At Green Castle, we offer you a choice of either joining one of our all-inclusive birding tours or doing it your own way, with a bespoke birding package. Check out the information below.including our day by day detailed birding tour itinerary!
All-inclusive Birding Tours
Our birding tours offer exceptional value for money and have proved extremely popular – the full itinerary is included below. Most of our groups see all 28 Jamaican endemics, as well as many of the endemic subspecies, Caribbean specialities and migratories, totalling well over 100 species.
Since 2015 we have invited birders to join us on our very own birding tours. These include accommodation, all meals and fully guided birding throughout the week. We even include two day trips into the John Crow and Blue Mountains to find the few species that are not regularly seen 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, who make your bird watching vacation memorable.
GREEN CASTLE BIRDING TOURS
Reserve now to avoid disappointment! Info@gcjamaica.com
Subject to availability book a night or two extra to coincide with your flight times/days and take a little time to relax as well.
7 night/8 day Tour for 2022 with last price at $1895pp sharing:Please contact us for a private tour if our tours are full!
28th November to 5th December 2022
5 and 7 night Tours for 2023 are:
7 night/8 days New Year tour $1995pp sharing -20th to 27th January
5 night/6 day tour $1795pp sharing -13th to 18th February or 7 nights for $1795
7 night/8 day$1995pp sharing-3rd to 10th March
For the amazing prices for all above tours, you receive our all-inclusive Birding Tour including airport transfers which is extremely popular and offers exceptional value for money. 5 night/6 day tours are more intense whereas the 7 night/8 day tours are at a steady pace. Most of our groups see all 28 Jamaican endemics, as well as many of the endemic subspecies and migratories totalling over 100 species. Full details and itinerary at:
We are also the perfect place to bring a non-birding partner
for relaxing at Jamaica’s premier birding and eco-resort. Enjoy our renowned Jamaican hospitality! Please see our superb reviews on Tripadvisor.
For the latest entry information for Jamaica, please click here. Our Covid compliance within the resilient corridor can be seen when searching under Guesthouses and the Name Taino Hills Estate (Green Castle, St Marys). Staying within Greencastle’s private 1600 acres complies with quarantine requirements which also includes any booked mountain trips, to ensure a safe experience during these unusual times.
We can arrange a PCR test locally or a Doctor comes to Greencastle for Antigen tests with results same day for your flight home!
*Complimentary group airport transfers are included from Montego Bay in the mid to late afternoon (check your flight times with us before booking flights) with departure flights based on mid to late afternoon/evening flights. Private transfer is also available for Kingston airport and Montego Bay airport for a different time for an additional charge.
*Based on standard en-suites Period then Rustic, on a first-come-first-served basis (please ask at booking) –superior front line en-suite accommodation may be reserved for a reasonable additional sum. Check the accommodation section of the website and email us with any request at the time of booking. Subject to availability. Package includes all meals with dinner on first day and and breakfast on last day. * For the solo traveller, there is a $275 supplement plus 10% Government tax.
Daily non-stop flights from many North American airports
including New York, Miami and Toronto.
Non-stop flights from London Gatwick, Birmingham,
Manchester and Glasgow in the UK with TUI with Virgin &
British Airways from London Gatwick.
Non-stop Flights from Frankfurt, Germany. France and Spain.
50% deposit at booking for our Special Birding tours otherwise 20% deposit for all other bookings.
Balance within 60 days of arrival.
Flights not included. Alcohol is not permitted to be brought onto the premises by guests, we operate our own bar and prices are shown.
Accommodation discounts do not apply to the Rustic rooms.
Cancellation Policy is shown at the foot of the website but this is overridden currently. We provide a full refund less any bank transfer cost, up to 7 days before arrival if due to Covid restrictions in originating country or in Jamaica. We provide a full credit if you cancel within 7 days of arrival for a booking to be taken within 2 years.
