Caroni boat tours leave daily at 4pm from the assembly point in the car park and last two and half hours; advance booking advisable (though not essential), and you should get there by 3.40pm. Of the two operators, Nanan’s (t 645 1305 or t 861 8274, w nananecotours.com; tour TT$60, with taxi to and from Port of Spain TT$400) is the larger, a professional outfit whose numerous boats often carry up to thirty people; Madoo’s tours (t 663 0458 or t 737 2069; TT$90) are more personalized, with smaller groups, and better for serious birders. Whichever operator you choose, try to sit at the front of the boat to avoid engine noise and fumes, and always douse yourself in plenty of repellent as mosquitoes here are rapacious. It’s also a good idea to bring binoculars or a powerful zoom lens, as it’s not possible to get close to the roosting spots without disturbing the ibis.

An excellent alternative to standard boat trips are the kayak tours offered by Paria Springs (t 620 8240, w pariasprings.com), which start from the southern side of the swamp and paddle through a narrow channel to the roosting site; the lack of engines allows for much better wildlife viewing.

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