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Knowledgeable skill bilingual birding guides to show endemic and mix of Central-South-America Panama birds visiting rainforest and freshwater birdingboat. Photo by Barbara Sounders.

 

 

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Panama Birding  12 days all inclusive Fixed Date tour

 

 12 day birding tour with fixed dates

Birdwatching the most  productive birding areas in Central Panama (Canal + Atlantic and Pacific side),  Western Panama (Chiriqui Highlands and Foothills), Eastern Panama and Darien Lowlands.

 

NOTE: For those birders interested in shorter birding trips together we can plan a custom itinerary that will fit your necessities and cover your expectations.  

  • Fixed dates tours are specifically designed for birders looking to join small groups.

  • Our tours are flexible, safe and the use of a local guide lets you participate in the planning.

  • Fixed date tours are also ideal for a club or society planning a birdwatching tour for its members. 6+ groups are welcome.

  • The local guide can easily include your requirements and will work closely with your group leader.

  • All guides are English speaking.

  • A local guide knows all the hotspots and you get the most out of your trip.

  • Your guide is also your travel companion, who will make sure you experience the native people, scenery, culture, history and food, first hand.

  • You will enjoy the advantage of all the attention you get in a small group, for the same price or perhaps even less, than you will pay if you travel with the large tour groups from other countries.

 

Itinerary  
Birding  Panama.

ARRIVAL DAY  -
Arrival at Tocumen International Airport. We will meet you and drive you to Albrook Inn Hotel (included in the tour cost).


Central Panama (Canal + Atlantic and Pacific side)

DAY 1 -
You will be picked up at the Albrook Inn Hotel early, so that we can start early birding at the Metropolitan Nature Park in Panama City (470 acres of dry second and young growth forest with patches of grassy areas), giving us the opportunity to search for Lance-tailed Manakin, the endemic Yellow-green Tyrannulet, Rosy Thrush-Tanager (uncommon), Orange-chinned Parakeets, Pheasant Cuckoo (rare) and more. After lunch, depending on the tide you'll be visiting the area of Panama Bay and coastal mudflats searching for Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatbird, Great Blue Heron, Cocoi Heron, White Ibis, Mangrove Black-Hawk, Southern Lapwing, Killdeer, Plovers Yellowlegs, Sandpipers and more.Overnight in Panama City.
DAY 2 -
After an early breakfast, we will drive to Pipeline Road (a secondary forest with some scrubby areas and many streams crossing). We will hear and look for Southern Bentbill, Green Shrike-Vireo, Gray Elaenia, Streak-chested Antpitta, Spotted Antbird, Long-billed Gnatwren, Great Jacamar, Rufous Mourner, Purple-throated Fruitcrow and more. Before lunch, we will visit Ammunition Ponds marshy area, which is very productive any hour of the day, searching for Snail Kite, White-throated Crakes, Ruddy-breasted Seedeaters, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Variable Seedeater, Smooth-billed Ani and more. After lunch birding will continue until around 3:00pm, when we will drive to Achiote Town. Well stop to bird along the road at well known spots like Gatun Lock and Chagres River (Gatun Dam spillway) looking for Road-side Hawk, American Kestrel, Cocoi Heron, Tri-colored Heron, Keel-billed and Chestnut-mandible Toucan, Yellow-headed Caracara. After dinner we will go for a short walk searching for owls, nightjars, nighthawks and pauraques.Overnight in  Achiote Town.
DAY 3 -
Starting early we will walk along parts of Achiote Road, searching for Spot-crowned Barbet, White-headed Wren, Long-tailed Tyrant, Blue Cotinga, White Hawk, Flame-rumped Tanager, Montezuma Oropendola (uncommon) and many other species that can be found here.
At mid morning we will have breakfast with binoculars handy to see the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Barred and Fasciated Antshrike, Tropical and Common-toddy Flycatcher and others. Later, we will continue walking trails in and to coffee plantation.
Lunch and time permitting well drive and bird on route to a Spanier fort on the north side of San Lorenzo National Park entering a wet lowland tropical forest with areas of mangroves, grass, scrubs, marshes and coastline looking for Straight-billed Wood creeper, White and Black-tailed Trogon, Golden-collared Manakin, Rufous Motmot, Checker-throated Antwren, Piratic Flycatcher, Common Black-Hawk and more on the way to Panama.Overnight in Panama City.
DAY 4 -  
Today you are back to Pipeline visiting The Rainforest Observation Tower  looking for canopy birds Green-shrike Vireo, Gray Elaenia, Keel-billed Tucan, Black-mandible Tucan, Blue Cotinga later during the morning well go to Old Gamboa Rd for Oropendolas, Caciques and Hummingbirds, Black-breasted Jay, Collared Aracari, White-whiskered Puffbird, Lance-tailed Manakin, Boat-billed Heron, Green Heron, Ringed Green and Amazon Kingfishers, Rusty-margined, Boat-billed, Social Flycatchers and more. Another spot to cover is Summit Gardens and/or Plantation Road (time permitting) to search for the Mask Tityra, Golden-collared Manakin and with the possibilities to find army ant-swarms and many of the birds that follow these ants such as Spotted Antbird, and Ocellated Antbird, Gray-headed Tanager, Plain-brown Woodcreepper. Later in the afternoon you'll flight to David.Overnight in La Amistad International Park.

