Our “ultimate” private bird watching 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, you 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, all of which are highly recommended in the “Caribbean Birding Trail” website, which is an authority on the subject.
We begin from Santo Domingo with a visit to a great Hispaniolan Parakeet site in the Colonial Zone of the city, followed by a beautiful scenic drive out west to the majestic Bahoruco Mountains and Sierra de Bahoruco National Park in the southwest where, for the next 5 magical days, we will be staying at 2 fantastic birding lodges 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, 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.
For the next part of our tour we head back towards 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. The next morning we continue on a scenic drive north through the mountains on our way to Los Haitises National Park, a majestic broad leaf 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 water fowl, 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.
Package: “7 Day Ultimate Birding Package” (Southwestern and Northeastern Regions of the Dominican Republic)
***SPECIAL COVID MEASURES: In order to guarantee your well being, we are committed to the best health practices possible. Beyond our always present philosophy of small private tours which take you away from the crowds and off the beaten path, be assured that social distancing from other groups will be practiced. Team members will regularly have their temperatures taken and must wear face coverings during your tour. Also, our vehicles are thoroughly sanitized before and after every tour. If needed, tours may be cancelled up to 5 days before your tour date for a full refund of your 25% reservation deposit, or a credit towards a future tour date. Cancellations made within the 5 days prior to a tour will receive a credit of their deposit for a future tour date.
Duration of tour: 7 full days, 6 nights
Visiting: Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo (Hispaniolan Parakeet Site) – Villa Barrancoli Birding Lodge (Rabo de Gato Nature Trail, Puerto Escondido) – Zapoten Cloudforest (Northern Slope of Sierra de Bahoruco National Park) – Loma Charco Azul (La Placa, Sierra de Bahoruco National Park) – Cachote Birding Lodge (Padre Miguel Domingo Fuerte Natural Monument on the Eastern Slope of the Sierra de Bahoruco Mountains) – Los Haitises National Park (Ridgway’s Hawk and West Indian Whistling Duck site near the town of Sabana de la Mar)
Itineary: Day 1: Morning pick up in Santo Domingo to see the Hispaniolan Parakeet at a site in the Colonial Zone of the city, then leave the city and begin making our way west to the birding lodge with a brief stop in the city of Azua for lunch on route, then continue and look for Hispaniolan Palm Crow (localized endemic) along the shores of Lake Enriquillo as we drive west to Puerto Escondido and the Villa Barrancoli Birding Lodge (in the village of Puerto Escondido) and the nearby Rabo de Gato Trail for afternoon birding, followed by some night birding, after which we spend the night at the lodge. Day 2: Early start and drive up to Zapoten Cloudforest for early AM birding, then drive back down to Villa Barrancoli birding lodge for lunch, free time, then late afternoon and night birding near the lodge, then spend the night at the lodge. Night birding in the early evening. Day 3: Another day and night in the area of Villa Barrancoli. Activities for this day will depend on the species seen and still missing. We will bird at the top sites in the area and go after any species that we might have missed previously. Night birding in the early evening again. Day 4: Early AM birding at Loma Charco Azul nature trail, then look for the Hispaniolan Palm Crow at a nearby site off the shores of Lake Enriquillo (if necessary), followed by lunch on the road on the way to the Cachote birding site for afternoon birding and searching for the elusive Eastern Chat Tanager, then spend the night at the lodge there. Day 5: Early morning birding around the lodge, followed by lunch on the road back to Santo Domingo where we arrive at around 5 PM to check you in and drop you off for the night at your prearranged comfortable hotel in the heart of the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, followed by free time to explore the area and have dinner at the restaurant of your choice. Day 6: Pick up (7:00 AM) and departure from your hotel to drive 3 hours to Los Haitises National Park, once we arrive we enjoy a private boat ride through the mangroves and around the shores and small islands of the park in search of West Indian Whistling Duck and other shore/sea birds as well as visits to 2 large caves that contain many Taino Indian pictographs and petroglyphs, followed by a typical Dominican lunch at the eco lodge where we will spend the night, which is called Altos de Cano Hondo. After lunch you have free time to rest or bird and enjoy the property on your own before we go looking for the Ashy Faced Owl at around 6 PM. Day 7: Breakfast at the lodge followed by morning birding and looking for the Ridgeways Hawk and other species nearby, after which we have lunch in the village of Sabana de la Mar, then look for shorebirds nearby and drive back to Santo Domingo in the afternoon.
Package Includes: Fully bilingual, certified nature and bird watching guides*, All meals (except dinner on day 4), Comfortable transportation, 2 person shared rooms (separate beds optional) lodging for 5 nights at rustic birding lodges and 1 night at a comfortable boutique hotel in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, Snacks, Drinking Water
1 person private tour: USD $3,400 per person
2 person private tour: USD $2,100 per person
3 person private tour: USD $1,700 per person
4 person private tour: USD $1,500 per person
5 person private tour: USD $1,350 per person
6 person private tour: USD $1,250 per person
7 or more person private tour: Contact us
For larger group pricing, please contact us.
*Our guides are fully trained as bird watching guides by The Nature Conservancy and the Hispaniola Ornithological Society, and in first aid response by the Red Cross
Transportation: Packages include comfortable, private transportation to and from Santo Domingo, but other arrangements can be made. Transportation to airports is available for an additional fee. See our vehicles
Reservations: Click here for instructions on how to book this tour.