OUR

story

"In Panama, the standard of nature guides and tours is set by Ancon Expeditions of Panama."
Scott Dogett, Lonely Planet (travel guide)

Ancon Expeditions of Panama began operations in 1997 and soon after was defining the meaning of responsible travel in Panama by breaking all existing paradigms. Innovation, dedication and exemplary quality of service have buttressed our mission ever since.

Ancon Expeditions of Panama invites you to discover this unspoiled country packed with natural and cultural riches with a legacy that has helped shape the world's history. Panama is blessed with splendid biodiversity found within magnificent rainforests and spectacular seas, ancestral indigenous cultures. A land of magic and mystery.

The emergence of the Isthmus of Panama more than 3 million years ago was the most transcendental event in the evolutionary history of the western hemisphere. Since then, a great variety of animal and plant species have been able to migrate from one continental mass to another through Panama, where many congregate to offer an array of unique biodiversity.The Republic of Panama covers 75,517 square kilometers - an area smaller in size than South Carolina. Yet, its several life zones host more than 1,000 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 240 species of reptiles, 175 species of amphibians and over 10,000 species of vascular plants. Impressively, more than 30 percent of its territory is protected by national parks and nature reserves.

These factors, added to its proximity to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans at a narrow isthmus, have created a vast concentration of life in the heart of the Americas leading the Smithsonian Institution to establish the most advanced laboratory for tropical biological research in the world. It is no coincidence that the National Association for the Conservation of Nature (ANCON), one of the region's most efficient and respected conservation organizations, is passionately motivated to protect the natural heritage of Panama.

From the western highlands of Chiriqui where the Resplendent Quetzal thrives, to the underwater world of Coiba Island where Humpback whales find passage on their annual migrations and further east to the legendary Darien where the Jaguar, Tapir and Harpy Eagle inhabit unspoiled rainforests, Panama is a natural jewel to be discovered.

Ancon Expeditions of Panama welcomes you to enjoy an experience of a lifetime by offering you the best nature and culture oriented tours, as well as adventure and academic programs. Our expertise and the friendly and enthusiastic nature of the people of Panama will ensure that your vacation is fun, educational, comfortable and hassle-free.

BIENVENIDOS!

OUR

team

Marco A. Gandásegui N.
CEO & Founder

marcog@anconexpeditions.com

Melanie Endres
Sales & Marketing Director

melanie@anconexpeditions.com

Michelle Morales
Sales & Reservations Agent

michelle@anconexpeditions.com

Katiana Gomez.png__PID:87e88c85-1bbc-4e04-9ac2-d40d4c91db64
Katiana Gomez
Sales & Reservations Agent

katianag@anconexpeditions.com

Gabriel Otazo
Operations Director

gabriel@anconexpeditions.com

Lurdes Fernandez.png__PID:8c851bbc-fe04-4ac2-940d-4c91db64693d
Lurdes Fernandez
Operations Agent

lurdesf@anconexpeditions.com

Romely Maure
Operations Agent

romely@anconxpeditions.com

Gladys Ruiz.png__PID:961b87e8-8c85-4bbc-be04-1ac2d40d4c91
Gladys Ruiz
Cruise Operations Agent

gladys@anconexpeditions.com

Carmen de Croston
Accounting & Administrative Director

carmenc@anconexpeditions.com

Anjaneeth.png__PID:69c873e7-de00-4663-be5f-35d9d7b7fa69
Anjaneeth Alzamora
Accounting Assistant

anjaneeth@anconexpeditions.com

OUR

guides

Richard Cahill

Born in Panama City, Rich is a seasoned naturalist guide & tour leader with a background in Business Administration. He pioneered ecotourism in Panama over 30 years ago. Rich's passion for learning, attention to detail, and vast knowledge of natural sciences, history, and culture have made him one of Panama's top guides. He has extensive knowledge of the Panama Canal watershed, and he enjoys scuba diving in Panama's Caribbean Sea and searching for avian rarities in cloud forests. Rich's experience extends beyond Panama, as he guides in countries like Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ecuador. He is a co-founder of Ancon Expeditions of Panama.

Must-see in Panama: Portobelo, Fort San Lorenzo.
Secret tip: Enjoy Panama's vibrant nightlife and live baseball games at Rod Carew Stadium.
Favorite local dish: Tamal de Olla with hot sauce.
Favorite book about Panama: "The Darkest Jungle" by Todd Balf.

Hernán Araúz

Hernan is a highly regarded Latin American guide with over 30 years of experience. Hailing from a family of renowned scientists and explorers, he led pioneering expeditions into Panama's eastern jungles. Hernan is a veteran of seven Trans Darien Expeditions, including the first one transmitted over the Internet in 1996. He has conducted over 350 tours to the Barro Colorado Nature Reserve in the Panama Canal watershed.Hernan's passion extends to birding and naturalism. He holds a diplomat's training from American University, is a fellow of the Kislak Foundation and the US Library of Congress, and is a self-taught historian, geographer, and cartographer. He is also the author of "Antique Maps of Panama and the Darien."

