Trinidad & Tobago: Rainforest to Reef Adventure + Leatherback Sea Turtles – Women’s Travel

  Trinidad & Tobago

  8 Days

  06/19/2020

  06/26/2020

Female Icon  Women Only

  Moderate Physical Activity

  Early Bird Discount Code TURTLE2020. First 8 Save $100 by Jan 15th

Join us in Trinidad & Tobago to experience the real Caribbean! See wild wonders from rainforests to colorful coral reefs, and have close encounters with living dinosaurs – Leatherback Sea Turtles.

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Ladies! Experience the real Caribbean!  This adventure combines daily excursions that immerse you into the tropical wonders of the twin island nation of Trindad & Tobago.  Two islands, one unforgettable experience.

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.

The adventure begins in Port of Spain and then we fly to the island of Tobago for three nights. In Tobago we snorkel beautiful coral reefs, hike the world’s oldest protected forest, and take in the positive vibes of beach life. Mid way, we return to Trinidad and travel to the far east coast to meet living dinosaurs – leatherback sea turtles. You will help these endangered creatures at sunset, by releasing hatchlings. Then at night you take a walk back in time as you observe 500-pound turtles crawl onto the beach to lay their eggs. From Grand Rivier, we head south for a swamp paddle in search of Orange Howler Monkeys. Finally, the grand finale is a river hike to Avocat waterfall with a chance to challenge yourself on an 72ft rappel down the falls and a “lime” in the savanna.

Special note to birders:  Trinidad & Tobago is an amazing place to see birds. Each morning, your guide will offer guided bird walks to help you add species you’ve never seen to your Life List.

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 on 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 night-time paddle across a calm lagoon filled with avatar-like blue-green glowing creatures!
  • See more than birds at two sanctuaries including Caroni Swamp in Trinidad & Little Tobago in Tobago. 
  • 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.
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Inclusions & Exclusions

Included:

  • Group airport transfers
  • Internal flight from POS to Tobago.
  • Most group meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day. 
  • All activities listed on this page.
  • Double occupancy 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 1 breakfast, 1 dinner.

Supplemental Information:

Tour Map

Port Of Spain

PAX Guest House

Grande Riviere

Blanchisseuse

Maracas Beach

Nariva Swamp

Charlotteville

Hiking Gilpin Train

Snorkeling Site

Mt. Irvine Bay Snorkeling

Bon Accord Lagoon

Bio-Tour Stand Up Paddle

Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson International Airport

Grafton Resort

Payments

Price: $2650 (++ Early Bird: Use discount code TURTLE2020 by Jan 15th. Limited to first 8 sign-ups)

Deposit: $600

Deposit due by: February 15th

Installments: 3 equal payments of $650 are due March 15, April 15, May 15

Spots Available: 12/12

Travel Documents:

A Passport is required.

All payments are non-refundable if cancelled by the participant. In the unlikely event that Green Edventures is unable to fill the trip, a full refund will be given.

Travel insurance is available and recommended.

Tour Itinerary

►Where Do We Stay?

►Day 1: Welcome to Port of Spain – Fly to Tobago

Today is a big travel day! International flights will arrive by 3 pm. After going through immigration and customs, you will be greeted by one of our representatives. There will be a short layover at the airport before we check in for our next flight as a group. We never have to leave the airport. Participants can get coffee and a fast food lunch before we depart on our Caribbean Airlines flight to Tobago. This is a short 30 minute flight and then a quick transfer to the hotel. We will check in, relax at pool with a cocktail, and then have dinner at the hotel. 

Overnight at Grafton Beach Resort (D).

►Day 2: Tobago’s North Side: Castara Bay Snorkel & Gilpin Trace Hike​

Morning: Bird walk in search of Tobago’s finest feathered friends.
 
After breakfast: We will drive along the scenic north side of this Caribbean Island and learn about the geology and rich history, and make plenty of stops for photo opportunities. 
 
The first adventure is in Castara Bay where we will school with the fishes. This shallow and calm bay provides us the perfect setting to get acquainted with snorkeling from the shore. Here we see big southern stingrays, schools of silversides, soft and hard corals, and colorful reef fish.
 
Lunch in Castara.
 
Afternoon:  
Hike Gilpin Trace. This is a nature hike in a montane rainforest, along the ridge of Tobago and one of the most beautiful rainforest hikes in the country. This trail is relatively flat and easy in terms of hiking. It is more like a stroll, but participants should be mindful of slippery and uneven parts of the trail. Gilpin Trail is one of the first acts of conservation in the New World. For Birders, the trail is a great opportunity to see some of Tobago’s bird species including the endemic White-tailed Sabre wing, a hummingbird only found on Tobago, and the Trinidad Motmot. Bring your binoculars. Due to the amount time, we will only hike a short portion of the trail, but the duration will last about 2 hours with plenty of stops to talk about plants and to point out animals.
 
 Return to hotel in the evening for dinner. (BLD)

 

►Day 3: Snorkeling & SUP Lessons & Night-time Bio Tour at Bon Accord Lagoon​

Morning:
Mt. Irvine Beach Snorkel: Shore entry. Rocky reef that with large heads of corals. In between Staghorn, Brain corals and Sea fans. Be amazed at the beautiful colors of parrot fish, angel fish, damsel fish, moray eels and so much more. 
 
Afternoon:
After lunch at a beach-front restaurant, our partners will give you an introduction to Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boarding on the crystal clear tropical waters that make Tobago famous. This lesson will teach you the basics of paddling to prepare you for your evening bioluminesecence paddle. 
 
