Darien Rainforest Exploration: La Marea

Darien Rainforest Exploration - La Marea

A Real Adventure.

This tour is focused on visitors who appreciate nature and have a great respect of native cultures.

If visitors want to go see a Harpy Eagle´s nest they will have to hike for a whole day (3-4 hrs each way) through forest trails with a few steep, muddy climbs. The birdlist of La Marea just keeps growing: Sapayoa, Blue and Yellow Macaws, Black-crowned Antpitta, and
much more.

On the other hand, even if somebody is not in top physical condition, they would still be able to visit this site.

The village itself is a great place to be and most visitors will love just seeing such a “primitive” living culture today. The kids often perform traditional dances and songs for visitors, and people will have many opportunities to shop for local handicrafts like baskets, woodcarvings, and native jewelry.

Plus the surrounding rainforest is simply spectacular with Blueand-Yellow Macaws flying over the village, among many other birds and monkeys playing in the trees. Even if people don’t want to do strenuous hikes in the rainforest, they will love the village experience and the surrounding wilderness.

Birds of the Darien Lowlands at La Marea:

The rainforests of the Chepigana Forest Reserve around La Marea village allow opportunities to see many of the endemic bird species found only in the Darien of Panama and Western Colombia.

The birdlife in this part of Panama is simply superb.

To give you an idea of the fine birds we get to see right around the village in Darien, while having our meals:

  • Green ibis
  • Blue-and-yellow Macaws
  • Crested Eagle
  • Spot-breasted Woodpecker (nesting)
  • White-headed Wrens
  • Yellow-breasted Flycatcher
  • Orange-crowned Oriole (nesting)
  • Black Oropendulas

Certainly once you go into the forest, one starts finding even better birds including rarities such as:

  • Sapayoa (we have even video-taped it)
  • Harpy eagle
  • Great-green Macaws

Some other Darien specialties that are commonly seen include:

  • Gray-cheeked Nunlet
  • Yellow-browed Shrike-vireo
  • Black Antshrike
  • Sirystes

Other forest-dwelling species of interest include:

  • Red-throated Caracara
  • Slaty-backed Forest-falcon
  • Olive backed quail dove
  • Dull-mantled antbird
  • Wing-banded antbird

Location
The Darien Province is the largest region of Panama, yet the least populated. This condition allows the Darien to boast one of the last vast tracts of primary forest in Middle America. Moreover, the Darien region is one of the world’s greatest Hot Spots of biodiversity.
Our adventure takes place at the Embera native village of La Marea. This village is located adjacent to the Chepigana Forest Reserve up the La Marea River slightly South-East of La Palma, Capital of the Darien Province.

Lodging
Tourists going to La Marea stay in traditional palm-thatched guesthomes of the Embera natives.

The living conditions are for now quite rustic: they only have an out-house for toilet and an open tin-walled shower. We do have mosquito nets and inflatable mattresses so it is rather comfortable
staying there like the natives do, on the floor of traditional stilted homes. Actually our guests love living around the natives and seeing the true Embera way of life, even if that means waking up to a little pet kinkajou running around the house, or the snorting of tamed White-lipped Peccaries under the house.

Capacity
We have limited the size of our tours to 12 people in 6 rooms. Four rooms have a Full bed. Two of the rooms have bunk beds available for student groups. We can even accommodate large student groups using bunkbeds, the capacity would be up to 20 people.

Getting There
2) Driving some 5 hours from Panama City to Metetí where you will board the motorized boat to ride up river for about 1 hour, timing will depend on the tides.

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Itinerary:

Day 1 – Panama City Arrival

On your arrival to Panama City, you will be met by an Inside Panama Tours representative and
transferred to your Hotel in Panama City.

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Day 2: Transfer from Panama City into the Darien. Settle-in at La Marea Field Station (B,L,D)

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Day 3: Wildlife Observations around Village and Introduction to the Embera Culture. (B,L,D)
We will spend some time looking for wildlife around the deck of the Field Station. We
are likely to find a great variety of birds including Macaws, soaring raptors, and even
a few species only found in this region.

