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PANAMA: Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge


Chestnut-headed Oropendola

Canopy Family has two award-winning birding lodges, the Canopy Tower, not far from Panama City in Soberanía National Park, and the Canopy Lodge, in the hills of El Valle de Antón. Both offer world-class, unique birding and natural history experiences, led by friendly, knowledgeable bilingual guides.

The Canopy Tower features rooms and an observation deck mere feet from the canopy of the rainforest, virtually at eye-level with such avian treats as toucans, tanagers, honeycreepers and hawks, as well as amazing looks at two- and three-toed sloths and Geoffroy’s Tamarins and Mantled Howlers, two monkey species otherwise nearly impossible to see this well! From the Canopy Tower you can visit legendary Pipeline Road, arguably the best birding location in Mesoamerica, and other very birdy sites.

From the Canopy Lodge, with a veranda that overlooks the garden feeders and rooms nestled among gardens by a creek, you may go on outings to Cerro Gaital, La Mesa, Las Minas or other sites notorious for Caribbean-slope specialties.

  • Tour Cost
  • Number of Days
    12 days / 11 nights


    2017 Cost
    $3900.00 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Panama City.


    Single Supplement
    If a single room is preferred, no single fee will be assessed, however, single rooms in Canopy Tower have shared bathrooms.


    What is Included / Not Included
    Included in the cost are all accommodations, meals, transportation and entrance fees from Panama City.
    Not included in the cost are alcoholic drinks, tips and items of a personal nature.

  • Itinerary
  • Day 1  Arrival in Panama
    Upon arrival we will take the shuttle for the three-minute ride to the Hotel Riande for the night.


    Day 2 Canopy Tower / Semaphore Hill
    Dawn Birding from the top of the Canopy Tower, before a delicious breakfast, will offer Keel-billed Toucans, parrots of many varieties and possibly even the local prize, the adult male Blue Cotinga! Some species, like the Green Shrike-vireo, are often heard and rarely seen, however, Gartered Trogons and many tanagers should allow some good views. By mid-morning, hawks begin to rise on thermals!

    Later, we’ll take an easy walk down Semaphore Hill looking for manakins, motmots, puffbirds, Great Jacamar, and mixed-species flocks. After lunch and siesta time, we’ll visit a nearby marsh for numerous other species.


    Day 3 Pipeline Road / Summit Ponds
    The legendary Pipeline Road once held the world record for the one-day Bird Count. Hummingbird feeders and an observation tower at the new Discovery Center will bring us many new species. Five trogons, three motmots, four puffbirds, two toucans plus many woodpeckers will keep us busy, but if we run into an ant swarm, beware the whiplash as you try to keep up with the birds!

    After lunch and siesta time, we’ll visit Summit Pond to seek Boat-billed Heron, American Pygmy Kingfisher and possibly a day-roosting Spectacled Owl and other species.


    Day 4 Metropolitan Nature Park / Canal
    One of the best city parks anywhere, Metropolitan Nature Park is home to Lance-tailed Manakin, Rufous-and-white Wren, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant, and the endemic Yellow-green Tyrannulet.

    After returning to the Tower for lunch and siesta time, we’ll visit Miraflores Locks to observe the Canal in operation. An optional spotlighting trip after dinner may offer a Mottled or Spectacled Owl or a Great or Common Potoo. We may also see Kinkajou, Night Monkey, or other nocturnal mammals.


    Day 5 Pipeline Road
    Another great morning on Pipeline Road, we’ll take a box lunch with us so we can explore farther down Pipeline Road. Sunbittern, Brown-hooded Parrot, Pheasant Cuckoo and Tawny-crested Tanagers and perhaps a Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo will be found!


    Day 6 Canopy Tower / Pipeline Road
    Our last morning at the Tower will remain open to seek species we missed or just relax on the Tower to enjoy the show. Lunch at the Tower where we may see hawks on the thermals and enjoy the hummingbird feeders.


    Day 7 Drive to El Valle and the Canopy Lodge
    We will be picked up after breakfast, at 7:00 a.m., to visit Metropolitan Park for a bit before our two-hour drive to the beautiful Canopy Lodge. After lunch upon arrival, we’ll see what is visiting the stream running in front of the dining area and to enjoy the remarkable show at the feeders.

    Once we have settled into our rooms, we’ll bird a waterfall behind the Lodge known as Chorro de Macho. Here we may see Tody Motmot and possibly a roosting Mottled Owl. On our return to the Lodge, we will have a little time for some late afternoon birding along the road.


    Day 8 La Mesa / Las Mosas Trail
    A short distance from the Lodge, the Cerro Gaital Trail begins at the main road in La Mesa. This area is protected as part of Cerro Gaital Natural Monument. This is prime cloudforest habitat and is often very birdy. Flocks of feeding tanagers along with hummingbirds like Green-crowned Brilliant and Green Thorntail can be found in the trees. The next portion of trail ascends more steeply and deeper into the cloudforest.

    Black Guan, White-ruffed Manakin, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Chestnut-capped Brush- Finch, and even Blue Seedeater should all be heard, and hopefuly seen here. Some rarities include Red-faced Spinetail, Spotted Barbtail, and Black-headed Antthrush.

    After lunch, we will bird the Las Mosas Trail to seek some of the specialties of the dry Pacific forest, like, White-bellied Antbird, Lance-tailed Manakin, Rufous-and-white Wren, and the beautiful Rosy Thrush-Tanager.


    Day 9 Altos del Maria
    Set in the mountains on the continental divide east of El Valle, the Altos del Maria provide a spectacular birding opportunity. Departing early in the morning from El Valle in 4x4 SUVs, we’ll climb to a cloudforest at 3500 feet. Birding mostly from the roadside, in the mature cloudforest, we will search for Double-toothed Kite, White Hawk, Brown-hooded Parrot, Violet Sabrewing, Blue- throated Toucanet, Russet Antshrike, Tufted Flycatcher, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, White-throated Robin and Black-and-yellow Tanager. We may also find Snowcap, Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Brown-billed Scythebill, and maybe Black-crowned Antpitta.

    Later in the morning, we will explore another trail where we’ll have additional chances for secretive species of the forest interior. After a picnic lunch, we’ll bird until mid-afternoon and then start back for the Lodge.


    Day 10 Candelaria Trail / Las Zamias Trail
    Today we’ll bird the Candelaria Trail which will take us into more good habitat for foothill species. Here we hope to see some of the species we may have missed in the last three days.

    After lunch and siests, we’ll head for Las Zamias Trail, which begins at the base of the Cerro Gaital Natural Monument. This is an easy, level trail in which the rare Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo has been seen occasionally. We will also look for Gray-headed Chachalaca, Blue-crowned Motmot, Black-throated Trogon and Sepia-capped Flycatcher.


    Day 11 Rios Indio / Jordanal
    Again boarding 4x4 SUVs, we will head to the Rio Indio area. A good variety of Caribbean-slope forest birds may be seen here, including Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Barred Puffbird, Spot-crowned Barbet, Long-tailed Tyrant, Black-crowned Tityra, Fulvous-vented Euphonia, Buff-rumped Warbler, Shining Honeycreeper and Scarlet-thighed Dacnis. Mid-afternoon, we will head back into El Valle for some relaxation time before dinner and our final night in Panama.


    Plan on mid-afternoon flights as we will have a two hour drive back to the airport. We should arrive about 10am.