Reasons to Visit
Panama has an extremely rich array of birdlife and is one of the best countries in the world for birding. There are over 970 species and over two thirds of these can be found in the rainforests that surround the Panama Canal, including the rare harpy eagle. The Chiriquí Highlands, El Valle and the Darien Jungle are also prolific regions to view some of the many wonderful birds.
The indigenous communities of Panama add a fascinating dimension for visitors and interacting with them in a sustainable and responsible manner is a wonderful experience. The most accessible and welcoming indigenous inhabitants can be found in the San Blas archipelago, along with the Embera communities in the Darien Jungle and the Ngobe-Bugle communities in the Chiriquí Highlands.
Panama has numerous tropical islands to explore in both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Each has its own special attraction from the blue-yellow macaws and deserted beaches of The Pearl Islands to the colourful reef-life and dolphins of Bocas del Toro to the indigenous Kuna communities of The San Blas archipelago.
One of the highlights of travelling in Panama is that you will find it relatively untouched. Outside of Panama City you will often find yourself on a deserted stretch of rainforest or pristine beach with just your small lodge as the only place for miles. Be prepared for spectacular journeys on bumpy roads, light aircraft and speedboats and you will have an experience of a lifetime!
Watching a huge ship nudge its way through the Panama Canal is an unforgettable experience in Panama. 48 miles long, the canal connects the pacific ocean and the Atlantic, and is a real feat of engineering.
With both Caribbean and Pacific coasts available, there is some beautiful snorkelling to be had in Panama in relatively untouched spots. The San Blas islands in particular have incredibly colourful reefs, and the Kuna guides are experts at picking the best places to take you.
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We can arrange a wide range of activities during your trip. Here is just a small selection of what's on offer.
The Canal Zone
This is considered to be one of the best birding spots in the world with 300 species of birds recorded in one single day by the Audubon Society.
Travel along the scenic Gamboa Road to the Soberania National Park for a walk along the Pipeline Road, Plantation Road or El Charco Trail, all of which are fantastic for viewing the unique ecology of the canal watershed.
El Valle originates in the crater of a long extinct volcano which is thought to have been the largest in Central America. With a cool and pleasant climate, this unique valley rises 600 metres above sea level and its cool tropical forests are an ideal place for hikes for all abilities.
This trip will include a visit to one of La Pintadas cigar factories where you can watch cigars still made in the traditional manner, hand-rolled, hand-cut and hand-pressed.
This tour goes up into the hills outside Panama City to the Chagres river where you transfer with your guide on to an open-top Embera motorised canoe. You zip along the clear river waters by boat through beautiful scenery to visit the small indigenous community of Embera Indians in the Chagres National Park.
The tour of Panama City takes in the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal, Panama Viejo and Casco Antiguo. The tour begins with a visit to the impressive Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal.
After crossing the canal over one of the lock gates you continue to Fort San Lorenzo, which was constructed by the Spaniards in 16th Century to defend against the constant threat of pirates seeking to interrupt the transporting of Inca gold. The fort is very isolated and accessed via a bumpy road but the drive is worth it with stunning views out across the Caribbean sea and the mouth of the Chagres River.
The Discovery is owned and operated by Panama Marine Adventures (PMA) and is a 33 metre purpose built catamaran capable of travelling up to a speed of 18 knots. There are 11 crew on board...
There is a wide range of activities available at Tranquilo Bay. The 'Within the Reef' option includes the use of the lodge's sea kayaks, snorkelling equipment and fishing rods.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Panama by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in PanamaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoAccommodationAbout PanamaCountry Guides
Other countries in Central America, Mexico & Cuba:BelizeCosta RicaCubaGuatemalaHondurasMexicoNicaragua
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