August 3 - 14, 2021 - 12 Days **only 4 spots left** COVID-19 vaccinations are required.
Special promotion $2,000 all - inclusive + flight
Trip Type A: 12 day Canal/Bocas Del Toro
Trip Type B: 10 day Burbaya, Guna, Maje
1. June 7 - 18, 2022 (A) - for college-aged participants
2. June 14 - 25, 2022 (A)
3. June 20 – 29, 2022 (B)
4. June 28 - July 9, 2022 (A)
5. July 6 - 15, 2022 (B)
6. July 12 - 23, 2022 (A)
7. July 18 - 27, 2022 (B)
8. July 26 - August 6, 2022 (A)
9. August 1 - 10, 2022 (B)
10. August 9 - 20, 2022 (A) - for college-aged participants
Itinerary for Trip Type A - 12 Days
Arrive to Tocumen International Airport/Panama City Transfer to Soberania Field Station in Gamboa. The building is located in the community of Gamboa by the Panama Canal; literally within walking distance of the main hikes and activities that we're going to do (no meals included)
Briefing and introductions. Short drive or walk to Pipeline Road, where Audubon Society held its world Christmas bird count record for 19 years straight, with 357 species of birds identified in a period of 24 hours. Your first stop will be at the Rainforest Discovery Center where you enjoy spectacular views of Soberania's vastness and canopy bird species from the 32 meters (100 feet) observation tower. Standing above the canopy, we witness the morning flight of Keel-billed Toucans, Red-lored Amazons and the silent and stealthy movement of Mantled Howler Monkeys. You continue to explore the network of trails surrounding the Discovery Center and enjoy the hummingbird feeders that provide up close and personal views of 10 species of hummingbirds! Avid bird watchers have the option to continue birding on Pipeline Road, a wider and more ample trail providing great spots for making your birding morning a success! During World War II a pipeline was built along the Panama Canal to transport fuel from one ocean to the other in the event the waterway was attacked. Fortunately, it was never used. The now abandoned gravel road built to maintain the pipeline provides excellent walking access to Soberania's 22,000 hectares (55,000 acres) of tropical rainforest. The park boasts an impressive list of 525 species of birds including the Black Hawk-eagle, Black-cheeked woodpecker, Black-breasted Puffbird, Broad-billed Motmot, Blue Cotinga, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Masked Tytira, Violaceous Trogon, FasciatedAntshrike, Shining honeycreeper, and a great array of North American migrants. Soberania is also home to 105 species of mammals including large felines, Tamandua, Two and Three-toed Sloth, 4 species of monkeys, Agouti, some of which are listed under CITES (endangered species) and 59 endemic plant species in 4 life zones. By late morning you will enjoy a rainforest picnic lunch, giving you opportunities to further explore the healthy and productive habitats of the Panama Canal Watershed. Night at the field station. (B,L,D)
Panama Canal Rainforest Boat Adventure. Short drive or walk Gamboa waterfront, where the Chagres River meets the Panama Canal. Here you board an expedition boat and depart on an adventure that will include a voyage across Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal passing by gigantic cargo ships transiting the waterway, making contrast with the natural surroundings. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to spot Green iguana and Three-toed sloth resting on tree branches, Crocodile, Osprey in the hunt for Peacock bass, Snail kite and Keel-billed toucan among other wildlife. Gatun Lake was formed to give way to the Panama Canal in 1914. With a surface of 423 square-kilometers, at the time of its creation was the largest man-made lake in the world. The flow of all the rivers within the Panama Canal Watershed is contained in Gatun Lake to provide water for the operation of the lock system. More than 52 million gallons of fresh water are used for every ship that transits through the Panama Canal from one ocean to another. Your expedition boat will allow for close approximations to rainforest covered islands (former hill tops) in Gatun Lake to search for White-faced Capuchin, Mantled Howler Monkey, Central American Spider Monkey, and Geoffroy’s Tamarin. View wildlife along the river and learn about watershed conservation. Afternoon visit Smithsonian's Frog Rescue Center in Gamboa. Night at the field station (BLD)
Early in the morning drive to El Corotu on the shores of Madden Lake.
The main reservoir of drinking water for the cities of Panama and Colon, Madden Lake also supplies 40% of the water required for the operation of the Panama Canal. Here, you board a motorized piragua (dugout canoe) and travel up the Chagres River to an Embera indigenous village. The dugout canoe journey takes you through the rainforest of the 320,000-acre Chagres National Park, which is the largest of the National Parks protecting the Panama Canal Watershed. Along the Chagres River, you may be able to spot Little Blue and Green Heron, Great Egret, Anhingas, Neotropical Cormorant, Amazon, Ringed, and Green Kingfishers, along with Keel-billed Toucans and Ospreys flying above.
At the Embera village you will be greeted with dancing and music. You will learn about Embera customs and their relationship with nature. There will be handcrafts available for sale and you will have a chance to be painted with the traditional jagua, a natural dye the Embera use to adorn their bodies. After a traditional Embera lunch of fried fish and plantains wrapped in a banana tree leaf, accompanied by fresh fruits and beverages you will spend the afternoon and evening at the Emberá Village. This offers teachers and students a chance to have a true cultural exchange with the Embera (BLD)
Day of explorations in and around village. Afternoon tour of the Frank Gehry Biomuseum in Panama City. 1 night in Metro Hotel. (BLD).
Morning tour of Miraflores Locks and Amador Causeway. Talks on the history of the canal. Lunch at Niko’s Café. Early afternoon flight to Bocas del Toro. Afternoon briefing and time to relax. 5 nights at the Inn. (BLD)
Colon Island rainforest and Boca del Drago Beach, a beautiful location. Swim off the beach. Learn about sea turtles and how the National Association for the Conservation of Nature (ANCON) is helping to protect them. (BLD)
Tour of Bastimentos Marine National Park, one of Panama’s great protected natural areas, with coral reef snorkeling. Guides will take digital underwater photographs of fish for participants to look at and identify in the evening. Night at Bocas Inn. (BLD)
Tour of Popa Island and mangrove snorkeling. Chance to learn about the three species of mangroves and their ecological importance.
Community or field work morning, an opportunity to plant trees or do other important work that contributes to local conservation. Afternoon at leisure. (BLD)
Tour to mainland Bocas del Toro for nature encounters. Chance to interact with the locals. (BLD)
Morning flight to Panama City. Tour of colonial city and time for shopping at Albrook Mall.
Farewell dinner. 1 night Metro Hotel. (BLD)
Transfer to Airport. Depart for USA. (BLD)