3 days / 2 nights
Burbayar Nature Reserve is located on the Continental divide at an average elevation of 375 meters above sea level (1,230 feet asl) where the convergence of species is very high and dynamic. Burbayar is located within the Choco-Darien biogeographic region. In addition to being home to Pacific, Caribbean slope and foothill bird species it also hosts many of the Eastern Panama specialties. And since it is located at the narrowest point of the isthmus of Panama the affluence of migratory species is spectacular.
Best available rate based on 2 or more participants:
Price per person in double occupancy basis: US$485.00 + 7% tax
Single occupancy supplement fee: US$80.00 + 7% tax
INCLUDED Round trip airport transfers from Tocumen Airport, birding guide fees and expenses, 2 nights of lodging at Burbayar, meals as listed (B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner), admission fees.
NOT INCLUDED International airfare, Panama City hotel, meals not specified in the itinerary, alcoholic beverages (wine and beer available for sale at the lodge), personal equipment (binoculars etc), gratuities
DISCLAIMER Prices and itineraries are correct at the time of publishing, however they are subject to change due to climate or local conditions, availabilities or factors beyond our control.
DAY 1- Panama City to Burbayar
Pick up at Tocumen Airport outside Customs for the transfer to Burbayar Nature Reserve.
The 1-hour ride will take place for the most part along the PanAmerican Highway due east. This is the famous 30,000-kilometer (18,840-mile) road that traverses the American continent from Alaska to Patagonia with a 60-kilometer gap at the border between Panama and Colombia a couple of hundred kilometers away from the turn onto the Llano-Carti Road, due north, that will take you Burbayar.
Arrive in time for a good birding session around the cabins.
After dinner explore one of the inner trails in search of nocturnal species.
2 nights at Burbayar Lodge (D)
DAY 2 - Birding at Burbayar
Awake to the raucous call of the Howler monkeys and after a cup of coffee head out to the trails. Today you will explore the trails surrounding the lodge. Return to have breakfast in the company of the resident hummingbirds. The feeders around the main house currently host 10 different species of hummingbirds. Continue birding the surroundings during the high sun. Lunch and rest before heading down to the Llano Carti Road for some exceptional birding.
After dinner explore one of the inner trails to search for nocturnal species (B,L,D)
DAY 3 - Birding at Burbayar – Return to Panama City
Wake up before the crack of dawn and after breakfast head to reserve’s outer trails. This morning you will look for more representative species of the area.
Lunch and birding along the surrounding trails.
Mid-afternoon transfer back to Tocume Airport (B,L)
Optional add-ons available such as a visit to a nearby Embera indigenous village, Bayano Lake and the San Blas Islands.
B (Breakfast), L (Lunch), D (Dinner) – meals included
- Moderate-difficult hiking with rolling hills
- Slippery and muddy trails (depending on precipitation) with several challenging inclinations
- Optional activities like extended nocturnal hikes available
- Lodge accommodations are rustic, but comfortable
- No hot water available.
Upon request available on any dates for 2+ persons (subject to availability)
WHAT TO BRING
- Binoculars (preferably 7x35 or bigger, also available for rent at Ancon Expeditions of Panama)
- Camera with extra batteries & film
- Flashlight with extra bulb & batteries
- Hat, Day pack / dry sack
- Sandals, sneakers, hiking boots for muddy trails
- Water bottle
- Lightweight/quick dry cotton clothes
- Windbreaker, Rain gear
- Bathing suit, Insect repellant, Sunscreen
- Money in small denominations
- Toiletries & personal medications
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: US$10.00-US$20.00 per person/day
- Transfer driver: US$2.00 per person
- Tour driver: US$5.00 per person/day
- International airport bellmen (red caps): US$1.00 per piece of suitcase
ABOUT BURBAYAR NATURE RESERVE
Burbayar Nature Reserve is located on the San Blas mountain range at an average elevation of 375 meters above sea level and it is composed of premontane humid tropical rainforest. The 60-hectare (148-acre) private reserve borders the Nargana Wilderness Area encompassed within the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, extending from southern Mexico to the Darien National Park in eastern Panama.
Burbayar (buɾ.βa.ˈʝaɾ) means the Spirit of the Mountain in the language spoken by the Guna, our neighbors.
