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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Trinidad and Tobago

Tour Information

Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Trinidad and Tobago. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose content supersedes any information contained here.

ENTERING & LEAVING TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: U.S. citizens must have a passport valid for at least six months after your scheduled departure from Trinidad and Tobago, and with at least one blank page for an entry stamp.

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/trinidad-tobago.html and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Trinidad and Tobago at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/td.html .

PACE OF TOUR:  We’ll make early starts some days so as to be in the field around dawn, and we’ll be birding all day, usually returning to our lodging about an hour before dinner and checklist.  On other days, e.g. when birding the grounds of Asa Wright, we’ll be close to our lodgings and may have the opportunity for a break/cooling off period after lunch, before resuming birding later in the afternoon.

Birding will often be along roads or tracks, with the notable exception of the hike to Dunston Cave for Oilbirds.  This is an easy to moderate hike on a good trail, and takes less than an hour even while stopping for birds along the way.  The Gilpin Trace trail on Tobago is a well-worn path and we’ll walk it at a very slow pace.  To view the seabirds on Little Tobago Island involves a walk up a rather long woodland stairway to reach a vista on the opposite side of the island.

HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

They further recommend that most travelers have protection against Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Please contact your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medications must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure.

The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s Travel Health website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/trinidad-and-tobago.

Smoking:  Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail.

Biting Insects:  Biting insects are not numerous, although mosquitoes, black flies and chiggers occur locally. A can of spray repellent should provide adequate protection against the first two while the latter can normally be avoided by staying out of the grass on the trails and road. If you are especially sensitive to insect bites, bring an antihistamine.

Water:  Although tap water is generally safe to drink on Trinidad and Tobago, bottled water will be provided in our tour vehicles.  We recommend packing a refillable water bottle to limit the use of plastic, to be filled either at tap or from a jug provided by the leader.

Motion Sickness:  Many of the roads on Trinidad and Tobago are narrow and winding.  If you are especially prone to carsickness, we recommend packing an antiemetic such as Dramamine.  The boat ride to Little Tobago Island is about 20 minutes on generally calm seas.

CLIMATE: Daily temperatures on Trinidad and Tobago average around 80 degrees F.  Our tour falls at the end of the dry season/beginning of the rainy season, meaning fewer crowds and a peak in avian activity.  While we won’t expect excessive rain, come prepared for the chance shower.

ACCOMMODATION:  We’ll be staying in good quality hotels or lodges throughout. All rooms will have private facilities.  Most rooms at Asa Wright are bungalow-style and are cooled by ceiling fans.  Keeping windows open and fans on prior to retiring is sufficient for comfortable sleeping conditions. 

Internet:  WiFi internet is available at all of our lodgings, sometimes confined to public areas.

FOOD:  Food at both Asa Wright and Cuffie is excellent, typically consisting of local Trinidadian and Tobagonian flavors.  Meals taken on the road will generally be picnic-style or at good roadside restaurants.  The local cuisine on Trinidad and Tobago is world renowned, combining Indian, African, Creole, Amerindian, European, Chinese and Lebanese influences.  We’ll be sure to sample many of the famed national dishes, many of which will satisfy vegetarians as well as those who enjoy fish but not red meat. 

WINGS tours are all-inclusive, and no refunds can be issued for any tour meals participants choose to skip.

Drinks:  Bottled water or a soft drink or a beer/glass of wine is provided at lunch and dinner, as is coffee or tea. All other drinks or ‘personal’ drinking water for use in your room etc. is the responsibility of the individual.  

Food Allergies / Requirements:  We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions.

TRANSPORTATION: We’ll travel primarily in a small bus/large van while on both islands. Transportation from Trinidad to Tobago is a short flight on Caribbean Airlines.

Updated: 12 May 2016