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We totalled 315 different bird species in Guatemala

We have just returned from an amazing 19 night tour of Guatemala and we are very grateful to Vivianne of MotMot Travel for arranging such a super expe..

We have just returned from an amazing 19 night tour of Guatemala and we are very grateful to Vivianne of MotMot Travel for arranging such a super experience.

On our arrival at Guatemala City Airport we were given a warm welcome from Melvin, our guide, and Edwin, our driver and while en route to Antigua, we were enthralled to see Volcan Fuego erupting spectacularly! We were assured life and property were not in danger from this volcanic eruption and so we could enjoy the show.

Our accommodation ranged from an historic hotel in Antigua, a mountain cottage, a lakeside cabin, a cloud forest cottage, a riverside cabin, a room in a private reserve, a picturesque island hotel to a modern international hotel in Guatemala City. Our accommodation had been carefully chosen for comfort, location and friendly staff. Our meals were taken either in the hotels or in picturesque restaurants with most having outstanding vistas! Our first breakfast was at Finca El Pillar after excellent birding. We ate on the terrace overlooking Antigua which lay in the valley floor below while Volcan Fuego smoked away and birds flew past!  What a way to start our birding holiday!!

While in Antigua we had time to absorb some of the rich culture of this Spanish colonial city as well as visit the surrounding area including having lunch at the Santiago Zamora Cooperative where we enjoyed a chicken Pepian and learnt the history of how and why the cooperative had been established.

Melvin is an excellent bird guide and we totalled 315 different species including many endemics and migrants. The Resplendent Quetzal gave us a fine show in the Reserve and then again in a tree right outside our cottage!  We were privileged to view the Black Cat Bird and Yucatan Woodpecker at Las Guacamayas, both rare and only occasionally seen.

The locations of Quetzaltenango and the hot springs at Fuentes Georginas are breath taking while the birdlife doesn’t fail to impress.

Las Guacamayas Biological Station, where we stayed in beautifully appointed cabins overlooking the river, gave us unparalleled views of a pair of Scarlet Macaws with one emerging from the nest in a hollowed-out tree. Meals were varied and very well prepared and presented.  Our final breakfast al fresco overlooking the river while humming birds flew past was truly memorable. A troop of Howler Monkeys bade us farewell as we travelled along the river to the village where our vehicle was waiting to return us to Flores.

Lake Atitlan was amazing.  Early one morning we stood on a look-out above the lake to see steam rising from the dormant volcanic crater that hosts the lake! Here a pair of Elegant Euphonia flew to a bush at our eye-level.

Los Tarrales Nature Reserve is a treat where we saw mammals such as the Kinkajou, White-tailed Deer and Central American Agouti and many diverse bird species including the Azure-rumped Tanager, Tody Motmot and White-bellied Chacalaca. The accommodation at Los Tarrales is very comfortable and the food and fruit juices are delicious.

Tikal National Park is awe-inspiring in the majesty and building prowess of the ancient Mayans.  Melvin is extremely knowledgeable about the Mayan culture and he certainly brought the monuments to life.  We stayed at Tikal Inn where in the evening flocks of Montezuma Oropendolas descend noisily on the trees by the rooms to roost and thankfully they sleep all through the night!! Squirrels and Coatis were frequently seen as were Spider Monkeys.

Our last birding day in Guatemala was at the Mayan site of Yaxha where on our way to the Red Hand Temple, Melvin crouched down and pointed into the thicket where we watched a Bright-rumped Attila struggling with a small vine snake.  The Attila had already killed the snake before we saw it, but the bird needed traction to tear the head off the snake.  We watched the Attila jumping about with the snake in its mouth and then suddenly it flew away.  The three of us crept into the thicket to where we had last seen the bird and there we found a decapitated snake with its tail tied in a knot around a thin branch of a bush!  The experience was really amazing and fortunately Jeff captured the action on video so we know our eyes had not been deceiving us!

Yaxha did not disappoint us either in its grandeur amidst beautiful scenery or with the animal and birdlife. A Grey Fox appeared from the ruins and walked past us quite nonchalantly.

At the entrance to Yaxha National Park where entrance fees are paid, do buy some locally made biscuits which are so yummy!

We had our last delicious lunch in a quaint thatched restaurant on the way to the airport for our flight to Guatemala City.  Even at the airport our bird watching continued as we saw several Gray-breasted Martins on a wire by the entrance door to the airport.

Melvin made sure we understood the peculiar security arrangements, where to pay our security tax and the way to the Departure Lounge.  It was sad to say farewell to Melvin and Edwin who had made our holiday so interesting, rewarding and enjoyable.  We would also like to thank our expert local guides who were Arun at El Pillar, Lester at Los Tarrales and Giovanni at Las Guacamayas. We first met Benedicto and Lily of Martsam Travel, who were our Guatemalan land agents at Rutland Bird Fair last year and it was lovely of Lily to phone us during our transfer from Guatemala City airport to welcome us to her country and we met Benedicto again in Las Tarrales where we enjoyed discussing with him the wildlife we had already seen.

Back in Guatemala City our transfer to the Radisson was waiting for us.  Our night’s stay here was comfortable and the transfer the next day to the airport was quick and efficient.

Again we would like to thank everyone involved in making our holiday so memorable and enjoyable and we look forward to a return visit to Guatemala in the near future.

(The bird list for this holiday appears in ‘Trip Reports’)

Jeff & Jill Lansdell - Feb 2017

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It was special to be in Colombia in the early days

We returned yesterday from a wonderful holiday in Colombia. First of all I believe our itinerary and the planning of the night stays was excellent.  ..

We returned yesterday from a wonderful holiday in Colombia. First of all I believe our itinerary and the planning of the night stays was excellent.  I am glad I mentioned I did not wish to travel for more than four hours in a car a day.  The travel time was often up to six hours waiting for lines to be painted in the middle of the road or cows crossing not to mention the traffic especially in Bogota.   What a city of 9 million not to have a metro of some kind! In Bogota itself we had a very good guide and the Museum of Gold will always be remembered. Our trip to Guatavita Lake was excellent – now there is a good path.  Personally the Salt Cathedral rather touristy!

Villa de Leyva is outstanding, the huge square and the hospitality at Hotel Casa Terra was perfect 11/10.  I am glad we only drove to Honda – Hotel Posadia Las Trampass another excellent small hotel.   Honda has much history, being the old port.   The Manager, Angela, took us to her boss’ huge farm, 7000 ha, for a walk along a river, crossing it four times on foot!  This is a great cattle ranch and we met the owner.  Great experience.  The Coffee triangle is well worth while, the great rolling hillsides, so very green.   The visit to Tinamu Natural Reserve we very much enjoyed.   Again, Salamina another lovely hotel and we enjoyed the visit to St. Felix.

Time rolled on.  Medellin was a very good experience.  We managed to work out the sky train and travelled one length of the city on the line to the other – a good way of seeing any town.   We even connected up with a cable car ride.   I am glad we had two nights in the city visiting the historical village of Guatape and Penal Rock – excellent.   Flight to Santa Marta went well and Villa Maria gave us a good taste of the National Park even if the park is closed currently due to too many visitors.

Finally Cartagena – what a wonderful completely walled town.  It reminded us of Dubrovnik.   Enjoyed the visit to the Rosario Islands but we will always remember our last day to visit the village of La Baquilla, and the school.   The children greeted us with some freshness and smiles. The punting trip on the shallow lake to the beach, through the mangroves was excellent, much wildlife.   The lunch on the beach cooked by a local was delicious.   This trip was definitely off the usual tourist route, neither our guide or driver had been there before.

All very well planned and much enjoyed. As I mentioned at the beginning a wonderful holiday and thank you for organising it for us. Atlanta in the US is only 5 hours flying time away and tourism will increase dramatically in the very near future. It was special to be in this country in the early days. We met no other UK visitors.

Elizabeth Coatsworth - February 2017

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Everyone in St Lucia was very friendly and helpful and it was really relaxing

It was a fantastic holiday. The first three days birding with Vision were really good; saw nearly all the species on my list-to see. We were too early..

It was a fantastic holiday. The first three days birding with Vision were really good; saw nearly all the species on my list-to see. We were too early for the rufous nightjar which was a shame and the masked duck has disappeared from its more accessible places due to previous droughts, so the north east/west trip was another early start, but we saw all the species endemic to the island.  The Fox Grove was excellent, especially the swimming pool when we got back in the afternoon from three 6am starts to go birdwatching. It was really nice sitting on the terrace eating our dinner as sun went down (unfortunately hotel faces east!).

Anse Chastanet was like being on another planet but the beach was very relaxing and you could see loads of fish right by the beach so was good snorkelling for both us who are not very good swimmers. No whales or dolphins on the whale trip (we were disappointed not to see the latter especially as we thought they were almost certain) but we did see flying fish and jumping tuna. Everyone was very friendly and helpful and it was really relaxing. I can’t remember sitting on the beach so much just reading or looking out to sea. We had some showery mornings but it was generally hot to very hot. The food was excellent and we found we didn’t need lunch as breakfast was so plentiful. We ended up in a standard room despite the run of house but the place seemed to be full.

 

Nick & Diane

Nick & Diane Carter - January 2017

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Dominica is an incredible place with extremely friendly, welcoming people

We would just like to say that from the remit we gave you, you selected 4 very different, but appropriate, hotels, all of which we thoroughly enjoyed...

We would just like to say that from the remit we gave you, you selected 4 very different, but appropriate, hotels, all of which we thoroughly enjoyed.  The tours were excellent, as were the guides.

There were many highlights on this trip, but perhaps the most memorable was the hike to Boiling Lake, with our fantastic guide Jeffrey Charles. The hike took us around 7 hours, including a lunch stop at the Boiling Lake itself. It was tough, but well worth the effort, walking through rain forest, elfin forest, the Valley of Desolation and then the Boiling Lake. If you are planning to do any reasonable hikes, make sure you have the right footwear.   Heavy duty boots,such as you would wear in the UK, will protect your ankles and keep your feet dry, but do not have sufficient grip for these hikes. Far better to use lighter weight boots/shoes with sticky soles!

We feel that our holiday did benefit local people – Dominica relies heavily on tourism. All our hotels were small and locally owned, employing local people. We used local guides etc and bought items made by the Kalinago in the local area. In terms of reducing environmental impact, it is difficult to do this when you take a long haul flight to your destination, but we did take water bottles with us which we refilled and our hotels mostly provided food locally grown/obtained with minimal food miles. We hope that the site passes purchased to enter the National Parks went some way to supporting conservation in Dominica.

