Famous for Panama Canal, the country of Panama is also home to vast forests, national parks and preserves. With over 970 species of birds (the highest out of any country in Central America), there is always something new to see when you visit.
Just beyond Panama City, the nation’s capital, lies some of the best birdwatching spots in all of the Americas. This 12-day tour will focus on the birding and wildlife hotspots around Panama City. Our journey will start with guided tour of birding and cultural hotspots within the city limits. Then we will travel to the surrounding rainforests and mountains to soak up Panama’s diversity.
DAY 1: WELCOME TO COLOURFUL PANAMA!
After landing in Panama City, Panama and clearing customs you will catch a taxi to our hotel. Here you will meet up with the Tour Leader Jenn Sinasac as well as other participants as they arrive. In Panama City we will kick-start our bird list and pick up a few species on the hotel grounds. Overnight at a bed and breakfast in Panama City.
DAYS 2-6: GAMBOA AND AREA
Our journey will start with guided tour of birding hotspots within the city limits, including the Metropolitan Nature Park. It is a great spot to begin our journey, since we will likely add a lot of starters to our list. After birding around the city, we will head over and take in the sights of the Panama Canal, an engineering masterpiece. We will then depart for the Canopy Tower our home during the first part of our tour, we will settle into our rainforest canopy sanctuary in Soberanía National Park and spend our days on guided birding and wildlife hikes and boat tours of the surrounding area. Soberanía National Park is one of the best places to see Harpy Eagles in Panama, as it is the release site of captive bred eagles. Among the places we will visit surrounding Soberanía National Park, is one of the most famous birding sites in the Americas, Pipeline Road. Surrounded by tall secondary, mature tropical forests and several small streams, our guided hike will take us along Pipeline Road where we hope to see many of the 400 species found along this road, such as White-tailed Trogon, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Ocellated Antbird, Spotted Antbird, Great Jacamar, Pheasant Cuckoo, Streak-chested Antpitta, Black-faced Antthrush, White Hawk, Tiny Hawk, Purple-throated Fruitcrow and Blue Cotinga. In addition to Pipline Road we will visit the legendary Achoite Road and a local indigenous tribe. Overnight at the Canopy Tower Ecolodge and Nature Observatory (BLD).
During the second part of the tour, we stay in one of Panama’s best birdwatching locations El Valle de Antón. El Valle de Antón is located in the mountains and is a great place to see higher elevation species including: Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, Black-headed Antthrush, Rufous-crested Coquette, Black-chested Jay and Flame-rumped Tanager. We will spend the remaining tour days exploring El Valle and several other birding hotspots in this region. With your Tour Leader Jenn and our local expert bird guide you will enjoy day trips to La Mesa Road, the Altos del Maria and local rivers in search of species such as Tody Motmot, Black-throated Mango, Blue-throated Toucanet, Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, Long-tailed Tyrant, Spot-crowned Barbet, Barred Puffbird, Black-Hawk Eagle, Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, Brown-billed Scythebill and Black-crowned Antpitta. We will also visit a local artesian market and a local zoo in charge of saving the Panama Golden Frogs from extinction. Overnight at Hidden Valley Inn (BLD).
DAY 12: FAREWELL!
After a group breakfast we will say our goodbyes and head our separate ways.