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Meet your guide: Domiciano "Domi" Alveo

Domiciano (“Domi”) Alveo was born and raised in El Valle de Antón—the lush, green crater of an extinct volcano considered by many to be the most beautiful place in Panama. But more than just a gorgeous location, El Valle hosts a fantastic array of birds. Domi's interest in birds started when he was in his early youth; he live-trapped a few birds and kept them in cages so he could appreciate them close up. He soon realized that birds needed to be free, so he released his birds and started learning to identify bird species near his home by not only how they looked, but also their calls and songs.

He started as a nature/bird guide in El Valle at the age of 14. For several years he apprenticed under the guidance of a long-time birder in El Valle, but most of what he learned was self-taught by spending years in the field. He worked for two years as a canopy zip-line instructor and nature guide. Since 2007, he worked as a bird guide in Gamboa, leading hundreds of tours of Pipeline Road, Gamboa, and other areas. His clients include scores of individuals, as well as some of the best birding companies in Panama and worldwide. Domi has spent extensive time birding in central Panama, in the western foothills, and in Darién, Panama’s easternmost province full of specialty species. Domi is familiar and confident with identification, both visually and by sound, of Panama’s birds across the country. Not only is he a top-notch birder, but also bilingual (Spanish and English), considerate, and patient, making him one of the best bird guides in Panama.

Domi is also an avid eBirder, check out his eBird profile and keep up to date with all of his recent sightings across Panama. 

When not guiding, Domi spends time scouting areas for new birding sites. He enjoys traveling with his family and taking his three daughters out birding. 

“I happened to meet Domi  while birding in Parque Metropolitano. We introduced ourselves, and he gave me his card. My friends already knew him by reputation, and said that he was a superb birder and guide. Later, in Valle de Anton I happened to notice an eBird posting of his from a location very close to where I was staying. So, on a whim, I called him, and we arranged to meet the next day. A superb birder, I soon discovered, was an extreme understatement!  I could hardly believe how good he was - every song, every call note he knew immediately. He knew how to call them in, knew where they would probably land, and was always the first to spot  the bird (always, sigh). I ended up going out with Domi three more times, and if he wasn’t so booked up, I would have gone out again. My trip to Panama was made so much more enjoyable by birding with Domi. Not only did I see so many more birds than I would have seen by myself, even better, I ended up gaining a new friend! Besides being a top notch birder (and perfectly bilingual), Domi is a fantastic all-round naturalist. I couldn’t recommend Domi more highly, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed if you go birding with him.”

Bob S., Canada

"I had the very good fortune to find Domi by word of mouth on my last trip to Panama, and am delighted to share my feedback on his new website. My wife and I spent a day birding the Pipeline Road area with him in March 2019. My expectations were low as circumstances forced a late start to the day - around 10 am. He was waiting for us with reliable transportation and an excellent safe driver. His skill and deep knowledge of the birds was immediately apparent. Song Wren, Rufous Motmot, Black-tailed Trogon, Black-breasted Puffbird, and Red-throated Ant-tanager were quickly found and savored. At the Rainforest Discovery Center Brown-Hooded Parrot, Broad-billed Motmot and an unexpected Great Jacamar were the next goodies. I was truly astonished when Domi identified a Moustached Antwren without binoculars and then made sure that I got on it. The highlight of the day was unquestionably the 2 Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoos at an ant swarm 20 feet off the trail. I mention this to showcase Domi's commitment to his clients. He had asked us right away what we would like to see. Undaunted by my ridiculous request for the Ground-Cuckoo, he asked his local contacts who shared that there was a sighting of this elusive bird just a mile down the Pipeline. Domi's English is excellent, he was prompt, reliable, provided ample water and a delicious lunch. What I appreciated most was his enthusiasm as a birder. I have been birding over 40 years, and have interacted with many professional guides. I unreservedly recommend him as a top-notch birder, naturalist, and guide."

John G., USA

Linda and I have traveled to Central America 10 times. So far we have booked all aspects of our trips ourselves: the flights, transfers, accommodations and day trips to hot spot birding locations. Most of the time we bird on our own but occasionally hook up with a scheduled bird/nature hike at one of the national parks. On our latest trip, which was to Panama, we made an exception to our routine. We decided to hire a local guide ahead of time for a few of our outings to local hot spots. We hoped this would increase our chances of seeing those species that are difficult to find or identify. When discussing our trip with birding friends a couple of them mentioned Domi Alveo as one of the best birding guides they had ever encountered. We contacted him immediately and managed to book a few of the remaining days and half days that he still had open. He provided everything we needed: picking us up at our accommodations, driving us to several different birding locations, providing a great lunch and, of course, finding lots of species that we probably wouldn't have found by ourselves. We quickly realized that he is an all around naturalist with lots of knowledge of other wildlife and plant life.  We spent 1 full day and 2 half days with him and were very pleased with his abilities to help us find birds, identify them and remain patient even when we asked him to ID songs that he had already named several times. You will not be disappointed!

Dave & Linda, Canada

"We had a few days in the Panama City area to bird and contacted Domi. His knowledge of birds is superior and he found us our targets readily. He knows the areas exceedingly well and organized the perfect trip for us. He has a great personality making our birding fun as well as rewarding."

Pete R., Canada

"On our recent trip to Panama we were fortunate in having Domi Alveo as our guide for a day of birding Pipeline Road and environs. Domi knows his birds well and where to find them. We had excellent looks at many of the endemic species thanks to his skills. Domi was well organized and attentive to detail, easy-going and pleasant company. That day was definitely a highlight of our trip."

MB, Colorado, USA

"My family had a wonderful time birding with Domi.  He has a warm personality, he is kind and very patient. He is is a great bird guide.  Domi greeted us with a smile each morning at our hotel and made sure we got to where we could find the target birds we were looking for.  Domi showed us many places around Panama and everywhere we went with Domi it was like he was birding in his own backyard.  Domi is extremely knowledgeable about all the birds and their calls and his love of Panama shines through.  Domi made sure we saw the birds we were looking for but took time to also share information about plants and trees, conservation activities, and general information. We look forward to returning to Panama someday and enjoying another birding trip with Domi."

Pauline R., Canada

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