Connecticut Audbon Society


EcoTravel Overnight Trips

Young Family Foundation Grant Helps EcoTravel Provide Binoculars and Field Guides to Students in Cuba

EcoTravel Director Andy Griswold delivered a suitcase full of binoculars and field guides for young birders during a recent EcoTravel visit to Cuba, thanks to a gift from the William C. Young Family Foundation. Read about it here.


Favorite Tours

Macaw - Ben Lunsford

Amazing Amazon Cruises
Year-round Departures.     Seven Days!
Our most popular cruise explores some of the most untouched rainforest in all of Amazonia. On an eight-cabin expedition vessel, travelers venture far up some of the least inhabited rivers in the Amazon Basin for a full seven days and explore areas rarely visited, seeking out the mysterious life in the heart of the Amazon. This is the most thorough, detailed, and sophisticated trip offered in the entire Amazon and comes with rave reviews from past participants. Guides are accomplished local naturalists. This is a trip of a lifetime, easy for seniors and families! Fee starts at $3,795 per person. Extensions are available to Iguacu Falls, Machu Picchu, Pantanal, Galapagos, and Ecuadorian Highlands. Call for details.

Galapagos Cruise: Islands of Discovery
Year-round Departures.
Galapagos, a remote archipelago where life goes on much as it has for millions of years, is the world’s greatest living laboratory for study and observation of nature. Here the animals have no fear of humans, and you can be at one with nature as nowhere else on Earth. Over centuries, animal and plant life reached the islands and gradually evolved into new life forms. Opportunities for photography are unparalleled, with sea lions, iguanas, and penguins in arm’s reach. Cabins available from $4,700 per person. Ecuadorian Highland, Machu Picchu, and Quito extensions available. Don’t miss out on this tremendous learning experience in the “Enchanted Islands.” Call or email for more detail. Call for details.
Panama’s Canopy Tower and Lodge
Year Round Departures.     Six to 21 Days!
For many years, this tiny country roughly the size of South Carolina was known only for the “Engineering Wonder of the World” that connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Panama Canal. More and more people, however, are starting to discover the vast natural and cultural wonders that Panama offers, including Caribbean coral reefs, Pacific mangrove wetlands, dry tropical forests, wet rainforests, and mountain cloud forests. These tropical ecosystems harbor an incredible diversity of colorful flowers and plants and a wide array of wild animals like sloths, anteaters, monkeys, and more. There are about 960 different species of birds—far more than the total number of species found in the U.S. and Canada combined! Panama presents excellent opportunities to see wildlife and learn about the importance of tropical environments. Six day packages start at $1,299. The 21-day package starts at $4,619. Call for details on these packages and others, and for exact departure dates. Not to be missed!  Call for details.

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Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel has a great selection of tours that visit many exciting spots close to home and around the globe. All of our tours promise to be special adventures, giving you the opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful animals and habitats in the world. The Connecticut Audubon Society strives to be at the forefront of environmental education, and our EcoTravel program plays a strong part in that goal. If our dates or tours do not meet your needs, we can provide you with the itineraries of other natural history travel companies. If you choose one of their programs and sign-up through us, we will earn commissions which support Connecticut Audubon Society’s education programs. It costs you nothing extra and helps us immensely.

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For Detailed Itineraries of our Overnight Tours, please contact us at:
Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel
PO Box 903
Essex, CT 06426

Call us for the lowest prices on Swarovski and Vortex Binoculars and Scopes. Call us at 860-767-0660!

