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Ultimate Wildlife 13-Day EcoTour

13 Days
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Ultimate Wildlife 13-Day EcoTour


  • Panama City
  • Soberania National Park
  • Chiriqui Highlands
  • Bocas del Toro Archipelago
  • Darien Gap


  • Hiking and wildlife viewing in over 4 National Parks and Wildlife Preserves
  • Kayaking the Panama Canal
  • Canopy Tour in remote Soberania National Park
  • Mount Totumas cloudforest
  • Relax on the pure white beaches of Bocas del Toro
  • World-class snorkeling at the the barrier reefs of Bastimentos Island National Marine Park
  • New African-style tented camp with wildlife itinerary including harpy eagle excursion
  • Expert naturalist guides
  • Breathtaking rainforest lodges

Itinerary at a Glance

  • DAY 1 Arrive Panama City
  • DAY 2-4 Chiriqui Highlands
  • DAY 5-7 Bocas del Toro Archipelago
  • DAY 8 Panama Canal, Soberania National Park - Canopy Tower
  • DAY 9-13 The Legendary Darien Gap

Ultimate Wildlife 13-Day EcoTour

Our most value-packed itinerary emphasizing wildlife and bird watching "off the beaten path." It includes Gamboa Rainforest Resort, Kayaking the Panama Canal, Soberania National Park, Rainforest Discovery Center, Chiriqui Cloudforest, snorkeling the crystal-clear waters of Bocas del Toro, an amazing Wildlife program at a remote African-style tented camp in the Legendary Darian Gap, cultural exchanges with indigenous peoples, and much more! This is our signature wildlife adventure, with many of Wild Planet's special touches, including:
. The most value of any professional wildlife tour in Panama, including wildlife viewing in more than 4 National Parks and Wildlife Preserves, with rainforest hiking, islands, snorkeling, beaches, cloud-forests, remote rainforest preserves, rainforest canopy experience, and much more!
. Expert Local Naturalist Guides
. Beautiful Rainforest Lodges and Beachfront Cabanas Some featured in Conde Nast, Travel & Leisure, and on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel.
. Specifically designed to optimize the chances of seeing more wildlife by visiting a variety of different eco-systems, with no commercial "filler" activities.

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 Arrive in Panama

Upon arrival in Panama City you will be met at the Tocumen International Airport and transferred to your hotel to rest after your long journey.

DAY 2 Chiriquí Highlands

Wildlife: Monkeys, queztals, jaguar, ocelotuma and more.

Early in the morning transfer to Albrook domestic Airport for your 1 hour flight to David. You will be met by our representative who will transfer you to Volcan, west of Volcano Baru. Enjoy lunch at a local gourmet restaurant, Cerro Brujo, then begin the 2 hour journey to Mount Totumas, a private 400 acre cloud forest reserve. The journey will start on a paved road and continue by windy dirt road, crossing many small streams until you reach a fantastic 4WD road with incredible views of the cloud-forest, and great opportunities to spot wildlife and birds. Upon arrival, short orientation followed by an afternoon hike on the reserve.

Mt. Totumas is located in the buffer zone directly bordering La Amistad National Park. For this reason there are still apex predators like Jaguar, ocelot and Puma (all of which the lodge regularly spots on its camera-traps!) along with 3 species of monkeys and some of the most sought after charismatic bird species of the cloud-forest, including the Resplendent Quetzal.

DAY 3 Mount Totumas - Hiking and Wildlife Viewing

Enjoy a shared guided hike in search of wildlife and enjoy the untouched fauna, then sit back and view wildlife and birds right from the deck of your lodge perched on a ridge overlooking the valley with spectacular views of La Amistad National Park and the cloud-forest canopy in the foreground!

DAY 4 Land and Boat Transfer to Bocas del Toro Archipelago

Today you will be transferred by land and boat from Boquete to Bocas del Toro Archipelago. You will pass through the Talamanca Continental Divide and enjoy the amazing landscape of the Panama highlands. Enjoy the spectacular view of areas of the Palo Seco and La Fortuna Natural Reserves during your land transfer. Upon arrival to Almirante (Bocas del Toro Mainland pier), you will board a water taxi that will take you to Isla Colon. (Ground Transfer approximately 3 1/2 hours, Boat transfer approximately 30 minutes.) Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel and check in.

