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Dominican Republic: Hispaniola Endemics

Hispaniolan Parakeets Hispaniolan Parakeets Endemic From montane cloud forests and lush tropical habitats, to the limestone karst and sparkling turquoise waters off the coast, the Dominican Republic hosts 32 avian endemics, including Palmchat, the single representative of the family Dulidae.

As one of the most enticing birding destinations in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola, the second-largest island in the Greater Antilles. The varied landscapes and friendly people provide for ample interest during our week-long birding tour, spanning multiple elevations in several locations.

We’ll focus on the rugged Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, where most of the country’s endemics and specialties can be found.  In the high-elevation forests, we’ll look for Eastern Chat-Tanager, White-fronted Quail-Dove and La Selle Thrush.  In the broadleaf evergreen forests we find Hispaniolan Spindalis, Green-tailed Ground-Tanager and Narrow-billed Tody.  Amongst pine forests we’ll look for Hispaniolan Crossbill, Golden Swallow, and Antillean Siskin.

The expansive Lago Enriquillo basin hosts American Flamingos, and various species of herons, shorebirds, and waterfowl.  Endemic Hispaniolan Palm Crow, White-necked Crow and Broad-billed Tody frequent the arid mesquite scrub that ring the lagoon.  We’ll spend time on the north shore of the island looking for the rare, critically-endangered Ridgway’s Hawk, confined only to the forested foothills of Los Haities National Park.

Focus of the Trip

32 endemics, that will include 2 evenings of night birding for 3 endemics, Ashy-faced Owl, Least Pauraque and Hispaniolan Nightjar, and at least 1 early morning start. There will also be a few endemic subspecies and a handful of other Caribbean specialties. Overwintering neo-tropical warblers, some waders, a few seabirds and shorebirds will also be seen. A small number of butterflies and reptiles can be seen.

SOME TRIPS MAY BE COMBINED WITH OUR PUERTO RICO 5-DAY TOUR

SOME TRIPS MAY BE COMBINED WITH OUR JAMAICA ENDEMICS TOUR

NOTE: When combining two of these trips, we include a FREE hotel night between trips!

  • Tour Cost
  • Length of Tour: 7 days / 6 nights

     

    2018 Cost

    $2950.00 per person from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, based upon double occupancy and a minimum of 2 (maximum 3) participants per vehicle.

     

    Single supplement: $350.00. Please note that if you do not request a single room, and we are unable to find you a roommate, you will be charged the single supplement.

     

    The Cost Includes: All ground transport, park entrance fees; services of your professional guide(s); meals and accommodation.

     

    Cost Excludes: 
Airfares to the Dominican Republic; Visitor's fee (currently $10, payable upon enter at the aiprort); beverages.; any items of personal nature (laundry, telephone calls and so forth); any services not mentioned or indicated as optional; gratuities to drivers / guides / porters / waiters.

     

    Deposit $500.00, check, paypal or credit card, along with your completed Registration Form. (If less than 120 days from departure, full payment will be required at time of registration.)

     

    How to Book In order to hold your space, you must complete the Registration Form found on-line, and submit it to us on-line, or download a copy and mail it to us, along with a $500.00 deposit per participant. (If less than 120 days from departure, full payment will be required at time of registration.)

     

    Final Payment Full payment, by check, is due 120 days prior to the departure date

  • Itinerary
  • Brief Itinerary:

     

    Day 1 :  Arrive in Santo Domingo; transfer to Los Haitises NP
    Day 2 :  Los Haitises NP; Santo Domingo Botanical Gardens
    Day 3 :  Sierra de Bahoruco, north slope, Rabo de Gato Trail
    Day 4 :  Sierra de Bahoruco, north slope; Lago Enriquillo
    Day 5 :  Sierra de Bahoruco, southern slope; Cabo Rojo
    Day 6 :  Sierra de Bahoruco, southern slope
    Day 7 : Sierra de Bahoruco, eastern slope; transfer to Santo Domingo late in the day for flights home

