We also visit the Waterloo mudflats, where our lists may be boosted by a range of waterbirds. On our final morning at Asa Wright we relax with local birding before transferring to Tobago.

Days 10 - 14: Tues 29 April - Sat 3 May
Our final island destination is Tobago, where we enjoy three full days birding, staying at the Blue Waters Inn. Upon arrival, we will visit some major wetland sites (where Heatherlea found Tobago’s first-ever Azure Gallinule on a previous trip) on the way to our beach-side hotel. Targets during our stay will include Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Blue-backed Manakin, White-tailed Sabrewing, Red-crowned Woodpecker, Rufous-vented Chachalaca (the ‘national’ bird of Tobago), Trinidad Motmot, Collared Trogon, Great Black Hawk, Yellow-legged Thrush, White-fringed Antwren, Plain Antvireo, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Red-rumped and Golden-olive Woodpeckers, White-necked Thrush and Grey-throated Leaftosser, many of which are to be found in dark, damp trails of the Main Ridge Forest Reserve - an area we hope to visit at least once during our stay on this lush, tropical island. Our second day features a trip to the nearby jewel of Little Tobago, aboard a glass-bottomed boat. As we approach the island, we will begin to see circling seabirds including such exotic species as White-tailed Tropicbird, Magnificent Frigatebird, Red-footed and Brown Boobies, and Bridled and Sooty Terns. Our hotel is on the beach, where Turnstone will be feeding beneath our dinner tables, together with a variety of seabirds perhaps including Royal Tern and Brown Noddy. After a last relaxing morning around the grounds of the hotel, we transfer back to the airport where we fly back to Gatwick via St.Lucia, arriving early on Saturday 3 May.  

Actual holiday content may vary according to the judgement of your guide, and elements beyond our control (eg weather).   


Please note: all itineraries are given as a guide only. Actual holiday content may vary according to the judgement of your guide, and elements beyond our control (eg weather).

What's included in your holiday price:

  • scheduled return flights from London - Saint Lucia - Port of Spain, Trinidad - Tobago. Airport taxes and transfers.
  • ground and boat transportation as outlined.
  • twelve nights full-board accommodation, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some lunches will be taken at local restaurants.
  • the services of your leaders.
  • field trips as specified.
  • The Heatherlea Pre-Flight Service offers everything you need at the airport, including hotels, car parking, airport lounges, regional flights, and upgrades. Let Heatherlea take the strain! Pre-flight airport hotel and lounge included free of charge subject to terms and conditions. Read more....

Free Field Guide! - 'Birds of Trinidad and Tobago' by Martyn Kenefick is included in your holiday price. One copy per room booked.

What's not included in your holiday price:

  • personal insurance, drinks and other personal expenses, visa costs where necessary, optional tips to  local guides/other staff, and any other costs not specified as 'included'.

More holiday information:

Accommodation is in comfortable hotels in Saint Lucia and Tobago with all rooms en suite. The newly-reopened, world famous Asa Wright Centre, Trinidad, is a large establishment with accommodation in chalets separate from the main administration building. The main building contains reception, a small shop, a comfortable dining area and the wonderful veranda which overlooks the treetops. You will enjoy many hours birding from here! It often also contains lizards and Palm Tanagers which sometimes roost inside the building. Accommodation is spacious, with en-suite showers. Everything at Asa Wright is on a single floor, though some accommodation requires walking up a steep slope.
Food You can expect fresh local produce including meat, poultry and fish. Fresh local fruit and vegetables are usually available and very tasty. Picnic lunches will be provided, and include a variety of local produce plus soft drinks. Some days we use favoured local restaurants to give you an additional flavour of authentic Caribbean cuisine. Water is included with your evening meal. Vegetarian and other diets are welcome.
Walking The holiday is not strenuous, but the atmosphere is often very humid and it will be hot! Leisurely walking, occasionally on hilly, uneven forest trails, is the only physical requirement. Most of the time birding will be close to our transport, or within a short walk.
Weather On any given day during April, you can expect early morning temperatures to be around 80 degrees. Temperatures typically rise during the day, to an average of 85 degrees in the early afternoon. The temperature will decline by early evening, to approximately 72 degrees. Overall, temperatures during April average around 80 degrees. Sunshine should be plentiful, but wind, cloud and rain are possible.
Insects There are biting insects, insect repellent is recommended.
Group size is restricted to 12 clients maximum.
Flights are by scheduled airline, from London Gatwick. We may be able to offer flight arrangements from another airport and/or or quote without flights so you can make your own arrangements. If you wish to add an extension either before or after your holiday, please contact us and we will be happy to arrange this for you.

Your Leader:

Mike Coleman :  Mike joined Heatherlea in 2001, and is a top guide with a friendly manner.  Mike has been leading tours (and finding rarities) in the Caribbean since 2006, and is looking forward to returning once again on this trip! 

Other birding and wildlife holidays in Trinidad, Tobago & St Lucia

Why choose Heatherlea for your birding and wildlife holiday in the Americas?

Our overseas holidays are planned with care to offer great birding and wildlife, led by capable Leaders who really look after you. Every holiday is run the 'Heatherlea Way', and we hope our Overseas Adventures remind you of the quality and care so many of you enjoy in Scotland. That means rewarding and exciting days in the field, and good quality accommodation and meals, with a real flavour of the country we are visiting. Heatherlea always seek to include the personal touches that make all the difference.

Heatherlea holidays are not ‘dawn to dusk’ expeditions. Our less-intensive approach is ideal for those who want to relax whilst experiencing the best wildlife watching, and wherever possible we organise early or late activity on an optional basis. We also take sensible breaks when in very hot places and regular comfort breaks on every holiday whenever possible. All itineraries are planned carefully around the best wildlife opportunities, and you won’t miss out on memorable wildlife, whilst enjoying relaxed, informal days that are great fun.

The really important part of any wildlife holiday is the experience for you, our valued customer. Heatherlea invest in many things to offer you the best possible service;

  • We have been organising birding and wildlife holidays for over 30 seasons, and have a highly experienced and capable office team. We also offer a telephone and email service outside normal office hours.
  • Heatherlea overseas holidays have a maximum of 12 clients per trip, putting the emphasis on personal service, and helping you get the best possible experience.
  • Our holidays often include things which others might invite you to pay yourself, for instance Departure Taxes and tips to hotels.
  • All elements of our holidays are sold under our own licence, ATOL 6113. Under ‘Flight-Plus’ legislation it is a legal requirement of any tour operator to hold an ATOL licence for the supply of any overseas holiday where a flight is involved, if that holiday includes either overseas accommodation and/or car hire. It can be a criminal offence for an operator to book flights as part of a package without an ATOL licence. Heatherlea also hold full Tour Operator Insurance for your added protection.
  • Heatherlea is your complete wildlife holiday provider. Our ‘Back Office’ team can organise all your pre-flight and other travel needs. Our specialists will help you book the right services, at the best price. Book holiday extensions through us, and your ATOL protection is extended further. We don’t charge extra for this service.
  • Heatherlea is a limited company, registered in Scotland, and registered to pay VAT (applies to all holidays within the European Union).

About Heatherlea Holidays

Contact Information

The Mountview Hotel, Nethybridge,
PH25 3EB Scotland

T: +44(0)1479 821248