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Overnight International Tour Listing

Guatemala: Tropical Birds and Tikal
February 4 – 15, 2019   12 Days!     CALL NOW!  Few Spots Remain.
The tiny country of Guatemala, with its ancient Mayan culture and history, volcanic vistas, and incredible birdlife, is a dream come true for the adventure traveler. Guatemala is home to more than 700 species of birds, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Travel to cloud forest and tropical rain forest, from the Pacific Slope to the central highlands, in search of Guatemala’s many regionally endemic species. The Tikal portion of the trip opens views into the Mayan past as you witness the sunrise from atop pyramids nestled within tropical splendor. Its unique history and geography, combined with a modern tourist infrastructure, good roads, comfortable lodges, and inviting food, have made Guatemala the new premier destination. Don’t miss out on a trip to remember! Leader: Lucretia Bingham. Fee: $5,598. With member discount: $4,898. Call for the detailed itinerary.

India and Bhutan
India, March 17 – 31, 2019     Bhutan, March 31 – April 6, 2019
Blessed with an incredible diversity of birds, environments, and cultures, India offers an intense spectrum of avian riches. More than 1,300 species have been recorded in India, representing 12.5 percent of the world’s birds! A serious birder will not have a moment to relax, and the variety can be spoiling. The list is endless as we traverse from the Himalayas to desert, marshes, swamps, riverine, and woodland habitats in search of new species. The Bhutan extension features a country covering an area roughly the size of Switzerland, offering opportunities for peace and solitude in a striking mountain setting. Lying in the eastern Himalayas on the southern edge of the Tibetan plateau, Bhutan is almost completely mountainous, with altitudes up to 24,600 feet. Leader: Dave Provencher. India Fee: $5,698. With Member Discount: $4,898. Bhutan Extension: $2,925. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Machu Picchu: Land of the Incas
April 19 – 30, 2019   12 Days!     WAIT LIST! 
April 27 – May 9, 2019  13 Days!  SECOND DEPARTURE!
Follow the footsteps of the Incas and explorer Hiram Bingham! Visit one of the world’s deepest canyons and search for Andean Condor. Hike to ruins and relax in some of the finest hot springs imaginable. Visit Lake Titicaca for a boat trip. Take a classic railway journey across the high plains to explore Cusco, the former Inca capital, full of culture and history. Travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to explore the awe-inspiring lost city of Machu Picchu. Optional post-tour trekking on the Inca Trail. Fee: Call for pricing and the detailed itinerary. This is a bucket list tour! 