Afterwards, we will do an interpretive nature walk in the nearby rainforest to learn
more about the plants and animals that call this tropical paradise home. We will
make special mention of certain plants that have tradicional uses for construction,
handicrafts, and even local medicines.

Later in the afternoon, we will have the chance to meet with our hosts, who will give
us some explanations about the Embera way of life.

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Day 4: Exploring the Primary Rainforest – (B,L,D)
Today we will spend most of the day hiking deeper into the primary rainforest. These are areas that have never been in habitat or cleared by humans and contain and amazing biodiversity. Here we are likely to find species that are not common in more disturbed areas, some of which are endangered with extinction like the Great Green Macaw.

One of the highlights of our visit into the Primary Forest, although not too common, would be the
magnificent Harpy Eagle. The Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) is the national bird of the Republic of
Panama, and standing three feet tall and up to a seven feet wingspan, it is the strongest bird of prey in the world!

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Day 5: Transfer Back to Panama City – (B)
After farewells to our Embera hosts, and last minute souvenir shopping, we will pack our belongings for our departure.

Again depending on the high tide, we will start our journey down the river. Along the way we will keep our eyes open for “Mangrove” Black-hawk, Basilisk Lizards, Iguanas, crabs, kingfishers, herons, egrets, and much more.

We are scheduled to arrive in Panama City late in the evening & transfer to your Hotel.

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Day 6 : Departure (B)
Transfer to Int’l Airport.

Note: Another option to get to La Marea is by flying to La Palma for about 1-hr, and then riding a
motorized boat for just over an hour to get to the village. (Additional cost).

Included: all lodging, meals as specified on the itinerary (B= breakfast, L= lunch, BL= box
lunch), private transportation on a/c minivan, bilingual tour guides, entrance fees where
needed, taxes.

Not included: International airfare, tourist card ($5 per person), meals not specified in the itinerary, alcoholic beverages, tips, extras in hotels (laundry, telephone calls, room service, etc.).

Golf Tours

Day 1 – Panama City
On your arrival to Panama City, you will be met by an Inside Panama Tours representative and transferred to your Hotel in Panama City.

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Day 2 – Summit Golf
Today you’ll be picked up at your hotel and transferred to Summit Golf, located on the East bank of the Panama Canal on Gaillard Highway and only at 20 minutes drive from downtown Panama.

The course is a 6,626 yard, par 72 championship course designed by famous American golf course architect Jeffrey Myers. The course is set on rolling hills over looking the famous Gaillard Cut of the Panama Canal and the “Camino de Cruces” National Park.

The layout features multiple tee boxes, generous landing areas and moderately contoured putting surfaces. The facility also features a full service practice and a six-hole par three course for kids. The greens are Tifdwarf Bermuda grass and the course is maintained in world class condition.

8 Kms. of concrete car paths provide easy access during the rainy season.

Golf gear not included.

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Day 3 – Free Day
Free day to enjoy your Hotel amenities or book some of the following activities: shopping tour, city tour, day tour to an Embera Indian Village, El Valle Day Tour or boat tour (please ask for detailed information regarding these tours).

Overnight at Panama City Hotel.

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Day 4 & 5 – Coronado Golf & Beach Resort
2:00 pm pick up at your Hotel lobby and transfer to Coronado Golf & Beach Resort for the following 2 days.

At Coronado Resort, you can play golf in one of the best professional courses in Latin America, created by the famous designers Tom and George Fazio.  It has 18 holes, par 72, with 7,092 yards.

The Hotel also offers a Spa & Wellness Center, Equestrian Club & Tennis Court, great restaurants and lovely rooms.

Breakfast included in room rate while at Coronado resort.

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Day 6 – Panama City
1:00pm transfer back to Panama City.

Overnight at Panama City Hotel.

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Day 7 – Departure
Transfer to Int’l Airport.

Panamanian Caribbean Paradise

Transport to Albrook Airport where you will board a short domestic flight to San Blas. Once you arrive to San Blas, you will be met and transported to our Hotel in San Blas, where the local host will be expecting you.

Panama Cultures

Day One: Arrival

Arrive to Panama City at Tocumen International Airport where you’ll be welcome by our representative, who will handle you a welcome Pack, and will transfer you to your Panama City Hotel.

