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Nature in Panama

Tigrillo in PanamaBecause of its unique geographical position, Panama harbors a greater diversity of wildlife than any country in Central America. A natural land bridge and connecting two continents, Panama is home to many South American species as well as North American wildlife. Today about 29% of Panama's land area is protected in 14 national parks, more then a dozen forest reserves and 10 wildlife refuges. Panama hosts almost 1,000 species of birds, as well as 220 mammals and 354 reptiles and amphibians. The country also owns hundreds of islands and miles of protected coral reef, sheltering a fantastic diversity of marine life.

Panama offers visitors an excellent choice of destinations, from the remote rainforests of Darien National Park to Metropolitan Park, virtually within the capital's city limits. Birdwatchers head out to a number of world-renowned birding sites, including Cana in the Darien, the rugged Cerro Azul mountain range with stunted forest sheltering unique species.

Quetzal in PanamaHave you seen a Quetzal? This majestic bird once flourished from Mexico to Panama. Now facing extreme habitat loss, it is sighted in only a few protected forests. El Sendero los Quetzales between Boquete and Zero Punta is a stretch of dense rainforest through the Talamanca Mountain Range in central Panama. With a little bit of luck you might see one on this trail through cool and cloudy mountain forests!






For learning about marine life, there are superb snorkeling and diving opportunities in the Isla Bastimentos National Park of Bocas del Toro, with a protected coral reef and mangrove swamps. Several species of sea turtles climb onto the beaches of Bocas del Toro to lay their eggs. Snorkelers may also explore the reefs belonging to the Kuna people of San Blas, and divers will be astounded by the number of fish around Pacific islands such as Mogo Mogo in the Pearl Island group, Iguana Island and Coiba Island.


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