'The Birds of Panama'

What makes this trip special?

Tropical forest in an urban jungle

Tropical forest in an urban jungle

Metropolitan National Park

One of the biggest surprises in Panama City is the 232 hectares of tropical forest only 10 minutes from the heart of downtown. Well maintained trails, 250 bird species, iguanas, tortoises, sloths, anteaters and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute all make up part of this memorable city park.

Southern canal species

Southern canal species

Soberania National Park

The forested hillsides east of the Panama Canal are a paradise for birdwatchers and even hold the record of 525 species listed in a single 24 hour period in 1996.

Birding the Caribbean side

Birding the Caribbean side

Achiote Road

Located on the northern Atlantic/Caribbean side of the canal, the famous Achiote Road within the San Lorenzo NP offers some of the most productive birding for lowland species in all Panama

Western Highlands

Western Highlands

Cerro Punta - Chiriqui Highlands

On the western flank of Baru Volcano lies Cerro Punta, the highest village in Panama. Misty cloud forests, tumbling mountain streams and fields filled with dairy herds all combine to make an interesting area for touring and exploring.

Conservation corridor

Conservation corridor

Palo Seco forest

Initally created to be a corridor linking Fortuna Reserve and La Amistad NP, Palo Seco itself now houses a number of key species, including Ashy-throated Bush-Tanagers, Rufous-winged Woodpeckers, Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrants Immaculate Antbirds, and Olive-Back Euphonias.

Incredible levels of biodiversity

Incredible levels of biodiversity

La Amistad National Park

Straddling the border with Costa Rica, La Amistad National Park is home to abundant wildlife including black-handed spider monkeys, tapir, five species of cat and numerous species of birds, including the spectacular Resplendent Quetzal.

Wildlife around the Canal

Wildlife around the Canal

Panama Canal Zone

Among the canal's many highlights is its natural surroundings of rigorously protected tropical forests, which provide the water that feeds the canal.

Itinerary map for Panama 'The Birds of Panama' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Panama City
  • 2 Panama City
  • 3 Panama City
  • 4 Colon
  • 5 Colon
  • 6 Panama City
  • 7 Chiriqui Highlands
  • 8 Chiriqui Highlands
  • 9 Boquete
  • 10 Boquete
  • 11 Boquete
  • 12 Panama City
  • 13 Panama City
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'The Birds of Panama'


Panama City

You are met at the airport on arrival and driven to a comfortable hotel in an interesting location: a former US base just across from the Miraflores Lock on the Panama Canal. Its grounds are great for birds


Pipeline Road

A full day on the very productive Pipeline Road with your local specialist birdwatching guide. Amongst a very long list look for Slaty-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon Woodpecker, and Chestnutbacked Antbirds, Black-faced Antthrush, Fasciated Antshrikes, White-flanked and Checker-throated Antwrens and Black-breasted and White-necked Puffbirds.


Metropolitan Natural Park

A full day birding Metropolitan park, mostly semideciduous forest, with a list of 200 species. Look for Rosy Thrushtanager, Lance-tailed Manakin, Slaty Antwren, Pheasant Cuckoo, and Panama endemic Yellow-green Tyrannulet.


Soberania NP

Early pick-up for a morning’s birding at and around Canopy Tower in Soberanía NP. Later continue towards the Caribbean for 2 nights at a waterfront property a short distance from the San Lorenzo National Park


Achiote Road

Full day birding the lovely Achiote Road to Fort Lorenzo for Caribbean lowland birds. The local Christmas Bird Count often reports over 340 species in a 24h period here. The many opportunities include Crested Oropendola, Collared and Slaty-backed Forest-Falcons, Plumbeous and Semiplumbeous Hawks, Hook-billed Kite, Band-tailed Barbthroat, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Ocellated Antbird, Olivaceous Flatbill, Black-tailed Trogon, Speckled Mourner, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan and Spot-crowned Barbet.


Sierra Llorona & Miraflores Lock

Birding the forest around the lodge. Good for raptors, Pied Puffbird, Wide-headed Wren, Great Tinamou, Grey Hawk, Barred Forest-falcon, Gray-headed Chachalaca, Blue-headed Parrot, Brown-hooded Parrot, Shining Honeycreeper, Indigo Bunting, Blue Cotinga and Long Billed Starthroat. Afternoon visit to Miraflores Lock to see the Canal at work on huge ships that barely fit the double locks’ massive chambers, then to hotel beside the Canal’s Pacific entrance. The Gehry BioMuseo is close by.


Chiriquí Highlands

Morning flight to David in the Chiriquí Highlands. Bird mangroves near David for Yellow-billed Cotinga and Macho de Monte lakes area near Volcán for Masked Duck, Northern Jacana and other water birds. On to Los Quetzales Lodge at Guadalupe (6300ft), your base for 2 nights.


La Amistad National Park – Cerro Punta

Birding the Cerro Punta area with excellent chances of Resplendent Quetzal in the Jan-May nesting season, 25% otherwise. Apart from 10 species of humming-bird, look for Blue-throated Toucanet, Great Curassow, Black Guan, Collared Redstart and Yellow-thighed Finch.



Day of birding on Barú Volcano in the La Amistad Park, switching to the western side of the volcano to stay at Finca Lerida, a coffee hacienda in Boquete for 3 nights.

DAY 10

Volcán Barú NP

Day of birding the eastern slopes of Barú Volcano from Boquete for further mid and high elevation species.

