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PANAMA – Harpy Eagle Pre-Tour Extension

harpy_bz_0 PRE-Extension for the January 14 – 18, 2014 Panama Tour

One of the rarest and most majestic birds on the planet, the Harpy Eagle is the most powerful bird of prey in the world! Only about 100 nests are known throughout Central and South America, and Panama has one of the “easier” opportunities to see this grand creature. However, it is not an ‘easy’ trip!

Our 5-day/4-night extension will take us into the coastal Darien region which will be very hot and humid, the accommodations are very basic (see descriptions under “Accommodations” tab) and the hike to the nest is about 3.5 miles (one-way) of mostly flat, but often muddy terrain. However, seeing the Harpy Eagle makes the lack of some amenities and the arduous hike well worth all the effort!

  • Tour Cost
  • 5-day/4-night pre-extension (Must be registered for Panama Trip Jan 18 - 25, 2014)

    $1400 per person, double occupancy, from Panama City, Panama

    Includes all transportation, meals and accommodations from Panama City.

  • Itinerary
  • Day 1 (Jan 14) Arrive Panama City and transfer to Hotel - Four Point Sheraton

    Flights from USA throughout evening.


    Day 2 (Jan 15) Panama City to Punta Patiño Nature Reserve – Gulf of San Miguel / PUNTA PATIÑO LODGE

    Early this morning we will enjoy a scenic 4 hour ride from Gamboa along the Pan-American highway, east, to Puerto Quimba, Darien. In a small village along the way we will stop for a typical Panamanian breakfast where you will enjoy an arrange of local fritters, fresh fruits, freshly brewed coffee and more local specialties.


    Late morning arrive in Puerto Quimba, embark on a motorized boat and enjoy a 1.5 hour boat ride along the Tuira River and the Pacific Ocean to the private 65,000-acre Punta Patiño Nature Reserve. After a short hike to the lodge you'll settle into your private rustic cabin. After a light and refreshing lunch overlooking the Gulf of San Miguel you will hike into the forest in search of local specialties.


    This evening you will take a short walk to the wetlands in search of the Capybara, the world’s largest rodent and the northernmost range being Panama. You will also look for caiman, owls and other nocturnal species.


    Day 3 (Jan 16) Punta Patiño Nature Reserve - PUNTA PATIÑO LODGE

    After a hearty breakfast you will hike the Piedra Candela trail seeking tropical dry forest specialties. This type of forest is quickly vanishing due to deforestation. After lunch the afternoon is open to continue exploring the area surrounding the lodge on your own, enjoy the view from the second floor veranda or take a siesta in one of the hammocks or at your cabin. Rest well as tomorrow's excursion will require a lot of energy!


    Late this afternoon we board our boat for a relaxing coastal tour of the reserve and the sea bird’s nesting areas of El Morro.


    Day 4 (Jan 17) The Harpy Eagle of the Mogue River

    This morning we will embark on a motorized dugout canoe and head for the Mogue River, looking for the Roseate Spoonbill, Ibis, Osprey and other wildlife fishing along the river. The trip up river takes you through millenary mangroves making the boat ride extraordinary. We'll arrive at the village of Mogue where its inhabitants greet you.


    In search of the recently discovered Harpy Eagle active nest we will go on a 3.5 mile hike (one-way). From a safe distance as not to disturb the chick or scare the mother we will have the opportunity to have one of the most unique encounters with nature. The Harpy Eagle, Panama’s National Bird and the most powerful bird of prey in the Americas is endangered. Controlled visits to the area are generating income to the nearby village, which in turns creates an interest for the protection of the birds and their habitat.


    We'll return to the village in the afternoon to mingle with the Embera people and learn about their customs and traditions. Tonight you will sleep in the guest “Tambo” (thatch roof stilted house). You may opt to sleep in hammocks or screened tents with mats (provided).


    Day 5 (Jan 18) Return to Panama City and continue to Gamboa Rainforest Resort for the main tour

    You say goodbye to your new friends early this morning as you head back to Panama City via boat/land and arrive back at Gamboa late afternoon to begin main tour.


  • Accommodations

    Punta Patiño Nature Reserve is the largest private natural protected area in Central America and part of the Darien National Park complex of preserved lands. The Punta Patiño lodge is located atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the South and surrounded by the natural splendour of the area. Its ten well appointed, rustic cabins are air-conditioned and have private bathrooms. A dinning hall and a chapel dating back to the early 20th century are all part of the lodge’s facilities. Electricity is only available after sunset to sunrise (approximately from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.)



    The guest “Tambo” at Mogue Village is a thatch roof, stilted house. Accommodations are shared and you may opt to sleep in hammocks or screened tents with mats (provided).

  • Additional Info
  • birdsofpanamaRecommended Field Guide:

    The Birds of Panama

    (Cornell University Press, 2010)

    by George R. Angehr and Robert Dean