Pipeline Road Tour

Pipeline Road in Soberania National Park is one of the most diverse and rewarding birding experiences in the world and considered a birdwatching Mecca.  Situated near the town of Gamboa just 45 mins from Panama City, Pipeline Road is ideal for a day-trip to experience the diversity of lowland tropical jungle.  The trail is fairly level and broad for around 17km, allowing unparalleled access deep into a tropical rainforest.  This easy access combined with over 450 bird species recorded is what makes Pipeline Road a world-famous birding hotspot.

A photo of a Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo whilst Birding Pipeline Road, Panama.
A foraging Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo on Pipeline Road

You will be picked-up by our guide from your accommodation between 5am and 5:30am depending on location so that you can start birding with the dawn chorus.  From Gamboa we will slowly drive the first 2km section of the trail, allowing us to start the birding tour from less disturbed, deeper jungle habitat.

From here the tour will continue on foot.  You can expect to be out birding from between 6am and midday to coincide with the peak times of bird activity. The length of the walk is flexible and can be as long or short as you would like.  We will maintain a slow pace in order to see as many bird species as possible.  Tour groups size is limited to a maximum of four people plus a guide as larger groups tend to disturb more wildlife and fewer sightings are made.  This also allows each tour to be tailored to your needs and allows a more personal experience.

The area is not just famed for its birdwatching, but there is also a huge diversity of flora and fauna that you will see on your bird tour.  Our guide has worked on many ecological projects  in Panama and has knowledge on a wide range of taxa.  He will be able to show you some of the other natural wonders that this biodiversity hotspot harbors.

Walking through the jungle in a small group is the best way to get good views of the native wildlife.  We regularly see monkeys on our tours including Howler monkeys, Capuchins and Tamarins.  It is also possible to see other mammal species such as Sloths, Coatis, Agoutis, Anteaters and Peccary whilst out on a birding walk here.

 

After Pipeline Road there is the option to stop-off at the ammo-dump ponds near the canal to spot some different species.   Following this you will be driven back to your accommodation in time for late lunch/mid afternoon.

The birds on Pipeline Road are wild animals and day-to-day we see a huge variation in numbers and species present.  Obviously therefore it is not always possible to see all of the species we would like to.  However, Pipeline Road is one of the best places in the world to explore the biodiversity of the rainforest and for an unforgettable tropical birding experience.

A photo of a nesting Chestnut-mandibled Toucan near Pipeline Road, Panama
A nesting Chestnut-mandibled Toucan near Pipeline Road, Panama