This was a fantastic holiday organised by Motmot travel. Dominica is an incredible place with extremely friendly, welcoming people. Despite nearly 2 weeks there, we feel we have barely scratched the surface of this beautiful island and would dearly like to return. Now we just need to save for our next trip!

 

Stan and Jen Cobon - January 2017

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Guides who are genuine, caring, and knowledgeable

Thank you for a great trip to St Martin and Anguilla. I did not think it was possible but our 5th trip with MotMot was the best yet. We continue to re..

Thank you for a great trip to St Martin and Anguilla. I did not think it was possible but our 5th trip with MotMot was the best yet.

We continue to rely on MotMot for three reasons:

  1. Your knowledge of what type of accommodation suits us   e.g. the Ferryboat Inn is simple, needs a little refurbishment but suits us 100%.
  2. You know what type of tours we are interested in – the one day tour to Anguilla was excellent.
  3. You have access to fantastic people like Iija Botha (St. Marteen), Jacqueline Cestro (Anguilla) and Hannah Maddan (St. Eustatius) who are genuine, caring, and knowledgeable.

 

 

Samuel Ritchie - Jan 2017

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A well organised trip to the Caribbean

Thank you for such a well organised trip to the Caribbean. We saw and photographed lots of birds which was the main purpose of the visit. ANTIGUA R..

Thank you for such a well organised trip to the Caribbean. We saw and photographed lots of birds which was the main purpose of the visit.

ANTIGUA –  The apartment was nice and we enjoyed the air conditioning.  We found the Coconut Cove restaurant to be quite expensive but the food was very good. Our birding guide Junior was very helpful and knowledgeable.

BARBUDA – We were taken on a tour of Barbuda which was quite interesting and then went by boat to see the Frigate birds which was amazing. The barbecue on the beach was very good but again we found it was too hot so kept in the shade. The trip wasn’t specifically for bird watching most of the people weren’t really interested in birds so we didn’t get a chance to see any other birds there.

MONTSERRAT- We enjoyed the flight to Montserrat and were welcomed by Scriber.  We were taken to Portsmouth with a police escort to see the devastation caused by the volcano. They have lost half the land on the island.  Scriber then took us on a birding trip and we saw and photographed lots of birds. We found Scriber to be very knowledgeable and a pleasure to be with.

DOMINICA  –  We were welcomed most warmly by Ken to Calibishie Cove. He couldn‘t have been more helpful and couldn’t do enough for us.  It’s a beautiful place and the food was excellent. The only downside was no air con, tv or bar so there was nothing to do once it got dark. In fact we went to bed at 8.30 pm on the first night!!! There were lots of beautiful humming birds right below our balcony so I took lots of photos.  Dr Birdie took us out for the day up the mountain to see the parrots and blue headed humming bird which we did see. We had a trip up the Indian River in a rowing boat but it poured with rain and we got a bit wet!!

ST LUCIA –  We loved the Fox Grove Inn and Esther was so friendly and helpful.  The food was excellent and the pool was lovely to cool off in after a days birding. Willow our guide was excellent and we really enjoyed our days with him and he managed to find us lots of birds.  It would have been nice to have had air con again but the fan was quite good.

Overall we were very pleased with the organisation and we were very well looked after everywhere we went.  Thank you for arranging everything for us.

Margaret & Cedric Clifford - Dec 2016

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Liked the relaxed attitude to birding – ie – not all day, every day

All arrangements in St Lucia worked really well thank you. Fox Grove  – a lovely place to stay. Made extremely welcome by Esther. Had a lovely ..

All arrangements in St Lucia worked really well thank you.

Fox Grove  – a lovely place to stay. Made extremely welcome by Esther. Had a lovely room with corner balcony and great views

Birding with Willow was great. Always on time and so diligent in trying to find those elusive birds.  Charming company. Only suggestion I have, is that a birding list of species available in St Lucia would be very helpful. The bird books tend to cover many islands, and if not careful you can think you have seen something that doesn’t visit St Lucia.

East Winds Inn – was simply amazing. We don’t normally choose all inclusive, but their idea of all inclusive was great. Simply whatever you want, whenever you want it. If we ever need simply an R&R break, it is the place we would choose. Glad we opted for their “basic” room, it was much more than we expected and can’t see the need to upgrade. Really appreciated your help re the return transfer. I had made 2 approaches to them to confirm, but they just couldn’t understand (despite your voucher)that although they had not provided the inward transfer they were providing the outward.

We had lots of rain, as in fact they had had throughout November. Not a great problem, as short and sharp, but would probably go after Xmas on a future visit.

Thanks again for all your help. Liked the relaxed attitude to birding – ie – not all day, every day.

Susie Jerman - Nov 2016

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Nature is beautiful, and the guides very knowledgeable

We definitely enjoyed our trip to Jamaica! We had a lovely time. I’m happy to reflect on some of our experiences with you. First of all, we loved Su..

We definitely enjoyed our trip to Jamaica! We had a lovely time. I’m happy to reflect on some of our experiences with you.
First of all, we loved Sussex Great House. These are the places that we love very much. The environment, and the area were very nice. Also the people of the house were very lovely. Very nice, flexible and the food was very good. We enjoyed our stay there very much.
Also Wendy Lee as a birding guide, so nice. This lady is a very friendly, animal loving women. She is good for birders like us. We are birders, but definitely no twitchers. She understood our needs, and is also very knowlegdeable about all nature. Nice days we spend with her.

Than, the Mockingbird Hotel was also very nice. The people are very flexible and give good advise. They are much more adjusted to tourist than the Sussex house, which is more a Bed and Breakfast. The downside of the Mockingbird I found the price of the drinks. It was quite expensive (i.e.U$6.50 for a fresh juice).
It was good that you refunded the Rio Grande, we didn’t do it. The river was very high (we saw it was rough), and the water was brown instead of clear. We did’nt dare to go on the raft with our expensive equipment. The birding sites were very nice. Nature is beautiful, and the guides very knowledgeable. Unfortunately there was a lot of wind which birds don’t like. But birding is always unpredictable.

So, over all: we had a lovely time! The weather was good, not a lot of sun and quite some wind. But there had been a lot of rain the last weeks, so we were lucky to have had almost all dry days.
Thanks again for arranging evrything. All was arranged very well. We enjoyed it very much. And we definitely keep you in mind whenever we want to go to the Carribean again. You offer really nice holidays that fits our needs completely.

Cindy & Arno - Nov 2016

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People in Dominica were very friendly and helpful

Dominica All three hoteliers/Guest house proprietors in Dominica were very friendly and helpful in many ways, including with transport. More specifica..

Dominica
All three hoteliers/Guest house proprietors in Dominica were very friendly and helpful in many ways, including with transport.

More specifically:
The location at Calibishie Cove was very pleasant with some walking from the house. Ken went out of his way to be helpful. Whilst the food was relatively simple it was very enjoyable and excellently cooked.
The tour with Jenner was interesting and absorbing, so much so we possible did not leave enough time to see the falls that were listed.
The birdwatching with “Dr Birdy” went well considering that we were in the middle part of the day when the birds are less active and it rained quite a bit. We still were able to see several species previously unknown to us.

Cocoa Cottages This was a novel house and very individual. Iris was kind and helpful and despite being a vegetarian herself provided us with an interesting range of foods that were enjoyable. She also transported us to various interesting places, such as the nearby Trafalgar falls and the Botanical Gardens at Roseau with its magnificent trees and a live cricket match, as well as on to our next stay. The whale watching was a good way to see the coast from the sea and whilst we saw no whales we were entertained by the many Dolphins that played around the bows of the boat.

Beau Rive was in many ways the top of the list for all round quality. Mark Steele was a kind impressive person and nothing was too much trouble for him (except that he could not bring himself to stop apologising for anything, even if it was not his responsibility).  Some of the food was of particular merit, especially the pastry. He took us to the airport and when our departure flight with LIAT was delayed he transported us to a good restaurant and arranged for them to get us transported back to the airport in time for the new flight time (which in turn was cancelled!!!).

Antigua
After the relatively quiet rural ambience of Dominica (disturbed mainly by the sound of the sea braking on the rocks) English Harbour was more purposeful but a beautiful historic location. The Admiral’s Inn was like a more agreeable American hotel in its operating style, especially the over polite responses of the staff such as “Thank you – You’re welcome” repeated every time, and the high prices. It was a good place from which to explore on foot, which we did despite losing a day from our stay due to LIAT!

General
The overall impression of the holiday was good. We thought that the bird watching everywhere was a little disappointing compared with T&T or Costa Rica. Also, houses with cats tended to have fewer birds in the gardens.

 

 

Alan Parry - Nov 2016

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Saw some amazing birds, wildlife and scenery

Firstly, thank you for all your help, time and patience in organising the holiday. It was largely meeting you at the bird fair which made us book the ..

Firstly, thank you for all your help, time and patience in organising the holiday. It was largely meeting you at the bird fair which made us book the holiday as you were so friendly and informative. 

Hope the following feedback is useful: 

TRINIDAD
Asa Wright – an amazing place, surpassed all expectations. Loved the environment and the beautiful view from the balcony looking down the Arima valley. Paul loved it – birds incredible, but also as a non birder, I too just loved the whole atmosphere. The guides were friendly and informative. Food great and enjoyed the social aspect of all the guests sitting together to eat. Rum punches whilst sitting on the balcony – a must! All the excursions were great and the guides/drivers looked after us well.
See Paul’s birding trip report for greater detail. 

Anise – one word – AWESOME!
Staff really friendly – Donna, Margaret and Neville so warm and welcoming  – they treat you more like friends than guests. It is a gem of a hotel and you can tell that the staff love it and are proud of it, in turn they really care for the guests and want them to have the best experience ever (which we did). Food was like fine dining. Thank you so much for recommending this hotel!
Only one point to make was that Paul didn’t prebook a trip from Anise to see Piping Guan so asked Anise to organise (without checking price beforehand!). He went with local guide Nicholas and thought it was a bit pricey at 975 TT dollars for a morning birding. He wished he had pre booked through you.

TOBAGO
The flights, transfer etc all worked well.
Susan and Lesley-Ann were waiting to greet us and were very friendly and welcoming. Lesley-Ann did transfer to Blue Waters for both us and Julia and Paul. We all found her to be just lovely – an asset indeed!

