Trinidad & Tobago: Rainforests, Reefs & Giant Turtles Adventure – (Women Only) May-June 2017

 

Trinidad & Tobago

8 Days

05/31/2017

06/07/2017

Female Icon Women Only

Moderate Physical Activity

$2850.00

Description

Join in the fun for an amazing destination adventure to Trinidad & Tobago that combines instruction in snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, and waterfall rappelling (or a waterfall hike for the less adventurous) with unforgettable wildlife encounters!

Just 8 degrees north of the equator, right off the tip of Venezuela, lies Trinidad. The bigger of the two Islands and birthplace of the steel pan, it is the energetic of the pair with a modern twist on the Caribbean destination; a metropolitan center and an exciting night life all within the splendor of a tropical paradise. But even within the shores of Trinidad, the exceptional variance of tone is apparent when exploring only a short distance away from Port-of-Spain, the Islands capital, into the separate world of a more serene Caribbean backdrop where tropical rainforests, jungle waterfalls, clear rivers, and mangrove wetlands replace city entertainment.

About a 30 min flight from Trinidad’s Port of Spain, is laid back Tobago. The smaller sibling to the northeast lags in pace with a quiet and lull atmosphere and a population of only a fraction of Trinidad. Attracting nature lovers, divers, and bird nerds from all over the world, Tobago is also the home of the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere. Its pink sand beaches are secluded and quiet while the rainforest thrives with life. Dive sites and snorkeling off of Tobago are particularly stunning and provide some great unforgettable, first-class underwater adventures.

Trip Highlights:

  • Go hiking in one of the Earth’s oldest protected rainforest prime for birding with species from both Central and South America.
  • Dive into snorkeling in shallow water over colorful coral reefs full of fish & invertebrates.
  • Feel the adrenaline as you rappel down a 72ft waterfall into a natural pool below.
  • Connect with your senses on a nighttime paddle across a calm lagoon filled with avatar-like blue-green glowing creatures!
  • Search for Red Howler Monkeys, White-faced Capuchins, caiman, and other wildlife as while kayaking to Bush Bush Island.
  • Help save endangered Leatherback Sea Turtles and release them for their first swim at dusk.
  • Step back to the land of the dinosaurs. Experience and epic encounter with a 500 pound Leatherback Sea Turtle as she comes to the beach to lay her eggs.
  • You see the complete process of digging and laying and learn about this magical animal from local guides.

Tour Map

Port Of Spain

PAX Guest House

Grande Riviere

Blanchisseuse

Maracas Beach

Nariva Swamp

Charlotteville

Hiking Gilpin Train

Snorkeling Site

Footprints Eco Resort & Spa

Mt. Irvine Bay Snorkeling

Bon Accord Lagoon

Bio-Tour Stand Up Paddle

Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson International Airport

Meet Your Guides

Tara Short

Tara Short

President / Trip Facilitator - Green Edventures

Tara Short is the President of Green Edventures as well as the Trip Facilitator on this tour. Tara has 17 years of experience in eco-tourism, guiding and educating students of all ages in the Americas, the Caribbean, and Iceland. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in Natural Resource Management with an emphasis in Environmental Education/Interpretation. Tara has been a naturalist for the John G. Shedd Aquarium, a Ranger for the National Forest Service in Alaska, and a marine science educator for Wild Studies in the Bahamas. Tara is a snorkeling instructor, PADI Open Water Diver, Advanced Diver, Rescue Diver and has specialty certifications as Underwater Naturalist, Deep Diver, Multi-Level diver and Night Diver.

Courtenay Rooks

Courtenay Rooks

Guide / Trinidad & Tobago

Courtenay "Bushman" Rooks, native to Trinidad, adventurer, naturalist, conservationist, explorer, ecotourism expert, with a long held desired to bring his love of nature to every person through eco adventure tourism. Courtenay guides in rock climbing, mountain biking, birding, hiking, diving, surfing, snorkeling, adventure racing, kayaking. Through personal travels in far flung places like England, Dominica, the Pacific North West of North America, the Mojave Desert, the Cerrado and Amazon of Brazil, Guyana’s Amazon, the Savanna Grande of Venezuela and mostly Trinidad and Tobago he has spent nearly 40 years studying natural history of wild places. During this time he gained knowledge, experience, respect and love for these environments and looks forward to sharing his knowledge with Green Edventures guests!

Tour Itinerary

►Where Do We Stay?

  • Night 1: Pax Guest House
  • Night 2: Footprints Eco-Lodge
  • Night 3: Footprints Eco-Lodge
  • Night 4: Footprints Eco-Lodge
  • Night 5: Mt. Plasier
  • Night 6: Pax Guest House
  • Night 7: Pax Guest House

►Day 1: Port Of Spain

Arrive in Port of Spain. Group transfer to Pax Guest House. 7:30pm dinner and socializing at Pax.