Cornwall, England: A Hiking Tour of the Coast
May 16 – 26, 2019     11 Days!
Immerse yourself in maritime heath-lands, tropical valleys, moors, history, and legends. Connect with nature along coastal paths, beaches, and lanes bordered by carpets of brilliant pastel spring flowers or summer heathers in fields stitched together with hedgerows. Enjoy the quiet, the clean air, and the fresh scents as we explore this land of Daphne De Maurier, Doc Martin, and Poldark on daily hikes near the cliffs and in the countryside. Our native naturalist/guide knows the flora and fauna, geology, significant historic sites, folklore, birds and wildlife, back roads, country tea houses, local gossip, and scenic villages off the beaten track. Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: $2,798. With member discount: $2,198. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Botswana Safari
May 31 – June 10, 2019     11 Days!
This trip presents the extraordinary opportunity to view exciting big game and a multitude of birds species in a luxurious safari setting. Slightly smaller than Texas, Botswana is a country blessed with unbelievable natural beauty and prodigious wildlife. The variety of habitat, from grassland to mopane and acacia woodland, provides for a natural history traveler’s paradise, touting an astounding 460 bird species at just one of the lodges. Birds may include Pel’s Fishing Owl, Saddle-billed Stork, African Finfoot, and the national bird of Botswana, the Lilac-breasted Roller. This tour focapcuses on the exploration of the Okavango Delta, one of Earth’s largest and most unique water systems, and widely recognized as one of last remaining pristine wilderness areas in Africa. You’ll be led by Miley Bull, the Senior Director of Science and Conservation for Connecticut Audubon Society, along with local specialist guides. Fee: 8,595. With member discount: $7,995. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice
June 17 – 26, 2019     10 Days!
Travelers visiting Iceland today follow in the steps of the mighty Vikings who first discovered the island in the ninth century. Whether you delight in vast untouched and uninhabited expanses of landscape or walking around town making friends, you’ll feel free in Iceland. Visit Iceland and enter a whole new realm of experience! You’ll discover original nature as you’ve never seen it before while visiting thousands of cliff-nesting birds and enjoying up-close encounters with whales. The freedom to roam the wilds as you please, to explore, and to have fun—these are the keys to the Iceland experience. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $6,998. With member discount: $6,198. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Brazil Garden Tour
Celebrating Roberto Burle Marx
July 9 – 23, 2019     15 Days!
Brazil is a land of staggering beauty and unsurpassed diversity. It is also the birthplace of Roberto Burle Marx, one of the most influential and groundbreaking landscape artists of the 20th century. Explore his landscape design genius, the natural wonders of the unique Atlantic forest biome, and the art, history, culture, and cuisine of three cosmopolitan cities: Rio de Janeiro, Petropolis, and Teresopolis. This tour has something for everyone! Leaders are garden designer and birder Cole Burrell and local guide Patricia Silva. Belo Horizonte extension available. Fee: $8,298. With member discount: $7,598. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Nova Scotia’s National Parks
July 25 – August 2, 2019     Nine Days!
From the spectacular tides of the Bay of Fundy to the rolling farmland to the heath-lands of Cape Breton, there is no better highlights tour! Search for the rare Right Whale! The tremendous number of shorebirds at this time of year is legendary, known for their incredible aerial ballet. Nights are at Canada’s government-owned four-star lodges. Cape Breton delights travelers with its high cliffs overlooking the North Atlantic and its quaint fishing villages. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $4,698. With member discount: $3,998. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Trekking the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco
Including Marrakech and Essaouira
September 9 – 19, 2019       11 Days!
The High Atlas Mountains, which dominate the skyline to the south of Marrakech, have always played an important role for the city, not least with regard to commerce. With several peaks above 12,000 feet, the Western High Atlas is part of a larger chain of mountains that spreads from the Atlantic Coast in the west, to Tunisia in the east. The mountains are home to the indigenous Berber people who have inhabited Morocco for at least 5,000 years. The Berbers live in small clusters of earthen adobe houses which cling precipitously to mountainsides. Guests stay at the amazing Kasbah du Toubkal in the trailhead village of Imlil and also in a lodge in the remote Azzaden Valley, where peace and tranquility prevail. All trekking is fully supported with a mule to carry your luggage. Our personal mountain guide will be on hand for the duration of the stay to help with planning treks. You can choose to walk as little or as much as you like! Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: $3,398. With member discount: $2,798. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Gardens of Tuscany
September 17 – 25, 2019   Nine Days!
The beguiling central Italian region of Tuscany is blessed with an abundance of superb gardens. Many were created by wealthy aristocratic and banking families during the Renaissance when gardens, inspired by classical ideals of order and beauty, came to be seen as places of contemplation and pleasure and as a way of demonstrating the owner’s taste, power, and wealth. Other gardens, drawing on this tradition, are more recent creations, designed for the most part in the early 20th century for expatriates who bought and restored historic estates in and around Florence. The magnificent Tuscan countryside, some of the most picturesque and distinctive in Europe and a haven for birdlife, provides a dramatic background to many of the properties. We search out the best of Tuscany’s gardens on this tour, as we journey from Pienza, a gem of a Renaissance town in the scenic Val d’Orcia, through the vineyards of Chianti and Montalcino, to Florence, one of the world’s great cities and a treasure trove of Renaissance art and architecture. Highlights include gardens buried deep in unspoiled countryside, elegant terraced villa gardens, the hills above Florence, and the wonderful Baroque gardens. As usual we get off the beaten track at every opportunity, go birding in the region’s unspoiled countryside, and take time to sample Tuscany’s rich culinary and wine heritage. Leader: Chris Nevins. Fee: $5,450. With member discount: $4,950. Call for the detailed itinerary.


