Mountain Cloud Forest, Wildlife, Sun & Sand Island Archipelago
We are going to take you to a number of very special and totally different wild and culturally different areas of Panama on this amazing adventure trip. Of special interest:
• Amistad the biologically diverse and wildlife rich shared border mountain park with Costa Rica, and the adjacent Volcan Baru National Park.
• The spectacular Bocos del Toro Archipelago, not only indescribably beautiful aqua waters and white sand islands but also home to some of Panama’s native peoples.
(Note: this is a suggested itinerary only, conditions on each trip may vary)
Day 1: Arrive Panama City (April 13). Night in Panama City
Amistad Park & Volcano Baru National Parks
Day 2 (Thurs April 14): Morning flight to David. Transport to Los Quetzales Eco Lodge, (Amistad National Park, Volcan Baru National Park), afternoon walk at Lodge. Los Quetzales Eco Lodge
Day 3 : Accomodation at Los Quetzales Lodge. Optional Nature Hikes, Walks, Bike Rides, Birding, in 2 national Parks, Volcan Baru Park , Amistad National Park
Day 4: Paddling/Rafting Day Trip on local Jungle River.
Day 5 Shuttle to Bocos del Torro . and boat trip out to Archipelago Islands. Afternoon, snorkeling/swimming, Accommodation in Cabanas
Day 6: Bocos del Torro, On Archipelago Islands, snorkeling swimming, paddling, relaxing
Day 7: Bocos del Torro
Day 8: Flights Home Early morning flights from Bocos to Panama City & on Home. (Thurs April 20th)
$1995 USA, April 13-20, 2017
Add on Program: $500US
1 Night in Panama City followed by , 3 Day Darien Province tour, La Palma Town & Mogue Native Village 3 Days
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN PACKAGE:
Accommodation at Los Quetzals Eco Lodge
Van Shuttles to & from Lodge
Guided Walks at the Eco Lodge
River Paddling Trip
Van & Boat Shuttle to Bocos Del Torro Archipelago
Accommodations at Bocos del Torro
Approx half the Meals
Flights to and from Panama
April 14 night in Panama City
Internal Flight (Panama City-David & Bocos Panama City) approx. $80per
* Please note: It’s the nature of remote travel that uncontrollable factors like poor weather, pilot judgment, forest fires, and mechanical problems can affect our schedules and cause delays. We regret these situations but cannot accept responsibility for hotels, flight rebookings, and other costs you may incur.
San Blas Archipelago, Panama
Indescribably Beautiful Aqua Waters
The San Blas islands and Guna Indians have been the subject of numerous National Geographic articles. Indeed your experience will be right out of the pages of National Geographic. They offer two unbeatable attractions: Caribbean islands of stunning pristine beauty and an opportunity to visit the Guna people, a living Indian culture with a fascinating culture and way of life.
In 2011 Lonely Planet selected San Blas as the #3 tropical paradise in the world:
“Look up ‘tropical paradise’ and there will probably be a picture of the Guna Yala archipelago. These small islands (also known as the San Blas Islands) are part of the semi-autonomous territory of the Guna(Kuna) people with are part of the semi-autonomous territory of the Guna people and feature palm trees, gorgeous beaches, thatched huts and timeless charm. Big business hasn’t gained a foothold because the Guna rule the roost, with a series of laws to preserve the natural environment. So no ugly hotels spoiling the view and no package tourism polluting the vibe, just plenty of uninhabited islands to explore.”
The archipelago has 365 islands picturesque and palm tree covered, uninhabited and set in indescribably beautiful aqua waters. When famous author John Le Carre of The Tailor of Panama stayed in San Blas his comment upon taking in an island view was, “This is not paradise, this is heaven.”
Volcan Baru, National Park, Panama
La Amistad International Park
This 143-sq-km national park is home to Volcán Barú, Panama’s only volcano and the dominant geographical feature of Chiriquí. Volcán Barú is no longer considered active; in fact, there is no record of its most recent eruption. Yet the volcano has not one but seven craters. Its 3478m summit is the highest point in Panama, and on a clear day it affords views of both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
The national park is also home to the Sendero Los Quetzales, one of the most scenic treks in the entire country. As its name implies, the trail is one of the best places in Central America to spot the rare resplendent quetzal, especially during the dry season (November to April). However, even if the Maya bird of paradise fails to show, the park is home to more than 250 bird species as well as pumas, tapirs and the conejo pintado (a spotted raccoon-like animal).
After a series of severe landslides, the Quetzales trail has suffered extensive damage. While it is still walkable, there are sections that are very indistinct and under heavy debris. We recommend that you hike the trail with a guide; ANAM plans to soon make this a requirement. In recent times many travelers have gotten lost on this stretch and resources for rescue are practically nonexistent.
La Amistad International Park (Panama & Costa Rica)
With such a diverse range of environments, visitors can expect a very wide variety of wildlife, trees and plant life. It is estimated that two thirds of all the wildlife that resides in Costa Rica can be found here, including jaguars, giant anteaters, tapirs, puma, coatis, monkeys, peccaries, margay and ocelot. An unprecedented 500 species of birds are found throughout the park including the illusive resplendent quetzal and harpy eagle. Of the species listed as endangered in Costa Rica, nine of the eleven birds, 13 of the 16 mammals and all the amphibians and reptiles are found in La Amistad Park. Approximately 1,000 fern species, 500 tree species and 130 different types of orchids can also be found within the park borders. Compared to other parks and reserves around the world of similar size, the diversity found here is unequalled.
Darien National Park, Panama
A World Heritage site
As stated by Unesco:
“Outstanding Universal Value”
Forming a bridge between the two continents of the New World, Darien National Park extends across some 575.000 hectares and contains an exceptional variety of habitats – sandy beaches, rocky coasts, mangroves, swamps, and lowland and upland tropical forests containing remarkable wildlife. Two Indian tribes live in the park. It is the largest protected area in Panama and among the largest in Central America.
The property includes a stretch of the Pacific Coast and almost the entire border with neighbouring Colombia. From sea level to Cerro Tacarcuna the property boasts an exceptional variety of coastal, lowland and mountain ecosystems and habitats. There are sandy beaches, rocky shores and mangroves along the coast, countless wetlands, rivers and creeks, palm forests and various types of rainforest, including the most extensive lowland rainforest on Central America’s Pacific Coast. It is also culturally and ethnically diverse, as evidenced by major archaeological findings, as well as Afro-descendants and indigenous peoples of the Embera, Wounaan, Kuna and others living within the property to this day. Darien National Park was groundbreaking by explicitly including a cultural dimension in the management and conservation of a protected area.
Among the impressive 169 documented species of mammals are the critically endangered Brown-headed Spider Monkey, the endangered Central American Tapir, the vulnerable Giant Anteater and near-threatened species like Jaguar, Bush Dog and White-lipped Peccary. The more than 530 recorded species of birds include the endangered Great Green Macaw, the vulnerable Great Curassow and a major population of the near-threatened Harpy Eagle.