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Eric Rock: La Amistad Biosphere Reserve, Poison red dart frog, Bocas del Toro
Steve Ross: Tugboat in canal
 
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Wild Panama

An Expertly Guided Nature Adventure from Canal to Highlands to Caribbean Coast
The emergence of the Isthmus of Panama over 300 million years ago remains one of the most significant events in the evolutionary history of the Western Hemisphere. This integral land bridge has allowed thousands of different species to migrate between North and South America and is home to a staggering array of unique wildlife, paralleled by few places on earth. Unlike other more touristed Latin American destinations, Panama’s dense rainforests, misty highlands and pristine beaches remain largely unspoiled. Join us on a genuine Panama ecotourism adventure to discover a little-known natural jewel in the heart of the Americas.

Trip Highlights

  • This all-encompassing nature adventure reveals Panama's less-discovered tropical wilderness, interpreted by outstanding NHA leaders
  • Cruise the Panama Canal to Gatun Lake on our private expedition boat, spotting wildlife along the rainforest’s edge
  • Enjoy some of the world’s best birding as we look for brightly plumed quetzals, silver-throated jays and myriad other finds

See Panama “Less Traveled” on Our Unique Small-Group Itinerary
Mention Panama, and most people think of the famous canal. Thus, many tour operators focus on this man-made wonder and not much more. Of course, we show you the canal, too (and we get to see it in a small group rather than from a ship with hundreds of other guests), but our nature adventure gets you far beyond it and into the diverse mosaic of tropical wilderness that makes Panama truly special.

  1. Our Custom-Designed Itinerary Showcases Panama’s Wild Diversity
    For such a small country, Panama has a surprising array of ecosystems, including the rainforests of Gamboa, the misty jungles of the Chiriqui Highlands, and the lowlands and islands of the Caribbean coast. It’s also home to La Amistad Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts a greater diversity of North and South American flora and fauna than any other point on the isthmus. Our itinerary encompasses it all, for the most varied and immersive experience of Panama available. 
  2. Explore a Private Nature Reserve in the Boquete Highlands 
    An exclusive highlight is an overnight visit to Finca Lérida, a lush private nature reserve often missed on standard itineraries. This pristine habitat, set within a traditional coffee farm on the edge of Volcan Baru National Park, is a favorite with birdwatchers. This is the most accessible region of the Chiriqui Highlands where there's a chance to spy the famed resplendent quetzal, attracted by the aguacatillo trees that provide its favorite fruit.
  3. See the Panama Canal on a Private Cruise
    You can’t come all the way to Panama and not see the legendary canal. But unlike other visitors who are typically herded into a bus and then onto a large sightseeing boat, you’ll enjoy an intimate view of the canal on our private expedition boat, as our guide helps you spot and learn about wildlife and habitats along the way. A special highlight is Monkey Island, which we'll pass close to as we cruise through Gatun Lake.
  4. Our Small Group Size Enriches Your Nature Experience
    With our maximum group size limited to just 10 guests, we are able to use smaller vehicles and boats than most tour operators use—which also grants us access to more remote locations and intimate experiences with wildlife and local people. Of course, you’ll also get more personal attention from your guide, too. 
  5. Distinctive Accommodations as Unique as Our Destinations
    Avoiding large standardized hotels, we’ve arranged stays at some of Panama’s most outstanding luxury and deluxe ecolodges, like Laguna Azul. This small inn in the Bocas del Toro archipelago offers the ultimate in serenity and seclusion, with just six guest rooms. Your private balcony overlooks the Caribbean Sea, while just off the back deck, you can snorkel over coral reefs. Another highlight is a mountain lodge in the Chiriqui Highlands, nestled in the shadow of a volcano. You’ll love the ambience and hospitality of our carefully chosen accommodations.
  6. Private Boat Excursions Enhance Wildlife-Viewing Opportunities
    Rather than join in with other lodge guests on large-group excursions, we’ve arranged private boat outings to explore the waters and islands. With just 10 guests or fewer in our groups, you won’t have to strain to see over anyone’s head to spot bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, monkeys, or Panama’s rich birdlife.
  7. Travel with a Highly Trained Naturalist Expedition Leader
    Our NHA Expedition Leaders average 15 years’ guiding experience. In addition, our guides receive exclusive training and resources provided by WWF’s top scientists through our special partnership. Your trip is sure to be a learning adventure as a result. Read our Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  8. Our Quality Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Panama Adventure
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee that clearly states that we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise for yourself!
  9. Feel Good About the Way You Travel
    We all care about the planet, and you can travel with us knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100-percent carbon-offset. Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company, a feature that is especially critical when considering that the world’s natural places and species are under substantial threat from our planet’s warming temperatures.
  10. Natural Habitat Adventures Is World Wildlife Fund’s Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world’s leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat its worldwide travel partner — a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
Reading List
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of Wild Panama Adventure travel books for this trip.

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