St. Lucia’s Anse Chastanet Resort Offers Birding Tours

St. Lucia’s storied Anse Chastanet resort is offering a 5-day activity package for birdwatchers which includes the most important viewing locations on and off property.

Karolin Troubetzkoy, executive director of Anse Chastanet, said the special offer was developed “in response to the ever increasing interest in this particular aspect of ecotourism.”

Troubetzkoy reported the package included guided visits to the resort’s own Anse Mamin Plantation, the Millet Bird Sanctuary, the Des Cartier Trail (a relatively easy 1.5 mile loop hike that takes guests through one of the wettest tropical forests on earth), the Gros Piton Trail and Dolphin and Whale Watching with sea birds encountered along the way.

The 5-day birding activities package can be added to any reservation at the award-winning Anse Chastanet for US$735 per person (minimum of 2 persons). All package excursions are arranged on a private basis.

Also included in the package is a combo excursion that visits three of the island’s most popular attractions, Diamond Falls and Botanical Gardens, the Sulphur Springs volcano and the Tet Paul Nature Trail, which features birdwatching opportunities as well as enjoying from up high the majestic beauty of the world’s most famous pair of mountains, St. Lucia’s iconic Pitons.

Anse Chastanet, one of the Caribbean region’s Top 25 ranked resorts, enjoys one of the island’s best birdwatching locations right on the resort property within the Anse Mamin plantation, a lush coastal jungle with its 18th century plantation ruins. The tour is designed for both novices and veteran birdwatchers. Guests will also learn interesting ancillary information about the old plantation and its existing flora and fauna.

For birding enthusiasts, St. Lucia enjoys several other locations which feature an alluring variety of birds within very scenic natural environments. One of the most popular is the Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail which is led by a Department of Forestry staffer. More than 30 species can be seen, including five endemic species: the St. Lucia Black Finch, St. Lucia Parrot, St. Lucia Warbler, St. Lucia Oriole and St. Lucia Pewee.

For those who wish to combine birding with a visit to St. Lucia’s most lush rain forest, Anse Chastanet offers tours to the Des Cartier Trail, which is located inland from the east coast village of Micoud where the St. Lucia Parrot is readily encountered.

While on the east coast, birdwatchers can visit the area which is home to the largest population of endangered White Breasted Thrashers left in the world. These beautiful birds are regularly encountered when visiting with one of St. Lucia’s experienced birdwatching guides.

Several other options for bird watching guests include the Gros Piton Hike which offers encounters with a number of rare birds and wildlife that find sanctuary in this rugged and somewhat remote part of the island.

Troubetzkoy reported the St. Lucian Wren, St. Lucia Oriole, St. Lucia Black Finch and the Red Neck Pigeon “are just some of the uncommon bird species that will add to your experience along the trail.” She warned however that climbing Gros Piton is a strenuous challenge and should be undertaken only by very fit and experienced hikers.

Another challenging trek for bird enthusiasts is a visit to the Edmund Rainforest Reserve, while some unique birdwatching sites are also found in the Vieux Fort area on the southern tip of the island.

The Maria Islands, a protected nature reserve located a half mile off Pointe Sable on the southeast coast, are a major nesting site for migratory birds which travel thousands of miles from the west coast of Africa to nest annually. The islands can be visited through special arrangements with the St. Lucia National Trust.