A Week With Panama’s Wildlife
Panama is one of the best places in the world for viewing an enormous diversity of tropical wildlife and birds. Because it’s a narrow stretch of land between South and North America, species from both continents converge in Panama. It’s simply epic! On this trip, you’ll never feel cut off from the outside. You will be breathing in the sounds and sights of the tropical rainforest around the clock whether you are on an excursion, having a meal, or relaxing in your room. This is a place where you may see feeding toucans from your shower and people bring their binoculars to dinner! The Canopy Tower (www.canopytower.com) offers easy access to the rainforest canopy because the rooms are IN the rainforest canopy. In the mornings, you can watch wildlife from the top deck with your morning coffee. The Canopy Tower is about an hour from Panama City, in the middle of a national park, where it stands alone on a hilltop overlooking the Panama Canal. The Canopy Lodge (also part of the Canopy Tower family) is about 60 miles west of Panama City in the village of El Valle, right in the center of a gigantic crater of an extinct volcano. We will have the opportunity to see different wildlife in this area, walk to a nearby waterfall, eat our meals in a covered, outdoor dining room and living room, and have time to explore the grounds on your own or even have a swim in the natural pool on the property. (more information is available on the same website: www.canopytower.com). It’s the perfect combination. We’ll spend 3 or 4 nights in each place, depending on the group size and availability.
Canopy Tower Activities: Birding/wildlife tours on trials near Canopy Tower (Soberania National Park), Old Gamboa Road, Pipeline Road, Ammo Ponds, Plantation Road, Gamboa bird feeders, and Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Night tour and half-day boat ride on Gatun Lake Chagres River. We’ll also visit the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks Visitor’s Center.
Canopy Lodge activities: Guided wildlife tours in areas surrounding El Valle, visit to nearby waterfall and local market, relaxing on the Canopy Lodge grounds. (Zip Line optional, not included).
Some details: We maximize our time outdoors, so you should expect to be doing some walking (perhaps in mud and rain!), quite a bit of standing, and you must be able to climb the stairs on the Canopy Tower. It will be hot, humid near the Canopy Tower and perhaps cooler and windy near the Canopy Lodge and possibly buggy at both places although you will not need to protect yourself against mosquito-borne diseases since it’s been eradicated in these areas. (Over the years, we’ve only averaged one or two mosquito bites per person for an entire week, even without repellent! I say ‘buggy’ just to cover myself in case some year is actually buggy).
Group Size: No more than 10 people (often it’s only 7 or 8 people)
- All lodging
- All meals once at the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge
- Airport transfers
- Bilingual professional guides
- All tours mentioned in the itinerary
- Entrance fees to national parks and visitor’s centers mentioned in the itinerary
- Natural fruit juices, sodas, wine at dinner time
- Snacks and beverages during all outings
- The feeling that you are being treated like royalty!
Testimonials about Terry Lawson Dunn, your ‘birder herder’:
“Like so many things trips succeed or fail based on the leader in charge. Thus our Panamanian frolic got rave reviews based caring professional energy you put into the trip. Your “people skills” are A+. I quickly noted how you made sure everyone was comfortable and that all our needs were met. You deftly worked the crowd so to speak – hanging out with each of us, learning our natures, our likes, our dislikes. You never panic, you never judge. I wanted you to realize how much I (and I’m sure the rest of the crew) appreciated your efforts. If there was an award for your role, I’m sure you would receive 1st place or the gold medal.”
“Thank you for leading a fantastic trip to Panama! Steve and I had a wonderful time. We LOVED Panama and can see why it has such a special place in your heart. You were great guide – very personable, knowledgable and professional, as well as just being a lot of fun to hang out with.”