Adventure in Coiba National Park

Coiba national park

With the exception of the Galapagos and Isla del Coco, few places in the Americas are as exotic and biodiverse as this national park on Coiba Island. Due to its hard accessibility and the strict environmental protection, the island features pristine ecosystems and a unique fauna.

Coiba National Park consists of a group of Islands in the Pacific Ocean south of Veraguas Province. The park covers 270,125 hectares, of which about 80% is marine, the islands cover only 20% of the surface area. The waters around Coiba are very rich in life. There may be as many as 700 species of fish swimming in the waters around Coiba and some of those are present in large numbers.

While snorkeling near Coiba, you are often surrounded by hundreds of fish, mostly by small plankton-eating fish such as panamic sergeant majors and scissortails. The reefs are inhabited by morays, butterfly fish, angel fish, parrot fish, hawk fish, tile fish, moorish idols, wrasses, white-tipped reef-sharks (harmless) and many others. Occasionally, you may encounter a huge snapper, grouper or a nurse shark on the reef. The reefs are also home to turtles, mostly hawksbill and olive ridley turtles, but green turtles and loggerheads have been seen as well. The edges of the reef are often visited by blue-fin trevally and other species of jacks, trevallies, rainbow runners and occasionally schools of black-tail barracudas (harmless) also make a pass along the reefs. Wahoo, yellow fin tuna, sail fish and marlins roam the deeper waters of the park.

The island is home to 36 species of mammals, 39 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 147 species of birds. Some of the land animals have been isolated from the mainland for so long that they have evolved into different species. The Coiba agouti and the Coiba howler monkeys are a different species from those you encounter on the mainland. These two and the Coiba spinetail (Cranioleuca dissita), a bird, only occur on Coiba and nowhere else in the world. Coiba is also the only place in Panama where you can see flocks of the threatened Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao).

Check our Coiba adventure for more information.  We offer special discounts for students and groups.

For more information contact info@ecocircuitos.com  or call +507 3151488

AgroTourism in Panama

Agrotourism or Rural tourism is becoming more popular and an international trend among sustainable travelers.  This type of tourism promotes cultural, historical, adventure and ecological activities and provide an understanding of the countryside heritage and a closer look at local towns, communities, local campesinos and indigenous groups that use farming as a way of life.     For travelers who are seeking a real rural experience and who want a “hands on” experience, this is the adventure for you.    The ‘Fincas’ offer you a natural space, outside of the cosmopolitan city, and delicious, natural and especially organic products.  Panama has great spots for those who want to experience the great outdoors and the healthy living of the countryside farmers.

We started in the cosmopolitan Panama City and head for the interior, where we will learn about the rice fields, poultry and porcine farms.  We also made our first agrotourism stop on the same day: a visit to La Granja Turistica San Judas Tadeo  in Chorrera a farm near the City that aims to teach visitors the best ways to make good use of animal  farms and essential crops of basic consumption and the  benefit  for the local economy. From here we will head to a beautiful circuit combining the Pacific, highlands, Caribbean and more.  In Panama, exist more than 35 licensed farms that offer basic accommodation, and agricultural activities for recreation and visitor learning.  Most rural tourism sites are located in Colón, Capira, La Chorrera, Coclé, Azuero and  Chiriquí.

Why we like rural and agro tourism vacations?   Because being truly sustainable!   The communities you visit helps sustain and develop the village for future generations.   Also Agrotourism is an activity  that helps a person understand and appreciate the land and the people who live on it.  This is the best way to meet with locals  in their natural environments and become more involved with the land they are visiting.

In Panama, exist more than 35 licensed farms that offer basic accommodation, and agricultural activities for recreation and visitor learning.  Most rural tourism sites are located in Colón, Capira, La Chorrera, Coclé, and  Chiriquí.

 

PINEAPPLE FARMS

The sweetest Pineapples of the world are from Panama! For example, Verba Odrec, located in Chorrera, is a local family farm, committed to responsible practices and minimizing pesticide and quality of our pinapples in every box. Visiting this farm is an incredible experience where you will learn everything about the growing of pineapples, and of course also tasting it.

COFFEE FARMS

Panama produces one of the best coffees in the world. If you’re a real coffee-lover, and ever wondered how coffee is made, Finca Lerida, a coffee farm which also offers accommodation is the place to go. You will learn about the history, origin, qualities and secrets of coffee handling directly in an ecological reserve! It is located in Boquete, in the highlands of the province of Chiriqui, which offers a perfect climatic condition to produce high quality coffee.

