Choosing A Trip

I’m new at birding. What tours do you suggest?

Our Montana Owl Workshop and Ornithology 101 in South Texas Workshop focus on groups of birds that present identification challenges.

I’ve never been to the Tropics. How should I approach birding in that area?

We suggest starting with the American Tropics, close to the U.S. and accessible. Excellent field guides exist for most Latin American countries. Good first trips include any trip to Central America or Trinidad. These trips will give you an opportunity to become familiar with most Neotropical families including motmots, trogons, jacamars, woodcreepers, parrots, antbirds, ovenbirds, and others. Later you’ll want to venture south to Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Argentina. The American Tropics offer an unparalleled array of marvelous birding and natural history experiences.

What tours are best for people who are limited in the amount of walking they can do?

Some tours involve very little walking due to the type of vehicles used and the nature of the birding. These include tours to Panama’s Canopy Tower, Chan Chich Lodge in Belize, Africa tours, and our birding cruises. Our Relaxed & Easy tours typically include less walking and lighter physical activity.

What tours are best for people who are interested in lots of walking?

Our trips to El Triunfo in Mexico, and any trip to Amazonia such as Peru: Manu Biosphere Reserve, and Ecuador: The Best of Amazonia usually include more walking than most of our other tours.

I’m interested in photography—which VENT tours provide good photo opportunities?

Many of our tours take place amid the world’s most beautiful scenery, notably in Antarctica, Alaska, Bhutan, Galapagos, New Zealand, Big Bend, Colorado, and Hawaii. Wildlife photo opportunities are best on our Africa and India tours, the Pantanal in Brazil, Argentina, Alaska, and Australia.

Does VENT offer any trips that are appropriate for families?

Children 14 years or older are welcome on our trips when accompanied by their parents. Families especially enjoy our cruises, particularly our Galapagos Cruise.

What are the conditions like in the American tropics in terms of accommodations, food, and comfort?

In general, you will be pleasantly surprised with the traveling conditions on most of our tropical tours. During the past two decades we have witnessed the development of many very good lodges in Latin American countries, especially in Costa Rica, Honduras, Peru, Ecuador, Belize, and Panama. Argentina, Brazil, and Chile are highly developed countries with excellent services. Many lowland areas in the tropics are warm and humid, but other areas in the highlands are delightfully cool.

My spouse is not a birder. Which of your trips would be especially appropriate?

Our cruises, our Africa or India trips, or any “Birds, Nature & Culture” tour would be enjoyable for non-birders.

I’m very interested in other aspects of nature in addition to birds. Do any of your tours look at mammals, flowers, butterflies, ruins, etc.?

Although the main focus of most of our tours is birding, we do take advantage of opportunities to see other wildlife—mammals, flowers, butterflies, as well as archaeological ruins, etc. In North America, our Alaska trips offer the best wildlife-viewing opportunities.

All of our Africa trips are very good for mammals as well as birds. This is especially true of our Namibia & Botswana and Tanzania trips. Next to Africa, India offers the best mammal viewing in the world. India is also a fascinating country from a cultural standpoint.

Our Peru: Manu Biosphere Reserve tour and Amazon River Cruise have optional extensions to Machu Picchu.

What trip should I take if I want to see rainforests?

Excellent choices are any trips that visit eastern Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, or the Amazonian regions of Brazil or Peru. The Amazonian rainforest is biologically the richest region on the planet. The following tours offer you the opportunity to see the rainforest under expert leadership:


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