Day Two: Full Day City and Canal Tour (B, L, D)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and be ready to experience Panama by visiting: Panama Canal at Miraflores Locks; the modern and cosmopolitan Panama City , crossing trough the International Banking centre area. Learn about Panama history by visiting Old Panama City Ruins (first colonial city), and the Casco Antiguo (Second colonial city).

Plaza de Francia

You will also visit the Amador area known as the pacific entrance to the canal   (Causeway) and Puente de Las Americas (Bridge of the Americas – this bridge connects North and South America ).

Note: This tour includes transportation, guide, lunch and entrance fees.

In the evening enjoy a Panamanian Folkloric Show & dinner.

Day Three:   Embera Village (B, BL)

Today we will take a tour to an Embera Village , and visit one of the seven Indigenous cultures that still exist in our Jungles.

We will travel by land up to Corotu pier and then take a dugout canoe, known in Panama as “ piragua”.

Travelling by Piragua we will enjoy a unique trip and magnificent nature scenes, all the way up through the Chagres River .  Once we arrive to the Village, we’ll have the opportunity to learn about their culture, traditions, way of living and learn how they make their hand crafts. Also they will teach us some botanical skills, and we’ll try their native food (fish and fried plantain).  Don’t forget your bathing suit, Embera Village offers a great river.

Day four: San Blas (B, L, D)

This morning we’ll be picked up and transferred to Albrook Airport where we will board a short domestic flight to San Blas . Once we arrive to San Blas, we will be met and transferred to our Hotel in San Blas , where the local host will be expecting us.

EMBERA

Note: All meals are included.  We will have a great day at leisure observing the Kuna culture, swimming, snorkelling or relaxing on beautiful white sand beaches.

Day Five:  San Blas (B, L, D)

Enjoy the Kuna Culture. The Kuna Yala territory is a band of rainforest that extends for 125 miles along the Caribbean coast, nearly to the border of Colombia and encompasses the San Blas Islands, some 365 tiny keys with white-sand beaches lapped by crystalline waters. For travellers interested in tropical nature, the seaside and indigenous cultures, Kuna Yala is an ideal destination.

Day Six:   Panama City (B)

Today we’ll fly back to Panama City .

This is your free day! Continue exploring Panama City !

Day Seven: Departure
Transfer to Tocumen International Airport.

Diving Tour

Dive the beautiful waters of Panama’s Caribbean Coast.

The tour begins around 7:30 am with a scenic ride to Portobelo, home of the Black Christ, is a town full of history and legends. It became one of the most important points in the transfer of gold and silver because of its system of fairs and galleons and its long harbor and forts built to protect the growing town.

Portobelo introduces visitors to the adventure and intrigue of the age of pirates and conquistadors.

Includes: transportation, lunch, non-alcoholic beverages, boat (with captain and trip leader), and diving gear.

What to bring: bathing suit, towel, hat, sun block

Duration: approximately 7-8 hours total from Panama City.

Mind & Body Rejuvenation

Mind & Body Rejuvenation 3 Nights  accommodation in Deluxe Rooms or Villa Apartments  (Gamboa Resort)

1 Rejuvenating Massage Outdoors

1 Facial Mask of your choice

1 Body Exfoliation of your choice

1 Body Wrap of your choice

Airport Transfers

Buffet Breakfast each morning

Welcome Cocktail

Room & Tax

Spa Adventure

Spa Adventure 5 Nights   accommodations in Deluxe Rooms or Villa Apartments  (Gamboa Resort)

2 Massages of your choice

2 Ecological Tours of your choice

1 Deep Cleansing Facial or Facial Mask of your choice

1 Body Exfoliation of your choice

1 Body Wrap of your choice

1 Three course Gourmet Dinner

Airport Transfers

Buffet Breakfast each morning

Welcome Cocktail

Room & Tax

Honey Moon – Package # 1

Honey Moon Package #1 Day 1 – Panama City
On your arrival to Panama City , you will be met by an Inside Panama Tours representative and transferred to your Hotel in Panama City.

