Tourism and Conservation in Panama

Panama’s wildlife is just stunning – 10’444 different types of plant species, 678 fern species, 1’500 varieties of trees, as well as 255 species of mammals and 972 indigenous bird species. There is a history behind this rich biodiversity, let’s start from the very beginning: Everything started 65 million years ago; the two continents, North and South America were joined by a land bridge, as we know it from today. Then, around 50 million years ago, the continents split apart, and for millions of years they kept separate from one another. This allowed mother nature to create unique and fascinating landscapes in both continents. The land of South America soon gave rise to a numerous species, such as bird families, neo-tropical rodents, iguanas, frogs and more. In North America, animals such as horses, deer, raccoons, squirrels and mice flourished, as the continent repeatedly collided with Eurasia.

Three million years ago happened the world change!   The natural history for both continents: The land bridge of Panama arose. Migration started and species from North America went south and from South America north, where they found their homes in the lush forest and wetlands along the isthmus. The great variety of plant species created the perfect conditions for nourishing wildlife including the Jaguar.

‘Yaguará’ is a Panamanian Foundation that works towards the conservation of  wild cats. They are studying the Jaguar’s behavior through placing cameras and GPS Collars, in order to develop conservation in the jaguar habitats. They also directly work with the local communities, which has proved to be very important and successful to immediately apply conservation of this beautiful mammals.

Ricardo Moreno who has been nominated by National Geographic as an emergent explorer, is a Panamanian biologist and one of the the leader of  Fundación Yaguara. He fights for the conservation of the Jaguar and the Puma in Panama, and says that “the situation is critical, and there is no time to wait. It is important to create a pacific cohabitation between mankind and the felines.”

The conflicts between Felines and humans arose because their natural prey was scarce, due to human activities such as hunting and habitat occupation, threrefore the cats attacked livestock’s. Unfortunately, people used to “solve” the situation by just sacrificing the felines, and this caused a serious fall in jaguar’s populations in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor and Panama. Several studies showed that if the cats had enough natural prey, they wouldn’t attack livestock.

“Yaguará” started a program which gives a monetary compensation to the owners of domestic animals, if their animals were preyed.  They also support the local communities by educating in learning to live with the jaguars and avoid killing them.   The communities could take benefit from conserving the natural habitats and supporting the trend in the tourism industry:  Adventure and Conservation.

Academic and Educational adventures are a way to discover Panama and learn about the efforts of several scientists, guides and tour companies that promote the restoration of our natural habitats.   In conjunction with different organizations such as STRI, Fundacion Avifauna, APTSO, YAGUARA among others EcoCircuitos is promoting Tourism, Conservation and Education.

Explore with the experts in the field and discover a country full of contrasts.  You can contribute to the conservation and efforts of this organization and others by traveling responsable.

For more information contact us info@ecocircuitos.com

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Have you been to Pipeline Road?

By Raffaele Capomolla

Do you enjoy being immersed in beautiful nature? Just 50 minutes from Panama City near a village called “Gamboa” there is Soberania National Park, where you can find amazing bird diversity, monkeys, sloths, insects and beautiful Flora!

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Hike through the historical pipeline road. Oh, what is the pipeline road? During World War 2, across the isthmus of Panama, a petroleum pipeline and its service road were built, which allows the entry through the center of this marvelous national park.

After the hiking, enjoy a boat trip through the canal, where you will see those breathtaking, giant ships passing by a few steps from you, until you’ll end up in the Gatun lake!

Do you want to know why and in which situations the Alpha Monkeys in the rain forest starts to yowl? Our great Guide Jorge will tell you all about the animals in this amazing National park, the history of the pipeline, the canal and much more on this beautiful tour!

For more information click here.

 

Birdwatching: Hummingbirds

Panama’s birds are not shy.  Depending on the season, location and luck you can expect to see many different species in one day.   Of all the vast variety of bird species in Panama, the hummingbirds are of our favorite.  There are more than three hundred species of hummingbirds in Panama constituting the family Trochilidae, many of which have romantic names, such as the green-crowned brilliant, the purple-throated mountain gem and some other with more beautiful names.   The fiery-throated hummingbird, for example is a glossy green, shimmering iridescent at close range, with a dark blue tail, violet-blue chest, glittering coppery orange throat, and brilliant blue crown set off by velvety black on the sides and back of the head.  Some males take their glamorous plumage one step further and are bedecked with long streamer tails and iridescent mustaches, beards and visors.