►Day 2: Footprints Eco-Lodge, Tobago

Early morning start for Tobago flight. Group transfer to Footprints Eco-Lodge. Garden tour at Footprints. Snorkeling in Mt Irvine. Stand Up Paddling (SUP) lessons at Pigeon Point. Dinner then SUP bioluminescent tour.

Miles from ordinary, Footprints is an ecolodge that took 62 acres of land that had been repeated burnt till it had been turned from forests to scrub and razor grass and over many years planting over 1000 local trees the land is starting to be forest again. Renewable energy, minimization of earth works and use of produce farmed on the estate are hallmarks of Footprints to ensure a genuine and delicious experience.

On our way to Pigeon Point we stop off at Mt Irvine and go for a snorkel. In between Staghorn, Brain corals and Sea fans we amaze at the beautiful colours of parrot fish, angel fish, damsel fish, moray eels and so much more in enough colours to make a rainbow blush.

Pigeon Point is a white sand beach on a point that is protected by the Buccoo Reef, Trinidad and Tobago’s largest reef, which is a barrier reef of world fame. The point is famed for a place to relax but more to our liking it is famous for kite and wind surfing and now Stand Up Paddling. For those of you who skipped the SUP in Trinidad will get lessons in basic SUP handling. For those more experienced can go paddle in the Buccoo Swamp and / or surf some waves.

After the SUP tour we wash off, relax and grab a dinner to go, eating on the beach. Then its back to the SUPs for a night of paddling. Why night you ask? Well we paddle to the mangroves to see tiny angles! That is the bioluminescence as it lights up our paths, paddles and anything that moves through the water.

After this we head to Footprints Eco Resort in Culloden Bay, which is about a 40 minute drive.

►Day 3: Charlottesville

Charlottesville to Lovers Bay, SUP, and Coral Reef Snorkel. Pre-Breakfast: Morning Kundalini Yoga then snorkeling in Charlotteville.

After a healthy and filling breakfast we head up Tobago’s rugged and stunning Caribbean Coast to Charlottesville, Tobago’s northern most town. The bay is a large steep walled, scenic fishing community with azure seas and stunning reefs.

The adventure begins when you climb aboard your SUPs and paddle out to Lovers Bay, an aptly named beach that exudes paradise. Those who wish, can follow in a local fishing boat. The day is full of snorkeling through kaleidoscopic reefs, idyllic beaches and fun adventure.

►Day 4: Parlatuvier

Rainforest hike in the world’s first known protected forest. Snorkeling at Parlatuvier.

We start at the Top of Tobago walk back in time into the heart of the rainforests. This ancient yet modern ecosystem sets the entire week into place, time and theme both with how the ecosystem evolved and its impacts on everything. Also, the conservation of this rainforest was possibly mankind’s first legal act of conservation.

Lunch is on the beach at Parlatuvier, a beautiful fishing village. After a relax we enter the sea, snorkeling gear is donned and we dance among the Angels, horses and damsels… Sea life abounds as we search for my favorite, the Queen Angle Fish, whom many believe to be the world’s most beautiful fish.

►Day 5: Grande Riviere

Fly to Trinidad. Transfer to Grande Riviere with a shopping stop at Nature Seekers (3hrs). See living dinosaurs! Leatherback Turtles nesting on the beach.

Le Grande Almandier, is a beautiful Boutique Hotel with a wonderful restaurant serving divine local foods that sits right on the beach of Grande Riviere. So getting to the turtles, surfing, river, and relaxing is easy peasy.

About 75 million years ago a new type of marine turtle began an odyssey that has seen it survive Tyrannosaurs Rex, Sabre Toothed Tigers and many other predators. However the world’s most successful predator in written or unwritten history, mankind, threatens the very existence of this living fossil. It is our pleasure to be a part of that predator’s redemption to help conserve the leatherback turtle.

On arrival we sort passes and fees then we head down to the beach to search for a living relic. Fossil records show that Leatherback turtles have possibly been in existence for over 100 million years! They survived the extinction level event that wiped out the dinosaurs, but now they are endangered due to over hunting. They spend their entire lives swimming with a brief moment when mothers lay eggs on beaches such as this. We will endeavor to see the entire process from arrival, laying to departure, which takes approximately 2 hours from entry to departure from the beach. Strict adherence to beach rules will be followed so as to not disturb the turtles.

At the right time of year we will also be searching for the many hatchlings that should be sprinting to the sea, and helping those that get lost.

►Day 6: Nariva Swamp

Tour of Nariva Swamp w/ kayaking & monkey hike w/ Shaman.

Nariva Swamp is the Caribbean’s most bio-diverse wetland and as a result is declared a Ramsar Site. The Ramsar Convention is an international convention for the protection of wetlands of international importance. This means Nariva Swamp is a wetland ecosystem of international importance as it houses a vast array of habitats and wildlife! We will be searching for some of its most famous residents: monkeys and many rare birds.