DAY 5-6 Bocas del Toro Archipelago

Highlights: World-class snorkeling on a tropical island paradise.

Wildlife: Dolphins, 4 species of endangered sea turtles, coral of every color of the spectrum, abundant fish including stunning queen angels, fairy basselets, rock beauties, green moray, damselfish and four-eyed butterfly fishes. Four species of primates including night monkeys, plus sloths, strawberry poison dart frogs, and seasonal visits from bellbirds, and other rare wildlife.

Each day enjoy a choice of one included tour from your lodge. Choices include:

* Visiting some of the most exotic and isolated virgin beaches located in the different Islands of the Archipelago.

* Snorkeling at the Coral Reefs of the bay to see lots different kind of corals, tropical fishes and starfishes.

* Boat rides through the island to visit indigenous communities.

* Hiking in the rainforest to see the flora and fauna.

* Motorized canoe river trips to search the slots and the white face monkeys.

* Boat tours to meet dolphins in their natural habitat.

* Visiting Bocas town to buy some handcraft and admire its afro-Caribbean colonial architecture style.

DAY 7 Bocas del Toro / Panama City

After a morning of activities at the lodge, transfer to the pier, in time to catch your flight returning to Panama City. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and picked up at the airport before transferring to the Canal Zone and overnighting at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort.

DAY 8 Panama Canal - Rainforest Discovery Center - Soberania National Park

Wildlife: Toucans, sloths, monkeys.

Early this morning meet your Naturalist Guide at the hotel lobby and transfer to the marina where you will board an expedition boat and depart on an adventure that will include a voyage across Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal passing by gigantic cargo ships transiting the waterway, making contrast with the natural surroundings. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to spot Green Iguana and Three-toed Sloth resting on tree branches, Crocodile, Osprey in the hunt for Peacock Bass, Snail Kite and Keel-billed Toucan among other wildlife.

Gatun Lake was formed to give way to the Panama Canal in 1914. With a surface of 423 square-kilometers, at the time of its creation was the largest man-made lake in the world. The flow of all the rivers within the Panama Canal Watershed is contained in Gatun Lake to provide water for the operation of the lock system. More than 52 million gallons of fresh water are used for every ship that transits through the Panama Canal from one ocean to another.

Your expedition boat will allow for close approximations to rainforest covered islands (former hill tops) in Gatun Lake to search for White-faced Capuchin, Mantled Howler Monkey, Central American spider monkey, and Geoffrey’s Tamarin. Enjoy the extraordinary views of the Panama Canal and the natural surroundings. Boxed lunch on boat included. This is a shared tour (10 person max).

This afternoon meet your Naturalist Guide for a 10 minute ride to Soberania National Park’s world famous Pipeline Road, where Audubon Society held its world Christmas bird count record for 19 years straight, with 357 species of birds identified in a period of 24 hours. Your first stop will be at the Rainforest Discovery Center where you enjoy spectacular views of Soberania's vastness and canopy bird species from the 32 meters (100 feet) observation tower. Standing above the canopy, we witness the morning flight of Keel-billed Toucans, Red-lored Amazons and the silent and stealthy movement of Mantled Howler Monkeys. You continue to explore the network of trails surrounding the Discovery Center and enjoy the hummingbird feeders that provide up close and personal views of 10 species of hummingbirds!

During World War II a pipeline was built along the Panama Canal to transport fuel from one ocean to the other in the event the waterway was attacked. Fortunately, it was never used. The now abandoned gravel road built to maintain the pipeline provides excellent walking access to Soberania's 22,000 hectares (55,000 acres) of tropical rainforest. The park boasts an impressive list of 525 species of birds including the Black Hawk-eagle, Black-cheeked woodpecker, Black-breasted Puffbird, Broad-billed

Motmot, Blue Cotinga, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Masked Tytira, Violaceous Trogon, Fasciated Antshrike, Shining honeycreeper, and a great array of North American migrants. Soberania is also home to 105 species of mammals including large felines, Tamandua, Two-toed and Three-toed Sloth, 4 species of monkeys, Agouti, and more, some of which are listed under CITES (endangered species) and 59 endemic plant species in 4 life zones.