Blue Waters
Location was wonderful, often had beach to ourselves. Food very good. Loved the rooms being close to the beach and going to sleep hearing the sea. We would say the only downside is the attitude of some staff – they seemed to need coaxing into being friendly, felt at times that they resented being there! Also disappointingly the pool turned green and was out of bounds for 3 out of 5 days which was a shame. These negatives didn’t detract from our stay but wanted to offer you our honest feedback.
Trip to Little Tobago very enjoyable with guide Randy – he was a real comedian! Newton George was very good and Paul appreciated his expert local knowledge.
One thought Julia had was for us non birders/wives, Lesley Ann would be a great person to do an island tour without the birds! Perhaps include a tour round Scarborough etc. Lesley-Ann had kindly stopped at a wonderful chocolate shop on the way to the airport on our request wanting to take Tobago chocolate back home! Her knowledge of the whole island and friendly nature would make her an ideal person to do such a tour! We wished we had thought of it while we were there! 

Hope this feedback is useful, we really did enjoy our holiday and saw some amazing birds, wildlife and scenery.
Thanks to you all at MotMot.

 

Paul & Rachel Varney - Nov 2016

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Cuba is an absolutely fascinating country

Cuba is indeed an absolutely fascinating country and we had a most enjoyable time. Each day brought new, interesting, absorbing experiences but I will..

Cuba is indeed an absolutely fascinating country and we had a most enjoyable time.

Each day brought new, interesting, absorbing experiences but I will highlight a few:

1)The warm and very personable service and hospitality at the Casa Neuva Vida in Playa Larga.

We were very pleased that this on our itinerary. The playa itself was wonderful.

2) The excellent Casa Casona in Trinidad. It was a unique place and so conveniently located for the town.

3) The amazing Che monument and museum in Santa Clara

4) Havana itself and the brilliant music that welcomed you on the streets at most of the restaurants.

I could go on but I will conclude with our sincere thanks to you for putting together this absolutely amazing trip for us.

 

 

 

Ken Dias - Nov 2016

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Birthday at the top of Kaieteur Falls

The holiday went very well, We had an excellent time and had no problems. The stay at Asa Wright centre in Trinidad was as good as ever. We had some v..

The holiday went very well, We had an excellent time and had no problems.

The stay at Asa Wright centre in Trinidad was as good as ever. We had some very good bird watching with good guides and found and took photo’s of most of the species. The centre was quiet and there were only 2 other people staying.

We received excellent service from Wilderness Explorers in Guyana. We were given a very good briefing at the start of the tour and the planning they had done in advance ran very smoothly and was faultless.

A lovely touch was that they had arranged for Pauline to celebrate her birthday at the top of Kaieteur Falls and had provided a chocolate cake with candles.

The lodges and guides were excellent we were the only visitors staying at each one. The weather in Guyana was very dry and this reduced the numbers of birds we found but we still enjoyed it. Overall we could have done with an extra day at Rock view and extra days at Karanambu Lodge. The highlight for all of us was the stay at Karanambu lodge this is a special place. The most disappointing was the lack of birds at the Atta Canopy Walkway none found on the 2 hour morning visit (probably due to the dry weather).

Thank you once again for organising the trip.

Peter, Barbara, Robbie and Pauline – Nov 2016

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Dominica for the countryside Grenada for the gardens

We had a wonderful time in Dominica & Grenada. On balance I think we preferred Dominica for the countryside but the gardens we visited in Grenada ..

We had a wonderful time in Dominica & Grenada. On balance I think we preferred Dominica for the countryside but the gardens we visited in Grenada were a highlight of the trip too. Everyone we met was cheerful, polite & helpful.

Ken & his staff at Calibishie Cove couldn’t have been more welcoming. The guest house is comfortable, quiet & in a lovely location. We ate there & the food was simple but very good. It was most entertaining watching Ken’s builders put up the new gazebo in the garden! I’m sure that it will enhance an already lovely place. Ken himself took us to the village, the Red Rocks, Pointe Baptiste etc. That was really kind of him.

We didn’t see any whales or dolphins on our whale watching trip! Apparently that was unusual though I know that other clients have had the same experience. I think that should perhaps be mentioned? I know that wildlife won’t perform on request but it’s quite an expensive trip if there’s a reasonable chance of not seeing anything.

Beau Rive & Mark were delightful. Again, we were made very welcome. I loved our room with the double doors opening on to the veranda & the view across the gardens & to the sea. It really felt like staying in someone’s home. Good food again.

Our bird watching trip with Dr Birdy was terrific. So interesting & I’d recommend it – even to clients who wouldn’t consider themselves “expert birdwatchers”.

I’d recommend the book “Black & White Sands” by Elma Napier. Set in the 1930s when the family moved to Pointe Baptiste, it’s so interesting & gives another perspective on the island, independence etc.

The transfer between Dominica & Grenada was a pain. I have sent a complaint to Liat but to date have heard nothing. Basically due to them deciding to make an unscheduled detour to St Kitts we missed our connecting flight from Barbados to Grenada & had to spend 7 hours in the airport waiting for the next flight. Effectively we lost half a day’s holiday (plus of course the half day we spent in the hotel in Antigua). Anecdotally, Liat are notorious for fight changes, delays, losing luggage etc, hardly selling points. However I think it would be fair to clients to suggest they go with an open mind about when they may arrive (or not) at their destination!

La Sagesse was lovely. We stayed in the main house & our room was large & comfortable. It was great being right by the beach. Again, good food.

The garden visits were terrific. It was so nice to be shown around by the owners & to talk about the plants & so on. We were made so welcome.

We joined another 2 visitors on a birdwatching trip with Jerry  (Anthony Jeremiah). Caroline had booked him separately from the UK & invited us to join them. Again, thoroughly enjoyable.

Petite Anse was great too. Bigger than the other guest houses but still very quiet. I loved our chalet & the view.

I’d say that unless you want to walk a lot, then you need to be willing to pay for taxis to get around. We were told that driving is ok & the roads are relatively quiet but tend to be narrow, unlit, twisty & not in great condition. We used taxis/tours during the day as necessary & chose to eat in the hotels.

Geraldine & Andrew Calvert – May 2016

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Very happy with our holiday

We were very happy with our holiday and had a really great time, seeing all of the endemics and most of the other birds that we wanted to see.  The g..

We were very happy with our holiday and had a really great time, seeing all of the endemics and most of the other birds that we wanted to see.  The ground arrangements were generally delivered  to a high standard. We would certainly recommend Motmot Travel.

David Cohen – Apr 2016

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Leatherback Turtle nesting was the highlight

We did have a lovely time. All the trnsfers worked very well and everyone was very nice to us. La Sagesse was a particularly nice place to stay and ..

We did have a lovely time. All the trnsfers worked very well and everyone was very nice to us. La Sagesse was a particularly nice place to stay and the food was excellent and we enjoyed our days out. We got Caribbean Horizons to book us onto a trip to see Leatherback Turtle nesting, which was the highlight.

I was interested that on St.Vincent there are actually a couple of companies specialising in taking people hiking to see wildlife (and certainly the guide who took us was very knowledgeable) but on Grenada the only person who seems to know their stuff is Jerry and he only guides at weekends. So I felt that was a gap in the market in Grenada as it would have been good to walk in the rainforest with someone who knew some Natural History.

The Sugar Apple Inn on Bequia was a very pleasant hotel and the staff were absolutely delightful but perhaps it might have been slightly better to be on Lower Beach or by the town – we hadn’t expected to find it too hot to walk or bus much! That’s just a comment, not a regret – we enjoyed it all very much. We were well and truely Liated on the way back – they managed to make us miss the BA flight. But we had a night on Barbados (in an average hotel) and then a night on St.Lucia in a really lovely place so apart from being a bit stressed and a lot of hanging about in airports in some ways it was a bit of a bonus!

Caroline Crook – Apr 2016

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Felt at home there

Thank you all at Motmot for organising our recent trip to St Lucia and Grenada. All the travel arrangements worked perfectly with everything smooth an..

Thank you all at Motmot for organising our recent trip to St Lucia and Grenada. All the travel arrangements worked perfectly with everything smooth and on time. We particularly enjoyed the transfer by LIAT from St Lucia via Barbados to Grenada. We were pleased with our three hotels and their locations. There are just a few comments we would like to make:

St. Lucia

Esther at Fox Grove Hotel  was very welcoming and most helpful. We were extremely comfortable and felt at home there and appreciated our corner room with wonderful views. The meals were excellent. ‘Wildlife Ambassadors’ guided tours were interesting and informative and our guide, Vision occasionally strayed off course according to our interests. A little more wildlife walking would have been beneficial. Our transfers in St Lucia were always on time but maybe a hire car at Fox Grove would be useful if you wanted to brave the driving! We did use the local bus into Castries which was an experience and perhaps could be promoted more. Esther seemed a little surprised that we were even attempting it. We were very sad to leave St. Lucia.

Grenada

Compared with St Lucia, Grenada is not particularly set up for birdwatching. Sadly, we did not become aware of a good birdwatching site in the north of the island at Levera Pond until our last day, likewise the site to see the rare Grenada dove. None of our guides or hoteliers knew anything about the birds on the island and whilst we enjoyed our tours we were a little disappointed that we seemed to have missed so much birdlife.  The visits to the gardens on Grenada were most interesting with two excellent hosts who were so keen to show us their gardens but again, we were a little disappointed to visit only two. (three if you count a visit to a commercial spice garden but by this time, we were ‘spiced out’!) We would have appreciated a second day of garden visits. The guides provided by Caribbean Horizons were good and friendly, especially Kenny, but perhaps not as welcoming as those on St Lucia.

Blue Horizons provided excellent accommodation and beautiful, well kept grounds but the eating areas lacked atmosphere. At first, we thought food at Blue Horizons was expensive but later realised it was average. Again, we used the local bus into St George’s, another taste of local life.

We were pleased to have stayed at La Sagesse, especially in an upgraded room as maintenance work was being carried out to the rear of the hotel. The location was perfect and the owners were hospitable and helpful. Again, they knew nothing about the birds. They were aware that many guests seemed to come for the nature in the area and let us borrow helpful notes made by a previous guest. Meals were good and the whole hotel was spotlessly clean.

These comments are not meant to be criticisms in any way. They are merely observations. We had a wonderful trip which will stay in our memory for a long time. Many thanks for your organisation.

