Our Budget Panama birding tour is a joy, as long travel days and arduous hikes are not necessary. We spend several days at Canopy Tower in the Canal Zone, allowing us an unrivalled opportunity to explore the rainforests of Soberanía National Park. These exquisite forest and wetland sites provide diverse birding, while mammal opportunities are excellent. Pipeline Road, Ammo Dump Ponds and the tower itself are among the most famous birding sites in Panama. The diversity and quality of birds and birding in the area very near to the Panamanian Capital makes this area perhaps the most convenient and fruitful birding anywhere in Latin America. Some 350 species can be found within a 30-mile radius of the city! We then head to the delightful hill country of El Valle de Antón where we explore cloudforest and the Caribbean slope and a new range of mouth-watering Panama birding species!
Panamanian Tyrannulet, Veraguan Mango, Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker, Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo, Blue Cotinga, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Great & Little Tinamous, Keel-billed and Chestnut-mandibled Toucans, Collared Aracari, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Spot-crowned Barbet, Black-eared Wood Quail, Fasciated, Russet & Black-crowned Antshrikes, Red-capped, White-ruffed, Lance-tailed, Blue-crowned & Golden-collared Manakins, Broad-billed and Rufous Motmots, White-whiskered & White-necked Puffbird, Spotted, Dusky, Bicolored, Ocellated & White-bellied Antbird, Black-faced Antthrush, Dot-winged, White-flanked, Slaty, Moustached & Checker-throated Antwrens, Red-lored & Northern Mealy Amazons, Blue-headed & Brown-hooded Parrots, Slaty-tailed, White-tailed Trogon, Black-bellied Wren, White-breasted Wood Wren, Crimson-crested and Lineated Woodpeckers, Scaled, Black-crowned and Streak-chested Antpittas, Bay-headed, Speckled and Black-and-yellow Tanagers, Green Shrike-Vireo, Black-chested Jay, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Southern Bentbill, White-winged Becard, Northern & Russet-winged Schiffornis, Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Speckled Mourner, Spot-crowned Antvireo, Black-and-white & Ornate Hawk-Eagles, Crested Owl, Barred Forest Falcon, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Spotted Barbtail, Black Guan, White Hawk, Red-faced Spinetail, Ochraceous Wren, White-vented Euphonia.
Hummingbird fans: Rufous-crested Coquette, White-tipped Sicklebill, Band-tailed Barbthroat, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Green Thorntail, Violet-capped, Violet-headed & Snowy-bellied Hummingbirds, Green Hermit, White-tailed Emerald, Green-crowned Brilliant, Purple-throated Mountaingem, Snowcap.
Mantled Howler Monkey, White-faced Capuchin, Ocelot, sloths
rainforest, cloudforest, marshes, rivers
mostly tropical conditions; warm and humid
Max Group Size
8 with 1 local birding leader
Tour Pace & Walking
mostly relaxed pace with some longer hikes
Ease of Birding
moderate with some tricky species
Number of Species Expected
Panama Canal, pristine rainforest
This was our first birding tour with a group and we both feel we started at the top. This tour was an excellent value for the price. Rockjumper did a first-class job with tour arrangements and we feel like we won the lottery getting Rich Lindie as our guide. Rich is a tremendous birding guide as well as an extremely good, always aware and conscientious leader for any tour. His bird knowledge, world knowledge and quick wit made him a delight to be around and to have discussions with. He is adept at helping all levels of birders to see and enjoy the birds found on the trip. For future tours, we will call Rockjumper first.
First let me just say that the tour was excellent, the birding sites were interesting, the pace was perfect, Rob and both local guides were amazing. Top marks.
This was my first international birding tour experience, and so while I have no basis for comparison, I was completely satisfied by this tour. The guides were excellent. Their knowledge was near encyclopaedic, and most importantly, never-ending. I would actively seek to go on tour with Tuomas Seimola again.
Rich Lindie was skilled, patient and good-humoured. I also think he did a good job of balancing the different needs of the group. Rich also balanced the list I had shared with him of my target birds with the time we had available.
Having Rich Lindie as the Rockjumper guide was a "known commodity", as he was our guide for our Kenya & Tanzania trip in 2015. We have found Rich to be an excellent guide with undoubted birding skills, but also excellent people skills.