HONEY FARMS

Honey? In Panama? YES! In the province of Chiriqui you will find farms that produce excellent sweet honey. The honey that ‘Boquetebees’ produces is bioactive and minimally filtered. This incredible farm is committed to educate and increase the understanding of the importance of bees to sustainable biodiverse ecosystems.

EcoCircuitos Panama is specialized in sustainable tourism and tailor-made tours through the beautiful country of Panama. There are much more fincas to discover! Contact us and let us create your agricultural experience! info@ecocircuitos.com or visit www.ecocircuitos.com

 

10 Reasons to visit Panama

There are many reasons to visit Panama. You have probably already thought of the Panama Canal, which is one of the world’s most famous feats of modern engineering. Maybe you have considered the exotic jungles or the weather, which is warm year round. But there is much more to discover in Panama.

El Biomuseo abre sus puertas al p˙blico el 2 de octubre de 2014.
Biomuseo Panama

 1. The Wildlife

There is an incredible number of animals living in Panama. Roughly 230 types of mammals sound impressive? and more than 1000 bird species for comparison! And then we still have not counted the reptiles, amphibians and insects…

And many of those animals are really not that hard to find.  There are butterflies as large as my entire hand. I can see Iguana from my office window. I watch pelicans catch fish in the bay on my way home from work. There are sloth, monkeys, toucans and who knows what else living within the boundaries of Panama City. So imagine what you might encounter in more remote spots…tiny brightly colored frogs, ocelots, anteaters, multicolored birds, you name it! The biodiversity here is amazing, and, nicely enough, dangerous or venomous animals are extremely rare.

 

2.  The Climate

Panama is tropical and warm all year round.  You are in an endless summer here.  You won’t need to pack too much and you’ll be able to enjoy the tropical climate throughout your vacation.

3. The cultural diversity

The Panamanian cultural diversity consists of seven indigenous groups which includes the Caribbean and Latin American sub-cultures with influences of the Spanish conquistadores. Today, the country’s population is made up of Chinese, Jewish and Arab neighbors living door to door with retired US citizens, European business people and travelers from around the world.  Everyone adds to Panama’s melting pot, making the country a bit more colorful.

 

 4. The different places to be

Well, you probably know that Panama has rainforests. Jungle excursions are a definite option here. Or, for a slight change of scenery, try the cloud forest in the highlands, where the mossy trees are covered in fog and where wild orchids flourish. But that is not all the country has to offer. There are mountains, cloudforest where world-famous coffee is grown, mangrove swamps, even a desert (imagine that, in a tropical country!). And then, of course, we have the coast, 2500 kilometers of it to be precise. Numerous beaches and islands in the Caribbean Sea and on the Pacific coast are waiting to be explored. Think crystal-clear water, white sand and the occasional coconut tree – we have it. Coral reefs? Have those too. And it’s all within easy reach. A few hours driving or a short flight is all it takes to change between these different places. There is even a national park inside Panama City! Sometimes it feels like there is a lifetime of exploration waiting for me in this country.

 

5. Is Affordable

Panama currency is the US Dollar (officially know as the Balboa).  It is an incredible affordable place to visit.

6. Is Safe

Panama is one of the safest countries in Latin America.  Crime is very low and there is even a tourist police.

7. The things to do

I do not even know where to start on this one. Adventure? There is river rafting, rock climbing and wilderness expeditions in the jungles of Darien, to name just a few…of course, there is kayaking as well, mountain biking, horseback riding, any kind of outdoor sports really. Or maybe you like golf? Tennis? Sailing? I personally love the great surfing and diving spots that can be found in both oceans, and the wonderful beaches. And when I had enough activity, there are so many hidden island retreats and luxurious spa options that help me disconnect from the world for a bit…

 

8. Panama City and Casco Viejo

Panama City deserves a visit. Shopping malls, little art galleries and amazing restaurants wait there. Every weekend brings a new event, a festival, a concert or an exhibition. The beautiful Casco Viejo, the colonial style old quarter, which is actually UNESCO World Heritage, is always worth a visit.  I love the combination of old and new Panama City offers, traditional crafts and modern art, old buildings set against the backdrop of the modern skyline…I think it would take me a lifetime to discover all Panama City has to offer.

 

9. An International hub  

Panama is an airline hub that connects Central America with the rest of the world. Almost every major airline flights to Panama today:   United, Copa, American Airlines, Delta, British Airways, Air Canada, Lufthansa, KLM, Air France, Iberia, Turkish Airlines, Avianca, Aeromexico among others.