Overnight Domestic Tour Listing

Arkansas’s Cypress and Tupelo Bayous
January 13- 20, 2019     Eight Days!     FEW SPOTS LEFT! CALL NOW!
Join our tenth exciting expedition into a mature southern woodland that once hosted the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and perhaps still does! Enjoy the private lodge while experiencing the history and tales of the elusive “Grail Bird.” This tour is by special arrangement in an area that is not open to the public. Henslow’s Sparrow, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and clouds of waterfowl in the heart of America’s rice belt! Fee: $2,395. With member discount: $1,998. Leaders: Andy Griswold. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Montauk Escape
February 8 – 10, 2019     Three Days!
The town of Montauk, on the far eastern tip of Long Island, is one of the best winter birding spots. The open ocean and the harbor provide opportunities to see many winter waterfowl not so commonly found in Connecticut. Eiders, all three scoter species, gulls, alcids, grebes, loons, and other winter specialties are among the many birds one can expect. Enjoy the quiet of an off-season resort town and the fresh air of winter beaches. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $855. With member discount: $655. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Florida’s Everglades, Keys, and Dry Tortugas
March 21 – 28, 2019   Eight Days!
One of North America’s “Top-Ten Birding Spots,” South Florida hosts a large number of unusual birds and other wildlife that are found nowhere else. Visit unique and sensitive habitats, including such well-known places as Loxahatchee, Big Cypress, Shark Valley, Anhinga Trail, Key West, and the famed Dry Tortugas. Bird species include the federally endangered Snail Kite, Short-tailed Hawk, Masked Booby, Brown Noddy, federally threatened Florida Scrub-Jay, and Sooty Tern. Witness first-hand how special a place the Everglades truly is! Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $4,198. With Member Discount: $3,698. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Nebraska’s Crane Migration
March 24 – 29, 2019   Six Days!
Nearly half a million Sandhill Cranes descend upon the broad valley of the Platte River, and by March approximately 80 percent of the world’s Lesser Sandhill Cranes crowd a 150-mile stretch of the river in the largest gathering of cranes anywhere in the world! We may even find a few of their rare and elegant cousins, the federally endangered Whooping Crane. Witness one of North America’s greatest wildlife spectacles! Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Fee: $2,695. With member discount: $2,295. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Nantucket: Seasons in Transition
April 9 – 12, 2019     Four Days!
The birding starts the minute we board the ferry and gets better as we leave the mainland behind. Revel in the peace and quiet of an off-season resort, the inescapable sense of history, and the abundance of open space. Expect sea ducks, rare gulls, and spectacular Snowy Owls as we search the desolate beaches by four-wheel-drive vehicle. Take time to relax in the delightful teahouses and pubs in the heart of the historic town. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the experience of the island in winter. We’ll be staying in a private house in the village of Siasconset. Leaders: Andy Griswold and island native Rich Newman. Fee: $1,498. With member discount: $1,298. No single supplements! Call for the detailed itinerary.

Colorado’s Grouse and Prairie Chickens
April 13 – 23, 2019   11 Days!
Our tour is designed to allow time for birding the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Plateau, and the marvelous leks of Colorado’s grasslands, emphasizing the western birds you seldom or never see on the East Coast. The tour provides the best opportunity to find each of the many target bird species, including Greater Sage-Grouse, Gunnison Sage-Grouse, Lesser Prairie-Chicken, Greater Prairie-Chicken, Dusky Grouse, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Three-toed Woodpecker, rosy-finches, and more. Each day is a total natural history experience! Leaders: Phil Rusch and second driver TBD. Fee: $5,485. With Member Discount: $4,885. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Texas: Coast, Valley, and Hills
April 23 – May 2, 2019   10 Days!

