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Wildlife Locations

9 recommended locations:

Asa Wright Nature Centre

Located at approximately 400 metres altitude in the mountains of the Northern Range, north of the town of Arima, the Asa Wright Nature Centre was established in 1967. It is a world-class birding destination as well as a being a centre for conservation and research into tropical ecology.

  • Where: Trinidad
  • Ideal for viewing: oilbird, golden-headed manakin, bearded bellbird, collared trogon, red-rumped agouti
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Birdwatching

Caroni Swamp

Situated on the west coast of Trinidad, this so-called swamp is the second largest mangrove wetland area on the island. Covering an area of more than 5,000 hectares, where the Caroni River enters the Gulf of Paria, it is renowned for the birdlife in its large, pristine mangrove forests.

  • Where: West coast
  • Ideal for viewing: little blue heron, scarlet ibis, great black hawk, Cook’s tree boa, fiddler crab
  • Excellent for: River safaris, Birdwatching

Crown Point

The southwestern tip of Tobago – known as Crown Point – is a well-known holiday hotspot due to its picture-postcard, palm-lined, sandy beaches, which are lapped by calm, crystal-clear seas of an almost unnatural turquoise colour. It is also the site of Tobago’s international airport.

  • Where: Tobago
  • Ideal for viewing: hawksbill turtle, blue emperor butterfly, nurse shark, Caribbean spiny lobster, southern stingray

Little Tobago

The small island of Little Tobago lies off the northeast coast of its larger counterpart and it is only accessible by boat. A variety of the region's seabirds nest on the cliffs and the island is surrounded by coral reefs – which means there is plenty to see both on land and underwater.

  • Where: Tobago
  • Ideal for viewing: red-billed tropicbird, white-tailed nightjar, magnificent frigatebird, red-footed booby, Audubon’s shearwater
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris

Main Ridge Forest Reserve

Established in 1776, Tobago’s Main Ridge Forest Reserve is considered to be the oldest area of protected forest in the western hemisphere. As a result, this swathe of lush rainforest has remained untouched by development for over 200 years, allowing its native flora and fauna to flourish.

  • Where: Tobago
  • Ideal for viewing: collared trogon, blue-backed manakin, white-tailed sabrewing, blue-crowned motmot, blackback land crab
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Birdwatching

Matura

This stretch of beach, which is famed as one of the largest turtle nesting sites in the Caribbean, lies less than a kilometre from the village of Matura, on Trinidad’s quiet east coast, It is estimated that more than 5,000 female leatherback turtles come to this beach to lay their eggs.

  • Where: Trinidad
  • Ideal for viewing: leatherback turtle, brown pelican, magnificent frigatebird, black vulture, red howler monkey

Nariva Swamp

Lying on the east coast of Trinidad close to Manzanilla Bay, the largest freshwater wetland on the island, covers more than 6,000 hectares can only be accessed by boat. It is the principal habitat of the rare West Indian manatee, and one of the most diverse ecosystems in the entire Caribbean.

  • Where: East coast of Trinidad
  • Ideal for viewing: prehensile-tailed porcupine, red howler monkey, white-fronted capuchin monkey, blue and yellow macaw, orange-winged parrot
  • Excellent for: River safaris, Birdwatching

Tamana Caves

This cave system is situated on the northern slope of Mount Tamana in the foothills of eastern Trinidad’s Central Range. The caves are home to an extremely large population of various types of bats – estimates of the exact number range from 500,000 individuals to as many as three million.

  • Where: Trinidad
  • Ideal for viewing: greater spear-nosed bat, lesser spear-nosed bat, Trinidadian funnel-eared bat, Gonatodes gecko, long-nosed bat

Speyside

This small fishing village stands on the leeward coast of northern Tobago, overlooking the islands of Little Tobago and Goat Island. It is home to some of the best coral reefs on the island, suitable for divers and snorkellers, and also offers some excellent birdwatching in the surrounding rainforest.

  • Where: Northern Tobago
  • Excellent for: Beach stay

View trips to these locations

Wildlife trips

The islands of Trinidad and Tobago, the most southerly Caribbean nation, are distinctly different. Tobago is an ecotourism destination with ancient rainforest, spectacular coral reefs and many birds. Trinidad combines rainforest, mangrove swamp and savannah, and has 430 species of bird and a variety of Latin American wildlife.

3 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

A Carnival of Wildlife

Swing through the lesser known parts of Trinidad and Tobago to witness the diversity of its wildlife: Trinidad’s national bird – the iconic scarlet ibis, the curious cave-dwelling oilbird, the mysterious colony of bats at Tamana and the world's largest brain coral in Tobago.

  • When to go: Sep-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,795 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

The Asa Wright Experience

Ask a few well-travelled birdwatchers their favourite places in the world to stay, and Asa Wright will soon enter the conversation. Combined with the glorious contrast of Tobago, this trip is an excellent introduction to the incredible diversity of bird life in Central and South America.

  • When to go: Feb-Mar
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,895 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Caribbean Wilderness

Journey to the Caribbean to explore untouched rainforest, sprawling savannahs and tropical reefs that offer a variety of captivating wildlife encounters and incredible nature experiences. This itinerary combines birding in Trinidad with the diverse wildlife and scenery of Guyana, before a few days relaxation in Tobago.

  • When to go: Sep-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 19 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,645 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

When to go

The tropical climate is tempered by trade winds, but humidity is high. Tobago has a pleasant climate and though May-July can be wet, there is less difference between wet and dry se

Seasons

  • Dry season

    Jan to May: March tends to be the driest month, though it can rain at any time of year.
  • Wet season

    Jun to Dec: On average July is the wettest and coolest month, and November the hottest.

Wildlife events

  • Feb to Aug: Turtles come ashore to nest

Where to stay