Tropical Forest & Caribbean

Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Tropical Forest & Caribbean Birding

       

Birding Adventure based around the spring migration and breeding seasons but can take place any time of the year

Visiting sites all within 1.5 hours of the Lodge… this tour has been developed with the lodge and is only available through Anytime Tours – and at a fantastic price!

Tour Ground Price per person based on one couple on request

Flights from UK can be had for between £550 & £650 return.

Partner & Guides

Our partner in Panama is a jungle lodge with comfortable accommodations; a green paradise for nature enthusiasts, located in a private tropical reserve of 200 hectares (494 acres). It is a vivid example of Central America’s tropical rain forest with abundant woody vines, orchids, mosses, bromeliads and over 210 bird species!

The birds are numerous and easy to see even in the gardens surrounding the jungle lodge, but the best birding is on the interlocking trails that go into the forest jungle – La Poza, El Manakin, and El Colibrí. You will also have the opportunity to go to some of the best birding spots in the world such as “Achiote Road” considered by the New York Times to be “the prime birding site in Panama, where more than 340 species are counted during the annual 24-hour Atlantic Christmas Bird Count”

Panama has warm, friendly people, a stable democracy, a dynamic business sector and an unusual variety of terrains. Its unique ecology stems in part from its connection to two continents. If Birds are a primary indicator of biodiversity then Panama would take the winners trophy.

Panama has a wide range of tropical landscapes including pristine beaches, rain forests, over 900 species of birds, 1500 species of trees and over 7000 vascular plants. Without a doubt, Panama is a real tropical paradise for nature lovers and it is perfect for birdwatchers.

Itinerary

Tour

Day 1: Transfer

Transfer from Tocumen International Airport to the lodge – driving time one hour and fifteen minutes, depending on traffic developments; Check-In & welcome reception and dinner and, after dusk, a short outing we call “Owling in the Neotropics” with a local guide.

Target Species: Mottled Owl, Crested Owl, Black and White Owl, Common Pauraque.

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge – “Honor-Bar”, Coffee and Tea available 24 hours every day.

Day 2: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Early morning birding in the Sierra Llorona grounds; 7:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast (CB); 7:30 a.m. Birding walk along the El Colibri, El Manakin and La Poza trails with a local guide.

Check the Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge Bird-List for target species. Free afternoon birding or resting and another evening looking for nocturnal species.

7.00pm Dinner

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 3: Achiote Road

After an early Breakfast at 5.00 am there will be a 5.30 am start for Achiote Road; this is a one hour and ten minutes drive plus a wait at Gatun Locks (notorious for delays) but you will be able to appreciate the vessels that are in transit through one of the World’s Wonders “The Panama Canal”.

After a morning birding our lunch (box) will be served, then we will take other trails and dirt road entrances to look for different species.

We will be back at the Lodge before dusk, with the surrounding woodlands and the frenzy of hummingbirds flying around the feeders such as the White-necked Jacobin or the Long-tailed Hermit; this is a good chance to lean back and relax before a well deserved dinner, followed by a session listing the birds seen so far.

Target Species: White Hawk, Mealy Parrot, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Black-throated Trogon, Black- breasted and Pied Puffbirds, Chestnut-mandible Toucan, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Fasciated Antshrike, Bare-crowned and Bi-colored Antbirds, Blue Cotinga, Black-chested Jay, White-headed Wren, Red-breasted Blackbird, Flame-rumped Tanager and Black-headed Saltator.

7.00pm Dinner

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 4: Gatun Lake, Anchiote Road, CocoSolo, Galeta Point, Mindi and Margarita

We will breakfast at 6.30 am for a departure at 7.30 am for Gatun Lake, Anciote Road and later to CocoSolo/Galeta Point/Mindi and Margarita. Around the Lake we will walk the trails and you will find all kinds of activity and natural beauty. Later, at Galeta Point, where a Smithsonian Institute Marine Laboratory is located, we will find many migrant shore birds.

In Margarita and Mindi we will visit excellent birding spots looking for migrant warblers and etc.