Sheran and Richard Cory – Apr 2016

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Wish Grenada was 5 hours flying time nearer the UK!

We had a lovely holiday in Grenada and were very pleased with our choice of the Calabash and the Garbutt family who run it.  The trips you organised ..

We had a lovely holiday in Grenada and were very pleased with our choice of the Calabash and the Garbutt family who run it.  The trips you organised for us were excellent and we greatly enjoyed all of them.  We felt you’d chosen particularly good local partners for the trips and the drivers we met were knowledgeable, approachable and friendly.

Overall a very enjoyable holiday – wish Grenada was 5 hours flying time nearer the UK!!!!

We’d certainly approach you as a Company again and are considering a repeat performance.

SB - Feb 2016

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Well balanced itinerary with plenty of trips and relaxation.

Having just returned from Trinidad, Tobago and Guyana we would like to say that we had a really marvellous holiday. The itinerary was well balanced wi..

Having just returned from Trinidad, Tobago and Guyana we would like to say that we had a really marvellous holiday. The itinerary was well balanced with plenty of trips and relaxation.

I will make a few comments on our experiences but would like to say that these are not complaints- rather comments on how we found everything.

Asa Wright – wonderful viewing balcony, excellent guides, interesting night walks and the stunning roosting of the scarlet ibis and trip to the oilbirds. We thought the food was adequate- if you didn’t arrive in time it was cold- and everybody rushed their meals down rather fast due to the staff wanting to hurry. Some restaurant staff were cheerful and others not.

Georgetown Guyana – We found the hotel charming and the food excellent. The guide who took us round Georgetown was brilliant- delightful man with so much knowledge we could have listened to him all day.

We loved Guyana- the small aircraft ride to the Kaieteur falls and onto Baganara island was just fantastic- we enjoyed every moment.

Baganara – it was hard to find out who to ask for  housekeeping, trips out, sporting activities. Very laid back and charming but sometimes hard to sort things out. After a few days we got the hang of it. On the last night the staff put on a special dinner for the three of us on the beach with candles and flowers- very touching.

We found the boat rides to Bartica and Marshall falls excellent. We returned to Georgetown by air rather than overland as per itinerary. We didn’t mind this as we had spent a lot of time in boats already.

Castara Retreat – Well, what can we say- probably the best view in the world and wonderful accommodation. The food in the restaurant was more pricey than town but absolutely excellent. Porridge arranged a trip into Scarborough so we could enjoy the carnival.

Blue Waters – A bit of a disappointment after Castara. Beautiful location but not much ambience. When the tide was high there was virtually no beach.

We were extremely taken by the rather lovely Jason who was a very knowledgeable guide!!!!

We had a lot of drivers- all of whom were good apart from the taxi that took us to Castara, Blue Waters and the airport. He was an extremely erratic driver, called Ferris, or else there was a problem with the suspension. Either way we found these journeys very uncomfortable.

So- there we have it! We fully appreciated that we were in the Caribbean and enjoyed the quirky nature of it all! Thank you for arranging a great holiday- we have already recommended you to others.

Sue and Bernard Wyld – Feb 2016

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You listened to who we are

Thank you for setting up a week that had everything we asked for:  a small quiet hotel in a beautiful setting, Esther and her staff were so gracious,..

Thank you for setting up a week that had everything we asked for:  a small quiet hotel in a beautiful setting, Esther and her staff were so gracious, the accommodations and cuisine impeccable, we wanted for nothing.  Our two guides on the birding excursions–Vision and Willow–gave us three days of high quality, knowledgeable service.  But it really all happened so perfectly because you listened to who we are and what we did and didn’t want and delivered a terrific package.

I’m sure we’ll be back to you for more adventures.

Bill & Jody Beers - Jan 2016

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Such a lovely island to walk around and people are so friendly

  We had an absolutely wonderful time in St Lucia. Both hotels were very nice and we enjoyed the bird trips very much. Our guide for the trips yo..

 

We had an absolutely wonderful time in St Lucia. Both hotels were very nice and we enjoyed the bird trips very much. Our guide for the trips you organised (Vision) was excellent. He was helpful and courteous, and had huge knowledge about the history of the island as well as other plants and wildlife. We also saw – with his help – 46 different birds -including the St Lucian parrot. So we were thrilled.

We have visited the Caribbean before – so we are always prepared for things not always going to plan. You may recall we asked for a quiet room at La Haut resort – and I think we ended up with the noisiest room on the whole site. But we asked to move the following morning, and we were able to get a much better room after that. I did feel that few of the staff at La Haut actually ever spoke to each other – although of course they were all individually lovely. We had another slight issue when we rashly booked a trip on the rum tour through the hotel – and they got the day wrong for the main tour. We still managed a reasonable day out (and had a lovely driver that day also) – but it was another example of slight breakdowns in communication.

We did find the costs of tours at the hotels exorbitant, and we certainly didn’t do more than one through them. It was so easy to find and book taxis in Soufriere – often half the price of the La Haut prices. I would advise all your guests to avoid the hotel tours – particularly when they can’t get the arrangements correct in any case. With hindsight, I wished we had booked Vision for a fourth trip in our second week – he was so good.

Of course the position of La Haut could not be beaten – it must have the best view on the whole island – and a very nice and reasonably priced restaurant. We did go for lunch and snorkelling at Anse Chastanet – and that was so expensive (the beers are three times the normal price), that we were very pleased we weren’t staying there. Dinners at Anse Chastanet might just have broken our budget, and once you were there you were pretty much stuck. La Haut is in a much better position. We also enjoyed lunch and a walk around Fond Doux on one day. I also would very much recommend people use the local buses – all good fun.

We very much enjoyed the Fox Grove Inn, and walked quite a bit on our own in the hills around the hotel. Esther and Louis were delightful. Esther was always quietly attentive – and the food there is terrific. We particularly enjoyed the New Year’s dinner!

So overall – a very good time was had. One day maybe we’ll return and write a walking guide to St Lucia. I can’t help but think they are heading down a road of relying entirely on the big cruise ships, and hotels and tours which cater to them, but which `bypass` local people and their businesses. It’s such a lovely island to walk around and people are so friendly – but it’s not easy to do it on you own, without always having a guide or a driver tagging along. We did just about manage this ourselves – but I feel we could have done more, if only everything wasn’t so focused on tours etc. etc.

Lynn Crowe – Jan 2016

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Wonderful scenery, flora and fauna, people

Firstly, thanks for organising everything, it all worked very smoothly. We both loved the island- wonderful scenery, flora and fauna, people, and sta..

Firstly, thanks for organising everything, it all worked very smoothly. We both loved the island- wonderful scenery, flora and fauna, people, and staying in three hotels and with two of visions tours we felt we saw a good deal of it without feeling worn out travelling.

We liked all three hotels. Ti kaye was a fabulous place to start with it’s amazing views. We enjoyed the beach, a very good snorkelling tour, the exercise room and chilling out in the lovely room and on the balcony. The food was very good indeed and the staff very helpful and friendly. It seemed to make an effort to be sustainable also, which we like. If I was being critical, I guess I would agree with those who say the restaurant is very expensive , and you don’t really have much other choice. But the food is really lovely and for the start of a special trip we couldn’t have landed anywhere nicer.

Foxgrove was heavenly. Lovely atmosphere of calm and pace and quiet. It is very straightforward with everything you need and no silly frills. It was great having guidebooks, and magazines available. Esther and franz so friendly and helpful. Great food, wonderful fish and lots of choice even though we were on the meal plan. The pool is lovely, the view stupendous  and we enjoyed a couple of walks and table tennis as well as going out with vision. We did get a bit bitten there, and other guests said the same, they thought sandflies????anyway, Helen tends to react badly to bites, needs loads of piriton etc, so that was bad luck.

Fond doux cottages are as fabulous as ti kaye. Obviously your view is not of the sea, but of the rainforest, but it is truly spectacular and their gardens and plantation are gorgeous. It was so quiet that it seemed the perfect place to end up, I loved their plantation tour, and also the tet Paul nature trail- both spectacular, but really interesting. Indeed, I really liked the way everywhere you went people were proud of and knowledgeable about the island, its plants and wildlife. We learned a great deal. All the staff were very nice. My only criticism of fond doux is the food which is only OK in my view, and quite expensive. ( and like everywhere, their taxis are extortionate). We went one evening into souffriere and enjoyed wandering about, the sunset and a meal on the seafront.

You will have heard lots about Vision from others more qualified than us. He was really nice, very knowledgeable, good fun and an ideal bird guide. He was also a great driver- very safe and not sick making! one  day he brought a young colleague called Willow, who is learning the job. We liked him and would recommend him in the future also. I would, ideally, have liked to have done more walking with Vision, but that’s not really in the nature of birding.

This was a celebratory holiday for us. It lived up to our expectations.

CD - Jan 2016

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The trip was perfect for us

We had a wonderful time and really appreciate all the arrangements made on our behalf. Everybody we met in Jamaica was extremely kind and helpful and ..

We had a wonderful time and really appreciate all the arrangements made on our behalf. Everybody we met in Jamaica was extremely kind and helpful and we feel lucky to have been able to be with three such knowledgeable guides. We saw at least the 40 species and I think nearly all the endemics, but we certainly wouldn’t have been anywhere near had we not had the guides! The hotels were all very good as was the food, not to mention the wonderful Blue Mountain Coffee. The trip was perfect for us as although the focus was obviously the bird watching, we really did enjoy the other ‘tourist’ trips especially the river rafting on the Rio Grande and a dip at Reach Falls.

Thank you again for making all the arrangements. We feel very lucky to have had such a wonderful holiday and would certainly come back to you if we would like to visit another Caribbean country.

Rosamond Howard – Jan 2016

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Vision’s knowledge of birds and fauna added to enjoyment

We would like to start by saying what a wonderful time we both had in St Lucia and everything went to plan. We both came back relaxed. Fond Doux Wonde..

We would like to start by saying what a wonderful time we both had in St Lucia and everything went to plan. We both came back relaxed.

Fond Doux

Wonderful setting and very helpful staff. The food was excellent and there was always plenty of choice for dinner with the menu changing a few times during our 5 night stay. We stayed in the hilltop rooms (Coconut and Orange) and both were well presented and maintained. Our fitness improved during our stay walking up to the rooms!!

