May 22 to June 8, 2018
Note: A valid passport is required for this tour. Passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond tour travel dates.
General Information: Join CMBO Director David La Puma and excellent local guides on
a Neotropical adventure across Panama, from the Canal Zone to the Chiriquí
Highlands and finally the Caribbean Lowlands of Bocas del Toro. The ecological
zones of Panama are full of breathtaking birds and wildlife, set on a backdrop
of diverse landscapes and mingling with wonderful people from the indigenous Ngöbe-Buglé,
to the multicultural mix of settlers that continues to grow even today. This
tour will be a dive into tropical ecology, biodiversity, and the great
conservation work being done throughout the region to maintain both culture and
nature into the future.
We will begin our adventure at the Canopy
Family, staying at the Canopy Tower near the Panama Canal. Set deep in the
lowland pacific rainforest and rising four stories high, the Canopy Tower is
one of the best ways to get up close and personal with a diverse array of
wildlife. We will
take several day trips from here to famous Pipeline Road for A plethora of
lowland specialties, including obligate ant birds (Bicolored, Ocellated and Spotted
Antbird) as well as Song
Wren, Great Jacamar, Streak-chested Antpitta and several species of
trogons. Day trips will also include an
excursion to some tropical dry forest for birds such as Lance-tailed Manakin, Rosy-thrush Tanager, Rufous-and-white Wren,
White-bellied Antbird and Whooping Motmots. No trip to the Canopy
Tower is complete without an excursion to Cerro Azul, where we will seek Violet-capped
Hummingbird, Rufous-crested Coquette, and the endemic Striped-cheeked Woodpecker.
Leaving the canal zone behind us, we will fly from Panama City to the city of David, where we will transfer to the mountain town of Volcan, named for the nearby Baru volcano. We will bird Volcan in the evening and the following morning, before taking the adventurous trip up to Mount Totumas Cloud Forest Lodge, at 1,900 meters (6,300 feet) above sea level and in the buffer zone of the La Amistad International Park, the largest nature reserve in Central America. Here we will seek out high elevation species such as Wrenthrush and Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Resplendent Quetzals and Three-wattled Bellbirds, while being serenaded by Spotted Wood-quail and Ruddy-capped Nightingale Thrush.
After a few days hiking around the Totumas area, we will
make our way back down the hill to Volcan and spend a day birding the
transition zone at mid-elevations, for specialties like Costa Rican Brushfinch, Costa Rican Pygmy Owl, and others. We will make our way to the Caribbean slope in the
late afternoon and spend a night in the Fortuna area.
No morning on the Continental Divide is complete without a trip to Antenna Road, in Fortuna Forest Reserve, where we will search for specialties including Thicket and Scaled Antpitta, Black-bellied Hummingbird, Zeldon's Antbird, Blue-and-gold Tanager, and others. We will make our way down to Punta Robalo (Snook Point) to Bastimentos Island, Bocas del Toro. Day trips will also include a visit to the Chocolate Farm, a trip up the Changuinola Canal and Changuinola river mouth, and a visit to Bird Island which hosts breeding colonies of Magnificent Frigatebird, Brown Booby and Red-billed Tropicbird.
All of this coupled with five-star treatment, fantastic
food, wonderful people, and sustainable practices, will make for a Panama
experience you won't soon forget.
ACTIVITY LEVEL: MODERATE
This tour has been given an activity level of Moderate. It is considered a more active tour with daily intermediate to long-distance walking, usually on flat, smooth terrain. Those with physical limitations should take these factors into consideration, or contact the tour leader for details.
PACE, WEATHER, AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS:
Panama’s weather in May is normally very pleasant (60-80 degrees F) with clear skies, but of course it is possible to have rain so being prepared with both sun protection and rain gear will be necessary.
TOUR SIZE: This tour is limited to 9 participants.
Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, a list of participants, addresses of motels, lists of things to bring, a reading list, a list of probable/possible birds, further information about weather, dress, etc., will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.
DATES: Tuesday May 22, 2018 to Friday, June 8, 2018
PRICE: Cost for this tour is $5,299 per person based on double occupancy. Note there is no single occupancy available on this tour. We are staying in some of the best lodges in Panama for wildlife encounters, some of which have very limited space. All participants must be comfortable with a roommate for some if not all of the trip. A deposit of $500 will hold your place until January 16, 2018 when full payment becomes due.
PRICE INCLUDES: Price includes guide fees, airport transfers, ground and air transportation throughout the tour, accommodations, all meals, entrance fees to private or protected areas, and all gratuities.
Price does not include airfare to/from Panama City, alcoholic beverages, phone calls, laundry, gratuities to guides/drivers, or items of a personal nature.
Download Tour Registration Form in PDF format
Download Tour Registration Form in fillable Word document
SEND DEPOSITS & OTHER PAYMENTS TO:
NJ Audubon Eco-Travel
c/o Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Phone: (609) 400-3852
Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon
by email to email@example.com