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Panama
 

Rainforest & Islands of the Panama Canal
( 4 days from £475)



Diving

Malpelo & Coiba Island Dive Liveaboards

Coiba & Chiriqui Diving, Kayaking & Wildlife Yacht Safaris
Panama's Eastern Pacific Islands
8 days from US$2,390
Feb & Apr 2016



Wildlife & Conservation in Action


Panama forms the narrowest link between Central and South America, the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea.  About a third of the country's land area has protected status of which some of the most interesting areas of lowland rainforests are along the Panama Canal, the Pacific island of Coiba, Kuna indigenous areas along the eastern Caribbean, and in the Darien Gap which connects with Colombia. Montane and cloud forest areas are scattered around the country's volcanic landscape, but are most extensive in the huge Amistad National Park which it shares with neighbouring Costa Rica.

In addition to some excellent terrestrial wildlife and birdlife, Panama's coastline is dotted with hundreds of islands, bays and inlets where you can find coral reefs, mangroves, stunning beaches where turtles come to nest and indigenous coastal communities.


Barro Colorado Island in Lago Gatún, Panama Canal

The Pacific coast has some of the most abundant fish stocks in the world. The Marine Park surrounding Coiba Island is one of our favoured areas for diving and snorkelling with the second largest coral reef in the Eastern Pacific. Whales, dolphins, rays and turtles are often seen here and divers have a very good chances to see sharks, yellow fin tuna and some enourmous shoals of fish. Coiba also has some important stands of mangrove which are best explored by boat or kayak along rivers and inlets.  Inland 85% of the island is covered in primary rainforest stretching from two 400m peaks high to sea level at some stunning tropical beaches.

Stretching from the Pacific to the Caribbean is Panama's famous Canal. To prevent silt from filling the channel, the eastern and western banks are protected with rainforest. This includes the Sobrenia National Park which is an excellent place to see wildlife such as two and three toed sloths and white fronted capuchins; and birdlife such as toucans, hummingbirds and tanagers. Towards the north, the canal opens out into the Lago Gatún. A former hill within the lake is now surrounded by water and has become one of the most intensively researched patches of rainforest in the New World.  Barro Colorado Island, as it is called, is owned by the US Smithsonian Institute and makes for a fascinating visit and an excellent place to see spider monkeys.

Whilst coastal and inland habitats have been explored in great detail by researchers and conservationists, relatively few travellers have so far discovered Panama's incredible diversity.  Call us to speak with a specialist about seeing the best of Panama's wildlife, marine life, birdlife and scenery.

Panama Water Wilderness Wildlife - Rainforest Responsible travel  - Dive Snorkel -  Liveaboard  -  Eco lodge  -  Eco Tour  -  Hotel  - Birdlife holiday & Birdwatching tower - Canopy & Cloud Forest  - Marine Conservation

Photographs kindly provided by: Smithsonian Institute, Ralph Pannell, Raul Arias de Para, Cristiano Paoli

     

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