Join us for a special 10-Day, 2-Island Classic birding and nature tour on the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, often considered the world’s best introduction to tropical birding. This tour is part of the Asa Wright Nature Centre’s Celebrity Series for 2019 and features artist and field guide illustrator Keith Hansen. Well-known in birding and art circles, Keith looks forward to sharing his expertise in illustrating birds with you. Joining Keith is his wife, fabric artist Patricia Briceño. This is their second art and birding tour, having joined us for the Centre’s 50th Anniversary Celebrity Series in 2017—their trip was a great success!

Trinidad, with its proximity to South America, offers a variety of birds not usually seen on an island (Caroni Marsh, with its daily Scarlet Ibis spectacular, is an iconic destination in itself), while Tobago feels entirely different?classic Caribbean. Combined, these islands provide a variety of habitats that yield dramatic diversity.

This exciting tour starts on Tobago where you enjoy three nights at the gracious Cuffie River Nature Retreat, an intimate 10-room lodge tucked in the forest, where birds abound. Then enjoy a full Trinidad immersion based out of the world-renowned Asa Wright Nature Centre (AWNC), your home for the last six nights of the tour. Join Keith and Patricia on the Centre’s famed verandah for enticingly rich birding?if you are new to the tropics, you may see forty life birds before breakfast!

Caligo Ventures has over thirty years’ experience setting up Guided Group Tours, using expert local guides and supporting local communities, which in turn supports the Centre. Your visit funds important conservation and education work at the Centre.

Keith Hansen is a long-time colleague of Caligo Ventures’ owner Peg Abbott, having worked together as young biologists on the Farallon Islands off the coast of California in the 1980s. Keith is a crack birder, and he helps you find species on field trips, and can also help you learn techniques to “capture” these feathered creatures accurately on paper. Enhance your birding experience by learning to render quick impressions in your notebook, or simply to create something of beauty. Step-by-step demonstrations examine elements like anatomy, form, perspective, lighting, and negative space. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, absorbing methods for deeper observation heightens your enjoyment of your time spent in nature. Join Keith in one or more sketching sessions offered during the week, and develop or hone your artistic skills! Keith and Patricia’s participation is icing on the cake for this special 10-Day, 2-Island Classic tour.

Only have a week? Consider participating in just the AWNC portion of this trip. Contact Naturalist Journeys for details.

Tour Highlights

  • Arrive to a feeding frenzy at Cuffie River’s feeder, perfect for photography and relaxed viewing
  • Enjoy Cuffie River’s creative tropical architecture and cool breezes in the mountains
  • Marvel at Cuffie River’s avian dinner guests—perhaps a White-tailed Nightjar or Common Potoo
  • Visit Tobago’s historic Main Forest Ridge Preserve and Little Tobago Island
  • Explore with AWNC’s expert guides, who offer robust knowledge and friendly, world-class guiding
  • Relish morning coffee and relaxed birding on the famous verandah
  • Gain exclusive access to Oilbirds in Dunston Cave on the Centre’s grounds
  • Watch a grand variety of tropical birds from the Centre’s famed verandah
  • Develop your artistic side in optional sketching workshops with Keith Hansen
  • Walk intriguing trails with trained and personable naturalist guides
  • Witness skies filled with hundreds of Scarlet Ibis as they roost at Caroni National Park

Photo credits: Banner: Purple Honeycreeper Cluster by Peg Abbott; Asa Wright Nature Centre by Noel Snyder; Copper-rumped Hummingbird by Mike Boyce; Green Honeycreeper by Mike Boyce; Barred Antshrike by Peg Abbott; Bearded Bellbird by Mike Boyce; Asa Wright Nature Centre's Verandah by Peg Abbott; Golden-olive Woodpecker by Sandy Sorkin.

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