Wild Planet Adventures Exclusive!

Wildlife Program at Darien Tented Camp

DAY 9 Bayano Lake & Arrival at Darien Canopy Camp

After an early breakfast we meet our guide and head east to the famous Darien, Panama’s Eastern-most province and one of the most biodiverse areas of the Americas. The 5-hour journey to the Canopy Camp includes a rest at Bayano Reservoir; where we scan the lake for Cocoi Heron, Ringed Kingfisher and Pied Water-Tyrant along the water’s edge. As we continue the journey, we often spot Tayra, White-nosed Coati and Mantled Howlers. After a delicious Panamanian lunch in Torti, we continue to the Canopy Camp, arriving in late afternoon. Explore the grounds prior to cocktail hour, followed by a delicious dinner in the open-air dining room. Dinner at CANOPY CAMP DARIEN.

DAY 10 Nando’s trail & Filo del Tallo, Night Hike for Nocturnal Animals

Wake to the sounds of toucans, parrots and oropendolas that adorn the treetops, Mantled Howlers roaring in the distance, and hummingbirds that visit the feeders during breakfast. Butterflies begin flying once the sun heats up the day and add even more color to the vibrant gardens. We may see an agouti or Tayra roaming around the grounds. After breakfast, enjoy a guided nature walk along Nando’s trail, starting beside the tents. This beautiful trail immerses us in the beautiful lowland tropical rainforest of Darien, home to green-and-black Poison Dart Frogs, Crested Forest Toad, dozens of species of birds and mammals including White-faced Capuchin, Geoffroy’s Tamarin and Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth. Our night cameras have captured several images of ocelots in this trail. There are many birds, mammals, butterflies, plants and other species to enjoy here! Our guide will point out the wildlife and share about the forest ecology and the exquisite wildlife of Darien.

After lunch and a siesta, we will meet again and drive to the northwest entrance of Filo del Tallo Hydrological Reserve. The trail crosses a small creek and passes through part of the reserve, then climbs upward to a plateau into mature forest. Around the creek we will search for frogs and interesting insects, small lizards and bird life including Buff-rumped Warbler and Black-throated Trogon. Geoffroy’s Tamarins and Red-tailed Squirrel are common here, and if we are lucky, a Jaguarundi may cross our path. Search for Golden-headed Manakin, Dull-mantled Antbird, Great Curassow, White-bellied Antbird, Red-throated Caracara and Black-tailed Trogon, to name a few. The butterfly activity can be quite good here. After our walk we head back to the lodge for dinner.

After dark is the best time to see much of the mammal life in the Neotropics. Many species are primarily nocturnal, including several species of opossums, Rothschild’s Porcupine, Panamanian Night Monkey, Silky Anteater, Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth, Kinkajou, Olingo and the Neotropical cats—Margay, Ocelot, Puma and Jaguar. Tonight we will meet after dinner for a night walk in hopes to find some of these nocturnal creatures. Along our walk, we are also likely to see rain frogs, Marine Toad, Turnip-tailed Gecko and other reptiles; and owls—Mottled and Black-and-white owls are fairly common around Canopy Camp.

DAY 11 Quebrada Felix & Tierra Nueva Foundation

We will meet at sunrise this morning for coffee or tea and a hearty breakfast. Our day starts at Quebrada Felix, nestled in the base of the Filo del Tallo Hydrological Reserve. Surrounded by tall trees and mature lowland forest, we walk the rocky stream in search of some of Panama’s beautiful wildlife. This area boasts great habitat for Bush Dog, Red Brocket Deer, Northern Tamandua and several species of lizards and snakes. The shallow stream at this time of year is a great place to search for frogs among the river rocks. Crested and Solitary eagles have even been spotted here, a great testament to the mature forest of the area. Birds we are likely to encounter include Black-crowned Antpitta, Speckled Mourner, White-fronted Nunbird, Royal Flycatcher and the endemic Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker. It is also a great spot to find Fasciated Tiger-Heron and Green-and-rufous Kingfisher. Along the riverbed, charming butterflies such as Many-banded and Glossy daggerwings and Blind Eighty-Eight can be seen in sunny patches. After lunch and siesta during the hottest part of the day, we will explore the trails of the Tierra Nueva Foundation, in hopes of finding Red-rumped Woodpecker, Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Spot-crowned Barbet, White-headed Wren and the magnificent Great Curassow. Dinner at CANOPY CAMP.