Join the guide team of Jay Hand and Andy Griswold for a grand adventure in “The #l Bird State.” Three-quarters of all birds occurring in the continental United States have been recorded in Texas, where on this ten-day trip you can see over 250 species, including Green Kingfisher, Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay, Tropical Parula, Golden-cheeked Warbler, and more. The scenery is fabulous, featuring vast open spaces unlike anything in the East. Visit famed High Island, Bolivar Flats, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, King Ranch, Sabal Palm, Santa Ana, Bentsen, and the Edward’s Plateau. Jay and Andy are known for their expert knowledge of Texas birds. Fee: $3,898. With member discount: $3,498. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Cape Cod in Spring
May 3 – 6, 2019   Four Days!
Explore the Cape, Chatham to Provincetown, in springtime when all is quiet and the bustle of summer tourism has yet to begin. Besides scouring the beaches and inlets, you will have many activities to keep you busy and intrigued with all that can be found at the edges of a marine environment and the world’s largest glacial peninsula. Travelers will stop to visit Massachusetts Audubon’s facility in Wellfleet, Cape Cod National Seashore, and spend time enjoying the birds, gardens, and beaches in Provincetown, Falmouth, Chatham, and Eastham. Participants will be magically absorbed into the early spring wildness of the outer Cape: its grass-topped dunes, sprawling beaches, and ceaseless crashing waves. Leader: Matt Bell. Fee: $1,298. With member discount: $998. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Magee Marsh and Point Pelee
May 7 – 16, 2019     10 Days!
Magee Marsh, on the south shore of Lake Erie, is a prime stopover for North American warblers. Every spring thousands of birders and photographers flock to this location to witness the spectacle of large songbird concentrations preparing to migrate across the great lake. Point Pelee National Park, situated on Lake Erie’s north shore, is one of the most important migration highways in North America. It is located within the true deciduous forest region commonly called Carolinian Forest, in Canada found only on a narrow belt along Lake Erie’s north shore, featuring plants and animals that are rare or absent elsewhere in Canada. The Point is perfectly situated as a migrant trap and in springtime can boast as many as 260 species, with a single-day high of 170! Trip via our luxury van from Connecticut. This is a perfect trip for birders of all levels! Leader: Matt Bell. Fee: $3,498. With Member Discount: $3,098. The tour is limited to seven participants. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Hunt for the Elusive Spruce Grouse
May 27 – 30, 2019     Four Days!
Enjoy an escape to clear mountain waters, lakes abundant with native trout, and the brightest star-filled nights you’ve ever seen—all in the beautiful woods of Maine. Visit the places where Frederick Church painted landscapes of Mount Katahdin. Get away and roam among the moose, carnivorous pitcher plants and sundew, orchids, and birds unique to this northern habitat. The big target is Spruce Grouse but should also include other hard-to-find species like Black-backed and Three-toed woodpeckers. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Connecticut Lakes
June 6 – 9, 2019     Four Days!
The Connecticut Lakes region is the pristine area at the northern tip of New Hampshire offering unlimited, unspoiled wilderness. This is the center of the North Country’s moose habitat where the Connecticut River is born. Birds may include Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Canada Jay, Mourning Warbler, and Boreal Chickadee. Stay at a peaceful lakeside lodge and hike to the headwaters, straddling the river where it begins its journey south. Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Hiking Maine’s Katahdin – Baxter State Park
July 11 – 16, 2019     Six Days!
Katahdin is Maine’s signature mountain, an honor bestowed on it for more than simply boasting the state’s highest peak at 5,267 feet. From a distance, Katahdin appears like a crown rising above the vast woodlands of Baxter State Park. The aura surrounding this magnificent massif and the desire to conquer it can be traced to Henry David Thoreau’s exploration in 1846, as chronicled in his book The Maine Woods. While there are several routes to Katahdin’s summit, the vast majority of people ascend via the Hunt Trail (also the Appalachian Trail), the perfect Maine hike offering 4,100 feet of rugged elevation gain through deep forest, boulder scrambles, and unique alpine tableland. The views across the jagged Knife’s Edge further perpetuate the image of standing on Maine’s crown, where instead of a gift shop selling “This car climbed Mount Katahdin” bumper stickers, you’ll experience the joy of having earned this cherished view on foot. A guided group hiking experience, with great accommodations and delicious food! Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: $2,298. With member discount: $1,998. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Maine’s Whales and Puffins
