This quote in the title of this post is from the hotel we use in Jamaica. We like it!
Crafting nature travel is different than “regular” travel, in which you often pick a favorite hotel and then look for activities. As a nature tour company, our challenge is that we are drawn first to nature’s riches, fabulous forests with birding hotspots, or open plains great for mammals; after finding these we look for where we might stay, and how we’ll keep ourselves fed while exploring often remote areas. In some places like Great Bend, Nebraska, or Kingsville, Texas, we use a chain, or mom and pop’s type of hotel – whatever is the best option to be near the birds for our early wanderings. But in some places, we SCORE – we find that perfect harmony of nature and place. Some of our best finds allow us some affordable pampering, perfect for a real vacation, a treat as many tours approach birding seems as a vocation rather than vacation. We like to offer both.
The Hotel Mocking Bird Hill in Jamaica is a place we can offer both with assurance. They have won numerous awards for being GREEN, sustainable, and responsible. They are totally networked into Jamaica’s quiet north coast community of Port Antonio, which supplies organic foods and the fun-loving, friendly staff they depend on to welcome you with ease. This Inn has just 10 rooms. The public areas for relaxing, and the dining room overlook a beautiful pool, one framed by flowering trees and, in the distance, a view of the blue Caribbean. Six and half acres of gardens invite the birds to come see YOU, and they have selected a great series of field trips, none too far away, to let us see Jamaica’s endemic birds in a variety of habitats. We use another lodge, Forres Park, on the southern side of the island above Kingston, for a perfect pairing of access to these habitats.
Narca Moore Craig leads our journey March 31-April 6, 2011. Her gracious style blends well with Hotel Mocking Bird Hill’s, and her expansive knowledge in this location will help you see that the Caribbean is in essence an ecologically richer Galapagos, with a similar story of evolution, less publicized but very appealing. She’s spent time on Cuba, the other Caribbean Island that hosts close to thirty endemic bird species. Comparing the islands and their source areas for species from nearby Central America is a delight for fans of biogeography. Read more on her BLOG, and consider joining Narca on our journey – timed for the pulse of warblers heading north in bright breeding plumage, and for a great chance to see the island’s endemics. With Narca you’ll find time to study tropical blooms, butterflies, birds and more!
Bird photos by Peg Abbott