DAY 12 Expedition to Harpy Eagle nest (full day)

One of the most spectacular birds of fabled Darien is the Harpy Eagle—Panama’s elusive National Bird. Powerful and majestic, Harpy Eagles live in intact dense lowland rainforest, now within the protected borders of Darien National Park and surrounding mature forest. Today we will start very early, long before sunrise, and drive to into the interior of Darien and board a cayuco on the Chucunaque River, the largest river in Panama. There is plenty of wildlife to see along the riverside— Spectacled Caiman may be seen basking on the riverbank and if lucky, a shy Neotropical River Otter playing in the moving water. Emerald Basilisk, Black River Turtle, Spectacled Parrotlet, Cocoi and Capped herons, Green Ibis, Amazon Kingfisher, Pied Water-Tyrant and both Crested and Black oropendolas are also likely along the river, while the spectacular Black-collared Hawk may be found cruising overhead.

As we carry on, the forest begins to thicken. We arrive at the trailhead and from here we walk to the nest site. This trail is wide, traversing through the rainforest. We watch for Slender Anoles and Panamanian Whiptails, along with dozens of species of butterflies as we walk this trail. It is along this trail where we will approach the huge nesting tree where the mighty Harpy Eagle has recently raised a chick. With some luck, we may see an eaglet in the nest or on the tree branches, or even an adult or two nearby. Hopefully with some success this morning, we can rest and have a picnic lunch in the field, and continue to look for wildlife along the trail. Other large forest eagles, including Ornate Hawk-Eagle and Crested Eagle, can also be found in the area, as well as White-faced Capuchin monkeys, Tayra, Collared Peccary, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Red-throated Caracara, Chestnut-backed Antbird, and more. After lunch and a break, we will retrace our steps and start our way back to the Canopy Camp for dinner.

DAY 13 San Francisco Reserve / Panama City / Home

After breakfast, return to Panama City. En-route stop at San Francisco Nature Reserve, a private wildlife reserve covering 1,300 acres which protects the headwaters of the Darien’s most important rivers. The reserve has a variety of habitats including primary, secondary and riparian forests, forest edge, fields, farmland, ponds and wetlands. During our morning here, we will explore the some of the different habitats along the road which are home to dozens of species of mammals, and even more butterflies and insects. We also hope to find birds such as Broad-billed Motmot, Collared Aracari, Russet-winged Schiffornis, Royal Flycatcher, White-fronted Nunbird and Blue Ground-Dove. After lunch in Torti we continue back to Panama City. Drop off at Tocumen International Airport in time for flight home.

*Note: Flights to and from David, Chiriqui have a baggage check in allowance of 30kg free of charge, however, on flight to other destinations such as Bocas del Toro have a 14kg baggage check in allowance free of charge. Every kg after 30kg will have the cost of 2USD. We recommend clients flying to multiple destinations to only check in 30kg to avoid extra costs.



Panama Lodging

Our Ultimate Wildlife itinerary specializes in small, one-of-a-kind rainforest and jungle lodges, many of which have been featured on the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and in top travel magazines such as Travel & Leisure and Conde Naste Traveler. Great care has gone into our selection of lodging partners, with particular emphasis on lodges that offer outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities. These beautiful rainforest lodges offer all the comforts of home, including hot & cold water, flush toilets, tastefully decorated beds (often orthopedic), and delicious home cooked meals, sometimes extravagant, always healthy, and catering to special dietary needs.


Hotel Riande Aeropuerto

Strategically located just 5 minute drive from the Tocuman International Airport, the Hotel Riande Aeropuerto provides the ideal location to rest and recharge after a long day of flying to Panama. Rooms provide Wi-Fi, TV, phone, security box, air-conditioning, and private bathrooms.