Iván Hoyos

Search for the definition of a worldly citizen, and you’ll find in Ivan your immediate result: born and raised in Panama, Ivan attended high school in New York City, college in Europe, and went to graduate school in Seattle Washington.
Ivan eagerly returned to his native Panama and began his work in the field of nature tourism, where he quickly became one of Panama's most recognized naturalist guides. He leads tours throughout the whole country and has also led several expeditions in the Darien region of Panama.
Accompanying his passion for Panama's natural beauty is an addiction to travel, which has taken him around the globe to 60 countries in 6 continents. Some of his most memorable experiences have been trekking for gorillas in Uganda’s cloud forests, summiting Mt Kilimanjaro, and navigating into the heart of Borneo in search of orangutans.Ivan’s eclectic bag of interests and hobbies include urban planning, architecture, eating tropical fruits and learning of their origins, photography and mountain biking. More recently, he has participated in several environmental movements through local watchdog groups and community organizations.Ivan is an extremely enthusiastic, charismatic, and well-traveled naturalist who specializes in natural history and bird-watching!

Rick Morales

Rick developed a deep love for nature in the mountains of Western Panama. By age 13, he was already leading trips through national parks, sharing his passion for nature. While initially pursuing a degree in Spanish Linguistics, his desire to share his knowledge of natural history and enthusiasm drew him back to guiding. Today, he's one of Panama's most proficient interpretive guides, especially known for his birdwatching skills.Rick specializes in guiding challenging jungle treks in remote areas, drawing on his extensive knowledge and experience. His love for exploration has taken him across the globe, but Panama holds his heart.

Must-see in Panama: the Darien Gap.
Secret tip: Embrace getting wet during the day; focus on staying dry at night.
Favorite local dish: Hojaldras calientes.
Favorite book about Panama: "Isthmian Crossings" by Ruth Stuhl & George Chevalier.

Screenshot 2023-10-17 at 2.05.35 PM.png__PID:aaf0d32b-1e2f-4b1c-8510-1fe7570a1ef5

Roberto Medina

Roberto Medina, a native of Panama, is a passionate naturalist guide deeply connected to his country's nature. His love for the outdoors began during his childhood as a Boy Scout, leading to studies in Ecotourism and Tour Operator Management. In 2002, he discovered Panama's underwater world through scuba diving. With over two decades of experience, Roberto is now a skilled birding guide, promoting both nature and Panama's culture.

Must-see in Panama: Coiba Marine National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with pristine coral reefs and unique flora & fauna.
Secret tip: Embrace Panama's rich cultural diversity, a melting pot of world cultures.
Favorite local dish: Guacho de Mariscos, a delightful seafood stew.
Favorite book about Panama: "A Neotropical Companion" by John Kricher, offering insights into Panama's tropical ecology and research on Barro Colorado Island.

Screenshot 2023-10-17 at 2.08.56 PM.png__PID:ddd822ff-abd2-468e-864a-8e32ac020eec

Gabriel Ortiz

Gabriel, who grew up on the outskirts of Panama City, became a naturalist guide in 2007, a turning point in his life. With extensive experience in Panama and guiding expeditions in Central and South America, he inspires travelers to appreciate the Neotropics. He considers this region one of the most productive and fragile parts of the planet due to its diverse species and interactions. Gabriel's knowledge extends to Panama's history and its role as a trade route for centuries. He actively supports local communities and conservation projects, including reforestation in Eastern Panama. He also aids in monitoring migratory warblers during their annual Fall migration through Panama.

Must-see in Panama: Pipeline Road at Soberania National Park.
Secret tip: Come to Panama to learn and have fun.
Favorite local dish: Fresh ceviche from the local seafood market.
Favorite book about Panama: "A Magic Web" by Egbert Leigh, Jr. & Christian Ziegler.

Screenshot 2023-10-17 at 2.19.02 PM.png__PID:ff1489ce-128e-4bb6-b214-bea3822dda68

Joshua Hall

Born in Panama City, Joshua was raised in Chiriquí's highlands. He initially studied ecotourism and later earned a Biology degree from the University of Panama, with a focus on cetaceans. Joshua now leads a humpback whale conservation project. Joshua is a versatile naturalist guide, knowledgeable about Panama's diverse ecosystems, from rainforests to coral reefs.

Must-see in Panama: Explore the tropical rainforest and its biodiversity.
Favorite local dish: Whole fried fish with coconut rice and green salad.
Favorite book about Panama: "Path Between the Seas."

Julian Wood

Originally from the UK, Julian moved to Panama in 2000. He's been a guide for Ancon Expeditions, specializing in history, society (including the Panama Canal), and Panama's culinary scene. In addition to sharing his knowledge with travelers, he serves as the academic director at a culinary art school.

