Join a Small Group Tour to St Lucia with NO Single supplement or combine with the Trinidad Tour in 'Solo Travellers' month - October 2019
Join a Small Group Tour to St Lucia with NO Single supplement. October is our ‘ Solo Travellers’ month and the dates for the tour are 8th October – 15th October 2019 and can be done together with the Trinidad Tour to make a 15 day trip from the 8th October – 23rd October 2019. If you would like an even longer holiday, the tour can be extended further to include Tobago.
For this tour, your base in St Lucia will be Fox Grove Inn, a quiet and friendly 12 room boutique hotel with a large pool and first-class restaurant located on the east coast of St Lucia. Nestled on a hillside amidst lush tropical flora and surrounded by banana and coconut plantations, it boasts magnificent views of Praslin Bay and the Frigate Islands Nature Reserve. This is the perfect location for bird watching, with superb birding sites just minutes away.
Arrive in St Lucia and transfer to the Fox Grove Inn, a quiet and friendly 12 room boutique hotel with a large pool and first-class restaurant, located on the east coast of St Lucia. Nestled on a hillside amidst lush tropical flora and surrounded by banana and coconut plantations, it boasts magnificent views of Praslin Bay and the Frigate Islands Nature Reserve. The hotel is owned and managed by a Swiss/St. Lucian couple and is renowned for it’s excellent service and the quality of its restaurant. This is the perfect location for bird watching, with superb birding sites just minutes away.
A free day to relax, acclimatize and explore the beautiful surroundings. The wonderful Mamiku Gardens and Estate is a five-minute walk away. Originally acquired in 1766 by the Baron de Micoud, once governor of St. Lucia, today it is a fascinating botanical garden with over 200 varieties of plants, as well as being a hardworking banana and fruit plantation. A moderate trek along the wooded hillside discloses lovely vistas of the Praslin Bay and a wonderful opportunity to look for indigenous species, both botanical and avian.
The first of the guided tours is to the East Coast, the Quilesse Reserve and the Vieux Fort Wetlands, which is a long full day tour departing before 6.00 am with a substantial picnic breakfast. The first stop is about 25 minutes from the hotel at the coastal dry forest to look for the White-breasted Thrasher and other Lesser Antillean endemics and about an hour will be spent here. You will then proceed to the Quilesse Forest, which includes the Descartiers trail, where almost all the St. Lucia endemics can be found, including the parrot and black finch and you can also find the Rufus-throated Solitaire, the Antillean Euphonia etc. in this area. The Vieux Fort Wetlands is an area of approximately 6 acres that attracts many species of ducks, herons, sandpipers, plovers, egrets, rails and other shore birds and waterfowl. Several of these species being seasonal migrants.
The Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari is a magical and unforgettable experience and if you like, you can choose to do this trip today at an additional cost. To date, in excess of 25 varieties of these magnificent mammals have been spotted in St Lucia’s waters. The most frequently sighted of the whales are the, Sperm (45ft), the Pilot (20ft) and the Humpback (60ft). Occasionally, there are sightings of Orcas (Killer Whale 30ft) and there are large pods of Dolphin, sometimes 150 at a time. They dazzle and hypnotize with their spectacular and lively antics.
Today you will go on your second guided birding tour to the Central Rain Forest belt, which is home to a wide variety of bird species. The area contains many tree species include the l’Encens (Incense) and Poix Dioux – a delicacy for the St. Lucia parrot, whose numbers now stand at a healthy 800. The approximately 2-mile loop trail ascends to more than 1,000 feet above sea level, with a number of rest points offering fantastic views of Piton Flore to the North and the Soufriere mountain range to the West. This is a very good spot for photographing the Saint Lucia parrot. During the two hours of walking you will get numerous opportunities to see some of the island’s rarest birds, such as St. Lucia Orioles, Mockingbirds, Tyrants, Hummingbirds, Black Finch, Pewee and the world famous Amazona Versicolor, the St. Lucian parrot indigenous to the island. Feeding stations lining the trail encourage the birds to drop in.
Today you might like to take an optional tour to Soufriere. Starting with a journey of about an hour, the road meanders through banana farms, lush vegetation and quaint fishing villages to an area rich in history and has been recently given World Heritage Status. This tour includes a visit to the Botanical Gardens, Diamond Water Falls and the Soufriere Volcano, also famously known as the Sulphur Springs and the “world’s only drive-in volcano”. The road runs right up to and through the crater of the Soufriere Volcano, which is now dormant, but scientists have predicted that the volcano could erupt again in around 100 years. A tour of its bubbly, steamy sulphur springs offers a direct and fascinating lesson in the violent geology of the Caribbean Rim. There will also be an opportunity to bathe in its natural mud baths – truly nature’s spa. There are also interesting birds to be seen here and you can use that opportunity to catch up on other birds that you may have missed on other trips, like the Antillean Euphonia.
You will have another early morning start at 6.00 am, with a packed brunch for a tour to the North East Coast. The tour will return to your hotel at about 3:00 pm. This tour will give the opportunity to visit a small wetland to see the roosting and nesting egrets and herons including the black crown and yellow crown night heron within very close distance at Seraphine Point near the cruise ship terminal and the Castries Harbour. From Seraphine the tour moves to the NE via the beautiful community of Babonneau, an agrarian community which is gradually incorporating tourism and other sectors in the economic development of the community. Then from the Des Barras Ridge you will get a bird’s eye view of the Grand Anse beach, the longest and most pristine beach on the island. We gradually make our way down the very bumpy road, picking up many endemic and specialty birds, including and not limited to the House Wren (Saint Lucia Race), Bridal Quail Dove, White-breasted Thrasher etc. We finally end the NE tour with a visit to this wetlands area to look for the Mask Duck. It would be a shame to visit Grand Anse and not to walk on this beautiful, remote and pristine beach and for this reason, we will walk the beach, where we will also have the opportunity to pick up some pelagic and coastal birds. The tour will then continue on to Pigeon Island, driving through many communities in the North of the island, looking for Sandwich and other Terns along the way. The Pigeon Island Cross-way is our final stop, to look for the Brown, Mask and Red-footed Booby and other sea birds roosting on a perch at about 300 metres on the Atlantic Ocean side of Pigeon island.
Your last day may be spent relaxing around the pool, walking along the coast or watching the numerous hummingbirds and other species in your hotel’s lovely unspoilt tropical gardens before departing for the airport and your flight on to another island or back to the UK
Please note that this itinerary may change without prior notice due to weather, alterations in habitat or other conditions