Mount Totumas Eco-Lodge

Mount Totumas Lodge is perched on a ridge top overlooking the canopy of primary forest with sweeping views of La Amistad National Park. The design of the lodge was envisioned with large wrap around windows to allow guests to enjoy wide open views of the forest from many angles. In the living room accordian french doors open to the deck, perfect for wildlife observation and star gazing at night.

Suites and rooms are designed to provide each guest a private luxurious space. Private bathrooms have large skylights and planters to create a garden space in your room.

The trails into the cloud forest start from the front door of the lodge.

The restaurant creates dishes drawing from our gardens and the local produce vendors in Volcan. Lemon Grass, ginger, thai basil, kafir lime, galanga, anise, fennel, beets, oregano, rosemary, naranjilla, salzamora, cherimoya, loquat, just a few of the ingredients we use in preparing delicious and unique meals.


Eclypse del Mar Aqua Lodge

Eclypse del Mar Aqua Lodge is committed to the environment and biodiversity and aimed at proving that communities are able to live in harmony with nature. This resort has exclusive individual bungalows carefully furnished and built over the water on the Caribbean Sea (with private bathroom, hot water shower, fans, hammocks, room service, and private terrace from where you can have a spectacular sunset view over the ocean).

Al Natural Resort

Between jungle and sea, Al Natural Resort is a comfortable and private retreat, perfectly integrated into the lush tropical environment. The resort elegantly combines the ancestral craftsmanship of the Ngobe-Bugle Indians with new technologies that allow us to harvest energy from the sun and limit our impact on the ecosystem. The resort is situated on a small secluded beach far from Bocas town, surrounded bu luxuriant vegetation and close to the natural wonders of Bastimentos Island National Marine park. In order to provide each guest with maximum privacy, it is our goal to maintain an intimate scale for the resort, there are only seven beach bungalows, each of a different size and unique design. Al Natural is an authentic eco-resort with a relax atmosphere and a friendly team which offers a comfortable level of personalized services. Gourmet meals, prepared with fresh local products by our European Chef, are served in our two-story restaurant.


(Alternative) Summit Rainforest Resort

The Summit Rainforest & Golf Resort is a mixture of paradise and elegance that will make your visit a perfect refuge. Situated next to the Pipeline Trail, it is considered a hotspot for Birdwatchers where over 1,500 different bird species migrate throughout the year.

Rooms are air-conditioned and modern with views of the pool or bridge. They feature a 42-inch flat-screen cable TV, free high-speed Wi-Fi, business desk, safe, and coffee maker. The large private bathroom has free toiletries and a hairdryer. Bathrooms include a bathtub or shower with spa-stone flooring.

Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Boasting views of the river, garden or tropical style pool, the 137 guest rooms and 27 suites at Gamboa Rainforest Resort offer your own private sanctuary amidst the pristine natural beauty of Soberania National Park. With a rustic yet comfortable eco-lodge-style, all accommodation feature comforts that include complimentary Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service and mini refrigerators.

Locally inspired architecture and décor along with stunning views of the Panama Canal and Chagres River inspire the senses while soothing the spirit. With warm breezes and tropical birds singing over your room’s private balcony and hammock, it’s easy to lose yourself in the tranquility of Gamboa Rainforest Resort.


Darien Canopy Camp

This new camp combines a great birding site with comfortable quarters, outstanding food, and unsurpassed attention to a great birding experience.

Accommodations are in large, almost elegant safari-style tents slightly elevated on metal platforms with wood decking and adjacent private bathrooms. A central building houses the dining room, kitchen, library, and an open veranda (with hammocks), which is an ideal spot for scanning the surrounding forest where parrots, toucans, and puffbirds perch and raptors soar over the nearby ridges.


Panama Activities

At a Glance

We know you've chosen to travel with us for our wildlife emphasis, so we've included a wide variety of adventure activities designed to educate, inspire, and bring out the wonder in you. All of our activities are flexibly designed to accommodate different skill levels and interests, while exposing you to a variety of unique eco-systems in order to see the most amount of wildlife. And did we mention fun?

