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Tour start from your hotel in Panama City
Why Achiote Road? Because it has been proclaimed one of the leading Christmas Count consecutive winner many times from past years. Why magical road? Because any sought-after species can materialize in front of you on the road...at any moment!
On the Caribbean side of Panama, in the Province of Colon, at approximately 11 km from the Gatun Dam (Panama Canal), and at the west side of the San Lorenzo National Park.
At 2.5 hours from Panama City, you have to cross the Panama Canal Gatun Locks, with an average waiting time of 30 minutes ( at the lock). We recommend you to drive to Achiote the afternoon before and to bird all the way. You lay over into some comfortable rustic down to basics clean quarters (barrack type with bunk-beds), gender divided with private showers and bathrooms.. no luxury! Food service (“restaurante”) 80 meters walk from the installations. Everything run by a local
eco-tourism group called Los Rapaces. Again, do not expect luxury.
■ Easy... to
■ Moderate... to
Easy to moderate walking is required.
WHAT TO EXPECT
With an early morning start expect to see by noon 60 to 80 species. And by the end of the day a final count of 97+ is common.
Birding is done primarily along the Achiote Road either on foot along the road or by slowly driving on the way during the first hours. As the temperature begins too hot, we enter into traditional birding trails to look for specialties like the White-headed Wren, the Long-tailed Tyrant or the Montezuma Oropendola. Also streams will be checked for kingfishers, waterthrushes and more. Expect to walk on muddy areas especially during rainy season (March to December).
There is traffic along the road. Awareness is advice all the time.
The climate in Central Panama /Canal Zone is usually warm, with mornings in the 70s and afternoons in the 80s. Conditions at midday can be humid and very warm, with temperatures reaching into the lower 90s. Rainstorms may occur at any time of year, but are more likely during the rainy season, which runs from the summer months into early December. Generally, the weather in Central Panama is mild and pleasant, with our activities corresponding to the cooler parts of the day and heightened bird activity.
In Achiote village you will find comfortable rustic down to basics clean quarters gender divided - barrack type with bunk-beds - with private showers and bathrooms. The premises were built by an
NGO and is run by a well organized ecotourism group called Los Rapaces, formed by local people with birders in mind. Amazingly, the community has learn from their past experiences and the profitability gained from tourism and local birding guides have flourished in the region. The lack of good
English is not a problem.
Food service (“restaurante”) is close to installations and is attended by the ecotourism group Los Rapaces. For reservations click here, will be glad to help you at no extra cost.
Note: All the expenditures will stay in the community. Used birding gear (binoculars) and books (panama birding guides or similar) can be sent as donation to the local school. They will be distributed among the kids by their teacher.
There is a restaurant run by an ecotourism local group called Los Rapaces (The Raptors). It is open to the public every day. It is clean and the food is fresh. The day menu can be the usual salad (lettuce and tomato) rice & beans, chicken, meat or pork and sweet plantain, or what clients order the most which is “todays soup with rice”.. is yummy!. Reservations for breakfast and dinner is advisable. BYO water (bring your own) or drink cook from can or bottle.
Dress for tropical hot humid weather always ready for rain. Most of the
terrain is level. Be prepare to walk on gravel, mud and hummid areas with close
hiking shoes (no rubber boots necessary) - and no sandals please! Light clothing
is recommended: shirts or t-shirts - earth colors preferable-. Long pants
(better) or short, poncho/umbrella (better), Hat, insect repellent and sun
block. When hikking in the rainforet always bring enough water with you. Think
Binoculars, scope (optional), field guide, notebook and camera (optional ).
GUIDE BOOK RECOMMENDED
These two books are an example of hard work put into, and for the benefit, of conserving Panama´s birds:
“The Birds of Panama, a field guide by George R Angehr and Robert Dean Can be described as the “bible” forPanama and some Costa Rica birds. The latest edition (1989).This excellent field guide is highly recommended as your primary reference book on the birds.
“An Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds of Panama” by Ernesto Ponce and Giselle Muschett, 2006, 1st Edition. It can be described as “a descriptive fieldwork tool” for fast information .
BIRDS TO LOOK FOR
This is a list of birds - by memory - seen along the Achiote Road and surrounding areas on different tours, and some additions from friends, guess and people who have collaborated sharing with us their sightings. The list is
continuously on the move. Feel free to send your findings and comments to
firstname.lastname@example.org Check here for the
complete list of Central Panama Birds.
Blue Ground- Dove
Black-headed Tody Flycatcher
For the complete list of Central Panama birds
Click Here !
the pre - post tour
to THE CENTRAL PANAMA BIRDING
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