Fox Grove

Fairly simple accommodation but more than adequate. Esther and her staff made us feel very welcome and Esther in particular was very helpful in sorting out taxis and trips for us. Staying here gave us a chance to see the East Coast which we found to be a totally different experience to the West coast. Probably not quite so much to see on this side of the island but gave us plenty of time to relax and to explore ourselves on foot along the local tracks.

Vision

We had 3 trips with Vision. We would like to say what a wonderful guide he is and his knowledge of the birds and other fauna added to our enjoyment.

Motmot

Thanks for you efficient handling of the booking and advice despite the lateness of the booking.

General

While at Fond Doux we took the free taxi to Jalousie beach. The beach as a whole is a wonderful setting although the ‘public’ part of the beach to which there was free access was a bit small and felt a bit ‘pushed’ out of the way. It’s worth noting this small part of the beach is also used by passengers from cruise ships which we didn’t realise until they all started landing!! We did try getting loungers on the main part of the beach but at $US50 each we didn’t feel it was worth it. We had a much better experience at Anse de Sables (recommended by Esther) as there were fewer people and it was much easier to enjoy the surroundings and relax.

Andrew & Geraldine – Dec 2015

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Saw birds, saw sights, relaxed on the beach

We had a great holiday, all the arrangements worked perfectly. The hotel was excellent, but had a lot of steps! The ‘bird guide’ Adams Toussaint ..

We had a great holiday, all the arrangements worked perfectly.

The hotel was excellent, but had a lot of steps!

The ‘bird guide’ Adams Toussaint was great, the first trip we shared him with another tour party. We also did a couple of hotel arranged trips that were good.

I think the whole trip worked well, saw birds, saw sights, relaxed on the beach.

Stephen Wright - Dec 2015

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Wonderful memories of our trip to Jamaica

  We have wonderful memories of our trip to Jamaica. We were most impressed with the friendliness and service at all the hotels but Greencastle E..

 

We have wonderful memories of our trip to Jamaica.

We were most impressed with the friendliness and service at all the hotels but Greencastle Estate was an amazing experience and we had to leave feeling there was so much more we would like to see and do. (The weather was a bit unkind so we were not able to get about as much as we would have liked during our stay). Then on to Mockingbird which was first class. We wanted for nothing and Shireen and her staff made sure of that.

The bird guiding was of a very good standard and we achieved 26/28 Jamaican endemics plus a good many more of the other birds on the Island. The Rafting on the Rio Grande was most enjoyable as was a boat trip from Winnifred Beach to Dragon Island and the Blue Lagoon suggested by Shireen.

The transport links at Mockingbird and indeed throughout the entire holiday worked splendidly.

Thank you once again for yet another successful birding experience in the Caribbean.

Sandy and Jim Elder – Feb 2015

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Caribbean holiday was a huge success

Our Caribbean holiday was a huge success. The arrangements that MotMot made for us worked out very well. Below I give a few details. Grenada Transpor..

Our Caribbean holiday was a huge success. The arrangements that MotMot made for us worked out very well. Below I give a few details.

Grenada

Transport –  good.

Blue Horizons Garden Hotel – good, facilities – good, room – good, staff-excellent

Tours. Carriacou was excellent and the Rain Forest hike was good. Anthony Jeremiah turned up on the wrong day. He gave us an alternative that did not suit us. Joanne of Caribbean Horizons saved the day by giving another tour that suited us better.

Trinidad

This was the high spot of our 3 island vacation. We visited Yerette and Caroni Swamp and various other places off the tourist route and met with old friends and relatives and to cut a long story short, we had a good time. Banwari Experience provided comfortable transport on time. However the driver needed to be more courteous to other road users and avoid scaring his passengers.

Tobago

The high point here was meeting with Vivienne one morning at breakfast time!

Transport – good, especially the return trip to the airport.

Blue Waters Inn at Speyside. Room adequate, but not very comfortable. Facilities – OK, Staff – friendly. Restaurant could only serve as fish option endless Mahi Mahi and once Sea Bass from Asia. This was the choice when freshly caught King Fish, Red Snapper and Tuna were easily available in Charlotteville.  The sea bathing was good until the ‘sea ants’.showed up and spoiled the fun.

Tours. Birdwatching tour to Bird of Paradise Island was good.The guide was good and the duration suited us. Newton George was not our sort of guide.  Interested only in spotting, logging and moving on, he gave us no information about the birds and was not particularly open to questions.  That said, this suited the dedicated twitchers who were with us.  However, we did enjoy going into the beautiful forest reserve and touring the island.

Flights – good.

Thanks again for arranging our holiday

Kris and Erwin Ramasra – Mar 2015

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Fantastic time in Jamaica

We had a fantastic time in Jamaica.  The itinerary was extremely good and the quality of the accommodation was superb.   We were made welcome where..

We had a fantastic time in Jamaica.  The itinerary was extremely good and the quality of the accommodation was superb.   We were made welcome wherever we went and are certainly doing our bit to dispel the myth that a trip to Jamaica is only a beach destination to be enjoyed within the confines of a resort that you do not leave!

Mocking Bird Hill was the second place we stayed at on our travels through Jamaica. Sherri, the owner of this lovely place, exudes love and comfort and a welcoming space as do the rest of her team. She gave this place a feeling of being home and though again there are a lot of places you can go to and bird watch (the indigenous Jamaican owl is said to be findable in this area), which we did not- there are a lot of other things you can do. Mocking Bird Hill will organise a massage for you as well if you like and if this is something you like- then you should do it! One hour of complete bliss! This is done in an outdoor covered area but there is still a small area where you can look out of and really soak in the beauty of this place. Port Antonio is the closest town and there is a marina there where you can find Devon I-Scream house:-) The food is exquisite with each night having a 6 course option! But it’s all so moreish that you cannot help yourself but eat all of it! It is again home cooked fresh meals served by charming team who really you really couldn’t help but fall in love with:-) We got a day pass to Frenchmans Cove- a beautiful cove with the trademark clear waters of the Caribbean and white sands where there are men who catch fish freshly (with a harpoon) and sell for you to eat. the nearby restaurant will cook this for you if you ask:-) There are also the Reach River Falls close by (go with the person Sherri organises for you as you get to go the path most tourists do not) and this is an experience you will never forget! The guide was a lovely lady with amazing knowledge of the plants and animals and herbs in the area. I highly recommend this place to anyone who loves food, luxury, being pampered, beaches and adventure. There is also a swimming pool and the other guests are very friendly. We stayed here three nights and we could have easily stayed much much longer!

When we arrived at High Hope Estate, we were greeted by Ritchie- our lovely waiter for the night and next morning. Dennis then showed us around his lovely home and gave us freedom to do as we chose with his record collection or any other part of his home that we chose to rest in till we were ready for bed. There was a meditation area outside as well as a large backyard complete with swimming pool. A lot of famous people have stayed in those rooms and I am sure many more will. It is the kind of place that makes you want to go back and visit Jamaica and stay again. The food is amazing cooked by their in house cook (whose name I forget) who has worked there just over 15 years. We met Ludo- Dennis’ wife- later on as well as his 2 lovely dogs and the beautiful cat. It was a relaxing place and with the hosts/owners/staff being so welcoming it was impossible not to feel calm, peaceful and at home.

Thank you very much! We had a fantastic time in Jamaica.  The itinerary was extremely good and the quality of the accommodation was superb.  We will definitely look to return to the island again and will certainly wish to visit Sherrie at Mockingbird Hill and Dennis at High Hope.

Mika and Andrew - Apr 2014

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Jamaica was better than them all!

We have been on birdwatching holidays in Cuba, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica was certainly better than them all! Our first hotel, Forres P..

We have been on birdwatching holidays in Cuba, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica was certainly better than them all!
Our first hotel, Forres Park had such amazing views of the Blue Mountains, and we saw many birds in the hotel grounds and trails through the coffee bushes. We were very glad to have a bird guide with us at Cinchona Gardens as we saw several more endemic birds on the track approaching the gardens and in the gardens themselves. The trip to the Old Mine Trail was also very productive.
We arrived at Green Castle and could hardly believe it was the right place, it was so luxurious! Our room had views over the gardens, pool, forest then the blue sea of Annotto Bay. We were once again the only guests so were really well looked after. The area had been badly affected by Hurricane Sandy in November 2012 but almost all the excellent trails had been cleared. It was amazing to see the new growth on the trees, all the leaves had been stripped off by the wind.
Hotel Mockingbird Hill was different again, with the gardens, gourmet food and eco-friendly approach to tourism. As well as visiting Eccleston Road and rafting down the Rio Grande we made a couple of visits to Frenchman’s Cove, using the complimentary shuttle and beach passes. We enjoyed the beach, but the grounds also made it worth a visit as we saw many birds here.
Jamaica does get a bad press with reports of high crime rates. However in the Eastern part of the island, which we visited, we never felt threatened. In fact all the staff and people we met were really friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. The three places at which we stayed were so different but all excellent. The local foods were well prepared and very tasty, and varied. All the transfer arrangements were efficient, on time and with comfortable vehicles – an essential for the narrow twisting roads in the mountains, with the enormous pot holes! We had four Bird Guides, at different sites. Linden, Dwayne, Ricardo and Roger were able to find us all but two of Jamaica’s 28 endemic birds. Our outstanding memory of Jamaica is of the many people who were so welcoming and hospitable.
We would certainly recommend a visit to Jamaica to anyone wanting to move on from the other Caribbean Islands and add more endemic birds to their personal list on a comfortable, relaxing and scenic tour.

Mike and Marilyn Burge - Feb 2013

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A very memorable holiday in Guyana and Trinidad

We had a wonderful time, and would highly recommend the places we visited. Karanambu was outstanding, and Hacienda Jacana was a very nice and relaxing..

We had a wonderful time, and would highly recommend the places we visited. Karanambu was outstanding, and Hacienda Jacana was a very nice and relaxing way to start the vacation. Guyana was certainly more challenging, perhaps more than we expected from your information, but this wasn’t a difficulty for us. For your information, it is important for people to know just how basic Atta Lodge is – especially in wet weather conditions, a step above camping, and fairly ordinary food. We thought Rock View could have made more of their wonderful location and offered more extensive activities. None of this detracts from what was a very memorable holiday, with many highlights.

Mark and Miriam - Mar 2013

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Privileged to visit such a lovely place as Guyana

Accommodation in the interior was most excellent. We were expecting basic, what we got was simple, comfortable and very friendly. Food was surprisin..