  • Wildlife Viewing in more than 4 National Parks & Exclusive Private Wildlife Preserves
  • Kayaking on the Panama Canal
  • Rainforest Hiking and Canopy Tour in Remote Chiriqui Cloudforest
  • Bocas del Toro Islands, Snorkeling & Beaches
  • Wildlife itinerary featuring harpy eagle extraction at a new Africa-style tented camp in remote Darien Gap
  • Expert Local Naturalist Guides
  • Beautiful Rainforest Lodges & Beachfront Cabanas

Other Activities

Unparalleled Wildlife Viewing

The most value of any professional wildlife tour in Panama, including wildlife viewing in more than 4 National Parks and Wildlife Preserves. Visit the Panama Canal Zone, Gamboa Rainforest Resort, Rainforest Discovery Center, Soberania National Park and Chiriqui Cloudforest.

Canopy Tour in Remote Soberania National Park

Enjoy hiking and wildlife viewing, including canopy bridges that allow you to explore the rainforest at canopy level for a birds-eye view of Lake Gatun and the park's astounding wildlife, which includes monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and more.

Spectacular Snorkeling and Beaches of Bocas del Toro Archipelago

Because Bocas is outside the hurricane belt, much of the reef has escaped the kind of damage the characterizes the Belize reef. Coral around Bocas - especially in the Bastimentos Marine Wildlife Sanctuary - is abundant, including a wide array of unusually colorful soft corals. In these days of global warming, it is nearly impossible to find such vibrant colonies of coral as are commonly found around Bocas. Enjoy snorkeling the barrier reefs of Bocas, including Zapatillas Cay, Coral Cay, and Old Point Beach, home to some of the most colorful coral - and abundant marine life - in all of Central America! Relax on pristine tropical beaches or by your beachfront cabana.

Option to Visit Salt Creek Ngoble Bugle Indigenous Village

Also in Boca del Toros, choose to canoe amongst the mangroves, a nursery for young tropical fish, followed by a hike with indigenous Ngoble Bugle guides into the island's wildlife-rich interior, searching for Night Monkeys and other rare wildlife. Sloth and monkeys are found on the island, and the electronic-sounding "bonk" of migrating bellbirds can often be heard throughout the entire island.

Wildlife Program at Darien Tented Camp

The legendary and remote Darien is the most bio-diverse area of Central America and is home to rate puma, ocelot, jaguar, margay, jaguarondi, tapir and harpy eagles. It is also exceptional for frog and bird viewing. A variety of day and night walks showcase the wildlife.


Panama Wildlife

Prolific Sightings

Wild Planet's wildlife eco-tours are designed for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Our "Ultimate Wildlife" eco-adventures are specially designed for maximum wildlife viewing. We take care to seek out wildlife that is rare, off the beaten path, and in greater numbers than you will see on conventional tours.

Our expert naturalist guides will educate you in the field so your experience is intimate and unparalleled. Still, wildlife viewing can unpredictable and requires patience and sensory awareness.

Primates: Howler monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys
Other mammals: Three-toed sloth, two-toed sloth, coatimundi, bats
Reptiles & Insects: Crocodiles, caimen, blue morpho butterflies, basilisk (Jesus Christ lizards), poison arrow frogs
Birds: 600 species including parrots, trogons, mot-mots, tanagers, Montezuma's oropendulas, hawks, squirrel cuckoos, owls, herons, kingfishers, 60 species of hummingbirds and much more.

Likely Sightings

Primates: Squirrel monkeys, night monkeys, Geoffrey's tamarin
Other Mammals: Tamandua (anteater), kinkajou, agouti, tayra, peccaries (collared & white-liped), dolphins
Reptiles & Insects: Red-eyed tree frogs, walking sticks, sea turtles, fer-de-lance, leaf-cutter ants
Birds: Resplendent quetzals, scarlet macaws, lovely cotingas, scarlet-thighed dacnis, green honeycreepers, roseate spoonbill, woodstorks, crested caracara, purple gallinule, northern jacanas, great curassow

Rare or Endagered Possible Sightings

Mammals: Jaguar & other cats, tapir, porcupine, silky anteater, grey fox, olingo, paca, grison
Reptiles, Insects & Amphibians: Fleishman's glass frogs (see-through), leatherback turtles, green turtles, Hercules beetles
Birds: Ornate hawk-eagle, harpy eagle, great green macaw, king vulture, white hawk, great potoo, scissor-tailed flycatcher, royal flycatcher, and many more.