July 11 – 15, 2019     Five Days!
Maine is one of the most beautiful states on the east coast. With its rocky shores, dense forests, and access to the ocean, it gives nature lovers a wide range of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. This trip allows participants to experience much of what Maine has to offer, with a puffin cruise, whale watch, forest walks, ocean strolls, and amazing views. Explore the beauty of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park, one of the most picturesque parks and home to Cadillac Mountain, where watching sunrise and sunset is unequalled. Revel in the scenic beauty of historic towns and hidden coves. Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Fee: $1,698. With member discount $1,398. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Southeastern Arizona Desert Bloom
July 24 – August 1, 2019     Nine Days!
Late July welcomes the summer rains and is prime time for finding hummingbirds. As many as 15 species, including White-eared, Violet-crowned, Berylline, and Plain-capped Starthroat have been found on past trips. This is also the time for Mexican rarities, such as Aztec Thrush and the late breeding birds such as Varied Bunting, Botteri’s, Cassin’s and Rufous-winged sparrows. These are but a few of the many species we’ll search out as we journey through this lovely, varied landscape, which draws birders and naturalists from all over the world. Leaders: Jay Hand and Andy Griswold. Fee: $3,298. With member discount: $2,898. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Monhegan Island: Migration Hotspot
September 21 – 24, 2019   Four Days!
Join leader Jim Sherwonit on a relaxing tour of Monhegan Island at the peak of migration. Off the coast of Maine, Monhegan serves as a stopover point for birds caught out over open water. With no roads and no cars on the island, participants stroll along the many trails while searching for what arrived overnight and enjoying eye-level looks at many of the warbler species, tanagers, and flycatchers. In the fall, nature and beauty are at their apex on Monhegan. Stay at a lovely island inn and don’t miss the blueberry pie! Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Block Island Weekend Escape
September 27 – 29, 2019   Three Days!
Revel in the wilds of Block Island, Rhode Island, after summer tourists have left the beaches and town. Often a magnet for wayward birds, “Block” will delight travelers with its island architecture, wild flowers, and natural beauty. This is our most popular weekend trip! Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $878. With member discount: $678. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Hawk Mountain Migration
October 18 – 21, 2019   Four Days!
This 2,200-acre sanctuary in eastern Pennsylvania is well known for its stupendous hawk migration, when fall brings an average of 24,000 birds of prey. If the winds are from the west or northwest, this spot can give you an experience to remember, with hundreds of birds right at eye level. Travelers stop at birding hotspots in search of shorebirds, waterfowl, and other birds of interest. Leader: Matt Bell. Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998. Call for the detailed itinerary.

Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park
November 1 – 6, 2019     Six Days!
Explore the peaks of Tennessee’s breathtakingly beautiful Appalachian Mountains featuring spectacular waterfalls and endless vistas. Follow wooded trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, home to elk, black bear, and over 200 bird species. Immerse yourself in autumn colors as you hike through high-country meadowlands along the Appalachian Trail. Participants should be fit enough for all-day exploration and hiking over hilly terrain. The Great Smoky Mountains are perhaps the most imposing set of peaks in the East, showcasing large tracts of rugged, federally protected wilderness and old-growth forest of astounding biodiversity. The “smoky” name stems from the range’s ever-present mists. Leave the planning and driving to us as you enjoy this guided group hiking experience, with great accommodations and delicious food! Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: $2,198. With member discount: $1,798. Call for the detailed itinerary.


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