Burbayar’s habitat is rich in plant and animal life and it is home to representative species such as Jaguar, Tapir and Harpy eagle, animals that require extensive and healthy environments to thrive. Since 1998, when the reserve was established, the increase in wildlife abundance and diversity has been noticeable and recorded. Troops of Geoffroy’s tamarin monkeys, a species endemic to Panama, are common findings as well as families of Collared peccaries, Tamandua and Pacca. Rivers and creeks that traverse the reserve, as well as bromeliad leaves and other humid crevices in tree trunks are teeming with frogs and other amphibians. The bountiful flowering plants attract butterflies and trees are used by dozens of species of birds to nest, feed and rest.
The Burbayar bird list exceeds 300 species including specialties such as Sapayoa, Xenornis, Yellow-eared toucanet, Rufous-winged and Sulphur-rumped tanagers and Plumbeous hawk. The network of trails within the reserve is extensive and provides access to spotting birds and wildlife in general as well as natural river pools, waterfalls and exuberant tropical landscapes.
Burbayar Nature Reserve is a well-known birding destination for eastern Panama, Pacific and Caribbean slope and foothill species. It is situated in a low saddle on the Continental Divide where species of different ranges congregate. The reserve is in the middle of the narrowest section of the Isthmus of Panama which is used by literally millions of birds during their migration from the north and from the south of the American continent.
For over 20 years Burbayar has served the scientific community as a prime location for their work thanks to its accessibility, protection status and life abundance. Organizations such as the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Gorgas Institute for Health Research and Yaguará carry out field research within the reserve on a permanent or regular basis.
Only 90 minutes away from Panama City (70 minutes from Tocumen International Airport) Burbayar is the most accessible private nature reserve in Panama. And from Burbayar, northbound, one can reach the San Blas islands in 30 minutes. It takes the same time to reach Bayano Lake on the opposite direction. This unique advantage offers more possibilities to explore different habitats and to encounter new cultures.
At Burbayar we are committed to the protection of the rainforest and the wildlife found within the reserve, to provide the opportunity to visitors to explore, learn and enjoy its natural attributes, to offer support to science in favor of conservation. We are also working with our neighbors to guarantee the area’s long term conservation status and sustainable economy through ecotourism. The best way to accomplish this is by educating the future generations. Burbayar supports the local school by providing workshop on environmental education and guide training.
About the Lodge
Burbayar Lodge reopened its doors in 2019 under new management maintaining the same tradition of homestay hospitality. The lodge underwent important renovations and it now offers inviting cabins with private bathrooms, comfortable orthopedic mattresses, ceiling fans and 24-hour electricity. Other creature comforts include reading lamps and charging stations for cameras, smart phones and other electronic equipment. The cabins are strategically located within a short distance of each other and of the main house, but with the necessary privacy. The screened windows have shutters which may be opened or closed as desired.
The main house offers a common living room, a reference library, hammocks and hummingbird feeders. The dining hall is located in the main house’s front terrace where all meals are served family style. Meals are well balanced following Panamanian traditional cooking. The kitchen is prepared to accommodate special menus as long as they are requested in advance.
A drinking water dispenser is located at the main house which is accessible at all times. Guest are expected to bring their own reusable bottles.
The pathways between the cabins and main house are exceptional for bird and butterfly watching and visits by Geoffroy’s tamarins and other small mammals are not uncommon.
The gardens are natural and host a variety of tropical plants including unique orchids.
Accessibility: 90 kilometers away from Panama City
Accommodations: 6 private cabins
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner (family style). Wine and beer available (honor bar)
Communication: Cellular signal is available and most providers offer roaming service.
"José was the perfect guide for us. His enthusiasm, love of birds as well as all natural history, cultural interests, great sense of humor, and excellent English made our stay at Burbayar most enjoyable. We saw the Sapoyoa on the first morning of the first day so we could relax and enjoy whatever came our way for the rest of our stay including lots of rain and mud. The staff at the lodge were friendly and the food while basic was plentiful and tasty. Thank you for making all the arrangements."
Daphne (and Bill, Nancy, and Lynda)
"Burbayar is a beautiful place where it was wonderful to have access to so many trails in the forest, and we were impressed by the ecological awareness and integrity of the owner and staff. We really liked having local people as guides both for their excellent naturalist skills and for the opportunity to visit with them about Panama in general. They clearly love Panama's wildlife and landscapes. We learned a lot and saw more birds and other animals than we would have without them."
Ann & Richard Boelter, USA
“Ancon Expeditions have helped me as a photographer to see and photograph birds, animals, landscapes, and other wildlife in urban, and remote and wild areas of Panama. Their logistics are excellent. Ancon Expeditions have excellent naturalist guides with broad knowledge beyond only the nature of Panama; in addition they have very high level of ethics.”
Øyvind Martinsen, Norway