Our half-day and full-day birding and nature trips in central Panama are an excellent choice if you only have a short time to dedicate to a tour during your stay. With so many great natural areas to visit close to Panama City and the Panama Canal, it is easy to pick up dozens of species of lowland rainforest and lush montane forest birds, along with intriguing Neotropical mammals and beautiful butterflies.
If you are looking for the ultimate birding and wildlife experience in the Canal Zone, Pipeline Road is the place! Over 500 lowland rainforest bird species have been recorded here, including Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, Streak-chested Antpitta and Great Tinamou, along with antbirds, trogons, manakins, motmots, raptors and much more!
Just minutes from Panama's city center, Metropolitan Park protects a large area of Pacific dry forest and its associated species - Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Lance-tailed Manakin and the endemic Yellow-green Tyrannulet can be found in this park. A morning walk will no doubt fill your day with birds, sloths, monkeys and more.
GATUN LAKE BOAT TOUR
For something a little different, join us on a tranquil ride through the sheltered edges of the Chagres River and Gatun Lake by boat! Perfect for photographers and nature lovers alike, birding from the boat gets us up close to herons, waterbirds, raptors, monkeys and crocodiles in the waters of the historic Panama Canal.
Up in the foothills east of Panama City, Cerro Azul and Cerro Jefe are wonderful places to find many of Panama's avian specialties, including Yellow-eared Toucanet, Rufous-winged Tanager, Violet-capped Hummingbird and the endemic Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker! It is the best place in Panama to watch hummingbirds! Along with the cooler mountain air and inviting forest scenery, Cerro Azul provides an unforgettable day of birding.
Just an hour's drive from Panama City lies the easternmost stretch of Panama's central cordillera, providing the perfect foothills environment for some very special species including the rare Black-crowned Antpitta, Stripe-breasted Wren, Slaty Antwren, White-ruffed Manakin and White-throated Thrush.
EL VALLE DE ANTON
From the cloud-forested rim of an ancient volcano crater, El Valle provides the perfect location for a day of birding in Panama's western foothills. Orange-bellied Trogon, Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Tody Motmot and White-tipped Sicklebill join tanagers, flycatchers, hummingbirds and other foothill species in this lovely mountain town and its beautiful surroundings. El Valle is located two hours from Panama City.
While these are some of our most popular birding destinations around central Panama, there are many other fantastic areas that can be visited in a day. Ask us about Panama Viejo, Finca Bayano, Panama's Caribbean lowlands, Nusagandi, the Pacific lowlands or other areas you would be interested in visiting, we are happy to take you birding there!
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BOAT
Wildlife photographic tour in Gatun Lake
A unique experience to get up close and personal with Panama's wildlife, along with quality photographic equipment ready for your keen eye! No photography experience necessary, and all equipment is provided. This 4.5 hour tour on Gatun Lake in a specially-crafted boat, along with a dedicated bird guide to point out the wildlife, is a wonderful way to make great natural memories in Panama. This can also be taken in combination with a land-based birding tour for an unforgettable experience.