Accommodation in the interior was most excellent. We were expecting basic, what we got was simple, comfortable and very friendly. Food was surprisingly good. Minor glitches as we went round amused us but didn’t seem to matter. Birdwatching in the botanical gardens was fantastic! Surama and Karanambu were both really special places. We realise very early on that we hadn’t booked enough time in Guyana and need to go back! We felt truly privileged to visit such a lovely place as Guyana and will undoubtedly return.

Jean McKell - Feb 2013

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And what interesting places Trinidad and Tobago are!

We would certainly would like to say some nice things about our travels with you in Trinidad and Tobago.  It’s a long time since myself and my husb..

We would certainly would like to say some nice things about our travels with you in Trinidad and Tobago.  It’s a long time since myself and my husband have been on a package holiday. We chose this one because we wanted a naturalist-style holiday and Motmot had been recommended by a friend.

We were not sure what to expect and were quite surprised to find that we were not part of a group, not even a small one, and were getting very personal attention. Although we were moving about, staying at four different locations in Trinidad and Tobago, all our moves and tours were carefully planned and went without a hitch  (apart from slight hitch on arrival, when we had to call our tour operator for collection).  We very much enjoyed the site seeing programme that had been arranged for us.  The specialist guides at the naturalist sites were exceptionally knowlegible and all our guides were friendly and helpful.  And what interesting places Trinidad and Tobago are.  We got a real sense that people have a great pride in their country; and why not?  It’s a beautiful country with a wonderful climate and a thriving culture.  We had the impression that money was being spent on good things…free university education; welfare services for children, employment projects for young people etc. (Lucky to have that oil revenue!)

It’s just a pity T&T are so far away; we would love to go often.  Thank you so much for arranging such a well organised and well thought out package for us.

Sabrina - Feb 2016

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Dominica for the countryside Grenada for the gardens

We had a wonderful time in Dominica & Grenada. On balance I think we preferred Dominica for the countryside but the gardens we visited in Grenada ..

We had a wonderful time in Dominica & Grenada. On balance I think we preferred Dominica for the countryside but the gardens we visited in Grenada were a highlight of the trip too. Everyone we met was cheerful, polite & helpful.

Ken & his staff at Calibishie Cove couldn’t have been more welcoming. The guest house is comfortable, quiet & in a lovely location. We ate there & the food was simple but very good. It was most entertaining watching Ken’s builders put up the new gazebo in the garden! I’m sure that it will enhance an already lovely place. Ken himself took us to the village, the Red Rocks, Pointe Baptiste etc. That was really kind of him.

We didn’t see any whales or dolphins on our whale watching trip! Apparently that was unusual though I know that other clients have had the same experience. I think that should perhaps be mentioned? I know that wildlife won’t perform on request but it’s quite an expensive trip if there’s a reasonable chance of not seeing anything.

Beau Rive & Mark were delightful. Again, we were made very welcome. I loved our room with the double doors opening on to the veranda & the view across the gardens & to the sea. It really felt like staying in someone’s home. Good food again.

Our bird watching trip with Dr Birdy was terrific. So interesting & I’d recommend it – even to clients who wouldn’t consider themselves “expert birdwatchers”.

I’d recommend the book “Black & White Sands” by Elma Napier. Set in the 1930s when the family moved to Pointe Baptiste, it’s so interesting & gives another perspective on the island, independence etc.

The transfer between Dominica & Grenada was a pain. I have sent a complaint to Liat but to date have heard nothing. Basically due to them deciding to make an unscheduled detour to St Kitts we missed our connecting flight from Barbados to Grenada & had to spend 7 hours in the airport waiting for the next flight. Effectively we lost half a day’s holiday (plus of course the half day we spent in the hotel in Antigua). Anecdotally, Liat are notorious for fight changes, delays, losing luggage etc, hardly selling points. However I think it would be fair to clients to suggest they go with an open mind about when they may arrive (or not) at their destination!

La Sagesse was lovely. We stayed in the main house & our room was large & comfortable. It was great being right by the beach. Again, good food.

The garden visits were terrific. It was so nice to be shown around by the owners & to talk about the plants & so on. We were made so welcome.

We joined another 2 visitors on a birdwatching trip with Jerry  (Anthony Jeremiah). Caroline had booked him separately from the UK & invited us to join them. Again, thoroughly enjoyable.

Petite Anse was great too. Bigger than the other guest houses but still very quiet. I loved our chalet & the view.

I’d say that unless you want to walk a lot, then you need to be willing to pay for taxis to get around. We were told that driving is ok & the roads are relatively quiet but tend to be narrow, unlit, twisty & not in great condition. We used taxis/tours during the day as necessary & chose to eat in the hotels.

Geraldine & Andrew Calvert – May 2016

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Fascinating to visit such very different islands

Thank you – we did enjoy our holiday very much.  It was fascinating to visit such very different islands and be based away from the main centres of..

Thank you – we did enjoy our holiday very much.  It was fascinating to visit such very different islands and be based away from the main centres of tourist accommodation.  It was perfect starting our holiday with the Catamaran Hotel in Antigua, with English Harbour close by to explore.  We enjoyed all the islands but our stay on Dominica at the Beau Rive was particularly special – accommodation, food and welcome were all first class.

It would be impossible for everything to be 100% perfect so in order to help future travellers it might be helpful to mention a couple of minor things, although they didn’t spoil a brilliant holiday:

Day trip to Montserrat:  We had the same taxi driver, Colin, throughout our stay, who was brilliant and picked us up promptly from the Catamaran Hotel to take us to St John’s.  When we arrived at the pier at St John’s there wasn’t anybody to meet us and Colin, who rang the office, didn’t have any further information.  We are used to being independent and sorted out our emigration/immigration paperwork whilst we were waiting, but it was unsettling.  We may have just been unlucky but I thought I should mention it.  We were met off the boat at Montserrat and enjoyed our tour of the island, which was fascinating.

Fox Grove Inn: We enjoyed our stay – the hotel is in a beautiful position with a fantastic swimming pool and we were made very welcome.

Thanks to everybody at Motmot Travel for organising our holiday as everything worked very smoothly with the international travel, internal travel, transfers and hotels.

Angela & David – Mar 2016

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I cannot recommend this holiday too highly

This is a well thought out package with a wide and varied range of activities and trips.  Our local guides were all superb: attentive, humorous, kn..

This is a well thought out package with a wide and varied range of activities and trips.  Our local guides were all superb: attentive, humorous, knowledgeable and keen to impart their love of this beautiful island.  The accommodation at each of the three places we stayed in was intimate and comfortable, each in a different way, and the food was delicious.  I cannot recommend this holiday too highly as a way to enjoy and get to know Dominica.  We think it is far preferable to hiring a car, which is stressful and even dangerous.  Dominica is a safe place, but tourists who had attempted to do their own thing by hiking to remote waterfalls, for instance, had got lost and even injured themselves badly.  None of this applies to Mot Mot’s inclusive package.

Charles M – Feb 2016

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We thought we had died and gone to heaven!

We had a really wonderful holiday and want to thank you all for doing such a fabulous job of organising it for us! We absolutely LOVED Dominica! Alici..

We had a really wonderful holiday and want to thank you all for doing such a fabulous job of organising it for us!

We absolutely LOVED Dominica! Alicia & Rick at Pagua Bay could not have done more for us and the cabanas, food and tours were excellent.

Cocoa cottages were totally unique and dreamlike. The kids slept under the stars on the swinging beds and we adored the friendly mealtimes and delicious food. The boiling lake tour and canyoning were epic and all run by lovely laid-back knowledegable guides.

The only thing we wouldn’t recommend is the ferry to St Lucia as we were all horribly seasick (as were  many of the passengers) almost all the way! It was such a shame as it is a beautiful journey via Martinique and we did see the most unbelievable humpback whale close up which made the misery a bit more worthwhile!! I guess I’d just suggest warning future travellers about this.

Anse Chastanet was a stunning spot to unwind and make the most of the beach and sea. The staff were mostly wonderful although some of the waitresses could be a little surly until we chatted to them a bit. The beach, housekeeping and reception staff were warm and thoughtful and highly attentive. The food was excellent although very expensive.

We were blown away on the last two nights when they very kindly upgraded us to Jade Mountain resort where we had two pool spa rooms. We thought we had died and gone to heaven and are still pinching ourselves!!

Needless to say returning home has not been easy but we have wonderful memories and I’m sure would like to book again with you next year after two special trips.

Sarah Morse and family – Apr 2015

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Some very good excursions

We were very pleased with our trip to Dominica and that all the arrangements worked out really well. We stayed at Picard Beach, Cocoa Cottage and Beau..

We were very pleased with our trip to Dominica and that all the arrangements worked out really well.

We stayed at Picard Beach, Cocoa Cottage and Beau Rive.

Our cottage at Picard Beach was perfectly situated by the sea with wonderful views. The staff were really kind, helpful and friendly. There was one noisy afternoon when American students from the university next door were celebrating the end of exams. But the staff warned us of this and helped by telling students to keep the noise down. The food at the restaurant was fine but there wasn’t much choice for vegetarians.

Cocoa Cottage was also very nice. However, I should say that this is not ideal accommodation for anyone with mobility problems. To reach our bathroom, we had to go down 4 steps which had no guard rail and the bottom step was uneven. This was a worry when getting up during the night. Fortunately, we had no accidents. All meals there are shared sitting round a big table with other guests. This could be fun or a bit of a strain depending who the other guests are! The food was excellent.

Beau Rive was the best place of the three and absolutely wonderful in every way.

We had some very good excursions. The whale-watching was outstanding with close views of a family of sperm whales that gathered round the boat and showed off to the passengers for two hours! The Indian River trip was also very good as was our day with Dr Birdy. We thought we would get a guided walk round Syndicate Forest but there was no guide there and the taxi driver was a quiet type who wasn’t able to tell us much. Luckily, Dr Birdy was able to show us the parrots the following day.

The trips from Cocoa Cottage were shorter and less exciting though we did enjoy Papillote and the sulphur springs and made an additional trip down to Scott’s Head.

We had an excellent visit to the Kalinago territory and a wonderful walk over Horseback Ridge thanks to Mark’s recommendation (Mark the owner of Beau Rive).

Overall, we were very happy with the trip and would certainly recommend it to our friends. Thank you for all your help and advice in setting it up.

Christine Johnson – Mar 2015

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We thought the country and its people lovely.