These little, high-speed animals are so named because of the hum made by the beat of their wings; at up to one hundred beats per second, the hummingbird’s wings move so rapidly that they are often undetectable by the naked eye.  Hummingbirds are often seen hovering next to flowers, from which they extract nectar and insects with their long, hollow, and extensile tongues forked at the tip.  Alone among birds, they can generate power on both the forward and backward wing strokes, a distinction that allows them to fly backwards.

Hummingbirds are loners and they bond with the opposite sex only for the few seconds it takes to mate.  Many, such as the fiery-throated hummingbird, are violently territorial.  With luck, you might witness an impressive aerial fight between males defending their territories.   Come to Panama for birdwatching this season!  Contact us for more information at info@ecocircuitos.com

 

 

 

Panama Romantic Adventure

Start your trip with EcoCircuitos in the vibrant capital of Panama City with its modern skyscrapers, charming old towns.  The tour starts with kayaking the Panama Canal while looking out for wildlife and watching huge vessels passing by. Stay in the boutique American Trade Hotel located in the Old Town, offering a first-hand experience of Panama City`s extensive nightlife. Get on a snorkelling tour the next day to explore coral reefs and picturesque Caribbean Beaches.

The next stop is the charming little town of Boquete in the highlands. Watch out for birds and other wildlife in this area blessed with a spring-like climate all year. Get on a breathtaking Skywalk tour offering direct insights in the life of the cloud forest with unique views of surrounding landscapes. At the end of the tour, get on an exciting canopy zip lining adventure through the treetops.

The last stop of the tour leads to the romantic laid-back Island Plantation Resort surrounded by jungle and tropical beaches on the archipelago of Bocas del Toro. Snorkel colourful coral reefs; explore dream beaches by boat; hike through lush rainforests or gain deep relaxation enjoying a double-cabin massage before returning to Panama City.

For more information about our honeymoon programs, please contact us at info@ecocircuitos.com

New Tour: Night walk the Soberania National Park

Experience the thrilling of the rainforest at night! Use your flashlight, and with the direction of our naturalist specialize guide, you will uncover the nocturnal wildlife and their habitats of the tropical rainforest.  We will hike the Soberania National park towards the Rainforest Discovery Center and will walk around the different trails of the area in search for frogs, bats, insects, kinkajous and other surprises of this secreted, nocturnal world.

Medium walk, some hills. 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Minimum 4 people: $95.00 per person

Canopy Tent in Darien for birders!

Barred Puffbirds, Rufous-tailed Jacamars, White-headed Wrens and many more make up a distinct dawn chorus like no other in Panama.  Located in Central America’s most diverse and least-explored region, the Darién province of Panama is a birder’s paradise.  Situated in the humid lowlands of far eastern Panama, near the end of the Pan-American Highway, at the new Canopy Camp you can feel the wilderness around you, from just a step outside your tent.  Towering giants – Cuipo trees – provide a panorama of Darién, and are in clear view above the forest canopy, right from your tent.  It is in these enormous rainforest giants that Harpy Eagles and Crested Eagles place their nests and raise their young.

While you sip your morning coffee, listen for the buzzy trills of Golden-headed Manakins lekking in the forests beside the camp.  A walk with your knowledgeable guide will be thoroughly awe-inspiring and entertaining.  From tiny, colorful poison dart frogs on the forest floor to Red-throated Caracaras in the canopy above, these forests are full of life.  At the end of the day of exploring the region, settle into your tent and doze off to the calls of owls, potoos, nightjars and a symphony of frogs, bidding you good-night from the forests of Darién.

While enjoying the wilderness all around us, camp in comfort in custom-designed African safari-style tents with all the amenities we offer at our other eco-lodges.  Come explore Darién with us, we are sure you will have the birding adventure of your life!  contact us at info@ecocircuitos.com  or visit our site at EcoCircuitos Panama for more adventures