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“Great birding at aging ecolodge” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Asa Wright Nature Centre

Asa Wright Nature Centre
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Asa Wright Nature Center Guided Tour from Port of Spain
Ranked #3 of 94 things to do in Trinidad
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This small resort, buried among mountains deep in the Trinidad rain forest, is famous for its amazing diversity in animal and plant species.
Level Contributor
80 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Great birding at aging ecolodge”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2013

I stayed four nights at Asa Wright with a birding tour group. The birds are indeed excellent, especially the Oilbirds in their cave and the view and birds from the verandah. There are a number of well-marked trails in the rain forest, easy for the fit but less so for others. Time spent on the verandah was very enjoyable, both for the many birds which the very helpful lodge guides will help you find and for the rum punch served at 6PM. The after-dinner walk along the entrance road is fun for the crab and bug-loving crowd. The lodge is well located for drives into the higher mountains and their different birds.

The rooms, in duplex and triplex cabins, are old and a bit down at the heels. My room was #22, near the lodge. It had an odd, small sitting room with one chair and no view out the high window. The bed was comfortable enough, there is a tiny desk and a decent wardrobe, and a tiny, barely-turn-around bathroom that has seen better days but is okay for a birder who doesn't spend much time there. There is a/c in the bedroom, needed because the room door opens directly onto the street and thus could not be left open. Most rooms do not have a/c. The food at the lodge, served buffet style, unfortunately is very mediocre. Picnic lunches packed by the lodge were even less appealing. There is wifi in one location in a corner of the verandah.

Go there for the birds but not for luxury.

Visited March 2013
4 Thank Traveler039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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306 reviews from our community

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Decatur, Georgia
Level Contributor
77 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Marvelous afternoon surrounded by birds”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2013

We spent most of the afternoon at Asa Wright, and it lived up to the recommendations of other travelers. We just went in for the day, but I think I would recommend staying the night if that suits your budget, because overnight guests have more access and more options. Reservations are still required for the morning or afternoon guided tour, and it is well worth it. Our guide was incredibly knowledgable about the trails, the plants, the birds, and had worked there quite a few years. The guided hike was slow-paced, but on a pretty sloped path, so I recommend good shoes (we had sneakers, not hiking boots, but that was enough). Binoculars are very helpful, and the most avid bird photographer will want a zoom lens and a tripod, because the forest is pretty dark on cloudy days and photos can be blurry otherwise.

We saw a wide variety of birds at the feeding stations at the lodge, which is a very pleasant place to pass time, sitting on the porch on a stool overlooking the feeding area. Binoculars are helpful even in the short-range there and the variety of hummingbirds alone was stunning. We also saw parrots from the lodge while eating our picnic lunch. On the guided hike, we saw the bellbird, though not well, a trogon, and several manekins, including a few males showing off for the females in some pretty elaborate rituals/dances. The plants are dense and rich, and we learned a lot of new flowering and leafy plants along the walk. We were even offered the opportunity to taste termites ("tastes like chicken" not so much, these are apparently more carrot-flavored).

Our best treat was that it rained at the end of our walk and we were able to sit in the lodge under cover, but watch the birds enjoying a bath in nature...here again, the binoculars are heavenly because you can see every feather. They have a pair on a stand on the porch in case yours aren't up to the job.

You can eat lunch in the restaurant if you make a reservation, we had packed a lunch, and there are picnic tables aplenty for this option, there is even a sink for washing up. Reservations are required for the guided nature hike, and this is required to get onto the trails, so it is highly recommended. It is quite a drive to get there, up windy mountain roads and harrowing encounters with large trucks coming out of several rock quarries. We were glad our local hosts were driving! A lot of the area is farmed, and even more used to be, so there are chayote plants, some cocoa, and lots of fruits and palms along the way, though the natural experience en route is occasionally interrupted by the dust from the quarries...the nature center has been buying up a lot of land to preserve it from being quarried further, but you can see the need as you drive! It is not well-marked, and when we arrived, they were doing construction on the driveway, so we walked down from the main road, which took about 10 minutes, so arriving well in advance of your scheduled tour is a really good idea...there are many unforseeable things that could make you late!

Visited March 2013
5 Thank Amy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level Contributor
105 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Peace and tranquility”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2013

This nature centre is a little hard to find..no sign posts.If you have a GPS, type in Arima-Blanchisseuse Road.The best is to take the airport road, Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, and drive to a road indicates Arima. Once you are in Eastern Main Road, ask the friendly people of Trinidad the way to the Nature reserve, you carry on a narrow road and when you enter the road in the mountain have you cameras ready. I took a video and that is a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty of this awesome place. The road is very narrow at some places, and have to give way to other travellers. You will see how they grow sweet peppers in the valleys..When you enter the Nature centre, you can hear the birds. Enjoy the views on the Varendah (look out) through a telescope. Take photos of the hummingbirds drinking sugar water a few inches from you, along with a variety of other beautiful colourful birds. The 1hour walk is most interesting. If not enjoying a buffet lunch, the sandwiches is delicious, while enjoying watching the birds. The natural pool is a short walk from the centre, in nature, and you will enjoy it after the walk. There is overnight rooms available, and is advisable to wake up in this undisturbed valley. The staff is very friendly and it's a pleasure for them to serve you. Make sure to google this centre for rates and times and bookings. A must for nature lovers.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Assie48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapest, Hungary
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Sort of disappointing”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2013

I checked the reviews on this attraction before deciding to go there. Everyone was so over the moon about it that I thought it would be super fun. Well, I was disappointed and trust me, that's an understatement. I don't know, you might have to be crazy about watching tiny birds from a distance and standing at spots where you're supposed to see this animal and that animal, which are not there because they mostly come out at night. I guess the night tour must be a lot more exciting than the day tour. In all honesty, I saw a lot more wildlife (including beautiful butterflies) at other places in Trinidad. I have more wildlife in my home because I keep tarantulas and fishes. The whole tour was a drag, I really regret going to this centre.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank veronbalogh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Cayman
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Tranquil and beautiful!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2013 via mobile

This place is like a gem. I went with a group as a part of our university course and wow this place was amazing. We had a buffet style lunch and watched the hummingbirds most of the time. After we had a guided tour to see some of the native plants and animals (mostly birds). Some of the people in my group were griping about all the walking, but it was so quiet and relaxing. Our guide told us about the history of the centre and she knew her stuff when it came to the nature. She also wanted us to try the termites that were on the tree (did it and they tasted sweet). She was really patient with me as I liked to take pictures. I was mostly amazed with all the hummingbirds that were flying around. Cute little things. I definately recommend this place if people like to go on relaxing walks.

4 Thank Lindsey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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