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.

 

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About your Panama Guides

Your guides are your gateway to the world of the tropical rainforest. Even if you don’t see a single animal, you’ll laugh; you’ll cry; and you’ll learn things. Each guide’s personality colors your experience of Panama, and reveals the richness and diversity of its people and culture. Guides provide education, insight into the culture, and knowledge of nature. Travelers who have decided to go it alone often end up wishing they had a guide.

Our partners wholesalers as WPA strives to use the best local guides available (EcoCircuitos guides)  at each destination on your adventure. At times, naturalists, biologists or biology students may be used as guides but are not guaranteed, nor are they always the best guides for the activity. You’ll find our guides have just the right mix of personality, knowledge and training to make your experience fun, safe, educational, and full of wonder. We’ve found that the best guides are the ones who live at each location and absolutely love what they are doing. Their enthusiasm and curiosity is contagious and will awaken the wonder–and the guide—in you.  You’ll find that spotting the wildlife yourself is half the fun! In addition to your guides, we’ll have bird and wildlife books and materials to help identify what we see. With thousands of different species of flora and fauna in each area of the country, and new species being identified each year, a rare siting could be the highlight of your trip!

Tipping your guide in Panama

EcoCircuitos recommends the following guidelines for tipping our guides, drivers and staff in Panama:

  • Naturalist guide:  US$15.00 – US$20.00 per person per / day
  • Day tour guide:  US$10.00 per person per day
  • Transfer driver:  US$2.00 per person
  • Tour driver:  US$5.00 per person per day
  • Tour boat driver:  US$5.00 per person per day
  • Hotel bellman:  US$1.00 per person per piece of luggage

International airport bellmen:  US$1.00 per piece of luggage

Meet our Naturalist guides: Raul Velasquez

Raul is a passionate and dedicated tour guide, he was born in the Chiriqui Province among coffee farms and agriculture. He became a tour guide in 2008, he actively worked in the Pearl Archipelago when tourism was just starting in Panama. Raul guided whale watching tours as well as island day tours in the Archipelago and after 5 years working there he decided to come back to Boquete and start working as a naturalist and birding guide. He is a certified naturalist guide and MarViva guide. Birdwatching at the Ceriana Farm is his favorite activity and his favorite bird is the Three-wattled Bellbird. Raul enjoys showing Boquete to all visitors and encourages more people to visit the area. He currently resides in Boquete.

Favorite Bird:  Tree Wattle Bellbird

Boquete Bee and Butterfly Farm

By Jennie C. Trow

Last week we had the pleasure of visiting the Boquete Bee and Butterfly Farm during a site inspection in the Chiriqui Highlands. Emily Hawthorn, the owner of the farm gave us a warm introduction to the farm and what it’s visitors can expect when taking a tour. We visited the Honey house where visitors can taste and purchase variety of different honey products such as raw honey, creamed honey and honey combs. There are over 15 different varieties of honey products that are sold in her farm, some honey products are combined with ginger, turmeric, lavender, hot peppers and more. Each year the farm produces around 10-15 tons of honey.

During the honey tour visitors learn not only about honey and bees but also about the area, plants and flowers and why the Boquete bees are so special. Visitors will also get to observe petroglyphs on the property. In addition, they will be able to visit the Butterfly Farm that just opened about a month ago. The farm hosts over 35 native butterflies species and can be observed in the butter fly house and in a small educational area where different colorful chrysalises are kept before butterflies emerge.

This fascinating tour should not be missed on your visit to Boquete. For more information contact info@ecocircuitos.com  This tour can be booked individually or together with one of our culinary experience programs.

 

 

 

 

Following the routes of the giants

By Carina Forster

Panama offers amazing options for Whale Watching!  Don’t miss the 2016 season and book your tour with EcoCircuitos today!

Available dates:  July 23th, July 30th, August 13th, August 27th, September 10th, September 24th.

