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Worldwide Birding Tours - Birding Ecotours

Birding Tour Panama: Central and Eastern Panama and the Darien 2018

Welcome to our new Birding Tour Central and Eastern Panama 2017! Panama is perhaps one of the best birding countries in the Neotropics. With easy access, an excellent logistic infrastructure, and a huge bird list of 997 species it is an obligatory birding destination. Panama is excellent for beginners in the Neotropics who would certainly fall in love with the natural history and the overwhelming amount of birds such as colorful tanagers, sparkling hummingbirds, noisy parrots, lovely motmots and trogons, and for those who are quite experienced Panama offers an exquisite set of seldom-seen and sought-after species, such as Bare-crowned and Ocellated Antbirds, Black-crowned Antpitta, Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo, and the strange Sapayoa.

During this 12-day tour you will have the chance to visit the Gamboa area near the Panama Canal, where we will be based at the world-famous Canopy Tower Lodge. This tower, a former US military center that was built to house powerful radar used in the defense of the canal, today is one of the most magnificent birding lodges in Latin America, allowing the guest a magnificent 360° view of the forest of the Soberanía National Park. We will stay a total of four nights, exploring the great surroundings, including places like the Pipeline Road, Summits Ponds, Semaphore Hill Road, and the Gamboa Marina Resort while looking for species such as Brown-hooded Parrot, Northern Mealy and Red-lored Amazons, Keel-billed and Yellow-throated Toucan, Rufous and Broad-billed Motmots, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Boat-billed Heron, Crimson-backed and Golden-hooded Tanagers, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Spotted Antbird, Dot-winged Antwren, Long-billed Gnatwren, Song Wren, Slaty-tailed, Gartered, and White-tailed Trogons, and if we are lucky Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo and Ocellated Antbird. The lodge’s surroundings are also good for wildlife, including brown-throated sloth, nine-banded armadillo, Central American agouti, and lesser capybara.

Then we will visit the Canopy Lodge in the Valle del Antón (Anton Valley), surrounded by lush forested hills and ridges and home to several special species, such as Yellow-eared Toucanet, Snowcap, Ochraceus Wren, White-tipped Sicklebill, Black-and-yellow Tanager, Tiny Hawk, Tody Motmot, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Grey-headed Chachalaca, and Collared Trogon, and we’ll have another chance for Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo. The Canopy Lodge is a very comfortable, beautiful lodge, situated in a peaceful location and surrounded by gardens, where we will try for Tropical Screech Owl and, with luck, Uniform Crake, as well for several tanagers like Bay-headed and Dusky-faced Tanagers.

Finally, we will spend four nights and days at the recently-built Canopy Camp in the Darién Province, looking for a whole set of range-restricted species shared only with Colombia, some of them quite hard to get in other Neotropical countries. The amenities at the Canopy Camp are very comfortable; each camping unit provides an African safari tent with wooden floor, beds, electricity, fans (however, no AC), a second room to place the luggage inside the tent, and a private bathroom outside the tent. The birds in the Darien include White-eared Conebill, Double-banded Greytail, Dusky-backed Jacamar, Black Oropendola, Spectacled Parrotlet, Black-crowned Antpitta, Bare-crowned Antbird, Black Antshrike, Grey-cheeked Nunlet, Spot-crowned Barbet, and Orange-crowned Oriole. We will also try for Blue Cotinga, Green Shrike-Vireo, Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker, and the most-wanted Sapayoa.

This tour can be combined with our Birding Tour Panama: Wild Western Panama – the Caribbean and the Cloudforest Slope 2018.

Duration: 12 days

Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8

Date Start: May 17, 2018

Date End: May 28, 2018

Tour Start: Panama City

Tour End: Panama City

Tour information

We consider this an easy trip. Most of the birding is along roads and near the vehicle. However, we will walk up 3 km (2 miles) per day at birding pace. Around Canopy Tower we will be spend most of the time along paved roads and also at the lodge observation deck. During our visit to the Canopy Lodge almost all birding is along roads, except for the visit to the Canopy Adventure Center, where there is some steep terrain.

The Canopy Tower lodge does not have elevators, and the rooms are located in the second and third floors, the dining room on the fourth floor, and the observation deck at the top. The participants should be able to walk up and down every day.

Canopy Camp is a comfortable African safari style setting with private bathrooms with sink, showers, and flush toilets and electricity. We will bird around forest clearings and explore some forest trails, including birding along roads.

Price: $4409 per person sharing, assuming 4 - 8 participants

Single Supplement: US$599

Price includes:

Transfer from the Panama City airport to the Canopy Tower and back to the airport on the last day


All meals (except as indicated)

Bottled water and complementary soft drinks

All transportation

English-speaking tour leader

Admission fees

Price excludes:

International airfares

Hotel in Panama (before or after the tour if needed)

Alcoholic drinks

Personal expenses such as laundry, internet access, phone calls, etc.


Dinner in Panama on the last day

Any activity and meals in Panama City on the first day if arrival is early in the morning

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Featured Guide - Eduardo Ormaeche

Senior Tour Leader and South American Office Manager Since 2004 Eduardo Ormaeche has not stopped working for Birding Ecotours. He started guiding tours in his native country of Peru and from there spr ...

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What our clients say

During our tour of Costa Rica Mike was a huge advantage in our quest for the target birds. His body bristling with equipment, he used his ceaseless enthusiasm, know-how, sharp eyes and keen ears to readily uncover and identify those that mattered – from the gregarious to the rare and the secretive. And after dark he would make relevant contributions to most camp-fire topics. Great to have him on the team!

Mike and Inger Lear, Johannesburg, South Africa

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