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8-Day Jamaican Birdwatching Tour

 

  • Our 8-day birdwatching tour is organised with local birding experts to make sure you see all 28 of the island’s endemic bird species, including the Jamaican Owl, Jamaican Mango, Jamaican Becard, Jamaican Tody and many more. In addition to time on the Caribbean coast, we explore a variety of habitats, including montane and rainforest, quiet rivers and lush valleys.

    Your guide will do their best to ensure that you discover Jamaica’s unique bird species, the island’s flora including a variety of ferns, butterflies, orchids (66 endemic species) bromeliads and other unusual genera, and fauna, such as the Venus lizard. Your guided walk will include mountain trails, imbibe the local culture and take time to relax on the beach or go snorkeling.

    The package is perfect for the serious and the leisure birder and ideal for couples with a world of opportunity even for non-birding partners.

    View our 28 endemic photo gallery

  • Day 1: Arrival in Montego Bay & transfer to Great Sussex House

    Your journey begins in Montego Bay, where you will be met and transferred in an air-conditioned min-van with plenty of space for you and your luggage to the parish of St Anne’s, known as Jamaica’s ‘Garden Parish’ and Great Sussex House.

    The short 1.5 hour long drive is a scenic one passing the historic St Anne’s Bay and if you wish to stop for photos or need to pick up some supplies please feel free to ask the driver.   Don’t worry there will be plenty of time to settle in and relax after your travels.

    Your birding base for your first 3 nights in Jamaica is the plantation style Great Sussex House parts of which date back to the C18th and  which has a long history of hospitality.  The property has stunning panoramic views of Jamaica’s northern shores as it is perched at an elevation of 600 ft above sea level.  It spreads over 130 acres, part of which is a spice farm.

    During your 4-night full-board stay here, a packed breakfast will be prepared for early birding departures and lunch will be enjoyed at a highly recommended local roadside eatery as well as a 3-course meal each evening. Your stay will be in a Superior Room with King or Queen-Sized bed.

    Dinner and overnight at Great Sussex House.

  • Day 2: Estate Birding

    Leisurely paced birding perfect for your arrival day

    Enjoy a delicious Blue Mountain coffee before heading off on an early 6.30/7.00 am birding adventure exploring the rich variety of ornithology available at the estate itself accompanied by a local guide with rustic style breakfast picnic on route.

    The combination of delightful private gardens and dirt roads that wind through the property’s woodlands and pastures offers  opportunities to see the Jamaican Oriole, Jamaican Spindalis, Yellow-shouldered Grassquit, Jamaican Euphonia, Orangequit, Caribbean Dove, Jamaican Tody, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher, Vervain Hummingbird, Greater Antillean Bullfinch and the striking Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo.

    Return to Great Sussex House’s where a fantastic lunch will be served on the veranda and where you can enjoy spectacular views of the coast.

    Dinner and overnight at Great Sussex House.

  • Day 3: Birding in Cockpit County

    Birdspotting in Jamaica’s Largest Wilderness

    After an early breakfast look forward to a highly-rewarding full birding day accompanied by a local guide.

    Stewart Town is a scenic village set on the eastern edge of Jamaica’s largest wilderness, Cockpit Country.  Enjoy the rural drive inland from the coast as you pass cane fields, pastures and sleepy villages.  Your first walk will be along a rural road in this rugged, hilly terrain with a wide variety of birds to spot.

    A mid-level limestone forest it makes excellent spotting, expect to see both species of Jamaican parrots, the endemic Yellow-billed Parrot and Black-billed Parrot, the Ring-tailed Pigeon, Jamaican Parakeet, Jamaican Tody, Jamaican Becard, Jamaica Crow, Jamaican Woodpecker, Jamaican Euphonia, Jamaican Pewee, Jamaica Spindalis, Orangequit, Jamaican Vireo, White-Chinned Thrush, Yellow-shouldered Grass Quit, Sad Flycatcher, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher, and Stolid Flycatcher.

    With a little luck you may have a chance to see the rare and elusive Crested Quail-Dove or the Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo. Migrants are also plentiful during the winter months.

    Dinner and overnight at Great Sussex House.

  • Day 4: Birding at Islington. St Mary & Mockingbird Hill Gardens

    Jamaica’s Newest Birding Attraction

    Today you’ll have an early departure with a packed breakfast in order to reach a new birding site that has been researched and established by our local bird guides as you transfer from St. Anns Bay to Port Antonio.

    The journey time is about 2.5 hours but you’ll break one hour into the journey to make a short detour off the main road for your first birding of the day accompanied by your bird guide.

    Similarly to Jamaica’s most famous birding spot ‘Ecclesdown’, you’ll be walking along a flat rural road between intermediary and secondary forest laid out one side with banana plantations on the other which are they key attraction for the Jamaican Mango.

    Lunch will be at Buff Bay for a jerk stop at a local eatery.

