Caroni Bird Sanctuary
Duration: 3 hours
Tour Code: pst-002
Release your inner ornithologist by visiting the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, an idyllic wetland that attracts thousands of water birds, including the striking scarlet ibis, Trinidad's national bird.
Depart from the pier and drive south towards the marshy wetlands formed where the Caroni River empties into the Gulf of Paria. Before long, you'll arrive at the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, which was established in 1953 and sprawls across a tidal lagoon and maze of mangrove-lined waterways.
Best accessed by flat-bottomed boat, the sanctuary is home to thousands of primarily water birds. As you navigate the circuitous waterways, you may observe herons, cormorants and snowy egrets in their natural habitat, completely undisturbed by your presence.
You may also see scarlet ibises feeding on frogs, reptiles and crustaceans, the latter being the source of their scarlet color. Ibises nest in large colonies and their stick nests can be seen in many of the trees. One of the most spectacular features of the Sanctuary happens in the evening light of a fading day on the Mangrove islands. It is here that the thousands of Scarlet Ibis and Egrets that make the Sanctuary their home come to roost for the night. Like clockwork, the birds arrive and begin covering the green mangroves, literally bringing them to life, making the mangroves take on the appearance of decorated Christmas trees.
But don't just look up to see the wildlife. The sanctuary is also teeming with iguanas, caiman and mudskippers, an amphibious fish that uses its pectoral fins to walk on land. The plant life is just as enthralling and often accented by lilies with white, mauve or blue flowers.
Caroni Bird Sanctuary offers an amazing viewing experience; one that can be enhanced by climbing to the top of a 60-foot wooden tower (if in operation) that provides a panoramic look over the surrounding marsh. Afterwards, you'll return to the pier in Port of Spain.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking; however the tour is not available to wheelchair guests. Those guests with mobility concerns must be able to make their way into and out of the small boat with limited assistance and should carefully evaluate their personal level of ability. Casual, light-weight clothing; sunglasses; insect repellent, and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.