Mark Smith Nature Tours
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JAMAICA: Nature, Birds and Beaches

led by Mark Smith and Ann Sutton

December 3 - 14, 2014

The Islands of the Caribbean support unique flora and fauna as distinctive as that of the Galapagos or Hawaiian islands. Millions of years of isolation have given rise to a multitude of endemic Caribbean species, including thousands of plants (like magnificent palms, orchids and cacti) and hundreds of birds, reptiles and butterflies.

Jamaica is biologically one of the richest islands in all the Indies and presents a relaxed introduction to the diverse natural and cultural history of the Indies. In addition to rainforest walks and visits to colonial towns, this tour includes time to snorkel over corals and laze on the beach.

The lush island of Jamaica was a British colony until 1962. In recent years, with the aid of international conservation groups, Jamaica has expanded her preserves, especially the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, a key area for wintering North American migrant birds and for Jamaica's hundreds of endemic plants and animals. The area also provides drinking water to most Jamaicans and is famous for its fine coffee. Luxuriant rainforest with treeferns, palms and orchids cloaks these rugged mountains, where many peaks rise over 5,000 feet.

Here, and in the remote Cockpit country to the west, we will search for Jamaica's 27 endemic birds, including the Jamaican Becard, two parrot species, and the gorgeous Streamertail and Jamaican Mango hummingbirds, among many others. We spend two nights in a "Great House," one of the old plantation houses set in a nature preserve, seven nights at beach hotels in the west, southwest, and northeast, from where we swim, snorkel and visit nearby natural areas, and two nights in a chalet overlooking the coffee plantations and National Park of the Blue Mountains. Join us as we explore Jamaica's finest natural areas, while learning about her unique history and culture, including delicious local foods.

December 3 - 14, 2014

GROUND COST: $2885

LEADERS: Mark Smith and Jamaican naturalists

LIMIT: 8

Jamaica Trip Itinerary and Information

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Jamaican Butterfly
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