This tour consists of 7 full days of unforgettable birding in the Dominican Republic, one of the premier birding destinations in the Caribbean. On this comprehensive bird watching tour, we will visit all the top birding stops in the country giving us plenty of time to see or photograph the 33 endemic species found in the country, along with many regional endemics and local specialties.
We begin the tour by leaving Santo Domingo and beginning our journey west, with a stop along the route at Salinas de Bani, a beautiful salt pan surrounded by sand dunes and mangroves which is also considered the premier shorebird site on the Dominican Republic. After a couple hours birding the best spots in the area, we continue moving west where, for the next 5 magical days, we will be staying around the northern and southern slopes of the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park to spend the mornings, afternoons and nights exploring fantastic birding sites such as Zapoten Cloud Forest, Aceitillar, Rabo de Gato Nature Trail, Loma Charco Azul Biological Preserve, Oviedo Lagoon in Jaragua National Park, Lake Enriquillo National Park and the Cachote Cloud Forest. In this area you will be able to explore a wide variety of ecosystems, including dry forest, rain forest, cloud forest, and pine forest. These all being part of the amazing ecology found in Hispaniola, one of the most biodiverse 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. We will spend one night at a breathtaking ecolodge located a top the limestone cliffs just outside the park. Once we arrive in the area we embark on a fantastic private boat tour of the mangroves, many islands, and caves in search of seabirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl, with our main target species here being the rare and endangered West Indian Whistling Duck. In the evening we will head out once again to look for the mystical Ashy-faced Owl which has a roost not far from the lodge. We will spend our last morning searching for one of the rarest hawks in the world, the Critically Endangered and localized endemic Ridgway’s Hawk. We follow that up with a delicious Dominican style lunch at the nearby coastal village of Sabana de la Mar located on the shores of the Bay of Samana which will also allow us to look for shorebirds one last time 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, 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.