Panama bird guide
Western Panama - Chiriqui­ Highlands and Foothills

DAY 5  -
We will go birding early to Los Quetzales Trail in the Parque Internacional La Amistad - part of the Talamanca Mountain Range - an important bird area shared with Costa Rica that protects the largest mountain forest extension in Central America and with a high concentration of endemic species.
We will look for mountain forests species, such as Buffy Tuftedcheek, Ruddy Treerunner, Spotted Barbtail and Scaly-throated Foliage-Gleaner. Heliconias and flowers attract a variety of gorgeous hummingbirds like White-throated Mountain-Gem, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Volcano-Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbird and Violet-Sabrewing. Some other species typical of the area are Yellow-thighed Finch, Large-footed Finch, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, and the globally endangered Black Guan (uncommon). Of course, we'll dedicate some time to find the Resplendent Quetzal on the wild avocado trees. In the afternoon we'll try La Amistad (Friendship) International Park. We'll walk part of El Retono trail looking for Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Prong-billed Barbet and Wrenthrush (Zeledonia).Overnight at La Amistad International Park.
DAY 6 -
After breakfast you will visit the Volcan Lakes a good place to get foothills species not found on the higher slopes of Cerro Punta. Some of the possibilities are the Northern Jacana, Olivaceous Piculet, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Stripe-throated Hermit, Collared Trogon and Golden-winged warbler could be found. After lunch youll visit Los Quetzales Trail to the Volcan Baru in search of the Resplandescent Quetzal. Overnight at La Amistad International Park.
DAY 7 -
On an early start drive toward Santa Clara, birding all the way. Some of the birds to look for are Roadside Hawks, Cattle Egret, Bat Falcons, Yellow-headed Caracaras and Double-toothed Kites. The road is good for foothills species not found around Volcan. We'll visit Finca Hartman near the small town of Santa Clara. This is a bird friendly shade-grown coffee farm with remnant of rainforest trees, pre-mountain and highland forest that serve as a buffer zone to Parque Internacional La Amistad. At elevations of between 4000-6000 ft there are a number of accessible dirt roads that pass through many habitats excellent for birding.
This is a good place in Panama to find the Turquoise Cotinga, White-crested Coquette, Fiery-billed Aracari, White-tailed Emerald, Spot-crowned Euphonia, Smoky-brown Woodpecker and many others. We'll have lunch at the Farm. In the afternoon, on our way back to Cerro Punta, if time permits, we will stop and visit an area called New Switzerland, looking for Flame-coloured Tanager, Yellow-winged Vireo and many Warblers. We will try our luck for the Red-headed Barbet. Afternoon: return flight to Panama City and late afternoon long drive to Meteti and cross into the Darien frontier.Overnight in Meteti.
Note: Dont expect luxury. The Darien lowland lodging will be rustic, but clean and safe. No hot water but air condition in rooms available.  Traditional meals of rice, fruits, plantains, chicken or fish, will be at the only restaurant-fonda in town.


 

Eastern Panama  Darien Lowlands
N.B.: Visiting the Darien can be a bit tricky, as the presence in the extreme eastern and coastal portion of Colombian narco-traficantes makes the Panamanian border police very nervous about the safety of tourists.  We will be visiting areas well-away from any danger, but even so may find ourselves turned away as we go farther east, so we there are many good sites to bird.  A lot of the remaining forest in the region belongs the indigenous Kuna and Embera peoples, so in case we have to make use of this contingency plan, we will hire a local fellow to help us navigate the protocols to gain access to the best areas.  The birding will be excellent no matter where we go, and any additional time west might actually earn us some species that can be missed in the east, so this is a win-win situation!Panama bird guide

