Why should I book a birding tour on Green Castle Estate?
We have a variety of options at Green Castle so guests can enjoy bird watching at their leisure. Guests staying at Green Castle in one of our hotel rooms, camping spaces, cottage rooms or in our luxury villa, have complimentary access to the 1600-acre / 6.5km2 eco park during their stay for a minimum of two nights. You will be able to walk through the huge array of natural habitats, from forests and rainforests, our tropical gardens, to the cliffs, eco beach and natural lake. If you wish to hire an expert bird guide this can be arranged. Our expert bird guide costs are shown in our tours & services page which include the half day and full day birding guide packages.
Green Castle birding habitats include fresh water ponds to mangrove swamps, streams and forest. The beauty of Green Castle is that many of the birds of Jamaica can actually be found within the grounds of our eco park. Guests can enjoy the numerous hiking trails on Green Castle. It is also recommended to take a trip or tour to the Blue and John Crow Mountains where it is possible to see the remaining migratory and endemic birds of Jamaica. During your stay, there will be a high probability of guests seeing all 28 endemic birds of Jamaica on this beautiful Caribbean island.
What Birding world records have occurred at Green Castle Jamaica?
Green Castle has featured in two world records for birding in Jamaica. In 2016 Arjan Dwarshuis was on a mission to attempt the ultimate in global birding; in the context of a fundraiser for the Birdlife Preventing Extinctions Programme. He set out to see more than 6000 bird species – more than half of all the bird species in the world – in one single year. His aim was to raise 100,000 Euros over the course of 2016, and by seeing more than 6000 bird species in a single year setting a new world record. In November 2016 Arjan got the new world record by beating the record set by American, Noah Strycker and with 16 days to go. Acquiring this world record required skilful planning, determination, endurance and 365 days of travelling and birding, without taking a single day’s rest. Since it was Arjan’s objective to see as many birds as possible in the countries he is visited it was imperative to use a number of expert local birding guides to maximize the number of species it was possible to see. One of our expert birding guides met and birded with Arjan. Arjan spent two full days in Jamaica and overnighted on Green Castle Estate.
The following year In July 2017, Jonathan Rossouw an internationally renowned birder, started upon his own birding record attempt. His record focused on seeing 9,000 species of bird by November 2018, which would be his 50th birthday. As Jonathan recounts on his website ‘…only ONE destination in the Americas held the potential of a motherlode of easy pickings in so short a time frame: JAMAICA! As a result of its complex geology and relative remoteness from neighboring continents, Jamaica boasts more endemic birds than any other Caribbean island, a full 28 species!’
Jonathan achieved his target following his birding vacation at Green Castle Hotel and nature reserve and is now the youngest person to have seen 9,000 bird species!
Both of these top birding enthusiasts chose Green Castle due to its central location on the island for seeing all of the Jamaican endemics.
An interesting fact is that Ian Fleming chose to name James Bond after his best friend, the author of The Birds of the West Indies. James Bond has set it’s own world records but we won’t go into that for now. Although you can visit Goldeneye and its lush surroundings on a fun day out or tour from Green Castle.
What is included on a Green Castle tour for Birding in Jamaica?
We can provide everything from a day pass for non-residents to a fully-guided birding experience – the choice is yours!
- Access and trail maps for the entire Green Castle Estate.
- Guided walks around the estate with our local expert bird guides.
- Day trips to key sites in the John Crow and Blue Mountains.
- A complete birding itinerary, designed to your requirements.
- An all-inclusive birding tour in Jamaica, fully guided and including two-day trips
We welcome all visitors but to make the most of Green Castle, we strongly recommend that you stay in our superb accommodation. A detailed map will enable you to explore the marked trails for yourself, but you will probably want some help to make the most of your time. Our excellent bird guides are certified with the Jamaica Tourism Product Development Company, an arm of the Jamaican Tourist Board; they are also members of Team Jamaica. They can accompany you as often as you require, making birding in Jamaica more enjoyable and helping to locate the most elusive species.
What are the best locations for bird watching and birding in Jamaica?
There are four locations which are regarded as the best locations for bird watching and birding in Jamaica. These are Green Castle Hotel and eco park, the Blue Mountains, John Crow Mountains and another densely forested area close to Green Castle. An early morning local tour of our coastline will be rewarded with viewings of the White-tailed Tropicbird amongst others.
Green Castle is Jamaica’s number one boutique eco-hotel and eco park. Attached to the hotel is a vast 1600-acre / 6.5km2 tropical paradise, which is home to many of the 28 endemic bird species of Jamaica, caribbean endemics and migratory birds. Access to the eco park is complimentary for all guests staying at one of the 12 en-suite rooms for a minimum of two nights. Guests can walk around the estate on their own or expert birding in Jamaica guides can be arranged. Our expert bird guide costs are shown in our tours & services page which include the half day and full day birding guide packages.
Green Castle is also perfectly situated centrally between the other renowned birding locations. This is essential for reducing travelling times to these destinations. Most guests wish to visit the Blue Mountains, and John Crow Mountains before sunrise to give the best opportunity for birding in Jamaica. Having a full day here also allows you to take in the natural beauty of these areas and enjoy birding on the numerous hiking trails. There are other areas close to Green Castle which can be recommended for bird watching if required.
We are the perfect place to bring a non-birding partner – they can relax, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy our traditional Jamaican hospitality, whilst Birders enjoy their birdwatching and birding tours! Non-birders can enjoy an ice-cold red stripe beer or Jamaican rum punch by the pool. There are many easy walking trails to go on, including the waterfall, the historic Windmill Tower, Blue Hole and natural eco beach. Enjoy swimming or snorkeling at Jack’s Bay on our coastline. Check out the organic farming we have in our eco park. We can also arrange for transport or tours into Ocho Rios, or to local markets, or perhaps to Goldeneye, the Bob Marley Museum or Firefly to take in some of local Jamaican culture. To check out the many fun things to do in Jamaica, visit here. You can also find out about our fascinating history here.