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Panama Birding the Islands and Highlands

The above video was created for Tranquilo Bay Resort, our destination lodge… a spectacular location full of wildlife!

This awesome Panama birding tour will offer a new adventure every day during our stay at the luxurious Tranquilo Bay Resort on an island near Bocas del Toro, Panama. The ‘ultra-luxury’ Tranquilo Bay Resort is one of Central America’s hottest new rainforest destinations for birding in Panama, a paradise that’s home to 400 bird species and a plethora of colorful Poison Dart Frog species! This trip will be based at the lodge for the full trip, with day-trips to other great locations.

From this beautiful home base at the lodge we will have many options to explore by motor boat, kayak and on foot as we discover birds and wildlife galore. Kinkajous, Night Monkeys, Crab-eating Raccoons, American Crocodiles, Iguanas and other species of lizards and many, many birds will fill each day!

Our trip will include birding excursions to other islands as well as the mainland where we can find species not readily found from other locations.

NOTE: The April dates of this tour can be combined with our COSTA RICA: Hummers and Quetzals Tour

  • Tour Cost
  • 2019 COST
    $3650 per person, double occupancy from Panama City
    (Cost includes r/t local flight Panama City/Bocas del Toro ~$300)



    If a single room is preferred there will be a $900 single supplement fee

    Full payment required 120 days prior to departure date.


    Cost Includes

    All lodging, meals, instructions, guide fees, local flights, ground transportation, airport transfers, boat transfers, daily boat excursions.


    Cost does not include

    International airfare, passport fees, visa fees, airport taxes, laundry, phone calls or anything of a personal nature or not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary.

  • Itinerary
  • Basic Itinerary


    Day 1 - Arrive in Panama City

    Day 2 - Fly to Bocas del Toro and begin our adventure!

    Day 3 - 7 - Tranquilo Bay Resort

    Day 8 - Afternoon flight to Panama City

    Day 9 - Flights back to USA




    Day 1 - Arrive in Panama City

    Flight arrivals throughout the day... arrive at anytime but consider our early morning departure for Bocas del Toro on the following day!


    Day 2 - Fly to Bocas del Toro and begin our adventure!
    An early morning departure will alow us plenty of bjrding time when we arrive at the lodge! We will begin with brunch then off we go to enjoy the trails and gardens!


    Day 3 - 7 - Tranquilo Bay Resort


    Each day we will explore another region, including a day trip to the mainland to explore up the slopes of the highlands for species not found lower down.


    Birding in Panama, an area roughly the size of South Carolina, includes well over 900 recorded bird species, more than the U.S. and Canada Combined. The Province of Bocas del Toro hosts two overlapping Endemic Bird Areas, Central American Caribbean Slope and Panama and Costa Rica Highlands. A Panama birding tour is not complete without visiting western Panama’s Caribbean slope, one of the most important areas for restricted range avifauna in the world.


    In western Panama the Caribbean Slope of the Talamanca mountain range, Tranquilo Bay’s back yard, plunges some 11,000 feet from the high alpine forest of La Amistad National Park into the lowland rainforests bordering the Caribbean Sea, in a span of less than 40 miles. Within the areas we explore from our comfortable facility the altitude ranges from 7,000 feet to sea level in a zone where nearly 500 species of birds can be found. This extreme biodiversity and high level of endemic species is due to abrupt changes in altitudinal zones and extreme geographic features creating many distinct ecosystems, as well as, migratory corridors.


    Tranquilo Bay is located on 100 pristine acres, adjacent to Bastimentos National Marine Park, amongst the convergence of 3 distinct ecosystems. This creates an extremely diverse and unique wildlife observation site where flora and fauna overlap from separate worlds increasing diversity. In a week it is possible to identify over 100 species of birds without leaving the property. There are several elevated porches throughout the facility, creating an incredible eye-level view. While birding onsite you might also encounter white-faced capuchin monkeys, night monkeys, two and three toed sloths, iguanas, caiman, butterflies, a variety of frogs and lizards, and within the canopy a collage of rain forest hardwood and fruit trees, lianas, mangroves, ferns, orchids and cycads.


