Green Castle Estate
facebook twitter
Special Offers

All-inclusive Birding Tour

Our tours offer exceptional value for money and have proved extremely popular - the full itinerary is included below. Most of our groups have seen all 29 Jamaican endemics, as well as many of the endemic subspecies and Caribbean specialities. For the latest prices and availability, please see our Special Offers.

Since 2015 we have invited birders to join us on our very own tours. These include accommodation, all meals and fully guided birding throughout the week. We even include two day trips into the Blue Mountains to find the few species that are hard to see at Green Castle! We have a number of experienced Bird Guides having an intimate knowledge of Jamaica’s birdlife. Visitors benefit greatly from their expertise, in particular when seeking out elusive species like Jamaican Owl. All our guides are registered with the Jamaican Tourist Board and are members of Team Jamaica.

7-Day Birding Itinerary

This is the itinerary for the four tours that run between January and April. These are extremely popular and we recommend booking well in advance - please see our Special Offers section . You can modify this itinerary for your own bespoke birding tour, perhaps combining it with a longer holiday that takes in other aspects of the Jamaican experience. Please email us at Info@gcjamaica.com.

Day 1

Arrive Montego Bay or Kingston Airport, transfer to Greencastle in air-conditioned vehicle.

Depending on time, we may have the opportunity to stop at suitable habitat en route and get a first taste of Jamaican birding. On arrival at the Estate House, you’ll be welcomed with a chilled scented towel and fresh local fruit juice (organically grown on the Estate) or our homemade rum punch - whichever you prefer!

Light Dinner - Greencastle Estate House.

Day 2

After yesterday’s long flight, a pre-breakfast coffee/tea with local pastry and fruit will be available from 6:00am, followed by an early bird walk in the gardens, if desired.

Jamaican Breakfast at the Estate House 8:00am.

After breakfast, there will be a brief orientation with our registered bird guide, who will lead the group throughout the week. We will then spend a relaxing morning along the Waterfall Trail, hopefully encountering a dozen or so endemics: Jamaican Mango, Red-billed Streamertail, Jamaican Tody and Jamaican Woodpecker are usually the first to show. Light Lunch at the Estate House.

The afternoon will be spent walking a different trail through the estate, in search of more birds. Endemic sub-species that we are likely to encounter include Vervain Hummingbird, Jamaican Oriole and Greater Antillean Bullfinch.

Dinner at the Estate House.

Day 3

We will meet for early refreshments, ready for a 5:00am departure. Today we shall visit the majestic Blue Mountains, approx two hours away in an air-conditioned vehicle.

After such an early start, a packed breakfast (including hot porridge) is most welcome!

We will spend most of the morning in the Hardwar Gap area, which offers a huge variety of species. Target birds include endemics such as Jamaican Blackbird, Blue Mountain Vireo and the elusive Crested Quail Dove.

Packed lunch in personal cool-bag.

We usually stop for a cup of Blue Mountain Coffee at a roadside cafe before spending the afternoon exploring a little further up the road, taking time to enjoy more of Jamaica’s birdlife amidst stunning mountain scenery.

Dinner at the Estate House.

Day 4

A relaxed day, taking time to explore more habitats around Green Castle’s 1600-acre site, starting with a pre-breakfast walk for the early risers. Coffee or tea with local pastry/fruit are available from 6:00am.

Jamaican Breakfast at the Estate House 8:00am.

Today we will visit different parts of the estate including Davey Hill, freshwater pools and the coast, where a different range of species can be found. Amongst a variety of waders and wildlife, we can usually find the scarce Caribbean Whistling-duck.

Lunch and Dinner at the Estate House.

After dinner our bird guide will take us for a spot of night birding, in search of the endemic Jamaican Owl, which can be found close to the house. We should also encounter the cryptic Northern Potoo, which is an endemic Jamaican sub-species that may soon be split as a full species.

Day 5

We will again meet for early refreshments, ready for a 5:00am departure (with a packed breakfast). Today our bird guide will take us to the foothills of the John Crow Mountains, to an area called Ecclesdown Road. This offers superb birding and has good numbers of endemics; both Yellow-billed and Black-billed Parrots may fly overhead and we will look for another species that we will not have encountered so far - the Black Billed Streamertail.

Packed Lunch in personal cool-bag.

For the remainder of the day, we will visit more woodland habitat, looking out for Jamaican Crow, Jamaican Blackbird, Jamaican Becard and Arrow-headed Warbler. American Wood Warblers are also a colourful feature of birding here. Then we head back to Greencastle, maybe stopping to visit Happy Grove or Frenchman's Cove, where White-tailed Tropicbirds are frequently seen.

Dinner at the Estate House.

Day 6

Today we will spend a more leisurely day around the estate, where we will take new trails including visiting the reservoir.

Jamaican Breakfast at the Estate House 7:30am

During the morning, we should encounter such species as Jamaican Vireo, White-Chinned Thrush and Rufous-tailed Flycatcher. We may want to return to the coast to look for Antillean Nighthawk, Antillean Palm-swift and breeding Yellow Warbler (a Caribbean endemic subspecies).

Light picnic lunch, which can be eaten at the reservoir.

The afternoon is left free for relaxation around the pool or leisurely birding around the grounds. This would be a good opportunity to photograph some of the more obliging species.

Dinner at the estate House.

After dinner, we will have time to look again for Jamaican Owl and Northern Potoo, as well as the West Indian race of Barn Owl, which breeds here on the estate.

Day 7

If we need to catch up with any endemics or revisit key sites, then today we will have ample time to do just that. Otherwise, we can relax around the house and pool, then take a trip (optional) out to local scenic spots such as Dunn's River Falls or the Mystic Mountain. We could visit Sir Noel Coward’s house and the home of Ian Fleming at Goldeneye, where he wrote all the James Bond books. Or visit a local market then take a walk on the natural eco beach...the choice is yours!

Dinner at the Estate House.

Day 8

An optional pre-breakfast bird walk in the gardens, if desired. Coffee/tea with local pastry and fruit will be available from 6:00am.

Jamaican Breakfast 8.00am.

There will be plenty of time for packing, relaxing or birding around the gardens or trails before our air-conditioned vehicle sets off to Kingston or Montego Bay for the flight home. We may have time to stop at suitable habitat for our last experience of Jamaican birding.

Please note: There may be slight changes to the itinerary due to weather conditions or unforeseen events but we will always strive to ensure that you see as much as possible during your stay. Birding in certain parts of the estate (for example, the reservoir) requires a reasonable level of fitness. Please let us know if you have any concerns regarding mobility; we will always do our best to meet your needs.

Greencastle Pond
Haughton River on Greencastle Estate
Davey Hill Greencastle with views to estate House over the valley
Greencastle Dam
Blue Mountains area
Greencastle estate towards Spanish Tower
Greencastle Driveway
Guest Birder
Our Bird Guide at Green Castle

Book Online Now


For a bespoke quote, please email info@gcjamaica.com with your requirements.

2017

Our wonderful Greencastle Estate.

WEDDINGS-We continue to attract couples wishing to "tie the knot" at our beautiful resort.

BIRDING:We are coming to the end of our busiest season so far.One group beat their record and saw 118 bird species.…

Read More »

"Thank you for a wonderful stay! Beautiful, peaceful environment with great food and kind hosts. We will be back."

Erica & Jeff