A lunch-box will be served during the tour

Target Species: Woodcreepers (Streak-headed , Olivaceous, Straight-billed, “Mangrove”, Black Tailed Trogon Yellow warblers [Gatun Lake AR]; Black Hawk, and mangrove specialties and all 6 species of kingfishers [CocoSolo/Galeta Point/Mindi] Blue-winged, Chachalacas, Black-chested Jay, Safron Finch, Variable Seedeater; [Margarita]

7.00pm Dinner

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 5: Fort San Lorenzo & Fort Sherman

Today we will have another early start with an early Breakfast at 5.00 am leaving at 5.30 am for Fort San Lorenzo where English pirates and Spanish conquistadors made history during the 16th century.

There are many entrances to sideroads and tracks by the side of the road which we will checkout for birds. We will continue on to Fort Sherman [a former U.S. military base] crossing the Gatun Locks, where we should see some birds not easily found elsewhere in the Canal Area lowlands. We will stop for lunch here.

On the way back we will stop to try for Snail Kite and some water birds.

Back at the Lodge we can relax with a hot shower or maybe take a swim in natural pool in the afternoon.

7.00pm Dinner

After dinner will be the usual session listing the birds seen so far.

Target Species: Warblers, Bananaquit, Honeey-creepers, Blue-Grey, Bay-Headed & Golden-Hooded Tanagers, Yellow-face Grassquit [Fort San Lorenzo]; tinamous, tanagers, trogons, and toucans, along with forest-falcons, flycatchers, motmots, manakins [Fort Sherman] Snail Kite, Wattled Jacamar & Cattle Egret [en route]

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 6: Metropolitan Nature Park

There will be yet another early Breakfast at 5.00 am leaving at 5.30 am for Metropolitan Nature Park next to Panama City.

In the afternoon we will depart for Cerro Azul which is at an altitude of between 450m and 950m (1500 ft and 3100 ft.). Even during the summer season prepare for it to be cool, windy and wet. [Appropriate clothing is suggested].

Lunch-box will be served during the outing

Target Species: Lance-tailed Manakin, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Pheasant Cuckoo & Rosy Thrush-Tanager [Metropolitan Nature Park].

Overnight: [& dinner] Cerro Azul Campo Casa Hostal

Day 7: Cerro Azul

Early birding Breakfast, and lunch at the Hostal at Campo Casa, all day Birding at Cerro Jefe in Cerro Azul. This forest holds many interesting species.

In the fternoon we will drive back to Sierra Llorona. We may stop at Chiva Chiva Road to stretch our legs and to check for birds.

Target Species: Tacarcuna Bush-Tanager, Black-headed Brush-Finch and Violet-headed and Violet-capped Hummingbirds

7.00pm Dinner

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 8: Summit Ponds, Old Gamboa Road, Gamboa Town & Ammo Dump

Breakfast will be at 6.00 am leaving at 6.30 am for Summit Ponds, Old Gamboa Road, Gamboa Town and Ammo Dump for fresh water and marsh species. [Hummingbirds are often numerous too].

We will have lunch on the go before returning to Sierra Llorona for a relaxing afternoon watching the feeders for hummingbirds etc.

Target Species: Masked Duck & Least Grebe, Rufescent Tiger Heron, White-throated Crakes and Boat-Billed Heron & numerous Hummingbirds.

7.00pm Dinner

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 9: Pipeline Road

Another early departure at 5.30 am after a quick breakfast then on to the Pipeline Road and its environs where antwrens are among the birds that can be found.

We have lunch in the field in this superb birding area.

We’ll be birding along the road, until later in the afternoon when we’ll go to the Lagoon System in the former U.S. Canal Zone, for wetland birds etc. The avifauna of Pipeline Road is so rich that a second day can still yield new birds including Blue Cotinga.

Target Species: Semi-plumbeous Hawk, Brownish Twistwing, & Spectacled Antpitta. Also Slaty-tailed Trogon, Blue Cotinga & Cinnamon Woodpecker and a variety of antbirds, antthrushes, & Antshrikes. [Pipeline Road] Greater Ani, Wattled Jacana, Purple Gallinule, [Lagoon System]

7.00pm Dinner

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 10: Escobal Road Trails

Breakfast at 6.00 am and departure at 6.30 am to Escobal Road Trails such as Tiger Trail, S9, Old Piña Road, Crested Eagle Trail, with good possibilities of raptors and migrants. On the Tiger Trail look for forest-floor and lower level forest birds.