10. Amazing Gastronomy

Panama’s local cuisine infused with fresh local produce, seafood and other unique ingredients are competing against other great well known culinary destinations in Latin America.  Panama offers a wide choice of restaurants to suit everyone’s taste and budget. From great cuisine and international chefs to real Panamanian food experience.   I love to eat out and here are my suggestions to make your gastronomic experience in Panama City unforgettable.

There are a million more things that I could talk about, but I do not have the space here…best discover it for yourself. The one thing I can promise, whatever you like to do, Panama is definitely worth a visit.

A visit to the Volcano Crater in El Valle

By Raffaele Capomolla

Have you heard about El Valle de Anton? There you will find the crater of a dormant volcano that once used to be the largest of Central America, and it’s located just a 2 hours drive from Panama City. It is a great place for hikers and birders, but also if you just want to escape from the hot and humid weather in the city – this picturesque valley is 600 m above the sea level and offers a cool and pleasant climate. You will find a lot of attractions in El Valle, such as hot springs, canopy zip lines, butterfly gardens, waterfalls, rock climbing and hikes for all abilities!

Ecocircuitos offers exciting tours to visit The Crater of El Valle de Anton; just contact sales@ecocircuitos.com if we can help you with more information just let us know.  Our guides will made the difference and will take you to the secret spots in this natural jewel.

empanada

 

Secret Tip: Do you want to try the best Cheese-empanadas of Panama? Well, so you should absolutely go to Quesos Chela! It’s just in the middle of the way to El Valle, it’s a MUST-Stop, trust me!

 

Family Adventures in Panama

Panama is for families

Every kid dreams of exploring jungles, seeing wild animals and being a true adventurer. Offering all this while having a high safety standard makes Panama the perfect destination for exciting family vacations. EcoCircuitos Panama offers brand-new family tours, developed through the eyes of a child. Our favorite one starts with cycling the promenade of Panama City, before trying exotic ice-cream flavors in the colorful Old Town. Families turn into true explorers when watching out for monkeys, birds,  and crocodiles while discovering the rainforest by boat together.

IMG_0416 (2)
Hiking the cloudforest

The adventure continues in the highlands of Chiriquí, with a skywalk through the treetops of the cloud forest and fun zip lining. The vacation ends with relaxing on white-sanded beaches and snorkeling the colorful coral reefs of the Caribbean island archipelago of Bocas del Toro. Seize the opportunity of visiting the sloth island and learning how chocolate is made in indigenous communities before you leave Panama with plenty of wonderful memories of unique family moments.

For more information please visit http://ecocircuitos.com or contact us via email info@ecocircuitos.com or telephone: 1-800-830-7142

Green Convention Center in Panama

Panama is getting ready for the construction of the new Convention center in the province of Chiriqui, which will have an area of 4,000 square meters and capacity for 2,000 people.

According to the Ministry of Tourism (ATP), Gustavo Him, this convention center will have a short – term impact on the province and its structure will be different because it will have green areas, wastewater management and also will use an energy saving system.“It will be a unique structure in the region to promote events, congresses and green tourism which will attract visitors from Europe and the US,” he said.

Now with COPA and Air Panama flying to David there will be great opportunities for Incentives, Conventions and Rewards Events.  We look forward to assisting you with all your events.  Contact us at info@discoversublime.com

 

Pinapple Tour with VERBA ODREC

by Raffaele Campomolla

The Pineapple – A beautiful, delicious fruit that has an incredible freshness and is just perfect as a healthy snack or combined in a sweet dessert. Lots of people love this tropical fruit – but do you actually know how pineapples are grown? Learn all about pineapples in a tour at the Verba Odrec Farm in ‘La Chorrera’!

Panama is known for having among the world’s best and sweetest pineapples. During the tour you will have the chance to taste this gift of nature and trust me, you will be impressed by the taste of those pineapples.

Do you know if the green ones are also very sweet and ready to eat? And how many times a year you can crop pineapples from one seed? Well you should find out! Ricardo, an expert of pineapples who will guide you through the farm will tell you all about this amazing fruit. You will drive through the farm seeing the different stages of maturation and different types of pineapples. The tour ends with a refreshing, pure and super-sweet natural juice –made out of pineapple, of course.

Experience the best Pineapple in Panama. This tour allows you to visit the harvesting pineapple fields, taste various stages of the pineapple and if  available tour the packing facility. This 3 hour tour is great for trying something new and having fun while exploring the countryside of Panama!

Verba Odrec is a local family farm, committed to responsible practices and minimizing pesticide and quality of our pinaple in every box.