7-Day Birding Itinerary
This is the itinerary for the birding tours that run throughout the year. These are extremely popular and we recommend booking well in advance. You have the services of a Bird Guide for 5 days as follows; 2 full days on the mountain tours, 2 days at Greencastle and one half day and one evening birding. This may change according to weather conditions or be done on different days than specified. You can modify this itinerary for your own bespoke birding tour, perhaps combining it with a longer stay that takes in other aspects of the Jamaican experience. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arrive Montego Bay* or Kingston Airport, transfer to Greencastle in an air-conditioned vehicle.
Depending on time, we may have the opportunity to stop at a 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).
6pm Dinner or snack if arriving after 7pm– Green Castle Estate House.
Meet our bird guide for an early bird walk around the gardens from 6:30 am.
Jamaican breakfast at the Estate House 8:30 am.
After breakfast, there will be a brief orientation with our registered bird guide, who will take the group during the week at Green Castle. 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.
We will meet for early refreshments, ready for a 5:00 am departure (with packed breakfast). We shall visit the majestic Blue Mountains, in an air-conditioned vehicle with Bird Guide.
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.
*Your lunch will be brought to you from a local cafe or a packed lunch may be provided.
We may stop for a cup of Blue Mountain Coffee at a roadside cafe before spending the afternoon exploring a little farther up the road, taking time to enjoy more of Jamaica’s birdlife amidst stunning mountain scenery.
Dinner at the Estate House.
A relaxed day, morning and evening birding or afternoon and evening birding with our bird guide, taking time to explore more habitats around Green Castle’s 1600-acre site, starting with a pre-breakfast walk for a morning session for the early risers if desired.
Jamaican breakfast at the Estate House 8:30 am.
Today we will visit different parts of the estate including Davey Hill, freshwater pools and possibly 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.
Light Lunch at the Estate House.
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 and also the Barn Owl.
We will meet again for early refreshments, ready for a 5:00 am departure. 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.
After such an early start, a packed breakfast (including hot porridge) is most welcome!
*Lunch at Boston Jerk Centre.
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 Green Castle, maybe stopping to visit various water areas, if time permits, where White-tailed Tropicbirds are sometimes seen.
Dinner at the Estate House.
**Today you will spend more leisurely time around the estate with the guide, where you may take new hiking trails including visiting the reservoir or night birding if certain birds still need to be spotted. This will be a more relaxed pace and you have the option of exploring new trails for which we provide maps.
Jamaican breakfast at the Estate House 8:30 am
During the morning, we may encounter such species as Jamaican Vireo, White-Chinned Thrush and Rufous-tailed Flycatcher.
Light Lunch at the Estate House
Dinner at the Estate House.
After dinner, you 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.
Optional Tropic birds tour early morning 6-6.30 with transport and packed breakfast (small additional cost dependent on numbers interested), visiting the coast to also look for Antillean Nighthawk, Antillean Palm-swift and breeding Yellow Warbler (a Caribbean endemic subspecies).
*Otherwise if you need to catch up with any endemics or revisit key sites, then today you will have ample time to do just that. Otherwise, you can relax around the house and pool. There are many things to do in Jamaica including taking a trip (optional) out to local scenic spots such as Dunn’s River Falls or to Mystic Mountain. You could visit Sir Noel Coward’s house – Firefly and the former home of Ian Fleming at Goldeneye, where he wrote all the James Bond books. Or visit a local craft market then take a walk on the natural eco beach…the choice is yours!
Farewell Jerk BBQ around the pool, weather permitting.
An optional pre-breakfast bird walk in the gardens if desired.
Jamaican breakfast 8.30am.
There will be plenty of time for packing, relaxing or birding around the gardens or trails before our air-conditioned vehicle sets off to Montego Bay* or Kingston for the flight home. We may have time to stop at a suitable habitat for our last experience of Jamaican birding.