    Upon your afternoon arrival at Hotel Mockingbird Hill, winner of Responsible Tourism’s Best Hotel for the Environment, you’ll enjoy a welcome afternoon tea followed by the chance to bird in its organic 23 acre gardens as recommended by Birds of West Indies.

    Dinner on the terrace of the hotel’s organic restaurant, Mille Fleurs and overnight in a Garden view room at Mockingbird Hill.

     

  • Day 5: Birding at Ecclesdown Road

    Jamaica’s Most Famous Birding Spot

    Back to a day of serious birding!  You should plan for an early morning departure, you will have a quick meet and greet with our local bird  guide and be presented with a freshly made packed breakfast for the trip to Ecclesdown Road at the foothills of the John Crow Mountains.  The drive takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    You’ll spend the morning walking along a forested road where a number of endemic birds can be seen including Black-billed and Yellow-billed Parrots, Jamaican Becard, Jamaican Oriole, and Jamaican Crow.

    There is an optional trip to the secluded Reich Falls which is surrounded by lush forest for a cooling refreshing dip in a natural pool if you wish.  Local guides can for a modest fee escort you upstream towards the source of the river where you can take a swim to cool off if you like.

    Dinner on the terrace of the hotel’s organic restaurant, Mille Fleurs and overnight in a Garden view room at Mockingbird Hill.

     

  • Day 6: Birding on the Rio Grande

    Not Forgetting Jamaica’s Water and Shore Birds

    Following a superb Mocking Bird Hill breakfast you will take off for some relaxing picturesque rafting adventure on the Rio Grande. Originally these flat-bottomed rafts were used to transport bananas; then Port Antonio’s most famous resident, the movie star Errol Flynn made raft rides popular by challenging visitors to race down the Rio Grande.

    Your ‘Captain’ will guide your raft as you drift with the current downstream as you enjoy close-up views of the water and shore birds in their natural habitat.

    Expect to spot Snowy and Little Blue Herons, Egrets, Kingfishers and possibly some shorebirds. There will be Belted Kingfishers, Spotted and other sandpipers along the river, while Turkey Vultures drift overhead on stiffly-held wings sometimes accompanied by other raptors.

    Enjoy a hearty traditional lunch served alongside the river at Miss Betty’s, famous for her authentic Jamaican food.  Bring some cash if you want to pair this with a nice cold beer which you can buy earlier on the river from a floating raft bar.

    If you would like to add a hike to a lovely waterfall nearby, for a swim and scenic inspiration, this can be selected on arrival for an additional $15.00 per person.

    After 3-4 hours on the river travel back to Mockingbird Hill with a stop to see the market in Port Antonio if you wish.  Spend the rest of the afternoon  relaxing with time for birding on the hotel’s perch or gardens with the opportunity to see any of the endemics you might have missed in the mountains.

    Dinner on the terrace of the hotel’s organic restaurant, Mille Fleurs and overnight in a Garden view room at Mockingbird Hill.

  • Day 7: Birding at Hardware Gap

    Birding up in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains

    You’ll have an early start this morning with a packed breakfast ready to accompany you to one of Jamaica’s best birding sites while you are transferring between your hotels.

    This is a guided birding day in Jamaica’s famed Blue Mountains.   In its  lush forests you’ll get to listen to the beautiful dawn chorus, especially the flute-like call of the elusive Rufous-Throated Solitaire. This is one of the best places to find the elusive and endangered Jamaican Blackbird, which feeds on insects associated with bromeliads.

    The lush vegetation also affords looks at higher-elevation species such as Arrowhead Warbler, White-eyed Thrush, Jamaican Becard, Blue Mountain Vireo, Jamaican Pewee, and more.  The bright Jamaican Tody can also often to be found, quiet and close by as if posing for photos.

    There is the opportunity to visit the Old Tavern Coffee Blue Mountain Estate before the transfer back to St Anne’s

    Dinner and overnight at Great Sussex House.

  • Day 8: Relaxation and Departure

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and relax whilst making the most of your last dip in the pool and birding in the grounds before you transfer to Montego Bay for check-in.


 

Red-Billed Streamertailed HummingbirdTour Notes

Tour Duration 8 days with 7 nights including accommodation and meals as outlined in the itinerary, guides, transportation, rafting.

Entrance prices to attractions such as Reich Falls, beverages and private incidentals  such as items of a personal nature such as beverages from the bar, porterage, phone calls, or gift items are not included. We also recommend a gratuity for our local drivers and guides, which is left to your discretion. 

Price List

Summer 2015 to 19 December 2015

US$ 2,497.50 per person

in a Garden View room

20 December to April 2016

US$ 2,701.50 per person

in a Garden View room

Single Supplement

Summer, US$ 1,836.50, Winter  US$ 1,836.50

Room Upgrade

A room upgrade can be requested whereupon only the difference in the room rates will be charged extra

Booking

Email us today with the dates you’d like to book so we can confirm with our bird guides their availability

 

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