Evening: 
Just before sunset, we will depart the hotel to Bon Accord lagoon, When the sun has completely set we will be on the water under a dark sky.  After your eyes adjust, you will start to see sparks of light under the mangrove roots, or when your paddle touches the water. There are parts of the lagoon with large congregations of plankton and their defense is a chemical reaction which causes them to lights up when disturbed. Your guide will lead you around the lagoon and show tell you about the noctural world you are exploring. For those who like an adrenaline boost, you will be invited to swim in the lagoon and to cover yourself in the glowing bioluminescence.
 
Late dinner at the hotel. 

►Day 4: Tobago’s South Side: Little Tobago Tour + Argyle Waterfall

​Morning:

Depart for a drive along Tobago’s windward coast toward the town of Speyside. We will board a glassbottom boat to the island of Little Tobago. This tiny island is a bird and marine sanctuary and is home to many species of seabirds including Red-billed Tropicbirds, Magnificent Frigate Birds, Shearwaters, and Red Footed Boobies.  
 
After hiking, we will return to the glassbottom boat and trade our binoculars for snorkeling mask to float over some of the largest brain coral heads in the world. 
 
Afternoon:
Lunch at a local restaurant. 
 
After lunch, we will take a 15 minute hike through the forest to a three-tiered waterfall to enjoy swimming and relaxing in the cool fresh water. 
 
Return to hotel for dinner. (BLD).
 
 
 

►Day 5: Fly to Trinidad – Transfer to Grand Riviere, Home to Leatherback Sea Turles

​Early morning:

Depart hotel in the early morning to catch flight to Trinidad. Participants will get their own breakfast at the cafe at the airport. 
 
Fly to Trinidad. Transfer to Grande Riviere (3 hours) with a shopping at Nature Seekers and a stop for local lunch to-go.
 
We arrive Grand Riviere with enough time to enjoy the beach and the fun ocean surf. Our hotel, is a beautiful boutique hotel with a wonderful restaurant serving divine local foods that sits right on the beach of Grande Riviere. You will probably go to sleep with, and wake to giant turtles nesting on the beach right out your front door.
 
Late-afternoon:
We begin beach patrols to collect hatchlings “boiling” out of their nests as they race to the seashore. As a group, we will release individuals just before dark to help give them a better chance of survival.
 
Evening:
After dinner, we are led by a local guide to nesting turtles on the beach. Once the turtles get into their “trance” you guide will bring you closer and tell you about the biology and adaptions of this living dinosaur. (LD).

►Day 6: Caroni Bird Sanctuary Wildlife Boat Tour

​5:30 am: Rise and shine! Now you can see these living dinosaurs in the light of day and capture more photos of their nesting process.

 
After breakfast, we will load up and head toward Port of Spain, stopping first at our lodge for the final two night. We move into our rooms and enjoy lunch in the garden of this beautiful 22 acre estate at the edge of a tropical rainforest. There will be time to relax, bird watch, or enjoy the pool before heading out for the activity. 
 
Late Afternoon:
Sit back and relax for an enjoyable adventure into Caroni Bird Sanctuary. It is the second largest wetland swamp in Trinidad. Your guide will meander your boat through the winding channels in search of ant-eaters, boa constrictors, caimans, and birds. The grand finale is reaching the viewing area to see Trinidad & Tobago’s National Bird, the Scarlet Ibis, flying in by flocks to roost on an island in the swamp. If you are lucky, you may even see Flamingos!
 
Evening: Dinner at Hacienda Jacana. (BLD)

►Day 7: Avocat Waterfall Hike & Rappelling & Lime in the Savanna​

Morning:  Breakfast is a do-it-yourself style.  Your hosts provide you with everything that you need: coffee, tea, juice, milk, water, fruit, bacon, eggs, bread, & butter.
 
Morning:
We travel toward Trinidad’s North Coast with a stop in Port of Spain to learn about and see historic sites of the city. 
 
The drive continues through Maraval Valley and emerges through the mountains of the Northern Range onto the stunning North Coast. 
 
The adventure starts 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 Blue Morpho and other butterflies float by. Forest birds such as Trogons, Honeycreepers and Manakins may be spotted. The trail leads to an enchanting stream with an abundance of anthuriums and heliconias on its banks.
 
The walk ends at the base of a seventy-foot waterfall.
 
After a quick swim in the falls, those who want a challenge can rappel down the 70ft cascade.  First you will get a short rappelling lesson in using the ropes and harness. Then, those who wish to rappel will hike to the top of the falls and step backwards into a thrilling experience!
 
Rappelling in surprisingly easy, and your guide will teach you all you need to know on how to safely experience this thrill. This is a great way to give yourself a confidence boost and a fantastic finale to your adventure. 
 
Evening: 
On route back to our lodge we will stop for street food at the Savanna. Mingle (Lime) with the locals, each till you burst, and enjoy your final night out with your new adventure buddies. (BL)

►Day 8: Airport Transfer – Flights to USA

Morning: Breakfast with your cabin-mates. Enjoy the garden and take in the final beauty of Trinidad before you head to the airport.
 
End of tour. (B)

** Please note: The activities, lodging, guides, and schedule may change without notice as practical considerations arise during program development or onsite. **

Your Tour Guides

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!

Kelly Van Lannen

Kelly Van Lannen

Tour Leader / Costa Rica

Kelly has 20+ years of experience teaching outdoor education and trip guiding. Kelly has worked with the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program since 1997 teaching a wide variety of hands-on outdoor skills classes, and guiding trips locally and internationally. Kelly has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point in Natural Resource Management with an emphasis in Environmental Education / Interpretation. She has a passion for making outdoor recreation accessible to all skill levels and physical abilities and looking forward to sharing Trinidad & Tobago with you.

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