Panama Birding and Wildlife Hotspots 

(June 23-30, 2018)

guided birding tours panamaThe isthmus of Panama, where North and South America meet, hosts more bird species than all of North America. More accessible than ever to birders and wildlife enthusiasts, Panama has become a premier birding and nature tourism destination in recent years. Join us as we go off the beaten path in Panama to Darién National Park, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and home to harpy eagles, jaguars, Embera communities, and much more. We’ll also explore birding hotspots close to Panama City and no Panama trip would be complete without a stop at the Panama Canal.

Itinerary


DAY 1 (Sat, June 23): Arrival/ Panama City ~ Upon arrival to Tocumen International Airport (PTY), you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel. Meet fellow travel companions and discuss the week to come this evening during the Welcome Dinner.

Accommodations: Central Hotel (Deluxe Room)

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2 (Sun, June 24): Panama Canal Watershed ~ After breakfast at the hotel, depart to Soberania National Park about 45 minutes away from the city. Located near the banks of the Panama Canal and spanning 22,000 hectares (55,000 acres) of protected tropical rainforest, Soberania is one of the best and more accessible birding spots in Central America. More than 500 species of birds have been reported in Soberania along with 105 species of mammals, 80 species of reptiles, and 55 species of amphibians.

guided nature tours Panama

Continue to Pipeline Road, one of the best trails for birding in Panama. During WWII, a petroleum pipeline and service road were built across the Panama Isthmus. The pipeline was never used, but the single-lane, gravel and dirt road persists, allowing entry through the center of Soberania National Park. Pipeline Road’s bird species list exceeds 400! There’s also time to explore Lake Gatun by boat and finish the day with a stop at the Panama Canal’s Miraflores Locks Visitor Center.

Accommodations: Central Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

guided nature tours Panama

DAY 3 (Mon, June 25): Darién (Canopy Camp) ~ Morning departure to Darién, the easternmost province of Panama and one of the least visited and most revered areas for birding and wildlife watching in Central America.  It is literally the end of the highway in Panama – the Pan-American Highway, which extends from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, with only one small gap between Panama and Colombia.  The highway reaches its end in Central America in Yaviza, the cultural center of the Darién.  From there on to the edge of South America is vast, largely uncrossable lowland, foothills, highland rainforest and dry forest, intertwining rivers, mangroves and beaches.  This stretch, known as the Darién Gap, is protected in large part by Central America’s largest national park, Darién National Park, and is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

guided birding tours Panama

Darién is a birder’s paradise.  The protected forests of the Darién provide a stronghold for Great Green Macaw, Great Curassow and the majestic Harpy Eagle, Panama’s national bird, as well as other endangered wildlife including Colombian Spider Monkey, Baird’s Tapir and America’s most powerful cat, the Jaguar.  Some of Panama’s endemic species, such as the Pirre Warbler, Pirre Bush-Tanager and Beautiful Treerunner, are only found here in the far reaches of the Darién Province.

guided nature tours Panama

Canopy Camp, our home for the next four nights, is located two kilometers off the Pan-American Highway, bordering the eastern side of Serrania Filo del Tallo Hydrological Reserve, approximately 20 km beyond the town of Metetí, and approximately 1 hour from the end of the road in Yaviza.  Our location, next to the protected forest of the Filo del Tallo Hydrological Reserve (65,000 acres), contributes to the conservation of this important area, as our presence is a deterrent to poachers and loggers.  This reserve also provides us with ready access to a mature forest and its wildlife.

Accommodations: Canopy Camp (Standard Tent)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Days 4-6 (Tues, June 26 – Thurs, June 28) – Darién (Canopy Camp) ~ Wake up to the sounds of the jungle and enjoy your morning coffee overlooking beautiful views from camp. The grounds of Canopy Camp alone offer trails through lowland forest where encounters with Gray-cheeked Nunlets, Dusky-backed Jacamars, Golden-headed Manakins and Royal Flycatchers are frequent.  Furthermore, exciting day trips to El Salto Road, Filo del Tallo Hydrological Reserve, Tierra Nueva Foundation, to the end of the road at Yaviza and along the Río Chucunaque by boat to visit a local Embera village.  A visit to Pijibasal in search of harpy eagle is included. You’re sure to have the birding adventure of a lifetime!

Accommodations: Canopy Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

guided nature tours Panama

DAY 7 (Fri, June 29): Return to Panama City ~

Say goodbye to Darién and transfer back to Panama City. Your last full day in Panama ends with afternoon birding at Metropolitan Natural Park (MNP). Located only five minutes from the city, MNP is an excellent place to spot resident and migratory species. Share trip highlights this evening during our farewell dinner.

Accommodations: Central Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 8 (Sat, June 30): Departure ~ Transfer to the airport in time for your flight home.

Meals: Breakfast


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DETAILS

Price: $4065* per person based on double occupancy. Single accommodations subject to availability.

Package includes accommodations, meals starting with dinner on Day 1 and ending with breakfast on Day 8, ground transportation, full-time local bilingual naturalist guide, R2R trip host/guide (Sheridan Samano), activities, and entrance fees as listed. A donation to support conservation/environmental education efforts will be made on behalf of all participants.

Exclusions: international airfare, passport/visa fees, optional activities, travel insurance, exit taxes (if applicable), items of a personal nature, and gratuities for local guide and driver.