Jamaica: Island Endemics & Blue Mountain Coffee

Kingston, Jamaica

VB
203 reviews
Dec 4 - 9, 2022
Group size: 8 - 12
Jamaica: Island Endemics & Blue Mountain Coffee
Kingston, Jamaica

203 reviews

$NaN
Dec 4 - 9, 2022
Group size: 8 - 12

About this trip

Home of reggae music, the Rastafari religion, jerk spice, and strong ginger beer, Jamaica is a small island nation in the Caribbean Sea about 90 miles south of Cuba and 120 miles west of Haiti. Together with Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and the Cayman Islands, it forms part of the Greater Antilles. An Anglophone country whose economy heavily depends on tourism, Jamaica is part of the Commonwealth of Nations, which includes ten Caribbean Islands that were former territories of the British Empire with Queen Elizabeth II as the current Head of State. Climate is tropical (i.e., hot and humid), with some cooler weather in the moist montane forests inland. Jamaica is famously home to one of the most expensive and sought-after coffee in the world, Blue Mountain Coffee, noted for its mild flavor and lack of bitterness. Our tour will traverse right through the heart of Blue Mountain Coffee country, giving us ample opportunity to sample this local specialty!

Jamaica is a relatively large island (ranked third in size in the Caribbean) with a diverse range of ecosystems, including lush coastal thickets, tropical wetlands, sandy shorelines, and montane forests. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Jamaica supports a wealth of birdlife. Of particular interest from a birding perspective is the 28 Jamaican endemic species. On our trip, we have a very good chance of recording all 28 endemics, which include the striking Red-billed Streamertail (Jamaica's national bird, locally known as the doctor bird), the shy Crested Quail-Dove, two globally Endangered species (Black-billed Amazon and Jamaican Blackbird), and the dainty, but fierce Jamaican Tody.

Our tour starts in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, from where we'll visit Hellshire Hills to search for Stolid Flycatcher, the local subspecies of the Bahama Mockingbird, and Yellow (Golden) Warbler. From here we'll venture north in search of other island endemics at sites such as the Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park, as well as Ecclesdown Road. With most of Jamaica’s endemics relatively easy to locate, we’ll almost certainty have time to sample Blue Mountain Coffee, traditional jerk cuisine, and perhaps even a sandy beach for a quick dip in the crystal-clear tropical waters.

What’s included

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Ground transportation
  • Guide services
  • Airfare
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Laundry
  • Gratuities
  • Items of personal nature

Available Packages

Double Occupancy
Available until November 4, 20226 left

Room-sharing

$3,595
Deposit: $300
Single Traveler
Available until November 4, 20226 left

For those wanting their own room

$3,995
Deposit: $300
$NaN


Your Organizer


VB
Ventures Birding Tours
203 reviews
Small travel company based in Asheville, NC, specializing in birding & nature tours both locally & worldwide.

Reviews

LR
I'm so glad that we looked into booking Ventures when we were visiting their area. Usually we bird on our own, but having someone so experienced who could almost instantly identify everything for us was such a help. We added several lifers to our list that I'm not sure we'd have been able to find or identify on our own, and the guide (Aaron Steed) showed us a new place that we can bird on our own when we're in the area (which we are a handful of times a year.) We're definitely going to check in with them to see if someone is available for a half day each time we come to town from now on (only half days because we bring dogs, but did find a local kennel with 'day care' to leave them for a few hours since we cannot leave them in the campground).
By Lynn R for Private Half Day Tours (2021/2022) on 30 Sep, 2022
We had a wonderful weekend. Kevin Burke is a fantastic guide - enthusiastic, knowledgeable, aware of the skill levels of the birders so that everyone learns something. In a 4 day weekend (one afternoon, one morning, two full days) we saw 83 species, 20 different warblers. We went to a variety of environments (lakes, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Jackson Park in Hendersonville), each with different migrant bird populations. The Holiday Inn was fine (as expected), and we all went out for meals together that were quite good, especially the Corner Kitchen. Very highly recommended! We’ve done both Spring and Fall Ventures Birding Warbler Weekends. Spring has more colorful birds that are easier to see (fewer leaves), while Fall has more birds all together. Both are fun.
By Ross M for Warbler Weekend Fall 2022 on 21 Sep, 2022
This trip was wonderful. It covered a large number of bird habitats throughout the entire state of Oregon. Our guides were very well organized and everything went very smoothly although there was always room to be flexible. Our accommodations were very good. Both guides were very very knowledge and friendly, helpful, and considerate. In all, a memorable birding trip with over 200 species viewed.
By Kim H for Oregon - Mountains, Coasts and Deserts 2022 on 19 Sep, 2022
This was a delightful experience. The views from the peak of the parkway were outstanding, the warblers were darting through on the fall migration, and the forested lovely trails from the Pisgah Inn to the overlook parking lot made for a perfect morning.
By Kathleen W for Buck Spring Gap on 16 Sep, 2022
Having two excellent and experienced guides and traveling in two vehicles was quite special for our small group. Kevin and Michael complemented each other and worked as an elite team identifying potential birding locations and at the same time avoiding areas where forest fires prevailed. Their efforts to locate special birds was extraordinary as all of us were able to see and appreciate new birds to add to life lists for some. Truly a fun, engaging experience enhanced by astute selections of evening dining opportunities and quite complete tail gate lunches on the go.
By Harry Y for Oregon - Mountains, Coasts and Deserts 2022 on 15 Sep, 2022
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