Day 2 – San Blas Islands (B, L, D) – 2 nights
04:00 pick up at Hotel lobby and transfer to Albrook (domestic) airport to board flight to San Blas.

The following 3 days you’ll enjoy excellent white sand beaches and clear water, as well as have the opportunity to learn about the unique Kuna way of life and interact with the Kuna culture.

Day 4 – Panama City
Transfer back to Panama City .

Night at Panama City Hotel.

Day 5 – Anton Valley & The Canopy Adventure (B, L) – 1 night
Located only two hours from Panama City via the Panamerican highway, Anton Valley rises 600 meters above sea level with a fresh and agreeable climate.

Today we’ll tour around the area and we’ll spend the night here. Our driver will pick us up the next day.

In this area we can spend days enjoying productive ecological activities such as: visiting El Macho water fall and Canopy Adventure, the petroglyphs, El Nispero plant nursery and zoo, the thermal waters wells and, if it’s a Sunday, the great craft market.

Night at El Valle.

Day 6 – Panama City
Today we’ll board our flight back to Panama City.

Honey Moon – Package # 2

Honey Moon Package #2 Day 1 – Panama City
On your arrival to Panama City , you will be met by an Inside Panama Tours representative and transferred to your Hotel in Panama City .

Day 2 – Boquete – 2 nights (BL)
Boquete, a flower-filled mountain valley at the foot of the 10,500 ft . extinct Volcan Baru, is a beautiful small town in the western highlands of Panama in the province of Chiriqui , and it has a beautiful river running through the centre of town.

The climate is considered nearly perfect, and this is why it’s called the valley of eternal spring.

It is also one of the few places on the planet where you can view the Resplendent Quetzal- the rare and considered most beautiful bird in the Americas .

While in Boquete, well do a panoramic tour around the area, and some birdwatching or hiking, as well as visit coffee plantations and processing mills.

Day 4 – Bambito – 2 nights (B)
We’ll spend the following 2 nights at Bambito Hotel, great mountain resort in Chiriqui Highlands.

Nestled at the foot of Volcan Baru and just an hour from David, Bambito provides a delicious climate, surrounded by an exotic biodiversity.

Some activities that can be done while at the Hotel are: mountain activities include eco-paths, horseback riding, cloud forest hikes, trout fishing, thermal water baths, rafting and
rappelling.

Day 6 – Panama City
Transfer back to Panama City .

Night at Panama City Hotel.

Day 7 – Panama City
Today we’ll board our flight back to Panama City.

Bird Lovers # 1

Bird Lovers Canopy Tower

Ecolodge & Nature Observatory

3 night/ 4 day package

Panama has some of the most easily accessed forests anywhere in the tropics. The Canopy Tower is located on top of Semaphore Hill, in a well preserved semi deciduous tall forest in the heart of Soberania National Park . It is at an altitude of 900 feet above sea level, and from its roof you can see the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal and the skyline of Panama City , just 30 minutes away. Its privileged position makes ideal as a base from which to start exploring the forests of central Panama , as well as the Canal and other historical attractions. At the base of the road up Semaphore Hill is Plantation Road , a good, easy graded dirt road where you can walk through more than three miles of mature forest. A ten minute drive takes you to the gate of the famous Pipeline Road which runs for 11 miles through wetter forests in the heart of Soberanía National Park .

Birds Recently Sighted at the Canopy Tower

Great Jacamar
Great Potoo
Sunbittern
Blue Cotinga
Green Shrike-Vireo
Pheasant Cuckoo
Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo
Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo
Rufous-crested Coquette
Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo

Our 3 night/4 day package includes lodging (3 nights minimum stay) (double occupancy), 3 daily meals, 2 birding walks per day with an experienced birding guide and Airport transfers (package begins on day 1, checking in at 11AM, you get one tour that day, two on the following and two on the third day. The program ends with breakfast on day 4.) Room check-out time is 9 AM , giving guests time for breakfast and to bird watch from the Observation Deck of the Tower. It also gives us time to prepare the room for its next guests.

All our tours include a cooler with beverages & snacks, and entrance fees to Soberania National Park.