DAY 11

Palo Seco Forest Reserve

Early start, dropping down to the Palo Seco Forest Reserve on the Caribbean lowlands for the day. This is a good place for Rufous-winged Woodpecker, Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant, Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager, Immaculate Antbird, and Olive-Back Euphonia as well as many warblers.

DAY 12

Birding in the grounds of your lodge in Boquete. Transfer to David for a mid-afternoon flight to Panama City for 2 nights.

DAY 13

Engineering or Nature

Decisions, decisions. On the one hand you could visit to Gatún Locks, continue across the isthmus to Colon and catch an afternoon train back alongside the Canal with views of the lake, the forest and the engineering. Or, at a supplementary cost (and depending on the day of the week), you could either make a ‘partial transit’ of the Canal itself, or visit the Smithsonian Institute’s tropical research centre at Barro Colorado Island.

DAY 14

Panama City

Transfer to the airport for your international flight home, or extend your trip to experience the birds of Burbayar.

Guide prices for 'The Birds of Panama'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
With different specialist local bird guides at different sites 2 people sharing £4,185
With different specialist local bird guides at different sites 4 people sharing £2,720
With one specialist bird guide throughout 2 people sharing £5,495
With one specialist bird guide throughout 4 people sharing £4,455
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Panama
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally

Customer reviews for 'The Birds of Panama'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average customer rating 100%


Canopy Tower, Canopy Camp & Los Quetzales.


Seasonal information for 'The Birds of Panama'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm
2 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm
3 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm
4 Colon 29°C rainfall 98mm
5 Colon 29°C rainfall 98mm
6 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm
7 Chiriqui Highlands 31°C rainfall 36mm
8 Chiriqui Highlands 31°C rainfall 36mm
9 Boquete 22°C rainfall 52mm
10 Boquete 22°C rainfall 52mm
11 Boquete 22°C rainfall 52mm
12 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm
13 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm

Typical weather for January


Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'The Birds of Panama'

Days 1 - 3

Holiday Inn City of Knowledge Panama Canal


A  6-storey hotel with 137 rooms. It is situated close to the canal opposite the Miraflores Lock in the former Howard US Army base. Rooms have either a jungle or canal view. It is 20 mins from the city centre and 5 minutes from local restaurants and Albrook shopping centre. It has relatively good birding grounds, an open air swimming pool and  a canal view café open for breakfast and lunch.

Holiday Inn City of Knowledge Panama Canal
Days 4 - 5

Marina Hotel at Shelter Bay

Shelter Bay

As the name suggests, the Shelter Bay Marina Hotel overlooks the Shelter Bay Marina in the old Fort Sherman area, at the edge of the Fort San Lorenzo National Park. The hotel is just a few minutes’ drive after crossing the Gatun Locks at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal and is walking distance from Play Diablo. The hotel has 11 comfortable rooms all with en suite bathrooms, air conditioning satellite tv and with views over the Marina or  the jungle. There is a fully equipped gym, swimming pool, jacuzzi and sundeck. The hotel is popular with crews biding time before their transition the Canal; you might here some interesting tales while enjoying the sunset over the ocean.

Marina Hotel at Shelter Bay
Day 6

Holiday Inn City of Knowledge Panama Canal


A  6-storey hotel with 137 rooms. It is situated close to the canal opposite the Miraflores Lock in the former Howard US Army base. Rooms have either a jungle or canal view. It is 20 mins from the city centre and 5 minutes from local restaurants and Albrook shopping centre. It has relatively good birding grounds, an open air swimming pool and  a canal view café open for breakfast and lunch.

Holiday Inn City of Knowledge Panama Canal
Days 7 - 8

Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa


Average rating 4.5 (13 ratings)

Tucked away in a highland cloud forest, Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa is 2200 meters above sea level inside the primary forests of Volcan Baru national park. The climate here varies from 24°C on a sunny day to 7°C  in the chilliest winter night (the cold nights means biting insects are virtually absent). Timber-built, Los Quetzales Lodge is beside a river in the picturesque agricultural village of Guadalupe. The simple spacious rooms all have private bathrooms with hot water, room service and telephone service. The Lodge serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a friendly laid-back atmosphere.  There is a small spa in the grounds, next to the river and surrounded by trees.

Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa
Days 9 - 11

Finca Lerida


Average rating 4.7 (12 ratings)

This small working coffee farm has two types of accommodation:

The first, "Finca Lerida Bed and Breakfast", comprises of Scandinavian style cabin cottages dotted in the grounds near the entrance to the property, each with a living room, open fire, two bedrooms, bathroom and verandah.

The newer "Finca Lerida Ecolodge" has 11 comfortable modern double rooms each with private bath, a porch overlooking the forest and the lodge's own small coffee plantation.

Finca Lerida
Days 12 - 13

Radisson Panama Canal

Panama City

A functional US style hotel with 159 rooms and suites, all with balconies. The hotel is saved by its wonderful location situated on the waterfront with a view of the Pacific Ocean entrance of the Panama Canal and of the Bridge of the Americas.

All rooms have private bathroom.  In the hotel there is a large breakfast room, sauna, fitness room, tennis court, swimming pool and a restaurant with views of the Bridge of the Americas. There is also a TGI Fridays restaurant in the grounds of the hotel. Other restaurants are a short taxi ride/walk away.

The hotel is 15 miles from the international airport, which is on the other side of the city, but is handy for Albrook airport (domestic flights), the Canal itself, and for Casco Viejo - the historic quarter.

Radisson Panama Canal
View of canal and pool from hotel