Pipeline Road is the premier birding attraction in Panama, but we also offer a number of alternative day trips and birding destinations from the Panama City area including: Plantation Road Trail, Old Gamboa Road and Altos De Campana National Park. Alternatively 3-4 day birding tours can also be organised to include El Valle de Anton in the mountains.
Plantation Road Trail
Plantation Road is a good additional daytrip to Pipeline Road If you would like to to do more birding in Soberanina National Park. This trail is on the other side of The Chargres River in the southern section of the Park. This broad and relatively flat trail follows a jungle stream for a number of miles before joining the Camino de Cruces trail deep in the jungle. The area is great for both birds and mammals of tropical wet lowland Panama. Plantation Road can be hiked for a full morning or can be done in Conjunction with Old Gamboa Road Ponds/Trail.
Old Gamboa Road
Old Gamboa Road is a short section of closed road near Summit Park just outside of Soberania National Park. This relatively open environment can proove easier birding than the more densely vegetated trails, and the drier nature of the habitat means that different species can be found here. There are also several large ponds which can be great for Kingfishers and Herons. Both Old Gamboa Road and Plantation Trail are on the Pacific Slope, whilst Pipeline Road several miles to the north is officially on the Caribbean slope. Species ranges in Panama can be very small and heavily reliant on microclimatic conditions – so there are several species present at these trails that cannot be found on Pipeline Road. This trail is best birded for several hours early before the sun is too hot. From mid-morning the tour will be continued in the shade of Plantation Road Trail until around Midday.
Altos De Campana National Park
If you would like to try birding a different comunity, Altos De Campana National Park is around a 1 hour drive west of Panama City/Gamboa and is the closest mountainous outcrop before the Western Highlands. An early Pick-up around 05:15 would have you in the hills for first light. The Park trails are a little steep and slippery in a few places, but are generally fairly gentle. Cloud forest is beginning to form at these elevations and the bird community is totally different to what we will find in Soberania. Whilst birding the trails we will stop at some vistas for dramatic views of the Park and down to the Pacific Ocean. Return to Panama City/accommodation would normally be around lunchtime.
El Valle de Anton
El Valle is a beautiful town in the mountains around 2 hours west of Panama City. This area has many upland trails for birding and is great for spotting some of the Western Highland species without having to travel to the other side of Panama. This destination is a little far for a day-trip, but can be incorporated into a multi-day trip to include some of our other destinations.
Please Contact Us for more details and availability.
A male Barred Antshrike spotted from Old Gamboa Road