Our daytrip started with a spectacular view of the Panama Canal covered in morning sun upon our departure from the Causeway by boat. Passing by large container ships coming from all over the world, we admired the views of Panama’s extensive skyline as the bay of Panama was getting smaller and smaller. The boat ride took us 1,5 hours out to the Pacific Ocean to the picturesque island archipelago of Las Perlas. The shallow warm waters around the archipelago are a very favorable place for humpback whales to stop over on their migration to warmer waters, which makes the possibility of spotting them between July and October extremely high.

Along your way to the islands, we started looking out for them while an expert guide explained us about the fascinating lifes and habits of the mystic creatures. We learned a lot of interesting details about their giant brains and incredible intelligence while the boat was respectfully and responsibly looking for the animals. It is a unique experience you share with people on the boat from all over the world when watching out for those majestic creatures together.

When we spotted the first one just one hour outside of the city, every thought of something else immediately disappeared when you see their giant bodies moving gently through the water. Goosebumps appeared on my skin when we witnessed their spectacular sense for communication, listening to their beautiful sounds like coming from another planet.

After we enjoyed a delicious lunch buffet on the island of Contadora, we spent the afternoon relaxing on the white-sanded beach and watching out for tropical fish and turtles when snorkeling the coral. On the way back to Panama City we spotted even more whales – in total we saw over 20 humpback whales just on one day! Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Las Perlas off the beaten track

by Carina Forster

A weekend-visit to the picturesque archipelago of Las Perlas astonished me in several ways. While Panama is lush with occasional rain showers during the green season, the islands of Las Perlas hardly see any rain throughout the whole year. Just after a 1,5 hour boat ride from Panama City, you find yourself in a climate and landscape completely distinct from the rest of the country.

The islands are characterized by dry vegetation and palm-fringed beaches, which are amongst the most beautiful ones I have seen throughout Panama, with incredibly white sand and blue waters. The underwater world is spectacular with colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, turtles and rays. Furthermore, the islands are a paradise for bird lovers with hundreds of migrating species passing by in spectacular formations. From May to October humpback whales can be seen on their way to warmer waters.

Instead of visiting the well-developed island of Contadora, we decided to check out its larger, less developed and more economical neighbor Saboga. Without a doubt the beaches being just as beautiful as on famous Contadora, Saboga offers some nice hiking treks and deserted beaches just for your own. For adventurers, the charming village offers authentic local food and simple accommodation behind the police station with a spectacular view over the bay.

We asked a local fisherman to take us to Bartolome Island in the morning, having the little island completely for ourselves before other people arrived at around 11. This white-sanded Robinson Crusoe Island is perfect for snorkeling, with beautiful coral reefs and large colorful fish. And like if it was not perfect enough already, a large group of dolphins accompanied our little boat on the way back.

New Tour: Skywalk in the Highlands

EcoCircuitos Panama is excited to offer a brand new skywalk tour in the Chiriqui Highlands! This 3-4 hour tour will take you on a 25 minute drive into the valley behind Boquete town, during the drive you can admire the countryside, coffee farms and more as climb into the valley. Upon your arrival you will be given a briefing about the 5km loop that will take you over 5 Skywalk bridges that range from 1,600 – 1,800 meters over sea level. Walk through the treetops of the cloud forest, keep your eyes out for exotic bird species and other animals native to the area. Admire the surrounds scenery as your guide, interprets the ecosystem that surrounds you.

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Skywalk the Highlands
Bridge Details
Bridge 1 Length: 135m/Height: 40m
Bridge 2 Length: 70m/Height: 15m
Bridge 3 Length: 110m/Height: 55m
Bridge 4 Length: 110m/Height: 70m
Bridge 5 Length: 85m/Height: 44m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skywalk Tour Detail
Time 3-4 hours
Distance 5km
Hiking Level Medium
Restrictions Children 5 and under not permitted
Includes Private transportation, private guide, entrance fees,
Optional Lunch