Bird watching in the Caribbean is a beautiful experience that allows birders to get up close to nature, enhance their skills and enjoy a fun and fulfilling hobby. If you are new to birding and looking to perfect and test your skills outside of your backyard, Puerto Rico is one of the best islands for beginner birders.
As a new bird watcher, you may have realised that your senses have been heightened. Your ears are becoming familiar with the different bird calls, you notice both regular and peculiar bird actions, and you may take note of the different types of insects and plants that birds in your area may feed on. These are the little aspects of nature that help us to appreciate life and living.
Because birding is one of the best low-cost hobbies that you can enjoy from anywhere, sometimes it’s a good idea to step outside your zone and explore the birds and habitats in other countries. Puerto Rico, for example promotes environmentally friendly and socially responsible tourism activities. The island is ideal for practicing birdwatching because there are over 300 species of birds on the island and their many natural bird habitats for viewing these feathered creatures.
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Birding Tours in Puerto Rico for New Birders
When researching birding tours in Puerto Rico for new birders, you should look for tours that:
- Are conducted at a slower pace than birding tours for professionals
- Include higher levels of instruction from bird guides
- Introduce birders to the best places to see birds on the island
- Have bird guides that are knowledgeable and articulate
Based on these characteristics there are few tours that deserve to be mentioned. Here are some of Puerto Rico’s top birding tours for beginners.
1. William Suarez Birding Tours
This is a wholesome excursion that provides a thrilling introduction to birding in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The six-day tour visits main localities in Puerto Rico where birds are resident. The principal tour guide is Dr. William Suarez who was born in Cuba. He has studied Caribbean fauna for several years and has increased his knowledge through research and field observations.
Duration: 7 days
Price: Starts at USD 2,790
Habitats: Rainforests, woods, mangrove swamps, scrub forests, lakes and coastlines
Maximum Group Size: 6 persons
Tour Page: William Suarez Birding Tours
2. Adventours Puerto Rico
Adventours has a range of bird watching tours that range from half-day to full-day excursions. The E Yunque Bird Walk takes participants through the El Yunque National Forest. The focus on this walk is on endemic bird species that live in the forest. Another tour is the North Belt Corridor Birding Series which visits the north-western region of Puerto Rico. Other tours are the Luquillo Limited Edition and the North-East Birding Trip.
Duration: Half-day – Full day (El Yunque)/ Half-day (North Belt)
Price: Starts at USD 95
Habitats: El Yunque National Forest, countryside, coastline
Maximum Group Size: 4 persons
Tour Page: Adventours Island-Wide Birding Trips
3. Wildside Nature Tours
The tour, Puerto Rico – Birding the Island of Enchantment is recommended for new birders. It explores the island’s prime birding locations and aims to find all 17 endemic bird species in Puerto Rico in six days. Gabriel Lugo is the lead birding guide in Puerto Rico for Wildside Nature Tours. He is a certified Puerto Rico guide who is well known and respected in the Puerto Rico birding community.
Duration: 6 days
Price: Starts at USD 2,550
Habitats: Coastlines, rainforests, dry forests
Maximum Group Size: 7 persons
Tour Page: Puerto Rico – Birding the Island of Enchantment
To learn more about birdwatching and birding in Puerto Rico, visit the following links:
Discover Puerto Rico: Birds in Paradise
Caribbean Birding Trail: Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Day Trips: Spend Some Time Bird Watching in Puerto Rico
Destination Wildlife: Warning, You Can Only See These Birds in Puerto Rico
Birds of Puerto Rico: Birds of Puerto Rico
Image: Javier Amador via Unsplash