Please note: *Our birding tours are based on Montego Bay airport group transfers, please check times with us before booking flights as pick up is usually mid-to-late afternoon and departing flights are late afternoon/evening. Kingston airport transfers or early Montego Bay transfers can be arranged but please check transport section of this website for costs. Accommodation is on a first come first serve basis and usually in a standard room en-suite. Late bookers may therefore be accommodated in a rustic en-suite with no balcony or garden views. *Day 3 and 5 lunch is paid directly by birders to the cafe in line with whatever lunch item is chosen or we add it to your check out sheet.* Day 7 activities-please ask for quote. Upgrades to an Estate House frontline suite are available at a reasonable additional cost (subject to availability).
Light Lunch may be hot (meat and /or vegetable soup with garlic bread) or may be cold (sandwiches and juices or pasta)
There is always a risk that adverse weather conditions may persist for 2-3 days which could make birding difficult but that is, of course, beyond our control, however over the last 7 years we have only had one tour when the birding was not completed as planned.
** Bird guide is available for a half day or night birding based on finding any birds still not seen.
Please kindly note: Alcohol is not allowed to be brought onto the premises, but is available at our bar with reasonable prices shown.
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 on 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.
We can provide everything from a day pass for non-residents to a fully guided birding experience – the choice is yours!
- Access & trail maps for independent birding at Green Castle.
- Guided walks around the estate with our local registered bird guides.
- Day trips to key sites in the Blue Mountains and John Crow 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 to make the most of Green Castle and 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 tours in Jamaica more enjoyable and helping to locate the most elusive species.
Tours and Trips
|Bird Guide per hour||$40.00|
|Evening Birding with expert guide at Green Castle||$95.00|
|Half Day Birding with expert guide||$120.00|
|Full Day Birding with expert guide||$215.00|
|Full Day Birding pass at Green Castle for non-guests (May-Dec)||$20.00|
|Full Day Birding pass at Green Castle for non-guests (Jan- Apr)||$25.00|
|Non-birding day Pass/use of facilities at Green Castle for non-guests||$30.00|
|2-3 hour Green Castle Estate Tour (adult / child)||$30.00 / $10.00|
|Full Day Hiking with expert guide||$125.00|
|Full Day tour of Port Antonio in Portland for up to 4 persons||$300.00|
|Full Day tour of Kingston for up to 4 persons||$300.00|
|Full Day in Ocho Rios for up to 4 persons||$300.00|
If you are not staying with us but wish to book a tour or activity please contact us. For groups of five or more, please contact us to discuss a special quote.
Endemic Birds of Jamaica
Jamaica has more endemic bird species than any other Caribbean island! Please refer to our Birds of Jamaica page to learn more about these endemic bird species.
“Endemism” is a concept that refers to the geographic range of a species. A bird that is endemic to Jamaica is one that is found only on the island of Jamaica and nowhere else in the world. There are also Caribbean endemics, species that are restricted to Jamaica and other Caribbean islands. Birding in Jamaica is an experience you will never forget.
Our Guides can also take you to other areas such as the Blue Mountains and Ecclesdown Road, where we can find the only endemic species which has never been recorded at Green Castle – Crested Quail-Dove. Please refer to the information at the top of the page for pricing.
If you are travelling from Europe you should consider staying with us for two weeks or combine your birding holiday with a stay in one of the regular tourist areas. If you want to extend your birding trip, there are also short hopper flights to other parts of the Caribbean such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, The Bahamas & the Cayman Islands.
Non-birding partners will love Green Castle!
Birding in Jamaica is fantastic but there is a lot more to Green Castle and there are many things to do in Jamaica. We want you to relax and soak up the atmosphere, sample the unique local cuisine, meet the warmest people and experience legendary Jamaican hospitality.
Sit back, close your eyes, then take a dip in our beautiful pool or snooze in one of the hammocks. Green Castle hosts a lovely pool and gardens with beautiful vistas – there’s nowhere more relaxing! If you need to keep in touch with the outside world, we have free internet access.
Take a tour, visit the local community and see the variety of local farming and fishing. Explore the island’s history, with records at Green Castle dating back to 900AD. See how we produce our own coconut oil, or honey at the apiary.