Target Species: Red-breasted Blackbird, Peregrine Falcon and Merlin [open areas] Quail-doves, Leaftossers, Antpittas and Gnatwrens [Tiger Trail].

7.00pm Dinner

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 11: Fort Sherman

Breakfast at 6.00 am leaving at 6.30 am for Fort Sherman which is good for migrant shorebirds; we will enter numerous side roads on the way to San Lorenzo.

A Lunch-box will be served during the tour

Expect to see trogons, motmots and numerous other forest and woodland birds, also, howler monkeys, sloths and white-faced monkeys are possible.

7.00pm Dinner

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 12: Achiote Road

Day 12 has another early Breakfast at 5.00 am as we leave at 5.30 am for Achiote Road; one hour and ten minutes drive plus some minute’s wait at Gatun Locks. Here we should see a lot of forest species, but pay attention to raptors rising on the morning thermals too.

As the day matures, a packed lunch will be served, and the group will take other options like trails and dirt road entrances to see other species.

We will go back to the Lodge before dusk, with the surrounding woodlands and the frenzy hummingbirds flying around the feeders as usual, with a chance to relax before dinner and our usual trip list session.

Target Species: White Hawk, Mealy Parrot, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Black-throated Trogon, Black-breasted & Pied Puffbirds, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Fasciated Antshrike, Bare-crowned and Bi-colored Antbirds, Blue Cotinga, Black-chested Jay, White-headed Wren, Red-breasted Blackbird, Flame-rumped Tanager and Black-headed Saltator

7.00pm Dinner

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 13: Plantation Trails

Another early Breakfast at 5.00 am leaving at 5.30 am for Plantation Trails and some of the humid forest birds of Pipeline Road that are found in this forest.

A Lunch-box will be srved during the day.

Target Species: Royal Flycatcher, Golden-crowned Spadebill, Blue-crowned Manakin and all three Motmots

7.00pm Dinner

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 14: Local Trails

The day starts with early birding in our own grounds with a later 7.30 am Breakfast; this will be followed by a birding walk along the El Colibri, El Manakin and La Poza trails with a local guide.

Lunch will be served at the lodge.

Free afternoon birding in the grounds and environs and night Owling for any nocturnal species we missed so far.

7.00pm Dinner

Dinner will be followed by a final bird listing session and last count with the possibility that we have seen as many as 120+ species per day we will all need to check that we haven’t missed anything from the list!

Overnight: Sierra Llorona Panama Lodge

Day 15: Departure Day

Breakfast at 8.00 am and Transfer to Tocumen International Airport, approximately two hours before your flight’s schedule departure time.

NB This itinerary is not set in stone and need not be in any specific order. The final itinerary can be worked out with participant input. [Feel free to suggest in advance other birding spots.] For the best birding, you comfort and safety we reserve the right to make any reasonable changes to the above without consultation.

Remember to bring – binoculars and a field guide Birds of Panama [A Guide to the Birds of Panama by Robert S. Ridgely is recommended], Sunscreen and insect repellent, Shirts – cotton or light synthetic, long and short-sleeved, Trousers – cotton or light synthetic (We do not recommend slow drying fabric.), Hiking shorts, waterproof light weight hiking boots, river sandals (Teva-type sandals), tennis shoes/running shoes. If you do not bring hiking boots please make sure you bring TWO pairs of tennis shoes, Socks – bring extra pairs in case feet get wet, Rain gear – poncho, raincoat, Hat with visor for rain and sun protection, Plastic water bottle – especially for hikers, Flashlight with spare batteries and bulb, Camera and film, Swimwear, Bandannas, Collapsible luggage to store extra items like souvenirs from Panama.

Prices on Request

Price is based on 15 days [14 nights] for 2 people travelling together per person [fully inclusive except for insurance, flights, medical treatment, alcohol and items of a personal nature].

For larger groups larger than 6 persons travelling together discount applies.

Please bear in mind that itineraries and so prices are for guidance – we will be happy to quote you should you wish to stay longer or make a shorter visit.

NB All Anytime Tour itineraries are essentially drafts – the final itinerary will be arrived at during discussions with the clients and tailored to the client’s individual needs and is, of course, subject to the availability of accommodation etc. and any changes in local conditions. Our aim is to arrive at an itinerary which gives you the maximum chance to see the birds [& etc.] you want to see.

 

October 2013

 

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