Panama Top Destinations
Activities in Panama
Awaken to a tropical chorus of motmots, toucans, and fruitcrows. Panama is one of the hottest places in Central America to go birding. Due to the country's location between two continents and its narrow girth, more species of birds inhabit Panama than anywhere else in Central America. In this country, many North and South American birds are represented, both native and migratory. The famous resplendent quetzal, the three-wattled bellbird, the harpy eagle and the king vulture are just a few of the many species that flourish here.
The total number of bird species found in Panama, about 950, is surprisingly large, especially when you consider the relatively small surface of the country. Some 150 of these are neotropical migrants that only occur in the country from September till April. It is not rare to see more than twenty different migrant warblers and vireos on a good morning on spring or fall migration, and that added to fifty or sixty resident species.
One of the best birdwatching sites is Pipeline Road which runs into the heart of Panama's rainforest. This 11 kilometer unpaved road begins just north of Gamboa and winds through the park's lowland monsoon rainforest. Among the species seen here are the black-tailed trogon, ringer hingfisher, long-tailed woodcreeper, black-breasted puffbird, shining honeycreeper, and several species of the parrot family. You might also spot a howler monkey, a white-faced capuchin monkey, or a three toed sloth while you are at it.
Diving and Snorkeling
Whether is snorkeling or tank diving, the diving enthusiast is bound to find his appeal in any of the various waters of Panama. Panama offers both, the lively and colorful clarity of Caribbean style Atlantic; the vast and mysterious Pacific Ocean full of large marine species and the jungle encircled Gatun Lake, bed of the Panama Canal. And with Atlantic and Pacific oceans just 50 miles apart, you can even dive both oceans in one day.
Panama offers great diving opportunities. The isthmus of Panama, running on an east-west axis, finds the Atlantic Ocean on its northern shores. Because of an unusual confluence of currents, Panama's Pacific Ocean water temperature is very tropical and constant, so wetsuits are not, and are therefore ideal for year-round scuba diving and snorkeling. Water visibility varies from one dive spot to another, and is always dependent on weather conditions. The months of September and October are traditionally the best months, due primarily to more suitable climatic conditions. During this period there is less rain and wind, allowing for clearer water conditions.
White water rafting in Panama is a very rewarding experience you will probably never forget. Most rivers are located in the Province of Chiriqui and offer sections from Class II to Class V, something for everybody. While you raft in the rivers of Panama, you will see flora, fauna, waterfalls, canyons and much wild life.
Chiriqui Viejo, Gariche, Esti, Chiriqui, Majagua and Rio Grande are just some of the rivers you can find white water rafting in Panama. The Chiriqui Grande is by far the best white water rafting river, with relatively easy access. This river is over 60 miles long and originates on the northwest side of Volcano Baru. Through the nice mountain town of Cerro Punta, the river flows as a creek and then it unfolds into a river. It offers some of the best rapids in the Americas.