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Asa Wright Nature Centre, Arima, Trinidad

Editor's Pick
Caribbean: The main house and surrounding bungalows at the Asa Wright Centre
Blanchisseuse Road
Arima , Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: 868 667 4655's insider take:

Experience a completely different island at this former coffee-cocoa-citrus plantation deep in the rainforest about an hour's drive from Port of Spain. The Great House at the heart of Asa Wright has a land-that-time-forgot atmosphere, derived not just from its antiques and shabby rugs but also from its seclusion. A long veranda with grandstand views of the Arima Valley treetops provides the only entertainment, but people fly from around the world to sit there—bird people, that is. The geeky point of Asa Wright is spying on as many of Trinidad's avian species as possible—squirrel cuckoos, toucans, tufted coquettes, and the big celebrities, a breeding colony of guacharo, the rare nocturnal oilbird. People sit there all day, being served afternoon tea and a sunset rum punch (included in the room rate along with three hearty meals per day). You don't have to be a birder, although a passion for nature is an asset since all there is to do is hike and wander the tropical gardens and take a dip in the swimming pool—a natural grotto fed by a rainforest stream. The two rooms in the Great House and the 21 wooden cottages with verandas are simple to the point of austerity, with twin beds, no TVs (although there is Wi–Fi), and pastel print drapes, but you're not here for decor tips.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.