Panama Guides

Ian Sanchez


Born and raised in Panama, Ian Sanchez has been a naturalist and adventure guide for 18 years. Ian has a degree in Geology from the University of South Florida, USA and he worked for 8 years as a naturalist park ranger in Grand Canyon, Canyonlands and Big Bend National Parks. He has been a part time naturalist guide at Panama's Smithsonian's Barro Colorado Scientific Research Station for six years. Ian leads trips covering Panamanian wildlife, history and rainforest ecology. In addition to wildlife viewing, Ian is an extraordinarily qualified guide whose area of expertise also includes adventure activities such as mountain biking, sea-kayaking, caving, rafting and whitewater kayaking.

Kenny Weeks


Kenny Weeks, a native Panamanian has been working in the eco-tourism industry for over 15 years with an emphasis on wildlife viewing, birdwatching and culture. The Panama Canal Zone is his second home town since he was raised in this area. He is bilingual and bicultural. The families, history, and operations of the canal, and rainforest has been a major part of Kenny's life during his childhood.

Growing up in a small town surrounded by the rainforest grew his  passion for nature. Kenny is one of our top Panamanian naturalists due in no small part to his extraordinary passion. Hiking and wildlife observation is not only part of his job, but what you'll find him engaging in after hours as well!

Venicio Wilson

Birding Specialist

Venicio "Beny" Emmanuelle Wilson was born in Almirante, province of Bocas del Toro in Western Panama in a house surrounded by beautiful creeks and swamp forests. It was there that his father and grandfather inspired his interest in wildlife. Beny began his passion for birds at age 16 when he accidentally got a copy of "A Field Guide to the Birds of Panama". Two years later, along with other fellow biology students at the University of Panama, he created Grupo Ecologista Vida, a non profit group offering environmental education for school kids of the city of Colon. Besides wildlife viewing, birding and hiking, Beny is also is a connoisseur in frogs, especially the Dendrobatid poison frogs. He is also credentialed as a Certified Interpretive Guide from the National Association for Interpretation (USA).


Panama Departures

Panama-Ultimate Wildlife 13-Day EcoTour

Feb 05, 2020 - Feb 17, 2020 13-days $5,698
Feb 29, 2020 - Mar 12, 2020 13-days $5,698
Mar 21, 2020 - Apr 02, 2020 13-days $5,698
Apr 10, 2020 - Apr 22, 2020 13-days $5,948
May 02, 2020 - May 14, 2020 13-days $5,698
Dec 18, 2020 - Dec 30, 2020 13-days $5,948

*Pricing in blue reflects peak week/high season departure
**Pricing for the above scheduled group departure dates are subject to the  minimum numbers of travelers for scheduled departures, which is indicated in the “Pricing Details” link at the top of this page. Any departure — whether scheduled or private — with less than the minimum group size will still be guaranteed to depart, but at the private “go-on-your-own” rates which require a minimum of only 2 travelers. We will also extend the lower group rate even for private departures not listed above, as long as the minimum group size is met.


Panama FAQ

Panama Facts for Visitors

Climate/Best Time to Go:

Average year-round temperatures are a balmy 75°F to 85°F (24°C-29°C), varying only with altitude. Humidity is always high in Panama, and rainfall varies noticeably between the Pacific and Caribbean sides of the country, with some areas in the Caribbean receiving almost twice the yearly rainfall of Panama City. The best time to visit Panama is during the summer dry season from mid-December to mid-April. This is also high season. Caribbean destinations such as Bocas del Toro have a shorter dry season, usually September/October and February/March, but really showers can occur on any given day.

Best time to go: late November through April


Panama is a Presidential Representative Democratic Republic, whereby the President of Panama is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Since the end of Manuel Noriega's military dictatorship in 1989, Panama has successfully completed five peaceful transfers of power to opposing political factions. The political landscape is dominated by two major parties and many smaller parties, many of which are driven by individual leaders more than ideologies.


Panama's location on the Isthmus of Panama is strategic. By 2000, Panama controlled the Panama Canal which connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea to the North of the Pacific Ocean.