DAY 8 -
In the Darien lowlands birding sites are spread out a bit, and some drive time is unavoidable, but you will get a great a taste of South American species.  Our first stop is a nice patch of lowland forest that is home to Double-banded Graytail, Golden-headed Manakin,  Bare-crowned Antbird,  Blue-and-yellow Macaw and Orange-crowned Oriole, among others.  Even farther east, well drive a farm road that has a resident population of the intriguing Black-capped Donacobius, plus such gems as Gray-breasted Crake and Large-billed Seed-Finch.  And a roadside stop even farther into the frontier has yielded Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White-fronted Nunbird, Golden-green and Spotted-breasted Woodpecker , Spot-crowned Barbet and the Black Oropendola, Yellow-hooded Blackbird,  Large-billed Seedfinch is possible.  This will be a long day, but well worth the effort. Overnight in Meteti.
DAY 9 -  
After breakfast youll visit the Reserva Filo de Tallo good place to get foothills species not found on the lowland.  On the way we may see the Lesser yellow-headed vulture.  The  Forest Elaenia, Mangrove Cuckoo, Cinnamon Woodpecker, Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker**, Golden-crowned Spadebill, Olivaceous Woodcreeper.  The first part of the trail, until the first creek, is full of Heliconias patches producing the Long-billed, Stripe-throated, Pale-bellied, Rufous-breasted Hermit and the Band-tailed Barbthroat.   In the afternoon wel head back west birding along the way until Torti.  Time permitting a late afternoon visit  to Torti Arriba, very close to the hotel, where we might find Black Antshrike, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird  and the Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (uncommon), Orange-crowned Oriole.Overnight in Torti.
DAY 10 -
After breakfast a short drive well be birding the San Francisco Private Reserve close to Torti.  Passing through pastures, younger second growth with scrubs, creeks and taller secondary forest look for the King Volture, Gray-cheek Nunlet, Collared Forest-Falcon, Golden-collared Manakin, White-headed and Stripe-throated Wren, Rufous-winged Antwren, Yellow-backed Tanager, White-fronted Nunbird, Rufous and Broad-billed Motmot.  In the afternoon a visit to the Penas Blancas road can yield us Mealy Amazon Parrot,  Piratic Flycatcher,  Pied Puffbird, Common Black Hawk, Smooth and Greater-billed Ani, Turkey Vulture,  Semiplumbeus Hawk, Plumbeus Kite, and time permitting back to the Torti Arriba for birds we have miss the day before.Overnight in Torti.
DAY 11 - 
Today will require an early start with a long drive ahead of us.  Well stop en route to take breakfast, birding at roadside areas along Lago Bayano birding along the  Inter-American highway stopping at Bayano Bridge and various trails. Expect see the Red-throated Caracara, Barred Puffbird, Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Jet Antbird, Black-striped Woodcreeper, Band-rumped Swift, Pied Water-Tyrant, Jet Antbird, Striated Heron, Black-collared Hawk, American Kestrel, Giant Cowbird, White-flanked Antwren, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Olive Flycatcher, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Long-billed Gnatwren, White-eared Conebill, Black-billed Flycatcher and One-colored Becard are possible.  Around mid day we should be heading to our next destination in the private housing development at Cerro Azul.   The high elevation guarantees cool weather, so a mid-day arrival wont adversely affect our chances of seeing the key birds.  A stop at a private home with excellent feeders should yield us the region-specific Violet-capped Hummingbird, as well as the endemic Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker.  A bit of hiking in areas of cloud forest might yield us mixed flocks that include Speckled and Rufous-winged Tanagers, and we might encounter Black-eared Wood-Quail or Yellow-eared Toucanet, Bay-headed, Rufous-winged, Siler Throated Tanagers anywhere.  In the late afternoon well skirt around Panama City to reach our hotel where a fine dinner awaits. Overnight in Cerro Azul.
DAY 12 - Departure day -
After breakfast and time permitting on the way to Panama City  well go for birds of open country (rice fields), scrub and freshwater habitat.  Also a quick look at the mudflats for shorebirds and other coastal species.  And you will be assisted throughout the final procedure for departure to your next destination.

Panama bird guide



Price per person US$ quote in double occupancy (max 6 persons)
Single accommodations are available for an extra charge of US$390 Fill and send the Reservation Form to info@birdingbyboattour.com.

Included in price: Airfare to David (Chiriqui), all road transportation, bilingual guide, checklist booklet of the Birds of Panama, local guide, lodgingand park fees.


Not Included: International flights, meals, 7% tax, personal services, laundry, telephone, alcoholic drinks, gratuities etc. 

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