Yes overall we did enjoy Costa Rica. It is a beautiful country and their philosophy on the preservation of wild life is very much to be admired. We sa..

Yes overall we did enjoy Costa Rica. It is a beautiful country and their philosophy on the preservation of wild life is very much to be admired.

We saw most of the wild life ie birds and animals that we went for- so that was very much a plus.

We found all the hotels excellent, and although the food and wine were all of excellent standard, in all cases were  extremely expensive.

The organised tours that were built into our package were all very good especially the Cano Negro tour and the bird-watching and Coffee – tour at Rosa Finca.

We understand that from April BA will be flying directly to San Jose – this will be very much an improvement as Iberia by reputation and experience are  a complete pain.

We did achieve most of what we wanted to see and thought the country and its people lovely.

David Hides - Feb 2016

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Fascinating and endearing country

We had a memorable visit to this fascinating and endearing country . Havana Tours were excellent and we were very lucky to have had a very competent a..

We had a memorable visit to this fascinating and endearing country .

Havana Tours were excellent and we were very lucky to have had a very competent and pleasant driver coupled with a charming and intelligent guide who clucked around us like a mother hen and looked after our every need, the ornithologist and the bird watching were a great success in some really beautiful areas.

We really thank the whole team for organising our holiday so perfectly.

The state run hotels were, as I really thought they would be, and had accepted, a little “iffy”. The first night we couldn’t stay at the Santa Isabel , they were full ,so we were taken to Ambos Mundos, where honestly the room, bed and really dirty pillows were a slight shock after our long days travel, I think probably a little different from Hemingway’s day…. but, how pleasantly surprised we were to have our breakfast on their wonderful roof terrace, all is soon forgotten…… Apart from that “The Rancho ” was delightful and  “L’Ermita” also.

We had a little more trouble with Soroa in that the chalets seem to be full of tiny devouring insects!! They really,really could do with a bit of TLC, but please believe me,I do understand the basic situation.

We shall certainly hope to use your  “savoir faire” again in the future.

Alison Aebi – Feb 2015

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Cuba in all it’s diverse, fascinating, crumbling glory

Thank you again for organising our wonderful trip to Cuba, it was a great experience, not least because of our fantastic Cuban guide, Carlos.  We’..

Thank you again for organising our wonderful trip to Cuba, it was a great experience, not least because of our fantastic Cuban guide, Carlos.  We’ve all promised him we’d write to Habanatours to let them know how much we appreciated everything he did for us and I know he’ll be pleased if you do the same.  His full name is Carlos Raul Gonzalez Rodriguez.

Our driver, Rogelio Rodriguez (no relation) was also absolutely brilliant and always there just when we needed him.  We nicknamed him The Master of the Steering Wheel for his skill at avoiding unexpected obstacles!

Carlos really made the trip for us – nothing was too much trouble; he showed us lots of things which weren’t on the schedule along the way, such as the crocodile breeding station in the Zapata swamp, the train which chugs through the Valley of the Sugar Mills and the organic small holding outside Vinales which I mentioned.

It’s called Casa de Confianza and is perched on a hill looking across the valley.  They’ve terraced 5 hectares of what was badly eroded hillside to create the most wonderful organic farm growing 38 varieties of fruit and vegetables, including strawberries and lemongrass!  We arrived early so we could have cocktails on the verandah as the sun went down and a tour of the farm.  It’s a lovely place, Rachel and her family were a delight and the food was delicious.  Carlos had promised us a feast and he was absolutely right.  Everything they serve is grown on the farm and there was a huge variety of small dishes of different vegetables and salads together with some delicious spicy goat and melt in the mouth pork.  Very different to most of the food we had on the trip and all served with a big smile and the cry of “!Ecologico!” The house cocktail was a brilliant variation on a pina colada with lemongrass and herbs from the garden – delicious and healthy at the same time!!  I’d highly recommend that anyone visiting Vinales goes there for dinner as it was one of the best meals we had on the trip as well as being a really inspiring pioneering eco project.

Carlos quickly worked out what would appeal to us (particularly where food was concerned!) and was always happy to accompany us even when it was his day off which resulted in some very long hours for him – nothing was too much trouble and he’s also hugely knowledgable about Cuban history.  I can’t recommend him highly enough for any of your clients who want to really experience Cuba in all it’s diverse, fascinating, crumbling glory.

All the advise and recommendations you gave us when we were booking was spot on – particularly as far as the car with driver and guide is concerned as our experience would have been entirely different if we hadn’t had Carlos and Rogelio with us.

Linda Gavigan - Mar 2014

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Fascinating to visit such very different islands

Thank you – we did enjoy our holiday very much.  It was fascinating to visit such very different islands and be based away from the main centres of..

Thank you – we did enjoy our holiday very much.  It was fascinating to visit such very different islands and be based away from the main centres of tourist accommodation.  It was perfect starting our holiday with the Catamaran Hotel in Antigua, with English Harbour close by to explore.  We enjoyed all the islands but our stay on Dominica at the Beau Rive was particularly special – accommodation, food and welcome were all first class.

It would be impossible for everything to be 100% perfect so in order to help future travellers it might be helpful to mention a couple of minor things, although they didn’t spoil a brilliant holiday:

Day trip to Montserrat:  We had the same taxi driver, Colin, throughout our stay, who was brilliant and picked us up promptly from the Catamaran Hotel to take us to St John’s.  When we arrived at the pier at St John’s there wasn’t anybody to meet us and Colin, who rang the office, didn’t have any further information.  We are used to being independent and sorted out our emigration/immigration paperwork whilst we were waiting, but it was unsettling.  We may have just been unlucky but I thought I should mention it.  We were met off the boat at Montserrat and enjoyed our tour of the island, which was fascinating.

Fox Grove Inn: We enjoyed our stay – the hotel is in a beautiful position with a fantastic swimming pool and we were made very welcome.

Thanks to everybody at Motmot Travel for organising our holiday as everything worked very smoothly with the international travel, internal travel, transfers and hotels.

Angela & David – Mar 2016

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Dominica is an astonishingly beautiful country

We were delighted with our recent trip to Antigua and Dominica and wish we were still there. Thanks for putting it together for us. Everything you or..

We were delighted with our recent trip to Antigua and Dominica and wish we were still there. Thanks for putting it together for us. Everything you organised worked like a treat.

On Antigua we stayed at the Catamaran Hotel. It was in a delightful spot, on a beach close to a historic harbour. The room was comfortable, though the equipment in it could benefit from some upgrading (especially the bathroom).

Dominica is an astonishingly beautiful country and you arranged for us to see much of it. Calibishie Cove gave us well equipped, stylish accommodation in a stunning spot. The food was particularly notable – Caribbean cuisine of the highest order. The trips went as planned and gave us an insight into the rivers, the flora and the history of that part of the island. No-one can control the weather. The morning of our trip to Chaudiere Pool had been more than usually wet and this meant that we could not reach the walkway by vehicle so we had a long walk along a precipitous and muddy path. Fortunately Spanish visitors with a 4X4 rescued us!

The grounds of Papilotte were a pure delight and we were introduced to them by an enthusiastic naturalist – Marcel Flore. We enjoyed bathing in the hot pools and being massaged by  fast-flowing streams. Our visits to sulphur springs and boiling mud pools were as expected – a peek into the frighteningly active heart of the earth. The meals were good and the rooms were well kept.

We could not fault Beau Rive. It gave us some days of gracious living with a host who could not do enough to entertain us and to share witty tales about life on the island. It gave us an opportunity to discover more of the culture of some of the early inhabitants of the island.

Many thanks for giving us a memorable holiday. If we return to the Caribbean, which we are likely to do, we would certainly use MotMot again.

Peter and Joan Rule – Jan 2015

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Brilliant time in St Lucia and Antigua

We have just returned from our holiday in St. Lucia & Antigua & wanted to thank you for arranging everything. We had a wonderful time at Foxgr..

We have just returned from our holiday in St. Lucia & Antigua & wanted to thank you for arranging everything.
We had a wonderful time at Foxgrove-Esther was so eager to please especially with regard to the menu for dinner each evening. The food was very good, especially the soups! She was wonderful & couldn´t do enough for us even to the point of collecting us from the local Botanic gardens in her car, as my husband would have had difficulty climbing back up the hill. With regard to your description of the Foxgrove, I thought it might be prudent if you mentioned that it´s on a steep hill & may not be suitable for elderly or infirm people- especially as there are lots of steps throughout the property. Luckily it wasn´t a problem for Jack. We had a lovely room with superb view & balcony, the only downside being the shower which was rather antiquated and difficult to adjust to the right temperature. We didn´t have the heart to tell Esther as she was such a good hostess!
The Coconut Beach was a really good choice of yours! It was in a fabulous position right on the beach. We had a lovely big room HUGE bed & a little veranda on the ground floor overlooking  the beautiful Caribbean. Lots of green lizards visited us, and a few birds. We took a couple of trips- a taxi took us to Nelson´s Dockyard & Betty´s Hope(an old sugar plantation), and we also took a catamaran cruise around the island which was very enjoyable- especially the snorkelling.
Altogether we had a brilliant time & the weather was beautiful- heavy showers in the night in St. Lucia but sunshine everyday. Just the thing in January!!
Hoping we´ll go to the Caribbean again soon

 

Heather & Jack Murrell – Feb 2015

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A wonderful time in Colombia

We had a wonderful time in Colombia. Many, many thanks for arranging such a wonderful holiday.  Jeff and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, not only wi..

We had a wonderful time in Colombia. Many, many thanks for arranging such a wonderful holiday.  Jeff and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, not only with Luis in Bogota but also on tour with Hernan and Angel.  We were able to keep up with our Simon Bolivar odyssey right up to our very last day in Colombia! All our accommodation was comfortable and perfectly located for birding.  The food was delicious and the fruit juices out of this world.

Hernan has such a lovely personality and it was a privilege to be with such an excellent and experienced bird guide.  Our name for him of Wizard of Aves suits him perfectly!! Angel was a delight to be with.  He is an excellent driver and great fun.  I will not forget the Spanish sayings he taught me!

Jill & Jeff – Feb 2016

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Stunning scenery, lovely people, fabulous wildlife

Antony and I would like to write to tell you what a fantastic time had in Trinidad and Tobago. Thank you to everyone at Mot Mot for helping us to pl..

