TOUR DESCRIPTION Located only 45 minutes from Panama City, Soberania National Park is considered to be one of the most accessible areas for bird watching and wildlife observation in Central America. You will visit the Rainforest Discovery Center and climb up its observation tower, and then explore the nature trails nearby for birds, insects, flora and fauna. Avid bird watchers have the option to also bird along the prestigious Pipeline Road that is world famous among birdwatchers due to its high yield in bird species. It is one of the best places in America for tropical birds exceeding the 400+ species.
4+ persons:US$120 per person plus 7% tax
2-3 persons: US$185 per person plus 7% tax
INCLUDED Bilingual naturalist guide, picnic lunch, park and related fees, transportation from/to your hotel in Panama City (please note that a $35 per person roundtrip surcharge based on 2+ persons must be added to day tours beginning and/or ending at Playa Bonita or hotels near Tocumen Airport)
DISCLAIMER Prices and itineraries are correct at the time of printing, however they are subject to change due to weather or local conditions, availabilities or factors beyond our control.
Early in the morning you are picked up at the lobby of your hotel by an Ancon Expeditions of Panama Naturalist Guide and transferred to Soberania National Park in the Panama Canal Watershed. Soon after you cross the Chagres River, you reach Pipeline Road, where Audubon Society held its world Christmas bird count record for 19 years straight, with 357 species of birds identified in a period of 24 hours. Your first stop will be at the Rainforest Discovery Center where you enjoy spectacular views of Soberania's vastness and canopy bird species from the 32 meters (100 feet) observation tower. Standing above the canopy, we witness the morning flight of Keel-billed Toucans, Red-lored Amazons and the silent and stealthy movement of Mantled Howler Monkeys. You continue to explore the network of trails surrounding the Discovery Center and enjoy the hummingbird feeders that provide up close and personal views of 10 species of hummingbirds! Avid bird watchers have the option to continue birding on Pipeline Road, a wider and more ample trail providing great spots for making your birding morning a success!
During World War II a pipeline was built along the Panama Canal to transport fuel from one ocean to the other in the event the waterway was attacked. Fortunately, it was never used. The now abandoned gravel road built to maintain the pipeline provides excellent walking access to Soberania's 22,000 hectares (55,000 acres) of tropical rainforest. The park boasts an impressive list of 525 species of birds including the Black Hawk-eagle, Black-cheeked woodpecker, Black-breasted Puffbird, Broad-billed Motmot, Blue Cotinga, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Masked Tytira, Violaceous Trogon, Fasciated Antshrike, Shining honeycreeper, and a great array of North American migrants. Soberania is also home to 105 species of mammals including large felines, Tamandua, Two and Three-toed Sloth, 4 species of monkeys, Agouti, some of which are listed under CITES (endangered species) and 59 endemic plant species in 4 life zones.
By late morning you will enjoy a rainforest picnic lunch, giving you opportunities to further explore the healthy and productive habitats of the Panama Canal Watershed. Early afternoon you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Please let our Sales Representative know about your primary interest for taking this tour (avid birdwatching or general nature, wildlife and bird observation?) in order to assign a respective expert guide to your group. Please note that the regular tour circuit does not include birding on Pipeline Road since the narrower and charming trails around the Rainforest Discovery Center in combination with the canopy observation tower at the Rainforest Discovery Center offer the same or even better bird watching opportunities. However, on particular request by avid bird watchers, we can add the visit to Pipeline Road after visiting the Rainforest Discovery Center.
- 5:45 a.m. Approximate pick up time at your hotel in Panama City (depending on your hotel location)*
- 7 hours Approximate tour duration
*most hotels do not include breakfast that early in the morning. We recommend for you to bring along additional snacks as the time until picnic lunch is served is quite long. Or if you want to make an optional stop at a supermarket or restaurant to catch a quick bite, please notify our guide upon being picked up at the hotel.
Check our SPECIALS SECTION for current "open tours" with already passengers signed up or review our green season Specials!
WHAT TO BRING
- Binoculars (available for rent at Ancon Expeditions of Panama)
- Cap or hat
- Sunscreen lotion
- Insect Repellant
- Light clothing
- Light raincoat
- Good traction footwear
Ancon Expeditions is Panama’s top eco-tourism operator. Our Natural & Cultural History Guides are the country's finest. Due to frequently asked questions from our clients about suggested guide & staff gratuities, we would like to provide you with the following universal tipping guidelines:
- Naturalist guide/Tour leader: US$10.00-US$20.00 per person/day
- Day tour guide: US$10.00 per person/day
- Transfer driver: US$2.00 per person
- Tour driver: US$5.00 per person/day
"Our tour guide made all the difference in the world in our experience. He was top-notch, very knowledgable not only regarding the tour but other questions we had about the country's history."
Talynn Otsuki, USA
"Hello Nadja,Just wanted to say thank you ever so much for your assistance with bookings and information for our trip. Both tours were excellent and the guides were exceptionally brilliant. I shall recommend your company to everyone I know.We are on our way home to cold and wintery England but will return one day for sure."
Dominic Canti, England
"We can't imagine a more knowledgeable, intelligent, and affable guide!
Our visit with him to Sobernania National Park was one of the highlights of our 10 marvelous days in Panama. We thank you for a truly unique experience!"
Sprinzen Family, USA
"We saw a sloth, howler monkeys, agoutis, too many birds to count, and even a coati; it is no exaggeration to say that we would have seen almost none of it without the seemingly limitless knowledge of our amazingly skilled and informed Ancon Expeditions guide."
Andy Braasch, USA
“A quick note to Ancon Adventures thanking you for a great tour.
On behalf of Julie, Ryan, Georgia, Darcy and Kristie we would like to thank Ivan and Ancon for an amazing experience - we learned a lot through Ancon Expeditions of Panama and it made our experience all the more memoriable. Muchas Gracias! We had a great time. Panama is amazing. Thanks so much for sharing with us. An amazing experience that provided in-depth knowledge of the culture and history of Panama as well as a chance to absorb the beauty of Panama - Soberania National Park / Gatun Lake tours.
Take care and thanks again!”