Nariva’s wildlife is most active with the first rays of light, or afternoon cool off. We start by headinng for Plum Mitan on Nariva’s western edge where we meet a local family, the Sooknanans who are great friends will prepare an absolutely scrumptious bus-up-shut country style curry lunch for us. After lunch and a relax we head out to Nariva’s Eastern edge by driving out to the entry to the wetland out on the East Coast at Manzanilla. We gear up for the kayak / boat ride and kayak along flat water through spectacular variety wetlands eco systems from Mangrove to marsh forests and grasslands.

After kayaking for over 30 minutes we arrive at Bush Bush, which is a land peninsular that juts out into Nariva Swamp and is home to Red Howler and Capuchin Monkeys. These amazing primates are easiest seen in when hiking in the Bush Bush area. Hiking along a flat trail into Bush Bush one can access the Monkey viewing area. The Howlers can be found among the branches of the larger tress of the Seasonal Evergreen Tropical Forests that dominates this area. Since the Howlers are very mobile we may see them very quickly or it may take a lot of sweat and effort to see them. Along the way we will also search for White-fronted Capuchins, a smaller monkey that can be seen here. This area also offers other wildlife such birds like the Black-crested Antshrike, Silvered Antbird, Gallinules, Macaws or Butterflies like the Blue Emperor Morpho.

Once available the Shaman of the local Carib Community will join in the hike showing local herbs and other plants describing how the First Nations would have used the forests for mutual benefit for thousands of years.

On the way out we will take the boats or kayaks very slowly drifting looking for Red-bellied Macaws flying into palm trees to roost for the evening. At about 6pm we will depart for the drive home.

►Day 7: Avocat Waterfall

Avocat Waterfall hike and swim with optional rappel St James lime.

This is a fun hike with an easy and adventure option where both end at the 72 foot Avocat Waterfalls, where you have the choice to repel the waterfall.

After breakfast we drive north through Maraval Valley and emerge through the mountains of the Northern Range onto the stunning North Coast. Head east along the dramatic cliffs and beaches of the scenic North Coast to Blanchisseuse and turn south to Marianne River five miles from Blanchisseuse.

Your adventure starts with the easy option being about a half hour hike through stunning rainforest to Avocat Waterfall as you walk in and out of a river and foot paths.  While walking you will see, experience and learn of the natural history of this magnificent rainforest. Highlights will be seeing amazing trees while Emperor and other butterflies float by. Forest birds such as Trogons, Honeycreepers and Manakins at their lek are abundant. The trail leads to an enchanting stream with an abundance of anthuriums and heliconias on its banks; it will take us to the Marianne River.

The walk ends at the seventy-foot waterfall, where swimming in the small pool at the base of the falls is our objective. Relax while getting a natural drumming massage as you sit at the base of the falls.

After a quick swim in the falls the adventurous will take part in a lesson on repelling with harness and other safety equipment. The repelling folks with hike to the top of the falls, put on harnesses and safety step over the falls back down to the waterfall’s pool!!! Wooohoooo!!!!!

Repelling in surprisingly easy and your guide will teach you all you need to know on how to safely experience this thrill. It is a magical experience to see a waterfall from top, middle, and below. This is a great way to give yourself a confidence boost and a fantastic finale to your adventure.

►Day 8: Departure

Depart for home after breakfast.

Please note: The activities and schedule may change without notice as practical considerations arise during program development, or onsite for the safety of participants.

You must be in good health. While you do not need prior snorkeling experience, you must know how to swim and be comfortable in the water. The activities range from easy to moderate and will be modified to the participants’ interests and skill levels. This is an active vacation. All activities are optional, but you should expect to get wet, sweaty, and dive into adventures! Rappelling is an optional activity included with the cost of the program. Rainforest hikes will take place on various types of trails, some maintained, some not. It will be slippery at times, requiring you to walk with four points of contact.

You must have a passport to travel to Trinidad & Tobago. We recommend you use Ridgebrook Travel to book your flight or you may book on your own. Travel parameters will be provided to you once the group has been formed.

A minimum of 8 participants are needed to run the trip.

Inclusions & Exclusions

Included:

  • Ground group transport from Port Of Spain. (POS)
  • Internal flight from POS to Tobago.
  • Most group meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day. You will be responsible for 2 meals only.
  • All activities listed on this page.
  • Lodging.

Excluded:

  • Airfare from your departure city to POS.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Personal spending money.
  • $90.00 gratuity.
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Travel insurance.
  • Meals not included are lunch on Grand Riviere-Pax transfer day and dinner on the on the last day (Avocat Waterfall).

Payments

  • The cost of this program is $2850.00.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $600.00 is required to book this trip.
  • 3 equal payments of $783.00 are due on the 15th of October, February & April 2017.

All payments are non-refundable if cancelled by the participant. Participants are highly encouraged to purchase travel insurance to cover unforeseen circumstances that may interrupt or cancel the trip.

Registration & payment processing for this tour is handled through the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Continuing Education & Outreach

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