Must-see in Panama: Spot a Resplendent Quetzal in the Chiriqui Highlands.
Secret tip: In Panama, you can witness both the sunrise & sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
Favorite local dish: Tamal de Olla, a Panamanian-style tamale casserole.
Favorite book about Panama: "The Last Voyage of the Vizcaina: The Mystery of Christopher Columbus' Last Ship" by Klaus Brinkbäumer & Clemens Höges.

Samuel Britton

Sam, a native of Panama, nurtured a love for nature from an early age, inspired by his mother. With a Master's degree in human resources and experience as a Chief Financial Officer for humanitarian programs across three continents, he returned to Panama to follow his passion as a Naturalist. Sam's expertise encompasses nature, history, and culture, which he shares with visitors. He's an avid birdwatcher and nature photographer.

Must-see in Panama: The Panama Canal.
Secret tip: Bring your binoculars and start a bird checklist.
Favorite local dish: Sancocho panameño, a rustic chicken stew.
Favorite book about Panama: "The Path Between the Seas" by David McCullough.

Deibys Fonseca

Deibys Fonseca, an experienced Naturalist from Panama's Chiriqui Highlands, first displayed his guiding talents while volunteering at La Amistad International Park. His dedication to conserving the region's biodiversity led to the establishment of a local non-profit promoting conservation ethics. Deibys earned a scholarship from an international conservation organization and a degree in Conservation of Natural Resources. Today, he passionately leads trips across Panama's diverse life zones and abroad.

Must-see in Panama: "El baile de El Punto," a traditional Panamanian folkloric dance.
Secret tip: Stay hydrated and keep your eyes wide open for interesting discoveries along the trail.
Favorite local dish: Garlic shrimp with fried plantains (patacones).
Favorite book about Panama: "Buccaneers of America" by Alexander Oliver Exquemelin.

Screenshot 2023-10-17 at 2.25.52 PM.png__PID:2fef3f28-61c7-4d40-97e3-218d2ad4d9c0

Mauricio Hoyos

Mauricio, born in Panama City, developed a deep passion for the jungle, both natural and urban, while growing up near the rainforests. He earned a degree in Biology from the University of Panama and specialized in animal Ethology and Physiology. Mauricio conducted field research with various organizations and institutions, including radio tracking and bird studies with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the United States National Park Service. After working on migrant conservation in New York and forestry studies in Brazil, his enthusiasm for research led him to become a naturalist guide.

Jose Perez

Born in Panama City and raised in El Valle de Anton, Jose developed a profound passion for nature, influenced by his family's teachings on preservation. After earning a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Panama, his love for travel & nature led him to a career in tourism. With over two decades of experience as a Naturalist, Jose excels in guiding tours across Panama, focusing on birdwatching, scuba diving, and whale-watching.

Must-see in Panama: Witness humpback whales off the Pacific coast from July to September, or explore year-round army ant swarms at Soberania National Park.
Secret tip: Remember, a smile, respect, and kindness are free but invaluable.
Favorite local dish: Sancocho, a Panamanian chicken broth, served with white rice.
Favorite book about Panama: "Panama: A Biological Bridge" by Stanley Heckadon Moreno.

Carlos Acosta

Carlos, born in Panama City, has lived in various parts of the country, giving him the opportunity to work in diverse ecosystems. He studied environmental sciences in Oregon, USA. Carlos began guiding over two decades ago, specializing in the Panama Canal Watershed, specifically Soberania National Park & Gatun Lake. His expertise extends to both natural and human history and culture. When not sharing his experiences with travelers, he enjoys hiking, fishing, and spending time with his family.

Must-see in Panama: Explore the rainforest on foot or take a boat ride on Lake Gatun.
Secret tip: Find & appreciate the unique beauty in every place you visit.
Favorite local dish: Arroz con pollo, a classic Panamanian dish made with white rice, chicken, vegetables, and achiote (annatto) seeds for natural coloring.
Favorite book about Panama: "Natural History of the Isthmus of Panama" by Felix Rodriguez M. & Aaron O’Dea.

ANCON EXPEDITIONS OF PANAMA

 is a member of the

FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS:

USTOA_ASSOCIATE_FinalLogo.jpg__PID:b8e7088c-fef8-48a0-a857-b567f98c577a

Ancon Expeditions of Panama is an Associate Member of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA). However, Ancon Expeditions of Panama is NOT 
a participant in the USTOA $1 Million Travelers’ Assistance Program and is not held by USTOA to certain other standards required of Active Members.

established 1997

Torre Global Bank
Suite 1807, 18th floor
Avenida Nicanor Obarrio (Calle 50)

Panama City, Panama
Phone: +(507) 269-9415
Toll-Free Number (USA/Canada)
1-888-760-3426

Follow Us