5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that reveals Panama’s cultural and natural wonders

Did you know that Panama has 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites? Well if you didn’t, check this out!

Three Natural Sites

Since 1981: Darien National Park

This incredible National Park in the Eastern part of Panama, on the borders of Colombia, is home to an extraordinarily rich flora and fauna. It has a variety of habitats from tropical forests, mangroves and swamps, wetlands and beaches. Two of Panama’s indigenous tribes the Wounaan and Embera have their home in this incredible park. It has 169 identified mammals, to name some of them: the near threatened jaguar, the endangered tapir, bush dog and the capybara. Darien National Park has a lot to offer if you are in love with nature and incredible biodiversity!

 

Since 1983: La Amistad National Park and Talamanca Range- La Amistad reserves

The Talamanca Mountains are enclosed by this breathtaking national park and reserves. It is considered to be the tallest and wildest mountain range in Central America. There are numerous ecosystems and landforms, such as rivers, valleys and lakes which were shaped by glaciers. Also in this national park you can find an incredible amount of different animals: 215 mammals including the Puma and Jaguar and abundant bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species. Don’t miss this incredible biodiversity and unique scenery!

Since 2005: Coiba National Park

This unique island  once was a penal colony and along with other 38 smaller islands and its surrounding marine area is the Coiba site National Park. Abundant marine life such as whales and tiger sharks has its home in the surrounding marine area. The variety of endemic flora and fauna on this wonderful island is due to years of separation from the Mainland. You really should discover the natural beauties of the island, but always in a sustainable way!

Two Cultural Sites

Since 1980: Portobelo-San Lorenzo Caribbean Fortifications

The forts of Portobelo and San Lorenzo, listed as endangered, were constructed by Spanish colonialists to protect the first town of Panama Ciy which had become a very significant trade center. The forts continuously suffered attacks by pirates. It really is an incredible site, as it provides very important information about the defense system which was used in the 17th and the 18th centuries!  Don’t miss the site for the real Pirates of the Caribbean.

 

Since 1997: Panamá Viejo Archaeological Site and Historic District of Panamá

The Panama Viejo Archaeological Site and Historic District of Panama dates back to the 16th century, and is the oldest European settlement along the Pacific coast. In 1673 it has been burned to the ground, so it was located in Casco Viejo.

Significant information on various aspects of the social life, communication and the economy can be read through the ruins. Numerous Churches, medieval houses, the presidential palace and the Salón Bolivar are cultural landmarks in the historic district. Follow the the steps of the Spanish empire in Latin America in this beautiful site and book a historical tour with us.

Panama has so much to offer – besides of an incredible nature and biodiversity, our beautiful country has a very significant history. Our local guides will take you through an unforgettable cultural, historical and natural experience through our beautiful country! For tours or more information contact annie@ecocircuitos.com or visit our website http://www.ecocircuitos.com.

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A day in San Lorenzo National Park, Panama

In this Tour with EcoCircuitos, you will come back in your early childhood of the pirate world. Put on your boots and your pirate hat for the adventure.
Located in a rocky headline, 25m above the sea level and overgrown, Fort San Lorenzo Casstle dominates the mouth of the Río Chagres. The natural beauty of the caribbean, the view over the river and the lush forest are outstanding. The Fort San Lorenzo evokes the struggles of the colonial era between the Spanish and European filibusters.
San Lorenzo is one of the oldest forts and the best preserved of America. The first foundations were built in the late of sixteenth century to protect the Spanish ships, leaving the river, against hackers lured by the riches to Portobelo.
This fort is full of History. First the fortifications were attacked and demolished at the beginning of the year 1671 by the captain Joseph Bradley on behalf of Henry Morgan. He stays few times there, before sake the Old Town of Panama.
The Forts have been reconstructed two times. In 1678, more height, the fort was destroyed again in 1742, this time by Admiral Vernon. Rebuilt in 1761, he played a strong role until independence in 1821 and serves as a prison for some years.
San Lorenzo is located in the Canal area, belong to North-Americans since 1999, before being transferred back to Panama authorities
In 1980, San Lorenzo was even registered with Portobelo Fort as a UNESCO site heritage. Forty cannon would has been found on the site.
Around the fort, in the rainforest, there are many ecosystem and nearly one third of all the forest fauna of Panama.

This is a complete adventure day where hiking, wildlife observation and amazing history can be experience in one day. Ohhh and part of the experience includes crossing by car the Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal! don´t miss this in Panama.

By Lea Maillard.-
EcoCircuitos Intern

Find out more about possibilities to visit Fort San Lorenzo on our Homepage

Tour of the week – Birding Achiote Road – Community Project in the Atlantic side

Achiote is located on the western side of the Panama Canal, bordering with the San Lorenzo National Park, between Gatún Lake and the Caribbean Sea. It is a rural community with approximately 500 inhabitants, which was founded on the basis of banana exportations in the 1930s. It is in an exuberant valley, covered by innumerable shades of green, flowers, and multicolored birds. Its small size and intimacy make it a paradise-like refuge only 25 minutes from Colon city and the Colon Free Zone.

We will be birding along Achiote Road consistently produces more than 300 bird species. Your best opportunities for Crested Oropendola, Collared & Slaty Backed Forest Falcons, Plumbeous and Semiplumbeous Hawks, Hook-Billed Kite, Band-Tailed Barbthroat, Rufous-Breasted Hermit, Ocellated Antbird, Olivaceous Flatbill, Black-Tailed Trogon, Speckled Mourner, Purple-Throated Fruitcrow, Chestnut Mandibled Toucan could be found here. Spot-crowned Barbet prefers the common cecropia trees, and Hoffman’s two-toed sloth also resides here. Numerous species of striking heliconia plants are common, as are their attendant hummingbirds, the hermits, named for their retiring nature. We will visit and will enjoy a local lunch at Los Tucanes Community center and will learn about the main routes of migratory birds of prey of the Americas converge, turning the region and the Canal area in general into a great hotel for them twice a year: from September to November, and from February to March.

We suggest to wear clothes that are comfortable, cool and light colors. On your feet wear sneakers or boots, and in general think in terms of maintaining a certain harmony with the forest. Bring an umbrella or raincoat. When you are inside the forest make sure to speak in a low tone of voice. Avoid wearing perfume or creams when you visit the forest, strong smells can bother or confuse animals. Contribute towards keeping the community clean. Bring drinking water and insect repellent.

For prices and more birding tours, please contact us at info@ecocircuitos.com