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Wild Panama

An Expertly Guided Nature Adventure from Canal to Highlands to Caribbean Coast
Day 1: Panama City, Panama
Arrive in Panama City and transfer to our hotel. We'll gather this evening for a welcome dinner with our Expedition Leader and the start of our Panama nature adventure!

Day 2: Volcan / Sitio Barriles / Finca Dracula
Fly this morning to the Chiriquí Highlands. Farms flourish in the rich volcanic soil, and we’re surrounded by fields of strawberries, potatoes and flowers. Enjoy a fascinating visit to Sitio Barriles, an archaeological site on the slopes of the dormant Barú Volcano. Ancient carvings, ceramics and stone artifacts offer clues about the culture and history of the Barril people who inhabited a settlement here from approximately AD 300-900. After lunch, wander among more than 1,200 species of orchids, including several species that are already extinct in the wild, at the famed orchid farm of Finca Dracula.

Day 3: La Amistad International Park / Boquete
La Amistad Biosphere Reserve is 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. Search the cloud forest for silver-throated jays, prong-billed barbets, and buffy tuftedcheeks. We may even encounter the stunning resplendent quetzal, though it is famously elusive. After lunch we drive to the picturesque highland town of Boquete, located on the eastern side of Barú Volcano. Some of the planet’s finest coffee is produced in this region, and we will enjoy a chance to sample a few varieties.

Day 4: Finca Lerida
Today we explore the lush private forests of Finca Lerida, located just outside Barú Volcano National Park. At an elevation of 6,500 feet, its highland trails provide us with a second opportunity to search for the resplendent quetzal. We'll also discover a host of other birdlife, possibly spotting the three-wattled bellbird, volcano hummingbird and long-tailed silky-flycatcher, among others.

Days 5 & 6: Bocas del Toro / Bastimentos Marine National Park
Today we cross the Talamanca Continental Divide and descend 7,000 feet to the archipelago of Bocas del Toro. We'll enjoy boat excursions among the rocky islands, which may reveal bottlenose dolphins, red-billed tropic birds, brown boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. Also look for tiny poison dart frogs, hummingbirds and primates on nature hikes, and enjoy snorkeling and relaxing on the glorious beach in Bastimentos Marine National Park, an important sanctuary for the protection of coral reefs and nesting sea turtles.

Days 7 & 8: Gamboa Rainforest Resort / Soberania National Park
Fly to Panama City and transfer to Gamboa Rainforest Resort on the banks of the Rio Chagres. Here in Soberania National Park, we are surrounded by extraordinary biodiversity: hundreds of bird species and 150 different species of mammals! Our renowned eco-resort offers an intimate jungle encounter in an unexpectedly luxurious setting. A boat cruise through a portion of the Panama Canal brings us close to a host of wildlife on the rainforest-draped islands in Gatun Lake. Back at the lodge there’s a chance to swim, kayak or indulge in a treatment from the full-service spa. A visit to Pipeline Road, considered among the best birding spots in the world, may reveal toucans, black hawk-eagles, black-breasted puffbirds, blue cotingas, purple-throated fruitcrows, cinnamon becards, shining honeycreepers and a wide array of migrants. This area also boasts 150 species of mammals (including 14 endangered species), and 59 endemic plant species.

Day 9: Gamboa / Home
Today, our Panama ecotourism adventure comes to a close as we transfer to the airport for departing flights.

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