This tour spends time on both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Search for Puerto Rico’s 17 endemic birds and a number of other species limited to the Greater Antilles. Then it’s on to the Dominican Republic for an in-depth look at this fascinating island! Like the Galapagos, the Greater Antilles serve as an outdoor classroom, attracting some of the world’s most famous evolutionary biologists.
Each of the Greater Antilles islands hosts a wealth of endemic birds; some 95 species in all. Among them, the island of Hispaniola stands out with 32 unique birds, many of which are localized and highly endangered. The Dominican Republic also boasts an endemic family (the Palmchat), five endemic avian genera, and two of the five todies, a family of tiny, colorful birds endemic to the Greater Antilles.
Also occupying habitats from palm-fringed sandy beaches to cactus/thorn scrub deserts to humid cloud forests are a stunning diversity of reptiles and amphibians, including finger nail-sized frogs and some 80 species of lizards, many of which are eaten by the island’s two large and endemic lizard-cuckoos. Beyond its biological superlatives, the island boasts Santo Domingo, the oldest city in the New World and the largest in the Caribbean; Pico Duarte, the highest summit in the Caribbean (10,417 ft.); and salty Lago Enriquillo, the lowest point on a Caribbean island.
- Explore the Sierra de Bahoruco where 30 of the Dominican Republic’s 32 endemic birds are found
- Search for the critically endangered Ridgeway’s Hawk
- Relax amid palm trees on white coral sand beaches at several different seaside ecolodges
- Search for the very rare and endangered La Selle Thrush in cloud forest at Zapotén
- Photograph frogs, lizards, and butterflies found nowhere else in the world
- Savor tasty fish caught that day just offshore from your hotel
Photo credits: Banner: Spindalis by Peg Abbott; Green Iguana, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Mangrove Cuckoo, Mahlon Hale; Group Birding by Peg Abbott; Antillean Mango by Adrian Binns; Hispaniolan Emerald by Adrian Binns; Flat-billed Vireo by Adrian Binns; Hispaniolan Lizard Cuckoo by Rafa Campos; Sierra Bah Alcoa Road by Adrian Binns.