On our new Relaxed tour of Panama will spend a week exploring some of the more accessible rainforests and montane cloud forests the country has to offer. The native flora is simply stunning, and more than 10,000 species have already been identified within the country! Around 930 bird species – more than the number found in North America and Europe combined – make their home in this tropical paradise.
We’ll spend our second week in the Western Highlands of this fascinating country, part of a chain of volcanic mountains straddling the Panamanian and Costa Rican border. They host a unique and interesting avifauna that includes many regional highland endemics, and some of the world’s most spectacularly beautiful birds! We will try to locate as many of the 50+ highland endemic species as time permits. One of the obvious targets will be the awe-inspiring Resplendent Quetzal, along with a host of highland hummingbirds, tanagers, trogons and many others!
With roughly 29% of its territory protected within 15 nature reserves, Panama is fast becoming a must-visit destination for birders and nature travellers the world over.
Resplendent Quetzal; Prong-billed Barbet; Snowy-bellied, Rufous-tailed, Violet-headed, Talamanca, Scintillant, Volcano, Blue-chested & Violet-capped Hummingbirds; Rufous-crested Coquette; White-vented & Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer; Green Hermit; Band-tailed Barbthroat; White-tailed Emerald; Green-crowned Brilliant; Purple-throated & White-throated Mountaingems; White-tipped Sicklebill; Veraguan Mango; Violet Sabrewing; Green-fronted Lancebill; Chiriqui Yellowthroat; Bay-headed, Speckled, Rufous-winged & Black-and-yellow Tanagers; Rosy Thrush-Tanager; Golden-browed Chlorophonia; Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker; Yellow-eared Toucanet; Red-capped, Lance-tailed & Blue-crowned Manakins; Broad-billed & Rufous Motmots; Amazon, Green & American Pygmy Kingfishers; Red-lored Amazon; Sclaed Pigeon; Blue-headed Parrot; Keel-billed & Yellow-throated Toucans; Blue Cotinga; Green Shrike-Vireo; Black-chested Jay; Purple-throated Fruitcrow; Slaty-tailed, White-tailed, Collared & Gartered Trogons; Black-crowned & Streak-chested Antpittas; Black Guan; White Hawk; Ornate Hawk-Eagle.
Mantled Howler Monkey; White-faced Capuchin; Ocelot; various sloths
rainforest, cloudforest, marshes, rivers
mostly tropical conditions; warm and humid
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader
Our Relaxed series of tours are designed to focus on having an enjoyable holiday with a bird and wildlife focus. Where possible; we have reduced or removed long drives, single night stays and poor/rustic accommodation. We have also sought to reduce or remove difficult hikes, narrow/muddy trails and otherwise oppressive environmental conditions. Early starts and night birding are mostly optional, and we will not spend much time searching for difficult and/or skulking species. These tours are not suitable for hardcore birders and listers, or dedicated photographers.
moderate with some tricky species
Panama Canal, pristine rainforest
Eliecer Rodriguez was a wonderful guide. Of primary concern, he knew the birds--their vocalizations, their habits, their microhabitats--extremely well. He could imitate most of their vocalizations and knew how they would appoach, and could help folks with weaker skills "get on the bird". He showed patience with the participants, the birds, and the weather etc., was consistently cheerful and helped to maintain a positive mood in the group. The more difficult species seemed to be his specialty. For example, we saw 17 species of "antbirds" (thamnophilids), plus an antthrush and two antpittas and, the " mega" of the trip, two different Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoos, miles apart on two different days. Wow! He knew the other vertebrates well too. He didn't miss a beat.
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.
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.
As is the tradition with all of the Rockjumper guides that we've had the pleasure of being in the boonies with, Tuomas Seimola was outstanding. We enjoyed the trip a lot.
"This was our fourth birding trip with Rockjumper and we continue to be impressed with the quality of our experience with this group. The lodgings were wonderful and our local guide extremely knowledgeable about the birds of Panama, their calls and what niche they occupy. He was also a genuinely wonderful and patient guide who really made our Panama experience the great success it was.
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