    From your cabana, on the rainforests edge overlooking the Caribbean Sea, wake to the morning call of hundreds of Red-lored Parrots, the beautiful voice of flocks of Montezuma Oropendolas, and the mysterious sounds of the Green Ibis on the wing. Take coffee on your private elevated veranda as humming birds zip by, raptors hunt for their morning meal and brown pelicans share a few sardines with the magnificent frigates, just beyond the mangrove forest. Hundreds of trees, bushes, and flowering plants have been strategically blended throughout our living areas to attract a diverse variety of birds without the use of feeders.


    Our central location in the archipelago allows us to explore freely, traveling by boat directly from the facility for all of our excursions. Due to dramatic geographic formations and Bocas del Toro’s dynamic environment the range of different bird habitats seem endless.


    Much of the marine park has never been explored under the surface, and many of the known underwater sites are as yet unnamed. Within the marine park, sea fan gardens, vibrant coral reefs, and over 200 species of tropical fish live amongst a dramatic sub-sea terrain, which seems to transform every few hundred yards.


    Oceanic formations in the area include walls, freshwater caves, tunnels, pinnacles, coral spires and towers, Spur and groove, ocean impact reef, sandy ledges and protected patch reef.


    Tranquilo Bay is centrally located in the archipelago and only a short boat ride away from a variety of depths and currents to accommodate all skill levels. All excursions depart directly from our facility where our staff will handle the preparation, maintenance and portage of the equipment. From the moment you arrive we will take care of your equipment for you. Save your energy to explore a new reef. Our boatmen will wash your gear and store it each day... You enjoy your vacation!


    If snorkeling is the primary objective of your trip, note that the Caribbean Sea is calmer and there is less rain from February through June and September through November, September and October being the most consistent of all months.


    The visibility, while most times is good, does not compare with that of other well known dive destinations such as Cayman Islands or Cozumel. That being said, most of the interesting formations here in Bocas del Toro are in shallower water. In many areas the maximum depth is 40 feet and the light penetration is excellent.


    Just remember, you're not coming here because it is the clearest ocean you can find, you're coming to explore the most biologically diverse Caribbean marine park in Central America.


    Day 8 - Afternoon flight to Panama City


    Day 9 - Flights back to USA

  • Accommodations

    Excellent quality hotel, 3 minutes from the airport, with bar and restaurant on premises.



    Tranquilo Bay Main Building

    Tranquilo Bay is adjacent to Bastimentos National Marine Park. We have over a kilometer of Caribbean coastline covered in coral gardens teaming with tropical fish. Our facilities encompass over 200 acres and three ecosystems, with over a mile of hiking trails full of wildlife. At least 75% of the acreage has been left to evolve in its natural state. Extreme biodiversity of flora and fauna, tropical rainforest, primary growth mangrove forest, incredible coral reef, and the Caribbean Sea are here for your onsite exploration.

    Jungle Cabana

    Cabana Bathroom

    The interior of each of our cabanas is tastefully and comfortably appointed with air-conditioning, local hardwoods, tile floors, fine linens and a calming color palette.  Each bedroom features a queen bed or double beds, handcrafted for Tranquilo Bay, made from local hardwoods with an orthopedic mattress.  We also have twin beds that we can add into a cabana for children. Reading lamps and various books are also found within each bedroom.  A small seating area adjacent to one of the windows and a closet round out the remainder of the bedroom.

    The spacious granite countertop provides you with plenty of room for your belongings.  Each bathroom includes a large walk-in shower with a full size water heater.  Coffee makers, hair dryers and snack baskets are also located within the bathroom.

    A covered porch with a hammock and Adirondack chairs await to help you escape the "every day" that you left behind when you enter the grounds at Tranquilo Bay.

    Four cabanas have a breathtaking ocean view.  Two cabanas have a luscious tropical jungle view.


    The main lodge is situated on a beautiful hilltop vantage, with panoramic views of the canopy and one of the most diverse and species rich ecotones on earth. Wrap around elevated porches provide outstanding eye-level views of all the magic where the ocean and mangrove forest meet the rainforest. Whether you’re just looking for wildlife, or you’re into photography, being immersed in the canopy will amaze you.

    The ocean view and elevation over the jungle canopy are incredible.  Our upstairs balcony is the perfect place to watch the sun rise with your morning coffee and the moon rise in the evening with a cold beverage.  The monkeys and birds also travel through on their late afternoon feeding migration. The interior of the main lodge building includes the dining room and the bar.