Antony and I would like to write to tell you what a fantastic time had in Trinidad and Tobago. Thank you to everyone at Mot Mot for helping us to plan and organise our trip, we felt that all aspects of it were very well executed – in terms of flights, meeting at airports, transfers and pick ups to get to other places.

We are grateful for your excellent co-ordinating and planning of our flight requirements, and think that it all went very smoothly.

Special mention needs to be made of Lesley-Anne the lovely lady that collected us from Tobago airport and took us to Blue waters (and back again). She was very well presented, friendly, her vehicle was spotless and very well looked after, and her driving was safe too. What a very lovely lady, and a credit to the company she drives for.

Our Trips with Newton George were excellent and we found him to be both very knowledgeable and diligent (in his search and determination to ensure we all saw fabulous birds) and very friendly too

I personally loved Mt Plasier at Grande Riviere, although not very Mozzi proof I fell in love with it’s very rustic charm, and the peace and serenity of the location and guest house was perfect for me, I found it very relaxing there. Added to which we were honoured with close up views of visiting nesting turtles and spectacular views of piping Guan with Nicholas too. Piero also introduced me to my first doubles on our drive back to the airport for our flight to Tobago – they were totally yummy!

Blue Waters was a lovely hotel in a stunning location, great standards of accommodation, and we really enjoyed our trip to little Tobago too. I enjoyed hand feeding cheeky Turnstones and fending off cheekier Chacalacas!

Asa Wright was superb, far more than expected too. The verandah is like a magnet – it’s extremely hard to pull yourself away from it! We loved the trails too, and the further excursions we took whilst at Asa were all excellent, the guides we had were knowledgeable and friendly, we particularly enjoyed our trips out Rhadoul (apologies for the likely mis-spelling!) I am frankly in awe of these guys – their hearing and eyes are impossibly keen, the bird watching is pretty challenging at times with skulky shy birds in extra thick forest, but every guide we had did a fabulous job of finding many challenging birds. The accommodation at Asa was far better than I was expecting, and relatively bug free – which was  a lovely surprise for me, as being a little bug phobic I was concerned I’d have a bit of trouble with lodges in the middle of a rain forest! I imagine it’s the sheer numbers of birds and bats that specialise in eating bugs that I have to thank for that.  We especially enjoyed the night birding trip, and were most grateful to the Asa team for re-planning our schedule and arranging for us to meet up after our day excursion on the road with the others taking this trip, to enable us to participate.

Antony and I both felt that some of the criticism we have found on websites (Trip adviser in particular) before we visited with regards to the food and accommodations at Asa is unfair and unfounded. We found the food fresh, well cooked and very tasty – not restaurant standards, but more than good home cooking, and the packed meals we had were brilliant. The best meal of our entire trip was the Chicken Roti we had on the night birding trip, eaten off the flatbed of a pick up truck, with our hands and roti bread scoops – delicious. As for the chalets, ours was clean, mostly mozzi free, comfortable, spacious, and the shower was fantastic – piping hot and powerful, the best we encountered in all the places we stayed.

My only regret is that because we had so many trips out and about whilst at Asa, we didn’t have enough time in my view to actually explore the trails at Asa more. All the team at Asa were great, friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Antony had particularly good banter with Barry with regards to Scaled pigeons, and they spent a great deal of time discussing the intricacies of photography together.

The only slight disappointment in the entire trip was the accommodation at Pax guest house. Whilst Gerard was lovely and welcoming, and the location was stunning, the room we had for the night was sub-standard. No hot water and a trickle of a shower – I accept that we arrived late and the hot water may have run out, so fair enough. However, in the morning we awoke opened the curtains and were greeted by super close up views of our first ever hummingbirds on feeders, which kind of made up for the poor bed.

All in all, we had an amazing experience, stunning scenery, lovely people, fabulous wildlife, great accommodations, and utter confidence in Mot Mot and their expert planning. Which allowed us to go and immerse ourselves in plenty of what T&T has to offer.

I am really happy that I booked with Mot Mot travel, and would highly recommend you to everyone, and should we choose to visit again we wouldn’t hesitate in booking our arrangements through you.

Nikki & Antony Marriott – Apr 2016

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We now understand the attraction of the Caribbean

We had a wonderful time ( especially myself as I’d wanted to visit ever since I’d seen Birdwatching with Bill Oddie in 1998 !) Firstly, the arrang..

We had a wonderful time ( especially myself as I’d wanted to visit ever since I’d seen Birdwatching with Bill Oddie in 1998 !)

Firstly, the arrangements all worked out very smoothly eg flights, transfers etc. The accommodation at Asa Wright was how I imagined it and was spacious, clean with a very good working shower (an absolute must as we needed showers several times a day !) We had no complaints about the food which we enjoyed very much ; was filling, varied and of course we enjoyed the omelettes ‘with everything’. The fresh pineapple and pigeon peas were wonderful ! The guides and staff were all very welcoming and helpful. Drinking rum punch on the verandah and watching hummingbirds and honeycreepers at the same time was fantastic. A ‘dream come true’. On reflection, a reminder to change some money at the airport when we first arrived might have been useful (on a 3rd trip we did stop to sample ‘doubles’ –delicious and messy-but another couple had to pay for mine as I’d not brought any TT dollars !)

The trip was full-on birding which allowed us to experience the key birding spectacles : Manakins/Bearded Bellbirds/Hummingbirds and Honeycreepers at Asa Wright; Scarlet Ibises at Caroni Swamp ; waders/shorebirds at the Waterloo Mudflats  and Oilbirds at the Dunstan Caves. The latter were extraordinary as I had seen images of them from photos and videos, however nothing had prepared me for their remarkable screeching, blood curdling calls ! ( On reflection, it would have been helpful if Charron , our guide for the day, had led the identification of the various waders and seabirds at Waterloo Flats. However, this man went out of his way to take Jane into town to have her rings, which had swelled up, cut loose, for which we are both grateful.)

The flight to Tobago and transfer to The Blue Waters Inn was excellent. The hotel was, again as we had hoped, situated directly next to the beach with the weather hot and tropical and the sea warm and bluey-green. We now understand the attraction of the Caribbean. Again, the birding was fast and furious, the highlights being the trip to Little Tobago where we encountered Magnificent Frigatebirds chasing the Laughing Gulls close into the boat which delivered us onto the island and later delighted in seeing Red-Billed Tropicbirds swirling around the rocky cliffs where they were nesting. Newton George escorted us around the island on a 6am to 5pm trip and the highlight for me was seeing the plethora of herons and Caymen at the Tobago Plantation.

The Blue Waters Inn was excellent. Hotel staff were very welcoming. The room was very clean and met all our requirements. I could expound further and ,needless to say , my only regret was not staying for longer and not having more time to birdwatch at a more leisurely pace.

Birding disappointments ? Not seeing Channel-Billed Toucan well ( ie sitting atop tree branches from the Asa Wright verrandah ) and not seeing any live snakes eg Tree Boas at the Caroni Swamp. Other visitors we met had seen Piping Guans and Turtles and on reflection I wish I had considered building into our itinerary the possibility of seeing these-but I am mindful that you can’t see everything!

Once again, thank you very much for organising this fantastic birding holiday.

Tony Marchese and Jane Robinson – Apr 2016

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The right guide for our needs

We had a good stay at Pax, fortunately we were placed in a room close to the dining area on the main floor.  Our room was clean and well presented al..

We had a good stay at Pax, fortunately we were placed in a room close to the dining area on the main floor.  Our room was clean and well presented although the bathroom had some rotten planks which should really be replaced at some point as they could become a health and safety issue.  However, that did not bother us in the slightest.

The food we found at Pax was excellent as were the nightly rum punches.  There was a mix up with the tours in that they put us on the full day tour with Kenny Wright the day after we arrived, but we would have preferred to go on Caroni that day to give us the morning to acclimatise and rest from the journey.  However, all the same, we enjoyed the day with Kenny, he was very knowledgeable and the only thing we would mention is that we were unsure if lunch was provided or not, but he soon introduced us to the delights of roti.  When he arrived we thought he was just the cab guy ready to take us elsewhere but first appearances can be deceptive and he was great and everyone we met after that day also sung his praises, which made us satisfied that we had been provided with the right guide for our needs.

The Caroni Swamp tour the following day was due to leave at 16:00pm but when it reached 16:35pm and some of the other participants had not turned up, we set off and then promptly turned back after 10 minutes when they did eventually arrive. So, effectively we lost 45 minutes of that tour which meant the remainder of the tour was rushed and we missed out on a lot.  The guide was very good but we were disappointed generally on that day, especially with missing out on some key birds that we could not get elsewhere.

The following day was with Jason Radix in Tobago and he was a fantastic guide, really knowledgeable and friendly and talkative.  We opted not to have a restaurant lunch but a roti on the go instead which gave us time for Jason to take us into the rain forest for an impromptu extra excursion.  We were very tight on time (as was expected) which meant that the normal Little Tobago trip which is 3 hours had to be squeezed into about 1 hour but despite this we saw pretty much everything that we wanted to see and Jason managed to get us back to the airport in good time.  Both us and Jason agreed that if we would have got an earlier flight (in the morning) then things would have not been so rushed but all the same we had a wonderful time and cannot praise Jason enough for his company and enthusiasm.  We would definitely use him again.

The remaining 4 days at Asa Wright were nice and relaxing.  Our room was lovely and the food, although not as good as Pax was good enough for us.

We found the whole process of booking the holiday with you very easy and would like to thank you very much for all your help and assistance.  We would definitely use Motmot again and recommend them to others.

Roland and Anna – Mar 2016

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Nothing was too much trouble for our excellent guides

All the arrangements went perfectly, thank you. The setting for the Coco Reef Hotel was lovely but I have to say the décor was very outdated and desp..

All the arrangements went perfectly, thank you.

The setting for the Coco Reef Hotel was lovely but I have to say the décor was very outdated and desperately in need of a revamp, especially the bathrooms. The lagoon is perfect for swimming as it is so calm even when we had stormy weather. No complaints about the food, the service was VERY laid back, I gather that is to be expected in T & T. Leslianne & Jason Radix who did our trips were both excellent, nothing was too much trouble for them.

We arranged a boat trip to Nylon Pool & Buccoo Reef with Duane on a jet boat called Zoe. He was excellent, very knowledgeable and helped us with the snorkeling. He also took us on a ride along the coast pointing out all the places of interest.

Asa Wright was perfect in every way as I’m sure you know.

Brenda Williams – Feb 2016

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