Trip Type : Group Tour
Panama's Darien Lowlands: Canopy Camp tour

Panama's Darien Lowlands: Canopy Camp

Victor Emanuel
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
9 days
From: $ 3,495 $ 388 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Watch endemic Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker and a variety of tanagers and honeycreepers among other species.
  • Birding in the Darién lowlands,
  • Enjoy the late flurry of bird activity around the Canopy camp

Short Description

Species-rich lowland forest birding, with emphasis on 25–30 species of eastern specialties that are seldom, if ever found in the Canal Zone, along with an impressive cross section of more widespread tropical birds. African-style deluxe tented camp will allow us to bird the Darien lowlands in comfort.

This tour to the lowlands of eastern Panama fuses the rich diversity of tropical birds for which Panama is justly famous with the classic atmosphere of a luxurious African tented camp.

We will be quartered in the brand new Canopy Camp, courtesy of Raul Arias, whose vision for sustainable ecotourism and devotion to preserving Panama’s birds and wild places introduced the birding world to the famed Canopy Tower and the Canopy Lodge in El Valle. Located in the lowlands of Darien, just a four-hour-drive (via the Pan-American highway) from Panama City

Our accommodation will be in spacious, walk-in, African-style tents, mounted on platforms, and replete with comfortable beds, fans, and private bathrooms with showers and flush toilets. Keeping with the tradition established by the other Canopy lodges, the camp will offer imaginatively prepared, tasty meals, and an abundance of cold drinks.

Dawn brings a flurry of activity and a cacophony of avian sound, dominated by the screeching calls of commuting parrots, the yelping of Yellow-throated Toucans, and the incessant croaking of Keel-billed Toucans, but also including the raucous calls of Red-throated Caracaras, the noisy chattering of White-headed Wrens, and the plaintive whistles of Barred Puffbirds.

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury - 5 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Panama
End City Panama

Destinations

Panama

Cities & Attractions

N/A

Activities

Bird watching Nature

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • Includes all meals from breakfast on Day 2 to dinner on Day 8
  • Accommodations as stated in the itinerary
  • Ground transportation during the tour
  • Tipping, park entrance fees
  • Guide services provided by the tour leaders

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Panama City and Transfer to Riande Aeropuerto Hotel.

Accommodation: Riande Aeropuerto Hotel, Tocumen

Participants arriving in Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport anytime this afternoon or evening, after clearing customs and gathering luggage, should take the courtesy shuttle to the nearby Riande Aeropuerto Hotel where a room will be reserved in your name.

Day 2: Tocumen to the Bayano Valley, and on to Canopy Camp, Darién

Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Canopy Camp, Sanson, Darién

Our schedule this morning will be somewhat flexible as we head eastward from Panama City. We may spend the bulk of the morning in the foothills of Nusagandi where possibilities include the endemic Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker and a variety of tanagers and honeycreepers among other species. Alternatively, we may opt for the lowland forests around Bayano Reservoir. This area would provide our first chances for such highly sought species as Black Antshrike, Rufous-winged Antwren, and White-eared Conebill. Whichever option we chose, we will end up in the small town of Torti for lunch, where hummingbird feeders will make it hard to concentrate on eating! Up to eight species are possible with Scaly-breasted, Snowy-bellied and Sapphire-throated hummingbirds and Blackthroated Mango among the more noteworthy. After lunch, we will continue our drive eastward into the Darién. Much of the countryside east of the Bayano region has been deforested, but this open country is good for Savanna Hawk, Yellow-headed and Crested caracaras, Pearl Kite, Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Red-breasted Blackbird and a number of other species. We’ll arrive at the Canopy Camp in the late afternoon, with time to settle in to our accommodations before dark, and, perhaps, with time to enjoy the late flurry of bird activity around the camp clearing. The new Canopy Camp is designed in the tradition of African-style luxury tented camps. The spacious, walk-in tents are mounted on platforms, replete with comfortable beds, fans, and private bathrooms with howers and flush toilets. The tents are well spaced through the camp clearing, maximizing privacy. Keeping with the tradition established by the other Canopy lodges (Canopy Tower, Canal Zone and Canopy Lodge, El Valle), the camp will offer imaginatively prepared, tasty meals, and an abundance of cold drinks. This will be a never before afforded opportunity to bird the lowlands of Darién in comfort!

Days 3-7: Darién Lowlands Based out of the Canopy Camp.

Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Canopy Camp, Sanson, Darién

The Canopy Camp is tucked into the base of a jagged line of low-lying hills whose forested slopes are part of a protected zone. The camp clearing affords a fabulous view of the surrounding forest, and is bordered by Heliconia thickets that buzz with the activity of Pale-bellied and Rufous-breasted hermits, and reverberate with the cascading songs of White-bellied Antbirds. Dawn brings a flurry of activity and a cacophony of avian sound, dominated by the screeching calls of commuting parrots, the yelping of Chestnut-mandibled Toucans, and the incessant croaking of Keel-billed Toucans, but also including the raucous calls of Red-throated Caracaras, the noisy chattering of White-headed Wrens, and the plaintive whistles of Barred Puffbirds. Patches of vervain along the entry road buzz with multiple species of hummingbirds, including regulars such as Blue-chested, Violet-bellied and Rufous-tailed, and with the possibility of rarities like Rufous-crested Coquette, and Ruby-topaz Hummingbird. We’ll have five full days available for exploring the camp trail system and a number of nearby sites, where, in addition to seeing a good cross section of toucans, trogons, motmots, woodcreepers, antbirds, tanager, and other tropical birds that typify the Canal Zone, we will also search for a number of special birds whose Panamanian ranges are (in most cases) largely restricted to the far eastern lowlands and foothills, among them: Capped Heron; Spectacled Parrotlet; Gray-cheeked Nunlet; Rufous-tailed and Dusky-backed (very rare) jacamars; Black-tailed Trogon; Red-rumped, Spot-breasted, and Golden-green woodpeckers; Red-billed Scythebill; Double-banded  raytail; Black Antshrike; Rufous-winged Antwren; Bare-crowned Antbird; Black-billed Flycatcher (rare); Cattle Tyrant; One-colored Becard; Golden-headed Manakin; Black-capped Donacobius; White-eared Conebill; Viridian Dacnis (very rare); Orange-crowned Oriole; and Black Oropendola.

Our exact day-to-day itinerary will be kept flexible, allowing us to take advantage of local weather and birding conditions. However, our time here will certainly include one or more mornings birding a wonderful stretch of forested road at El Salto, an excellent area for raptors, as well as for multiple species of trogons and woodpeckers, Olivaceous Piculet, Whooping Motmot, Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Barred Puffbird, Double-banded Graytail, Black Antshrike, Bare-crowned Antbird, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, Black-bellied and White-headed wrens, and Yellow-backed Orioles, among many others. Trails at El Salto and nearby Tierra Nueva, as well as those at the Canopy Camp, will allow us access into the heart of the forest, maximizing our chances of ferreting out the more secretive forest interior species. We’ll also hope to spend one morning or afternoon birding by boat along the Rio Chucunaque and Rio Tuquesa, which could be particularly good for finding raptors, parrots and the rare Spectacled Parrotlet. Most days we will return to the camp for lunch and siesta, with late afternoons typically devoted to birding forest-edge, open country and marshes. This is often the best time to see the spectacular Black Oropendola, as birds commute from their feeding areas back to the nesting colonies for the night. On at least one night, we’ll plan some night-birding activities, which could afford us views of some nocturnal mammals as well.

Day 8: Canopy Camp to Panama City.

Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Riande Aeropuerto Hotel, Tocumen

After a final morning of birding in the Darién lowlands, we will spend the afternoon retracing our route back to Panama City, perhaps with one more stop at Lake Bayano. Conversely, depending on what we’ve already seen (or missed), we may leave camp immediately after breakfast and drive directly to Tortí, where we would spend the remainder of the morning birding the nearby San Francisco Reserve. This private reserve has some lovely tall forest (offering such possibilities as Great Jacamar and White-fronted Nunbird), as well as brushy fields and second growth that could produce a number of new birds. After lunch at a restaurant in Tortí, we will begin making our way back to Panama City where we will enjoy a farewell dinner.

Participants continuing on Panama’s Canopy Tower (October 10-17, 2015) will have the full use of a room at the Riande Aeropuerto Hotel on October 10 prior to the post-dinner group transfer to the Canopy Tower.

Day 9

Departures for Home. The hotel’s complimentary shuttle service to Tocumen International Airport can be used to make morning or afternoon flights home.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,495
Price Per Day: $ 388 per day
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Limited to 12 people maximun

Trip ID#:

pandarvic

Trip Excludes

  • Airfare from your home to Panama City and return
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Special gratuities, phone calls, laundry, or items of a personal nature.
  • Rates are based upon group tariffs; if the tour does not have sufficient registration, a small-party supplement may have to be charged.

Meals Included:

7 Breakfast, 7 Lunch and 7 Dinner

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