     

    Itinerary

     

    Day 1 - Arrival Day

    Arrive (the earliest flight is best) in Santo Domingo and drive north east to Cano Hondo on the edge of the Los Haities NP. We’ll seek Double-striped Thick-knee and Grasshopper Sparrow on the way. Evening go for Ashy-faced Owl nearby.
o/n Paraiso Caño Hondo

     

    Day 2


    Ridgway’s Hawk and White-necked Crow on the morning walk. At noon we’ll drive south west to Santo Domingo Botanical Gardens for the Hispaniolan Parakeet, Hispaniolan Lizard-Cuckoo, Hispaniolan Woodpecker, Palmchat and West Indian Whistling Duck.
o/n Santo Domingo, Hotel BQ Santo Domingo

     

    Day 3
    Head west towards Duverge and the north slope of the Sierra de Baroruco to do mid-elevation birding. We’ll bird the Rabo de Gato road for the White-fronted Quail-Dove, Bay-breasted Cuckoo, Trogon, Oriole, Pewee, Broad-billed Tody, Narrow-billed Tody, Flat-billed Vireo, Antillean Siskin, Antillean Euphonia
o/n Villa Barrancolí-Rabo de Gato Trail, Puerto Escondido

     

    Day 4


    Early start to get to the highlands at Zapoten on the north slope of the Sierra de Baroruco, for La Selle Thrush, Highland-Tanager, Western Chat-Tanager, Green-tailed Ground-Tanager, Black-crowned Palm Tanager,Emerald and Spindalis. Lunch in Duverge, then onto the dry scrub around Lago Enriquillo to look for waterfowl, waders, terns and gulls and late afternoon the Palm Crow.
o/n Barahona, Hotel La Saladilla Beach Club

     

    Day 5


    Drive west towards Pedernales to and depends on time we will stop the wetlands at Cabo Rojo for shorebirds, waders, and also the cliffs for pelicans, Brown Boobies and White-tailed Tropicbirds.
    Afternoon birding on the southern slope of the Sierra de Baroruco, which is where we would spend the remainder of the day, looking for Golden Swallow, Hispaniolan Crossbill, Siskin, Palm Crow, Flat-billed Vireo, Broad-billed Tody, Narrow-billed Tody, Antillean Piculet and Hispaniolan Parrot. At dusk look for Hispaniolan Nightjar followed by Ashy-faced owl (if needed).
o/n Pedernales, Hostal Doña Chava

     

    Day 6

    After breakfast we go back to southern slope of Sierra de Bahoruco to look for the birds we may have missed the afternoon before then continue on to Casa Bonita and have a relaxing lunch and afternoon at this luxury hotel. Night birding nearby, to look for Least Pauraque and Northern Potoo. 
o/n Barahona, Casa Bonita

     

    Day 7

    Early start to drive nearby into the broadleaf forest of the eastern slope of the Sierra de Baroruco to look for the last of our endemics, Eastern Chat-Tanager at daybreak.  Return to Casa Bonita for a late breakfast and late morning checkout. Then drive from Barahona to Santo Domingo Airport.

    Tour ends around 3-4 pm for a late afternoon flight out from Santo Domingo.

  • Accommodations
  • We have a total of 6 nights in 5 locations, one of those being for 2 nights.

     

    Most accomodations have en-suite bathrooms and air-conditioning with the exception of Cano Hondo in Los Haitises, which has ceiling fans, and Villa Barrancoli which has rustic cabins and shared bath-house... just for one night and saves us from getting up at 2am for a 4-hour bumpy drive!

    In Santo Domingo and Barahona, this are typical modern hotels. The Los Haitises and Pedernales the accomodation are more rustic, with the later being a basic room.

     

  • Additional Info
  • birdsofDR Recommended Field Guide:

    Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti (Princeton Field Guides, 2006) by Steven Latta, Christopher Rimmer, Allan Keith & James Wiley

     

     

     

     

     

     

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