The dominant feature of Panama's geography is the central spine of mountains and hills that forms the continental divide. The divide does not form part of the great mountain chains of North America, and only near the Colombian border are there highlands related to the Andean system of South America. The spine that forms the divide is the highly eroded arch of an uplift from the sea bottom, in which peaks were formed by volcanic intrusions.

The mountain range of the divide is called the Cordillera de Talamanca near the Costa Rican border. Farther east it becomes the Serranía de Tabasará, and the portion of it closer to the lower saddle of the isthmus, where the Panama Canal is located, is often called the Sierra de Veraguas. As a whole, the range between Costa Rica and the canal is generally referred to by geographers as the Cordillera Central.


Approximately 28,640 square mile--about half the size of the state of Iowa.


Panama had an estimated population of 4,176,869 in 2018. The proportion of the population aged less than 15 in 2010 was 29 percent. 64.5 percent of the population was between 15 and 65, with 6.6 percent of the population 65 years or older.

More than half the population lives in the Panama City–Colón metropolitan corridor, which spans several cities. Panama's urban population exceeds 75 percent, making Panama's population the most urbanized in Central America.

In 2010 the population was 65 percent Mestizo (mixed white, Native American), 12.3 percent Native American, 9.2 percent Black or African descent, 6.8 percent mulatto, and 6.7 percent White.


Spanish is the official and dominant language. The Spanish spoken in Panama is known as Panamanian Spanish. About 93 percent of the population speak Spanish as their first language. Many citizens who hold jobs at international levels, or at business corporations, speak both English and Spanish. About 14 percent of Panamanians speak English; this number is expected to rise because Panama now requires English classes in its public schools.

Entry Requirements:

A passport (valid for at least 3 months past date of entry) and return ticket are required to enter Panama. No visas are required for citizens of the US, UK, Canada, Japan and many others.

Departure Tax:

Approximately US $35.00, typically included in cost of international flights.


The Panamanian currency is officially the balboa, fixed at a rate of 1:1 with the United States dollar since Panamanian independence in 1903. In practice, Panama is dollarized: U.S. dollars are legal tender and used for all paper currency, and whilst Panama has its own coinage, U.S. coins are widely used.


All telecommunications services (direct dial phones, fax, telex, cable) are available; but calls from Panama are much higher than an equivalent call to Panama. The country code for Panama is (507) Remote jungle lodges usually have short wave radio communications linked to cellular service.

Time Zone:

Panama is in the Eastern Standard Time zone, and does not utilize daylight saving time. There is very little seasonal variation between dawn and dusk due to the proximity to the equator, dawn is usually 6:00 am and dusk 6:00 pm.

Sales Taxes:

Panama has roughly 7% sales tax and there may be 15% service charge in many hotels and restaurants.


Tipping is voluntary; tips of 15% are acceptable; more if the service is exceptionally good. Some hotels and restaurants add a 15% service.


Tap water in Panama City is safe to drink, as is the water in most other parts of the country. However, you're better off buying bottled water or purifying your own water in the provinces of Bocas del Toro, the Darien Gap, and Guna Yala.

This Trip's Exclusive Wildlife Features:

Choose Your Panama Travel Style! Any of our wildlife adventures are also available as fully customizable private trips, honeymoons or family wildlife adventures.
We're Wild for Wildlife...
  • Best Snorkeling in the Americas - Bocas is located completely outside the hurricane belt and off tourist radar. The reef is amongst the most pristine in the world with very low levels of bleaching or damage
  • Special Wildlife Activities - Hike with indigenous Ngoble Bugle guides to see rare night monkeys
  • Private Eco-Lodge Reserves - Burbayar and Finca Lerida offer astounding biodiversity and exclusive access to rare wildlife populations
We're Wild for Wildlife...
  • Best Snorkeling in the Americas - Bocas is located completely outside the hurricane belt and off tourist radar. The reef is amongst the most pristine in the world with very low levels of bleaching or damage
  • Special Wildlife Activities - Hike with indigenous Ngoble Bugle guides to see rare night monkeys
  • Private Eco-Lodge Reserves - Burbayar and Finca Lerida offer astounding biodiversity and exclusive access to rare wildlife populations

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