This tour consists of 7 full days of unforgettable birding in the Dominican Republic, one of the premier birding destinations in the Caribbean, and home to the highest endemic species count of the region. On this comprehensive bird watching tour, we will have plenty of time to see or photograph all of the 31 endemic species found in the country, along with many regional endemics and local specialties. This incredible adventure takes us to a wide variety of ecosystems and the top birding sites in the country.
We begin the tour by spending our first morning birding the beautiful National Botanical Gardens in Santo Domingo, then we begin our long scenic drive west to the majestic Bahoruco Mountains and Sierra de Bahoruco National Park. Along the way we make a stop at Salinas de Bani, a beautiful and incredibly wild salt pans, sand dune and mangrove nature preserve considered the best shorebird site on the island. A must for any serious birder trying to see as many species as possible on their trip. After a couple hours birding the best spots in the area, we continue our journey west where, for the next 5 magical days, we will be staying in and around the mountains and spending the mornings, afternoons and nights exploring fantastic birding sites such as Zapoten Cloud Forest, Villa Barrancoli Birding Lodge, Rabo de Gato Nature Trail, Loma Charco Azul Biological Preserve, Lake Enriquillo National Park and Cachote Cloud Forest. In the area you will be able to explore a wide variety of ecosystems, including dry forest, cloud forest, rain forest, and pine forest. These all being part of the amazing ecology found in the Dominican Republic, one of the most bio-diverse islands in the world.
After spending a few very productive and diverse days in the southwest, we return to Santo Domingo for a night and then embark on a beautiful drive northeast through the lush Oriental Mountains on our way to Los Haitises National Park, a majestic broadleaf forest dotted with huge limestone cliffs, large caves and spectacular fauna and flora unique to the area. We spend one final night together at a breath taking eco lodge located a top the limestone cliffs just outside the park, which is perfect for birding the grounds and the surrounding rainforest. Once we arrive in the area we embark on a fantastic private boat tour of the mangroves, many islands and caves in search of sea birds, shore birds and waterfowl, and while our main target species here is the rare and endangered West Indian Whistling Duck, we are sure to see a whole lot more. In the evening we head out once again to look for the mystical Ashy Faced Owl, which has a roost not far from the lodge. We spend our last morning birding in the forest and searching for one of the rarest hawks in the world, and our main target for the day, the critically endangered and localized endemic Ridgway’s Hawk. We follow that up with a delicious Dominican style lunch at the nearby village of Sabana de la Mar, which is located on the shores of the Bay of Samana and allows us to look for shorebirds before heading back to Santo Domingo for a relaxing night in the beautiful and historical colonial zone of the city which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered the first city in the New World. Once back in the city and before dropping you off, we visit a great Hispaniolan Parakeet roost in the Colonial Zone which will most likely produce the best parakeet views of the tour.
Some of the Birds We Hope to See:
Palmchat, Ridgway's Hawk, West Indian Whistling Duck, Ashy-faced Owl, Least Poorwill, Hispaniolan Nightjar, Hispaniolan Amazon, Hispaniolan Parakeet, Hispaniolan Lizard Cuckoo, Hispaniolan Trogon, Broad-billed and Narrow-billed Tody, Hispaniolan Woodpecker, Antillean Piculet, Hispaniolan Palm Crow, White-necked Crow, Antillean Palm Swift, Hispaniolan Oriole, Golden Swallow, Hispaniolan Pewee, La Selle Thrush, Hispaniolan Emerald, Antillean Mango, Eastern and Western Chat-Tanager, Hispaniolan Spindalis, Hispaniolan Crossbill, Antillean Siskin and many more.