(8days/7nights) This one-week program gives you an excellent overview of the inhabitants of Panama's rainforests. Additionally, it introduces you to the vibrant culture of the people that live both in the rainforest and in cosmopolitan Panama City.
(12days/11nights) This longer itinerary provides an in-depth understanding of various tropical ecosystems of the Isthmus of Panama. In addition to the lowland rainforest, it includes highland forests, mangroves, and the coral reefs of the Caribbean as well. You will have a broader vision of Panamanian culture by visiting different and further regions of the country.
One of the striking characteristics of tropical environments is the profusion of different life forms present. This is what specialists call biodiversity, and Panama is a textbook example. Within Panama’s small territory you can find more than 11,000 different species of butterflies and moths, 10,000 distinct flowering plants, more than 964 different types of birds, more than 225 kinds of mammals, among many other living creatures. For example, in the Panama Canal area alone there is a higher diversity of trees per surface area, than on the Amazon. Not surprisingly the Smithsonian Institution established itself here since the early 1900’s to study the extraordinary richness of Panama’s tropical ecosystems.
Panama is the true land bridge connecting North America and South America. Being at the heart of the Americas, here you can find species of flora and fauna from both landmasses. For instance, Panama is the northernmost country where you can find Capybara, the largest rodent in the World, which is normally found in South America. Moreover, here you may see Northern Raccoons, very common in North America, but not found south of Panama.
In addition to the vast tracks of tropical rainforests, Panama has more than 1,560 miles of shoreline both on the Pacific Ocean and on the Caribbean Sea. Although the narrow Isthmus of Panama can be only 50 miles wide, the two bodies of water are incredibly different. That means that snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean will yield a completely different array of tropical reef fishes, than in the Caribbean Sea. In fact, according to an accepted theory, Panamá is an indigenous word meaning “Abundance of Fishes”
The natural marvels of Panama are beautifully complemented by a rich living cultural heritage. Seven distinct indigenous groups, comprising more than 10% of the country’s current population, provide ample opportunities for a most enriching cultural experience. During visits to native indian villages, you will not only appreciate their basic and cheerful way of life, but at the same time, by recognizing their identity, you will contribute to preserving this important cultural legacy of the World.
Conveniently more than one third of the entire territory of Panama is preserved as national parks and other protected areas. Many of these parks are found only minutes from downtown Panama City, allowing for rainforests and beaches with easy accessibility like nowhere else on Earth. Small but diverse, Panama allows for experiencing different tropical landscapes in a short period of time, making it a real nature-lover’s paradise
Below you will find two popular itineraries that strive to give you a comprehensive introduction to the natural and cultural world of Panama. These programs are designed to offer great opportunities for experiencing the rainforest and the wide array of flora and fauna present. You will not only seemany plants and animals, but our interpretive guides will introduce you to the complex relationships between these organisms. Activities are organized in a dynamic and fun manner so that you will be learning while enjoying yourself. Although we have planned our programs to maximize your exposure to different natural habitats and cultural settings, often times there will be the option to spend the afternoons leisurely searching for more wildlife from your lodge, relaxing by the pool, or even enjoying a well-deserved siesta after the morning’s activities. These are popular itineraries that have been very successful in the past. On the other hand, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any preferred destinations, need a specific content, would like an upgrade to deluxe accommodations, have different availability of time, or have a special budget. You may want to look at our Custom Programs.