Just a quick flight from Atlanta, Miami or Houston, the Canal Zone of Panama features not only one of the world’s finest feats of engineering but also a king’s ransom of birds and some highly charismatic wildlife. Based out of our comfortable lodgings just off the Panama Canal, this short, sweet trip features iconic tropical birds like Keel-billed Toucan, Blue Cotinga and Bat Falcon, a dizzying array of snazzy hummingbirds, and a suite of antbirds, trogons, puffbirds, and motmots. About the size of South Carolina, Panama sports a list of over 1,000 birds, and a week along the Pacific side of the canal gives you a good crack at a sizeable portion of them.
The birds are our bread and butter, but punctuating the spectacular avian experiences will be flashy encounters with some of the fabulous Central American mammals. Here the largest rodent in the world, the odd if endearing Capybara, reaches its northern limit. During the day, we are likely to see Brown-throated Three-toed Sloths, and monkeys such as Mantled Howler, Geoffrey’s Tamarin and perhaps even Night Monkey. A thrilling feature of this trip are the three night drives, during which we’ll seek out animals like the olingo, kinkajou, and Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth; while we hope for several other rarely-seen critters.
Whether we are tracking an antswarm, stalking a troupe of monkeys, communing with a sloth, or gawking at birds, all the sites we visit are close, such that once you arrive in Panama there is little time in transit and lots of time watching wildlife. This Panama tour has been specially designed to be an introductory experience, meaning that while seeing a lot of birds and wildlife is a given, we will spend plenty of time enjoying our sightings rather than ticking and rushing off to the next experience. If you have a great circle of friends or want to engross your family in an amazing outdoor experience, the birds and wildlife of the Canal Zone have much in store for you.
Keel-billed Toucan; Blue Cotinga; Bat Falcon; Whooping Motmot; Blue Dacnis, Red-legged & Green Honeycreepers; Yellow-crowned & Thick-billed Euphonias; Rosy Thrush-Tanager; Tropical Kingbird; Orange-chinned Parakeet; Rufescent Tiger & Boat-billed Herons; Wattled Jacana; Ringed, Amazon, American Pygmy & Green Kingfishers; Crimson-backed & Golden-hooded Tanagers; Common & Great Potoos; Mottled, Spectacled & Striped Owls; Blue Cotinga; Slaty-tailed Trogon; White-necked & Black-breasted Puffbirds; Rufous-capped Warbler; Black-cheeked Woodpecker; Squirrel Cuckoo; Semiplumbeous Hawk; Double-toothed & Grey-headed Kites; Greater Ani; Lance-tailed Manakin; White-bellied Antbird; Dot-winged Antwren; Magnificent Frigatebird; Snail Kite.
Hummingbirds: Whitenecked Jacobin; Snowy-bellied, Violet-headed, Blue-chested, Rufous-tailed & Violet-capped Hummingbirds; Rufous-crested Coquette; Green Hermit; Crowned Woodnymph; White-vented & Bronze-tailed Plumeleteers;
Mantled Howler Monkey, White-faced Capuchin, Brown-throated Three-toed & Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloths, Geoffrey’s Tamarin, Kinkajou, Olingo, Northern Tamandua, Rothschild’s Porcupine, Tayra, Ocelot,
rainforest, marshes, rivers
mostly tropical conditions; warm and humid
Panama Canal, pristine rainforest
What our clients say about tours to Panama
I really enjoyed the tour. Guides were knowledgeable and helpful, the group dynamics were good and – most importantly, we saw loads of exciting birds. I would undoubtedly have missed many species without the expert guidance and knowledge of Tuomas Seimola and the team.
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.
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 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.
Forrest is an outstanding guide. I often have trouble getting on a bird and he was very patient with me. He lived up to all the hype my friend told me. Looking forward to more trips with Rockjumper and especially with Forrest.
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.
Rich Lindie was an excellent guide and he really tried hard to find something interesting in the poor birding areas.
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.
Forrest is truly a pleasure. His bird-finding skills, both by sight and ear, are phenomenal, but even more striking is his singular personality and people skills. Always enthusiastic. Not only would I travel with Forrest again, I preferentially would select a tour if he was guiding.